The reason we love aero road bikes so much is that they provide the budget-minded athlete with the ability to have a bike that can be used for crits on Friday night and then rack in transition on Sunday morning. And in many cases, you don’t even have to give up much in aero performance to do so. Both the Cervelo S5 and Felt AR are some of the most aero frames on the market today. Yet while manufacturers have recognized the hybrid nature of these frames (with bikes such as the Specialized Alias), we have never seen a company really take full advantage of this ability.
Culprit is looking to change that with their Croz Blade One Bike Arsenal build. The build starts with Culprit’s Croz Blade frame. The Blade is an aero design that supports both rim and disc brakes (and ships with both), so right from the start you are getting options on how to set up the bike specific to that day’s needs. The Blade now features BB86 (versus BB30 previous) and features an enlarged chain stay to incorporate fully enclosed cable routing.
What makes the Arsenal a true “arsenal” is the fact that it ships with everything you will need to support this bike’s hybrid lifestyle. Three wheels are included in the purchase:
- Rear Token C90 disc/rim brake carbon clincher
- Rear Token C50 disc/rim brake carbon clincher
- Front Token C50 disc/rim brake carbon clincher
As we mentioned before the Blade ships with both rim (TRP TTV front brake, Shimano Ultegra direct mount rear brake) and Disc brakes (TRP HYRD front and rear disc brake) and is designed to allow you to easily swap between the two. Culprit says that it takes roughly 45 minutes to an hour of work to change the set up.
The Arsenal is built with Ultegra Di2. One of our favorite benefits of Di2 is the option to quickly plug in a second set of remote shifters. To that end, the Arsenal ships with a pair of clip-on extensions and shifters allowing for easy conversion to a triathlon-specific frame.
The end result of this configurability is five specific setups depending on the athlete’s needs:
- Disc brake road bike Croz Blade (C50/C50)
- Rim Brake Road bike Croz Blade (C50/C50)
- Triathlon set-up Croz Blade rim brakes (C50/C90)
- Triathlon set-up Croz blade disc brakes (C50/C90)
- Crit bike (C50/C90)
Complete bike pricing is set at $5,850 (not including shipping costs and taxes) and also includes, paint-to-order color options from Culprit, Culprit Bib, Culprit Jersey, Torque wrench, carbon bottle cage painted to match, water bottle, wheel bag for spare wheel.
We love what Culprit is trying to do here and are excited to see it in person at Interbike. For an athlete looking for one complete system for their road and triathlon needs, the Arsenal is going to be worth some serious consideration. We’re also hoping that other manufacturers may follow suit in providing complete systems to athletes. A TT frame that includes a disc or both training wheels and carbon wheels could be interesting build options that also save athletes money.
Complete Croz Blade One Bike Arsenal Spec
Frame – Culprit Croz Blade
Fork – Croz blade fork with dual brake system
Headset – Token Omega C1
Handlebar – R1 road bar with carbon extension bars and riser kits
Bar tape – Lizard Skin 2.5mm bar tape
Seatpost – Culprit Croz blade carbon with 3 position mount
Saddle – Prologo Nago Evo TS
Front Derailleur – Shimano Ultegra Di2 RD-6870
Rear Derailleur – Shimano Ultegra Di2 FD-6870
Shifters – Shimano ST-6870
Crankset – Shimano Ultegra
Bottom bracket – Shimano BB86 press fit
Cassette – Shimano CS-6800
Chain – Shimano Ultegra CN-6800
Wheelset – Token C90 Carbon clincher rear, Token C50 Carbon clincher rear wheel, Token C50 carbon clincher front wheel
Tires – Maxxis mamushi 700x25C
Brakes – TRP HyRd Disc brakes, TRP TTV front rim brake, Shimano Ultegra direct mount rear brake rim brake