THE BIKES

Australian Geographic Outdoor - - Adventure -

The Gibb may not be as ra­bidly vi­cious as it once was, but it still re­mains a bru­tal test for any bike. In short, tack­ling it on gar­den va­ri­ety road bikes would be fool­ish. But Spe­cial­ized’s Crux and Di­verge—de­spite be­ing snappy road machines giv­ing up vir­tu­ally no per­for­mance on the tar—with­stood the on­slaught su­perbly.

The Di­verge has what Spe­cial­ized terms its ‘en­durance geom­e­try’ – a com­pact wheel­base and short chain stays for per­for­mance, but a taller head tube for more re­laxed all-day rid­ing. Barts’ rode a car­bon-rimmed cus­tom model with damp­ened forks, stays and seat­post, along with disc brakes, thru-axles, and the abil­ity to take tyres up to 35mm.

I rode the Ex­pert Car­bon ver­sion of the Crux. While some fea­tures are sim­i­lar to the Di­verge, it sports a more race-ori­ented geom­e­try, with a lower head­tube and more ag­gres­sive rid­ing po­si­tion.

One last note: Spe­cial­ized’s 33mm Tracer Pro tyres were sim­ply awe­some, giv­ing us enough trac­tion for the loose stuff but rolling so fast we mostly for­got we were on knob­bies.

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