Cyclocross Bike Guide

Cyclocross Bike Guide

What is cyclocross?

Cyclocross bikes look like a road bike or gravel bike at first glance, but they are built for racing off-road..

Cyclocross is a fast, furious and fun style of racing that involves riding these bikes on rough terrain, requiring some running, carrying, negotiating small hurdles and lots and lots of mud. This winter sport is often taken to in the off-season by mountain bike and road cyclists to stay on top form. A very athletic discipline requiring the racer to lift the bike onto the shoulder to negotiate obstacles while running. Very popular in Europe, the sport is currently enjoying a resurgence in the UK, USA and Australia. Cyclocross can be raced in very muddy or sandy environments, this requires and improves bike handling skills.


What makes a cyclocross bike?

Although cross bikes look a bit like road bikes, they have some special adaptations to make them suitable for off-road riding and racing.

Geometry: ‘cross bike geometry traditionally has had higher bottom brackets than road bikes to allow for toe clips hitting the floor when unclipped. Modern CX bikes are now closer to road bikes is the basic geometry making sizing a little easier. With steeper head angles than gravel or adventure bikes and shorter chainstays, cross bikes are nimble and agile. High-end race bikes are thoroughbred race machines, with some mid-range models having mounts for racks/mudguards and a more comfortable riding position.

Frame: While there are obvious advantages to racing with a lightweight bike, CX bike frames are usually a bit more durable than road bikes and have clearance to take bigger tyres. with cable routing to suit being slung on the shoulder. They can be built from titanium, steel or carbon fibre, but aluminium is common.

Gearing: 1x, Compact or cyclocross-specific chainsets give a wide range of gearing for frequent changes in gradient. Pure race-bred CX bikes have a relatively narrow gear range as the steepest gradients are carried and the top end speed does not get too high off-road. The simplicity and range of 1x set-ups are now becoming more common with CX bikes.

Cyclocross Bike wheel

Brakes: Cyclocross bikes traditionally had cantilever or V-brakes for power off-road and to give plenty of mud clearance. Some cross bikes have extra mini brake levers on the top of the handlebars for panic braking on tricky terrain. Disc brakes are now commonplace. Mechanical cable operated disc brakes are still powerful but the extra power and modulation of hydraulic systems are far superior.

Wheels & Tyres: Cross bikes have 700c wheels with durable rims. Tubeless set up's are now becoming very common for their obvious weight-saving, rolling speed and puncture resistant advantages. For strict UCI level competition, tyres are limited in width to 33c, though far more common in regional events are 35c. Cylocross Tyres will be much fatter than road bikes, with tread to grip off-road.


Why buy a cyclocross bike?

Cyclocross bikes aren't just for cross racing. They're increasingly popular with all sorts of riders because their tough nature and comfort make them incredibly practical.

Commuting: Cross bikes make great commuters. Many have eyelets for mudguards and a pannier rack. They're really durable as an everyday bike and you can fit narrower/slick tyres to make them faster on the road.

Touring: If you can fit a luggage rack, a cross bike makes a great touring machine, especially if you want to go off the beaten track. Those bikes that do not have rack mounts can still be toured using bikepacking frame bags.

Sportives: Cross bikes are often very comfortable so they're a wise option for sportives and other long rides. They might not be quite as nippy as a road bike though.

Muddy cyclocross bike race

Everything Else: If you're not quite sure if you'd rather have a road bike, a mountain bike or a hybrid, a cross bike might be the bike for you. They combine attributes from all these categories, so if you're not sure what type of cyclist you are, a cross bike lets you try out lots of different types of riding.


£5 OFF VOUCHER

When you spend £50 or more.

Sign up to our newsletter and get all the deals and special offers first.

GoogleNorton securedNovunaPayPal Credit

© Performance Cycling Limited 2024. Tredz is a trading name of Performance Cycling Limited. All Rights Reserved Company No. 03398601 | VAT No: 797 0776 69

† IMPORTANT INFORMATION: Performance Cycling Limited FRN: 720557 trading as Tredz & Tredz Bikes are Authorised and Regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. We are a credit broker, not a lender – credit is subject to status and affordability, and is provided by a panel of lenders of whom we have a commercial relationship. Terms & Conditions Apply. Performance Cycling Limited trading as Tredz is registered in England and Wales 03398601. Registered office: Icknield Street Drive, Washford West, Redditch, Worcestershire, England, B98 0DE. Performance Cycling Limited trading as Tredz is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Our registration number is 720557. Credit provided subject to age and status.

Finance is subject to application, financial circumstances and borrowing history. Performance Cycling Limited FRN: 720557 trading as Tredz are authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. We are a credit broker not a lender – credit is subject to status and affordability and is provided by Mitsubishi HC Capital UK PLC. Terms & Conditions Apply.

† Novuna Representative Example: If total purchase price is £4,255.52 and your selected term is 36 months 14.9% APR Representative, Annual Interest Rate 14.9% p.a. Fixed with £0 deposit you would pay £145.38 per month. Total amount payable will be £5.233.68 with a cost of credit of £978.16.

† Novuna Buy Now Pay Later Example: If total purchase price is £4,255.52, payment holiday of 12 months and 24 monthly payments at 9.9% APR Representative, Annual Interest Rate 9.9% p.a. Fixed with £0 deposit you would pay £213.02 per month. Amount of Credit £4255.52, Total amount payable will be £5,112.48 with a cost of credit of £856.96. If the loan amount is voluntarily paid in full before the deferral period ends, interest will be waived but an early settlement fee up to £29 will apply.

PayPal Credit is subject to status. Terms and Conditions apply. Performance Cycling Limited acts as a broker and offers credit from PayPal Credit. PayPal Credit is a trading name of PayPal UK Ltd Registered Office: Whittaker House, Whittaker Avenue, Richmond-Upon-Thames, Surrey, United Kingdom, TW9 1EH. † Full Representative Example: Representative 23.9% APR (variable), Purchase interest rate 23.9% p.a. (variable), Assumed credit limit £1,200.00.

PayPal Credit and PayPal Pay in 3 are trading names of PayPal UK Ltd Registered Office: Whittaker House, Whittaker Avenue, Richmond-Upon-Thames, Surrey, United Kingdom, TW9 1EH. PayPal Credit: Terms and conditions apply. Credit subject to status, UK residents only, Performance Cycling Limited acts as a broker and offers finance from a restricted range of finance providers. PayPal Pay in 3: PayPal Pay in 3 is not regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Pay in 3 eligibility is subject to status and approval. 18+. UK residents only. Pay in 3 is a form of credit, may not be suitable for everyone. Use may affect your credit score or make credit less accessible or more expensive for you. Consider if affordable for you. See product terms for more details.

Learn more about Pay in 3.

FacebookXInstagramYouTubeStrava