Bombtrack Hook AL, $2,699

This is the bike many on the Bombtrack Treadly racing crew ride - and it’s light, stiff, and designed to take the rigours of cyclocross racing. Although Bombtrack are best known for their steel frames, this aluminium model not only comes in at a lower cost, but might even have some more racing pedigree. New for 2018, the Hook AL gains hydraulic brakes, a full carbon fork and a wide-range 11-42 cassette for a better gear range.  

Liv Brava SLR, $2,499

There are very few women’s specific cyclocross bikes, but Liv deliver a beauty with the Brava SLR. The full alloy frame has steeper seat angles and a slightly slacker head tube angle than the TCX, and is matched with a full carbon fork, through-axles, hydraulic discs and wide range 11-42 cassette. With the 1x drivetrain the Liv Brava SLR can move from between the tape to following your nose on a topographic map.