A comprehensive guide to the best cyclocross bikes on the market
Cyclocross is one of the fastest growing sports in Australia, with more and more cyclists getting off-road and enjoying the fast and furious racing that typifies CX. Away from the racer-types, cyclocross bikes are also the perfect machine to explore backroads and bike paths, and to add a little more adventure to your weekend outings.
To cater for this boom, an increasing number of bike manufacturers are offering machines that are specifically tailored to the rough and tumble of ‘cross. Geometry is often more relaxed and you can expect the bottom bracket to be a touch higher than the average road bike, along with clearance for wider knobbier tyres that are needed to cope with the more challenging conditions.
If you’re curious about trying something new and discovering just what CX is all about, we’ve scoured the market to bring you details of all the best cyclocross bikes available right now – from bespoke handmade steel-framed machines to $500 single speeders (and everything in between!).
Trek Boone 5 Disc
Trek believe they have solved the age-old problem of how to make a bike frame stiff enough to be efficient, but also compliant enough to deal with rough roads and even the kind of conditions commonly found on cyclocross courses. And they call it IsoSpeed. CX racers should immediately notice the effects of this system - which works by decoupling the seat tube from the top tube, thereby allowing it to flex as the terrain gets more and more challenging. And while it might not immediately turn you into Wout Van Aert or Mathieu Van Der Poel, the IsoSpeed is likely to take a significant amount of the jarring fatigue out of racing. Throw in a Shimano 105 groupset, hydraulic disc brakes and Bontrager Paradigm R saddle and this is a bike primed for competition straight out of the box.
RRP: $3,999, From: trekbikes.com
The Threshold Rival 1 should be well capable of dealing with the most challenging of CX courses given the fact it was developed in the rugged landscape of Canada’s Pacific coast. With a carbon frame and full-carbon fork, this bike is specced with SRAM’s Rival 1 group set – which is widely praised for its race performance. The single chain ring should also help when crucial positions are being battled for since there is much less danger of mud, grass, dirt and general debris getting clogged up and slowing you down just when you need to accelerate past your arch-rival! If you want to break late and hard to beat that same rival into the final corner, the hydraulic disc brakes offer immense stopping power in all conditions. The Threshold is also available as a top-of-the-range SL Force (with SRAM Force 1 group set) for an additional $1,200.
RRP $3,499, From: norco.com