Cyclocross bikes - a helpful guide

Words by Aaron Scott

on 29/08/2013 18:14:00

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Cyclocross bikes: what are they like to ride?

Cyclocross bikes are designed specifically for cyclocross racing on courses of very mixed (often rough) terrain, with obstacles and places where the bike needs to be carried. The combination of light weight and sturdiness of these road bikes makes them a very particular choice.

Cyclocross bikes tend to be lightweight but tough, with narrow tyres and drop handlebars. They need to be able to soak up the bumps on a cross-country ride, but also deliver pace on the road, and still be easy to sling over your shoulder when you need to hop over a fence or race up a near-vertical slope.

Riding position is similar to a road bike, crouched over the handlebars for speed

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Technical stuff

Cyclocross bikes combine speed with ruggedness and are highly versatile.

  • Handlebars are often dropped, racing bike style
  • Cyclocross bikes are tough, designed to take a pounding over rutted tracks and obstacles
  • They're also lightweight, since cyclocross tracks include fences or near-vertical ascents where you'll need to carry your bike for short distances
  • Thin but grippy tyres will help you through the mud and on hills but also give you a turn of speed on roads

Suitable for:

Anyone from complete beginner to seasoned cyclist.

Best for:

  • Commuting
  • Off-road exploring
  • Cyclocross competitions

Avoid if:

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Still want more advice?

We've produced lots more guides to help you find out more about bikes, cycling and cycle gear. These include sizing guides for bikes and clothing, and handy guides to cycle clothing, bike accessories, commuting with a bike, and more. Browse our full range of guides here.

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