best cyclocross bikes

Best Cyclocross Bikes – One Bike Conquers All [2020 Update]

As we review some of the best cyclocross bikes out there, we will give you the inside scoop on what you need to look for when purchasing such bikes and how you will be able to conquer this amazing sport.

Sit back and prepare to be amazed!

Product Roundup

Header

Bike Model

Frame

Fork

Shifters

Rear Derailleur

Brake Type

Wheel Size

Tire width

Weight

More Information

Cannondale CAADX 1 (2021)

SmartForm C2 Alloy 

Full BallisTec Carbon

Shimano GRX 400, 10-speed

 Shimano GRX 400

 Shimano GRX 400 hydraulic disc brake

 700c

35 mm 

 22lbs (9.9kg)

KONA Jake The Snake

Kona Race Light 6061 Aluminium 

Kona Carbon Cross 

 SRAM Apex

Shimano 105

TRP HY/RD C

 700c

 32 mm

 21lbs (9.5kg)

TREK Crockett 7 Disc (2019)

300 Series Alpha Aluminium 

 Trek IsoSpeed Cross full carbon disc

SRAM Force 1, 11-speed 

SRAM Force 1 

 SRAM Force flatmount hydraulic disc brakes

700c 

32 mm 

 18.9lbs (8.6kg)

Cannondale SuperX Women’s Force 1 (2020)

BallisTec Carbon, BB30-83 Ai 

 BallisTec Carbon, 1-1/8” to 1.5”

 SRAM Force 1, 11-speed

SRAM Force 1, Long Cage 

SRAM Force 1 HRD 

700c

 33 mm

18.1lbs (8.2kg) 

Santa Cruz Stigmata Force AXS 650b Reserve (2020)

 Stigmata Carbon 650b

 Stigmata Carbon

 SRAM Force eTap AXS

SRAM X01 Eagle AXS 12spd 

 SRAM Force

Santa Cruz Reserve 25 650b Carbon 

 27.5 mm

20.01lbs (9.08kg) 

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5 Cyclocross Bikes – Reviewed

1. Cannondale CAADX 1 (2021)

Cannondale CAADX 1 (2021)

Buy on Rei

Fitted with one of the latest Shimano GRX 400 2×10, it is perfect for tackling gravel roads and paths in the cyclocross events. These allow for quick and precise gear changes that work to your advantage during these events.

The Shimano GRX 400 hydraulic brakes bring you to an instant stop when activated. This is perfect for cyclocross as it requires sudden stops during this challenge. It is perfect for handling almost any type of course.

Additionally, the OutFront steering geometry provides you with a more stable ride and gives the bike a more agile edge over its competitors. Proving to be one of the most controllable bikes on the market today. Not only will it allow you to have supreme control over the bike on the cyclocross course but It’s also an excellent choice for everyday use.

And if that’s not enough, with a frame built out of a SmartForm C2 alloy, not only is it lightweight but extremely durable at the same time. Offering the rider with a BallisTec carbon fork allows for a much smoother ride as it absorbs most of the shock and can handle climbing up hills with ease.

On the other hand, some mini features such as- rack mounts and a removable seat fender mount provide you with additional usability and convenience without taking away from the perfect racy look of the bike.

As the CAADX 1 can mount ires up to a width of 37mm, it can handle some of the toughest terrains out there making it an extremely versatile purchase.

Pros

  • Solid Components
  • Signature Cannondale Frame

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Relatively heavy

2. KONA Jake The Snake

KONA Jake The Snake

Buy on Kona World

This bike is a favorite among cyclocross racers. It features a frame made out of aluminum, again proving to be lightweight and durable in the long run. It’s coupled with a full carbon fork and the geometry of the perfect racing bike.

The KONA Race Light 7005 & 6061, which have been used on the frame of this bike are naturally lighter than almost any other alloy out there. It provides immeasurable strength and structural reliability to the bike while being extremely lightweight. Kona has also removed any excess material from the frame of the bike to add to the speed of the bike while retaining rigidity.

The use of bearing cups provides the user with a changeable ride height allowing for better posture and more comfort while riding the bike.

Having a tapered top tube allows for greater width at the base, which reduces stress and distributes the shock more evenly. Additionally, it still provides the rider with amazing steering command on rough ground. The shaped head tube also manages to distribute the strength to where the weight is acting on to maximize the durability of the bike in the long run.

Due to the tubeless rims, tires can run at a lower pressure as they provide more grip on rougher surfaces. Therefore, increasing the agility and control the rider has over the bike, and again making the bike lighter due to the hollow space.

Pros

  • Butted alumnium frame

Cons

  • Poor wheelset

3. TREK Crockett 7 Disc (2019)

TREK Crockett 7 Disc (2019)

Buy on City Bikes

This entry is simply an amazing find of a bike. It will allow you to tackle some of the toughest cyclocross bike terrains and still ride it on some of the smoothest paths. If you’re on the hunt for the best cyclocross bike for the money, this bike is for you.

Another frame built out of aluminum, coupled with the Stranglehold Dropout which is adjustable allowing for the perfect riding geometry every time. This ensures the best riding angles to tackle any type of terrain.

It is fitted with Trek IsoSpeed Cross carbon disc fork and SRAM Force 1 shifters thatallow the rider to have precise gear changes at a faster speed while still providing you with a smoother ride as it absorbs most of the shock.

The hydraulic disc brakes provide you with immense stopping power, making it the perfect companion for cyclocross tracks as it is extremely versatile too.

A few other reasons why you will love this bike are that it has been built in such a way where it can easily compete with superior bikes made of carbon, but it is much cheaper. Additionally, the 300 series aluminium frame is perfect for cyclocross events as it is extremely durable to tackle rougher terrain – especially gravel roads.

Finally, thanks to Control Freak Cable Management, you can experience the perfect ride without the hassle of any cables getting in the way.

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Looks sleek

Cons

  • The seat could be a bit more comfortable

4. Cannondale SuperX Women’s Force 1 (2020)

Cannondale SuperX Women’s Force 1 (2020)

Buy on City Bikes

Providing the rider with almost unparalleled traction control and massive tire clearance, this extremely lightweight bike makes for one of the best cyclocross bikes out there.

The use of an asymmetric integration (Ai) drivetrain proves to be much more user friendly when it comes to climbing hills or steep slopes. This feature shifts the rear hub and drivetrain 6mm to the right, delivering short chainstays without any of the usual compromises. This makes the bike more agile and controllable for steeper slopes while providing substantial mud clearance terrain and being able to fit tires with a width of 40mm and below

Once again it’s fitted with OutFront Steering Geometry, and you can have the perfect riding position at all given times while being extremely comfortable. Coupled with BallisTec Carbon Construction this extremely lightweight bike is stiff when it needs to be. You will easily be able to lift this bike during your event and it will deliver speed and agility when you need it the most.

The SuperX Women’s Force 1 also features an 11-speed SRAM Force 1 which is considered to be one of the higher end SRAM products on a cyclocross bike. Allowing for quicker changes at higher precision, you will have a massive advantage over the other riders. The SRAM Force hydraulic disc brakes are not one to disappoint either. The stopping power is almost unmatched and is ultra-powerful in cyclocross events.

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Precise geometry for women

Cons

  • Unsatisfactory wheelset

5. Santa Cruz Stigmata Force AXS 650b Reserve (2020)

Santa Cruz Stigmata Force AXS 650b Reserve (2020)

Buy on City Bikes

The Stigmata was brought back to life in 2015 when Santa Cruz decided to use design features and standards of mountain bikes to come up with their version of a cyclocross bike. Something worked out perfectly for them as a few months later the bike went onto win at the Three Peaks event and continues to dominate most cyclocross events globally.

It’s fitted with disc brakes that have been internally routed to provide you with almost unrivaled stopping power. The massive tire clearance allows you to tackle muddier terrain with lesser pitstops. Although these features seem pretty standard, Santa Cruz has also fitted the bike with some other knickknacks which appeal to the cycling fanatic.

Some of these features include fender mounts that keep most of the dirt off your body while you tackle that intense cyclocross trail. Furthermore, Santa Cruz has fitted the Stigmata Force with a three-bottle rack which allows the rider to have a minimum of one bottle mounted even with the addition of a bag.

That’s just half of the story!

Diving deeper into the tech behind the bike, the frame allows for up to 40mm, 700cc tires to be used. Paired with the 52/54cm frameset, riders of heights above 5’3” can enjoy the ride comfortably.

Furthermore, multiple options of forks are available based on your height to reduce toe overlap and give you an overall perfect ride experience.

Pros

  • Superb carbon fibre frame
  • Good tire clearance

Cons

  • Super expensive

Buying Guide

You may be asking yourself “what exactly does a cyclocross bike do?”

Let me tell you! A cyclocross bicycle is a bike that has been designed especially to handle the rigorous terrain and hardships of a cyclocross race. Now a cyclocross race usually takes place during the last few months of the year, either during autumn or winter. The course includes mud trails, gravel paths, steep slopes, and sometimes even flights of steps. So designing and building a bike to handle these terrains is considered an art form.

Let us tell you what to look for when purchasing a cyclocross bike and how it can help you conquer such courses.

Firstly, the frame needs to be ultra-lightweight as the riders need to be able to carry them around certain parts of the course, making aluminium alloys and carbon the new norm for frames. These materials also make them extremely durable and able to handle these types of terrain and the force put on them.

TREK Crockett 7 Disc

One of the lightest cyclocross bikes ever made is the Scott Addict CX 10 Disc weighing around 15.4lbs (7kg). This proves how bikes can still be extremely durable and rigid at such a low weight.

Next, the geometry and riding position of the rider weighs heavily on the performance as you need to be comfortable yet agile. Gravel bikes or regular mountain bikes tend to have a higher more upright riding position, whereas cyclocross bikes require the rider to be more focused and in a downwards riding position

It is also vital that cyclocross bicycles get a shorter chainstay at around 425mm as it provides the rider with more acceleration and increased handling capabilities to conquer tighter corners or rougher terrain. This also makes the bike more playful and enjoyable for the experienced rider.

Let’s move onto tires. The perfect condition of a tire should be a low-pressure tire as it has more traction and grip on rougher surfaces. You would need added stability and control. It is a rule that cyclocross tires cannot be any wider than 33mm. Many cyclocross bikes can fit slightly wider tires, while still having enough clearance for muddy terrain.

The new kids on the block are tubeless wheels which add to the lightweight nature of the bike. These are quite resistant to punctures as there is no tube to be damaged. If anything were to go through it would directly hit the rim. The luxury of having tubeless wheels is that you can run the bike on a much lower pressure of a tire which is added to the grip and level of comfort for the rider.

Moving onto the gearset, a cyclocross bike requires many lower gears as it helps you ride over steep hills and slopes with ease. There is no use of having higher gears as you will not be traveling at faster speeds on such courses. When purchasing cyclocross bikes try looking for components made by Shimano, Ultegra, or GRX, as these are the front runners in their line of work. They design some of the most reliable components known to us today.

When it comes to brakes, cyclocross bikes require top-of-the-line brakes. Their stopping power needs to be unmatched and reliable as you need to make sudden stops and make tight turns. Hydraulic disc brakes are the go-to option for cyclocross bikes as they are consistent and powerful in the long run.

Simply put, most cyclocross bikes are designed with a very specific purpose in mind and cannot be used for more than a cyclocross event. Therefore, when purchasing a cyclocross bike look for these options.

If you take a closer look at our cyclocross bikes reviews you will understand that these are highly specific machines that are mainly suited for one purpose – cyclocross events.

Therefore, do take all these suggestions into considerations when purchasing a bike and you will not be disappointed. At the end of the day, we want you to enjoy your experience yet be able to afford a bike which is reliable, yet perfect for the job.

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