Do you like getting dirty, being heckled, and having the time of your life? If so, cyclocross might be just the thing for you. Cyclocross racing is fun and inclusive. Plus, it is a great way to stay fit and improve your bike-handling skills.
Even if you aren’t a racer, cyclocross bikes are versatile machines that are perfect for everyday riding. The combination of agile handling and knobby, high-volume tires allows cyclocross bikes to tackle everything from road to gravel to light singletrack. They’re a great option for riders looking to get off the pavement and explore roads less traveled.
Photo: Robert D. Jones | RDJonesPhoto.comIf you’re interested in a cyclocross bike this season, here are three key makes and models that are ready to play in the dirt.
For years, Specialized has designed its CruX models to be purebred cyclocross racing steeds. It’s fast, stable, lightweight, and it eschews many of the comfort-focused compromises other cyclocross bikes make to try and cater to a wide range of riders. When it comes to cyclocross racing, the CruX has everything you need and nothing that you don't. From the world championship-winning S-Works model to the more affordable options, you'll get an ultra-responsive bike built to handle punchy accelerations and tricky technical courses. With the latest CruX, Specialized has created a race weapon that is competitive at any level.
Trek Boone and CrockettTrek's cyclocross bike lineup includes the carbon-fiber Boone and the aluminum Crockett. The Boone is an ideal choice for anyone who wants to ride what the pros ride. It features Trek’s IsoSpeed system in the front and rear of the frame. This provides additional compliance to reduce fatigue and increase traction on rough and bumpy terrain. The Crockett is a more affordable option that will handle any abuse a muddy 'cross course can dish out.
Giant took experience from the World Cup cyclocross circuit and used it to develop its latest race rig, the TCX. It features a higher bottom bracket and a steep head tube angle to take on tricky, muddy courses. This is a pure cyclocross race bike through and through. And as you'd expect from Giant, the frame construction is superior and there are many trim options to suit any budget.