Best Cyclocross Bikes In 2018 – Top Models Tested & Reviewed By Experts!

A good cyclocross bike makes a good cyclocross racer. Finding the best cyclocross bikes is easier said than done. In fact, there’s an overwhelming number of brands and models that will leave you confused. But that shouldn’t be difficult anymore since we’ve got you covered.

With a fair selection of the different models available, we’ve managed to test and handpick the best bikes at an affordable price range. Below is an in-depth review of each model and a buyers guide to help in your selection.

OVERALL BEST PICK!

Nashbar Alloy 105 Cyclocross Bike

Nashbar Alloy 105 Cyclocross Bike

Best Cyclocross Bikes - Comparisons!

Best Cyclocross Bikes Review

Nashbar Alloy 105 Cyclocross Bike review - Best Cyclocross Bikes

Nashbar 105 is a fun and flexible bike to own. It’s a solid performer designed for riders who seek versatility on and off the beaten path.

The bike offers riders’ favorite workhorse parts, such as Shimano 105 groupset that’s quite unheard of at its price range. Nashbar 105 is one of the best entry-level cyclocross bikes we’ve tried at high value.

Aluminum Frame and Carbon Fork Construction:

The main structure of the bike uses aluminum and carbon to create a perfect blend of stiffness, strength, and compliance. This is achieved while keeping weight to a minimum.

A6-SL aluminum alloy is used for the frameset to provide high responsive qualities and stiffness. FC770 carbon fiber fork offers efficient shock absorption to make the ride smooth and pleasurable.

Quality Shimano 105 11-Speed Gearing:

Exceptional gearing is one of the sweet spots of Nashbar 105. It has an impressive 11-speed drivetrain packed with quality Shimano 105 groupset. This is a groupset that’s hard to distinguish from its high-end Shimano siblings. It makes the bike excel in value, craftsmanship, and performance.

11 gear options doesn’t disappoint in conquering flatter terrains and scaling steep ascents. Shifts between gears is achieved with absolute precision.

Superb All-Weather Mechanical Disc Brakes:

TRP 2-piece disc brakes with 160mm rotor provide top-end stopping power. The brakes are a bit beefy to handle the demands of the rough trails. Stops are more predictable and don’t need urgent force to achieve. It’s a superb feature for controlling your speed regardless of the weather condition.

Amazing All-Round Wheelset:

Nashbar Cyclocross 105 comes with top-notch wheels that get you rolling in style. Aluminum alloy construction makes the wheels extremely lightweight and strong to give you an easy time when riding and racing.

These 700c wheels come fitted with 35mm wide all-round Kenda tires. Well, these are fast-rolling tires designed for improved gravel and adventure capacity. They provide better grip and improved acceleration, even on the nastiest terrains.

Assembly Information:

Nashbar 105 arrives partially assembled. Things to put together are the seat, front wheel, stem & handlebar, and pedals. Air the tires to make the bike ready for the road.

Important Features of this bike:
  • Stiff, lightweight A6-SL aluminum frame
  • FC770 carbon fork with tapered integrated aluminum steers
  • 11-speed Shimano 105 drivetrain
  • TRP Spyre 2-piece mechanical disc brakes
  • 700x35c kenda Block tires
  • Size options: 50cm, 52cm, and 54cm

2. Raleigh Bikes RX 2.0 Cyclocross Bike (A Great Unisex Bike!)

Raleigh Bikes RX 2.0 Cyclocross Bike Review

Raleigh is an experienced manufacturer with bikes ranging from basic to high performance. RX 2.0 happens to fall in the high end of the pack and makes one of the best mid-level cross competition bikes.

This super light bike is sure to give your local cyclocross league a descent crack. It’s a durable performer that provides improved stature and ride style.

Butted Aluminum Alloy Frame with Thru Axles:

Butted aluminum construction makes the frame super light and stiff. The head tube is tapered to provide a more aerodynamic geometry for racing. The aluminum frame combines with a carbon fork to provide increased weight savings and shock absorption.

Both the frame and the fork have a thru axle design that optimizes rigidity and weight balance. This makes the bike handle better and gives an easy time during wheel alignment.

Rock-Solid 11-Speed SRAM Rival Drivetrain:

Raleigh RX 2.0 drivetrain is fitted with SRAM Rival 22 groupset that delivers immense performance over a wide range of riding conditions. This groupset holds a significant weight advantage, especially when rated against comparable groups from Shimano.

Just like Shimano 105, you get a mid-range drivetrain that’s outstanding in its own right. It comes with 11 speeds and a wide range of gear ratio for whatever terrain you might encounter.

Tubeless-Ready 700C Impulse Wheels:

Durable impulse double-walled rims and large volume MXP tires transform this bike into a course-conquering machine. These wheels smooth out any discomfort not addressed by the aluminum frame.

The 33mm tires come with a tubeless setup that saves you from flat tires. Running on lower pressure is possible without pinch flatting. This results in improved traction and ride quality.

Powerful Dual-Actuated TRP Disc Brakes:

Raleigh RX 2.0 uses mechanical brakes similar to those in Nashbar 105. It’s the 2-piston TRP Spyre brakes that deliver a slender package with superior braking performance. These brakes offer a clamping force that’s even and precise. Adjustments are hassle free and setup is a snap.

Assembly Information:

Completing assembly of Raleigh RX 2.0 bike takes anywhere from 10 minutes to 60 minutes depending on your skill level. The bike is built in 4 steps. It involves installation of handlebar, front wheel, seat, and pedals.

Important Features of this bike:
  • Super light butted aluminum alloy frame
  • Carbon-alloy tapered fork
  • Thru axles frame and fork
  • 11-speed SRAM Rival shifter
  • TRP dual-actuated mechanical disc brakes
  • Double-walled rims with 700x33c MXP tires
  • Sizing options: 5 sizes for riders from 5 feet 4 inches to 6 feet 5 inches
Retrospec Bicycles AMOK V2 CycloCross Bike Review

A true blend of allure and practicality, this urban warrior conquers the competition on and off the beaten path. Amok V2 boasts a strong, highly reliable construction to ease your cyclocross or commuting experience.

Perfectly sealed bearings and hubs let you cruise for miles without a hitch. It’s a great superb bike to ride under any terrain.

Double Butted 4130 Chromoly Frame and Fork:

High-tech steel is used to construct the frame and fork. This is a material that’s more dependable, durable, and with improved corrosion resistance. Unlike cumbersome ordinary steel frame, it feels ultra-light and ultra-strong to take on the rough trail. The frame has a racing geometry designed to provide a flexible and more responsive steering.

Sealed Bearing Hubs and Bottom Bracket:

Amok V2 has quality bearings that are sealed and protected from the elements. The seal keeps the effects of dirt and water to a minimum providing durable, healthy hubs. You get less rolling resistance, which means more acceleration with each stroke of the pedal. Sealed technology keeps maintenance to a minimum.

Shimano Altus 9-Speed Drivetrain with Microshift Shifters:

The drivetrain is equipped with advanced light action Shimano Altus groupset that adopt a race-inspired design. You get entry-level components that deliver an aggressive look with a wide gear range. The crankset offers a race-oriented 42T chain ring. Thumb-operated microshift shifters make gear shift smooth and solid without sacrificing ergonomics.

Strong All-Round Wheelset:

Double-walled add an all-round performance to the wheels. These rims provide better strength to weight ratio keeping the wheels more balanced. 700x35c Kenda tires fit on the wheels for fast acceleration. These tires have numerous knobs that create multiple contact points for improved grip and stability.

Assembly Information:

Retrospec XC bike doesn’t come fully assembled. To make it fit for the road, you’ll need to assemble the pedals, handlebar, brakes, seat, and front wheel.

Important Features of this bike:
  • Hand-built 4130 chromoly frame
  • 9-speed Shimano Altus drivetrain with micro shifter
  • Sealed bearing hubs and bottom bracket
  • Double-walled rims with 700c kenda Block tires
  • Front and rear Promax cantilever brakes
  • Size options: 50cm, 54cm, and 60cm
  • Color options: Hi-Vis Blue, Matte Black, and Speckled White
Takara Genkai Cyclocross Bike Review

Takara Genkai is a reliable and convenient ride for beginners. It’s one of the cheapest cyclocross bikes but with some components comparable to the high-end models.

For instance, you get disc brakes and chromoly frame for a price way below $1000. It’s a beautiful handcrafted cyclocross bike that feels at home both on gravel and dirt roads.

Hand-crafted Chromoly Frame with Water Bottle Mount:

Steel bike frames are heavy while aluminum bike frames are light. This is something that every rider knows. Well, Takara added a twist to the steel frame to create a lighter and stronger version known as 4130 chromoly steel.

The frame is built thicker at the welds for improved strength and thinner in between for great weight saving. Chromoly steel offers corrosion resistance for ultimate durability. The frame has a water bottle mounting system to keep your hydration level high.

Shimano Claris 16-Speed Drivetrain:

16 gear options deliver competition ready speeds, whether on the flat terrains or steep ascents. The drivetrain is equipped with Shimano Claris groupset that provide intuitive dual control shifting.

You get light-action shifting that’s accurate and easier to operate. The drivetrain comes as a complete groupset, which means you get excellent value.

Light and Sturdy 700C Wheels:

The wheels have deep section rims built for better aerodynamics and strength. These rims make handling a whole lot easier. 700c tires fit the rims to provide better grip and easy rolling over obstacles. The tires are made lightweight for rapid acceleration and nimble maneuvers.

Powerful Mechanical Disc Brakes:

The brakes are one of the major selling points of this cyclocross bike. You get mechanical disc brakes at half the price of other competitors. The brakes are installed both in front and the rear to provide immediate stopping power. Braking performance is consistent regardless of the riding conditions.

Assembly Information:

Takara Genkai bike is built in 4 steps. This includes installation of pedals, front wheel, handlebar, and seat.

Important Features of this bike:
  • Handcrafted chromoly frame
  • Water bottle mounting system
  • Shimano Claris 16-speed drivetrain
  • Light and sturdy 700c tires
  • Powerful mechanical disc brakes
  • Size options: 57cm and 63.5cm
  • Color options: Black and Green/White
Retrospec Bicycles AMOK V2 Convertible CycloCross Bike Review

Single speed cyclocross bikes have gained popularity in recent years. Among them is Amok V2. This bike is a perfect blend of simplicity and impressive practicalities.

It has less moving parts to give you an easy time during harsh winter rides. Being a convertible bike, you can switch between a road bike geometry and a cyclocross for a more adventurous experience.

Handcrafted Double-Butted 4130 Chromoly Frame:

This bike has a tough, rugged, and comfortable frameset. It’s built from 4130 chromoly that’s lighter and stronger than steel. The same material is used for the fork for good vibration dampening.

Adjustable Geometry:

Two bikes for the price of one. How does that sound? Apparently, Amok V2 single speed bike offers the convenience of a convertible geometry. You can adjust the head tube, seat tube, and fork to switch from a cyclocross to a road bike. It’s definitely a ride you need to take full advantage of.

Single-Speed:

This is a single-speed bike ideal for coasting. It lacks derailleur gears and hub gearing. This is to keep weight to a minimum. Fewer components also means less maintenance and less chance of getting clogged up with mud and dirt. The bike has 42T chain ring built for speed.

All-Round Kenda Small Block 8 Tires:

Amok V2 uses hard pack Kenda tires designed for fast acceleration. These tires have multiple close-spaced knobs to provide lots of grips. They fit onto double-walled 700c rims that provide a perfect balance of strength and weight.

Assembly Information:

Amok V2 bike is partially assembled. Things that need putting together to complete assembly process are the pedals, brakes, handlebar, seat, and front wheel.

Important Features of this bike:
  • Double-butted chromoly frame
  • Convertible geometry
  • Single-speed with 42T chain ring
  • 700 double-walled rims with kenda Block tires
  • Sealed bearing hub and bottom bracket
  • Front and rear cantilever brakes
  • Size options: 50cm, 54cm, and 60cm
Diamondback Bicycles 2015 Haanjo Alternative Road Bike Review

Talk of the largest entry-level cyclocross bike manufacturers and you won’t fail to get Diamondback on the list. 2015 Haanjo is a good candidate that competes well in the entry-level category.

This is a versatile bike that makes a good entry point into the sport. Labeling it as an ‘alternative road bike’ was quite intentional since it functions well both on the road and cyclocross settings.

Butted Aluminum Alloy Frame:

At the heart of the bike is 6061-T6 aluminum alloy frame. The head tube and angular tube are distinctively large to give the bike a sturdy and rugged appearance. The strength comes with great weight savings.

Endurance Geometry:

Haanjo is more of a ‘sportive bike’ built for long distance rides. This is a bike that transforms uneasy bumps into soft vibrations, thanks to a relaxed frame geometry. It supports a more upright posture for long hours of comfort on the saddle and improved visibility of the traffic ahead.

9-Speed Shimano Sora Drivetrain:

The new Shimano Sora groupset is among the most robust and attractive. It gives the drivetrain a clean and stylish sport/fitness-oriented design. This pairs with FSA cranks to offer reliable shifting and performance.

Avid Mechanical Disc Brakes:

Simple yet powerful, that’s what you get with these mechanical brakes. They provide a high level of control, durability, and dependability. Adjustment knobs make the adjustment process a snap. Matched with speed dial levers, you get a sweet and adjustable modulation with superior all-weather braking performance.

Fatter 700x40C Tires:

This bike has one of the beefiest wheelset. It uses Flintridge 40mm tires that feel at home both on pavement and hard pack trails. Shoulder knobs provide improved grip and control in mud and loose rock. These tires are resistant to slashes, abrasions, and have a reflective patch for improved visibility.

Assembly Information:

Just like Raleigh 2.0, Diamondback Haanjo takes 10 to 60 minutes to complete. Pedals, seat, handlebar, and front wheel require installation to complete assembly process.

Important Features of this bike:
  • 6061-T6 aluminum frame
  • Endurance geometry
  • 9-speed Shimano Sora drivetrain
  • Avid mechanical disc brakes
  • Fatter 700x40c tires
  • Size: 50cm

Things to Consider Before Buying Cyclocross Bike

Making the right choice on the right cyclocross bike is quite crucial. It all starts with a consideration of the must-have features and other factors that make a good cyclocross bike. Below are the things to watch out for when looking for the best cyclocross bike.

Price:

Cyclocross bikes aren’t normally that cheap. But that doesn’t mean you can’t get the best buy at a price that’s affordable for you. Some good entry-level bikes can be found below the $500 price range. Cyclocross bikes sporting most of the features you get on high-end options can be found under the $1000 price tag. Advanced bike for no-professional riding can be found for under$1500.

Frame material:

Material often determines the sturdiness, strength, and durability of a bike. There are three main options in cyclocross bike materials. There’s aluminum known for being inexpensive but with great weight saving. Chromoly steel is highly durable and of considerably low weight. Carbon is often found on the high-end models and offers greater strength to weight ratio.

Weight:

A good part of cyclocross racing involves carrying the bike on the shoulders. Therefore a lighter bike is very crucial. Settle for the lightest option at a price range you can afford.

Brakes:

Brakes are the major safety components in a bike. There are three categories to choose from in the world of cyclocross bikes. There’s the cantilever brake system that’s more or less okay. Mechanical disc brakes make a good option while hydraulic brakes are superb for the task.

Cable Routing:

As said earlier on, cyclocross racing involves a lot of hoisting and carrying. To make it easier for you, choose a bike with cables routed at the top of the head tube. Internal cable routing is a better choice though you might have to spend a little more for that.

Tires:

Cyclocross bikes are created to be all-purpose rides. That means you have to settle for high-quality tires that are adapted to all terrains and riding conditions.

Final Word:

Finding the right cyclocross bikes require more than just guesswork. As you’ve seen, there are many different considerations you need to factor in ranging from price to the different components. Good thing is that we’ve given you a review of our recommended bikes and a buyers guide to help make a wise selection. Now the ball is in your court. Make a decision, place an order for your new bike, and stay ahead of the competition.

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