Learn everything about entry level cyclocross bikes here.
Cyclocross races are not the commonest bike sports among many cyclists across the globe. But the rare sport is quickly becoming a hit.
This odd sport combines switching between navigating the smooth tarmac city roads and the rugged trail of the upcountry. Cyclocross bicycles are normally used for this biking amusement.
Are you wondering which type of cyclocross bike to buy for the next event? Don’t panic, this is a detailed guide that provides you with all the information you need to know about the entry-level cyclocross bikes on the market.
In a hurry? Then find the hottest entry-level cyclocross bikes below.
5 Hot Entry Level Cyclocross Bikes
Takara Kabuto Single Speed Bike: Best Overall
Retrospec Bicycles AMOK V2: Best for Commuting
Takara Shiro Adventure: Best Under $500
Tommaso Sterrata R2000: Best Under $1000
Mongoose Selous Comp: Best Under $1500
What is Cyclocross Bike?
A cyclocross bike is a special type of bicycle that can be used both for off-road and on-road cycling. What this basically means is that it applies the rugged features of a typical mountain bike and maintains the fast and furious qualities of its tarmac road cousins.
It is actually almost a hybrid bike.
The tires of this bike are large and knobby for a proper grip on the road. The bike offers the rider a relaxed geometry while on it.
It also comes with powerful brakes for instant stops.
A cyclocross bike is constructed for versatility. But recent models are narrowing down to certain functions.
For example, there are those that prioritize racing more than commuting. While others are better for commute rather than racing.
Most of the times, these bikes have lightweight frames which facilitate speed on the road. These are usually low weight carbon frames.
This is Why You Should Buy a Cyclocross Bike
Getting yourself a good entry-level cyclocross bike is a great exciting idea. But what should be the solid reasons for making such a decision?
1. A Truly Versatile Bike
There is no doubt that cyclocross bikes are built with the utmost versatility. Which is even the reason why you can still use on the normal tarmac road as well as on the tough terrain.
The knobby tires are a signature to blasting through mud, trail, gravel, sand, roots and just about anything difficult. While you can also turn the bike into a cool commuter from home to work or to school.
2. Comes with Lots of Fun
The bike can handle a lot of activities, making it a great fun bike. You can take shortcuts through fields and over fences to reach to your destination earlier.
Or better put, there’s something special about switching between bad terrain and smooth roads using this bike. That’s absolute fun.
Actually, it’s like you are riding two different bikes (mountain and road bike) at ago.
3. Great Winter Bike
When the surrounding tracks get littered and covered in the winter snow, this bike becomes handy. It helps you to avoid getting into the extra costs of buying a winter bike.
But what the CX bike does is that it offers the rider an upright riding position for better control when things get out of hand because of the tricky paths.
The fact that its wheelbase is longer improves the stability of the bike especially in such weather conditions when traction is very poor. Again, you will love the extra tire clearance that helps the rider to navigate through snow and ice that are known to slow people down.
4. Become a Better Rider
The beginner cyclocross bike should develop you into a serious professional cyclist in the near future. Remember that you are doing this both on the pavement and over in the forest.
So, quickly you start getting used to jumping roots and rocks with thinner tires. You will definitely need to work harder for any success.
But once you get acquainted with the tricks, you will come out as one of the most skilled riders. It will be even interesting because you will have gained both on-road and off-road skills.
Best Entry Level Cyclocross Bikes for Beginners Reviews
1. The Best Overall Entry Level Cyclocross Bike
Takara Kabuto Single Speed Bike comes first on this list for clear reasons. First, because it is the cheapest model among all others I will discuss in this guide.
Then, Takara Kabuto also comes with some solid features. These include cantilever brakes, steel frame for durability, a single-speed option, and it’s heavier.
2. Best Entry Level Cyclocross Bike for Commuting
Retrospec Bicycles AMOK V2 Cyclocross Convertible comes as the second favorite on this list. The bike combines a Chromoly frame and fork for strength and stability.
Coming with a straight bar, this hand-built bike model is low-priced and has different gear variations. It is not too weighty and doesn’t require a lot of maintenance efforts.
The Kenda Tires are small and knobby for improved traction on the trail. You can rollover the trail with no much resistance because that’s how they were made.
The gears are superior and you can be sure that shifting from one to another won’t be a problem at all.
3. Best Cyclocross Bike Under $500
This model Takara Shiro Adventure comes as a cyclocross that would blast the hard terrain as well as the urban roads. It’s constructed on a very strong steel frame and supported by big volume tires that enable the bike to absorb the shocks of potholes, roots, and bumps on the path.
The bike features a 21-speed Shimano drivetrain with Tourney derailleurs. This helps the rider to effortlessly change between gears in order to climb or go down a path.
While the disc brakes installed in the front and back are powerful. they are reliable for emergency stops.
4. Best Cyclocross Bike Under $1000
The best cyclocross bike under $1000 is this Tommaso Sterrata which is packed with high-end features. First, the bike is constructed on a durable aluminum frame while the forks are carbon making it strong and stable.
The Shimano gear set in this bike makes it a very efficient bike model. You can change gears depending on the environmental conditions in those places.
You don’t get tired easily on this bike. The frame is made to support upright body positioning and the handlebars are designed to ensure that the comfort of the rider is bolstered.
5. Best Cyclocross Bike Under $1500
Mongoose Selous Comp is a top-rated cyclocross model that offers a high-quality experience to the rider. The bike comes with a strong and durable aluminum frame.
The carbon fiber fork, hydraulic disc brakes and the many gears to choose from make this bike an efficient machine whether you are touring on forest paths or urban roads. Although the manufacturer seems to have prioritized the trail rather the streets.
It is a highly durable bike, it’s fitted with hydraulic brakes and considering the nice features it has, that price is a bargain for a bike of its stature.
Things to Consider When Buying the Best Entry Level Cyclocross Bikes
- Frame Design
For purposes of keeping high-quality standards, entry-level cyclocross bikes should have sturdy, strong and stable frames. The best material to be used on the frame is carbon.
This is because carbon is light, strong and can last for many many years. However, aluminum is a very common material on bike frames and indeed one of the most liked materials around.
You also need to ensure that the frame geometry is relaxed for a more upright position during riding.
Also, a properly sized frame design means maximum comfort and performance for the rider. And you will need this to be right on the spot to be able to travel over long distances.
Check for a braking system that allows for more mud clearance. The best brakes for the cyclocross are the hydraulic disc brakes that do a better job in terms of moving the braking surface away from the rim.
Therefore, increasing the tire clearance. One thing with the hydraulic disc brakes is that they are quite expensive but due to their perfect job, you can sacrifice to have them on your bike.
The choice of the frame material will affect the overall weight of a bike. But generally, you want to make sure that your bike is light enough to effortlessly go around obstacles, negotiate and accelerate out of tight corners in extreme trails of the forests.
Usually, a cheap cyclocross bike will come with all the weight. So the more expensive a bike is, the lighter and better will it become.
- Increased Tire Clearance
To enjoy your cyclocross experience, make sure that your cyclocross tire clearance is good. The standard cyclocross tire should be fairly larger than a regular road bike’s.
Usually, you want it at 32-33mm up to 40mm so that traction and grip are great and stability is not compromised. With such large tires, you should also find out if the clearance is greater for the task ahead.
Many beginner options lie under the $500 price range. So, you shouldn’t look too much further than this price for a good bike.
Up to this point, a lot has been said about the entry-level cyclocross bikes. What are you thinking to do next?
I have actually made things a bit easier for you so that you do not stumble too much in the process of getting what you deserve. The 5 bike options should be a good starting point.
Use this information to choose the best bike for yourself. You don’t want to compromise the blended fun that comes with cyclocross.
Alex Mwangi is the creator of Outdoor Right and an outdoor enthusiast. During his free time he enjoys riding his road bike or traveling the world looking for his next adventure.