When you’re thinking of getting into off-road biking, the best cycle-cross bikes are a good place to start. These bikes look like road bikes, with a few differences. Most importantly, they’re designed to handle the stresses of cyclocross tracks. In many cases, they’re also engineered to help you steer efficiently around tight corners and pedal efficiently on a variety of surfaces. Don’t forget to look at the tires — most cycle-cross bikes have knobby tires that can help you maintain traction on mud, dirt, and rocky trails. The best part? A great model helps you ride anywhere from the road to the woods.
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1. Hiland Gravel Bike Cyclocross 650B
Looking for the best cyclocross bike for a beginner? This Hiland Gravel bike is a great option. It’s built with WTB tires, which are wide and knobby — the perfect design to give you maximum traction on trails or gravel. The aluminum 6061 frame is ultra-strong but also lightweight; you’ll feel the difference when you’re riding uphill. With the Hiland Harvey disc brakes, you can stop quickly and safely on a huge range of surfaces and in any weather condition. The front fork helps absorb some of the bumps along the way to create a more comfortable ride.
2. Takara Shiro Adventure Bike
Built with a high-tensile steel frame, the Takara Shiro adventure bike is tough enough to take you through any type of course. The minimalist design makes it lightweight enough to handle easily, and the front fork gives you plenty of shock protection as you bomb down intense courses. Rely on the Shimano drivetrain to deliver excellent performance across all 21 speeds, and use the high-volume tires to create a smooth, secure ride in any conditions. With dual disc brakes, stopping is fast and easy.
3. Mongoose Men’s Elroy Adventure Bike
Built specifically for male riders, the Mongoose Elroy is a great cyclocross bike for men. The fun starts with the alloy frame, which is engineered with an adventure-bike geometry that helps you manage tight turns and intense courses. The Shimano Tourney derailleurs give you 14 gear options to choose from, so you can adjust the resistance for a comfortable pedaling experience. Between races, use the front rack to carry panniers or stash snacks in the built-in bike bag for easy access on the road.
4. RALEIGH Bikes Willard 2
The Willard s bike from RALEIGH is an adventure model that’s designed to help you master a range of cycle-cross racecourses. Use it to tackle dirt paths or gravel trails — or, hop on to ride to work or school in comfort. No matter which path you take, the wide tires provide top-notch traction for stability and peace of mind. Planning to bike commute? Use the built-in mounts to attach fenders that reduce water and mud splashes.
5. Gravity Liberty CX
If you’re searching for a cyclocross bike for women or men, the Gravity Liberty CX is a top contender. The first thing you’ll notice is the brilliant yellow color, which helps boost your visibility on the course or on the street for safer riding. The aluminum frame is durable yet light enough to make for easy hill riding, and the STI shifters enable you to switch between the 24 speeds with a quick movement. When you need to slow down, rely on the cantilever brakes to reduce your speed safely and quickly.
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6. Diamondback Bicycles Haanjo 2
Whether you’re planning to ride on gravel paths or in cycle-cross races, the Haanjo 2 from Diamondback Bicycles has you covered. It starts with the frame; it’s fabricated from aluminum alloy and designed with an endurance-style geometry, giving you the freedom to tackle a range of riding conditions. The steel fork on the front soaks up vibrations and shocks, keeping them away from your muscles and creating a more comfortable ride. The Shimano Claris systems make it easy to change speeds without slowing down — but when you do need to stop, the Tektro Lyra disc brakes are there to help.
7. Raleigh Bikes Merit 2
Enjoy excellent quality and performance when you climb aboard the Merit 2 from Raleigh Bikes. With a frame that’s built for endurance, this bike is designed to help you take long rides without tiring. The aluminum fork feels super-responsive, so you can navigate sharp corners and twisting trails without a hitch. Wide tires give you plenty of stability, and the thru-axles create the rigidity you need for accurate handling. Whether you’re taking a short course or an all-day ride, the Merit 2 has your back.
8. Raleigh Bikes Talus 2
Do you need a bike that will take you from the daily commute to weekend cycle-cross racing? The Talus 2 from Raleigh Bikes is a great option. The beauty of this model is the design — it’s engineered to provide the perfect balance of strength, stability, and weight. That means that you can feel confident on rough trails, but you can also steer easily and effortlessly. With its travel fork, this bike gives you an ultra-smooth ride; plus, with the knobby tires, you can stay upright on all types of surfaces and weather conditions. We love the 21 gear combinations, which make it easy to find a comfortable pedaling option for any course.
9. Raleigh Bikes Talus 1
Get started in the cycle-cross world with the Talus 1 from Raleigh Bikes. The magic of this model is its versatility. With its knobby tires, durable fork, and 21 gears, this bike helps you maintain a comfortable pace on a wide range of trail surfaces. Need to stop on a dime? The Tetra V-brakes enable you to manage your speed. Between races, use the mounts to attach a rack and fenders for easy commuting.
10. Ghoul Core-Line State Bicycle
If you love the simplicity of a single-speed bike, the Ghoul Core-Line State model is a great option. This bike features just one gear, so you never need to worry about changing speeds while you’re navigating a wild course. The sturdy steel frame is strong and tough enough to handle even the most intense terrain. Rely on the waffle-pattern grips for traction and stability.
A strong, agile bike is a must when you’re planning to start cyclocross riding. The best cycle-cross bikes can help you tackle a wide range of trails and terrain types in safety and comfort.
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By BCR Staff