Best Cyclocross Bikes in 2017 – Definitive Buyer’s Guide

A cyclocross bike is born for participation in cyclo-cross racing. A cyclocross race occurs in the fall or winter months and takes participants on a grueling 1.5 to 2-mile bike ride.

The race course covers rough and rugged terrain that includes pavement, grass, steep hills, forests and race obstacles.

The cyclocross bike’s sleek design allows riders to dismount easily and carry it through obstacles until back on the course once again. The bike design has large tires and wide frame settings to accommodate the mud and debris it endures on the race course.

Top 5 Best Cyclocross Bikes - Comparison

Picture

Bike Name

Speed

Frame Material

Read Review

Takara Genkai Cyclocross Bike

Takara Genkai Cyclocross Bike

16 Speed

Steel

GMC Denali Road Bike

GMC Denali Road Bike

21 Speed

Aluminum

Vilano Road Bike

Vilano Road Bike

21 Speed

Aluminum

Giordano Libero Road Bike

Giordano Libero Road Bike

16 Speed

Aluminum

Vilano Shadow Road Bike

Vilano Shadow Road Bike

14 Speed

Aluminum

Best Cyclocross Bikes in 2017 - Reviews

1. Takara Genkai Cyclocross Bike

Takara GenkaiCyclocross Bikes

Editor Rating:

The Takara GenkaiCyclocross Bike features a handcrafted, durable, lightweight frame that is ideal for taking charge of the race.

It has a wheelbase that is light without sacrificing strength so you can navigate the rough terrain of the race course quickly and easily.

You can keep your hydration levels up with the dual water bottle mounting system as the base of the frame.

It weighs approximately ten to fifteen pounds making it easy for you to transport the bike to the starting line, along the course and around obstacles as needed without placing stress on muscles already fighting exhaustion. It is available in 22 inches and 25-inch body sizes.

Feature at a glance

  • Chromalloy steel frame and fork
  • 1 1/8" Thread less stem
  • 16-speed Shimano STI drive train
  • Dual water bottle mounts

2. GMC Denali Road Bike

GMC Denali Road Bike

Editor Rating:

The GMC Denali Road Bike presents you with a sleek design built for long distance and wind resistance.

You have several gear options to select from, and you can easily switch between each gear depending upon which terrain you are currently facing in the race.

The body frame of this bike is aluminum which makes it lightweight and easy for you to transport to the starting line, around race course obstacles and any other time you need to carry the bike without taxing your muscles.

You can save your strength for the course and let this bike do all the heavy lifting for you The GMC Denali Road Bike follows the same creation standard that GMC employs for its top quality truck bearing the same name.

You will know that this bike is one of the best purchase options you can make without breaking the bank. Hydration is never an issue with the water bottle mounting feature on the base of the bike frame.

Feature at a glance

  • Alloy calipers and alloy brake levers
  • High-profile alloy Vitesse racing rims
  • Lightweight aluminum frame
  • High-performance 700c tires

3. Vilano Aluminum Road Bike Shimano

Vilano Aluminum Road Bike 21 Speed Shimano

Editor Rating:

The Vilano Aluminum Road Bike 21 Speed Shimano equips you with 21 different gears to operate with depending upon the terrain you are currently enduring.

You can easily switch between each of the gears without losing your place in the race.

It has a lightweight design, weighing approximately 24 pounds. You can easily transport the bike to all areas of the race without straining your muscles.

It is the perfect bike if you are just starting out in the world of cyclocross racing. The bike packs a powerful performance punch while allowing you to learn everything there is to know about racing with having to worry about your bike keeping up.

Your purchase of this bike will come with an extra set of bike pedals at no extra cost.

Feature at a glance

  • Fork: 700c 1 1/8" Threadless
  • Shifters: Shimano A050 SIS Handlebar Mounted
  • Wheelset: 700c Doubled Walled CNC Machined Sides
  • Free Pedals Included

4. Giordano Libero 1.6 Men’s Road Bike

Giordano Libero 1.6 Men's Road Bike

Editor Rating:

The Giordano Libero 1.6 Men’s Road Bike - 700c features a linear pull brake system which allows for smooth, quick stops as you need on the race course.

The bike is available in a black or red frame from lightweight aluminum.

You can easily transport this bike to anywhere you need, whether on the race course or making your way to the starting line.

It features 16 speeds that are easily switchable depending upon where you are at and what terrain you are currently riding over on the race course.

The wheel size is 700 inches which allows the bike to easily handle mud, sand, grass and other debris on the race course without slowing you down or getting in your way.

Feature at a glance

  • 32 Spoke High Profile Quick Release Alloy Rims
  • 1 1/8" Threadless stem
  • 16-speed Shimano STI drive train
  • Dual water bottle mounts

5. Vilano Shadow Shimano STI Road Bike

Vilano Shadow Road Bike - Shimano STI Integrated Shifters

Editor Rating:

The Vilano Shadow Road Bike - Shimano STI Integrated Shifters is the ideal bike if you are just starting out on the race circuit.

It features a lightweight, aluminum frame that can easily transport to any place on the race course that you need without slowing you down or straining your muscles.

The braking system precisely stops with little to no effort from you. It allows you to quickly and efficiently navigate the race course without losing your spot in the race. You will receive an extra set of pedals with your purchase at no additional cost to you.

Feature at a glance

  • Shimano STI Integrated Brake Lever
  • 6061 Double Butted Aluminum Aero frame
  • Dual pivot alloy caliper
  • 700c doubled walled CNC machined side

Final Verdict

As a bike enthusiast, I recommend any one of the five cyclocross bikes that I have just reviewed for you. Each one is lightweight yet durable allowing for you to easily pick it up, move around the course obstacle and set it back down again so you can carry on with the race.

When racing you want a bike that practically functions on its own with little to no effort on your part. These cyclocross bikes will do just that. You can quickly navigate the course without worry that your bike will not be up to the challenge.

How to Choose Best Cyclocross Bikes

You may think that a cyclocross bike is a standard racing bike. While there are similarities between the two, a cyclocross bike has unique characteristics that you need to pay attention to when making a purchase.

Here are a few pieces of information that can help you choose the best cyclocross bike for you.

Frame Sizing

Size equals comfort and comfort maximize performance. Everything that your bike can do for you starts with finding the correct frame size for your body type. There are two key measurements that you need to know first.

You will need to know what your standover height measurement is and how it relates to the bike buying process. Standover height indicates how easily you can stand, with the bike between your legs, and not have the bike frame rest too high or too low for your riding comfort. It is a simple measurement of the inside of your leg.

The second measurement you need to help you make the correct bike purchase is your reach measurement. It relates to how easily you can sit on the seat and reach the handlebars. A proper reach will avoid your need to strain to comfortably hold the handlebars while operating the bike.

A positive ape index reach measurement is when your arm span is greater than your height. Likewise, a negative ape index reach measurement occurs when your height is the greater number.

Cable Routing

The top tube on the bicycle frame is the cable routing. It is where you will carry the bike on your shoulder when navigating the course and making your way around the obstacles. As you look at bikes, pick each one up and place it on your shoulder.

You are looking for the bike that feels like an extension of your body and provides a seamless flow. You are looking to see how you can quickly you can pick up the bike and set it down again. It is a beneficial feature during a vigorous race when your muscles are fighting exhaustion.

Chainset Type

You want to look for a bike that features a double chainset with a 46 tooth large ring and a 36 tooth inside ring. It helps the bike navigate the rough terrain of a race course. The course can involve twists, turns, bumps and small holes along the way.

You need to make sure the bike you are considering purchasing has a chainset that will stay in place as you move across these ground obstacles. Nothing will slow you down in a bike race more than having your chain pop off at some point along the way.

Brakes

These bikes have brake systems specifically for the rough wear and tear that you will subject it to on the race course. The twists, turns and jagged edges of the race course jostle your bike as you sprint across the terrain.

In the event that you encounter a rough spot and need to stop quickly, you need to make sure your bike of choice can handle the task. The brake system on a cyclocross bike adheres to the bike frame. It prevents removal, damage or injury while on the race course.

You need to look for a cantilever, v-brake or disc brake system when making your purchase. Each of these brake sets are lightweight yet durable enough to withstand the rigors of the race.

Other Considerations

In addition to the items I just discussed, you need to also consider the tread patterns on the tires. Each pattern type protects the wheels from mud, grass, sand and other debris on the race course. It ensures your bike keeps moving instead of being setback due to a flat tire.

You will also want to take a look at the overall geometry of the bike you are considering. The geometrical shape of a cyclocross bike determines how it will move across race course terrain.

A longer wheelbase gives the bike stability on the course, and the angle of the frame gives you a more natural riding position. You will want to feel as comfortable as possible so your head can stay in the race without having to worry about your overall comfort level.

I took each of these items into consideration when reviewing the following five cyclocross bikes.

About the Author Matthew R. Duncan

I am proud to be the go-to guy among my circle of relatives, friends, and acquaintances for road bike advice; I take it personally whenever someone I know buys a new bike without consulting me first!

Leave a Comment: