7 Best Cyclocross Bikes for Under £1,000
November 1st, 2017
November 1st, 2017
Anna is a jack-of-all-bikes, and has been riding and racing in a myriad of genres for over seven years; from World Cup level cross-country, to grass roots coaching kids on the road.
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Whether it's commuting, racing, or bike-packing, the cyclocross bike is a good all-rounder for any rider wanting a bit of everything, both on and off-road. Here’s some of our favourites:
Ridley are the kings of 'cross, as they pay attention to detail in places often forgotten; like how much grass can collate in a chain-stay bridge, and how easy a bike is to change a gear cable. The Ridley X-Bow is the working horse in Ridley’s stable, complete with mud guard and pannier rack mounts, externally routed cables and can be bought for way under budget. The Ridley X-Bow 105 Disc is very well spec'd with matching Shimano 105 mechanical disc brakes and up-to-date 2x11 (22-speed) gearing. Although it is recommended to retail at £1,199, it can be found for less online.
While the Crux has been the staple in the race scene for some time, to get a Specialized for under £1,000, you'll need to look at the Diverge, but it's not second-class citizen, especially when you're looking for practicality, comfort and adventure. The aluminium frame comes equipped with rack mounts, fender/mud-guard mounts, three bottle cage mounts and clearance large enough for 38c tyres and a load of mud. Modern additions like a threaded bottom bracket, flat mounted disc brakes, 12x142mm bolt-thru axle and carbon forks makes the Specialized Diverge E5 (pictured) an absolute steal at £799, even if it does come with 2x8 (16 speed) gears and mechanical disc brakes.
Similar to Ridley, the CAADX is recommended to reach £1,199 for a largely Shimano 105 groupset, but it can be found bang on the £1,000 mark from stores with big buying power, such as Evans Cycles. Albeit 2x10 (20 speed) gearing, the CAADX Tiagra 2017 model is a stunner in gloss metallic green (pictured) and a steal at £899, however; without rack mounts, I'd say this was the ideal bike for the weekend race warrior or the bike-packer that prefers strap-on bags rather than rack mounted panniers.
Kinesis are a British based brand still offering the option of disc or cantilever brakes. The CXRace frame is internally cable routed, Di2 ready and is made from a super light scandium alloy, retailing at £549.99 for the frame and forks only. The CXRace was designed for racing (obviously) and was the weapon of choice for British rider, Hannah Payton, at the World Cyclocross Championships. Staying under budget will largely depend on what you build it up with, but opting for cantilever brakes just might be the way to build up a brand new custom race bike that's incidentally light and within budget.
Boardman start at a shockingly low price of £650 for a fully built Boardman CX Comp (pictured), currently on sale at Halfords. This is an aluminium frame with seamless welds to give it that carbon look, but alloy forks with a steel steerer tube will weigh it down a tad. Laced with Shimano Sora and Mavic wheels, it may be a bit of a lump for racing, but it'll last for years with everything you have to throw at it, and should double as a winter training or commuter bike, despite not coming with rack mounts. 2018 bikes aren’t confirmed as such, but Halfords are also selling the CX Team at £1,000 for an aluminium frame with SRAM Rival 1x11 (22 speed) gears and Discs, which looks to be a good starter race bike or off-road hack.
The Addict is Scott's thoroughbred race model, and even the aluminium model comes in way over budget, but despite their gravel bike, the Speedster, being recommended to start from £1,049, the 2017 models appears to be retailing online from £800 with the Speedster CX 20 Disc. This comes with Shimano Tiagra 2x10 (20 speed) gearing and Shimano mechanical disc brakes (pictured).
Cube Cross Race
For the budget concious racers, the Cube Cross Race is a smooth welded aluminium frame and can be purchased for £999 with a largely Shimano 105 groupset and modern 2x11 (22 speed) gears. There's no rack mounts, which doesn't detract it from being a good commuter or bike-packer, but it does mean that the bike is UCI legal to race, and the ergonomically shaped top tube, optimized for carrying the bike over cyclocorss obsticles, further compliments this to be a good starter bike for the aspiring racer.
Who didn't make the cut?
Unfortunately, Canyon's aluminium Inflite range starts from £1,449, Trek's Boone is now carbon only and the aluminium Crocket starts from £1,500 (despite being out of season and now discontinued), and Raleigh have stopped making their cyclocross bike altogether (although I recommend asking your local dealer if they can get hold of one, as they were a bargain! See our old review HERE).
See you in the pits!