6KU Aluminum Fixed Gear
Tommaso Forcella Endurance
What is Cyclocross?
Cyclocross is a particular kind of bike racing. Just like triathlon, it is a mix of multiple athletic disciplines, most notably riding and running. However, the strongest emphasis is on adroit bicycle handling. That being said It’s very important to have the best cyclocross bike for your type of competition or recreation.
The weather, the speed, the barriers, the properties of the specific course – all make for a great spectacle. The fans come packed with cowbells and horns, creating an exciting atmosphere. Recently, cyclocross has gained much on popularity all across Europe.
The majority of races are held on 0.7 to 2-mile courses. The trails being paved out of sand, dirt, mud, and tarmac. Courses contain up-up and occasionally even steps.
An average race lasts between half an hour and an hour, plus a final lap. Usually, the timespan is fixed. Although, if a participant is lapped by the leader (or leaders), then they have to end their run at the end of their current lap so that there won’t be any confusion.
The stop-go nature of the courses makes for an excellent workout. There is also the pace at the very end of the race that is relentless and brutally fast. It’s no child’s play, to say the least.
Obstacles, typically eighteen inches high, permeate the course. They are often quite close to each other, forcing the participants to carry their bicycles on their shoulders.
Particularly deft racers are known to bunny hop the obstacles. More often than not, it annoys the rest of the participants, but the crowd always loves it.
The perfect cyclocross bike is an “alloy” made of a road and mountain bicycle. Your average cross bike has: lightweight titanium, aluminum, steel, or carbon frame; mountain bike clipless pedals, integrated shifters and/or brake levers, double or single chainring (not bigger than that of a road bike) with a guard; and drop bars. Mud clearance is critical.
Although cyclocross bikes excel off-road, that’s not the only thing they are good for. The good tire clearance, relaxed geometry, powerful braking, and a sturdy frame make such a bicycle a very versatile machine. You can use them with ease for a variety of disciplines that make cyclocross – such as off-road exhibitions, commuting, cycle touring and winter training.
Some bicycles of the sort have powerful disk brakes in addition to pannier racks and mudguards, making them perfect for touring with sizeable baggage.
They are also excellent for bikers who are looking to improve their skills. It’ll make you a skilled rider, especially when you go off-road. The tires aren’t as thick as those of a mountain bike, forcing you to work harder to retain the control over your bicycle.
All of the skidding on gravel, fishtailing in the mud, and sliding through corners will teach you to maintain your calm when things get rough. However, the biggest advantage of such bikes is the fact that they are immensely fun.
Not Good For
Since such bikes are built to be apt for various purposes, it’s better to put it as “not best at”.
If you plan on using it solely for commute, or at least the majority of times, it would naturally be better to go with a road bike.
On the other hand, if you plan on only conquering hills and going down singletracks, a CX bicycle will work, but not as good as a mountain bike.
You could manage it with a CX, but pedaling uphill isn’t going to be easy. Going downhill won’t be a picnic either.
Cyclocross is a challenge and, because of that, CX bikes are a challenge themselves.
If you are not quite fond of such challenges and are looking for a bike that will serve a single purpose, it’s best not to go with a CX model. If you are up for an adventure, then, by all means, go for it!
Top Rated Cyclocross Bikes
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Tommaso Forcella Endurance Aluminum Road Bike
This model is an excellent choice for those looking to upgrade to a better quality bike. The whole thing weighs approximately twenty-four pounds, fully-assembled. It is manufactured for those who are just getting into CX.
It comes with less road vibration and better adaptability, compared to your standard unit. The bike sports a compact and robust aluminum frame.
For increased stability, there’s the carbon fiber front fork. It also increases flexibility, in order to tone down road vibration.
You can easily operate the brakes without even having to move your hands. The Tommaso Forcella Endurance Aluminum Road bike is a guarantee of a smooth and comfortable ride.
Due to its aerodynamic and lightweight properties, the model ensures speed, strength, and reliability. Thanks to the high-quality bits manufactured by Shimano, you can rely on the Tomasso Forcella no matter where the road takes you.
The best parts of this model are the Shimano Claris drivetrain, Thomasso Corsa TC 30 wheels, and the 6061 SLA aluminum frame. The drivetrain delivers flawless gear shifting and a smooth transition whenever you jump on the bike.
The frame of the bicycle is compact to a certain extent, without compromising stability and strength. As you have probably inferred from the name, the bike is made in Italy, which is a pleasant surprise in the age where the majority of goods come from China.
6KU Aluminum Fixed Gear Single-Speed Fixie Urban Track Bike
No matter if you are just starting out or already are a heavy-duty biker, chances are you will love this model. Just as the name indicates, it’s manufactured to take on any obstacle you might come across in an urban environment. Considering it’s a single speed model, it falls under a somewhat different sub-niche of CX bikes.
With the 6KU Aluminum Single Speed Track Bike, you are getting a high-end bicycle at a competitive price. Its biggest perk is the great value a user can get out of it. The model sports a butted alloy with smooth welding – ensuring maximum speed and durability.
It also comes with a flip-flop hub that enables the user to set it for fixed of free wheel riding. Finding a fault in the 6KU is quite difficult. The model comes in numerous sizes and colors, so chances are everyone can find a version of it that perfectly fits their style and personality.
There are no drop bars on this bicycle. Instead, it has rise bars which are great for navigation. Much smoother as well.
The bike sports a matching 1 and 1/8-inch alloy fork. Thanks to it, the model is quite versatile and easy to ride. That’s not all – it comes with a wide variety of features that make it one of the best budget-friendly units on the market.
Another entry-level model which was manufactured to change the way people think about road bikes. It’s a versatile machine that’s not just for the pavement. If you are looking for an ideal commute dike that’ll also take you off-road, look no further.
The new and improved version of the model features 40c tires and Avid BB5 disc brakes! They ensure excellent control, even in tough conditions.
The Sentiero has some resemblance to the aluminum series of the same manufacturer. One of the more prominent being well-shaped tubing and the frame design.
The bike offers twenty-four Shimano Claris driven speeds that ensure maximum power and terrific performance. The wheels on the bike are specifically designed for disk brakes. Just like any other part of this bike, they are robust, stable and versatile.
Frankly, this bicycle is manufactured to withstand abuse. Its a brilliant combination of a traditional road bicycle and a CX bike. It has all you need to shatter any CX barrier you might come across.
There’s also the ultra-compact handlebar that ensures maximum comfort in the drops. The handlebar is quite extraordinary as it brings down wind resistance to a minimum. The bike comes with a “Ready to Ride Build”.
Vilano R2 Commuter
Here we have a simple road bike that won’t put that big of a dent in your wallet. It offers a great ride regardless of the terrain.
Single speed models look great and perform great on pavement. They are also good for flat bike trails.
However, once you decide to go uphill, you realize they are not fit for everything. Opting for the Vilano R2 Commuter, you’ll spare yourself of such worries. It’s a machine that can handle city commute as well as uphill stretches.
The Vilano R2 commute sports a traditional-looking frame. The gloss black color is quite appealing to the eye. The 6061 aluminum frame is pretty lightweight, making the bike a joy to cruise with. There’s really no struggle involved, even when it comes to roads with steep inclines.
When it comes to the speed shifters, there is some getting-used-to as the front rings sport a friction shift. However, maintenance is a breeze. With its twenty-one gear, the bike is suited for all types of terrain.
There are no misses when it comes to speed changes, thanks to the Shimano Tourney Derailleur. And of course, thanks to Shimano. The manufacturer is committed to delivering maximum functionality even on budget-friendly models.
Raleigh Bikes Merit 1
A comfortable and efficient solution, especially for beginner CX riders. It’s a lightweight model that comes with an aluminum endurance frame that ensures comfort. One of the reasons why beginners appreciate it the most is because it doesn’t cause much discomfort during long distance rides.
It’s also great for those who are looking for a fitness training bicycle or a top-notch commuter. It is excellent for cruises around the city as well.
The model sports a 6061 aluminum double-butted custom-formed tubbing frame. It’ is more lightweight, especially when compared to regular bicycles. Perhaps even more importantly, it’s much more durable. Thanks to its 28c tires, you can count on it for stability and fast rolling.
The bike is equipped with Shimano Claris STI shifters that’ll provide you with enough confidence to explore unknown terrain. Thanks to them, the bike flats out elevated surfaces. There are sixteen gears.
Weighing approximately twenty-three pounds, it’s light enough to go fast without compromising stability. While we are on the subject – to secure stability, the model is equipped with Tektro dual-pivot caliper brakes. It’s as safe as they get.
There’s also the SPF fork that ensures efficiency. It doesn’t come with as many features as the Merit 2 and 3 models, but its price is quite affordable.
Raleigh Bikes RX 2.0 Cyclocross Bike
What’s probably the bestseller of the Raleigh family. Most likely because of its numerous specifications and competitive price. It comes with a few more perks than the 1.0 model.
The features such as the rock-solid SRAM Rival groupster, TRP cable disk brakes, thru axles at front and rear make it worth every penny. Weighing only twenty-one pounds, its lighter than its predecessor.
Frame sizes begin at twenty-one inches with increasements up to twenty-four inches. It appears that the frames are designed to be comfortable for taller bikers. The frames intended for women start at nineteen inches and go up to twenty and a half inches.
It’s easy to shoulder the bicycle, thanks to the slightly arched top tube, but the price the rider pays is decreased standover clearance. The frame ensures quick acceleration.
The model is equipped with large Clement MXP tires. They are excellent at smoothing out harsh surfaces. If you plan on commuting or riding over gravel, the bike accepts two bottle cages, racks, and fenders.
Unfortunately, the cables are routed externally, so they collect mud and are a nuisance when you want to shoulder the whole thing. Nevertheless, the RX 2.0 still outperforms some models that come at a much higher price.
Raleigh Bikes Merit 2
It’s a bike built around history and quality – there are very few bikes within its price range that can match it. If you are in pursuit of a bicycle that’s ready to go, and that’s durable as well as budget-friendly, you won’t be making a mistake with the Merit 2.
Unlike most entry-level CX bikes, Raleigh’s models are typically designed for Men and Women, separately. As a result, you’re getting a custom fit at a competitive price.
The model is manufactured with comfort in mind, and it’s especially noticeable on medium to long rides. You’re also getting the best stopping power and responsiveness, thanks to its 6061 aluminum frame. The frame is one of the biggest reason why the Merit 2 always ends up in top ten lists of entry-level CX rides.
The Raleigh 200 series Saddle adds to the comfort significantly. It’s always a pleasure to sit on, no matter the terrain. The seat is manufactured for long rides but also bodes well when it comes to speed and races.
The whole thing weighs thirteen and a half pounds – it’s one of the lighter aluminum frame bikes on the market. No matter what you use it for, be it commuting, racing or cruising, the Raleigh deliver speed and plenty of stability.
Colnago WORLD CUP SL DISC 105 5800
Their bikes might not be pure perfection, but one thing is for sure – Colnago doesn’t do ugly rides. It appears that the manufacturer’s plan is to ooze new fans with their superior style, and so far it seems to be working.
This particular model has a couple of things in common with the M10, such as the same frame design and paint job. Although it’s considered to be an affordable model, one can easily mistake it for a much more expensive bike. However, unfortunately, a lot of it is just makeup, as it is partially comprised of lower spec parts.
It’s not the lightest model either. The blame falls on the Artemis R32. They are excellent when it comes to acceleration on flat surfaces, but when it comes to CX, it’s a bit sluggish on steep climbs.
Nevertheless, it’s still a high-quality ride. The bike is taut yet compliant. The brakes are flawless and give an impression of being above their league.
Steering is quite swift, almost as if it were a full-on race bike. There are no compromises when it comes to stability. If you intend to use it for racing only, you’ll probably be somewhat disappointed. However, if you are looking for a durable bike that’s devilishly handsome the Colnago World Cup Sl Disc 105 5800 is your pick.
Colnago C-RS ULTEGRA 6800
Colnago has an avid experience in designing some of the best road bikes the world has seen. This model was built with their sixty-year-old philosophy in mind. It’s a model that sports an entry-level carbon frame and a monocoque design.
The bike is modeled to satisfy riders who are looking for a first-grade ride that doesn’t make compromises. The internal cable-routing and other fine touches make it one of the most aesthetically pleasing bikes out there.
It comes with Light Action Vivid Shifting. The model is equipped with derailleurs and shifters that are incorporated into Shimano’s Vivid Shift mechanism. Shifting speeds is easy and requires almost no effort at all.
The Italian feel is embedded within the bike mostly due to the Prologo Kappa Evo Saddle, Deda Zero Stem, Colnago Seatpost, and a nice, branded bottle cage.
There’s also the Shimano Hollowtech II chainset which appears to be stiff and light. The assembly process is easy, and all the required tools come with the package.
The ride is perhaps a bit stiff, but still comfortable thanks to the 25rc Zaffiro Pro tires. Despite being somewhat of a budget bike, it performs quite well. Better than one would expect after reading the list of specs first.
Kestrel Legend Shimano 105
This ride performs more than well, and it does it with style. The new color palette and detailed work make it stand out. The Legend Shimano 105 does not disappoint.
Weighing just under eighteen pounds, there’s no scenario in which this model doesn’t excel. Whether you’re all about speed racing or CX, doesn’t matter. The Legend Shimano 105 comes with horizontal to vertical bike mounts, making it an excellent choice for longer rides.
The ingenious asymmetrical design makes long rides comfortable. Excellent design decisions don’t end there. The bike also comes with the BB30 bottom bracket. It ensures fast transfer of power and ultimate lateral stiffness.
There’s also the down tube, Kestrel EMS bladed forks, and the carbon highlights that can be seen on the tubing. The ride performs well on wild rides and off-road in general, thanks to the exceptional amount of compliance of the pedals. There is absolutely no loss of power.
The model is as versatile as they get and is equipped with some of the most advanced parts you can find. Kestrel is famous for the amount of dedication and research they invest in the manufacturing process. The fork is designed with a blader and foam core, making it incredibly stable and durable – despite its light weight.
Cyclocross Bikes – Buyer’s Guide
At first glance, a CX ride doesn’t seem to be much different than a road bike. However, the differences lie in the numerous properties that make such bikes fit for cyclocross. One has to know where to look.
The gears, pedals, tires, brakes and the design – all play an essential role. They are all manufactured to fit the specific purpose of racing across all kinds of terrains.
The standard frame of a CX ride is based on a standard road bike frame, in numerous ways.
Usually, the angles on a CX bicycle are more relaxed. That way they offer you a more upright riding position.
The significance of the position comes to light when the rider goes off-road, as it helps with shock absorption. It also enables the rider to get the most out of the bike in multiple disciplines, as well as commuting and touring.
A lot of new top-tier frames are made of carbon fiber. It’s quite light and absorbs vibrations very well.
Increased tire clearances on the fork and frame enables the rider to mount large volume tires which allow for an increased grip and traction. There’s another significant advantage to this feature – it allows the wheels to keep going even when there’s lots of mud or trail debris in the tire tread.
Just like with other kinds of rides, sizing is essential when it comes to performance and comfort. Before buying a model, you need to make sure it fits your size. It’s critical if you plan on using the bicycle for long distance tours or winter training.
Most CX bicycles have a double chainset at the front. Usually, they are low gear – such as a forty-six-tooth large ring and a thirty-six-tooth inside ring. That allows the machine to take on harsher off-road terrains that are typically a part of every cyclocross course.
However, recently, a lot of cx bike manufacturers have switched to a single chainring setup. The logic behind their decision is the fact that not as much mud is collected without a second chainring and a front derailer. The other reason being that such a setup is lighter, so the chances of mechanical issues developing are slimmer.
The brakes on such a ride have to be durable and reliable due to the fact that cyclocross is one of the most challenging conditions a bike can endure. Grass, mud, sand, and even larger loads can damage your brakes if they are not robust enough.
Before, the majority of such machines were equipped with V-brakes or cantilevers as they offer better mud clearance than regular caliper brakes. Still, they are not as effective as they could be because they are known to clog up often when used on a muddy and wet trail.
Nowadays, more and more CX rides are equipped with either hydraulic or cable disk brakes. They are further apart from the rim, so the chances of contamination are significantly smaller.
Since a brake bridge isn’t necessary on the forks or seat slats, such brakes allowed for increased tire clearance. The majority of high-end CX rides feature hydraulic disk brakes. Even though they are pricey, they pay-off in the long run.
Wheels and Tires
An ideal cross bike has higher volume tires than those of a road bicycle. They offer puncture resistance and increased grip and cushioning.
Such tires are either tubular or tubeless, in most cases. Those properties reduce the risk of pinch-flat punctures occurring. Inner tubes are pinched by the rims when a massive impact takes place.
Wheels of a cyclocross bicycle resemble those of gravel bikes or mountain bikes. To ensure better durability and strength, they come with a higher spoke count. The feature also makes them excellent for commuting and touring.
A cyclocross bike has more than one purpose – it’s not intended for off-road exclusively. All of their properties combined give us a highly versatile ride. You can use it for all the disciplines within cyclocross – such as touring, winter training and commuting, in addition to various off-road exhibitions.
When you are considering buying such a bicycle, think about what other uses you may have of it. Not every cyclocross is the same, so make sure the one you’d like to get has all the features you will need, and it will serve you all year round.
The cyclocross world is a world full of excitement, but also a lot of mud and sweat. There’s a lot of preparation involved, and one does have to be fit to be ready for the game. Getting a bike that’s manufactured as if tailored for your own needs makes the game not only easier, but much more fun.
If you are all about competition, training and top-notch bicycles, you will undoubtedly fall in love with this remarkable, yet demanding discipline. Whether you are already quite familiar with and fond of cyclocross, or just starting out, knowing what to look for in a ride will make things easier for you in the long run.
Cyclocross is getting more popular with each day. Everybody is joining in – both the young and the old. Chances are, when fall and winter come, there will be an event taking place near you, as the majority of races take place during that period (However, summer races are becoming more popular).
If you are still not sure if it’s the thing for you, seek out a cross event. Chances are, just being an audience member will raise your adrenaline levels. Be prepared to get a bit muddy, though.