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Cyclocross Bike Buying Guide

What is Cyclocross?

Cyclocross is one of the most varied types of cycling that any rider can do - combining sections of both road work and off road work - allowing the rider to navigate all terrain types, either recreationally or during competitive riding. Cyclocross bikes do have some limitations, they are not as fast as dedicated road bikes, or as capable as full mountain bikes - but typical terrain that they can cover includes woodland trails, forest tracks, grass, pavements, mud and sand. 

How popular is Cyclocross?

Cyclocross is a relatively young development in the history of cycling, but it’s a sport and type of riding which is growing massively in popularity, especially across Northern Europe. Cyclocross races, which are incredibly fast paced - draw massive crowds.

Are Cyclocross Bikes good for commuting? 

Cyclocross Bikes are one of the best all rounder commuter bikes to use - an upright riding position, combined with bigger tyres - means that kerbs, rough roads and even slight off road terrain can be ridden on to get to and from work. 

How is a Cyclocross Bike Different?

On first looking at a Cyclocross Bike - you would be forgiven for thinking that the bike is a pretty standard road bike. On looking at the bike in more detail however, there’s a number of different designs and components - covering everything from pedals to gearing. Below, we run through some of the unique design features of a Cyclocross Bike:

Tyre Clearance

One of the first things to note on a Cyclocross bike is increased clearance between the tyres and the frame, as well as the fork - this intentional design allows the rider to choose wider and bigger tyres for greater grip and control when heading across variable terrain. The clearance between the tyre and the frame/forks - also allows for the tyre to turn even when it has debris or mud in the tread. 

Frame Geometry & Material

The frame materials of Cyclocross bikes are very similar to road bikes - carbon fibre, steel and aluminium frames are all available to suit different price points. Carbon Fibre, being the most expensive provides the best performance across all terrain, helping soak up vibrations from riding on uneven surfaces. 

The geometry of a Cyclocross bike is more upright than a dedicated road bike - allowing for greater visibility and a more comfortable off road performance. This riding position and geometry also allows Cyclocross bikes to be used as touring bikes and commuters, really easily. 

Cable Routing

A lot of road bikes have their cabling running underneath the top tube  - on a cyclocross bike, most often cables are routed on the top of this tube, or the cables are run internally through the frame. This keeps them protected against off road conditions, as well as making the bike easier to carry over impassable terrain. 

Brakes

Most high end Cyclocross bikes now feature disc brakes - which remain clear and away from all of the debris that a rim brake can collect when crossing off road terrain. Disc Brakes also allow wider wheels and tyres to be used. 

Tyres & Wheels

The tyres on a Cyclocross Bike provide are bigger than road bike tyres - they provide greater levels of comfort and protection against rough terrain - and a lot of customers also choose to fit tubeless tyres to their cyclocross wheels - minimising the chances of having a pinch puncture, which can be caused by heavy impacts. 

As well as having tougher tyres, cyclocross wheels are also much tougher than comparable road bike wheels - and they are more in line with mountain bike wheels, there’s more spokes to provide more strength - which further adds weighting to a Cyclocross Bike being the perfect all rounder. 

Cyclocross Bikes Online

At Westbrook Cycles, from our shop in North Yorkshire - we stock and supply an excellent range of Cyclocross Bikes from the world’s leading bike brands. All Cyclocross Bikes that we stock have been chosen from brands we know and trust to deliver excellent performance as well as value. Across our site, you can find Cyclocross Bikes to suit different budgets as well as different riding requirements, and we supply these bikes to competitive racers right across to commuters. 

If you have any questions about these bikes - please do get in touch and we will be more than happy to answer any questions that you may have.

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