At first glance – and knobbly tyres aside – a cyclo-cross bike looks remarkably similar to a regular road bike.
But take a closer look and the differences are significant. While many cyclo-cross local leagues will allow those new to the sport to turn up and race on a mountain bike, a dedicated ‘cross machine will allow you to do it faster and with a bigger smile – or gurn – on your face.
The hard and fast nature of cyclo-cross racing is a great way to maintain focus and fitness through winter, the technical, off-road riding improves your bike handling skills and the ability to mix tarmac and trails on training rides is a shot in the arm when motivation is running low. It’s great fun, too.
Fortunately, there’s more choice than ever when it comes to cyclo-cross bikes. Chris Boardman told RoadCyclingUK the ‘cross market has seen the biggest sales growth thanks to the inherent versatility of a ‘cross bike and manufacturers – Boardman Bikes included – are taking advantage.
Here’s what you need to consider when buying a cyclo-cross bike.