The Best Cyclocross Bikes

Cyclocross bike racing is gaining more and more popularity as an adventurous sport for adrenaline junkies. It’s quite different from regular bicycle racing as you need to ride across hostile terrains as quick as you can with barriers that may require of you to hop on and off your bike to be able to overcome them. For those who are not afraid to get dirty, cyclocross provides the opportunity to take up the challenges of muddy, gravelly, and sandy trails and overcome any obstacle that comes your way even on the worst possible weather. Also, you don’t have to turn pro and engage in professional racing to be able to get the taste of cyclocross adventures. All you need is a versatile bike, a terrain of your choice to navigate and the desire for speed and efficiency.

Although cyclocross races may include some portions of pavement, you’ll be cycling mostly on off-road trails, such as sand pits, hills, and various muddy sections. To be able to conquer the rough terrain, you need the right equipment, and an essential part of it is a top quality cyclocross bike that can rise up to any challenge. We looked over dozens of cyclocross bikes aiming to find the one that can fulfill any cyclocross enthusiast’s expectations, taking into account the size, components, frame materials, Amazon ratings, the price and many other features that are considered relevant when deciding on the right cyclocross bike. We picked out top 5 of the best-rated cyclocross bikes you can buy for you off-road adventures.

For high-performance cyclocross riding and racing, we’ve identified Raleigh Bikes RX 2.0 Cyclocross Bike as a top choice. With its light alloy frame, TRP dual actuated mechanical disc brakes, and SRAM Rival 1X11 drivetrain that allows the choice between multiple gears, this bike is ideal for blazing alternative trails quickly and efficiently.

The 5 Top-Rated Cyclocross Bikes for 2018

Editor's PicksBrandRating
Best OverallRaleigh Bikes RX 2.0 Cyclocross Bike5.0
Runner UpTommaso Imola Endurance Aluminum Road Bike4.7
Best Budget BuyTakara Genkai Cyclocross Bike3.3
Best Hybrid BikeVilano Diverse 3.0 Performance Hybrid Road Bike4.2
Best All Road BikeTommaso Avventura - Shimano Sora Gravel Adventure Bike4.7

*Ratings are from Amazon at the time of publication and can change

Our Top Pick: Raleigh Bikes RX 2.0 Cyclocross Bike

Top pick
Raleigh Bikes RX 2.0 Cyclocross Bike

Meet the famous Raleigh Bikes RX 2.0 Cyclocross Bike, a powerful tool for conquering those rough off-road trails

$1,303.46 USD

Raleigh Bikes RX 2.0 Cyclocross Bike is specially designed to make your off-road adventures safe but nonetheless intense. It’s made with an extremely light butted alloy frame with thru axles, disc tabs, and a lightweight carbon-alloy tapered steer disc brake. It features SRAM Rival shifter for 11 gears and TRP spyre dual actuated mechanical disc brakes for great stopping power regardless of the conditions.

This bike is partially assembled, so it will need further assembling to be ready for use. The amount of time you’ll spend assembling it depends on your prior experience with assembling bikes. The manufacturer states that those with no prior experience will need 120 min, whereas the more experienced ones will finish it in 30 min. There are 5 sizes available: small, medium, large, x-large, and xx-large. The price ranges from $1144 to $1361, depending on the size.

Raleigh Bikes RX 2.0 Cyclocross Bike Key Features:

  • Light butted alloy frame with thru axles
  • TRP spyre dual actuated mechanical disc brakes for great stopping power
  • SRAM Rival shifter for 11 gears
  • Available in small, medium, large, x-large, and xx-large
  • Partially assembled

Our Runner-Up Pick: Tommaso Imola Endurance Aluminum Road Bike

Runner-Up
Tommaso Imola Endurance Aluminum Road Bike

A made-to-measure bike and a faithful companion in handling dirt, gravel, and mud

Tommaso Imola Endurance Aluminum Road Bike will make your rides comfortable regardless of the severity of conditions. It’s suitable for beginners and advanced cyclists and it can handle dirt, gravel, and mud with ease. The bike features durable aluminum components, a laser-measured frame that is be made to suit individual needs, and brand new Shimano Claris shifters, derailleurs, crank, and brakes . It also features 700c wheels for better grip.

Tommaso Imola Endurance Aluminum Road Bike comes with a lifetime warranty. It’s available in XXS, XS, S, M, L, and XL at a competitive price ranging from $600 to $650 depending on the size.

Tommaso Imola Endurance Aluminum Road Bike Key Features:

  • Aluminum, laser-measured frame that can be customized
  • Shimano Claris shifters, derailleurs, crank, and brakes
  • 700c wheels
  • Available in XXS, XS, S, M, L, and XL
  • Lifetime warranty

Best Budget Pick: Takara Genkai Cyclocross Bike

Best for Budget
Takara Genkai Cyclocross Bike

A durable and an affordable option for cyclocross enthusiasts

$318.19 USD

Takara Genkai Cyclocross Bike is a great bike for amateurs interested in cyclocross and it features an excellent frame, although you will need to do some upgrading of breaks and gears if you want to take part in professional races, the reviewers say. It’s easy to assemble and it features chromalloy steel frame and fork, 16-speed Shimano STI drivetrain, and double space for water bottles.

It’s available in 57cm/large and 63.5 cm/x-large and it comes at a fairly affordable price of $494.

Takara Genkai Cyclocross Bike Key Features:

  • Ideal for cyclocross amateurs
  • Durable chromalloy steel frame and fork
  • 16-speed Shimano STI drivetrain
  • Double space for water bottles
  • Easy to assemble
  • Available in 57cm/large and 63.5 cm/x-large

Best Hybrid Bike: Vilano Diverse 3.0 Performance Hybrid Road Bike

Best Hybrid Bike
Vilano Diverse 3.0 Performance Hybrid Road Bike

An ideal bike for commuting and long distance rides that include rough terrain

Vilano Diverse 3.0 Performance Hybrid Road Bike promises high-performance on rough terrain under all weather conditions. It’s the right bike for commuters as it’s able to handle long distances with ease. It features 6061 aluminum frame and fork, a 24-speed drivetrain, and 700c wheels.

The bike is partially assembled and it includes brief instructions for further assembling. It also includes free pedals. It’s available in 49cm, 53cm, and 57cm. It comes at a price of $300.

Vilano Diverse 3.0 Performance Hybrid Road Bike Key Features:

  • Ideal for commuters, able to handle long distances and rough terrain
  • 6061 aluminum frame and fork
  • 24-speed drivetrain
  • 700c wheels
  • Available in 49cm, 53cm, and 57cm
  • Partially assembled
  • Free pedals included

Best All Road Bike: Tommaso Avventura – Shimano Sora Gravel Adventure Bike

Best All Road Bike
Tommaso Avventura - Shimano Sora Gravel Adventure Bike

A perfect bike for easy and comfortable ride on any road

Tommaso Avventura – Shimano Sora Gravel Adventure Bike can cater to all your off-road needs. It’s made of aluminum compact frame combined with a high modulus carbon fiber fork for maximum vibration. The bike’s TC-30D rims and wide 32c tires enable handling of all types of terrain and ensure control and grip without slowing you down on the streets. It also features compact frame geometry for maximum comfort.

This bike requires professional assembly to ensure optimal performance. It’s available in XS (5’2″-5’6″), S (5’6″-5’8″), M (5’8″-5’11”), and XL (6’2″-6’5″) at the price of $875.

Tommaso Avventura – Shimano Sora Gravel Adventure Bike Key Features:

  • Aluminum compact frame and a high modulus carbon fiber fork
  • TC-30D rims and 32c tires
  • 2×9 Shimano Sora Groupset
  • Compact frame geometry
  • Professional assembly required
  • Available in XS (5’2″-5’6″), S (5’6″-5’8″), M (5’8″-5’11”), and XL (6’2″-6’5″)

Who Should Buy a Cyclocross Bike

Cyclocross enthusiasts and professional racers need a top quality bike that’s designed for cyclocross riding and racing. As cyclocross rides involve plenty of off-road trails and rough terrain, such as hills and sandy, muddy or gravelly sections, professional racers require a bike that can easily maneuver and conquer such trails as quickly and efficiently as possible.

However, you don’t have to be a professional taking part in competitions to own a cyclocross bike. Any commuter who needs to ride long distances or simply enjoys off-road cycling on weekends can benefit immensely from a quality cyclocross bike. These bikes are built to handle backroads, mud, gravel, and dirt, and any adventure cyclist can make their trail blazing much more comfortable and safer with a cyclocross bike.

Top pick
Raleigh Bikes RX 2.0 Cyclocross Bike

Meet the famous Raleigh Bikes RX 2.0 Cyclocross Bike, a powerful tool for conquering those rough off-road trails

$1,303.46 USD

Important Features to Consider

A cyclocross bike should do several things well. Here’s what to consider when selecting a cyclocross bike for your off-road adventures:

  • Lightweight frame. The cyclocross bike’s frame should be as light as possible as cyclocross racing sometimes involves hopping on and off the bike, taking it in your hands and running or jumping. However, it should also be sturdy enough to be able to handle sharp turns and the rough terrain. Many modern cyclocross bikes are now made of carbon fiber, which is extremely light and absorbs vibrations well. However, aluminum and steel frames are also quite common as they are less expensive and ensure durability, especially if the bike is going to be used for commuting or racing.
  • Size. It can be tricky to determine which size your cyclocross bike should be. In general, the bike that fits properly will allow you to stand over the top tube with approximately two inches of clearance, pedal with your knees slightly bent at the bottom of the stroke, and reach the handlebars and brake levers comfortably. Additionally, there are bikes that are specifically designed for men and women, as women usually have shorter torsos and longer legs than men, so bikes with smaller frames would be more suitable for them.
  • Small gear ratio. Cyclocross races don’t reach high speeds or regular road racing, which means that these bikes have smaller gear ratios, typically 42/32, 44/34, or 46/36.
  • Hydraulic disc brakes. One of the most essential components of a cyclocross bike are the brakes, as they need to confront with extremely rough trails that may include mud, gravel, and sand. In the past, cyclocross bikes had cantilever or V-brake options. Although they were more effective against mud than standard bike brakes, they still had a tendency to clog up on excessively rainy and muddy conditions. Nowadays, the best cyclocross bike models contain hydraulic disc brakes. They keep the braking surface away from the rims and, therefore mud and dirt, which prevents contamination. They are more expensive, but they provide incredible stopping power, which is of great importance.
  • Good tires. The cyclocross tires are of higher volume than road bike tires in order to ensure better grip, cushioning, and puncture resistance. They should be wide enough to enable you control and grip on the trails without slowing you down on the streets, so that you can handle all surfaces with ease. They can be up to 40mm.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a cyclocross bike and how does it work?

A cyclocross bike is designed to be used in off-road cycling or racing. It has a frame usually made of aluminum, steel or carbon fiber to be as light as possible and absorb vibrations well. Its tires are wider and more voluminous than on standard bikes as the one who rides it needs to maintain a good grip and control on a rough surface. Most often, a cyclocross bike features disc brakes for greater stopping power. As cyclocross races aren’t based on speed, but rather on time, it features smaller gear ratios. A cyclocross bike is a versatile bike that can be used on any type of off-road cycling, not just cyclocross racing.

What is cyclocross?

Cyclocross is a specific type of bike racing. It involves cycling across rough terrain, such as dirty and muddy trails, sand or gravel. Although majority of the course is off-road, there are also some portions of pavement. Typically, there are barriers in the course that can be up to 40cm tall and 4-6m apart.

The races are based on time rather than on distance, and time is measured by laps. How long a race will last depends on the category of the participants and it can be anything from 30min for beginners to 60min for advanced riders. If there are sections of the race that are too muddy or slow to ride, the participants have to pick up their bikes and run. Although cyclocross takes place all-year round, it’s mainly a fall and winter sport, with the World Championships held in January.

What is the difference between a cyclocross and a road bike?

Although  both bikes are similar, there are some key differences between them. They feature similar frames, which are designed for speed and which allow the rider to have multiple hand positions. Road bikes have rim brakes and 700c wheels and feature minimal tire clearance in order to be lighter and more aerodynamic. On the other hand, cyclocross bikes are heavier, have higher tire clearance and wider, knobbier tires suitable for hostile terrain. Cyclocross bikes also have disc brakes which gives them greater stopping power during wet and snowy conditions.

How long is a cyclocross course?

The distance of the cyclocross course must be at least 2.5km and it can be up to 3.5km.

Other Cyclocross Bikes We Reviewed

Top pick
Raleigh Bikes RX 2.0 Cyclocross Bike

Meet the famous Raleigh Bikes RX 2.0 Cyclocross Bike, a powerful tool for conquering those rough off-road trails

$1,303.46 USD

We looked at 20 other cyclocross bikes. Even though they didn’t make our 5 best cyclocross bikes list, they’re the best of the rest and each is still a great option for your off-road adventures. The information you’ll need to compare each one is included with the listing.

Hybrid Bikes

Brilliant Bicycles L-Train Gates Carbon Belt Drive 7-Speed Commuter Bike

Brilliant Bicycles L-Train Gates Carbon Belt Drive 7-Speed Commuter Bike

This bike is ideal for commuting and it’s easy to maintain. It’s available in 3 sizes, designed for riders 5’2”-6’2”.

Key Features:

  • Chromoly frame
  • Shimano 7-speed internal hub
  • Gates carbon belt drive
  • Available in 3 sizes, designed for riders 5’2″-6’2″

Cost: $650

Diamondback Bicycles 2016 Women’s Vital 2 Complete Hybrid Bike

Diamondback Bicycles 2016 Women's Vital 2 Complete Hybrid Bike

This bike designed for ladies features upright frame geometry, steel handlebar, DB Kraton grips, 21-speed drivetrain, aluminum alloy rims and Kenda tires. It’s available in small and medium size.

Key Features:

  • Upright frame geometry that keeps you aggressive in the saddle
  • Steel handlebar and DB Kraton grips that absorb bumps
  • 21-speed drivetrain
  • Aluminum alloy rims and Kenda tires
  • Available in Small and Medium size

Cost: $262-$350 depending on the size

Kent Northwoods Springdale Women’s Hybrid Bicycle

Kent Northwoods Springdale Women's Hybrid Bicycle
Kent Northwoods Springdale Women’s Hybrid Bicycle is suitable for commuting or recreational use. It features handcrafted aluminum frame, 700c wheels, 21-speed drivetrain, and Shimano rear derailleur.

Key Features:

  • Handcrafted aluminum frame
  • 700c wheels
  • 21-speed drivetrain and Shimano rear derailleur
  • Linear pull brakes and alloy quick release seat clamp

Cost: $154

Mongoose 29″ Excursion Men’s Mountain Bike

Mongoose 29" Excursion Men's Mountain Bike

Mongoose mountain bike features durable steel mountain-style frame, 21-speed twist shifters and Shimano rear derailleur for a wide gear range and quick shifts, and knobby mountain tires for added grip.

Key Features:

  • Steel mountain-style frame
  • 21-speed twist shifters and Shimano rear derailleur
  • Front and rear linear pull brakes
  • Knobby tires
  • Alloy rims

Cost: $159

Nashbar Women’s Dual Sport Disc Hybrid Bike

Nashbar Women's Dual Sport Disc Hybrid Bike

Nashbar Women’s Dual Sport Disc Hybrid Bike provides the performance of a road bike and the comfort of a mountain bike. It’s suitable for riding around neighborhood and handling dirty trails.

Key Features:

  • 6061 aluminum frame
  • Shimano 24-speed drivetrain
  • Tektro M280 mechanical disc brakes with 160mm rotors
  • 700c wheels

Cost: $360

ORKAN Reinforced Mountain Bike 26”

ORKAN Reinforced Mountain Bike 26''

ORKAN Reinforced Mountain Bike 26” features aluminum mountain frame and suspension fork, 18-speed drivetrain and Shimano rear derailleur shift, and steel V-brakes.

Key Features:

  • Aluminum mountain frame and suspension fork
  • 18-speed drivetrain
  • Shimano rear derailleur shift
  • Steel V-brakes

Cost: $130

Raleigh Cadent 1 Urban Fitness Bike

Raleigh Cadent 1 Urban Fitness Bike

Raleigh Cadent 1 Urban Fitness Bike offers the efficiency of a road bike combined with the comfort of flat bars and upright geometry. It’s suitable for races and regular rides around town.

Key Features:

  • Flat steel handlebar
  • 21-speed Shimano shifter
  • 700c wheels
  • Available in S, M, L, and XL
  • Some assembly required

Cost: $350

Schwinn Men’s Volare 1200 Bike

Schwinn Men's Volare 1200 Bike

Schwinn Men’s Volare 1200 Bike is a lightweight, fast, and versatile bike suitable for training programs and casual rides. It features aluminum fitness frame, 21-speed drivetrain, alloy linear pull brakes on the front and rear, and it comes with a limited life warranty for as long as you own the bike.

Key Features:

  • Aluminum fitness frame
  • Flat-styled handlebar and sport riding seat
  • 21-speed drivetrain
  • Alloy linear pull brakes on the front and rear
  • Limited life warranty for as long as you own the bike

Cost: $240

All Road Bikes

Blue Competition Cycles Blue Prosecco AL Touring

Blue Competition Cycles Blue Prosecco AL Touring

Blue Competition Cycles bike features a carbon frame, 700c wheels, and Shimano shifting system.

Key Features:

  • Carbon frame
  • 700c wheels
  • Shimano shifting system
  • Available in XS, SM, MD, ML, LG, and XL

Cost: $660

Colnago World Cup SL Cyclocross Bicycle

Colnago World Cup SL Cyclocross bicycle
Colnago World Cup SL features higher bottom bracket height designed for off-road racing. It also features a reinforcement tube between the seat tube and top tube which facilitates the carrying of the frame on the shoulder during sections that are too difficult to ride.

Key Features:

  • 56 cm
  • Higher bottom bracket height designed for off-road racing
  • 6000 series aluminum frame
  • Reinforcement tube between the seat tube and top tube which facilitates the carrying of the frame on the shoulder

Cost: $1200

Extrbici XC550 Racing Road Bike

Extrbici XC550 Racing Road Bike

Extrbici XC550 Racing Road Bike is designed for professional road racing. It features a steel frame, 21-speed drive train, 700c wheels, and aluminum alloy double disc brakes.

Key Features:

  • Steel frame
  • 21-speed drive train
  • 700c wheels
  • Aluminum alloy double disc brakes
  • 90% pre-assembled; requires installing the front wheel, handlebar and pedals and airing up the tires

Cost: Est. $300

KHS 2016 CX550 CycloCross Team

KHS 2016 CX550 CycloCross Team

KHS CX550 bike is designed for all types of off-road racing. It features carbon frame and fork. It’s available in X-Small, Small, and Large size.

Key Features:

  • Carbon frame and fork
  • Sram CX1 11-Speed
  • American Classic Disc Wheelset
  • FSA Carbon Components
  • Available in X-Small, Small, and Large

Cost: $2000

State Bicycle Offroad Division Single Speed Cyclocross Standard Bike

State Bicycle Offroad Division Single Speed Cyclocross Standard Bike

State Bicycle’s standard bike is designed for racing and commuting. It features a steel frame and fork, cantilever brakes, and 30mm rim tires.

Key Features:

  • A steel frame and fork
  • Cantilever brakes
  • 30mm rim tires
  • Available in 49cm, 52cm, 55cm, and 58cm

Cost: $580

State Bicycle Co. Thunderbird Cyclocross Offroad Single Speed Bike

State Bicycle Co. Thunderbird Cyclocross Offroad Single Speed Bike

State Bicycle Co. Thunderbird bike features sturdy and durable 6061 aluminum frameset and Avid BB5 disc brakes for greater stopping power. It also allows for addition of a rear derailleur.

Key Features:

  • 6061 aluminum frame and a carbon fork
  • Avid BB5 disc brakes
  • Ability to add a rear derailleur
  • Available in 46cm, 49cm, 52cm, 55cm, and 58cm

Cost: $1000

Stradalli Cyclocross Pro T-700 Full Carbon Cycle Cross Disc Gravel Bike

Stradalli Cyclocross Pro T-700 Full Carbon Cycle Cross Disc Gravel Bike

Stradalli cyclocross bike features carbon fiber frame, tapered headtube, Shimano Ultegra 6800 11 Speed Group set, and hydraulic disc brakes. It’s available in 48cm, 50cm, 52cm, 54cm, and 56cm.

Key Features:

  • Tapered headtube for a comfortable ride
  • Carbon fiber frame
  • Shimano Ultegra 6800 11 Speed Group set
  • Hydraulic disc brakes
  • Available in 48cm, 50cm, 52cm, 54cm, and 56cm

Cost: $2500

Stringbike Cross, String Driven Bicycle

Stringbike Cross, String Driven Bicycle

Stringbike Cross, String Driven Bicycle features a modern type of construction that doesn’t contain conventional chains, derailleurs, gear shift mechanisms and related parts. It contains string drive, 19 speeds that can be shifted while pedaling or while stationary, and hydraulic brakes.

Key Features:

  • String drive, no chains, derailleurs, gear shift mechanisms and related parts
  • 19 speeds that can be shifted while pedaling or while stationary
  • Hydraulic brakes

Cost: $1000

Electric Bikes

KELAND Electric Mountain Bike

KELAND Electric Mountain Bike

KELAND Electric Mountain Bike features aluminum frame and a carbon fork, a removable lithium-ion battery, 21-speed transmission system, and 2 working modes: E-bike and assisted bicycle. It also has LOW, MID, and HIGH 3-meter operations.

Key Features:

  • 26 inch wheel size
  • Aluminum frame and a carbon fork
  • Removable lithium-ion battery
  • 21-speed transmission system
  • 2 working modes: E-bike and assisted bicycle
  • LOW, MID, and HIGH 3-meter operations

Cost: $616

Yuanne 26 Inch Folding Electric Bike

Yuanne 26 Inch Folding Electric Bike

Yuanne 26 Inch Folding Electric Bike features a collapsible frame, machine front and rear disc brakes, and 3 levels of assistance to help you along. It also contains a 36V-10AH battery and a built-in lithium battery design which minimizes the chances of the battery being stolen.

Key Features:

  • Collapsible frame
  • Machine front and rear disc brakes
  • 6-speed gears
  • 3 levels of assistance
  • 36V-10AH lithium battery
  • Eco-friendly

Cost: $580

Folding Bikes

LightInTheBox Folding Mountain Bike

LightInTheBox Folding Mountain Bike

LightInTheBox Folding Mountain Bike features steel mountain frame with suspension fork. It has 21-speed transmission system, double disc brakes, and Shimano front and rear derailleur.

Key Features:

  • 26 inch wheel size
  • Steel mountain frame with suspension fork
  • 21-speed transmission system and Shimano front and rear derailleur
  • Double disc brakes
  • Rider weight under 120kg
  • Rider height 155-185cm

Cost: $540

Schwinn Loop Adult Folding Bicycle

Schwinn Loop Adult Folding Bicycle

This bike is suitable for commuting and riding up the hills. It features low frame, 7-speed Shimano shifter, and front and rear alloy linear pull brakes.

Key Features:

  • Perfect for commuting
  • Foldable in a few easy steps
  • Low frame
  • 7-speed Shimano drivetrain
  • Front and rear alloy linear pull brakes

Cost: $250

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