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Cyclocross is one of the fastest sports in cycling. Instead of having to ride for weeks or even struggle with extended stages, you can consider a cyclocross race, a quick one or two-hour race that will allow riders to traverse various terrains and encourage riders to improve their cycling capabilities in general.
The Diamondback Haanjo 2 is one of the ultimate bikes you can rely on one. While technically a gravel bike, it still offers plenty of the features a cyclocross rider would enjoy. One of the reasons we have selected it as the ultimate option is the combination of features and the affordability of the price, which makes it stand out significantly.
The ever-evolving world of cyclocross bikes has significantly changed how we see the sport. Nowadays, you can find bikes in all shapes and sizes, and they often have unique features that will make them comfortable for specific riders.
This article aims to have a closer look at some of the top cyclocross bikes on the market today.
You might be wondering what are the differences between Gravel Bike And Cyclocross Bike and which one should you choose. I wrote a whole article comparing these two types of bikes. You can read the article here.
Top 7 Affordable Cyclocross Bikes On The Market Today
Back in the early 2000s, the world of cyclocross just began taking off. Many manufacturers stuck to traditional bikes, including mountain and road bikes.
However, cyclocross bikes offer a unique design, allowing riders to take on changeable terrains. If you want to find a budget option, we have a few selected for you.
1- Top Pick: Diamondback Haanjo 2
The first one on our list combines a gravel bike and a slight design with cyclocross features. The Diamondback Haanjo 2 features a solid frame, and the bike has the traditional 38mm tires.
The Shimano Claris groupset will give you a 16-speed drivetrain and ensure you have the best possible comfort.
One of the stand-out features would certainly be the mechanical disc brakes. However, this has become standard practice for many cyclocross bikes.
Yes, the bike could be a bit too heavy for cyclocross competitions, but it would work fine for beginners. It is from a reputable brand, and we recommend it for its value.
|– Large tires|
– Multifunctional design
– Shimano Claris Groupset
|– Might be heavy to carry|
2- Best High-End Cyclocross Bike: Boardman CXR 8.9
We concede that this is supposed to be a budget list of cyclocross bikes, but some people might be willing to go all out and improve their bikes from the get-go.
The Boardman CXR 8.9 is what many cyclocross purists would consider an entry-level bike and features a durable aluminum frame with exceptional versatility.
The bike includes hydraulic disc brakes and SRAM bike gears, which should ensure that the bike is up to standard and offer you great value for your money. This will be by far one of the elite options on the market, and the bike gives you great features that you could use to enhance your experience. Unfortunately, it is expensive.
|– Includes high-end features|
– Lightweight frame
– SRAM Groupset
– Hydraulic disc brakes
3- Best Bike For Women: Raleigh Bikes Amelia 2
The modern world has shown us that many women can do things just as well, if not better, than men. However, the traditional ergonomics of bikes often slide in favor of male riders.
The Raleigh Bikes Amelia 2 is one of the exceptions to the rule, and it features a unique design with the right fit for any woman.
Once again, you benefit from the Tektro Lyra disc brakes for optimal stopping power. You will also be able to use the massive 18-speed Shimano Sora groupset for additional versatility.
Aside from being a great bike for women, it is also slightly lighter than many of the other competitors, giving you even more value for your money.
|– Ideal for women|
– 18-speed drivetrain
|– Only for female riders|
4- Best Aluminum Bike: Salsa Journeyer
One of the lesser-known brands is the Salsa brand when comes to bikes. However, the Salsa Journeyer is one of the top CX bikes, and it also features a lightweight aluminum frame, which makes the bike much easier to carry.
Most of the parts for the bike are made by the manufacturer, which means they should be congruent in design.
Once again, we see the reliable Shimano Sora groupset be part of the bike. However, here you will have an 18-speed version with speed shifters.
The Tektro mechanical disc brakes would offer you enormous stopping power, while the overall flow of the bike makes it comfortable for all riders. Yes, it is expensive, but would serve you for numerous years.
|– Shimano drivetrain|
– Mechanical disc brakes
– Reliable brand
|– Might be too expensive|
5- Best Gravel Alternative: Marin Nicasio +
The Marin Nicasio + is one of my favorite bikes for beginners, and it is mostly classified as a gravel bike instead of a CX bike.
However, the bike has impeccable durability and features a unique steel frame with its own branded wheels. The main reason this bike is on the list is its feeling and the comfortable riding position it offers.
The disc brakes are in line with most CX bikes to give you the ideal stopping power you would need, and the micro shifters will speed up the transition between different gears.
It is not as popular as competition cycling, but the price makes it an affordable option. Due to the steel frame, it could be heavy for CX races.
|– Versatile design|
– Exceptional comfort when riding
|– Heavy steel frame|
6- Best Bike For Accessory Mounting: Salsa Journeyman Claris 700
For many riders, being able to mount a variety of accessories to their bike is important. While the Salsa Journeyman Claris 700 is one of the most versatile bikes due to the 6061 aluminum frame, it features a variety of mounting points for attachments. You can add your bike computer and a variety of water bottle holders.
The Shimano Claris drivetrain is a common trend in these bikes if you haven’t noticed it yet. However, this time Shimano has included the 2 x 8-speed option while adding a higher bottom bracket for additional clearance over obstacles. The inclusion of disc brakes has a proven record of giving you the ultimate stopping power.
|– Reasonable price|
– 6061 aluminum frame
– Numerous mounting points
|– Weight can be an issue|
7- Best Budget CX Bike: Gravity Liberty CX
Cyclocross can be an expensive sport, and many people might not have the funds available to buy the best bikes. Going for something cheaper, like the Gravity Liberty CX Bike, is an ideal option.
It might have a heavier steel frame, but the bike comes with the traditional Shimano Sora 24-speed drivetrain.
The combination of canti and disc brakes will ensure stopping power, while the cheaper price would enable riders to make numerous upgrades as they progress through the CX racing ranks.
You could also use this bike for touring, but it would work best on gravel surfaces.
|– Affordable price|
– Shimano Sora Groupset
– Disc brakes
|– Heavy steel frame|
What Features Are Important For Selecting A Cyclocross Bike?
If you consider yourself an advanced rider, you might need a host of features to ensure you buy the best bike. However, this is not the case for budget buyers.
The following features are some of the most noteworthy for you to consider. We have isolated some of these important features to help you choose the right bike:
It is essential that you understand the bike’s weight, and you will find that once you get to grips with the weight, you can comfortably use the bike.
CX racing involves situations where you might need to carry the bike. For competitive racing, you want to look at an aluminum frame. However, the traditional steel frame would work.
The drivetrain would always be essential, and you would find that you can get plenty done with the right drivetrain.
Shimano is one of the leading manufacturers of groupsets in the world, and when you combine this with a top CX bike, you have better performance.
We would recommend looking at the Shimano Claris or Sora groupsets.
While other features like tires are important, most good CX bikes already have the 700c or at least a 650c tire that can be used for performance.
Adding hydraulic or mechanical disc brakes is something to keep in mind. We recommend looking at the Tektro Lyra mechanical disc brakes for entry-level CX bikes.
You might also enjoy reading: Cyclocross Bike Vs. Road Bike: How do they differ, and which is better for you?
Buying a CX bike to play around with is often not the best idea. You might not get the best features, and you will be wasting funds.
We recommend looking at these bikes’ best features and determining what you need. However, these budget options would provide something for everyone to enjoy.
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