Bikes - Cyclo cross
You'll find plenty of disc-equipped, cyclocross-inspired do-it-all bikes under a grand; they're usually a good option as an all-rounder and popular on cycle-to-work schemes. Now there's one more, the Trek Crossrip, and it's a good bike. It's not the hottest on value but as a package the Elite model we've been riding is sensibly specced and good to ride.
Kona have had the Jake series of cyclo-cross bikes in their range since.... ooooooh, a long time ago, 15 years or so, way before the recent swell in cyclo-cross popularity made other manufacturers whip out their note-books, scribble down a design, colour it in and e-mail it to the factory.
In a similar vein to the Genesis Croix de Fer recently tested, Charge's Filter Hi is a do it all commuter, light tourer and part time crosser. Drop bars, discs, huge tyre clearances, mounts for mudguards and rack all tip a nod to the mile muncher who's happy to keep the pedals spinning whatever the weather.
The Merida Cyclo Cross 4 is a disc equipped cyclo cross bike, with eyelets and time tested designs that make it into an appealing option as a winter trainer, especially once you see the £999 asking price.
Genesis's Croix De Fer hardly needs an introduction. You most likely already know that it's a do-it-all bike, and that its credentials were firmly established in 2010 when Vin Cox got the Guinness World Record for riding it around the world faster than anyone had done before.
Trek's Ion CX Pro is a race worthy bike that's perfect for anyone serious about trying cross racing. It's well thought out and executed, and comes complete with the right kit to hammer around a park for an hour. The added versatility of the mudguard and rack mounts is just a bonus.
A budget kid brother to Genesis' popular steel road all-rounder, the Genesis CdF is a solid urban and light-touring ride, as long as you're not in a hurry to get from A to B.
The Genesis Croix de Fer has a good reputation; it was even used to set a world record when Vin Cox rode a Croix de Fer around the world. Genesis say the Croix de Fer is one of their most popular bikes, so they decided to introduce a little brother: the CdF. The frame has the same dimensions, but is made from Reynolds 520, as opposed to the Croix de Fer's 725.
Having a cyclo-cross bike in your possession during the wettest drought in history is a godsend. After the fun I'd had with the Decade Tripster I was looking forward to testing its slightly racier sibling, the Kinesis Crosslight FiveT, for commuting and general day to day riding duties.
Whyte have been pushing their relaxed geometry across their whole range of bikes for a while now; it works well on trail bikes and it works on their flat bar urban bikes such as the Montpellier too. However, I'm not so sure about the crossers. The slightly languid handling is exacerbated here in the Whyte Kings Cross by the equipment choices, making the whole package feel a bit ordinary. For this kind of money, there are better bikes out there.
Despite their all-conquering road and mountain bikes Trek have skulked somewhat in the shadows when it comes to cyclo-cross. They've had models kicking around but you'd be hard pushed to spot them either on the shop floor or the race course. The Cronus range could change all that.
Trek have come out their corner punching hard with four new 'cross bikes – a pair of alloy framed Ion monikered machines and two carbon-based life form Cronus models.