With the cyclocross season now in full swing (what do you mean you hadn't realised) here is a roundup of cyclocross bikes from the Cycle Show 2014, with highlights from British companies Whyte, Raleigh, Boardman, Beacon and something from foreign brands Ritte, Bianchi and Van Nicholas.
Whyte Saxon Cross Team
British company Whyte Bikes offer two cyclocross bikes and this is the high-end Saxon Cross Team. It costs £2,499 and that gets you a frame made from hydroformed 6061 aluminium with a super chunky Easton EC90 straight bladed carbon fibre fork and SRAM’s latest Force CX1 11-speed groupset.
Muscular Easton carbo fork should ensure direct and accurate steering. Excellent mud clearance as well. Regular quick release axle however.
The Force CX1 groupset is based heavily on the mountain bike groupset that SRAM has enjoyed a lot of success with in recent years. They have basically ditched the front mech and moved to a single ring, and gained back some of the ratios you clearly lose at the front by going with an 11-32 cassette. For cyclocross riding and racing that should be a wide enough spread of gears.
You can tell this is a bike intended to be raced as there are no concessions to versatility that we normally get on cyclocross bikes. No mudguard or rack mounts means a pair of clean seatstays. Plenty of tyre clearance here and space for mud to fling through too.
Raleigh RX PRO
The £1,500 Raleigh RX Pro is a new bike from the British-based company for 2015, part of the company’s expanding cyclocross collection. This model features an aluminium frame with a tapered head tube and butted tubes and an carbon fibre C5 fork.
Like a small handful of other manufacturers, Raleigh have given the RX Pro a 15mm thru-axle up front, sticking with a regular quick release rear axle.
Raleigh have fitted the RX PRO with a SRAM Rival HRD groupset, providing 22-speeds and hydraulic disc brakes. The 46/36t double chainset offers a wide range of gears making it ideal for racing and adventuring.
The frame offers a decent amount of versatility if you want to use it for more than racing, with rack and mudguard mounts on the frame offering plenty of scope for pushing it into service for a daily commute.
Beacon launched at the Cycle Show last year, and were back again this year showing of their latest range of bikes. This BF_45 cyclocross model caught the eye, with its carbon fibre frame and disc brakes and clean decals.
Beacon if you’re not aware are a British company based out of Whalley, Lancashire
This model is built up with a Shimano 105 groupset but you can also choose a Campagnolo Athena or SRAM Red 22 groupset if you prefer, and every other part of the bike build can be customised through their slick new website. So if you wanted different wheels, a different saddle or handlebar, you can do that. As you see it the bike in the photo retails for £1,999.
Boardman Bikes CX Team
Not a new bike admittedly but a very nice looking bike, the CX Team from Boardman Bikes was looking resplendent in this paint finish at the Cycle Show. Boardman combine a triple butted aluminium frame, with all the rack and mudguard mounts you could wish for, with a full carbon fibre fork with tapered steerer tube, and tops it off with SRAM Apex and Avid BB5R mechanical disc brakes. It’s very reasonably priced too at £899.99. You can read more about this bike from the Boardman launch a little while ago.
Ritte are one of those brands you either know about or don’t. They’re a US brand, now coming into the UK via distributor Silverfish, and have quietly built up an underground reputation over the Internet with their heavy Belgian influence, which you is clearly evident in the models names (Bosberg, Vlaanderen etc) and graphics.
This is their Crossberg. It’s a 6061 aluminium frame with a BB30 bottom bracket, compact geometry, only available with disc brakes and has a carbon fibre fork, and costs £999.They’re very nice looking bikes and will appeal to diehard fans of everything to do with Belgian cycling culture.
For the show this bike was built up with a SRAM Force CX1 groupset with a RaceFace wide/narrow single chainring, Easton EA90 wheels with Challenge Rhino tyres. Both the rear brake hose and rear mech cable are routed along the top tube, and of course there’s no front mech to worry about on this build, helping to keep things simple.
Van Nicholas Amazon Cross
If you want a titanium cyclocross bike, there are few choices quite as nice looking as this Amazon Cross from Van Nicholas. It is loosely based on the Amazon which is a versatile touring/Audax/cyclocross model, but the Amazon Cross loses some of that versatility for some sharper ‘cross focus.
Here it’s been built up with a SRAM Force CX1 groupset with hydraulic disc brakes, with both rear mech cable and rear brake hose routed along the top of the top tube. It’s fitted with their own SLX carbon fibre fork with a regular quick release axle, no thru-axles here, and an integrated headset.
The frame is fitted with their own SLX carbon fibre fork with a regular quick release axle, no thru-axles here, and an integrated headset. There are also mudguard eyelets on the fork, but none on the frame, which seems a shame. Still, how many people actually buy a cyclocross bike and fit mudguards?
Bianchi Zurigo Tiagra Disc
Finally, we complete this article with the rather lovely Bianchi Zurigo. Yes we know it’s not a new bike, it was first introduced last year, but we haven't’ seen it in this colour before.
Classical styling and resplendent in Bianchi’s iconic Celeste paint finish, and dragged into the 21st century with disc brakes. This model pairs a Shimano Tiagra groupset with Hayes mechanical disc brakes, with cables neatly routed inside the frame. It costs £1,000.
The frame is made from 6000-series hydroformed and triple butted aluminium with a carbon fibre fork and tapered head tube. There are mudguard mounts in case you want to fit them, and with the rear disc caliper fitted inside the rear stays there should be no issues with clearance.
David has worked on the road.cc tech team since July 2012. Previously he was editor of Bikemagic.com and before that staff writer at RCUK. He's a seasoned cyclist of all disciplines, from road to mountain biking, touring to cyclo-cross, he only wishes he had time to ride them all. He's mildly competitive, though he'll never admit it, and is a frequent road racer but is too lazy to do really well. He currently resides in the Cotswolds.