The 10 Best Cyclocross Bikes In 2022: A Buyer’s Guide

Cyclocross bikes have been gaining popularity in recent years. Compared with traditional road bikes, cyclocross bikes are designed to be rugged and versatile; they're meant to tackle unpredictable obstacles, including sand, gravel, mud, snow, and ice.

It makes them perfect for riders who love the idea of a bike that can go anywhere without breaking a sweat or taking up too much room in their garage.

But with multiple brands on the market today and all the new technology constantly being released, how do you know the right one?

This guide aims to help clarify some key features you should consider before purchasing a future cyclocross bike.

What is a cyclocross bike?

Cyclocross bikes are road bikes that are designed to handle rough terrain. They typically feature a flat handlebar, powerful brakes, wide tires, and a lightweight frame. Their versatility makes them incredibly functional for casual and competitive riders who want more speed and agility in their bike.

Cyclocross bikes are built for off-road courses because they're thinner, have wider tires, and have cantilever or disc brakes. They allow you to climb over obstacles like rocks, roots, and logs.

Is a cyclocross bike good for road riding?

Yes, you can use a cyclocross bike for long rides in the city. However, it's best suited for shorter rides on the pavement. If you're planning to use your bike on paved roads, you'll need to look for a road bike with wide tires since road bikes designed for cycling on tarmac often have narrow tires.

They can also handle a more challenging ride than their cross-country counterparts, making them good options if you ride in more challenging terrain, such as gravel or crushed limestone.

Are cyclocross bikes good for a tour?

Some bikes may have front racks and rear panniers. Cyclocross bikes are more suitable for light touring than the typical road bike, which is not built for that purpose. For example, if you need to carry a heavy load or tackle rough terrain, cyclocross bikes will be more suited for your needs than touring-specific road bikes.

Cyclocross bikes are versatile enough to tackle trails and gravel, taking you off the beaten track when you're touring. If you're planning to travel in places where roads aren't present, then a cyclocross bike is a better choice than a regular bike.

Can you ride gravel on a cyclocross bike?

A cyclocross bike can handle all terrain, making it a good choice for long-distance and gravel riding. Cyclocross bikes exist for that purpose. However, they're not designed to run loose and rocky gravel roads. If you're planning to use your bike on unpaved, paved, or rough gravel roads, you'll need a touring bike or a mountain bike with wider tires.

What bikes do they use in cyclocross?

Cyclocross bikes typically use 700c (or 26-inch) wheels, which are smaller than one standard size (700c). Some other brands, typically those with performance aspirations, have models that use 650 b-size wheels. The latter is known as "29 ER" and would probably be the best choice for someone who wants to split their time between road riding and cycling rugged terrain.

Bike makers also produce cyclocross bikes built for off-road racing or off-road adventure. These take the form of downhill or super-lightweight downhill bikes, but they have been modified to handle rough terrain. They're built with more durable parts and wider handlebars for more stability when cornering.

Cyclocross bikes also use wider tires than road bikes (1.5 to 2 inches). These are known as cyclocross or 'cross tires and are typically made of either a more rigid, less-slick compound designed for cold conditions or a hybrid of both slick and knobby treads to accommodate all types of weather, including rain.

Cyclocross bikes are also equipped with cantilever or disc brakes, which offer more stopping power during off-roading activities.

What’s the difference between a cyclocross bike and a gravel bike?

Gravel and cyclocross bikes are built to handle mixed terrain, so they are similar. However, gravel and cyclocross bikes have their niche in the bike market.

Cyclocross bikes have drop bars (also known as 'racing' or 'road' bars) that are narrower than those on a road bike. These thinner drops allow for better control when cornering over rough terrain. They also typically feature wider tire clearances for more stable handling in soft, muddy environments such as snow and sand.

They are equipped with cantilever or disc brakes, which provide more stopping power during off-roading activities than V-brakes found on a standard road bike.

On the other hand, gravel bikes typically feature wider tire clearances than cyclocross bikes do. These larger tires are knobby rubber and can handle more terrain than a cyclocross tire. The larger tires found on a gravel bike also offer better control over loose and rocky terrain.

Gravel bikes also use hydraulic disc brakes for more stopping power in off-road conditions.

Cyclocross bikes are designed to be as lightweight as possible. They typically feature carbon frames and lightweight wheels, while gravel bikes are built with heavier steel frames and wheels that allow them to support wider tires.

The 10 best cyclocross bikes in 2022

Now that we have gone over the basics about cyclocross bikes, let's get down to see what some of the best choices are in the market.

1.Cannondale SuperSix Evo Disc

The bike is well equipped for the street and the race track. It has a double-butted CrMo A-head alloy frame with a carbon fork and fiber handlebars. It also has a suspension seat post to absorb some of the bumps.

It also has Shimano Ultegra Di2 electronic shifting system, an FSA K-Force Light cranks, and Vittoria Zaffiro Pro Clinchers to give you a comfortable ride. You can carry your stuff with the rack and fender mounts.

Fitting a cyclocross bike with disc brakes may be tricky, but Cannondale has found a way to do it without compromising the weight. The bike weighs 22 lbs and has 53/39 Chainrings and an 11-32 cassette for efficient climbing. The disc brakes are mighty, especially when you need to stop on a dime.

Photo source: Online

2. Boardman Emonda SLR

The Boardman Emonda SLR has a unique stealth design that sets it apart from the other road racing bikes. It has an aluminum frame and carbon fork, and seat post. Its geometry is optimized for speed and comfort, whether you are racing or just out for a leisurely ride.

The bike has an A1 Premium Speed alloy handlebar, Shimano Ultegra 11-speed Di2 electronic shifting system, and 20mm wide Continental Ultra Sport tires at 23c.

Boardman also put a lot of thought into the details of this bike by adding its own proprietary ceramic bearing headset to make your rides more enjoyable and efficient. You can carry your stuff with the front rack and fender mounts.

The Emonda SLR is a versatile bike that can do well on the race track, mixed terrain, or even on an average daily commute.

Photo source: Online

3. Canyon Hardcore Race Pro

Canyon makes some of the most popular cyclocross bikes on the market, and this one is no exception. It has an aluminum frame, a carbon fork, and an alloy handlebar. It also has Shimano 105 group set to provide a smooth and efficient shifting experience while you're riding around town or on your training ride.

This bike has 27c Continental Pro Race tires to give you a superior grip on different terrain. It also has full-length fender mounts that provide versatility and allow you to ride wherever you want.

This bike weighs about 16.4 lbs and has a 54/42 Chainrings and an 11/32 cassette for efficient climbing.

The Canyon Hardcore Race Pro is a good choice if you are looking for a good cyclocross bike under $1,000.

Photo source: Online

4. Focus Cayo 3

Focus makes some of the best-designed bikes in the market, with only high-quality components and materials used in its manufacturing process.

The Focus Cayo 3 is based on the classic Bauhaus design: clean lines, minimalism, and reliability.

It comes equipped with an aluminum frame, Shimano 105 group set, and 21c Maxxis tires for a smooth and comfortable ride.

It also has internal cable routing, with no exposed cables or wires, for a clean look. You can carry your stuff with the front rack and fender mount.

This bike weighs about 20 lbs, so it's not the lightest option on the market. It also doesn't have disc brakes or disc-specific components.

Photo source: Online

5. Specialized Fuse Comp

Specialized is known to make some of the best bikes on the market, and this one is no exception. It has an aluminum frame, carbon fork, and handlebar.

It also has Shimano 105 Groupset and a 700x33c Specialized Roubaix Pro tires with Kevlar protection to make riding more comfortable.

This bike is a good choice if you want a high-quality cyclocross bike at a lower price. It has hydraulic disc brakes, hydraulic Levers, and hydraulic road caliper mounts, which offer more stopping power compared to the standard V-brakes that come with other models on the market.

The Fuse Comp can climb well, but it's not as fast as the other bikes on this list.

Photo source: Online

6. Trek Madone 2.3


The Trek Madone 2.3 is a versatile bike that can do well on the race track, mixed terrain, or even on a daily commute. It has an aluminum frame, carbon fork, and handlebar. It also has Shimano 105 Groupset with a hydraulic road caliper mount, allowing you to stop as fast as you need.

Its Top tube length is 65 millimeters, and its weight is about 25 lbs, so it's not the lightest option on the market.

It also doesn't have disc brakes or disc-specific components, which means it lacks some of the performance benefits of these bikes compared to the ones we reviewed so far.

Photo source: Online

7. Vitus Engine 1.1

Vitus is a well-known brand making high-quality cyclocross bikes for beginner to intermediate riders. This one has an aluminum frame with a carbon fork and handlebar. It also has a Shimano Tiagra group set, Tektro Spyre mechanical disc brakes, and 650x38C Vittoria tires.

It weighs 22 lbs which is heavy compared to the other bikes on this list. It doesn't have many fenders or rack mounts, making it more versatile.

Photo source: Online

8. Raleigh Redux 2

The Raleigh Redux 2 is a proper race bike. It has an aluminum frame and carbon fork and stems from being more aerodynamic and faster when riding it on the race track.

It has Shimano Ultegra Di2 electronic shifting system, FSA K-Force Light cranks, and Vittoria Zaffiro Pro Clinchers to give you a comfortable ride. It also has hydraulic caliper brakes for quick stopping in case of emergencies.

This bike weighs about 17 lbs, which is lighter than the previous model we reviewed. The drawback with this bike is its high price tag which will be very hard for most beginners to afford.

Photo source: Online

9. Scott Addict M2

It is one of the lightest and fastest bikes on the market. It has an aluminum frame, carbon fork, and handlebar. It also has Shimano Ultegra Di2 electronic shifting system, FSA K-Force Light cranks and Vittoria Zaffiro Pro Clinchers to give you a comfortable ride.

This bike weighs only 18 lbs which is much lighter despite having the same specs that other bikes on this list have.

Photo source: Online

10. Specialized Venge Comp

The Specialized Venge Comp is a versatile bike that can do well on the race track, mixed terrain, or even on a typical daily commute. It has an aluminum frame, carbon fork, and handlebar. It also has Shimano Ultegra Di2 electronic shifting system and Vittoria Corsa G+ tire at a 23c width.

This bike weighs about 17 lbs, which is lighter than the previous model we reviewed.

It doesn't have a bottle cage mounts, which means you can't bring your water while you're riding.

Photo source: Online

How much capacity is needed?

A backpack's capacity, generally measured in L (liters), determines how much gear you can carry with you. More volume means greater room for carrying objects. The following guide can help you determine what size you need based on what you are carrying with you:

10-15L (Hydration pack + Essentials) These 10-15L backpacks makes the best backpacks for long-distance cycling. They are lightweight, comfortable, and can hold the essentials (hydration pack, phone, nutrition, multi-tool) with little room to spare.

16-20L ( Bike day trip) These backpacks can comfortably carry all the gear you might need on a bike trip. These are the essentials, as well as some small bike repair pieces, a rain jacket, and other accessories.

21-25L (Light Commuter) A light commuter backpack is for someone who commutes to work and only brings a second set of clothes plus some smaller work supplies. They can be a bit of a tighter squeeze to fit all your work gear (if you have any) than a full-size commuter pack.

26-30L (Full Commuter) This specific capacity is the best full-time cycling commuter backpack, as it can carry lots of gear and accessories, without being too much of a nuisance for cycling. They will comfortably fit a change of clothing, a lunch, and a laptop.

Conclusion

Cyclocross bikes are a vast investment; if you're starting, they can be pretty expensive. As we stated earlier, there are a lot of things you can consider when buying a bike.

There are also some essential things to pay attention to that we haven't discussed here but are still very important for your safety on the road, like having proper knowledge about road rules and how to ride in traffic.

Following these tips will make sure your new bike will last long and that you won't need any repairs or maintenance in the future.