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Below are a few reasons to consider why you might want to make a cyclocross bike your go-to ride. Check out your local bike shop to see what offerings are available; nearly every bike manufacturer will have a few cyclocross options in their line at various price and quality points. Ask questions, take a test ride and see if a cyclocross bike will work for you.
Aside from the highest-end racing models, today’s cyclocross bikes are designed to be jack-of-all-trades machines. Coupling the lightweight and comfortable drop handlebars of a road bike with the reinforced frame and rims of a mountain bike, a cyclocross bike is a platform for building your dream ride. Install full-coverage fenders with clearance for knobby 32c tires to power through muddy trails, or pop on narrow 25c slick road tires to glide down the pavement. Commuting or touring? The wider clearances of a cyclocross bike’s beefy frame are ready for nearly any style of rear rack.
While a cyclocross bike might look like a road bike at a glance, its oversized bottom bracket and thick tubing actually owe more to mountain bike frame design. These bicycles are built to pound through mud, sand, grass and loose gravel. This means that with the exception of cleaning off and lubing your components after riding in interesting weather, your bike can handle just about anything you can throw at it.
Cyclocross bikes tend to have shorter top-tubes than road bikes and most mountain bikes, putting the rider in a more upright position in the saddle. This frame geometry tends to be more comfortable for longer rail-trail rides, and makes for an easier reach to the hoods of the brake levers. The drop handlebars also allow a rider to switch hand positions to shift their weight on a climb or descent. Most cyclocross bikes inherit a carbon or steel fork from road bike world to deaden and absorb vibrations from the road, as well. If all else fails, just let a bit of air out of those nice wide tires and get your roll on.
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