Cyclocrossing represents a viable alternative to road biking on wet roads. If you are planning to buy a new cyclocross bike, here is some advice what to look for and pay attention to.
The best is to opt for a bike with disc brakes. The advantage of discs is that they do provide more consistent braking performance and better modulation of braking force. In bad weather conditions, it’s especially recommendable to ride these bikes because they offer more confidence in the wet and mud.
Even though these bikes have treaded tyres, you can ride them on the road. But do consider carefully the nature of your off-road exploits, and choose rubber accordingly. Wider, 35mm tyres will deal with rough stuff better than more lightly treaded tyres, which perform better on singletrack, or gravel.
No matter if you’re racing or just out on a weekend or afternoon ride, the time will come at some point to get off the bike, put it on your shoulder and climb over a fence, ditch or fallen tree. Cable routing and clever frame design make this much easier. If you want to go cycle touring on a cross bike, mounts for luggage can also be a bonus.
Choose the groupset wisely. You’re not going to need big gears off-road. Also, pay attention to the quality of braking and drivetrain components.