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Cyclocross bikes - Tricross vs CAADX vs Others?

buckmulliganbuckmulligan Posts: 1,031
edited July 2013 in Road buying advice
Our local cyclocross league kicks off at the start of September and this year I’m going to sign up! I’ve had a pretty good year of training and events this year and it seems like a good bit of competition to keep the motivation over the winter. However an immediate stumbling block is that I don’t really have a suitable bike, my road bike will only take 25mm tyres at a push and my mountain bike isn’t exactly race-oriented.

I’m thinking of picking up a second-hand cross bike somewhere (budget ~£400), but it seems like quite a niche sport and information is a bit thin on the ground. There are plenty of second-hand Specialized Tricross models around, but this seems to have a bit of a reputation for being a commuter/tourer rather than a proper cyclocross racer. Is this true of the older models (circa 2010 before they released the Crux), how heavy is it (I’d like to get it <10kg) and is it that much of a barge to ride? Otherwise I think I could stretch to a Cannondale CAADX, which people seem to have a lot more respect for, but second hand models seem a bit thin on the ground.

Does anyone have any experience with these or any other recommendations that might be within my price range? I’m no Zdenek Stybar, but I’d like to give it a proper shot, rather than just trundle around the course on a 18 kg touring bike!!!

Any help gratefully received because it’s a whole new world to me! 8)


  • petemadocpetemadoc Posts: 2,667
    With a £400 budget second hand looks like your best bet. The spec tricross does seem to be a bit of a commuter favourite, as do a number of other budget cross bikes.

    With just a month to get a bike sorted you might get lucky on ebay.

    There's some bargains on chainreaction, older models but still good, may not be your size though. ... lID=104927
  • kentphilkentphil Posts: 479
    I have recently bought a 2013 Caadx. Its a great bike. Just watch the sizing as I usually ride a 54cm/Medium frame but I decided on 51cm Caadx as the sizing is different. Only complaint is the brakes. I plan to change the pads/holders as the stock Tektro ones aren't great.

    Good luck in your search!
    1998 Kona Cindercone in singlespeed commute spec
    2013 Cannondale Caadx 1x10
    2004 Giant TCR
  • slowbikeslowbike Posts: 8,498
    My brother races on a TriCross and he's normally a bit picky about the bikes he rides ..

    TBH I would think that amateur CX racing is more about the engine, then tyres, then rest of the kit ... if you've got the engine sorted and reasonable tyres then you can start worrying about the rest of the bike. At £400 you're not talking top end kit so I would say just about anything you can get would do.

    I have a Tricross - for commuting as it happens - but it's pretty good offroad - standard tyres are not brilliant offroad and they'd need to be replaced for racing with something a bit knobblier ...
  • simonjsimonj Posts: 346
    I have the Caadx and love it, brakes a bit weak, but that's the same with any rim brake CX bike. Better blocks and setup will help, else TRP CX9 brakes also help (30% off @ planetx). I prefer rim brakes to discs and gives wider choice of wheel swap and prefer the ligher weight. Size wise the Caadx is a bit out from my SuperSix, but not by as much as the SuperX. I ride SuperSix and Caadx in 54cm and SuperX in 52cm.
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