Are Cyclocross Good For Road Riding?

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Cyclocross are specifically known for their drop-bar. 

The bikes are built to race on specific courses. They’re mainly effective on terrail like: mud, grass, sand, rock and snow. 

Let’s quickly answer the question: are cyclocross good for road riding? No! Cyclocross aren’t good for road riding because they aren’t designed to be used on road riding. Hence they’ll be inefficient.

These sets of bikes are designed for aggressive riding. Because they use cantilever brakes that aren’t effective on the road ride. Riding Cyclocross bikes on the road requires the riders to be careful on the terrail and apply more force. 

Those who use Cyclocross bikes on road riding are for fun or immediate ride. But not for  century riding that may result in tiredness of the riders.

In this article, you’ll learn more about Cyclocross bikes that will help you make a better decision.

Is Cyclocross Bike Stable Off Road?

Cyclocross bikes are safe to ride off-road when it is not for competition.

Cyclocross bikes are known for stability on mud, grass, sandy, snow and some other off-road not related to what other bikes can travel on.

It has well balanced components that makes it stable on ground. These features make riders feel more comfortable on those muddy or gravel terrains.

The lower bottom of the bracket makes riders feel the pleasure of biking rather than fatigues.

The tires of Cyclocross bikes are designed to be sturdy and well balanced on the ground. These sets of bikes are specially designed for bent roads. 

No matter the speed, you’re sure to control it if you’re a regular rider. Stability of this bike makes it safe for both beginners and experienced riders.

Cyclocross bikes move on the snow freely like an ordinary ground. Rider body position doesn’t affect the stability of this bike.

Riders build more confidence on the stability because of the tires that hold firm on the ground. 

Brakes are also used to maintain stability. The bike has an efficient brakes system, which cyclists use to maintain stability.

Another important aspect of Cyclocross is the axle. This component helps riders to maintain stability in the front axle. This component is what controls the hand-brake and gear.

How Does Cyclocross Gear Function?

How Does Cyclocross Gear Function?
How Does Cyclocross Gear Function?

The gear system of Cyclocross bikes make it easy to apply it. Even though during the race, Cyclocross bikes don’t require much gear.

For example, at a high speed during cyclist races, Cyclocross bikes use a combination of 46/36 chainset with a medium of wide cassette of 11-28 geared.

This combined chainset makes the gear of Cyclocross bikes attain the maximum speed, which a competitive cyclist requires to move faster.

Though, there are many chainset with Cyclocross bikes but the one that makes it zoom downhill at over 40mph is the 46/36.

However, you don’t need this type of gear on a road bike — you’re not sloping downhill.

Cyclocross bike requires little low gear when climbing uphill. Mostly the first gear system is what is required to climb a hill successfully without any course for alarm.

The 46/36 chainset is to ensure the Cyclocross bike maintains a proper jump in between gear. The appropriate gear jumping brings smooth movement and exact shifting.

While this is going on, the rider still maintains normal pedaling cadence at a consistent powering motion.

What Is The Size of Cyclocross Wheel And Tire?

Most Cyclocross wheel sizes are 700c. This wheel size allows riders to race with a high speed.

There are some wheel sizes that are 650c. But cycle racing’s governing body, the UCI has warned that all Cyclocross bike race wheel size must be 700c.

The 650 wheel size is for smaller Cyclocross bikes while the 700c is for the big ones. Invariably, big Cyclocross bikes are what is used for cyclist race. 

The tire of a Cyclocross bike is 33mmm. The allows the wheel to fit to the tire. This is important because the stability of a Cyclocross bike depends on how the tire fits to the wheel.

Most manufacturers of Cyclocross ensure the frame goes with a 33mm tire. The performance of the 33mm tire makes it worthwhile for most buyers.

Likewise, cycle racing’s governing body, the UCI, has warned that Cyclocross’ tires should be above 33mm.

If you’re going for Cyclocross racing, it is highly recommended to buy a frame that size above 33mm tire and 700c wheel according to the cycle racing’s governing body, the UCI.

Cyclocross Frame

During the biking racing, cyclocross bikes are carried. Therefore, the frames are built to be lightweight.

The lighter the frame the easier it’s for riders to carry it during the race. Lighter frame of a Cyclocross is better than the heavier ones.

Some of the materials used to produce the bike are aluminum, carbon fibre frames. The frame doesn’t have an eyelet for mudguards or racks. 

The degree at which the frame turns is called frame geometry. Therefore, a cyclocross bike will have a head tube of about 73° for quick turns.

A frame’s geometry — the angles and lengths of its various tubes — determines how it handles, and here there are significant differences.

Does Cyclocross Bike Have Comfort And Stiffness?

Cyclocross are used for races that last for 30 to 90 minutes, with high-intensity effort. This effort is accelerating the gear while the hand brake is on the other side working when it’s applied. 

These bikes are generally designed with a stiffer chassis. The chassis helps the riders to minimize pedaling power.

The bike isn’t specifically designed for comfort. It’s used for bike races. Comfort is totally out. 

However, you can use it on road riding for a few minutes and get mini comfort unlike other road bikes.

Cyclocross basically have a stiff frame, that’s why most people like it for racing. 

In a nutshell, the bikes don’t give much comfort but the frame is stiff. The stiffness of the frame makes riders enjoy biking races.

Is Cyclocross Brake Effective?

Is Cyclocross Brake Effective?
Is Cyclocross Brake Effective?

The first Cyclocross designs use cantilever brakes. Then it was a conventional rim that’s used to control the brake then.

As technology improves, conventional rim brakes aren’t effective when there is mud, snow, and grass. 

Also, the conventional cantilever doesn’t give more clearance for wider tires. The defective of this cantilever brake makes manufacturers fade it out.

Cyclocross cantilever brake work when the straddle wire and the outward-facing of the lever arms give the space around the tyres that will cause the cantilever to stop it.

Due to the poor performance of cantilever brake, the UCI stops racers from using the brake during biking racing.

Cyclocross manufacturers then produce disc brake. The disc brake uses a rotor and caliper, which is fixed close to the wheel axle. The position of the brake makes the disc brake perform effectively well.

The disc brake is consistent and efficient in all the terrains that Cyclocross bikes operate.

Does Cyclocross Have Storage Feature?

Cyclocross are designs for racing that last between 30 to 90 minutes, which riders ride at a very high intensity.

The competition doesn’t take time, the need to carry luggage isn’t importants.

Hence, there is no need for riders to carry extra tire kit, nutrition products and any superfluous hydration.

For Cyclocross bikes, these items will increase the bike’s weight that may delay the cyclist during the competition.

Rider prefers lighter chassis that will increase speed. The lighter the chassis the more it speeds it runs.

Storage facility in the cyclocross bike causes the rider not to move the way they ought to have moved during the cyclist.

Since Cyclocross are designed for racing, the storage solution was practically removed because all riders go for lighter chassis.

What Differences Between Cyclocross And A Gravel Bike?

The higher version of the Cyclocross bike is the Gravel bike. The Gravel bike is the new breed of Cyclocross bike.

The Gravel bike gives riders comfort. Gravel bike is used for all-round-road. The Gravel bike is similar to a Cyclocross bike.

The only difference is that the Gravel bike promotes greater comfort and adventure than the Cyclocross bike.

The Gravel bike is structurally different from the Cyclocross bike — like the wheelbase of the Gravel is longer. 

Gravel bike has more relaxed geometry and a lower bottom bracket height. Cyclocross gear is lower than the Gravel bike.

However, they both have the same tires and disc brakes. The tires and gears serve the same purpose on both bikes.


If you’re thinking of using a Cyclocross bike on road riding for a century, then better consider another set of bike.

Even though they have higher speed, these sets of bikes aren’t designed for road riding. Riding a Cyclocross bike on the off-road requires more using more effort. 

But if you’re not a regular rider, you can go on a Cyclocross or Gravel bike. Gravel bikes promote more comfort than the Cyclocross bike.

If the reason you need a bike is for comfort, better go for a Gravel bike. This has more features that give rider comfort than a Cyclocross bike.

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