If you are looking for the best cyclocross bikes under 800; well, then you have found the right site. We at Upbeatbike have spent countless hours riding, studying, and researching. Hell, we’ve even sought out expert advice, both from manufacturers and cyclocross riders alike.
What are the results of our relentless search for the best cyclocross bike under 800? That’s simple. We have been able to put together a list of some extraordinary bikes, that you’ll want to get your hands on. Which bike you choose is up to. But if you stick to this guide, then we are sure, neigh we know, that you will find the perfect ride for your needs.
Note: If you don’t feel like reading an entire article and want to get right to our top pick, we’ve got you covered. Check out the Diamondback Haanjo. It is durable, lightweight, and cuts through difficult terrain with ease.
- 1 Best Overall: Diamondback Bicycles Haanjo Alternative
- 2 Runner-Up: Retrospec Bicycles Amok-16
- 3 For Beginners: Takara Genkai Cyclocross Bike
- 4 Cyclocross
- 5 When do Cyclocross Bikes Excel
- 6 Wrap – Up
Best Overall: Diamondback Bicycles Haanjo Alternative
Grace and durability that is what will come to your mind the moment you hop on the Diamondback Haanjo and take on your first test. This is easily my favorite low budget bikes for cyclocross. It utilizes a 6061-T6 frame, giving the rider complete confidence in the strength of his/her bike.
- Strong, durable aluminum alloy frame
- Endurance geometry for added comfort during long rides
- Road fork offers impeccable steering control
- Shimano Sora 9-speed drivetrain gets your legs going and bike moving with urgency
- Mechanical disc brakes offer greater stopping power
- Larger tires help you make your way through the difficult and uneven terrain
The not so Good
Unfortunately, this bike isn’t a dedicated cyclocross bike (most dedicated ones cost in the thousands), so it may leave something to be desired in some cases. Namely, the bike isn’t going to have all the guards and seals that keep gears and bearings from getting dirty. Luckily, that isn’t an expensive adjustment to make either.
I would also feel terrible if I didn’t mention how uncomfortable this saddle can be too. Thankfully, saddles are an easy replacement to make, and they don’t cost all that much either.
There are some shortcomings that this bike has, that much is obvious. But it is an incredible product for the price you are getting it at. The tires make traversing difficult terrain a synch. And because of that, I would recommend this to anyone who is looking for their first low to mid-tier cyclocross bike.
Runner-Up: Retrospec Bicycles Amok-16
The Amok-16 is a 16-speed cyclocross bike that puts every other cyclocross bike I have checked out in this price range to shame. It touts itself as the ultimate commuting machine. But I say it is much more than that. And if all you use it for is your daily commute, you are sorely underutilizing this masterful piece of machinery.
- 16-speed Shimano drivetrain keeps you moving with ease, no matter what type of terrain you are riding on
- Hand-built and double butted chrome frame is highly durable and will always hold up to punishment
- Multi-terrain tires are perfect for the versatility needed when riding
- A sealed bottom bracket hub keeps bearings protected from the mud, sand, water, dirt, and whatever else you may encounter in this wonderful sport
The not so Good
It is possible that this will make zero difference to those of you who are mechanically capable. But the assembly of this bike is a pain in the…. Well, I don’t think I need to say any more than that.
I’m also not a fan of the chain guard that covers the chain. It is cheap looking and somewhat unsightly. Although, that isn’t much of a deterrent for me, especially considered how easy and inexpensive they are to replace.
The bike weighs about 25-pounds, so if you are going to compete with this model, you may want to hit the gym on a regular basis to get your strength up.
This is a very close second for me and was just barely edged out by the Diamondback because of how much it weighs. But if you want a sturdy bike, that will get you through the trails and into the cyclocross scene; then I think you’ll like Retrospec Bicycles Amok-16. I know I did.
For Beginners: Takara Genkai Cyclocross Bike
This dedicated cyclocross bike from Takara Genkai is a perfect bike for cyclocross introduction. It is inexpensive and has all of the basics that you expect in a cyclocross bike. Of course, you shouldn’t expect all of the bells and whistles you would find in some more expensive models, but you can definitely get yourself acquainted to the ‘cross life’ with it.
- Very sturdy frame
- 16-speed Shimano STI drivetrain
- Beautiful looking bike (you will feel good riding this)
The not so Good
Weighing roughly 30 pounds this bike is almost unbearably heavy, even more so when you’ve been exerting all your energy trying to cut through the thick mud on the track for the entire day. I’m not in love with the stock pedals or the saddle either.
This bike is meant for getting started in cyclocross. You know, just getting your feet wet. If you are on the fence about getting into the ‘cross’ world, then this may be a worthwhile investment for you. An inexpensive investment that you can make without too much loss if you choose not to continue your cyclocross endeavors.
But if you already know you like cyclocross and want to delve more into the sport, I would strongly recommend bypassing the Takara Genkai Cyclocross bike. The will temp you I’m sure, but I assure you; you’ll be much happier getting a more competitive model.
In the world of cycling, is there anything that is better than cyclocross? I’m going to say yes, and no… Yes because (for me) there is nothing quite like speeding your way down a mountain. Feeling the wind rush across your face, and trying to get as much air as possible at every opportunity that presents itself.
But cyclocross definitely has its perks over any other type of riding. Let’s go through some of those reasons that we love cyclocross.
Perfect Cycling Sport
Some people love cycling simply because it is relaxing, a great way to enjoy the fall weather while getting an incredible exercise.
Others love cycling for the sport of it. That is the space in which the vast majority of us here at Upbeatbike fit into. But sports riders can be broken down into a few different categories. There are those who love the road, and others love mountains and trails.
What cyclocross has that others don’t is the luxury of going on nearly all terrain. You get obstacles, mud rides, roads, and trails all in one ride. Some events are even open to spectators. Which reminds me, if you are still on the fence about cyclocross, go watch an event. If that doesn’t sway you to the cyclocross side, then I don’t know what will.
Because cyclocross covers the gamut of terrains, the bikes need to be able to withstand any obstacle no matter what it may be. That requires these bikes to be perfectly malleable, and capable of excelling in any given situation.
This quality makes cyclocross bikes perfect for riders who need flexibility. This means, if you only need a bike for your daily commute, then a cyclocross bike is the perfect fit for you.
When do Cyclocross Bikes Excel
The short and easy answer here is everywhere. I mean, that is the entire point of cyclocross, after all, isn’t it?
But here at upbeatbike, we don’t settle for the easy answers. No, you come here because we are able to break it down for you. You know, give you the fine details, the ones that others aren’t thorough enough to bring to your attention.
Any bike that wants to take itself seriously should be able to excel here. Paved surfaces aren’t hard to navigate, so a bike that prides itself on being supremely versatile better be able to take on freshly paved roads.
The wider tires on the wheels of cyclocross bikes allow them to have more area of contact to the ground. This allows you a lot more control over your ride than those smaller, slimmer tires give you. You’ll also notice small knobbies on the tires of a cyclocross bike to help you get even more grip in the sand.
I don’t think there is even one ‘crosser’ out there that don’t look forward to the mud rides at the start of cyclocross season. And that tells you all you need to know. Mud isn’t just a nasty mixture of water and dirt when it comes to cyclocross. Actually, to the cyclocross community, it is an absolute messy day of fun.
Every cyclocross event, of course, is going to have trials and obstacles of some sort. Any bike made for cyclocross is going to have a frame sturdy enough to be able to attack each barrier with the knowledge that your bike will hold up to the pressure.
Wrap – Up
There is nothing quite as exciting as deciding to enter a new realm of cycling. And because cyclocross is one of the most exciting elements within cycling already, I’m sure you are anxious about getting started.
But that doesn’t mean you should just jump into the deep end head first. Get acquainted with the needs of the sport. The cyclocross community is one of the best communities in the cycling world. It is one giant family, that is always looking to add more family members. So get involved with some cyclocross riders and ask them what they think you’ll need. We’ve armed you with plenty of knowledge, but there is nothing quite like hearing what you need straight from the horse’s mouth.
And if you don’t think the bikes listed here fit your needs, check out these articles for more options: Best Budget Cyclocross Bike, Best Cyclocross bike for Commuting, Best Cyclocross Bike for the Money. These articles will help you find something that fits your needs exactly!