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Cross Bikes Are The Best!

   Last modified: February 4, 2021

Cross Bikes Are The Best!

I've said it before, and I'll say it again. Every cyclist needs a cross bike. Even if you never have any intentions of racing cyclocross, they are still an absolute essential steed for your stable.

I was riding the Riverbottoms this Friday enjoying another beautiful sunset from the saddle of my Macho King, and I was struck by how much I love this freaking bike and how happy I was to be out in the woods, exploring, and getting to catch this wonderful moment on planet earth. I was also thinking about how a lot of times when we talk about cross we talk about "racing." Now I myself am an avid cross racer, this is my fifth full season of doing 15 plus races a year, I captain a cross racing team, and absolutely love the discipline. However, pinning on a number on the weekend, is only the smallest part of why this bike has meant so much to me, and why I recommend a cross bike to everyone. 

This photo above from this past Friday at the Minnesota Riverbottoms

It's the long rides, on road and specifically off-road. It's the fact that I can jump on it and have the whole world of terrain open as options for the day. It's the long days in the saddle riding gravel or trail. More specifically, it's the mixed terrain rides where we start on pavement in the city, then hit gravel, then hit doubletrack, then hit single track. No other bike is as capable or pleasant in all scenarios. It's true that "all-road" bikes can handle a mix of terrain, but they just don't have the geometry to really rip dirt aggressively like a cross bike.

It's the mountains it has allowed me to climb, the views it has allowed me to see, the peace that comes from getting out of the city and into the woods, the fact that it is the best travel bike, and the fact that I've never been bummed to have chosen it for the day.

They are great for racing of course, but like all things All-City, racing isn't the reason in and of itself. Racing is simply a manifestation of what we do every day of our lives, our passion for the bicycle and the places and people it takes us toward. If you're not sure why we make such a fuss about these bikes. I hope these photos will help you understand.






photo by Shuji

IMG_20161228_091445 - Alix
photo by Alix Magner

Photo by SK


photo by John Watson

photo by John Watson

photo by Shuji

Your author out in the hills above Los Angeles (photo by Moi)

Comments image

Ryan Reardon

April 20, 2017

great article. The pics of the macho man look like like my photo stream…absolutely love my 2014 MM. Two wheel sets allow me to commute to work (30 miles RT), and then quickly go party. It’s the mullet of all bikes…business in the front, party in the back.

So what if I have a Salsa Colossal for long road rides…there’s a Mr. Pink in my future…and a nature boy with big ass tires down the road too. Ideally one with 853 Reynolds steel. 


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