The Nashbar CX1 Cyclocross Bike is a paragon of versatility, dependability, and flat-out fun as it's your ticket to fast-rolling adventure on both on- and off-road endeavors. And this popular 'cross bike features updates for 2017 highlighted by Shimano's revamped Sora R3000 components.
At its core the 2017 CX1 sports a well-crafted, TIG-welded aluminum frame coupled with a 'cross rider's best friend up front -- a carbon fiber fork. For the frame, aluminum strikes the perfect balance between steel and carbon tubing options. Aluminum is lighter than steel and is impervious to the corrosive effects of nasty weather. And while not quite as svelte as carbon fiber, aluminum is much easier on the wallet and can withstand an incredible amount of punishment. The carbon fiber fork, replete with an aluminum steerer tube, also keeps weight down and delivers an impressive ride quality no matter how challenging the terrain. Aesthetic-wise, too, the CX1 hits it out of the park as its gloss black paint job with green accents looks super-sharp.
Component-wise, there's a slew of super-tough aluminum parts that make the CX1 such a remarkable value. First and foremost is the new-for-2017 Shimano Sora R3000 2x9-speed components that are spec'd where they count the most as the shifter/brake levers, front and rear derailleurs, plus the 12-28 cassette. Shimano's trickle down ethos continues as the shifting is smoother, both the shift and brake cables are routed under the bar tape for a clean look, plus there's a striking black-gray gloss finish that catches the eye. The aluminum crankset is plenty tough and sports 48/36T chainrings so you've got the gear ratios to handle any and all scenarios -- be it 'cross racing, hitting the trails, dirt/fire/gravel road exploration, or even rolling along on asphalt. Brake-wise we kept things simple and traditional with a set of Tektro cantilevers front and rear. Rounding out the build are a set of durable, alloy wheels shod with Kenda Kwicker 'cross tires that are your best friend when conditions get tricky.
You'll thank your lucky stars that all the cables are run along the top tube as they're far as possible from the slime and grime kicked up onto the bike in muddy terrain and they're all externally routed for the ultimate ease of maintenance. And when you grab the down tube to shoulder your bike there's no cables to get in the way to boot. While some 'cross bikes take the super purist route and provide no water bottle cage braze-ons, we, on the other hand, believe differently. 'Cross bikes are the true all-arounders of the cycling world and we highly recommend adding a couple of cages and heading out for lengthy adventures in the woods.
TIG-welded alloy frame is stiff, light, and impervious to cyclocross weather
Carbon fiber fork with aluminum steerer delivers a smooth, responsive ride
Shimano Sora R3000 2x9-speed shifting components are durable and reliable