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Get Into Cyclocross With the Fuji Cross 1.5 Disc

If you’re looking to dip your feet into the muddy world of ‘cross, you want a bike that’s good enough to put you on a start line, can grow with you as you progress for a couple of seasons, but also—if you decide ‘cross isn’t for you—is versatile enough to ride some gravel and light singletrack or be equipped as a commuter, so you don’t end up throwing your cash away with your ‘cross-racing dreams. You want the Fuji Cross 1.5.The aluminum frame is nice and sturdy, with fat tubes that can really take a beating. I’m new to ‘cross myself, so I had much to learn about skills during testing. The frame emerged unscathed through my occasional flubs. The roomy front triangle made shoulder carries easy, too. I also appreciated the handlebars—they felt wider than those on most similarly sized road bikes, which helped me feel more controlled in turns. Fender mounts mean the bike can also serve as a wet-weather bike or a fun commuter.RELATED: Find Your Next Bike in Our 2017 Buyer’s GuideThe 700x32c Challenge Grifo tires sport a great all-rounder tread that’s popular among ‘cross racers for good performance in most conditions, except for very deep mud. They’re a little too knobby for my everyday commute—I’d switch them out for any pavement rides longer than a few miles.Need a push to try ‘cross? Watch this video:

The 1x drivetrain with SRAM’s single-lever DoubleTap system makes shifting simple. Without a front derailleur, you’ll have one less component to gunk up and a lower chance of a chain drop—an excellent feature when you’re going into the red during a tough race or workout. A full-carbon fork (including the steerer) helps lighten the bike to a respectable weight for its price. And while the the 160mm rotor mechanical disc brakes won’t beat hydraulics in terms of strength and control, they still work well, even in wet and muddy conditions. Deep in the woods, I came across several descents laden with boulders that I really had no business trying. However, I was always able to stop quickly and use these obstacles as another opportunity to practice my dismounts and remounts.

All of this adds up to a bike that’s an excellent introduction to racing between the barriers. At $1,419, not only is the Cross 1.5 a great starter for the aspiring ‘cross enthusiast, but it’s one that can keep up with you as you grow into the sport.

What You Need to Know
PRICE: $1,419.00
AT A GLANCE
  • SRAM Rival 1 drivetrain simplifies shifting without sacrificing range
  • Oval Concepts 327 Disc wheels have 100x12mm and 142×12 mm thru axles
  • TRP Spyre-C twin-piston mechanical disc brakes provide power and modulation
  • FC-440 cross carbon fork is light and stiff
WHERE TO GET IT