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.
- 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