There is much debate about what constitutes a “monstercross” bike. What most can agree on is this is a fun and fast growing segment of the bike world. I thought it would be a fun and helpful exercise to gather a list of such bikes. It’s fun for me because it’s like electronic window shopping.
I work as a Data Governance Analyst for a large worldwide financial services company. In my daily job activities, I see everyday that trying to get everyone to agree on a definition of even elemental items can be like roping the wind, or getting oil from a water spout <edit: with nat gas fracking, the latter actually is possible, so bad analogy>. For the purpose of this post, I am defining my population of bikes as between $1000 and $2000 in cost, can fit large tires, drop bars, and disc brakes. I know disc brakes are entirely not necessary to either to be defined as a monstercross bike, or to function as one; however, this criterion allows me to narrow down the population to a more manageable number. If there is a 3 dimensional continuum of bike genre, these bikes are somewhere where commuter, tourer, cyclocross, and road bikes overlap. Just as a congressman leans left or right, many of these bikes lean towards one genre harder than another.
This is precisely where the beauty of this type of bike lies; they are at home on a B group road ride, or on smooth singletrack. Which bike is right for you? That would depend on where on the multidimensional continuum you lie as a rider.
I am sure there are those who will disagree with my list, or cry about an omission. Please remember, I am not a professional bike journalist who gets to travel expenses paid to product launches or gets faxed press releases!
The table below list the bike manufacturer and model name, frame material, and a link to either brand website, or review. I also included a short and subjective description.
|Kona Rove||steel||new breed of dedicated gravel grinder|
|Raleigh Tamland||steel||another new breed of dedicated gravel grinder recently announced|
|Raleigh Roper||steel||commuter leaning, but rugged and versatile|
|Redline Metro Classic||steel||commuter leaning, but rugged and versatile|
|Specialized Tricross||aluminum or steel||similar in scope to Raleigh Roper above|
|Trek Crossrip||aluminum||multipurpose and versatile, commuter centric|
|Salsa Vaya||steel||follows in lineage of pioneering adventure bike|
|Surly Disc Tracker||steel||like the Vaya, follows in long line of adventure type bikes|
|Giant Anyroad||aluminum||most road leaning bike on the list, brand new design|
Noticeably absent are some good entry level bikes like the Focus Mares AX 2.0 Disc, Felt F65X, etc. I decided to leave them off the table above since they are cyclocross racing centric. However, any of those would also make a great gravel grinding type of bike suitable for races such as R2D2, Iron Cross, etc. so are included below.
|Focus Mares 2.0 AX Disc||aluminum||cyclocross|
|Jamis Nova Disc||aluminum||cyclocross|
|GTR CX Elite||aluminum||cyclocross|
|Redline Conquest Disc||aluminum||cyclocross|
Also absent were the offering from BikesDirect.com. I don’t personally have an issue with this company, but I think buying in this method is different enough to exclude the Motobecanes and Gravitys they offer.