Marketing ******it and "adventure road"


What's the difference twixt an adventure road bike and a cyclocross bike? And why are some big brands currently marketing the heck out of new models as some kind of groundbreaking new breed of bike when as far as I can tell, they are just cyclocross bikes?

I'd guess it's mostly marketing, see also 'gravel grinders' (American thing - sorry). There may be differences in geometry though as I'd expect an 'adventure road' to be more all day rides with quite possibly camping gear, true cyclo-cross bikes are intended for short races.
A couple of years ago I had a test ride at Shand on a Stoater and the cyclo-cross bike they did at the time. The cyclo-cross was much more head down arse up and for me wouldn't have been a comfy all day ride. I still lust after a Stoater Rohloff.


Ex-Fatman Adventure Road bike IS a cyclocross bike. They 'might' have a slightly longer wheel base as CX bikes tend to have steeper head tube angles for control, but I really can't see much difference. My CX is perfectly nice to ride all day long as they have a more upright position than road bikes


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Buying a bike designed for mixed surface intense racing could be quite intimidating for some - they may not realise its other potentials.

I think its smart, and dare I say, necessary!


Legendary Member
It's not like all bikes within a specific genre are the same other than the colour and the name on the bike

Marketing to a consumer population seeking ever more choice :smile:

(And stuff to talk about on internet forums)


Senior Member
East Yorkshire
As far as I can tell the Adventure bike is the american name foe a cyclocross bike, althoguh they use them more on gravel than mud. A good way of getting cyclists to choose one as their +1 bike until they realise they then have two CX bikes!


Smash the cistern
My CdF is quite heavy steel, so easily repairable, but a bit heavy for a proper CX race. It has rack and guard mounts front and rear which are unneccessary for CX, and downtube mounted cables which would get fouled by mud in a dirty CX race. It's also geared pretty high, with a 50/34 compact. I believe, though I'm not sure, that the disc brakes were illegal in CX when it was introduced.

I'm happy with it on bad road surfaces and mild off road stuff, but I don't think I'd like it in full on off road muddy stuff.


Well-Known Member
Cyclocross bikes are a little limited for me (I don't race off road at the moment) in that they can't really do anything a MTB can do and a MTB can do everything a CX bike can do and then some more. In certain situations they have an appeal and CX specific races probably won't be won on a MTB but I've alwasy felt CX bikes were a sales gimmick. For those on the fence I always advise getting a MTB and having a blast in the rough stuff.


Eh up
A proper CX bike will be designed specificity for CX racing, short headtube, high bb. no guards or bosses to fit them, no bottle cage bosses, cable routing internal or along the top tube, lower geared chainset ie 46/36, sometimes a shaped top tube to aid carrying,

An Adventure bike can have all of the above but usually has bottle, guard & rack bosses, the head tube is probably a bit longer and the geometry a little more relaxed.

IMO you can use a CX as a go anywhere Adventure bike if you set it up correctly but its much more suited to 1hr eyeballs out blasts.

You can use an adventure bike for CX but don't expect it to be an ideal CX bike.


also available in orange
TBH I see it as a bit of a gimmick. Out of the three bikes I own, my CAADX could do everything I want it to including riding on gravel, which it frequently does.



Über Member
My TCX I just sold had a more limited range of gearing, high BB, and it was quite a compact fit. It's amazing fun through mud but terrible on road or rocky surfaces. It fulfilled a specific purpose well. An adventure road bike is more road bike like in terms of fit, lower bb, longer wheelbase and gearing is more like a road bike. I've even seen some with triples. Also most come with rack mounts etc, so it's kind of like a go anywhere bike.
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