Mountain Bike Vs Cyclocross Bike – What’s Really The Difference?!

Cyclocross bike or mountain bike hardtail… What’s the difference on MTB trails and should you buy a cyclo-cross bike?

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As mountain bikers and cyclists, what’s the ultimate bike for a winter blast?

Neil loves cyclocross, and he loves mountain biking. Scott has never ridden a cyclocross bike but he does have a very nice Canyon mtb hardtail.

We set up a test loop featuring a few of our local mountain bike trails. It was a varied loop and meant to push the cyclocross bike to its limits.

So, what would come out on top: mountain bike and baggies or cyclocross bike and lycra?

And, where is a cyclocross (dare we say it) better than a mountain bike and vice versa?

Neil and Scott have a blast on their bikes and find out.

Are you a mountain biker who rides cyclocross? A road cyclist who rides a mountain bikes? Chip in with your thoughts on this debate down in the comments, hit LIKE, hit SHARE and join the GMBN Notification Squad!

Watch more on GMBN…
Is a hardtail faster than a full suspension mountain bike?! 📹
Is road cycling harder than mountain biking?! 📹

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Trancerider74 says:

I own both types. A giant trance 29er and a giant revolt gravel bike. Both are great but it really comes down to WHERE you want to ride. If its mostly trails go mountain bike, if mostly road but some trails go gravel. Nice video!

Julian Hickman says:

cyclocross guy loses due to spandex

Amaranthine says:

Both rubbish.

LEvi Howard says:

I am going Light side of the force

William Farbman says:

At first I thought Neil was a GCN presenter.

Pedobear says:

can we just stfu about how shit cyclocross is. it’s my fav sport, and btw, Shurter, Absalon…. they all do some cyclocross??? and how about van der Poel? and for the people that don’t chat shit and have actually tryed it, it’s harder then mtb. cornering, rough descends, like you need to work way more on a cyclocross bike then an mtb. not saying mtb is bad though, because I also do than and love how free you are in the woods and how smooth it is. do what you want woth this. just saying.

Сергей Белый says:

поставьте эксперимент, колёса на 26 против колёс на 29

mtballday says:

I actually would like to test a xc bike

Matthew Grayson says:

What size frame is Scott’s XC bike?

M Rickaby says:

The xc bike isn’t designed for the rocky terrain and gravely berms. Totally pointless comparison !

Goriaas says:

how much slower is a cross bike on the road compared to a road bike? Not too much right?

Nillo Isso says:

so if u want to ride grass go on the cx. i u wanna ride cross country go Mtb. easy chocie

giovanni spinotti says:

so basically the cx bike is slower only on that short dh part and it comes 15 secs behind? in this case it’s the rider 🙂

nikola milošev says:

i like mtb more

skg901 says:

hate it…that 29er these days come with one or two tiny chainrings up front…lowers the overall gears ratio..

Daniel O'Malley MTB says:

Ewwwww lycra

zonagravedad says:

Hi there!
One detail: In these X vs Y tests, you should swap riders between bikes to make a real compraison of the same rider using two different bikes.
If you compare two different riders you just don’t know which part of the result comes from the rider and wich part from the bike…

T N says:

CX will be great for touring on not always smooth road.

Miguel Martinez says:

can you test a 300$ trinx bike

Klwir Qldf says:

Just look at the two people and you know which guy fits on which bike.

RaviRam Chudasama says:

the cross country bike. does it have any back breaks?

Richard Race says:

Could you do 100 miles on either of those bikes?

Gyengye Gabor says:

So if i choose cyclocross do i have to dress into a condom wearing a diaper ?

blekfut says:

This test is worthless – as your tests usually are… You should swap the bikes and repeat the ride.

javon player says:

I been thinking about a flat bar on a road bike for more handling is that a bad Idea? I seen cyclocross bikes with flat bars for that reason, what would be some of the tradeoffs?

Ningthoujam A says:

why Neil is wearing GCN suits ??

Surya Vanamali says:

Last vs Last. Make it happen GMBN!

mattmattmatt131313 says:

Coming from enduro/motocross world…watching kiddies on bicycles arguing who is faster=hilarious.

…well back to watching Dakar..bye

David Fregoli says:

Where I recently moved to the trails are pretty tame and I have to ride 15kms of flat to get there and back so I got a Cross bike and I’ve been having loads of fun with it, I’m not really into CX as a sport (I just find barriers, running and group racing lame) but I use it as a super light mtb and it holds up pretty nicely.

frans gender says:

does your mtb has a lockout

PsykoWheels says:

I used to have a road bike with disc brakes I threw some knobby tires on it and put a mountain bike crankset on it. I then proceeded to nearly lose my life while taking it on a downhill / mountain bike trail. Best day of my life bahahaha

rangga harahap says:

wow keren

Brandon Armstrong says:

Bought a cross as my entry bike, rode it for 3 years and no complaints it got my ass in gear. The rims, oh the rims, rip to all my fallen cross rims lol. I roll with a mtn and a road now, but cross is a fun toy. Keep in mind you can put road tires on it to speed it up, but if you go into the woods pretty much leave it at home.

James Whittington says:

@ newt . Check out the Charge Cooker line of bikes. Pretty decent!

SunzOffski says:

I have a boardman cx frame, could I put telescopic forks on the front and use it for MTB? I would just run everything mtb but wasn’t too sure if the frame would be up to it. It’s XCG AI T6HT 2XB, I only do light riding in the woods, no big jumps or anything.

Smokey Canuck says:

Where’s the winter?

RaviRam Chudasama says:


kevin dickenson says:

Just board a boardman cx team

Ricardo Escobar says:

I wonder what could happen if a pro CX rider (a real one, no offenses) vs a pro XC rider did the same course, do you?

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