How Road Groupset Fails On Cyclocross Bike. Review After CX Race.

CX is a very specific cycling discipline and in my opinion it needs a specific components. Let me show you what doesn’t work very well during cyclocross races…

I test – you buy on Amazon:


Patrick Arredon says:

I liked the channel better before the name change to sickbiker. Sounds silly get some medicine dude

White Knight says:

You brought up very good points especially the handle bar and shifter. I ride MTB and have never understood why manufacturers would want to use drop handle bars for cyclocross bikes? It makes sense if it’s on a gravel bike since the terrain and speed in which you will be travelling in is much faster n have less obstacles. Straight handle bars should be used for cyclocross bikes.

Yc Pan says:

[ How “Shimano Road Groupset” Fails On Cyclocross Bike ] that‘s the reason someone uses RD-M8050(Deore XT Di2) on Cyclocross bike. And mechanical guys? SRAM loves you!

fiddler on the bike says:

well, as we are not sponsored and so free to chose our components I can’t see any problem. Shimano shifters are crap in the mud (to be honest, in terms of ergonomy they are crap also on the road…), so I use Campagnolo Ergos – works perfect even on the roughest terrain and with thick gloves. As rear deraillier I use the XT or XTR (works smooth with Campa if you use Shiftmate) – strong, shits perfect… cassette? Also XT (the older ones, which are available with good ranges)

Wlad Polyanzew says:

There are 1by systems and mtb shifters on high-end CX bikes

Dinie Hilmi says:

Cant you use mtb deraliure

GoustiFruit φ says:

Yeah I watched the race and all I could think was that the bike was not adapted to the terrain.

Hans Power says:

That was very helpful! I’m currently saving up for a Gravel Bike and I’m looking for SRAM components – a SRAM Rival group set to be specific. Currently the Votex VRX Pro would be my bike of choice. I wasn’t quite sure, though if the double tab system would be an actual advantage over a Shimano groupset beyond just being more simple and easier to use. Well, that answers the question!

Andrzej Sawicki says:

Shorten your shifter reach, and you won’t have a problem with shifting or braking.

The road and MTB casettes are literally the same unless you’re after special gearing. It’s the derailleur with a weak spring that can generate issues.

Алексей Петухов says:

You can use shimano mtb rear derailleur 7-9 speed with shimano road shifters 7-10. So now i’m looking for the 9 or 10 speed shifters to make adventure bike on mtb frame with 28″ wheels with mtb cranks and drop off handlebar.

Heros Stratos says:

Very goog, thank you!

Norevlimitr says:

I don’t even ride cyclocross only strictly road. I used to ride Shimano till I rode SRAM for the first time. I only ride SRAM now.. I just like the shifter feel better, I really didn’t like the tiny shift lever on Shimano groups.

raptuspl says:

It is better to descent on the drops as you shift your weight down. If Shimano sucks at cx specific groupsets the Sram is the way to go. I used the 105/ultegra hydro discs for 2 seasons and they were alright. Now I switched to Sram Force and it is way better 😉

Hardi Erstu says:

My rear derailleur(shimano 5800) has failed shifting, because some small rock has got stuck between it’s spring and moving parts for shifting… when just casually riding on gravel..
Seems Gevenalle makes something cyclocross specific parts.. Although, I don’t understand how their shifter is better… Maybe there’s some more small companies who make something cyclocross specific. ^_^

Jogie Glen Mait says:

What’s your Strava link?

kamyk ll says:

ja nie rozumiem daj napisy

Tomi Saaranen says:

There isn’t snow?!!?!!??!!

G Ledesma says:

Sick biker is there any chance that you can put a dropper post on your cycle cross bike to see how low you can get or how far back you can get over the rear tire to balance yourself out when riding a steep descent in the drops. I know there’s a few manufacturers out there that will have a dropper post under cyclocross bike as a standard piece of equipment and it wanted to see if that was something that would help out a cycle cross Rider with descents in the hoods

javon player says:

I am glad you pointed this out now I will be more careful

Christian Holmstedt says:

CX looks fun but also strange.
UCI mandates dropper bars for CX. Now seriously… who actually think dropper bars off-road is a good idea to begin with?
Flat bars and MTB component makes more sense. Oh wait…. that’s a XC hardtail.

Joe Mansky says:

Sometimes, a CX bike seems to me like it wants to be one bike for everything – but I gave up this wish a few years ago and just use a mountain unicycle and a dh bike off road (yes, climbing feels weird although I use a wide range cassette :) ) and a simple road racing bike on road. This way I’m able to go fast everywhere I want to 😀

Max Grass says:

I disagree with almost all of you points.

J B says:

Some great points, thanks.

If you don’t like the STI from 105 etc, use the cheapest Shimano shifters that have a button on top for the down shift, much easier to use from the hoods with gloves. Thats what my kids used for cross when they were young, when SORA had buttons (but new SORA have paddle as well). Otherwise wear thinner gloves?

Better clearance on cassette – use 9 or 10 speed? I had to go to 10 speed, but am avoiding 11 speed as long as possible as i think it is a down grade on a CX bike where you want strength and clearance. Also because with 10 speed road Shimano you can use MTB rear derailleurs from the 9speed groupset, to use a 36t cassette, good for kids and steep courses. All my cross bikes have XT RDs, they are more robust/ better in mud. Shadow version tucks in better to avoid damage when crashing. Why risk using a road RD?

At regional level juniors in UK are allowed to use MTBs, and they are just as fast. But the better riders usually have CX bikes so that’s what you see winning, and they are mandatory in national series

Tri-Shake-Atops says:


Daiga Rutka says:

Hi Deny, first, thanks for the videos, really impressing. For CX shifters, seems out on the market there is something to try:

John Cherko says:

I’ve ridden Shimano and Sram 1X on CX bikes and I felt the Sram groupset was superior for off road. The shifting felt cleaner and way less chain slap if any. I ride an old Trek Gary Fisher Presudo, steel frame with carbon fork and alloy steerer with Sram rival groupset. I’ve had expensive full carbon CX bikes and yeah the saying holds true, steel is real. 38T in the front with 11 to 42 in the rear. I can climb anything, and still hit up to 38mph on some straight away gravel trails. Other big improvements I found are putting challenge gravel grinder 38c tires. The big balloon tires (for a CX bike) really make the bumpy terrain more manageable and comfortable. Unfortunately this size tire is too wide to comply with most racing regulations. The other thing that helped speed my times up was a body float suspension seat post. It really helps you stay in the saddle over more aggressive terrain while staying seated and maintaining a high cadence.

Anton Peterson says:

Danny, sram have a specific cx groupset; it’s a 1x though. And with regards about tyre size I believe that at the elite level the maximum width is 33mm

Freddy Coke says:

Hey Danny, great videos I really enjoy to watch your channel, but when can we see the full review of the airless roadbike tire? I am very curious about it.

Irffan Ismail says:

There are Sensah Empire shifter from Chinese..they are combined Sram double tap and Shimano big lever for shifting.. check it out..

Edgar Studillo says:

for me claris its ok because i dont need short gaps in the cassette while ridind this type of traks, also its cheaper to replace. Some people prefer to ride friction shifters (gevenalle gx) wich are supposed to be specific components for touring and cx

CRaul87 says:

a 27.5 + mountain bike seems to make much more sense for a muddy circuit like that.

Chris Till says:

What is the legality situation with using flat bars and MTB components? Could you do that as long as the tyres aren’t too wide?

Darek80 says:

Thanks for sharing your observation and another interesting video.

The TROLL says:

I think cx is all about tradition. Cx bikes for those offroad courses doesnt make much sense

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