Hardtail vs. CX vs. singlespeed — what's best on UK gravel?

Three very different bikes for the Cross Prestige Manchester

Find out which of our intrepid riders fared best at the Cross Prestige Manchester

So, you're planning to take on a UK gravel ride, but you're not sure which of your many weird and wonderful bikes you should ride. BikeRadar is here to help.

Three of our most serious cyclists, Reuben, Josh and Joe, took on the Cross Prestige in Manchester on three very different bikes: a conventional 'crosser, a singlespeed hardtail MTB, and a top-of-the-range XC race hardtail with gears.

The Cross Prestige is a chilled-out cyclocross sportive with a real mixture of terrain. Most riders do it on a CX bike, but is that really the best option? Find out how our gang of three got on.

Matthew Allen

Senior Technical Writer, UK
Former bike mechanic, builder of wheels, hub fetishist and lover of shiny things. Likes climbing a lot, but not as good at it as he looks.
  • Discipline: Road, with occasional MTB dalliances
  • Preferred Terrain: Long mountain climbs followed by high-speed descents (that he doesn't get to do nearly often enough), plus scaring himself off-road when he outruns his skill set.
  • Current Bikes: Scott Addict R3 2014, Focus Cayo Disc 2015, Niner RLT 9
  • Dream Bike: Something hideously expensive and custom with external cables and a threaded bottom bracket because screw you bike industry.
  • Beer of Choice: Cider, please. Thistly Cross from Scotland
  • Location: Bristol, UK

Related Articles

Back to top