Specialized Tricross Road Bike Review
The Specialized Tricross is a road bike which blend the best of off-road capabilities with a capable long distance road-based performance pedigree, allowing you to enjoy a cyclocross style experience which is actually more versatile and priced at an appealing point in the market. Specialized is known for the quality of its construction and this model is no different, allowing it to endure for many hundreds of miles of punishing usage and come out on the other side ready for more.
Although this is essentially the base model in the range, you still get a premium aluminium frame and the FACT carbon fork at the front. Internal cable routing to reduce maintenance and improve aerodynamics is also present and correct, which is not something you would expect to see on all but the most expensive all-carbon racers costing several times more than the Specialized Tricross. The frame is very light when you consider its strength and it manages to offer itself as a stable platform with deft handling. The forgiving carbon fork provides excellent ground clearance for when things get uneven underneath and it is also flexible and sympathetic enough to dumb down the impact of vibrations when you are facing mile after mile of rumble-inducing road.
The budget credentials of the Specialized Tricross are perhaps revealed in the use of Shimano 2300 components. Although for a bit more investment you can opt for the models sporting Shimano 105 or Deore components, at this level there is more than enough oomph in the gearing to please you. Changes are slick and the build quality is good enough to reassure you that they will be at least as durable as the rest of the bike.
The Body Geometry Riva Road saddle is comfortable and adjustable while the alloy seatpost is functional if a little less special than the carbon alternative available on the more expensive models. The wheels consist of Mavic rims and Specialized’s own Borough CX Sport tyres. These high capacity units are definitely better suited to the trail than the road, but they still roll quickly in any circumstance and have the grip necessary to make slippery climbs and tuck you in nicely on the corners. The riding position is relatively upright and this helps to enhance the overall comfort while the handling is setup to straddle the line between neutral and nimble, letting you take your time and battle with the trail, while on the road you feel planted and in touch with the tarmac.
Charcoal grey and black adorn the frame of the Specialized Tricross. It is an unassuming bike on the outside, taking a classical approach to design and not really aiming to shock and surprise in the visual department. What it lacks in the wow-factor it more than makes up for in solid, consistent performance, letting you race on trails or roads and keep up with the competition without having to use a difference cycle to suit the different circumstances.