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Single-Speed Gold Coast review the SSCX

The SSCX (Singlespeed Cyclocross) is a true all rounder, whether you’re commuting, exploring or cyclocross racing – the SSCX is made to be ridden hard. Recently reviewed by Singlespeed Gold Coast here’s what they had to say…

What’s the SSCX about?

The SSCX is a tilt at providing us a single-speed cyclocross bike. It’s also a gravel grinder or tough city commuter, if you want to take it that way.

The gearing doesn’t give too much of a hint toward where REID place the SSCX. I was comfortable riding this bike on road. With the knobby tyres it rolled along quite nicely. Off-road the gearing suited gravel roads and this is where I enjoyed the bike the most. The gearing let me conquer a few small climbs when the gravel turned back to tarmac. And I could imagine it’d just about suit racing cyclocross. Though to be honest I think I’d need to drop a couple of teeth off the front cog before I got stuck into sucky mud.

I reckon REID are having a bit of an each way bet with the SSCX.  They’ve shot for the mid-ground and I think that tells us where REID sees this bike. It’s whatever you want it to be.  Swap a cog if you want to dedicate it to cyclocross perhaps. Swap the tyres if you want to ride it on roads. Or just enjoy the bike as is, ride the damned thing everywhere like I did, from home to beach and lake and cross-country and then back through the bike trails of suburbia.

There’s the right fixings to add a rack, further indication that REID expect the SSCX to be versatile.

Riding SSCX

The first few moments after I got on this bike I felt like the front end wallowed. The feeling dissipated soon enough. But I was left wondering if this wasn’t just a road bike with a raked out front end. The answer isn’t obvious until you get it off road. That’s when the bike makes perfect sense. Handling off-road is natural and intuitive. It’s not mountain bike and it’s not road bike. (One likes to draw parallels, you see…) It feels a lot more like a road bike than last CX bike I threw a leg over. The main thing here is, the bike goes where you point it. Ever ridden a road bike off-road? You have to kind of hang on and steer the bike by force of will. With the SSCX you can point where you want to go and reasonably expect the bike to go there. I even got a little whip happening on some trail obstacles once my confidence was up.

The bike felt so comfortable off road I had to remind myself that it wasn’t a mountain bike. The bike and the trail reminded me soon enough. I’m used to having 140mm of boing front and rear to soak up the bouncy bits. With nothing but myself as suspension I was reminded how quickly things can get out of shape when you hit some rocks or roots at speed.

The more I rode the SSCX the more fun I had. Flat off-road trails are a bore on a proper mountain bike. On the SSCX they were a treat. I discovered the pleasures of exploring gravel tracks, finding unexpected trails in places I thought I knew pretty well. Big knobbies and loads of front and back bounce are also a complete bore on sealed roads. On the SSCX the ride home was just an extension of the rest of the ride.

As a road bike it’s not as fast as a fixie would be. You’re carrying more weight and you’ve got bigger tyres and that slightly lower gear. The flip side is the bike helps you find new ways to navigate the streets. You start finding ways to do things you couldn’t on a more delicate ride. So rather than picking my way through street works, I barrelled through them. I feared gutters less (though to be honest my bunny-hop was woeful) and I could trackstand for days on this thing.

Check out the full review here.

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