If you’re reading this you probably know that Cyclocross is one of the fastest growing cycling disciplines in America. Grassroots racing has exploded all over the country and in just a few years Cyclocross Racing has gone from rag-tag teams operating out of rental cars to fully supported Pro-Tour style teams with the addition of support staff, team vehicles and high-profile sponsors. With the increased interest in the sport bike manufacturers have started marketing and improving their Cyclocross bikes with the latest technologies and nationwide retailer Performance Bicycle is no exception.

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Shown in road-mode as I work on my endurance for this year’s cross season.

The CFX Black is sold as part of the Performance Bicycle house-brand Scattante as a fast-yet-versatile cross racer . A quick Google search shows the brand was introduced around 2000 but Performance has a long history of making/marketing their own bikes, including providing the US Olympic Team with bikes in the early 90s. Performance was also the US National Team clothing supplier from 1997 up until the 2004 Olympics. They make no claims about designing or manufacturing the CFX Black in-house, specifically mentioning that it started with an open-mold design, but Performance has put a good amount of thought into piecing together this bike.

The CFX Black is a sharp-looking bike with a black-on-black color scheme that always seems to be popular. It has a fairly traditional Cyclocross geometry with a 71-degree headtube angle and 74-degree seat-tube (Size 54cm). It has longer chainstays and a high bottom bracket to help with ride quality, clearance and cornering. As pictured it weighs 18.75lbs and with knobby tires and SPD pedals hits right at 19lbs. It’s not going to win any awards for weight but when compared to similar offerings (Ridley X-Fire Disc, On-One Dirty Disco and Foundry Auger specifically) it’s right on par.

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The bike is specced with full SRAM Force, including the carbon crank, and Avid BB7 Disc Brakes. The Frame and Fork are full-carbon and are manufactured in Taiwan. FSA provides the Aluminum seat-post, deep-sweep handlebars and 110mm stem (size 54cm).  Atop the seat post is a Prologo Nago Evo X10 off-road saddle and it comes with a lightweight Stans Alpha 340 Disc wheelset wrapped in Hutchinson Toro CX tires. The wheels are tubeless compatible though the Toros are not, failing miserably when I tried to set them up with sealant.

Bike shown here after a local race with the stock handlebars. They were too deep for my liking and I’ve switched them out with a shallower ergo-bend model.

Bike shown here after a local race with the stock handlebars. They were too deep for my liking and I’ve switched them out with a shallower ergo-bend model.

Those looking for a serious do-it-all bike should consider purchasing the CFX (or most cross bikes) as it’s equally at home on-road and off. I’ve taken it on single-track, fast group rides and raced cross races with no issues. Handling is fast without being too twitchy and I haven’t experienced any issues cornering around tight switchbacks or turns while riding and racing. A relatively short headtube allows for an aggressive fit if desired, though the included stem does not allow for an extremely low position due to a combination of steep headtube angle and a -10 degree drop.

The frame is quite stiff without sacrificing ride quality. Combined with the aluminum bar/stem combo it soaks up a lot of the roughness from the local city roads and rolls over small roots and gravel with ease. The chainstays are BB-height to provide good power transfer and the thin seatstays provide a little flex for comfort over the rough terrain the bike is designed for. The front-end is stiff without being unforgiving and offers plenty of mud clearance when running 32/33mm tires. Based on my caliper the frame will only fit up to 42mm tires so those looking to run narrow 29er tires will run into issues.

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The included 700-32 Toros are good for most conditions, providing good mud and dry ground traction while not slowing you down on-road too much. During my trip to CX worlds they handled the frozen course (during a casual lap before the events) and icy-roads great and were equally at home on a family farm covered in 3” deep mud. If you spend a lot of time on-road you might consider grabbing another wheelset for cross and using the included wheels with road tires. As they are road tubeless compatible (an important distinction) you can even forgo tubes if you purchase tubeless-ready road tires. Switching tires is always an option but does get annoying if you do it more than a few times per year.

The quality of the package is quite outstanding with many little details and name-brand parts making the CFX a great option. The SRAM Force components provide rock-solid shifting and the levers pair well with the BB7 Brakes. After a short burn-in period (as with all disc brakes) they offer great power and modulation. If you order this bike to your home make sure you get the calipers properly centered on the rotor and the pads properly dialed. Mechanical disc brakes do not self-adjust like hydraulics and do require careful initial setup and proper cable tension for best performance.

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Included on the front-derailleur is a K-edge chain catcher (a welcome inclusion for rough cross racing) and the bike is cabled with Jagwire end-to-end housing so you don’t have to worry about mud/grime getting in there and messing up your cables. Inline barrel adjusters are included on both the shifting and brake cables which are run along the top-tube so they never get in the way when shouldering the bike and help to further protect from the elements. The routing of the cables does cause a small amount of cable rub on the headtube, something easily solved with protective stickers. The 48/34 chainrings and 11-28 cassette offer a nice range both for cross and recreational road riding.

The bike is easy to carry over barriers and has a nice flat section under the top-tube for shouldering. However, if you tend to shoulder your bike closer to the front you may find issue with the frame as it’s only flattened on the back half, an interesting oversight in the design.

It currently retails for $2499 online and in-store (though it will most likely need to be ordered). While it doesn’t have a specific warranty that I can find it does fall under Performance’s 100% Lifetime Satisfaction Guarantee so issues should be quickly dealt with by your local store. I’ve found that spare derailleur hangers are available from Performance should you run into muddy conditions or an unexpected fall.

About The Author

This is my personal road and cross bike. I have no affiliation with Performance Bicycle.

Area

Dallas, TX

Disciplines

Cross, XC MTB, Road

Experience Level

Intermediate

Height

6’1”

Weight

230lbs

Bike Size

54cm