CX and gravel-grinding might be trendier than a cold-dripped-beard-oiled-indian-pale-ale right now, but don't knock it till you try it! We've become hooked by the abilities of these bikes to crank out a training ride on the road, then head out into the bush when the tarmac turns to dirt. Local Sydney brand Cell Bikes have been winning a lot of praise for their obscenely good value-for-money CX bikes, and we've nabbed their top-model Brunswick 2.0 to test.
The not-so-minor details
Cell Brunswick 2.0
Versatile frame features for commuting, racing, touring or gravel.
Wish it came stock with bigger rubber!
** Updated – read our final review here: http://flowmountainbike.com/tests/tested-cell-brunswick-2-0/
The very reasonable price tag of $2299 alone is going to make the Brunswick an appealing option for plenty of riders eager to try their hand at this kind of riding, but the bike is also extremely well featured, price aside. On the performance front, the alloy frame and carbon fork both run 12mm through axles which is a welcome addition given the power of the SRAM Rival discs, and the BB86 bottom bracket provides a rock solid core to the construction. CX racers will also appreciate the flattened top tube and the down tube routed cables, both of which make it easy to shoulder the bike.
From a practicality standpoint, it’s good to see a full compliment of rack mounts too, should you want to either head bush for a few days, do some touring, or use the bike for commutes. Tyre clearance is roomy as well, so you can easily beef up the rubber from the stock 33c Vittoria rubber – up to a 45c should fit (do it!). The externally routed cables will appeal to the home mechanic, as will the use of a full length housing for the rear mech.
We’ve been riding SRAM Force CX1 groupset for a while now, and the new Rival CX1 1×11 grouppo looks to be virtually identical. It certainly feels the same to shift! Cell have specced a 40-tooth ring with an 11-36 cassette, which is a surprisingly usable spread for both dirt and tarmac.
We’ve converted our Brunswick to tubeless using high-pressure rim tape, but otherwise we’ll be leaving it completely stock for the remainder of our review. Expect a full write up on the Brunswick in just a few weeks!