As much as we hate saying goodbye to summer, there are a few upsides to another grim northern hemisphere winter. For many, it marks the start of cyclo-cross season.
Anyone new to the sport might be interested in the entry-level Mares AX4 Focus sent our way this week. At £899.99, the full alloy bike is new for this season and with big tyre clearances, is designed with UK riding in mind.
Shimano Tiagra takes care of shifting plus rear and front derailleurs, while FSA components make up the bulk of the remaining spec, including a Gossamer crankset, stem, Vero compact bars and seatpost. With the UCI lifting the ban on disc brakes in cyclocross before the start of last season, most new bikes have them fitted, so it's no surprise to see Tektro Lyra brakes fitted to the AX4. Focus' own brand Concept wheels and saddle, and Continental's Cyclocross Speed tyres complete the AX4's spec.
Look out for a review of this bike in an upcoming issue of Cycling Plus magazine.