Edinburgh’s cyclocross-inspired Revolution Cross is designed as a tough all-rounder. It has much to recommend it and little to hold against it. It's a chunky beast, but the guys at the Bike Coop have got all the basics right: ideal gear range, decent brakes and good shifting all hung on a good frame. A comfortable, convincing ride with oodles of versatility.
Edinburgh Bicycle makes some of the best value road bikes and tourers around, sporting red stars as if they were back in the USSR. Split the difference twixt Edinburgh’s road bike and tourer and you have this super-competitively priced cyclocross-inspired bike. Out of the box this purposeful looking machine looks like it could be a great day tripper, whether you’re tootling on the tarmac or off-roading through fields. It’s also easily cheap enough to qualify for the Cycle to Work scheme.
At a tad under 13kg the Cross isn't light, but it carries its weight well and its kit choice – typical of an Edinburgh bike – is excellent for both its purpose and for the money. The 28/38/48 triple chainset is a great choice for a bike that you could use for touring, shopping, pootling up hills or tackling some rough stuff. Not only that, but the 11-32 cassette means you don’t run out of gears whether you’re on a seriously steep incline or cranking it up downhill. It does mean there are large gaps between gears, but Shimano’s 2300 STI shifters handle them with their usual easygoing dexterity.
Brakes and tyres are also top notch. Both the Tektro Oryx brakes and Maxxis Raze rubber are chosen for their mud clearance, but they’re top performers in most conditions. The cantilever brakes are a little spongy to begin with but offer loads of control when they start to bite, and they come with extra ‘interrupter’ brakes on the top of the bar, which offer great stopping power with just a couple of fingers. Forget the suicide levers of yore, these are great if you like to ride on the tops of the bar. The tyres surprised us, not by how good they are over gravelly and muddy surfaces, but how slick they are over tarmac. If you’re not going to off-road on the Cross then you could replace them with some lighter, faster rolling 32mm touring tyres for a slight performance boost.
Handling is on the leisurely side, thanks to the chunky steel fork and tyres, but not unduly so. Those tyres do contribute to a very comfortable ride, though, as long as you get on with what we feel is an overly narrow and racy Cross saddle. But that’s a tiny quibble on a well-specced bike, which includes a gusseted frame with all the braze-ons you could require, including lowrider mounts on the fork.
This article was originally published in Cycling Plus