Specialized Tricross Sport Disc review

Multi-use Californian cruiser

Our rating 
3.0 out of 5 star rating 3.0
GBP £1,000.00 RRP | USD $1,300.00

Our review

A comfortable cruiser but it’s underspecced for the money
Skip to view product specifications

The Tricross has been around in various incarnations for the better part of a decade. This year’s disc brake model looks expensive, with its stealthy matt-black alloy frame, highlighted with striking glossy red and black decals.

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  • Highs: A quality frame with good provision for mudguards and a rack
  • Lows: Stodgy, lifeless tyres, and we expect a carbon fork at this price
  • Buy If: You want a comfortable, upright urban cruiser and you aren’t in a hurry

Despite having few racing pretensions, the top-tube is radically flattened, making this a shoulder-friendly bike; fully internal cabling also helps, with nothing to snag on the down-tube. The chunky, untapered fork is full alloy and has mudguard bosses high on its legs, well out of the way of the disc calliper, and there’s a full set of rear rack and mudguard eyelets too.

Internally routed cables won’t snag on your clothing
Internally routed cables won’t snag on your clothing:
Robert Smith

Internally routed cables won’t snag on your clothing

Setting the bike up, we became aware of a problem with the front Avid BB7 brake – the tab on the outboard pad was fouling on the calliper mount and unable to retract fully, so the brake could not be adjusted properly. The solution was to cut the tab off, which makes pad removal fiddly, but doesn’t affect braking. We drew Specialized’s attention to this and were told that the issue is being addressed, and that corrective shims are now being fitted as standard.

With the brake sorted, it was time to hit the road, where it became immediately apparent that the Tricross is not built for speed. A short reach plus a tall head tube and a 20mm conical headset spacer puts you somewhere between quite relaxed and bolt upright, and although the clever Elite-Set stem includes a reversible shim that offers two different angles (or four, if you count flipping the stem), even in its lowest configuration you’re still far from cheating the wind; add in the wooden-feeling 32mm Borough CX boots that weigh almost half a kilo each (we checked), and the Tricross doesn’t so much roll as trundle.

Though the Axis wheels are serviceable, the 32mm CX rubber doesn't make for lively experience
Though the axis wheels are serviceable, the 32mm cx rubber doesn’t make for lively experience:
Robert Smith

Though the Axis wheels are serviceable, the 32mm CX rubber doesn’t make for lively experience

If you don’t mind the lack of urgency, this bike is an agreeable enough ride. The upright position affords a good view in traffic and the handling is entirely devoid of drama, good for pootling along cycle paths and waving at everyone you encounter. The all-metal fork isn’t nearly as jarring as you might imagine either, although here again, those rumbling Boroughs do little to enhance ride quality.

Stately, upright semi-urban cruising is the Tricross's natural habitat
Stately, upright semi-urban cruising is the tricross’s natural habitat:
Robert Smith

Stately, upright semi-urban cruising is the Tricross’s natural habitat

The Tricross uses modest nine-speed Sora kit, with a compact 50/34 chainset. It’s cheaper looking than Tiagra, but the shifting action is similar. The 11-30 cassette will satisfy most needs, while the Axis wheels are basic and weighty but perfectly serviceable. Inline brake levers are standard, and while these offer respectable power, their long reach will be a challenge to those with small hands. They also tend to interfere with the gear cables, which rattle on rough ground.

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The Specialized Tricross is a sober and effective commuter, but with a nine-speed groupset and a metal fork it feels underspecced for the money.

Product Specifications

Product

Name Tricross Sport Disc (14)
Brand Specialized

Available Sizes 46cm 49cm 52cm 54cm 56cm 58cm 61cm
Saddle Specialized Riva Plus
Wheelbase (cm) 101.5
Top Tube (cm) 52
Standover Height (cm) 79
Seat Tube (cm) 49
Chainstays (cm) 44.5
Bottom Bracket Height (cm) 28.5
Weight (lb) 23.37
Year 2014
Wheelset Specialized Axis disc, 32 spokes front & rear
Weight (kg) 10.6
Stem Specialized Elite-Set Oversized 9.5cm, adjustable to 4 angles
Shifters Shimano Sora 3500 9-speed, crosstop levers
Seatpost Specialized Alloy 27.2mm
Seat Angle 74
Rear Wheel Weight 2390
Bottom Bracket Shimano Hollowtech 2 External
Rear Tyre Specialized Borough CX 32mm
Rear Derailleur Shimano Sora 5600, Medium cage
Headset Type Specialized integrated
Head Angle 72
Handlebar Specialized Oversized 42cm
Front Wheel Weight 1810
Front Tyre Specialized Borough CX 32mm
Front Derailleur braze-on
Frame Material Specialized A1 Premium Aluminium
Fork Aluminium
Cranks Shimano Sora 3500 50/34 170mm
Chain KMC
Cassette Shimano HG50 9-speed 11-30
Brakes Avid BB7 Road disc
Frame size tested 52cm