Yes, it’s not strictly a mountain bike. But, seeing as this bike has knobbly tyres and loads of mud clearance and is designed for riding off-road, not on the road, we consider that it ticks enough of the important boxes to let us feature it here on Bikemagic.

But why a cyclo-cross bike? Good question, but consider this: if you’re a longtime mountain biker being tempted by the prospect of a road bike but put off by the skinny slick tyres, then a cyclo-cross bike is the perfect bike that happily straddles the grey area between a mountain bike and road bike. Offering much of the speed of a road bike but with some of the off-road capability of a mountain biking, we reckon they’re just the ticket for a lot of us looking to expand the collection of bikes.

Granted, you’re not going to be chucking a cyclo-cross bike down any vertical rock-strewn trails any time soon, but show a ‘cross bike the right kind of trail, and we’re talking about bridleways, towpaths and forest trails here (the sort of stuff that doesn’t trouble a bike with 120mm of travel and 2.35in tyres) and they really are a lot of fun. They’re also great for a mixed terrain commute, a blast around the local park or woodland and are a good way of mixing up your riding.

Now that we’ve piqued your interest (we have, haven’t we?) let us introduce the gorgeous (in our eyes, and our eyes never lie) Giant TCX. It’s been moulded from carbon fibre using Giant’s latest developments in carbon layup processes to a specification gleaned from development time with the Rabobank professional cyclo-cross race team. A prerequisite for a cyclo-cross bike is sorted cable routed, the TCX takes care of this matter with all cables routed internally, keeping them shielded inside the frame tubes should ensure consistent shifting and braking no matter how bad the conditions get.

Its versatility is limited somewhat. This has been designed from the outset as a race-ready cyclo-cross bike. There’s no bottle cage mounts for example, it having been designed strictly for racing and cyclo-cross racers don’t use water bottles during their one hour races. Seeing as nearly all of us use hydration packs this doesn’t strike us as a limiting factor.

Elsewhere, the geometry is designed to offer fast and sharp handling, so a lively and engaging ride is assured. It might startle those used to slacker beasts but coming from a short travel full-susser or hardtail, it won’t so much. The seatmast is an integrated design with cut-off marks. The top tube is ovalised, and the MegaDrive downtube is hugely oversized with a massively reinforced bottom bracket area. The bike is finished with Shimano Dura-Ace and FSA components and Giant-branded finishing parts with TRP EuroX Mag brakes and a Shimano Dura-Ace C24 wheelset.

Interested. Head over to www.giant-bicycles.com to find out more.