If you ride a cyclocross bike with water bottle cages, at some point someone will inevitably tell you that you are doing something wrong. It is as if the very act of installing cages on the bike is breaking some kind of sacred Belgian cyclocross rule. Yeah, I know that bottle cages get in the way if you are constantly shouldering the bike in a race, but why do some people think that a cross bike should never, under any circumstances, be equipped with bottle cages? I think it is fair to assume that most people who purchase cyclocross bikes never actually race them, so why do some manufacturers choose to produce cross frames without water bottle cage bosses? I know that most models that don’t accept cages are geared toward the high end racing market, but personally, I would never buy any cyclocross frame that would not accept two bottle cages.
This time of year, I really enjoy riding my cross bike and not just for cyclocross racing. It is great for cool weather road rides that include long stretches on dirt forest service roads. It is fast like a road bike, but can handle a bit of off road action. I would say that, out of all my bikes, this is the most versatile one. To borrow the label from a friend, I consider it to be sort of an all around, go anywhere adventure bike. If you enjoy road and mountain biking and don’t have a cross bike, I would encourage you to get one. Just make sure that the frame you choose will let you bring some water along for the ride.
While I am talking about my cross bike, I will mention one more thing. I am glad that Trek chose to upgrade the components spec on the new XO1 models. I bought mine from a friend as a frameset and built it up with Ultegra 9 speed, but originally this bike came with very low-end components (Sora I think). I have nothing against entry level components, but I think that they were probably a questionable spec for off road use. Now Trek puts Shimano 105 on the XO1 and offers the XO2 with Ultegra. Much better Trek.