Valleybikes found a gem recently in the form of a Giant Aluxx 3.1. This totally unexpected find was a gift to us from the universe.
A good coconut farmer from the South expressed that he wanted a cyclocross bike for use in their province.
Can You Call A Bike With A Straight Bar, Cyclocross???
Then this Giant hybrid bike (preserved by time) landed on the right moment. It’s not exactly a gravel bike, but we consulted Mr. Farmer and he gave it a go.
We stumbled upon a stock unit of the Giant Aluzz that was in mint condition. It is like buying the bike from the shop in the year 2011.
Aluminum frame, Vee brakes, hybrid city bike that runs on 700c rims. The bike had a personal identity crisis on what is its true nature for it sports a straight and quite narrow handlebar.
It accelerates fast, thanks to the triple chainring FSA crank. Mash the pedals and the big ring can instantly increase the speed of the bike quickly. The shifting is crisp and dialed in, credit to the SRAM X3 drivetrain. No complain with that! Even this entry level version works wonders and it shifts so purely for a ten year old system.
Valleybikes got new Kenda 700c x 35 cross tires with short knobs so we rocked those tires in the current set-up.
We adjusted the stem length and made it longer so that the new tall owner can be more comfortable riding it, even with a compact frame.
The vee brakes works like a charm and it definitely halts the bike when needed (no problem in the stopping department= no need for disc brakes!)
How Does It Ride?
It rides like a gravel bike, minus the dropbar. You can’t hold on to the hoods nor the drop coz there are none. The hand position is also different because your hand is not parallel to the frame, because the position of your hand is perpendicular to the frame (when using a straight bar). It is like always using the top of a gravel bicycle.
When it comes to mashing and doing some off-road action, the Kenda Cross cyclo tires have cute little knobs for mud action and these make the tires strong enough for the Philippine roads.
In a nutshell, the Giant Aluxx Escape R3.1 rides great. Call it a hybrid, gravel, cross-country mountain bike or Cyclocross, what’s important is that the rider feels good about the bicycle and when this doesn’t work, you can always change it to what you want. Easy.
Well, it is up to you if you answer the title question with a yes or no. But according to some definitions on the net, a cyclocross should have drop bars and there are some who contest the geometry of the bicycle itself. This leads me back to the original core value of Valleybikes, if the bike gives you joy and fun, it is definitely worth it (whatever you call it!)!!
***Do you have a hybrid bike? Do you dream to have a Cyclocross bike? Just do what you want to do! Then ride it. If it feels weird, change it! It is your BIKE! Enjoy!