Our bike team and customers tell us all the time that the Milwaukee Bicycle Co. Mettle is one of the best cyclocross bikes they’ve ever ridden.
Now Bike Rumor and Cyclocross Magazine have both very positively reviewed the Mettle!
CX Magazine Called Mettle a Great Bike
Last summer Cyclocross Magazine (Issue 26; Fall 2014) called the Mettle “simply a great bike for a reasonable cost.” They said it “descended and carved corners confidently and nearly effortlessly….The Mettle climbed efficiently without the obvious bottom-bracket flex, and when in a thrashing, out-of-the-saddle sprint, the bike easily kept its line – as if it wanted to.”
The CX Magazine reviewer said the Mettle had a “feeling of efficiency and perfectly balanced handling that creates a “spirited” ride… It’s the feel of a fine steel bike: a bit springy, a feeling that the bike is alive, giving feedback to your input.”
This week, Bike Rumor, one of the world’s largest bicycles and gear reviewers, reviewed the Mettle and said it was a “sure thing.”
Mettle: Equal Parts Modern and Classic
Bike Rumor said the Mettle was a great combination of traditional and modern.
That results in bikes like the Mettle with a full True Temper OX Platinum steel tubeset that is equal parts modern and classic. Built with classic round tubes, the Mettle adds a tapered carbon fork and disc brakes to bring the bike up to competition speed with a geometry that was developed with their race team. Claimed frame weight is listed at 4.4 lbs (2000g) for a 56 cm. Our test bike was a 53cm and at its lightest configuration was just over 17lbs complete (with carbon tubular wheels).
Zach Overholt, the reviewer from Bike Rumor, planned to race the Mettle in Ohio, but was injured. He handed his bike to Robert, a friend of his who was a solid mountain biker and a cross enthusiast. We were so pleased with his result!
With a handful of races under his belt for the 2015/2016 season, he jumped on the Mettle for the last race of the season.
After a questionable start and nearly washing out in the first real turn, Robert was able to pick his way back through the entire field to take his first win!
The MBC Mettle Designed to Carve Corners
We’ve always said that what the Mettle lacks in carbon-like stiffness, its pliability makes carving corners through technical sections a place to make up spots in a race.
It was clear that Robert made up a lot of time in the more technical sections and turns than on the flats, which can be attributed to the Mettle’s willingness to be really driven through a corner.
The Mettle Doubles as Gravel/ Dirt Bike
Zach also took the Mettle out on gravel roads and confirmed our belief that using the bike for gravel races is also a plus!
As my time on the bike proved, it also doubles pretty well as a dirt/gravel/road bike. The geometry is definitely suited more towards cross racing but the addition of two water bottle cage mounts and fender mounts shows that Milwaukee expects this to be ridden more than just on the race course.
Bike Rumor said the Mettle is a sure thing!
Bottom line, if you’re looking for a U.S. made steel cross bike with a custom build (and don’t mind 135mm QR dropouts), the Mettle CX is sure thing.
Stop in at Ben’s Cycle for a Tour
Zach personally dropped the bike off at Ben’s Cycle, and we had a chance to give him a tour.
If you happen to be in or around Milwaukee, you can actually stop into Ben’s Cycle and Fitness to see the bikes and to talk to Paul or Drew in person. A long time fixture in Milwaukee, Ben’s Cycle and Fitness was started in 1928 by the current owner’s grandfather Ben. Over time the shop has expanded and eventually moved across the street from the original location and includes the most amazing warehouse I’ve ever seen – a reclaimed Vaudeville theater. Whether you’re in the market for a new bike or not, it’s well worth the visit.
Here’s the full review: