Performance steel and aluminum frames handmade in America
Welcome to Gran Fondo USA >> What is a CX Sportive?

What is a CX Sportive?

In the U.K., CX Sportives are the fantastic new frontier of mixed surface rides that are combining the thrills of on and off-road riding into one awesome experience.

Road Cycling Sportives boomed in the UK in the naughties 00s and have attracted a huge following with over 400 events each year. Gran Fondos and Sportives are much the same thing, highly organized and well supported road rides, some featuring fully closed roads. 

The CX Sportive is the U.K.'s answer to the hugely popular and growing off road Gravel Grinder scene in the U.S., with one big difference - the support you get.

Martin Harrison of The Cycle Events Organisation that organises the CX Sportive series in the South of England came up with the format in 2010 and has been developing the new Genre ever since.

"CX Sportive takes that tried and trusted format to give you a fully supported, exciting and entertaining event with top class organisation of our experienced team. The lines between road and off road disciplines have blurred, and that’s an enormously positive thing." said Harrison

CX Sportive Terrain

CX Sportive courses are designed to cover a variety of terrains:

  60% road (mostly back lanes)
  25% fast tracks (fire road/farm track)
  10% bridleway
  5% singletrack (semi-technical off road)

CX Sportive Support

"CX Sportive events are built around a comprehensive support structure. From start to finish, sign up to results, we’ve got it worked out for you." said Harrison:

  Choice of course distances
  Full course marking
  Detailed route map
  Support vehicle / mechanical assistance on the course
  Free energy drink
  Support/feed station on route (80& 60k only. Drinks station on 40k route)
  Free allocation of energy snacks for each rider at support stations and finish
  On site catering – Hot and cold food and drinks
  Electronic rider timing
  Immediate results for each rider at the finish with Bronze, Silver and Gold standards
  Website results service

Entry Prices for CX Sportive events are approximately £30, see individual events for details.

When you sign up for a CX Sportive event, you know you’re riding with the best events crew out there. The Cycle Events Organisation have been in business for 25 years. They have been running mountain bike events ( since the start of the 90s, and started Southern Sportive ten years ago, launching the first road sportives in the south of England, and introducing many features that have since become industry standards.

They spotted the CX Sportive boom on the horizon five years ago, and ran the first CX Sportive event in 2010.

In recent years the Bike Industry has caught up with the formation of the genre and bikes are now categorized as Endurance, Adventure or Gravel Bikes. These have more for giving geometries, with clearences for a huge range of wheels, tyres and mud guards. The latest feature disc brakes too.

It's now possible to buy a full Carbon Endurance Bike with disc brakes. By swapping the wheels and tyres over, you have endless possibilities to ride on and off road using the same bike.

There are definitely benefits to mixing up road cycling with off road cycling. MTB and CX bikers will see serious fitness gains from miles put in on the road and hill reps.

Road cyclists will see their bike handling skills soar through CX or Gravel Grinding, particularly once they've mastered corners or riding on uneven terrain. 

CX Sportive and Gravel Grinding lets you explore roads less travelled.

Oh, it gives you the perfect excuse to have as many bikes as possible!

2017 CX Sportive Calendar

The formation of this new Genre is one of the healthiest and most significant changes in cycling since the mountain bike boom of the 80s and 90s, and the rise of Sportives in the naughties 00's.

It's technically and physically demanding, a huge amount of fun and very rewarding.

There are now several series from a whole host of organizers across the U.K.

2017 U.K. CX Sportive, Adventure Cross and Gravel Grinder events Calendar

White Horse Ridge CX Sportive, September 24th 2017 Credit: @cxsportive

Tag: whatis
Oct 08 2016 - NEWS: What is a Gran Fondo?
Feb 28 2017 - NEWS: New Course for Surrey Hills Gravelcross CX this Weekend!
Feb 22 2017 - NEWS: REVIEW: Chilterns Wildwood kicks off the CX Sportive Season
Jan 05 2017 - NEWS: Reliability Ride Calendar
Jan 07 2017 - NEWS: What is a CX Sportive?
Jan 05 2017 - NEWS: What is a Reliability Ride?
Dec 03 2016 - NEWS: What is a Sportive?
Dec 03 2016 - NEWS: What is a Century Ride?
Apr 17 2016 - NEWS: What is a Gravel Grinder?
Tag: cxsportive
Feb 28 2017 - NEWS: New Course for Surrey Hills Gravelcross CX this Weekend!
Feb 22 2017 - NEWS: REVIEW: Chilterns Wildwood kicks off the CX Sportive Season
Feb 06 2017 - NEWS: Chilterns Wildwood CX Sportive Returns This Weekend
Jan 04 2017 - NEWS: New Date for Chilterns Wildwood CX Sportive
Jan 07 2017 - NEWS: What is a CX Sportive?
Oct 25 2016 - NEWS: Badlands CX Joins UK's Gravel Events Calendar
Oct 03 2016 - NEWS: Cotswold Edge Sportive delivers spectacular Autumn riding
Sep 20 2016 - NEWS: White Horse Ridge CX Sportive This Weekend
Aug 26 2016 - NEWS: Henley Highwayman Sportive to Rub Shoulders with Returning Olympic Heroes
Feb 19 2017 - EVENT: Mille Maglia CX Sportive
Apr 23 2017 - EVENT: St. George's Sportive
May 14 2017 - EVENT: Bucks Off Road Sportive
May 21 2017 - EVENT: Battle in the Bowl
Jun 18 2017 - EVENT: The Great Western Sportive
Jul 01 2017 - EVENT: Sussex Downs Beach Cruiser
Jul 08 2017 - EVENT: CX Century - South Downs Way
Aug 05 2017 - EVENT: Ridgeway 100: The Century to the Stones
Aug 12 2017 - EVENT: Hampshire Hills Beach Cruiser
Sep 10 2017 - EVENT: The Southern Sportive
Sep 16 2017 - EVENT: Henley Highwayman
Sep 24 2017 - EVENT: White Horse Ridge CX
Oct 15 2017 - EVENT: Gold Rush CX
Nov 26 2017 - EVENT: Badlands CX
Feb 11 2018 - EVENT: Chilterns Wildwood CX
Mar 04 2018 - EVENT: Surrey Hills Gravelcross
Apr 08 2018 - EVENT: South Downs Gravelcross CX
Tag: granfondoguide
Oct 08 2016 - NEWS: What is a Gran Fondo?
Feb 07 2017 - NEWS: Top 15 U.S. Gran Fondos for 2017
Apr 09 2017 - NEWS: Top 11 Canadian Gran Fondos for 2017
Jan 01 2017 - NEWS: Top 15 Toughest Gravel Grinders out West
Apr 23 2017 - NEWS: Guide to tackling the Gran Fondo Stelvio
Apr 09 2017 - NEWS: Our official top Canadian Gran Fondo for 2017 is... RBC GranFondo Whistler
Apr 09 2017 - NEWS: COPY_Top 11 Canadian Gran Fondos for 2017
Feb 28 2017 - NEWS: New Course for Surrey Hills Gravelcross CX this Weekend!
Feb 22 2017 - NEWS: REVIEW: Chilterns Wildwood kicks off the CX Sportive Season
Feb 08 2017 - NEWS: Levis Gran Fondo Celebrates Top #1 Ride for 2017
Jan 05 2017 - NEWS: Top 10 New Year Resolutions for Cyclists
Jan 07 2017 - NEWS: What is a CX Sportive?
Dec 26 2016 - NEWS: 2017 North American Gran Fondo, Gravel and Century Rides Revealed
Dec 28 2016 - NEWS: 2017 UK Sportive, Gran Fondo and Adventure Cross Calendar Revealed
Dec 31 2016 - NEWS: Top 10 Cycling Tips for the New Year
Dec 31 2016 - NEWS: Buyer's Guide to Smart Turbo Trainers for Zwift
Dec 31 2016 - NEWS: Indoor Smart Training and Zwift
Dec 08 2016 - NEWS: Tom Dumoulin puts out invite to join him on a training ride and accidentally creates Gran Fondo
Dec 08 2016 - NEWS: Strava: Which Country is the Quickest?
Jul 02 2016 - NEWS: Top 10 Italian Gran Fondos for 2017
Sep 15 2016 - NEWS: The UCI Gives The Go Ahead For Disc Brakes To Be Used In Mass Cycling Events
Jun 30 2016 - NEWS: UCI wants to restart disc brake trials in June
Jun 25 2016 - NEWS: Disc Brakes not Banned from Canadian Amateur Events - But not Recommended
May 18 2016 - NEWS: Spains RFEC is the Second Governing Body to Ban the Use of Disc Brakes in Cycling Events
May 08 2016 - NEWS: French Cycling Federation Bans Disc Brakes from Amateur Events
Mar 21 2016 - NEWS: 10 New Gran Fondos for 2016
Mar 08 2016 - NEWS: Mental Preparedness and Go-to Workouts For Indoor Riding
Jan 15 2016 - NEWS: Top 15 US Gran Fondos for 2016
Jan 04 2016 - NEWS: 11 Must-Ride US Gran Fondos for 2016
Jan 02 2016 - NEWS: Top 11 Canadian Gran Fondos for 2016
Dec 27 2015 - NEWS: Get Ready for the 2016 Gran Fondo Season!
Jan 03 2015 - NEWS: Top 11 US Gran Fondos for 2015
Jan 01 2015 - NEWS: Happy New Year to all our Followers!
Dec 22 2014 - NEWS: Industry Recognition for Gran Fondo Guide
Jan 01 2016 - NEWS: A guide to Gran Fondo events in North America, Europe and Beyond ...