Based in Przasnysz, Poland, the Kross brand has definitely made great strides in the recent decade. First they achieved unparalleled success in their homeland, then all over the continent, having significant effect on the bike market in Hungary as well. The brand’s popularity is partly due to the strong presence in the cross and trekking bike category, their models offer extraordinary level of technology and quality paired with reasonable pricing. In the center of this popular segment is the Evado model range, catering for all budgets and expectations from entry level to top spec. I had a chance to try out the cream of the crop among the Evado cross-touring bikes, the 10.0 model.
The Evado 10.0 frame is made from so-called Aluminum Lite material, which is in fact 6061 series alloy. Once properly heat-treated, this material is quite fatigue-resistant, also providing great comfort and low weight thanks to the advanced internal butted technology. Stability is a given based on the large cross-section of the aluminum frame tubes, which Kross designers have shaped to improve aesthetics. The small tweaks in the frame lines are certainly pleasing to the eye, raising the Evado above the competition in this conventionally rather conservative segment of the bike market. Manufacturing quality seems fairly good, most welding joints as nicely finished with a smooth surface. According to current trends, the head tube is shaped and tapered. Cabling runs inside the frame, and Kross should be applauded for mounting high-end Jagwire housing and cables.
Equipment-wise we get an almost complete Shimano XT T8000 group set save for the the Deore-level front derailleur and hubs. In addition, the RockShox Paragon front fork is arguably one of the best units available presently on the market, and as a bonus, it stands out with its golden anodization on the stanchions. Suspension performance is undoubtedly superior to the typical budget fork options on trekking and cross models, but some minor teaks were still needed to realize all its potential – especially concerning rebound dampening. The 65 mm travel provides more than adequate comfort for the given riding style, making biking a pleasant experience even on unpaved forest roads.
The accessories mostly come from Kross’s own range of products, they are well-established parts, tuned more for comfort than outmost performance. Hence the stem gives a significant rise to the handlebar, which also has a comfort-oriented bend. The resulting body position is quite upright, but can easily be modified by altering the setup or swapping out some of the above-mention components. The grips are soft and comfy, but in our experience the plastic clamp attachment is prone to brakeage when the bike is accidently tipped over. A more durable aluminum clamp design would have been a wiser choice for a bike designed for adventure riding. The Selle Royal Lookin Sport saddle fits nicely into the comfort theme with ample of gel padding.
The wheels turn on the conventional ball bearings in the well-proven Shimano Deore hub, they are laced elegantly with black spokes to the double wall aluminum rims. The wheels are topped by Schwalbe Marathon Mondial tires which are neither light or fast rolling, but offer great durability with advanced puncture protection to boot. However I missed the eyelets on the rims, which would have provided more resistance against the pulling forces of the disc brakes. At this price level such skimpy attitude makes no sense in my opinion.
The Kross Evado 10.0 provides the uppermost level in specification for cross bikes on the market with a price tag to match. Very few manufacturers offer this kind of luxury in this market segment – mainly due to the diminishing interest and spending power. We should commend the polish brand for taking the bold move to introduce the Evado 10.0, catering primarily for the customer who has got used to the fine performance and smooth operation of the XT components on a mountain bike. Such cyclists certainly don’t wish to downgrade when buying a cross bike for more diverse riding styles.
I’m not this type of customer. I use diverse bikes for different riding styles, and when I’m riding a multi-purpose type, I have hold no great anticipations component-wise. But I admit, this is clearly a special high-end cross bike. Nevertheless, there are some aspects of the Evado 10.0 which I’d change if it was mine. I feel the stem is too long for a cross bike, and it slows handling by a considerable margin. A shorter stem would provide more agility and a better ride experience. I’d also question some of the set-up choices made by the manufacturer when assembling the bike. The bike is far from ready to ride right from the box, quite a few adjustments were needed for safe and comfortable cycling. This is where the retail shop comes into the picture. Since Kross bikes are sold in LBS and not through mail order, the shop mechanics will have a chance to correct the maladjustments, and set up the Evado for your personal needs. So I advise you to purchase this bike from an LBS, where professional service is available, making riding the Evado enjoyable for many years to come!
The cross-touring bike category offers many advantages, but it has its flipside as well. It can do everything on a decent level, but doesn’t excel at any one type of riding condition. It’s designed for cyclists who don’t want to choose on what road surface they ride, pedaling comfortably where ever the route takes them. For this approach the Kross Evado 10.0 offers full luxury, it has top-tier equipment designed to serve the cyclist for a decade or even longer. As the cost of this model is unusually high in this market segment, those interested is advised to consider its sibling directly below the lineup. The Evado 9.0 costs precisely HUF 100,000 less, making it approximately 20% less expensive, but lacks little in the way of equipment selection. It obviously represents above average performance in the cross-touring category at a more affordable price point.
Recommended retail price: HUF 479,900.
Frame material: Aluminium Lite
Fork: Rock Shox Paragon Gold RL (travel 65mm, OneLoc lockout)
– Front hub: Shimano Deore HB-M6000
– Rear hub: Shimano Deore FH-M6000
– Tires: Schwalbe Marathon Mondial (28″x1.6″, reflex)
– Rims Kross Disc (Aluminium, double wall)
Front derailleur: Shimano Deore FD-T6000
Rear derailleur: Shimano Deore XT RD-T8000
Brake system: Shimano Disc Deore XT BR-T8000 hydraulic
Shifters: Shimano Deore XT SL-T8000 (3×10)
Crankset: Shimano Deore XT FC-T8000 (48/36/26T)
Bottom bracket: Shimano SM-BB52
Chain: Shimano CN-HG54
Casette: Shimano Deore CS-HG500-10 (11-34T)
Handlebar: Aluminium (620-660mm; 31.8mm)
Stem: Aluminium (100mm-120mm, 31.8mm, rise 7°)
Seatpost: Aluminium (S/M/L-350mm, XL-400mm, 27.2mm)
Headset: 1-1/8″-1.5″, Tapered
Saddle: Selle Royal Lookin Sport
Grips: Herrmans Endorfin