The 2022 Crossworx DASH290 is a downhill-oriented bike featuring an exotic single-pivot rear linkage with the shock positioned low in the frame. Best of all, the bike is hand-made in Germany, only leaving the custom forge to get painted… Unless you choose the raw aluminium look to show off the bike’s engineering art.
With the DASH290, the small German bike brand are presenting the third bike in their portfolio. Before, Crossworx only offered the ZERO290 hardtail and the DASH275 with 27.5″ wheels or a mullet setup. Now, they’ve added the DASH290 featuring 29″ wheels front and rear. For the rear suspension, Crossworx remain true to their linkage-driven single-pivot concept, which is intended to keep the centre of gravity as low as possible. This brings the distinct-looking aluminium bike to a complete weight of 15.5 kg, with prices starting at € 5,890.
The Crossworx portfolio – Keeping it local
Since being founded in 2018, all Crossworx frames have been manufactured in Germany. The tubing gets cut and welded in their headquarters in the Thuringian Forest. from a supplier in southern Germany. Crossworx offer both frame sets and complete bikes, which only leave the workshop if you want the frame painted – that’s the only thing they don’t do in-house. All this keeps the logistics to a minimum and the quality to German standards.
Let’s not kid ourselves, biking is a hobby and it’s anything but sustainable. The wear and tear is high, while carbon fibre bikes and international freight drive up the sport’s CO2 emissions. As with food, it makes sense to shop locally for bikes. Crossworx make that an option for German customers, giving them an edge over the competition. Even if mountain biking will never win a sustainability award, our German readers can at least have a reasonably clean conscience when riding a Crossworx bike. ;)
The 2022 Crossworx DASH290 in detail – It works
The Crossworx looks very simple at first glance: the front triangle consists of round aluminium tubes and aluminium profiles at the rear. Between that, you’ll notice the large, machined part around the bottom bracket behind which the linkage is hidden and where everything converges, including the steep seat tube and the otherwise internally routed cables as they transition from the main frame into the rear end. At 79°, the seat tube is really steep, and it’s connected to the top tube with a forward facing brace for added strength.
The Crossworx branded chainstay protector is perfectly cut to size. However, it is made of rather hard plastic and attached with cable ties, though it still manages to keep the bike quiet. On the other hand, the integration of the rear brake caliper is very neat. It’s nicely protected on the inner side of the seat stay, blending inconspicuously with the frame. However, you’ll have to remove the entire caliper just to replace the brake pads.
The large cut-out beneath the shock lets you see and access the cables. As such, maintenance is a whole lot easier without having to remove anything before you get to work. The cables are covered in foam sleeves so that they don’t rattle inside the frame, but the sleeves often slide down – in this case, it is best to use a cable tie to remedy the situation.
The Crossworx has 2 bosses below the top tube for a water bottle or a tool holder. However, it doesn’t have anything to protect the down tube from flying sticks and stones.
The components of the 2022 Crossworx DASH290 – Robust and configurable
The Crossworx webshop gives you quite a lot of freedom in configuring the spec of your desired bike: colour, suspension, brakes, drivetrain, dropper post, grips, stem, handlebar, wheels and tires. There are at least two options for each. Regarding the colour, Crossworx even provide eight standard options at no extra charge. Pricing for the DASH290 starts at € 5,890 and goes up to a maximum of € 6,260… So, the prices of the upgrades are quite fair. If you want a 213 mm dropper instead of the standard 160 mm version, it’s just € 30 more. Great! How about a FOX 38 instead of a FOX 36 with the same damper for € 100 more? Let’s shred!
The 2022 Crossworx DASH290 in detail
Our test bike came with a 160 mm travel FOX 36 with the GRIP2 damper, giving you all the tunability you could want. There’s a FOX FLOAT X shock managing 155 mm travel via the linkage-driven single-pivot rear end. The MAGURA MT5 brakes provide reliable stopping power together with a 200 mm rotor up front and a 180 mm version at the rear. Riders over 80 kg should upgrade to the larger 200 mm rotor at the rear for better heat management. Optionally, you could also upgrade to the somewhat more powerful and lighter MAGURA MT7 brakes in the configurator. Our test bike came with a 12-speed Shimano XT drivetrain. The shifter and the dropper remote use separate clamps instead of the MAGURA Matchmaker, so you’ve got four clamps on the 800 mm wide Renthal FatBar handlebar. Like the bike, the high-quality Intend Grace FR stem is made in Germany. For the tires, our test bike relied on the exotic 2.4″ ONZA IBEX with the thinner Trail casing. In this case, we’d recommend forking out the additional € 20 for the MAXXIS ASSEGAI and DISSECTOR tires in the configurator.
The dropper post is supplied by BikeYoke and is available in three lengths, of which we had the 185 mm version. In this case, you can choose the 160, 185 or 213 mm dropper according to your leg length since they can be shortened in 5 mm increments.
Crossworx Dash 290 2022
Fork FOX 36 Factory GRIP2 160 mm
Rear Shock FOX Float X Factory 155 mm
Seatpost Bike Yoke Divine 185 mm
Brakes Magura MT5 200/180 mm
Drivetrain Shimano XT 1x12
Stem Intend Grace FR 35 mm
Handlebar Renthal Fatbar 800 mm
Wheelset Newmen Evolution SL A.30 29"
Tires Onza IBEX 2.4"
Size S M L XL
The geometry of the 2022 Crossworx DASH290 – Slack up front, steep at the rear
In size L, the DASH290 comes with a moderate reach of 480 mm and a very steep 79° seat tube angle. Due to the straight seat tube, the effective seat tube angle doesn’t slacken much even when the saddle is extended. At 445 mm, the seat tube isn’t overly long for a size L, though it’s long enough to accommodate all of the 185 mm BikeYoke dropper post, providing ample freedom of movement. The 447 mm chainstays are long and remain the same for all frame sizes from S–XL. With the four sizes available, Crossworx cater to riders from 157 to 200 cm tall. Crossworx are even thinking about offering custom geometry in the future.
The geometry of the Crossworx DASH290 2022
|Seat tube||390 mm||415 mm||445 mm||470 mm|
|Top tube||525 mm||555 mm||587 mm||619 mm|
|Head tube||110 mm||110 mm||120 mm||130 mm|
|Chainstay||447 mm||447 mm||447 mm||447 mm|
|BB Drop||35 mm||35 mm||35 mm||35 mm|
|Wheelbase||1200 mm||1230 mm||1264 mm||1299 mm|
|Reach||420 mm||450 mm||480 mm||510 mm|
|Stack||632 mm||632 mm||641 mm||650 mm|
Riding the 2022 Crossworx DASH290 – Can the German-made platform deliver?
Swinging your leg over the Crossworx for the first time with the saddle extended, you’ll notice the steep seat tube angle. This puts you in a relaxed and upright riding position on the climbs, which is particularly helpful on steep ascents. On level terrain, the DASH290 feels very hand-heavy. However, that makes it all the more efficient on steep uphills, which is underlined by the rear end hardly bobbing as you pedal and allowing you to get up even the steepest climbs with ease. You’ll want to make sure that the dropper post is all the way down on the descents; otherwise – due to the steep seat tube angle – you’ll quickly come into contact with the saddle, which is positioned far forward between your legs.
You’ll notice the intuitive handling of the Crossworx, which feels nicely balanced on the trail and doesn’t require you to throw your weight around through the corners. The linkage-driven single-pivot rear suspension responds sensitively, reliably smoothing over rock gardens and root carpets. In conjunction with the finely tunable FOX 36 GRIP2 fork, the bike generates lots of traction. However, the suspension feels a bit vague and spongy mid-stroke and the linear leverage ratio provides minimal feedback from the ground, making it difficult to judge whether you’ve just hit a small root or a huge boulder. Kind of like you wouldn’t feel the difference between running over a rabbit or a deer with a 40-ton truck – roadkill is roadkill. You can be just as reckless when riding the Crossworx. The DASH290 is also forgiving enough to deal with big impacts or overshot landings. Speaking of impacts, it’s easy to pop the DASH290 off of roots and lips to get it airborne. The Crossworx isn’t easy to wheelie and has a narrow sweet spot, which is due to the steep seat tube angle and the riding position that it puts you in. However, it’s easy to manual – ideal for posers and trail surfing!
The Crossworx DASH290 is a robust and high-quality do-it-all bike. It climbs well despite plenty of reserves and the plush rear suspension allows you to get back down without having to dodge any of the bigger features on the trail. Thanks to the many configuration options, you can spec it according to your preferences and its distinct looks are still a rare sight in bike park queues. With the DASH290 you get hand-made, German craftsmanship at a fair price.
- relaxed climber
- forgiving suspension
- sensible configuration options
- hand-made in Germany
- hard chainstay protector
- cable routing below the shock
For more information, visit crossworx-cycles.com
Did you enjoy this article? If so, we would be stoked if you decide to support us with a monthly contribution. By becoming a supporter of ENDURO, you will help secure a sustainable future for high-quality mountain bike journalism. Click here to learn more.
Words: Julian Schwede Photos: Ben Topf