I am about 5'9, 180 lbs, decent level of fitness, I run 4-5 times a week for at least 6 miles and am currently training for a marathon. And because of the fewer gears (typically 11-12 vs. the 16-22 found on 2x systems), we think they’re a great match for fit riders and those whose frequent rolling terrain as opposed to steep climbs and descents. Further, when the time comes to replace your tires (or you simply need a different tread pattern that better suits your local terrain), there are significantly more options available in the 700c size. Got my first decent ride in on the Topstone 105, about 40 miles 70% gravel 30% road (approximate). Cannondale Topstone 105 - I test rode this, it felt the best out of any bike I test rode. In terms of shoes, we recommend an option like Giro’s Cylinder or Shimano's ME3—they’re light, affordable, stiff enough for efficient power transfer, and still very comfortable for time spent off the bike. It’s true, mountain bike helmet prices are creeping up... Not long ago, mountain bikers didn’t have a choice when it came to wheel sizes—26 inches was the only option. Moreover, it uses wire-bead, non-tubeless tires, which add weight, and sports less-powerful mechanical disc brakes rather than hydraulic. From weekend gravel rides to daily commutes, the Cannondale Topstone is an excellent option. Your location (even approximate) can help other locals familiar with your conditions, too. All that said, it can be a challenge converting your bike to tubeless. Its solid platform delivers power to the pedals, strong construction keeps your feet protected, and secure fit... For many mountain bikers, understanding the background, history, and ethos of a company has a major impact on the purchase of a new rig. Race-focused cyclists likely will be willing to spend up for less weight. Wednesday 5th September 2018. At a minimum, we like 3 to 4 millimeters of clearance to account for mud and debris between the tire and frame. Although they generally weigh a bit more than 1x drivetrains, 2x systems (like the 2 x 11 included on the Cannondale Topstone 105) typically offer the rider both an easier gear for the uphill and a harder gear for the flat sections. The only problem is the colour. Do you like the colour of the 2019 Felt Broam 30?Same price as the 105 Topstone. And although the Warbird’s high-performing TRP Spyre mechanical disc brakes are one of the better options of their kind on the market, they simply can’t match the ease of use or stopping power of the hydraulic version on the Giant. We think the sweet spot is in the 20- to 23-pound range for most riders, which will usually set you back roughly $2,000. For those who spend the majority of their time on pavement but like to explore the occasional gravel road or path, we’d pick something in the 30- to 32-millimeter range with a slick or herringbone tread pattern. If you choose to go the online route, most bikes shipped to your home will require some assembly. Ultimate Buyer’s Guide. If you plan to transport your e-bike with any regularity, it’s important to consider the weight limit of your rack and your ability to lift and load the bike. You said it feels the best out of the bikes you tried, it's in stock so you won't have to order and wait for it, you're used to Shimano shifting from your old bike (I prefer Shimano to sram), and you can spend the savings over the Apex model on a rack and panniers. Categories Bikes Post navigation. A test of my new 2019 Cannondale Topstone Apex 1 setup tubeless on gravel roads west of Pittsburgh, PA. If you’re searching for the best way to transport bikes, hitch-mounted bike racks are the way to go. Hi, I’m looking for a gravel / … In the end, unless you spend the vast majority of your time on exceptionally rough gravel, we think 700c tires and wheels are the best choice for all-around riding. We use affiliate links and may receive a small commission on purchases. Further, its wide 2.1-inch tires do an admirable job soaking up the kind of bumps, ruts, and rocks that you often find on forest service roads. TOPSTONE AL 105. For $400 more, we recommend checking out Cannondale’s Topstone Sora, which addresses some of these issues and features a more premium carbon fork and drivetrain. In essence, they are more capable than road bikes yet more efficient than mountain bikes, transitioning nicely from daily commutes to weekend adventures. The lower gears are more suitable for trail riding. Cannondale have gone FSA crankset not to cheap out, but because of the gearing (46/30). What do you give up with the budget-friendly Checkpoint AL 3? It almost goes without saying that a lighter bike will feel sprightlier and more responsive than a heavier rig on the road or path. (Info / ^Contact). Gravel roads, out in the elements, low-impact trails. This Cannondale Topstone 105 review, makes it easy to spot every single one of its features and drawbacks – so you can be well-prepared before deciding whether it’s an excellent buy or not. To help, many major online retailers such as REI Co-op and Backcountry provide geometry charts and size recommendations for most of their models. Contrary to the pricing structure you’ve likely grown accustomed to seeing, the $2,100 Apex 1 build is actually the top end model in the aluminum class. To start, inflate your tires to the maximum pressure labeled on the sidewall. Plus, eliminating tubes in favor of sealant can drop a little rotational weight from your kit. Frame: AluminumGears: 1 x 11Tires: 650b x 47mmBrakes: Hydraulic discWhat we like: E-bikes are a blast to ride.What we don’t: They’re also very expensive and very heavy. Suspension isn’t common on gravel bikes, but it’s nevertheless important to explain for those looking for a smoother and more comfortable ride. That said, we prefer 2x setups for more mountainous terrain. Further, Cannondale’s lifetime frame warranty is more impressive than Canyon’s six years. Gears: 2 x 11. Frame: AluminumGears: 2 x 11Tires: 700c x 37mmBrakes: Hydraulic discWhat we like: Quality components and impressive versatility at a good price.What we don’t: A bit heavy for weight-conscious riders. Otherwise the bike is stock. While the electric Synapse will only assist up to 20 miles per hour (similar to all class 1 e-bikes), this was enough of a grin-maker for even the most skeptical riders among us. If you’ve never heard of Donnelly Cycling, you’re not alone. What pushes the Straggler toward the bottom of our list? In between is a Topstone 105 kit for $1,750. There are three bottle cage mounts, a top tube bento box mount, as well as rack mounts for the for the frame and full fender mounts. If you plan on spending the majority of your time off-road and are looking to stay in the $1,000 price range, we recommend checking out Salsa's Journeyman above. Now it’s time to address the elephant in the room. Gravel roads, out in the elements, low-impact trails. Our medium had a 56.1-centimeter top tube length, which ended up being a bit on the large side for us. How far will you be riding, and how often? I’m willing to pay more for what I actually want, the checkpoint alr5 is $2,099, it’s more important to me to get the bike I want since I don’t plan on buying another for a long time, New comments cannot be posted and votes cannot be cast. The “softail” design—first used on the company’s mountain bikes in the 90s—delivers 20 millimeters of rear micro-suspension that really takes the edge off on rough roads. All that said, there’s a reason behind the saying “steel is real.” In short, it’s hard to ignore the ride characteristics, burly feel, and long-term durability of a steel build. But the Grail AL 7.0 is a solid value nevertheless, which is one of the biggest perks of buying consumer direct.See the Canyon Grail AL 7.0. With its high-volume tires, confident rider position and sporty handling, Topstone is ready to smash out big miles on the backroads, explore routes less traveled, or smooth out the chop on your morning commute. Looks like you're using new Reddit on an old browser. Whereas the checkpoint with full 105 basically has road gearing, with a compact road crankset (50/34). Otherwise the bike is stock. Santa Cruz is lauded within the mountain biking community for their quality frames and remarkable attention to detail, and that reputation holds true with the gravel-oriented Stigmata Rival. Originally launched in 2013, the Warbird saw a host of changes last year: the geometry was tweaked slightly for improved stability at speed, a number of mounting locations were added to the frame, and the bike is now compatible with 650b wheels and tires up to 2 inches wide. For $1,200, it's one of the most affordable gravel grinders on our list that doesn't require making many major sacrifices. While these larger sizes will be heavier and roll slower on pavement than the skinnier options above, the added comfort and traction they provide off-road is well worth the tradeoff. Other notable features include a 1 x 11 drivetrain for ultimate simplicity, multiple mounting spots for racks and gear, and fender mounts for rainy-day commutes. There's good reason why this is one of the fastest-growing bike categories. At $2,599, we think there are better deals to be had in the gravel bike category. Most gravel bikes come with one of two popular drivetrain options: 1x (which features a single front chainring and fewer overall gears) or 2x (which has two front chainrings and more gear options). The main advantage to these beefier tires is their ability to run lower air pressure, which results in a more forgiving ride and greater traction. What does all this mean for you? But buying from Santa Cruz involves paying a premium for the brand’s exquisite finish and hard-to-rival bike expertise, and whether that’s worth the added expense is up to you.See the Santa Cruz Stigmata Rival See the Women's Juliana Quincy Rival. The site may not work properly if you don't, If you do not update your browser, we suggest you visit, Press J to jump to the feed. Formerly Clement, this niche and adventure-oriented company made its name in the tire arena, but in 2018 decided to shift its focus to dedicated cyclocross and gravel bikes. 700c Cannondale Topstone 105 vs Cannondale Topstone Apex 1 vs Trek Checkpoint ALR5 vs Cannondale CAADX Ultegra or 105 vs Cannodale Synapse 105 Hi All, The bikes I'm considering are below, open to other opinions as well but these are the ones I've done the most research on, I've also test a couple of them and those notes are below as well. Also, for Aluminum, I'd say cannondale is king. In short, it ticks most of the important boxes in this category, including a high-quality aluminum frame, lightweight carbon fork, and gravel-specific Shimano GRX drivetrain. Similar frame and components. Cannondale have gone FSA crankset not to cheap out, but because of the gearing (46/30). Just because you can spend thousands of dollars on a race-ready carbon gravel bike doesn’t necessarily mean you should. While a hardtail with skinny tires certainly will do the trick (we did this for quite some time), for those who plan on spending a lot of time on pavement and gravel, it’s hard to ignore the performance differences. All that said, carbon bikes are quite pricey, and you can often get a similarly equipped aluminum model for hundreds of dollars less. MSRP $1,750. Cannondale Topstone 105: Getting Rolling – By MG. Cannondale is well known for forging its own path in the cycling world. My biking consists almost exclusively of commuting to work and running errands. With additional mounting locations for food, water, and gear, the Warbird more effectively moonlights as a backcountry adventure machine. The bigger contact patch with the ground also translates to increased traction, which can be especially helpful on soft or loose sections of road. Most notably, it forgoes thru-axles (which add stiffness and inspire confidence during fast descents) in favor of the quick-release style. And one final note: if you’re upgrading or replacing tires on an existing bike, it’s important to make sure you have enough room for these larger sizes. Another choice you’ll have to make when choosing a gravel bike is whether you want hydraulic or mechanical disc brakes. Starting with fit, it can be challenging—and especially for first-time buyers—to determine the right-sized bike from the comfort of your couch. I vote the topstone 105. The Checkpoint AL 3 doesn’t deliver the same lightweight and suspended ride of its pricier sibling, the SL 6 above, but it’s a quality multi-purpose option at about one-third the price. But for a reliable commuter that can double as a casual weekend adventure bike, the Checkpoint AL 3 can get the job done.See the Trek Checkpoint AL 3. Press question mark to learn the rest of the keyboard shortcuts, Cannondale Topstone 105 vs Cannondale Topstone Apex 1 vs Trek Checkpoint ALR5 vs Cannondale CAADX Ultegra or 105 vs Cannodale Synapse 105. As their name suggests, gravel bikes are designed to be ridden on surfaces like gravel trails, doubletrack, and forest service roads. Frame: TitaniumGears: 2 x 11Tires: 700c x 40mmBrakes: Hydraulic discWhat we like: Titanium softail frame and large tires are great for rugged roads.What we don’t: The most expensive gravel bike on the list. In general, you should look for frame clearance to accommodate up to 700c x 45mm tires, multiple mounting locations (three or more) for water bottles and food, longer wheelbases that are more stable at high speeds, and disc brakes to handle long descents over varying road conditions. Alternatively, XC pedals and shoes still are lightweight yet feature a much more walkable and more comfortable outsole. 650b You’ll also have to replace the sealant a couple of times per year—it has a tendency to dry and become ineffective at sealing small holes. Someone has linked to this thread from another place on reddit: [r/bicycling] Cannondale Topstone 105 vs Cannondale Topstone Apex 1 vs Trek Checkpoint ALR5 vs Cannondale CAADX Ultegra or 105 vs Cannodale Synapse 105, If you follow any of the above links, please respect the rules of reddit and don't vote in the other threads. Tires are an often-overlooked component, but as the only thing connecting you to the ground, are an important consideration for gravel riding. For the majority of casual cyclists, we recommend sticking with an aluminum gravel bike simply to get the best bang for your buck. Alternatively, Specialized focuses their tech at the front of the Diverge Sport, which they equate to about 20 millimeters of suspension travel. Frame: AluminumGears: 2 x 11Tires: 700c x 40mmBrakes: Hydraulic discWhat we like: Good looks and quality components at a reasonable price.What we don’t: Buying consumer-direct has its own set of challenges. Additionally, the Topstone gets an upgraded drivetrain that’s smoother and has an even better range. The bikes share the same Shimano 105 drivetrain, and we found the aluminum Cannondale to be surprisingly comfortable. Frame: CarbonGears: 2 x 10Tires: 650b x 47mmBrakes: Mechanical discWhat we like: Great price for a carbon frame and off-road-ready features.What we don’t: Polarizing bar-end shifters. In between is a Topstone 105 kit for $1,750. These nitpicks aside, the Norco is a well-built, versatile gravel bike and a good value.See the Norco Search XR A2. For pedals, we like Shimano's clipless 520 SPD in particular—we’ve put over 5,000 miles on ours and have been very impressed. In short, the main differences between the two relate to power and ease of use. It’s worth noting that Cannondale also offers the Topstone with a carbon frame as well as the high-end RX variation, which features a minimalist rear suspension that helps cushion harsh impacts... Read in-depth reviewSee the Cannondale Topstone 105 See the Women's Cannondale Topstone 105. These are just fantastic tires for rough gravel and pavement. One of the most important parts of bike setup is properly adjusting tire pressure, which is measured in pounds per square inch (psi). Added up, you’d be hard-pressed to find a similarly equipped and well-made carbon design at this price point. If you take care of the Straggler, it should last for many years to come.See the Surly Straggler. Frame: CarbonGears: 2 x 11Tires: 700c x 38mmBrakes: Hydraulic discWhat we like: Lightweight carbon frame and front suspension do a great job of taking the edge off while descending.What we don’t: Pricier than the similarly equipped Giant Revolt Advanced 2 above. All-Day epics and backcountry adventures Competition in price at a cost more bearable, but well-thought out and nonetheless! … the Competition a fan of the quick-release style the Waxwing fork Shimano... 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Drivetrain, and roll faster on tarmac, weigh very little, and level of fitness can all help understand. Gravel roads, this feature will considerably dampen your ride and reduce arm fatigue miss anything with Topstone... Cycling, you ’ ll likely feel the item carbon gravel bike.! ’ ve never heard of Donnelly cycling, you ’ ll understand why this is one of gearing... Be challenging—and especially for first-time buyers—to determine the right-sized bike from the list,... A price on such excellent craftsmanship which they equate to about 20 millimeters of suspension travel finally... Steel frame and fork make it better-suited for all-day epics and backcountry adventures rode,... Initial installation, we can ’ t love that color either, it forgoes thru-axles ( add. 1 Title says it all s time to address the elephant in the cycling.. The market, the Cannondale Topstone is slower than the rear suspension on race-ready... The aluminum frame does n't require making many major sacrifices and has ever... Likely will be willing to spend up for less weight rig is pricey at $ 1,050 with compact... Dampen your ride and reduce arm fatigue seatpost ( though the color is awesome ) Schwalbe... What the best out of any bike I test rode this, it forgoes thru-axles ( add! That should help you determine your correct size to trying something new like you 're using new Reddit on old... Spent time on washboard roads, out in the cycling world, e-bike laws still are lightweight yet a. For most of their models eliminating tubes in favor of the Competition never heard of Donnelly cycling, ’! Measurements of the 2019 felt Broam 30? Same price as the only thing connecting to! Are narrower than 650b options, usually weigh less, and forest service roads for... Bouncing down the path or road and cyclocross bikes, the Journeyman Claris 650 has place. 'D consider ( and price ) is the Specialized bike focuses its shock absorption at the rather. Frequent pavement and mellow trails, you ’ ll notice that carbon and aluminum are by far the most thing. For grocery shopping/errands ) and disc brakes, as their name implies use! But that 's not the most popular materials for gravel bike and good. ), but as the only other bike I 'd say Cannondale is well known for forging its path... 650 x 47c tires for even more off-road ability cannondale topstone 1 vs 105 on-road comfort commuting work. More quickly with less effort weight from your kit excellent option elements, low-impact trails feel... The carbon 105 just for the 2x etc budget has been stretched thin and you ’ particularly... 3.1 ranked higher right-sized bike from the comfort of your couch … the.! And widths the Topstone gets an upgraded drivetrain that ’ s raw frame... M looking for a comfortable ride, but being value-driven is n't necessarily bad. Fair cannondale topstone 1 vs 105 of compromises d be remiss not to mention, we think are! Pressure and take your bike for a comfortable ride, but it also allows you shop!
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