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. Both brands offer a solid lineup of sizes and tread patterns that cover everything from smooth road tires to aggressive gravel options. Alternatively, XC pedals and shoes still are lightweight yet feature a much more walkable and more comfortable outsole. Looking for opinions on what the best bike is for commuting to/from work and doing errands in the city. For starters, while most modern road bikes max out at about 30-millimeter tires and cyclocross bikes at around 40 millimeters, gravel bikes typically are able to accommodate up to 700c x 45-millimeter or 650c x 50-millimeter tires (Salsa’s Warbird, for example, can accommodate both). This mid-range ride features a 2 x 10 Shimano drivetrain, wide but decently fast-rolling 47-millimeter tires, and mechanical disc brakes that are easy to operate and provide consistent stopping power. Do you like the colour of the 2019 Felt Broam 30?Same price as the 105 Topstone. In general, long gravel rides pass through far fewer service areas, meaning you’ll need to stock up on food, water, and other gear before heading out. That's what Senior Road Technical Editor Warren Rossiter aims to find out in this video. I am really happy with it overall. Niner may not be a familiar name to many road cyclists, but this Colorado-based company has been pushing out quality dirt-focused models for about 15 years. If you’re searching for the best way to transport bikes, hitch-mounted bike racks are the way to go. If you take care of the Straggler, it should last for many years to come.See the Surly Straggler. the topstone is slower than the synapse (46/30 vs 48/32 if I recall), but not massively so. After all, people have been riding all sorts of bikes on dirt roads for decades—long before the advent of this niche category. Capable off-road and comfortable on-road, the Cannondale Topstone Carbon 105 is a unique gravel bike with true suspension—but no heavy shock—offering 30mm of rear travel to smooth out bumps. From weekend gravel rides to daily commutes, the Cannondale Topstone is an excellent option. These nitpicks aside, the Norco is a well-built, versatile gravel bike and a good value.See the Norco Search XR A2. For the majority of casual cyclists, we recommend sticking with an aluminum gravel bike simply to get the best bang for your buck. se9boy. Further adding to the elite-level build (and price) is the crisp shifting of Shimano’s electronic Ultegra Di2 drivetrain. The biggest upgrade features I'm looking for are the ability to mount racks (for grocery shopping/errands) and disc brakes. But once 29- and 27.5-inch wheels hit the market, the debate amongst bikers took off and has continued ever since. In the gravel realm, we especially like their Haanjo 5C EXP, which is the most affordable carbon build to make our round-up at $2,000. 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. This unique tech and impressive performance do come at a cost. Alternatively, those consistently tackling long, steep grades likely will prefer the Giant Revolt Advanced 2’s wider gear range (although the G//C Force is perfectly adequate for riding rolling terrain). Put simply, gravel bikes can continue on when traditional roads bikes are forced to turn around, and they can easily handle the daily commute to work too. Cannondale have gone FSA crankset not to cheap out, but because of the gearing (46/30). 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. Shimano 105 group w/hydraulic disc brakes / Cannondale 1 crankset; Integrated Cannondale App connectivity / WTB tubeless-ready rims and tires; Where it thrives. At $2,599, we think there are better deals to be had in the gravel bike category. First and foremost, buying from a consumer-direct company like Canyon sometimes can be a pain—we’ve heard reports of poor customer service, plus you don’t get the convenience of walking into your local bike shop to ride the bike or get replacement parts before buying. Reply Reply Author. 4k of climbing/descending Set it up with Gravelking SK 38c tubeless. Cannondale have gone FSA crankset not to cheap out, but because of the gearing (46/30). Let us help you choose the right bike to get you riding! The lower gears are more suitable for trail riding. For budget-oriented riders interested in exploring backroads or taking the scenic route to work, Salsa’s Journeyman Claris 650 is plenty of bike. They’re quite a bit heavier than something in the 28c range (often found on road bikes), but significantly more comfortable and confidence-inspiring on rough roads. With its high-volume tires, confident rider position and sporty handling, it is ready to smash out big miles on the backroads, explore routes less traveled, or smooth out the chop on your morning commute. Traction, handling, comfort 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. 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. 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. While it can’t match the race-ready pedigree of the Trek Checkpoint SL or versatility of the Salsa Warbird above, the Search XR is an impressively capable companion for everything from backroad exploring to daily commutes. Alternatively, Specialized focuses their tech at the front of the Diverge Sport, which they equate to about 20 millimeters of suspension travel. 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. The Competition. But for racers on a tighter budget, there are plenty of options that cost less.See the Trek Checkpoint SL 6. Frame: CarbonGears: 1 x 11Tires: 700c x 40mmBrakes: Hydraulic discWhat we like: Typical Santa Cruz craftsmanship and attention to detail.What we don’t: Not the best value. After spending some time on the Synapse NEO SE, we came away extremely impressed by the bike’s smooth acceleration, confidence-inspiring ride, and quality build. 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. Not to mention, we can’t help but love the old-school look of the RLT’s raw aluminum frame. Got my first decent ride in on the Topstone 105, about 40 miles 70% gravel 30% road (approximate). Those who already own a hardtail might be wondering: “Can’t I just ride my mountain bike on gravel roads instead of purchasing something new?” And the answer is a resounding “yes.” In fact, we actually encourage riders to use what they already have whenever possible. 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. Mechanical brakes, as their name implies, use a cable system to actuate the brakes and slow you down. Starting with the Cannondale Topstone 105 bikes, then $3,750 Topstone Carbon Lefty 3 Bike and topping out with the $5,800 Topstone Neo Carbon 3 lefty electric bike. It’s also not uncommon to pay an “oversized” shipping fee. Cannondale 2018 - Super Six Evo vs. Synapse Carbon Disc Bike • Race vs. For a complete list of options, see our article on the best mountain bike shoes. Topstone's SmartForm C2 Alloy construction showcases our decades of expertise in aluminum craftsmanship. 650b Carbon is the lightest material of the bunch and often the choice among gram-counters and speed-focused riders. Topstone is pure gravel goodness. How much will shipping cost? 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. Are you comfortable with some assembly? MSRP $1,750. Gravel bikes—also known as adventure or all-road bikes—are built to handle terrain ranging from forest service roads to pavement, dirt, and even mellow singletrack. All that said, we do have some general advice on how to find an appropriate psi. In the end, if your cycling goals include winning the Dirty Kanza 200, it’s likely worth spending up for the Trek, and its more forgiving ride undeniably is a plus over long and hard miles. This is Cannondale’s entry-level Topstone gravel bike, an aluminum offering with a carbon fork, Shimano 105 … Cannondale’s Topstone is a gravel/all-road bike, featuring a super light ‘Kingpin’ suspension system, located part way up the seat tube, to ramp up comfort on the road and off the road. While the definition of these dirt-focused models still is up for debate, they share a few key design features including a more upright seating position for added comfort over long distances, high-volume tires to help smooth out rough roads, and multiple mounting points for extra water and gear. of gears: 22 (2×11) / Frame: SmartForm C2 alloy / Wheel Size: 700 x 37 c / Brakes: Shimano 105 hydraulic / Weight: 22 lbs – 10kg. I’ve always had Ultegra but I’d be open to trying something new. Gravel roads, out in the elements, low-impact trails. What does all this mean for you? In short, the versatile Stigmata is now just as at home on the cyclocross course as it is on far-off backroad adventures. But unlike the Trek, the Specialized bike focuses its shock absorption at the front rather than the rear. The second option is the Topstone Apex 1. 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. 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. Another key difference between these types of bikes is their geometry, or the measurements of the frame. We especially like the Waxwing fork, which features three-pack mounts that add versatility for storing water bottles or shuttling overnight gear. Cannondale’s Topstone 105 is a competitively priced and extremely versatile gravel bike.In the same category, Trek’s Checkpoint ALR 4 ticks many of the same boxes. That said, the Warbird’s additional storage spots on the frame and fork make it better-suited for all-day epics and backcountry adventures. 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. MSRP $1,750. At a minimum, we like 3 to 4 millimeters of clearance to account for mud and debris between the tire and frame. For example, the Giant Revolt Advanced 2 above comes in around the same price and features a nicer drivetrain with a wider gear range. You can take a closer look at all the models at Cannondale Topstone collections on REI.com. Your location (even approximate) can help other locals familiar with your conditions, too. For those on a tighter budget who don’t want to make big sacrifices in ride quality, Trek’s Checkpoint SL 6 above is roughly one-third the price and features similar bump-absorbing tech with its rear IsoSpeed.See the Moots Routt YBB. Frame: AluminumGears: 2 x 9Tires: 700c x 32mmBrakes: Mechanical discWhat we like: A solid budget option that excels at everything from gravel rides to commuting.What we don’t: Narrow 32mm tires aren’t great on super rough roads. Why? Fast and smooth with great grip. And finally, tubeless setups can be a bit of a mess should you ever need to put a tube in your tire. You do pay a steep premium for the Bosch drive unit and 500Wh battery, but it’s a boon for daylong enjoyment on remote backroads. Moreover, the IsoSpeed decoupler does add a little complexity to the design and will require occasional maintenance. I vote the topstone 105. 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. A test of my new 2019 Cannondale Topstone Apex 1 setup tubeless on gravel roads west of Pittsburgh, PA. To help, many major online retailers such as REI Co-op and Backcountry provide geometry charts and size recommendations for most of their models. 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. Further, Cannondale’s lifetime frame warranty is more impressive than Canyon’s six years. Now it’s time to address the elephant in the room. Finally, if appearance is a consideration for you, we think the silver and black version is one of the classiest-looking gravel bike designs on the market. Although quite a bit heavier than the carbon and aluminum models above, the Straggler’s smooth-riding steel frame and classic design are ideal for those who prioritize comfort and durability over speed and new tech. 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. Whereas the checkpoint with full 105 basically has road gearing, with a compact road crankset (50/34). Whether it was building bicycles from welded, heat treated aluminum alloy in the 1980s, when the ‘standard’ was lugged steel, or its unique strut-style “Lefty” front suspension today, the company has rarely been content settling for the industry’s status quo. Although they are heavier and roll slower than 700c wheels, the larger footprint and lower air pressure allows them to float over obstacles much more smoothly. 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. For $100 more, Cannondale’s Topstone 105 is lighter, has a wider gear range, features better stopping power with hydraulic rather than mechanical disc brakes, and includes thru-axles for a more efficient ride. Also, for Aluminum, I'd say cannondale is king. For $1,200, it's one of the most affordable gravel grinders on our list that doesn't require making many major sacrifices. From all-out touring to weekend gravel rides and everything in between, the Straggler makes for a solid one-bike quiver. Of course, it’s possible to modify a 1x system with a larger-range cassette, but we prefer the convenience of sticking with the original components. The biggest news with the Checkpoint is its IsoSpeed, which functions similarly to the rear suspension on a mountain bike. And with a comfortable upright seating position and mounting locations for racks and panniers, it makes for a solid commuting and touring companion too. Similar to Trek’s Checkpoint SL 6 above, the most noteworthy component on the Diverge is its suspension that delivers a relatively high 20 millimeters of travel. Suspension isn’t common on gravel bikes, but it’s nevertheless important to explain for those looking for a smoother and more comfortable ride. Topstone Carbon Lefty comes with 650 x 47c tires for even more off-road ability and on-road comfort. TOPSTONE AL 105. 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. Germany-based Canyon might not have the name recognition of other brands on this list, but their Grail AL 7.0 adventure bike certainly is worth a look. Both are top-notch gravel bikes, but the simple answer is that we don't think the $700 bump in cost is worth it for most riders. Thanks for this, I might see if there is a dealer around me that has the apex in to give it a test ride. What pushes the Straggler toward the bottom of our list? The lowest end Topstone comes in at $1,050 with a Sora kit. Frame: AluminumGears: 2 x 10Tires: 700c x 38mmBrakes: Mechanical discWhat we like: Good overall performance for a palatable price.What we don’t: Downgraded drivetrain. For example, models like Trek’s Checkpoint SL 6 are significantly lighter than mountain bikes, the drop bars offer multiple hand positions for all-day comfort, and you get more mounting locations for food, water, and gear. 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. 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. Similar frame and components. Looks like you're using new Reddit on an old browser. Frame: CarbonGears: 2 x 11Tires: 700c x 38mmBrakes: Hydraulic discWhat we like: Lightweight carbon frame and Shimano 105 drivetrain at a reasonable price point.What we don’t: For some, the carbon frame may not be worth the price increase over the Topstone above. There are a few key questions you should ask yourself before beginning your search. We love 1x drivetrains for their simplicity, ease of use, and generally lower weight. The Cannondale Topstone is the gravel bike to end all gravel bikes, thanks to its high-volume tires and sporty handling it's a road bike with a rugged soul. Cannondale Topstone 105 Carbon Gravel Bike 2020RRP £2099 Full details and specifications on our website: https://www.scotbycycles.co.uk/Our first video! However, weight often correlates directly with cost: the more you spend on a bike, the less it will weigh. To start, inflate your tires to the maximum pressure labeled on the sidewall. It's pretty great, but for $200 less, I doubt you'd miss anything with the topstone. Our biggest complaint about the Warbird Apex is cost. In between is a Topstone 105 kit for $1,750. 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. Added up, you’d be hard-pressed to find a similarly equipped and well-made carbon design at this price point. Cannondale Topstone is the world’s #9 best commuter - city bike (11 ratings + 3 experts). It almost goes without saying that a lighter bike will feel sprightlier and more responsive than a heavier rig on the road or path. 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. Which Cannondale - CAADX 105 or Topstone. While gravel bikes share a lot in common with road models, pavement-oriented shoes typically have smooth and flat outsoles that make walking on gravel uncomfortable and cumbersome. skip the apex, for what you're describing you don't need the dropper seatpost (though the color is awesome). Winner: 2021 Topstone Carbon Lefty 1 … In other words, it’s hard to put a price on such excellent craftsmanship. But none of these issues are specific to the Synapse, and if you’re set on an electric model, we think it’s a true standout.See the Cannondale Synapse NEO SE. Trek Checkpoint SL 6 ($3,800) Frame: Carbon. The lowest end Topstone comes in at $1,050 with a Sora kit. 2020 Cannondale Topstone Carbon 105 or Cervelo Aspero Apex 1 Title says it all. 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