From all-out touring to weekend gravel rides and everything in between, the Straggler makes for a solid one-bike quiver. Which Cannondale - CAADX 105 or Topstone. I don’t love that color either, it looks like that may be a compromise I need to make. Topstone's SmartForm C2 Alloy construction showcases our decades of expertise in aluminum craftsmanship. Mechanical brakes, as their name implies, use a cable system to actuate the brakes and slow you down. And an added bonus of going with a heavy hitter like Specialized: the Diverge lineup is incredibly extensive, starting at $1,100 and going all the way up to $10,000, so most riders should be able to find exactly what they’re looking for.See the Specialized Diverge Sport See the Women's Specialized Diverge Sport. 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. of gears: 22 (2×11) / Frame: SmartForm C2 alloy / Wheel Size: 700 x 37 c / Brakes: Shimano 105 hydraulic / Weight: 22 lbs – 10kg. Price goes up with the added tech, but if you spend a good amount of time at speed on exceptionally rough roads, it may be worthwhile to consider one of the models listed above. 4k of climbing/descending Set it up with Gravelking SK 38c tubeless. Our medium had a 56.1-centimeter top tube length, which ended up being a bit on the large side for us. A bit about yourself: height, weight, and level of fitness can all help people understand your needs better. This unique tech and impressive performance do come at a cost. In this category, we really like Schwalbe’s fast-rolling and surprisingly grippy 700c x 38mm G-One. Both brands offer a solid lineup of sizes and tread patterns that cover everything from smooth road tires to aggressive gravel options. Love them or hate them, electric bikes are here to stay, and Cannondale’s first go at a gravel-focused model is a huge success in our opinion. Do you like the colour of the 2019 Felt Broam 30?Same price as the 105 Topstone. Cannondale does have some respectable gravel bikes like the all new Topstone and lefty slinging Slate, but we’re a bit confused as to why the Synapse Disc SE bikes are in this category. The only other bike I'd consider (and the one that I own) is the Specialized Diverge E5 Comp. 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. 198 months. And finally, tubeless setups can be a bit of a mess should you ever need to put a tube in your tire. 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. Whereas the checkpoint with full 105 basically has road gearing, with a compact road crankset (50/34). We especially like the Waxwing fork, which features three-pack mounts that add versatility for storing water bottles or shuttling overnight gear. These are just fantastic tires for rough gravel and pavement. Gravel bikes also feature a wider gear range for the varied terrain you can expect on forest service and backroads. This is true, I’d almost be willing to pay more for the paint job of the apex but $500 is awfully steep for that. In essence, they are more capable than road bikes yet more efficient than mountain bikes, transitioning nicely from daily commutes to weekend adventures. If you don’t feel comfortable with the initial installation, we recommend asking your local bike shop for help. 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. Now it’s time to address the elephant in the room. In the end, it depends on how comfortable you are choosing, sizing, and assembling a bike.Back to Our Top Gravel Bike Picks Back to Our Gravel Bike Comparison Table. But if the shifters aren’t a deal-breaker, we think the Haanjo 5C is one of the best deals currently on the market.See the Diamondback Haanjo 5C EXP. 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. Taking the place of the unique and innovative Slate gravel bike is Cannondale's latest all-road creation: the Topstone. The cherry on top: the Topstone manages to undercut much of the competition in price at a reasonable $1,750. Cannondale have gone FSA crankset not to cheap out, but because of the gearing (46/30). 2020 Cannondale Topstone Carbon 105 or Cervelo Aspero Apex 1 Title says it all. 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. 2020 Cannondale Topstone Carbon 105 or Cervelo Aspero Apex 1 Title says it all. On the flip side, titanium undoubtedly is pricey, but Moots uses a high-quality, U.S.-made version that’s welded in-house at the company’s headquarters. 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. Skip that extra bit of carbon instead. Although heavier than carbon, aluminum typically is more durable, and even heftier steel and titanium rigs will stand up to years of use and abuse. This also translates to a larger contact patch with the ground, making them ideal for off-road use. And finally, e-bike laws still are evolving and changing, so it’s important to know the rules before you head out. 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. Where does the Stigmata Rival fall short? The lower gears are more suitable for trail riding. What pushes the Diverge Sport down to a mid-pack finish? 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 biggest news with the Checkpoint is its IsoSpeed, which functions similarly to the rear suspension on a mountain bike. 700c tires are narrower than 650b options, usually weigh less, and roll faster on tarmac and most gravel paths. (Info / ^Contact). The Grail’s proven and tubeless-ready DT Swiss wheels also are wrapped in one of our favorite gravel tires at the moment: Schwalbe’s 40mm G-One Bite, which transition nicely from tarmac to trail. 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. The only problem is the colour. Hi, I’m looking for a gravel / … Will be doing more rod than gravel so I’m leaning towards the carbon 105 just for the 2x etc. While people have been taking their road bikes onto unpaved roads for decades, this emerging category has a number of thoughtful design features that make the experience much more enjoyable. 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. At $2,599, we think there are better deals to be had in the gravel bike category. 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. Further, we recommend taking a very close look at the size chart before buying. Others, like Competitive Cyclist, also feature bike-fit tools that should help you determine your correct size. Further adding to the elite-level build (and price) is the crisp shifting of Shimano’s electronic Ultegra Di2 drivetrain. This means that hydraulic brakes provide better stopping power with less effort, are easier to control and fine-tune, and can’t get clogged with trail debris and mud (mechanical brake cables can easily get dirty and rust over time). 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. For last year, the Stigmata saw a complete redesign including additional clearance for tires up to 45 millimeters wide (as well as 650b tires), updated geometry with a slightly longer head tube that translates to a more upright and comfortable riding position, and internal routing for dropper seat post compatibility. 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. Shimano 105 group w/hydraulic disc brakes / Cannondale 1 crankset; Integrated Cannondale App connectivity / WTB tubeless-ready rims and tires; Where it thrives. To help, many major online retailers such as REI Co-op and Backcountry provide geometry charts and size recommendations for most of their models. What do you give up with the budget-friendly Checkpoint AL 3? Frame: CarbonGears: 1 x 11Tires: 700c x 42mmBrakes: Mechanical discWhat we like: Excels at racing but can still carry gear for overnight trips.What we don’t: At this price, we expect hydraulic disc brakes and slightly better components. of gears: 22 (2×11) / Frame: SmartForm C2 alloy / Wheel Size: 700 x 37 c / Brakes: Shimano 105 hydraulic / Weight: 22 lbs – 10kg. Looks like you're using new Reddit on an old browser. 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. That said, you do forego the Diverge’s impressive front suspension, which should be a key consideration if you frequent rough and rocky roads more often than smooth gravel bike paths. If your budget won’t stretch that far, there are also the $1,750 Topstone 105 and $1,050 Topstone Sora builds to consider. In the end, the choice often comes down to cost: hydraulic brakes come with a bump in price, while mechanical brakes can be found on most budget-friendly models. The second option is the Topstone Apex 1. Cannondale Synapse Review … Your location (even approximate) can help other locals familiar with your conditions, too. 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. 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. If you’ve never heard of Donnelly Cycling, you’re not alone. That said, the Warbird’s additional storage spots on the frame and fork make it better-suited for all-day epics and backcountry adventures. Pretty standard, but well-thought out and executed nonetheless. For a reasonable $1,599, you get a 2 x 10 Shimano drivetrain that works well across most terrain along with a healthy selection of mounting locations for racks, bottles, and gear. For budget-oriented riders interested in exploring backroads or taking the scenic route to work, Salsa’s Journeyman Claris 650 is plenty of bike. Next, lay an object larger than a pencil in your driveway or on the sidewalk—a wooden dowel or mixing spoon handle works great—and ride over it at a comfortable speed (about 10mph). Giant has built a reputation around producing high-quality bikes at affordable prices, and their Revolt Advanced 2 is a shining example. But unlike the Trek, the Specialized bike focuses its shock absorption at the front rather than the rear. Too much pressure will result in bouncing down the path or road and feeling every little bump along the way. But if you’re more interested in gravel races than mellow rides, the lighter carbon-framed Revolt Advanced 2 is well worth a look. Not to mention, we can’t help but love the old-school look of the RLT’s raw aluminum frame. Every model has capability for internal dropper post routing. For $1,200, it's one of the most affordable gravel grinders on our list that doesn't require making many major sacrifices. 650b 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. There are a few key questions you should ask yourself before beginning your search. All that said, it can be a challenge converting your bike to tubeless. Will be doing more rod than gravel so I’m leaning towards the carbon 105 just for the 2x etc. All that said, we do have some general advice on how to find an appropriate psi. The biggest benefit is the ability to run lower tire pressures, meaning the tires are better able to absorb impacts without increasing the risk of a pinch flat. Pure gravel goodness. Further, the Schwalbe G-One Bite tires roll fast on pavement yet still provide ample grip on everything but the deepest and loosest of gravel. What pushes the Straggler toward the bottom of our list? Another choice you’ll have to make when choosing a gravel bike is whether you want hydraulic or mechanical disc brakes. 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. Better known for their extensive lineup of mountain bikes, Norco did a nice job with the dirt-focused Search XR A2. Tire Clearance The rig packs a dependable Shimano 2 x 9 Sora drivetrain, mechanical disc brakes for consistent stopping power, and tubeless-ready wheels for better traction and helping to smooth out choppy sections of road and trail. 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. 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. Why do we have the Giant Revolt Advanced 2 ranked below the Cannondale? Salsa’s Warbird, for example, has been through many iterations over the years in search of that perfect balance. Fast and smooth with great grip. Overwhelmed by choice? Shimano 105 group w/hydraulic disc brakes / Cannondale 1 crankset; Integrated Cannondale App connectivity / WTB tubeless-ready rims and tires; Where it thrives. Got my first decent ride in on the Topstone 105, about 40 miles 70% gravel 30% road (approximate). My commute is 3 miles each way and I bike everywhere else I go in the city. Gravel roads, out in the elements, low-impact trails. Moreover, it uses wire-bead, non-tubeless tires, which add weight, and sports less-powerful mechanical disc brakes rather than hydraulic. No. Make note of this pressure and take your bike for a real ride. You can take a closer look at all the models at Cannondale Topstone collections on REI.com. First and foremost, we fully encourage you to shop at your local bike shop whenever possible. Categories Bikes Post navigation. 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. Let us help you choose the right bike to get you riding! I’d pay more for the paint job but I’m not sure I’d pay $500 more. Additionally, the Topstone gets an upgraded drivetrain that’s smoother and has an even better range. Tires in this size come in a variety of tread patterns which cover everything from smooth slicks to knobby options (resembling mini mountain bike tires). 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. 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. Frame: CarbonGears: 2 x 11Tires: 700c x 40mmBrakes: Hydraulic discWhat we like: Rear decoupler does a great job of soaking up bumps.What we don’t: The suspension increases cost. Simply put, you can get an almost identical drivetrain and similarly lightweight carbon frame for $350 less with the Giant Revolt Advanced 2 above. 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. California-based Specialized is one of the biggest names in cycling, so it should come as no surprise that they offer a winner in the gravel-focused Diverge Sport. Combined with a smooth-riding titanium frame and beefy 40-millimeter Mavic tires, this is a true backroads rig that’s ready to handle just about anything you throw at it. Are you comfortable with some assembly? To be sure, the Haanjo 5C can’t match the all-out performance or low weight of the pricier, race-oriented models on the list, but it’s a capable companion for those who do a little bit of everything—including commuting, cruising mellow doubletrack, and taking shorter bikepacking trips. 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. I am really happy with it overall. 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. By decoupling the top and seat tubes, this technology effectively reduces vibrations and creates a less jarring, smoother ride. Why isn't the Co-op Cycles ADV 3.1 ranked higher? Looking for opinions on what the best bike is for commuting to/from work and doing errands in the city. 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. There's good reason why this is one of the fastest-growing bike categories. I will also be using it to go to the grocery store and running all other errands I can't walk to as long as it's suitable to bike. Released last year, the mid-range Topstone 105 features a sturdy aluminum frame... Mountain bikes have come a long way in recent years, with trends like 29-inch wheels—and more recently, 27.5-inch wheels—blazing the trail for bikes that are better and more... Salsa Cycles’ adventure-by-bike ethos permeates each and every model in their lineup, and the gravel-focused Journeyman is no exception. Traction, handling, comfort 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. All that said, there are many benefits to purchasing a true gravel-focused bike. We’d be remiss not to include Salsa’s venerable and highly sought-after Warbird on this list. Topstone is pure gravel goodness. Not only does it make the uphills more bearable, but it also allows you to cover ground more quickly with less effort. Tires are an often-overlooked component, but as the only thing connecting you to the ground, are an important consideration for gravel riding. 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