Hot on the heels of Cannondale’s recent announcement of the 2020 Topstone Carbon, it’s time to wrap up the review of the 2019 Topstone 105 we’ve been testing since early-May.
Over the last two months (!!) that the final part of this review lasted, I have ridden the Noble GX5 as a “daily driver”, taken it out on some of the nastiest roads we’ve seen in years, and ridden it on “normal” Mid-West roads. Through it all, I have remained impressed with this carbon fiber bicycle with roots going back to another gravel bike I really like.
It’s an exciting time for lovers of new new gravel bikes and gear, as manufacturers start to show their cards for the year to come. We’ve been riding a 2020 Cannondale Topstone Carbon Force eTap AXS model for a few weeks now, and here are our initial impressions.
Long known for innovative, out of the box thinking, Cannondale today announced its next evolution in all road bikes, the Topstone Carbon. Featuring an all-new ultralight Kingpin suspension system, the Topstone Carbon is designed to give riders more comfort, control and all-terrain versatility, without the added weight and complexity of a damper-based suspension system.
Back in May, we introduced you to the Cannondale Topstone 105 we have in for testing, and today it’s time to update you on our experience with the bike so far.
GT Bicycles announced the introduction of its all-new Grade gravel bikes. Available in both carbon and alloy frame models, GT says the new Grade is built for adventure out of the box. It’s more compliant, versatile and adjustable than ever before, with a leaner look and a purposeful redesign of GT’s iconic Triple Triangle frame design.
Named after a favorite gravel route near Cannondale’s headquarters, the Topstone is the company’s second gravel model. Unlike its stablemate, it cuts a more traditional ‘gravel bike’ profile, rolling on 700c wheels, with stated clearance for up to 42c tires.
If you can get by the limitations of the Warhawk- dedicated single speed, limited tire clearances, and limited versatility- then you will be rewarded with one of the better handling, better riding gravel/all road/commuter rigs you can find. For the dollar amount that State Bicycle Co. asks for this bike, I cannot find anything in my experience that compares to how nice it handles and how fun it is to ride.
The GX5 is pretty smooth, but the fork isn’t quite up to steel fork feel. That said, it handles in a stable, but not sluggish manner, over choppy roads and deep gravel. The light weight is very nice and the total package is fun to ride on. The wheel and tire limitations are somewhat of a bummer, as is the slightly too stiff fork, but this bike is very impressive so far.
Gravel Grinder News: Sea Otter ’19- Lunch With Alchemy Bikes – by Grannygear Or: A lunch with Alchemy bikes and the custom bike quandary. The day before Sea Otter ’19 began I was invited to a lunch highlighting some new steeds from Alchemy Bicycles, a custom frame builder based out of Colorado. While custom bikes […]