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.
Tag Archives | Gravel Bikes
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.
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.
King Ridge Dirt Supreme
Part of the Grasshopper Adventure Series
You’ve never ridden King Ridge like this. We are starting in Duncan’s Mills this year so we will start with a slow burn up Bohemian Hwy to Occidental. Then climb up Coleman Valley and descend Willow Creek on dirt. Hwy 1 to Fort Ross. Dirt descent to Salt Point. Dirt climb up Kruse. Climb Hauser Bridge. Back King Ridge to Caz and finish on East Austin Creek Rd near Duncan’s Mills. If you are looking for a supreme cross/dirt/gravel challenge this is it. Road, cross, Diverge….? Depends on what you have and what you can ride. Big tires and don’t flat! If you loved Old Caz this ride will blow your mind!
Option #2: Riders will head out River Rd to Hwy 1 and follow the same course as the big loop. Eliminates climb to Occidental and Willow Creek descent. You will still have the Salt Point dirt descent and Kruse dirt climb so a gravel bike with slick/semi slick tires or a road bike with 28c would be a good option.
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 […]
I end the photos with the Niner MCR 9 RDO, a bike that has to be the most controversial, polarizing, gravel bike in the world. (Maybe the most photographed gravel bike as well. Editor) Making it an e-bike would likely burn down the internet.
State Bicycle Co. Warhawk: Checkpoint- by Guitar Ted The last time we looked at this bike we had snow on the ground yet. Since then we’ve gone from late Wintry conditions through “shoulder season”, Spring, and lately it has been like Summer. Plenty of opportunities to check out this single speed rig in varying conditions. […]