How to choose your new gravel bike
How to choose your new gravel bike

How to choose your new gravel bike

30.11.2023

The gravel bikes category is becoming more and more popular. Each company is more focused towards this category. In this article, we would like to introduce you to bikes from Cannondale and GT.

The N+1 equation

Bikes with drop bars are more and more popular these days and they are not aware of more difficult terrain. Modern cyclist sees gravel bikes as a logical addition to the equation n+1 in terms of the ideal number of bikes you have to have at home.

Those who love full suspension mountain bikes will be happy with how simple and fast gravel bikes are, and those who love road bikes will appreciate their resistance and ability which are far from the nice black asphalt. Last but not least even common riders commuting every day from home to work and back will be happy to ride the gravel bike for its versatility.

Back to the roots with GT Grade

At the beginning was Grade – GT Grade. Back in the day this American brand made a revolution in the field of drop-bar bikes. Disc brakes and wide tire frame clearance were not expanded like today and for almost 10 years of being alive, GT Grade has found a lot of fans and happy riders. For 2024 there is a new GT Grade which took the best from its predecessor.

Tripple Triangle + Floating Seat Stays

It looks like an “old” Grade at first. But there are a lot of changes. Tripple Triangle is redesigned – there is the absence of a contact point between seat stays and seat tube which allows us to increase comfort during riding. The seat stays have a core made from fibreglass and carbon fibre and provide extra comfort during bumpy rides.

The comfort is not the only benefit of the redesigned Tripple Triangle. Thanks to this technology is rear wheel still in contact with the ground and your energy is changed to move forward as best as possible.

And you don’t have to be afraid of uphill, GT Grade will not hold you back. Thanks to the frame from carbon fibre can even a basic model say that the frame weighs only 980 g. You can also fit mudguards or holders thanks to threaded inserts in the seat stay and fork.

And how about the rest of the bike?

Let’s focus on new features of the Grade. Hand in hand with more and more difficult terrain where riders put their gravel bikes, we have to make sure that they can fit wider tires. The Grade now accepts tires up to 45 mm with still possible use of mudguards. Without them you can run tires up to 50c width. Axels are pretty standard – 100x12 front, 142x12 rear. The top model – Grade Carbon Pro X is also equipped with a dropper seat post and Rock Shox Rudy XPLR fork.

Adventure = gravel bike

The Grade is ready to go out on an adventure. A high number of different mounts for bikepacking bags on the frame or fork gives you the freedom you want. The alloy version of the bike allows you to fit bottle cages on seat stays. You can choose from 2 alloy and 4 carbon fibre versions.

Cannondale Topstone

Cannondale has been known for its unorthodox solutions and for discovering new ways of development. And some ways are used for the Topstone Carbon.

Magic with carbon

Topstone is a very well-known name for fans of Cannondale. The current generation of Topstone puts its money on carbon fibre. Thanks to long years of experience with carbon, Cannondale was allowed to use Kingpin suspension design for frames. The rear end of the bike is connected to the front triangle with pivot and sliding bushings where the seat stays connected to the seat tube.  

The movement is solved by special shapes of chain stays, seat tube, top tube and seat post. Thanks to these features you get a bike, which cares about its simplicity typical for gravel bikes, but also the comfort of a full suspension frame.

Proportional Response

Each size has been tuned to maximize effort from the construction of the frame and to offer 30 mm travel to each rider.

700b wheel size can be fit with tires up to 45 mm width. In case you want to ride a 650b wheel, you can fit tires with 54 mm width. Wheels are secured in the frame and fork with thru axles. Alloy and carbon versions of Topstone are offered with all kinds of drivetrains – 1x11, 1x12, 2x11 or 2x12. In combination with high range cassettes, there is no obstacle on your ride.

Lights as a basic equipment

Do you use your bike to commute to work and back? Cannondale takes care of you and prepares for you Topstone Carbon 1 RLE and Topstone Carbon 2 L which are fitted with integrated Lezyne lights right from the factory! Topstone Carbon 1 RLE is fitted also with rear Garmin Radar with traffic detection!

Alloy Topstone

This platform is made from alloy and Cannondale extended model range in this sector. Newly there very affordable Topstone 4 in two colour ways or top model Topstone LTD equipped with Shimano GRX 800 group set.

New is also model Topstone Apex 1 equipped with new mechanical gravel group set Sram Apex XPLR 1x12 with 40t chainring and 12 speed cassette with 11-44 range.

The frame is made for 45 mm wide tires, and you can find a lot of mounts for bags and hangers. The carbon fork is equipped with a thru axle and flat mount standard for the brake. This bike is a great company for all day trips and fun. 

Cannondale SupeSix EVO SE

Race oriented bike SuperSix EVO is one of the newest additions to the Cannondale range of bikes. The producer offers these bikes in three different versions. The one with a single chainring is purely CX bike and you can easily recognize it with a CX at the end of the name. The second version is called SE equipped with wider tires and wireless groupset SRAM Rival eTap AXS 2x12 and is presented as a gravel bike with race DNA. The SE version is offered in two different colour ways. And if you are not a fan of electronic shifting, we also have in offer also mechanical version equipped with Shimano GRX!

Trendsetter by Cannondale

The Topstone NEO SL combines a classic gravel bike with a modern e-bike solution. The Mahle e-bike motion with 250Wh sits in the rear hub and the battery is nicely hidden in a lower frame tube.

We certainly recommend trying the gravel bike category because it offers unexpected freedom and experience. You do not have to ride on just one surface, you can combine them. Gravel bikes are quite good partners in crime, and you will be surprised how much they handle. It's pure joy and fun, which all cycling is about.

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