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2021 Cannondale topstone 3 upgrades

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2021 Cannondale topstone 3 upgrades

Old 09-15-21, 12:06 PM
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kawikalee408
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2021 Cannondale topstone 3 upgrades

Hello everyone, new member here

I looked around briefly and wanted a fresh take on my specific bike and situation.

I was recently able to get a 2021 cannondale topstone 3, on their site it's listed as just above their base model.
I plan to upgrade most, if not all components in the future and wanted some up to date opinions and recomendations on parts.

I will be doing mostly road riding to places, possibly commuting, but live only about 5 miles from a park with dirt trails, so, like just about everyone, I want to be a weight weenie and get this 23lb bike as light as possible but still make it a usable and abusable gravel bike. Investing in quality components but not spending an arm and a leg if possible.

- It doesn't come tubeless ready, so first i'd like to talk about the wheelset. 700 or 650b? The bigger size seems to make more sense for mostly road riding, but as the aluminum topstone doesn't have suspension of any kind, I've heard people say the extra cushion and traction the 650b gives made all the difference in comfort and ride quality. I have seen some great light aluminum rims from WTB, would carbon really be better? are there affordable carbon options out there? What hubs do you recomend that wont cost $500 for the set?

- i plan to most likely keep the shimano sora components and probably ugrade the brakes to TRP spyre for simplicity's sake,
but would eventually upgrading my shifting and braking components to hydraulic and electronic save me reasonable weight on my bike?

- Lastly but certainly not least, the bike does not come with an external bottom bracket. I will definitely be wanting to upgrade this in the future, along with the basic cranks it comes with. Any crankset/cassette recomendations here? Some people change the bike to a 1x, not sure if I feel the need to but my mountain bike (santa cruz hightower) is 1x so if it makes sense based on recomendations, then I don't see why not.

I use to ride a cannondale track bike and other fixed gears that I built up in high school to commute around my city, so I don't have much experience with upgrading shifting comonents, cassets, brakes, etc, as my mountain bike was more of a ''one and done'' type of purchase when I bought it. Any advice this community has will be much appreciated and I hope my questions aren't too repetitive. I haven't been a part of a bike forum for at least 10 years

Last edited by kawikalee408; 09-15-21 at 04:55 PM.
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Old 09-15-21, 02:03 PM
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mstateglfr 
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- I would want 700c wheels, but everyone is different so if you want a fatter tire or smaller overall wheel size- go 650b. There is no firm right or wrong to this.
- A carbon fork and 40+mm tire at proper pressure should be comfortable for most people on most surfaces. There is not hard and fast experience here, so you may feel differently once you ride. My suggestion is to ride the bike now and decide if you want a wider tire to help absorb more impacts.
- carbon rims can work fine, but they arent cheap. Frankly, a carbon wheelset with Sora drivetrain is...curious. But if its what you want, go for it. I personally have no interest in a carbon wheelset as my wheels are light enough for what I want and reliable enough for how I use the bike.
- $500 hubs, or even close to that, are mostly just a lot of show without the substance. Get some Bitex or Shimano or DT350 or Hope hubs and be done.
- I dont think hydraulic shifters, hoses, cables, and brakes will weigh less than your current setup. Maybe slightly, but itd largely be a wash. 105 hydraulic shifters weigh more than 105 mechanical. 105 calipers are within a handful of grams of Spyre. Now you are comparing 105 hydraulic or maybe Tiagra to Sora mechanical which is heavier than 105, so it would probably be pretty even with the change.
- 2x or 1x is what you prefer. Polling 15 people on a forum for which to use isnt a great idea(to me). Use your bike in its current form and figure out if 2x angers you. It most likely wont, and so get it again when you upgrade. As for options- FSA, Shimano, Easton, and Praxis are all common options since they offer cranks with sub-compact chainrings. FSA will have the least expensive options, Shimano has the next cheapest, then Praxis, and lastly Easton.



You really should ride your bike in its current form for a thousand miles or more before switching. You will know what you actually want to change at that point.
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Old 09-16-21, 03:49 AM
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I was going to reply, but it's hard to find anything smart to add to what @mstateglfr already wrote.
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Old 09-16-21, 12:12 PM
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Thanks to those who replied, I don't think I did a very good job of giving myself some background.

I 100% will ride the **** out of this bike. That being said, having a background in technical work, tooling on my bike can be just as fun for me as riding it. Building up track bikes in highschool was a huge passion of mine that eventually led me to going to an automotive vocational school and become a vehicle/generator mechanic in the Army reserves.

I plan to upgrade this bike because it's fun and I like doing it, not because I feel like the parts my bike comes with are inadequite. I know I will of course experience deminished returns. I just want to be smart and get the best vaue for my money, as do most people. Coming from a fixed gear background, it was more simple and easier to get product recomendations as there weren't as many variables compared to road or mountain. I wanted to cover all my bases of research to make sure I did't foolishly buy components that aren't compatible with the bike for whatever reason. I will admit I got carried away with excitement watching other people's builds on youtube that sent me down this rabbit hole of research. I ultimately wanted to plan out a build that I could set as a goal in mind. I've sold bikes in the past and regretted it, so I don't really plan on selling this one or trading it for an upgrade. I want to work on my bike. I did, however, throw my thompson elite stem and fizik arione for starters.

I also have a hand-me-down giant NRS-2 with a manitou fork on it from 03 that I got from a family member. I plan on restoring and most likely turning in to an electric bike. Lots of exciting projects fo me to tinker with moving forward
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Old 09-16-21, 12:27 PM
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If you want to get technical, go down a rabbit hole, etc- build the wheels yourself. You can buy the components from prowheelbuilder and elsewhere online and thatll allow you to tinker up a storm!
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