Cyclocross and Gravelbiking (Recreational) This has to be the most physically intense sport ever invented. It's high speed bicycle racing on a short off road course or riding the off pavement rides on gravel like :The Dirty Kanza". We also have a dedicated Racing forum for the Cyclocross Hard Core Racers.

Topstone vs Checkpoint

Old 06-06-19, 04:45 PM
  #1  
thehammerdog
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
thehammerdog's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: NWNJ
Posts: 2,676

Bikes: Road bike is a Carbon Bianchi C2C & Grandis (1980's), Gary Fisher Mt Bike, Trek Tandem & Mongoose SS MTB circa 1992.

Mentioned: 5 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 221 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 6 Times in 6 Posts
Topstone vs Checkpoint

Both are new and seem decent if you had $1200 what bike do you get
thehammerdog is offline  
Old 06-06-19, 05:16 PM
  #2  
softreset
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: Sacramento, CA
Posts: 767
Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 96 Post(s)
Liked 3 Times in 3 Posts
I assume we're comparing a Checkpoint AL 3 to a Topstone Sora, right?

If so, the Sora is $1050 and the Checkpoint is $1199. As they're both mechanical Sora and aluminum frames, I'd absolutely go for the Topstone and use the $150 to get some accessories.

I've got about 35-40 miles on a Topstone demo and own a Checkpoint (a carbon model). So my direct comparison of these two bikes is somewhat tangential. But you could do a lot with the $150 (slick tires, nice shoes, some new shorts, maybe some lights, whatever you might need).
softreset is offline  
Old 06-07-19, 08:31 AM
  #3  
MAGAIVER
Senior Member
 
MAGAIVER's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Brazil, Londrina PR
Posts: 226

Bikes: Kona Unit, Kona Kahuna, Kona Dew DL, Scott Big Jon, Trek Checkpoint ALR4, Sparton ST-500, Haro Team Issue

Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 16 Post(s)
Liked 5 Times in 4 Posts
I've never seen or ridden a Topstone but I own a Checkpoint ALR4, have had that bike for almost a year now and I absolutely love it, you should try riding both bike or at least analyse their geometries well because, in my opinion frame geometry is the most important thing, figure out which frame suits you better. Components can be changed but the frame geometry ramins the same.
MAGAIVER is offline  
Old 06-07-19, 10:08 AM
  #4  
shoota 
Senior Member
 
shoota's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: not sure
Posts: 6,386
Mentioned: 18 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1023 Post(s)
Liked 32 Times in 28 Posts
Originally Posted by thehammerdog View Post
Both are new and seem decent if you had $1200 what bike do you get
What size are you after?
__________________
2014 Cannondale SuperSix EVO 2
2015 Cannondale SuperX Hi-Mod
shoota is offline  
Old 06-07-19, 01:42 PM
  #5  
Aonex
Senior Member
 
Aonex's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: NY
Posts: 68

Bikes: Trek Crockett, Jamis Xenith, Fuji Cross... Dreaming of Mason Resolution

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 10 Post(s)
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Get the Topstone, better frame than the AL Checkpoint... unless you move up to the ALR Checkpoint.
Aonex is offline  
Old 06-12-19, 01:17 AM
  #6  
Hmmm
Senior Member
 
Hmmm's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2014
Location: Paris, France
Posts: 216

Bikes: TCX

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 77 Post(s)
Liked 11 Times in 8 Posts
I might be wrong, but does the Topstone have more tire clearance? By looking at them the Checkpoint looks more aggressive as well. But that being said I know nothing.
Hmmm is offline  
Old 06-12-19, 06:42 AM
  #7  
mstateglfr 
Sunshine
 
mstateglfr's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2014
Location: Des Moines, IA
Posts: 8,421

Bikes: '87 Schwinn Prelude, Black Mountain Cycles Monstercross V4, '89 Novara/Centurion Ironman, '18 Diamondback Syncr, '18 handmade steel roadbike

Mentioned: 76 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3057 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 202 Times in 139 Posts
Originally Posted by thehammerdog View Post
Both are new and seem decent if you had $1200 what bike do you get
My hierarchy-
I get the bike that fits me best.
-if both fit the same, then...-
I get the bike that can fit bigger tires to either use bigger tires or have clearance since both are important.
-if both have the same clearance, then...-
I get the bike that has the nicer frame and better components.
-if both have nice frames and components, then...-
I get the bike that looks better.
-if both are good looking, then...-
I get the bike that costs less.

As some point there is a differentiation, and its usually right at the 1st one since its rare for 2 bikes to fit the same.
mstateglfr is offline  
Likes For mstateglfr:
Old 06-12-19, 08:24 AM
  #8  
Lava
Reno/Seattle/NYC
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: NYC
Posts: 108

Bikes: Cannondale Topstone 105

Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 45 Post(s)
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
Originally Posted by Hmmm View Post
I might be wrong, but does the Topstone have more tire clearance? By looking at them the Checkpoint looks more aggressive as well. But that being said I know nothing.
The Topstone has more tire clearance (42) than the Checkpoint AL (38), but the ALR might have it beat by just a little (45). Neither go super huge. The Topstone was definitely a more relaxed ride than the ALR, at least, which fit a little more aggressively. I don't know how the AL compares.

Definitely agree with above, figure out which fits better first, then move down the decision tree from there!
Lava is offline  
Old 06-12-19, 10:02 AM
  #9  
djende
Newbie
 
Join Date: Jun 2019
Posts: 3
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I have the same dilemna

I am stuck between a Topstone Sora or a Checkpoint AL3. The Checkpoint it seems would need new tires but is the bike built better? I wonder what lends to the higher price tag? Is it simply components? I've read that the Checkpoint has "tubeless ready wheels". That intrigues me and I wonder if I should make this a major consideration.

There is a 3rd bike that is coming in as a possible contender, Specialized Diverge E5 Elite. A bit steeper price tag and it seems impossible to find but I wonder if I should be considering this bike as well.

I don't buy bikes very often. I have had a Gary Fisher Kai Tai for the past 12 years and over the years have ridden it quite often. Usually gravel trails or paved trails for 10-20 miles at a time a few times a week for 4 or 5 months of the year. Lately I've been riding more aggressively in regards to maintaining a high constant speed which makes me feel like maybe I need something that is more in the way of a road bike/drop handle bars so I can get in the proper positions. This will be my first new bike purchase since the Kai Tai all those years ago. I just want to be sure that I am buying the right one.

My main takeaway thus far would be to get on all the bikes I am interested in and buy the one that fits and feels best to me. Thanks in advance for any further input. The input so far has been helpful.
djende is offline  
Old 06-13-19, 07:50 AM
  #10  
shoota 
Senior Member
 
shoota's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: not sure
Posts: 6,386
Mentioned: 18 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1023 Post(s)
Liked 32 Times in 28 Posts
Originally Posted by djende View Post
I am stuck between a Topstone Sora or a Checkpoint AL3. The Checkpoint it seems would need new tires but is the bike built better? I wonder what lends to the higher price tag? Is it simply components? I've read that the Checkpoint has "tubeless ready wheels". That intrigues me and I wonder if I should make this a major consideration.

There is a 3rd bike that is coming in as a possible contender, Specialized Diverge E5 Elite. A bit steeper price tag and it seems impossible to find but I wonder if I should be considering this bike as well.

I don't buy bikes very often. I have had a Gary Fisher Kai Tai for the past 12 years and over the years have ridden it quite often. Usually gravel trails or paved trails for 10-20 miles at a time a few times a week for 4 or 5 months of the year. Lately I've been riding more aggressively in regards to maintaining a high constant speed which makes me feel like maybe I need something that is more in the way of a road bike/drop handle bars so I can get in the proper positions. This will be my first new bike purchase since the Kai Tai all those years ago. I just want to be sure that I am buying the right one.

My main takeaway thus far would be to get on all the bikes I am interested in and buy the one that fits and feels best to me. Thanks in advance for any further input. The input so far has been helpful.
Hi djende! Between the Topstone Sora and the AL3, the price difference is in the wheels and brakes. Both bikes are well built, so no worries there. The gearing on the Topstone is better in my opinion. Judging by your desired use I don't think tubeless should be a major consideration. Buy the one that fits best and that you like riding best, they just too similar to split hairs over.
__________________
2014 Cannondale SuperSix EVO 2
2015 Cannondale SuperX Hi-Mod
shoota is offline  
Old 06-14-19, 02:38 PM
  #11  
TheRef
Senior Member
 
TheRef's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2014
Posts: 460
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 116 Post(s)
Liked 9 Times in 4 Posts
I'm buying one of them tomorrow. I have a few decisions to make. If I go with the Trek it will be the Black AL3 (size 56) which I'm not a huge fan but local dealer is willing to give me a deal. If I Go with the Topstone I'll go with the Green Sora which I like quite a bit. Only have to decide between a Medium or a large.

Both Bikes have pros and cons
The Trek has more of a road gearing with 50/34 and the Cannondale has 46/30
The Trek comes with Slick 32s (up to 38 stated on the website and the Cannondale comes with 40mm stock
The Trek as better brakes and wheels.
The Trek has mounts for a front rack and the Cannondale only on the back.
I like the saddle of the Cannondale and wouldn't have to change a thing Not a fan of the Trek saddle.
TheRef is offline  
Old 06-14-19, 05:44 PM
  #12  
shoota 
Senior Member
 
shoota's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: not sure
Posts: 6,386
Mentioned: 18 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1023 Post(s)
Liked 32 Times in 28 Posts
Originally Posted by TheRef View Post
I'm buying one of them tomorrow. I have a few decisions to make. If I go with the Trek it will be the Black AL3 (size 56) which I'm not a huge fan but local dealer is willing to give me a deal. If I Go with the Topstone I'll go with the Green Sora which I like quite a bit. Only have to decide between a Medium or a large.

Both Bikes have pros and cons
The Trek has more of a road gearing with 50/34 and the Cannondale has 46/30
The Trek comes with Slick 32s (up to 38 stated on the website and the Cannondale comes with 40mm stock
The Trek as better brakes and wheels.
The Trek has mounts for a front rack and the Cannondale only on the back.
I like the saddle of the Cannondale and wouldn't have to change a thing Not a fan of the Trek saddle.
You missed the biggest difference. Tubeless ready wheels on the AL3.
__________________
2014 Cannondale SuperSix EVO 2
2015 Cannondale SuperX Hi-Mod
shoota is offline  
Old 06-14-19, 05:47 PM
  #13  
redlude97
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 4,270
Mentioned: 27 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1710 Post(s)
Liked 44 Times in 35 Posts
Originally Posted by shoota View Post
You missed the biggest difference. Tubeless ready wheels on the AL3.
Maddux cx2.0 wheels are tubeless ready
redlude97 is offline  
Old 06-14-19, 05:51 PM
  #14  
shoota 
Senior Member
 
shoota's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: not sure
Posts: 6,386
Mentioned: 18 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1023 Post(s)
Liked 32 Times in 28 Posts
Originally Posted by redlude97 View Post
Maddux cx2.0 wheels are tubeless ready
You sure about that? I've seen nothing but the contrary.

example: https://www.cyclingabout.com/2019-ca...touring-bikes/
__________________
2014 Cannondale SuperSix EVO 2
2015 Cannondale SuperX Hi-Mod
shoota is offline  
Old 06-14-19, 05:59 PM
  #15  
redlude97
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 4,270
Mentioned: 27 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1710 Post(s)
Liked 44 Times in 35 Posts
Originally Posted by shoota View Post
You sure about that? I've seen nothing but the contrary.

example: https://www.cyclingabout.com/2019-ca...touring-bikes/
Unless something has changed, the cx2.0 on my 2017 CAADX have a tubeless profile and set up easily
redlude97 is offline  
Old 06-14-19, 06:00 PM
  #16  
shoota 
Senior Member
 
shoota's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: not sure
Posts: 6,386
Mentioned: 18 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1023 Post(s)
Liked 32 Times in 28 Posts
Originally Posted by redlude97 View Post
Unless something has changed, the cx2.0 on my 2017 CAADX have a tubeless profile and set up easily
beats me dude. you would think cannondale would advertise them as tubeless somewhere if they were.
__________________
2014 Cannondale SuperSix EVO 2
2015 Cannondale SuperX Hi-Mod
shoota is offline  
Old 06-14-19, 06:08 PM
  #17  
redlude97
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 4,270
Mentioned: 27 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1710 Post(s)
Liked 44 Times in 35 Posts
Originally Posted by shoota View Post
beats me dude. you would think cannondale would advertise them as tubeless somewhere if they were.
They weren't advertised as tubeless read on my CAADX either and thought I'd have to set them up ghetto tubeless but after pulling the tires off they have a nice shelf and lip to lock the bead and just needed a layer of tape, set up just as easy as my stan's rims on the superx
redlude97 is offline  
Old 06-14-19, 09:24 PM
  #18  
itskohler
Senior Member
 
itskohler's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Paducah, KY
Posts: 191
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 26 Post(s)
Liked 8 Times in 6 Posts
Originally Posted by redlude97 View Post
They weren't advertised as tubeless read on my CAADX either and thought I'd have to set them up ghetto tubeless but after pulling the tires off they have a nice shelf and lip to lock the bead and just needed a layer of tape, set up just as easy as my stan's rims on the superx
The stock wheels on my Topstone Sora were not tubeless ready at all. That spot on the hoop where you can see the butt of the 2 ends meet will just seep sealant, and the lip looks stout but sealant was draining from there as well. I tried everything I could think of, just would not work. Thought I could get em to seal; I've gotten a few sets of older mtb wheels to seal up that weren't tubeless. Made a mess, learned a lesson.

Last edited by itskohler; 06-14-19 at 09:28 PM.
itskohler is offline  
Old 06-14-19, 09:27 PM
  #19  
redlude97
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 4,270
Mentioned: 27 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1710 Post(s)
Liked 44 Times in 35 Posts
Originally Posted by itskohler View Post
The stock wheels on my Topstone Sora were not tubeless ready at all. That spot on the hoop where you can see the butt of the 2 ends meet will just seep sealant. I tried everything I could think of, just wouldntw work. Thought I could get em to seal, I've gotten a few sets of older mtb wheels to seal up that weren't tubeless. Made a mess, learned a lesson.
did they have a tubeless ready profile though? What tape width did you use and what tire? Wonder if its because I used skinnystrippers
redlude97 is offline  
Old 06-14-19, 09:35 PM
  #20  
itskohler
Senior Member
 
itskohler's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Paducah, KY
Posts: 191
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 26 Post(s)
Liked 8 Times in 6 Posts
Originally Posted by redlude97 View Post
did they have a tubeless ready profile though? What tape width did you use and what tire? Wonder if its because I used skinnystrippers
GravelKing 700x35. I originally just used stans tape on the rear, then couldn't get that to seal so I swapped over to Gorilla Tape. That didn't work either, and that's all I've used on 2 of my mountain bikes, 3 coworkers mountain bikes, a dirt jumper for a friend, and the girldfriends Felt f40x.

Ended up with new wheels anyways and there were a breeze.

Last edited by itskohler; 06-14-19 at 09:40 PM.
itskohler is offline  
Old 06-15-19, 12:29 PM
  #21  
996
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Posts: 35
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 14 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by itskohler View Post
GravelKing 700x35. I originally just used stans tape on the rear, then couldn't get that to seal so I swapped over to Gorilla Tape. That didn't work either, and that's all I've used on 2 of my mountain bikes, 3 coworkers mountain bikes, a dirt jumper for a friend, and the girldfriends Felt f40x.

Ended up with new wheels anyways and there were a breeze.
Nice bike! Topstone is one of my choices for my next bike. I however was leaning towards a steel frame. How does the aluminum frame feel from C-Dale?

Thanks!
996 is offline  
Old 06-15-19, 03:44 PM
  #22  
shoota 
Senior Member
 
shoota's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: not sure
Posts: 6,386
Mentioned: 18 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1023 Post(s)
Liked 32 Times in 28 Posts
Originally Posted by 996 View Post
Nice bike! Topstone is one of my choices for my next bike. I however was leaning towards a steel frame. How does the aluminum frame feel from C-Dale?

Thanks!
I've ridden everything from a proper high end steel bike, to a straight up carbon race CX bike, to this alloy Topstone. In every case the smoothness was 100% determined by the tires and the tires pressure. That combo makes up such a large percentage of the overall feel of a bike I can't help but think the "steel is real" and "alloy and carbon are harsh" mantras are bull when it comes to gravel.
__________________
2014 Cannondale SuperSix EVO 2
2015 Cannondale SuperX Hi-Mod
shoota is offline  
Old 06-16-19, 07:52 AM
  #23  
Noctilux.95
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Southern California
Posts: 451

Bikes: Bianchi Oltre XR4 Celeste, De Rosa SK Pininfarina, Giant TCR SL, Giant Revolt Advanced Revolt 0 Gravel Bike, Trek Madone SLR

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 300 Post(s)
Liked 14 Times in 12 Posts
New carbon Topstones.

Noctilux.95 is offline  
Old 06-17-19, 01:15 PM
  #24  
MAGAIVER
Senior Member
 
MAGAIVER's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Brazil, Londrina PR
Posts: 226

Bikes: Kona Unit, Kona Kahuna, Kona Dew DL, Scott Big Jon, Trek Checkpoint ALR4, Sparton ST-500, Haro Team Issue

Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 16 Post(s)
Liked 5 Times in 4 Posts
Originally Posted by Lava View Post
The Topstone has more tire clearance (42) than the Checkpoint AL (38), but the ALR might have it beat by just a little (45). Neither go super huge. The Topstone was definitely a more relaxed ride than the ALR, at least, which fit a little more aggressively. I don't know how the AL compares.

Definitely agree with above, figure out which fits better first, then move down the decision tree from there!
The Checpoint ALR will unnoficially fit 27,5x2.2 tires, trek says you cannot do it but my bike is fine. I have the SL carbon model also setup with 27,5x2.2 tires.
MAGAIVER is offline  
Old 06-17-19, 08:07 PM
  #25  
LS1BadBird
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2019
Posts: 9
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by itskohler View Post
The stock wheels on my Topstone Sora were not tubeless ready at all. That spot on the hoop where you can see the butt of the 2 ends meet will just seep sealant, and the lip looks stout but sealant was draining from there as well. I tried everything I could think of, just would not work. Thought I could get em to seal; I've gotten a few sets of older mtb wheels to seal up that weren't tubeless. Made a mess, learned a lesson.
Sora is the only one not tubeless ready. 105 and Apex are ready. My 105 even came with replacement valve stems to convert them.
LS1BadBird is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service

Copyright 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.