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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I kinda had my mind set on the top stone 105 but I can get a crazy good deal on a SYNAPSE CARBON DISC ULTEGRA SE which can take a 32mm tire. I will be doing plenty of road and dirt riding. I'm also interested in bike camping and maybe even a gravel race.

Will the synapse handle the gravel just as good as the top stone and are 32mm tires good enough for the fireroads?

For sure the synapse is faster on the road but I'm mainly concerned with dirt riding. My heart tells me to go with the top stone but my brain says to not look past this amaing deal.

Thanks guys
 

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No idea but I would guess the Synapse has steeper geo even as a slack road bike----maybe steeper than you want----honestly I would not be drawn by the good deal on a bike aimed not at your desired use---may work but hard to believe it is ideal.

Same as I do 10 day road rides on my old Roubaix but daily rides on my full road race geo bike----one works better over days and one better for one day.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks. I guess if I wanted to get more roadie with the top stone I could later just get a different wheel set with skinny tires and switch out the wheels.

Sure, it won't be roadie geo or even a super light weight roadie bike but I'm not a roadie.
 

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Slate 105 with rigid lefty. They are around $1200 from most dealers now. Build a 700c wheelset with 28s for when you want to road ride only, use the 650b 42s for gravel.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
thank you quentin but I think I'm going to go with the top stone. I'll be riding 50/50 road to dirt every time I ride so I think the top stone is a the right choice for me, right now.
 

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I was chatting with the guys on the Topstone 105 thread about this, the difference between a Synapse and a Topstone is simply tire clearance, which can be a very good thing if you ride gravel. I ride a HiMod Carbon Synapse with 30mm Schwalbe G-One Speed tires and have friends that run Continental Gatorskin 32mm on the same so these are among the widest and almost gravel capable tires for a disc brake road bike like a Synapse. I love my Synapse, rode this afternoon. They are outstanding for less than smooth roads and fast rough pavement and fast very light smooth gravel and all the imperfect pavement everywhere but they leave off where a Topstone can start as far as serious gravel roads and moderate off road trails. If you are 50/50 road/gravel and dirt then the versatility of the Topstone is the way to go. Invest in a second set of wheels when you can and have fast road tires on one and gravel munchers on the other. Win, win!
 

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I’ve got 32mm on my Synapse disc. There isn’t much clearance left at all. I’ve ridden some gravel with it but I sure wouldn’t call it a gravel bike. Any kind of softer road surface or mud and you’ll be wishing you had something with a wider tire and more tire clearance.
 

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I would not want to run 32c tires on gravel or fire roads. 35's on my Jamis Renegade were even a little rough. Moved on to 40c tires on my Kona and it's been much much better. Next set of tires I'll probably pump it up to 42c tires for even more cushion. I don't need speed. I'm slow no matter what. So comfort and grip take presidence. I did try some gravel riding on 28c tires when I had a Synapse several years ago. It wasn't fun. On pavement awesome. Not on gravel.
 

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It is important to remember that the pros are still mostly riding bikes like Synapse, Roubaix, Domane, etc. on the few really rough stages they race like the Roubaix cobbles. However, they are very strong riders going at very high speeds, skimming over rocks with little regard for comfort or for fear of expensive damage. Ted King wins the Dirty Kanza regularly and other top gravel events on a Cannondale SuperX carbon pro CX / gravel bike with 40mm gravel tires like Maxxis Rambler etc. so that is a good hint. On exactly the same stretch, less competitive riders would be better served by a gravel / adventure bike or even a light XC bike.
 

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As long as you stay on light gravel roads you should be ok. Once things go choppy you'll go flat quickly, since 32mm tires don't have much to give.
Go with the SuperX SE if you want carbon + Lightness + Racy riding position, or the Topstone for more relaxed riding. 40mm tires and tubeless are key for gravel and adventure.
 
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