Price:£949.99 - £4,799.99
Finance from:£79.17/month (0% APR)
- Carbon and alloy frames
- Gravel friendly components
- Compliant carbon frame
- No one-by drivetrains
- No dropper post fitted
- Cable disc brakes on base model
Usage:From road to trail
With its confident geometry and go anywhere attitude, this is a bike for riding everywhere.
Updated: 20th June 2019
The Topstone is Cannondale’s dedicated gravel road bike for smashing out big miles on backroads and exploring the routes less travelled. In this Cannondale Topstone review we take a look at all the models in the range.
The new carbon Topstones have some innovative features that offer a smoother ride over rough surfaces without sacrificing pedalling efficiency. The alloy framed bikes are more conventional but give you similar capabilities at a much lower price point. The Topstone range has been expanded for 2020 and now includes five new carbon framed bikes and five with alloy frames.
There are two different Topstone frame options. Both feature a dialled endurance fit that offers a great balance between upright comfort and speedy tucked efficiency. Even though the geometry is different the riding position is actually quite similar to the Synapse endurance bike. This gives you a comfortable ride as you clock up the miles. With its longer front end and slacker headtube angle it is the OutFront geometry that really sets the Topstone apart from an endurance bike. This keeps the steering light and agile while also offering more stability on rough terrain.
The Topstone Carbon bikes have the new KingPin suspension system that offers an incredibly smooth ride on rough terrain. Without the need for a shock or any special linkages the Topstone Carbon offers up to 30mm of bump soaking suspension travel. It is the shaping of the rear stays and seat tube combined with the LockR Pivot that allows the rear wheel to move up and down while minimizing any sideways play. This means that you get a smooth ride on bumpy roads without losing any of your pedalling efficiency. All the carbon bikes share the same BallisTec carbon frame and fork.
The Alloy bikes also have a full carbon fork and feature very similar geometry to the carbon models. The only real difference is that these bikes have slightly longer chainstays for an even more stable ride, and slightly lower top tubes which give you lower standover heights. There are multi position mounts on the frames and forks of all the bikes, so you have plenty of places to store water and gear.
Riding the Topstone is like peeling back layers of an onion - just when you think you have a solid grasp on the bike it shows you something else, something subtle, that pulls you in and makes you appreciate it just a little bit more. Bicycling
An overriding feature of the Topstone’s ride is the huge level of confidence it gives when the surface is testing.
The Topstone is fully kitted out for gravel road adventures. You get plenty of low-end gear options on every bike with 46/30 double chainsets combined with wide range cassettes. Most of the bikes get Shimano Drivetrains with Sora at the entry level moving up through Tiagra and 105 to Ultegra on the carbon bikes. The Top of the range model is aimed at gravel racing and is fitted with SRAM’s wireless Force AXS electronic groupset. All the bikes get disc brakes with hydraulics to match the groupset on every bike except the entry level Sora model that has cable operated callipers.
Every bike except the race oriented top-of-the-range model gets flare drop bars with the added width giving you more control at speed while still offering a standard hand position when you’re on the hoods. While none of the bikes have a dropper post fitted each frame is capable of taking an internally routed 27.2 seatpost.
It’s the robust wheels and high-volume tyres that really allow the Topstone to take you places an endurance road bike can’t. Most bikes are fitted with 37c WTB Riddler tyres. These have a low-profile centre tread for fast rolling and aggressive side knobs for extra cornering traction. These are tubeless ready tyres and are matched to tubeless ready rims. They are a little wider than most road bike rims which gives more support for the wide tyres. The top two bikes in the range get Cannondale HollowGram carbon wheels.
Unlike Cannondale’s other gravel bike, the Slate, the Topstone rolls on regular size 700c wheels. This makes it easier to fit slick tyres for dedicated tarmac riding. All the bikes in the range have plenty of room for tyres up to 40mm wide. You can even put on 650b wheels with 48mm tyres if you wish.
Ride quality is another highlight of the Topstone.
The Cannondale Topstone is a versatile bike that feels at home on gravel tracks but won’t slow you down on the road. With its confident geometry and go anywhere attitude, this is a bike for riding everywhere. If you want to explore off the beaten track, add a bit of gravel to your road ride or take that cheeky shortcut on your route to work, the Topstone is your ticket to everyday adventure.
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