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The new Cannondale Topstone Alloy ticks gravelly boxes with mounts and clearances for all

Updated version of Cannondale’s utility-focussed gravel bike puts the focus firmly on versatility

Joseph Delves
11 Jul 2022

Cannondale’s Topstone Carbon has carved a distinctive niche since its launch in 2018 with its non-UCI compliant rear triangle and suspension fork options. With that version getting a spruce up earlier this year, riders with more conservative budgets will now find the alloy version similarly updated.

Slightly less radical-looking than its more expensive peers, the latest redesign of the alloy version nevertheless pinches the dropped stays and Cannondale's 'OutFront' steering geometry found higher up the range.

It also features an extra-long fork offset paired with a slack head angle, and Cannondale believes this combination offers the best balance of light and lively steering and high-speed stability.

Elsewhere, utility and versatility seem to be watchwords for the redesign. The Topstone has long sported multiple mounts on the top tube, plus the upper and lower sides of the down tube, and the new model now also sprouts them on either side of its all-carbon fork. Add conventional rack and mudguard mounts, and the new alloy Topstone can be loaded up six ways from Sunday.

The alloy Topstone’s more budget pricing means it comes with a conventional rigid seatpost and fork, but accommodations have been made to let you swap in dropper or suspension models later if you wish. Similarly, a traditional rear triangle (as opposed to Cannondale's proprietary AI offset design) and threaded BSA bottom bracket make switching your wheels or crankset straightforward.

Having experimented with 650b wheels in the past, the entire range now rolls on more conventional 700c wheels with 37mm WTB Riddler tyres used across the board. The frame also packs in clearance for models up to 45mm, while there’s adequate space to slide in mudguards alongside tyres up to 40mm.

Cannondale Topstone alloy build options

The new Cannondale Topstone is available in five different models (the LTD, 1, 2, 3, and 4). The first four of these opt for gravel-specific 46/30 double cranksets supplied from either Shimano’s GRX or Sora range. Depending on price-point, these are coupled with wide-ratio 11-34 cassettes.

By comparison, the cheapest model in the line-up uses a single 40t chainring paired with an 11-48 cassette. With shifting taken care of by Microshift 10-speed Advent X parts, you’ll actually bag an extra sprocket compared to the model above. At the same time, both of the lower models make do with mechanical disc brakes.

The same goes for tubeless-ready compatibility, which is reserved for the LTD, 1, and 2. Cannondale’s integrated wheel sensor, however, is more universal, delivering speed, route, and distance information while you ride.

You can link your bike to the Cannondale app and it’ll remind you when your bike is likely to require servicing if you’re not confident of predicting this yourself.

Although not included on any of the models, there’s also compatibility with the firm’s new SmartSense system.

First included on Cannondale’s Synapse road bike, this integrated radar can alert riders to passing vehicles, while auto-adjusting your lights to communicate changes in speed as you slow down.

Cannondale Topstone Alloy range overview

The new Topstone joins a Cannondale drop-bar line-up that includes the increasingly all-road capable Synapse. With the SuperSix EVO coming in dedicated gravel or cyclocross racing builds, the Topstone is free to pursue a more rugged design brief.

Fitted with wide and flared bars plus easy-to-spin gearing, this bike aims itself at testing trails and should appeal to the bikepacking crowd. At the same time, its moderate-width tyres mean it should be happy enough with more traditional touring or commuting work in its standard build.

Cannondale Topstone Alloy builds and pricing

Cannondale Topstone LTD

  • Frameset: Aluminium
  • Groupset: Shimano GRX RX800 2× 11-speed
  • Wheels: WTB KOM Light i23 TCS
  • Availability: TBC 2022
  • Price: £2,600

Cannondale Topstone 1

  • Frameset: Aluminium
  • Groupset: Shimano GRX RX600 2× 11-speed
  • Wheels: WTB ST i23 TCS
  • Availability: TBC 2022
  • Price: £2,150

Cannondale Topstone 2

  • Frameset: Aluminium
  • Groupset: Shimano GRX RX400 2× 10-speed
  • Wheels: WTB ST i23 TCS
  • Availability: TBC 2022
  • Price: £1,750

Cannondale Topstone 3

  • Frameset: Aluminium
  • Groupset: Shimano Sora 2× 9-speed
  • Wheels: Cannondale GXD 1.0
  • Availability: TBC 2022
  • Price: £1,400

Cannondale Topstone 4

Frameset: Aluminium
Groupset: Microshift Advent X 1× 10-speed
Wheels: Cannondale GXD 1.0
Availability: TBC 2022
Price: £1,150