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Gravel Gear

Redesigned Cannondale Topstone gets updated suspension, refined geometry

The do-it-all gravel bike has a slew of refinements, as well as some big improvements and standardizations for the bottom bracket, rear wheel, and more.

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Cannondale refreshed the Topstone carbon gravel bike with updated geometry, Kingpin suspension that loses 100g of weight, improved tire clearance, and SmartSense technology for integrated lights, radar, and display that draw power from a single source.

Read more: Cannondale builds safety (and battery) integration into new Synapse

While the SuperSix Evo SE remains at the top of the gravel pile as the lightest racer — nearly indistinguishable from the top-of-the-line ‘cross bike — the Topstone is set to be the Swiss Army knife offering. The Topstone has a marginally more relaxed head tube angle than the SuperSix Evo SE, this also yields a ride that promises more stability without sacrificing responsiveness. On the back end of the bike, marginally (5mm) longer chainstays also add to a longer wheelbase, which should also add to a confident ride.

The Kingpin suspension has been updated—it now has bushings instead of a sealed cartridge bearing system. (Photo: Cannondale)

Launched in 2019, the Topstone slotted in above the Slate as the top-choice do-it-all gravel bike offering. The latest Cannondale Topstone shares a few cues with the just-recently announced Synapse. The SmartSense system integrates with a Garmin Varia radar, as well as a lighting system, for enhanced see-and-be-seen safety.

Replacing the Ai bottom bracket of the first iteration of the gravel bike is a threaded English/BSA bottom bracket — plain and simple is not a bad thing — that sits slightly lower than the previous design, and the offset dished rear wheel feature is gone, too, with the latest update of this gravel bike. (This means you can swap in other wheels, which you could not do with the prior version.) Along with the redesigned bottom bracket and chainline comes an update to the drive-side chainstay, which has been extended and dropped.

Those who still swear by the need for two rings in front will be pleased, as will the 1x-drivetrain crowd. If the front derailleur tab is not in use when running a single chainring, the mech mount can be removed.

2022 Cannondale Topstone Carbon Lefty with Kingpin suspension and StrapRack for accessories. 1x drivetrain setup allows for removal of the front mech mount, but some might opt for a chain guide. (Photo: Cannondale)

Downhill road racers like Matej Mohorič take note: The Cannondale Topstone can accept a dropper post. And those in search of a more comfortable ride off-asphalt, the Kingpin rear pivot, where the dropped seat stays attached to the seat tube also offers additional compliance. The updated suspension technology is based on IGUS bushings, which are lighter, simpler, and arguably more reliable than the sealed cartridge bearing system that it replaces.

The suspended Cannondale Topstone is also available with a Lefty Oliver fork option offering 30mm of travel or a lockout feature. The Lefty fork options do not accommodate mounting points for hydration, packs, storage, or other accessories.

2022 Cannondale Topstone Carbon with a rigid fork that has multiple accessory mounting options. (Photo: Cannondale)

Without the fork, Cannondale claims the weight of the new Topstone to be about 1,200g.

Cannondale offers nine different stock Topstone versions; seven are set for 700c wheels, while two are configured for 650b wheels. The standover height of the updated Cannondale Topstone range is also slightly lower than the previous models, which promises to add to stability and handling.

Cannondale Topstone Geometry

Cannondale Topstone Pricing

Topstone Carbon 1 Lefty: $7,800 (SRAM Force AXS XPLR, Hollowgram 22 wheels)
Topstone Carbon 1 RLE*: $7,800

Topstone Carbon 2 Lefty: $4,200 (Shimano GRX 800, dropper post option)
Topstone Carbon 2L**: $4,200 (Shimano GRX 800)

Topstone Carbon 3L: $3,300
Topstone Carbon 3L: $3,300 (650b)
Topstone Carbon 3: $3,300
Topstone Carbon 3: $3,300 (650b)

Topstone Carbon 4: $2,800 (Shimano GRX 400)

*RLE designates SmartSense system equipped with both radar and lights
**L designates that the model has SmartSense lights ONLY but no radar, which can be added later

Full specs, details, color options, and more are available on the Cannondale website.