Overall, the Shimano Ultegra groupset on this test bike was without fault. The formula matters, but so does the execution. Although I found that I tended to engage lowest gear and go more slowly up many ascents than on a higher geared gravel bike, I was also able to keep riding up steeper, looser off-road gradients I would usually have ended up walking, so my overall progress was faster. Also nice is the threaded, external bearing BSA bottom bracket. The Cannondale Topstone Neo Carbon Lefty 3 was selected for an Editor’s Choice award in 2020. Aero, schmero. Quality off road spec and handling • Good tyres, Cobbled progress: 2020 to see first ever Women's Paris-Roubaix, Topstone Carbon – Cannondale’s all new gravel bike review, Cinelli Pressure: new aero road bike from iconic Italian brand, Video: How to adjust a rear derailleur and index your gears, AG2R Citroën Team reveal major kit redesign for 2021, Women led the way in huge increase in cycling for 2020, Strava data shows, Thinking about a cycling holiday in 2021? Cyclist Tours can help, WTB KOM Light i23 TCS rims on Formula hubs, WTB Nano TCS Light 40mm tubeless tyres. There’s a necked-down portion of the axle that passes through a similarly-sized slot in the dropout, and there’s no need to remove the axle entirely. Cannondale includes a wireless speed sensor that was developed in conjunction with Garmin. Tire clearance is very good, but perhaps not incredible depending on how adventurous you want to be. It is more likely that dirt and grit is getting in between the metal parts from the outside and causing the noise. It has a lever on the mech to disengage it if you’re just riding on smoother surfaces, to reduce drivetrain friction. “It is almost impossible to keep all moisture from getting in through the seat tube,” said Mackey, “but there is a generous 6mm drain hole in the bottom bracket shell to allow any moisture to pass through. The seat tube has a deep cutout on the backside for extra tire clearance. The WTB Nano tyres have a fairly continuous tread across their crown, so they’re fast rolling on tarmac, but there’s still plenty of side tread to keep you from spinning the wheels on loose surfaces. After testing the Cannondale Topstone AL 105 over varied surfaces and terrain, this is what we learned: As mentioned above, the Cannondale Topstone is available in three different build kits: Shimano Sora ($1,050), Shimano 105 ($1,750), and SRAM Apex ($2,100), as reviewed here. This Cannondale Topstone 105 review, makes it easy to spot every single one of its features and drawbacks – so you can be well-prepared before deciding whether it’s an excellent buy or not. That all said, Kingpin is pretty darn cool. That amount of clearance won’t suit more adventure-minded riders who are looking to go really big, but it’s clear from the geometry that that’s not the crowd Cannondale was going for here. Retail price is US$3,250 / … Cyclist™ is a registered trade mark. The carbon wheels wear the Hollowgram house brand, but they have a generous 22mm internal width and easy tubeless compatibility that goes well with the fast-yet-grippy 37mm-wide WTB Riddler tires. Featuring an all-new ultralight Kingpin suspension system, the Topstone Carbon is designed to give riders more comfort, control and all-terrain versatility, without the added weight and complexity of a damper-based suspension system. Cannondale uses its OutFront geometry on the Topstone. On the other hand, there’s a bit of rattle from the internal cabling in the down tube. Want to carry more up front? A few years ago, the disparity between road bikes, disc road bikes, and all-road bikes was very high. To get us a closer look, Cannondale and REI teamed up to send Man Makes Fire a review unit. But speaking of gearing, Cannondale nailed this one. Think BMW vs. Buick. Was any of that noticeable on the trail? Cue the cursing, again. Not so with the Topstone. As with most gravel bikes, there are loads of mounting points on the Topstone frameset: three bottle mounts, as well as top tube and rear rack bolts. In contrast, the rear end of the Topstone Carbon still offers up a distinctly muted and composed feel on bumps, almost as if you employed a helper to run ahead of you on the trail and round off all the sharp edges. It’s ideal for beginners and first-timers on the gravel. Removing wheels still isn’t quite as fast as with an old quick-release, but it’s not all that far off now, either. Riding in dry conditions, I didn’t find out if this was a problem though. The down tube is a massive rectangular thing. Subscribe to our newsletter for exclusive content, deals & events. Greater Manchester mayor says there is ‘clear case’ to ease Covid curbs. While the wider pedal stance width is noticeable, it’s important to remember that narrower isn’t always better, and in fact, plenty of riders need to go wider for proper pedaling mechanics. It was hard to find a disc road bike or all-road that had hydraulic brakes, clearance for 42mm tires, and extra bottle bosses for under $3,000. The Cannondale Topstone Apex1 Is a Gravel Bike That’s Ready to Get Rowdy Start your adventure today on a drop-bar bike that is ready for anything. 2020 Cannondale Topstone Carbon Ultegra RX. Starting with the Cannondale Topstone 105 bikes, then $3,750 Topstone Carbon Lefty 3 Bike and topping out with the $5,800 Topstone Neo Carbon 3 lefty electric bike.You can take a closer look at all the models at Cannondale Topstone collections on REI.com The Cannondale Topstone Lefty 3 draws from the best ideas in Cannondale’s history. The Topstone family joined Cannondale’s line-up only last year, as a competitively priced, aluminium-framed entry point into the all-road/gravel market. That slightly taller bottom bracket doesn’t lend quite as much confidence when the tires start to slide, but it nevertheless makes for an overall sensation that’s more eager puppy than lazy lap dog. If you are buying a Topstone to complement a road bike that you already own, then sizing may be a little odd at first glance. It wasn’t extremely regular or loud, but it was there nonetheless. Speaking of creaks, it was only after I applied a healthy dose of grease and carbon paste to various parts of the internal wedge-type seatpost binder that that area managed to stay quiet. Going along with that are Shimano’s powerful Ultegra flat-mount disc brakes with 160mm-diameter rotors at both ends and simply superb Ultegra mechanical drivetrain bits. Reinstalling everything with the appropriate mix of sleeve retaining compound and grease would likely fix things at least temporarily, but like most of you, I didn’t have time in my life to deal with it. For the sake of experimentation, I swapped the stock seatpost for a Thomson Elite aluminum one — known to be one of the stiffest available for a given size — and, as expected, the ride quality turned noticeably more firm. That’s not to say that Cannondale is lying, mind you, but rather that any effect simply wasn’t perceptible by me. “As specced with a SAVE post and under the saddle height and loading conditions in our tests, about 60% of the vertical displacement at the saddle is due to the Kingpin features in the frame,” said Cannondale media relations manager Joe Mackey. Like CyclingTips? You can also fit a full mudguard to the rear, although strangely there are no mounting points on the fork legs. I wouldn’t quite characterize the ride quality up front as harsh — the bike still rides on 37c tires, mind you — but that huge down tube and head tube area flex about as much as you’d expect. Cannondale offers the Topstone in three different models, all of which share an alloy frame and carbon fork. Prova della Cannondale Topstone carbon Ultegra RX2 my 2020. The Shimano Ultegra RX rear derailleur shifts superbly, and the clutched pulley cage keeps things quiet on rough ground. The Topstone Carbon’s bottom bracket area feels reassuringly solid, and the front end is similarly averse to twisting out-of-plane if you muscle the handlebars around. That road bike-like feel extends to how the Topstone Carbon behaves under power, too. But there’s a welded mudguard mounting point that protrudes from the left chainstay that would likely collect mud on wintry rides. The carbon range starts off with the £2100 Shimano 105 spec and heads up to a £4800 24-speed Sram Force eTap AXS option. Topstone Carbon Ultegra RX. In their heyday, the fat-tubed Cannondale’s were never known for being compliant. The Ultegra spec is the fanciest alloy Topstone, in a range that starts with the £950 Sora version. The Topstone has an Ultegra RX rear mech. That bike was equipped with Cannondale’s similarly flex-happy SystemBar semi-integrated handlebar and stem, which matched pretty well with the firmer ride of the Kingpin rear end. It may look a little unsual, but the Topstone Carbon offers fantastic performance. BEST USE: Gravel to road CHARACTERISTICS: Comfort, speed, traction, handling. Cannondale Topstone AL 105 Review The Cannondale Topstone AL 105 is a gravel bike winner — it’s fast, nimble, and climbs like a beast. This bike is built around a lightweight SmartForm C2 aluminum frame coupled with a full carbon fork. But come on, Cannondale, can we please figure out a way to put some threads in the bottom bracket already? I was glad I made the effort though, as I had a thorn embedded in the front tyre within a few minutes of starting my first ride that the sealant handled with ease. Ultegra RX Version STAYING CONNECTED. With the Cannondale Topstone Carbon Ultegra RX, the American brand has introduced a coherent concept that is happiest at high speeds on open gravel roads! Read: Cannondale Topstone Carbon Ultegra Rx review The Lefty Oliver suspension fork provides matched travel through a unique single sided design. It’s fitted with a full 2×9 Shimano Sora groupset which is cheap but extremely capable and durable. The rear hub spacing is the same 142mm as usual, but both dropouts are shifted over to the driveside, and the rim has to be specially dished to keep it in the centerline of the bike. The Cannondale Topstone Carbon Ultegra RX2 is the same as the Ultegra RX model, but with aluminum wheels from WTB instead of the carbon Hollowgram ones. 2020 Mark Gunter Photographer of the Year Awards: Showcase 1, AG2R’s new kit, Van Aert wins Kristallen Fiets award: Daily News Digest, Add a two-speed gearbox to your bike with Classified’s new wheelsets, Pridham ‘relishing the opportunity’ as she joins Israel Start-Up Nation as DS, These are the best (and most surprising) places to get a draft in a bike race, Product picks of 2020: the best of the best, Russia banned from using flag, anthem at Olympics for 2 years, Cervelo Aspero first-ride review: The go-fast gravel bike, Thesis OB1 long-term review: Good performance, lots of custom options, Trek Checkpoint dives headfirst into the red-hot gravel bike market, Allied Alfa Allroad long-term review: The antidote to the N+1 rule, Moots Routt RSL long-term review: The titanium gravel forever bike, perfected. Taken in total, there’s ample range for anything other than fully loaded bikepacking, and shift performance is outstanding all around. It shines in … This is a bike that thrives on winding gravel roads and can hang on your local singletrack. Surely at this point, you’re wondering about the catch. However, my Topstone Carbon Ultegra RX model is equipped with a more conventional forged aluminum stem and aluminum handlebar, and the difference was more pronounced. Fe… For starters, both bikes feature sturdy aluminum frames and carbon forks, generous clearance for high-volume tires, tubeless-ready wheels, mounts for fenders and racks, and hydraulic disc brakes. Buy the Cannondale Topstone now from Evans Cycles for £2,700. But Cannondale has learnt from the Slate, with the Topstone boasting much wider clearance; you could fit a limited range of quite narrow tyres to the Slate and I found that it was prone to clogging in muddy conditions. And when I have needed to take back roads to link paths, the paucity of motor vehicle traffic has made this a much more pleasant experience. There are two frame options in the Topstone range: the alloy frameset tested sits below the Topstone Carbon. The Cannondale Topstone Carbon is a superb all-around carbon gravel bike, but it’s not without a few compromises. Other gravel features include the flared bars, for a bit more control descending off-road and there’s a spare port in the down tube to let you route a dropper cable internally. Cannondale doesn’t point this out explicitly, but the seatpost certainly contributes a lot to the Topstone Carbon’s comfortable ride. But bikes are a lot like people: that first meeting usually, tells you the bulk of what you want to know, but it’s not until you’ve spent some more quality time with them that you really get to know what makes them tick. If you’re looking for a comfortable and quick bike that sits between the all-road and gravel categories, the Topstone is a well-considered package with innovative features. Buy the Cannondale Topstone now from Evans Cycles for £2,700 The Topstone has an Ultegra RX rear mech. They’ll also keep hold well on off-camber trails, without slipping out. The profile of the Cannondale Topstone Carbon is quite striking with its mega-dropped seatstays. There always is one, after all, and the Topstone Carbon is no different. It uses the brand’s SmartForm welding process, designed to keep the weight down while maintaining the frame’s strength. I found the tyres relatively easy to set up tubeless, although I did need to resort to a reservoir pump. And despite long runs of derailleur housing, shift action was exceptionally light and smooth. More give, more go. What the company term and All-Road machine. A subcompact 46/30 FSA Omega chainset is married to an 11-34 cassette, giving you the sub-1:1 gear ratios that let you spin yourself and any kit you’re carrying up almost any offroad ascent. It’s well-established at this point that small-diameter seatposts with lots of exposed shaft contribute greatly to ride comfort, and it’s no different here. Instead, I mostly just cursed the thing every time it spoke up. The ultralight Cannondale Hollowgram hollow bonded aluminum crankarms are fitted with a 46/30T one-piece machined Spidering chainring, which is matched to a Shimano 11-34T cassette. Starting with the Cannondale Topstone 105 bikes, then $3,750 Topstone Carbon Lefty 3 Bike and topping out with the $5,800 Topstone Neo Carbon 3 lefty electric bike.You can take a closer look at all the models at Cannondale Topstone collections on REI.com Ultegra RX Version STAYING CONNECTED. Cannondale Topstone. Topstone is pure gravel goodness. The soup might taste the same when all is said and done, but even after you pick the little invaders out of it, the dining experience is ruined. The front derailleur mount can be removed if you want to run a 1x setup. With a carbon cyclocross bike in the SuperX that has proven capable of winning the Dirty Kanza 200 gravel race, Cannondale has been a bit slower in releasing a dedicated carbon gravel race bike than many other bike companies.. Tricky climbs that I usually clean on other gravel bikes, I cleaned on the Topstone; and likewise, ones that frequently elude me eluded me just the same. Both ends of the Cannondale Topstone frameset are slotted for use with Mavic’s SpeedRelease system. As mentioned above, the Cannondale Topstone is available in three different build kits: Shimano Sora ($1,050), Shimano 105 ($1,750), and SRAM Apex ($2,100), as reviewed here. There are a few more annoyances I noted on the Topstone Carbon, too, but none of them are specifically related to the asymmetrical frame design. It also takes advantage of the inherent ride quality advantages of dropped seatstays, so in some ways, it’s almost as if Cannondale took the best parts of IsoSpeed and merely improved on it. Also boasting the new Shimano gravel groupset is the Topstone Carbon Ultegra RX 2, offered in a men’s and women’s version (women’s version available in XS, S, M) for $3,250. The lightweight, durable BallisTec Carbon frame has clearance for tyres up to 40mm wide to give you added comfort and grip. Cannondale Synapse Disc Ultegra long-term review. And how about a more rigorous build protocol for the wheels, eh? With a carbon cyclocross bike in the SuperX that has proven capable of winning the Dirty Kanza 200 gravel race, Cannondale has been a bit slower in releasing a dedicated carbon gravel race bike than many other bike companies.. Cable routing is internal through the front triangle, but everything exits at the bottom bracket. Categories Bikes Post navigation. Cannondale says the Topstone Carbon will clear a 700x40mm tire, although that accounts for 6mm of space all around. This line offers around 20 bikes in total — aluminum and carbon. The insanely big down tube, the wide-and-flat seat tube, and the broad spaced chainstays all suggest a stout backbone when you start mashing the pedals, and in this case, looks aren’t at all deceiving. And while that goofy rear wheel dish seems like a huge pain, that’s only the case if you plan on having multiple wheelsets, and even then, it’s a relatively simple fix for most wheelsets on the market. THE RIDE. On the flagship Topstone Carbon model I rode at the bike’s debut in Vermont, it wasn’t quite as much of an issue. Written by Alvin Holbrook, on January 23rd, 2019. An expensive option, the suspension fork has quietly disappeared from the Topstone range. And while Trek says the Checkpoint will take a 700x45mm tire out back, that’s only with the adjustable dropouts set to their longest 440mm chainstay length. The full tech story on this bike is in our launch coverage post. There are mounts for that, too. Cannondale’s Topstone 105 is a competitively priced and extremely versatile gravel bike. The extended lower range from the 46 tooth large ring meant that I was able to use this comfortably over undulating terrain off road, making for swifter progress than if I’d had to swap to and from the small ring. Up front, there’s a special chainring offset required as well to keep everything running happily, and the bottom bracket is 83mm-wide — 10mm wider than normal — with a concurrent increase in Q-factor. There are lots of gravel bikes out there with ultra-long wheelbases, ground-scraping bottom bracket heights, and super slack front ends, all in the name of confidence-inspiring stability. Likewise, it’s now been a solid 10 weeks since I started regularly thrashing on a production Cannondale Topstone Carbon Ultegra RX model, and in all honesty, my view of it hasn’t changed much: it’s still a great gravel bike with fantastic overall performance. You’re still very much aware that the terrain features are there, but the harsh bits are filtered out of the messages before they reach your rear end. Hot on the heels of Cannondale’s recent announcement of the 2020 Topstone Carbon, it’s time to wrap up the review of the 2019 Topstone 105 we’ve been testing since early-May. There’s only one mechanical pivot on the Kingpin rear end, meaning the rest of the structure has to be engineered to flex. Cannondales are often lambasted for exhibiting annoying bottom bracket creaking, and my Topstone Carbon test sample was no different. Cannondale offers the Topstone in three different models, all of which share an alloy frame and carbon fork. The brake rotors are borrowed from Shimano’s 105 groupset and lack the cooling fins of the Ultegra bits. Cannondale nailed it with the 46/30T gearing here. Topstone Ultegra | Gravel Bikes | Cannondale Apart from the extra-small size, which is graced with more relaxed handling manners, every Topstone Carbon front end has a nimble 58mm of trail — the same as the 52cm and 54cm sizes of Specialized’s S-Works Tarmac. Cannondale Topstone Review. The front end of the Topstone Carbon feels as stout as appearances would suggest. Categories Bikes Post navigation. There are two mounting positions for the down tube bottle. Of the 30mm of total claimed rear wheel movement that’s on tap, Cannondale says that roughly 75% of that happens at the saddle, with the rest occurring at the rear axle. The carbon range has a radical looking frameset, with the deeply dropped seatstays having a suspension linkage to the seat tube, for a rear triangle with up to 3cm of vertical travel. The Cannondale Topstone Al Ultegra 2020 Gravel Bike is named after a favourite dirt road loop near the Cannondale headquarters in Connecticut. $4,199.99. When you tuck the rear wheel in this closely, you’ve got to carve out space somewhere. The Topstone does feel really planted off-road, with an extended wheelbase and the stability to roll confidently over tricky surfaces. That’s useful on hillier terrain. Copyright © Dennis Publishing Limited 2020. But with careful route planning, the Cannondale Topstone gravel bike has taken me along some less-used bridlepaths through the Chiltern hills, where I’ve met relatively few walkers, cyclists or horse riders from whom I’ve needed to keep my distance. Featuring an all-new ultralight Kingpin suspension system, the Topstone Carbon is designed to give riders more comfort, control and all-terrain versatility, without the added weight and complexity of a damper-based suspension system. Condition: New Model: Topstone Carbon. Cannondale Synapse Review (Updated, 2020) – Facts You Need to Know. There’s some special hardware required if you want to run fenders out back, but it’s not a deal breaker by any means. When paired with the Cannondale app, it records your rides without needing a dedicated GPS head unit, and can also provide maintenance reminders. Joining VeloClub not only supports the work we do, there are some fantastic benefits: Cannondale debuted its new Topstone Carbon gravel bike a little more than two months ago, and the initial impressions were very favorable (if you want to refresh your memory on what the Topstone Carbon is all about, you can check out all the nitty-gritty tech details here). Cannondale Topstone Apex 1 Review: Expect the Expected. There are … $4,200.00 ($4,200.00 Incl. Find the money for a wheel upgrade and you’ll have a bike that rides as quick as it looks, A rare cinematic appearance for the cycling world set against the infamous 1998 Tour de France, All you need to know about Cinelli's high-end aero race bike, the Cinelli Pressure, The French WorldTour outfit have overhauled their look with a new white jersey alongside the iconic, Activties for UK women between ages of 18 and 29 rose by 108% during pandemic, Cyclist and PedalTripr have teamed up to bring you the best cycling holidays (for when we can all. Save. Sure, the creaking can be fixed, but new buyers shouldn’t have to deal with it, either. And surely a few cents worth of foam, grease, and carbon paste at the factory would go a long, long way. The flared bars allow for a narrow, aero position up top, but more leverage and stability down below. Now, if you’re hoping to swap wheelsets between the Topstone Carbon and your current disc-equipped road bike … well, that’s another story. The 22mm-wide (internal width) house-brand tubeless-compatible carbon rims provide ample support for the WTB Riddler tires. In the same category, Trek’s Checkpoint ALR 4 ticks many of the same boxes. Like the bottom bracket and seatpost, that issue can be fixed, but I shouldn’t be the one to have to do that, and neither should you. A gravel bike with real suspension, the Cannondale Topstone Carbon Ultegra RX 2 bike is a capable off-road, comfortable on-road adventure rig with more give and more go. The four model options are a Force eTap AXS ($6,500), Ultegra RX ($4,000), Ultegra RX 2 ($3,250), 105 ($2,700) and a Women’s Ultegra RX 2 ($3,250). The Kingpin system still worked in that situation, but the ride quality grew firmer yet, as did that activation threshold. You can legitimately see the seat tube flexing when you push down on the saddle of the Topstone Carbon, but you can also see the seatpost independently flexing rearward a lot, too. 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