There are two frame options in the Topstone range: the alloy frameset tested sits below the Topstone Carbon. Cannondale Topstone Ultegra RX Review As a bike shop manager it would be sacrilegious if I didn’t adhere to the N+1 methodology of bike ownership. Cannondale nailed it with the 46/30T gearing here. The most off-road capable and on-road comfortable bike Cannondale have made, the Cannondale Topstone Ultegra RX 2 delivers an incredible performance everytime. It handles the way I prefer my gravel bikes to handle, offers a comfortable and composed ride without ever feeling too squishy, and it generally behaves like a proper road bike in all the ways I want it to. Riders coming off of traditional road bikes that prefer similarly responsive handling, however, will find a lot to like here (myself included). Written by Alvin Holbrook, on January 23rd, 2019. Cannondale Synapse Disc Ultegra long-term review. 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. More give. In the last year, the amount of all-road models on the market has increased drastically, which is great for the consumer! 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. Cannondale’s Topstone line is made with gravel in mind but built for more. We’ve heard for years that Cannondale was playing catchup in the gravel bike scene, all the way to the release of the 2019 Cannondale Topstone. CyclingTips presents: De Stig, the must-see cycling documentary of the year, The 10 weirdest moments of the 2020 cycling season, Van der Poel and Brand win in Namur: Daily News Digest, New Challenge Getaway gravel tire bucks the trend with harder rubber, Another award for Van Aert, new kits, roster reveals: Daily News Digest, Redshift Sports releases lighter-weight version of ShockStop suspension stem, L39ION of Los Angeles unveils 2021 rosters. 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. The Cannondale Topstone is the gravel bike to end all gravel bikes, thanks to its high-volume tires and sporty handling it's a road bike with a rugged soul. This is a bike that thrives on winding gravel roads and can hang on your local singletrack. By Bobby Lea The Cannondale Topstone Neo Carbon Lefty 3 was selected for an Editor’s Choice award in 2020. Think BMW vs. Buick. Cannondale offers the Topstone in three different models, all of which share an alloy frame and carbon fork. It’s almost as if Cannondale’s engineers came up with the most incredible recipe for butternut squash soup, but the chef wasn’t paying enough attention and grabbed a gourd with a bunch of bugs inside of 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 said, the behavior of the frame and seatpost can’t be completely separated from one another.”. 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. 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 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. 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. A gravel bike with real suspension, the Cannondale Topstone Carbon Ultegra RX 2 bike is a machine that's equally capable off-road and comfortable on-road. But Cannondale has extensive experience with building compliance into its framesets and the alloy Topstone isn’t lacking in the comfort department. The Cannondale Topstone is a Gravel bike. 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 front end of the Topstone Carbon feels as stout as appearances would suggest. There’s plenty of air in the wide tyres to deal with bumps without bottoming out and to provide a bit of cushioning from the trail, while the OutFront geometry is confidence inspiring over even the trickiest terrain and on steep descents. From there, the rear brake hose and rear derailleur housing is zip-tied to the chainstays. 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. The Cannondale Topstone is the gravel bike to end all gravel bikes, thanks to its high-volume tires and sporty handling it's a road bike with a rugged soul. The carbon range starts off with the £2100 Shimano 105 spec and heads up to a £4800 24-speed Sram Force eTap AXS option. There are mounts for that, too. The Cannondale Topstone Al Ultegra 2020 Gravel Bike is named after a favourite dirt road loop near the Cannondale headquarters in Connecticut. Nope, at least not to me. Cannondale Topstone Review. “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. But had I wanted one that day, all I would have needed to do is install some narrower and faster-rolling rubber — and, indeed, when I did on the Topstone Carbon, its handling and overall feel rivaled plenty of high-end carbon road bikes I’ve ridden in recent years. Ultegra RX Version STAYING CONNECTED. 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). Cannondale Topstone Ultegra Disc Gravel Road Bike 2020. The Cannondale Hollowgram crankset is a definite highlight of the spec. We’ve heard for years that Cannondale was playing catchup in the gravel bike scene, all the way to the release of the 2019 Cannondale Topstone. 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. The Topstone has an Ultegra RX rear mech. There also seems to be a higher threshold of activation on the Kingpin relative to the Checkpoint, in the sense that the former feels like it leaves all the little stuff for the tires to handle; the frame movement doesn’t kick in until you run over something a little more significant. 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. Buy the Cannondale Topstone now from Evans Cycles for £2,700 The Topstone has an Ultegra RX rear mech. 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. 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. It has the same clutched cage as Shimano’s GRX gravel derailleur, which does a good job of keeping chain tension, avoiding chain loss and limiting chainslap over bumpy surfaces. Shimano Ultegra RX Cassette/Rear Cogs Shimano Ultegra, 11-34, 11-speed Shifters Shimano Ultegra hydraulic disc, 2x11 Handlebars Cannondale 3, butted 6061 alloy, 16 deg flare drop Tape/Grips Cannondale Grip Bar Tape w/Gel, 3.5mm Stem Cannondale 2, 6061 alloy, 31.8, 6° Brakes Shimano Ultegra hydraulic disc, 160/160mm RT70 rotors Saddle And how about a more rigorous build protocol for the wheels, eh? 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. If you like the Topstone but want improved on-road performance, the Specialized Diverge Comp E5 could be a good match. 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. 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. This line offers around 20 bikes in total — aluminum and carbon. The formula matters, but so does the execution. Like CyclingTips? 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. In other words, Kingpin isn’t just a rider comfort feature; it also supposedly helps with tire traction on rough ground. After testing the Cannondale Topstone AL 105 over varied surfaces and terrain, this is what we learned: Removing wheels still isn’t quite as fast as with an old quick-release, but it’s not all that far off now, either. Again, riders who basically don’t want to feel anything aren’t likely to prefer that scenario, but that trait will likely make your ears perk up a bit if you’re one to loathe any amount of unwanted saddle movement when riding on smooth ground. A few years ago, the disparity between road bikes, disc road bikes, and all-road bikes was very high. 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. Cannondale uses its OutFront geometry on the Topstone. 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. Gravel-sized tires bring that number up to 62mm, which is still plenty quick for a gravel bike, and more inline with Cervelo’s new Aspero. 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. 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. 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. Today, fans of dust and dirt can enjoy long gravel roads on aluminum and carbon Cannondale Topstone models. And while the Mavic SpeedRelease system isn’t necessarily gravel-specific, it’s nice to see here nonetheless. 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. Retail price is US$3,250 / … The tyres can be run tubeless on the ready-taped WTB rims, with Cannondale shipping the Topstone with tubeless valves as well as the fitted inner tubes. The Cannondale Topstone Lefty 3 draws from the best ideas in Cannondale’s history. It also boasted a carbon Lefty single leg suspension fork. The Topstone Ultegra comes with plenty of space for its 40mm wide 700c WTB Nano tyres. Tool access to the mounting bolts is truly horrendous, making adjustments very frustrating. Cannondale was an early mover on the gravel scene, with its alloy Slate setting the trends for relaxed handling and 650b wheels. 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. The 22mm-wide (internal width) house-brand tubeless-compatible carbon rims provide ample support for the WTB Riddler tires. 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. 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. That road bike-like feel extends to how the Topstone Carbon behaves under power, too. Buy the Cannondale Topstone now from Evans Cycles for £2,700. With its high-volume tires, confident rider position, and sporty handling, it is ready to smash out big miles on the backroads, explore routes less traveled, or smooth out the chop on your morning commute. There’s a good reason for the unusual profile, though. THE RIDE. 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. Ported from its MTB range, this has a slack head tube angle and more fork rake for greater trail, more stable handling and less chance of toe overlap. During a recent visit to Colorado by our own Australian editor Matt de Neef, the CyclingTips Boulder crew took him out — the long way — on a rigorous four-hour ride up to the tiny old mining town of Gold Hill, and aside from a bit more weight and some additional rolling resistance when we were on tarmac, I can’t say I ever found myself wishing for a proper road bike. 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. The bottom bracket is 83mm wide, and the adjoining tubes make use of every bit of that width. That’s why when I saw the release of the Topstone Carbon line up, I knew I had to get one. Subscribe to our newsletter for exclusive content, deals & events. Cannondales are often lambasted for exhibiting annoying bottom bracket creaking, and my Topstone Carbon test sample was no different. Home / Blog / Gear / Cannondale Topstone Apex 1 Review: Expect the Expected. But most of my riding was on dry trails or on tarmac, so dust was more of a problem than mud. Topstone is pure gravel goodness with high-volume tyres, confident rider position and sporty handling, it is ready to smash out big miles on the backroads, explore routes less travelled, or smooth out the chop on your morning commute. Brand: Cannondale, Product: Topstone Carbon Ultegra RX 2. Named after the Cannondale team's favourite dirt road loop, the Topstone is a range of all-out gravel bikes.Featuring big tyre clearance, a confident rider position and sporty handling, you're ready for adventure on this capable and versatile gravel rig. Want to carry more up front? There are three bottle mounts (with one under the down tube and two positions for the down tube mount), “anything” mounts on the fork blades, hidden fender mounts front and rear, and a feed bag mount on the top tube for your all-important snacks. But speaking of gearing, Cannondale nailed this one. The drivetrain on the Topstone is good for the rough stuff. The hidden seatpost binder looks neat, but it isn’t sealed very well and is prone to creaking. The most off-road capable and on-road comfortable road bike ever made!. The flared bars allow for a narrow, aero position up top, but more leverage and stability down below. Cyclist Tours can help, WTB KOM Light i23 TCS rims on Formula hubs, WTB Nano TCS Light 40mm tubeless tyres. “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. The brake rotors are borrowed from Shimano’s 105 groupset and lack the cooling fins of the Ultegra bits. It’s got all the options and performance you’d want for both shorter hops and multi-day backpacking trips and the down to earth spec should be easy to maintain. The Topstone Carbon is well-equipped in the clearance department, too. 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