Cannondale’s commitment to gravel has strengthened with the Topstone, opening doors for more riders and more roads.
Images: Dominic Hook
Cannondale, why another gravel bike? The review of the SuperX wasn’t too long ago and the Slate had taken it to another level but upon closer investigation, the answer became a little more clear.
Let’s be honest, as much as we love gravel (heck we even have a couple of gravel events!) we never get the opportunity to ride it anywhere near as much as we’d like. And for the not totally obsessed and more rationally minded, the notion of shelling big bucks on a carbon bike that can do a little more than your current roadie, not quite as much as the mtb, but absolutely essential for those faster dirt road rides, can be a hard pill to swallow. Enter the Topstone.
The Topstone’s alloy frame – there are no pros or cons over the SuperX’s carbon – keeps the weight reasonably low with more mounting options available for frame bags and bottles. Where the SuperX follows a race-orientated road bike, the Topstone is akin to the Synapse. A much longer and slightly lower endurance geometry and clearance for up to 42mm rubber, keeping it comfortable and stable regardless of the surface and load.
The Topstone launches with three models; the alloy frame is standard across the range the main differences being paint and the running gear. Specification ranges from Shimano Sora, 105, and SRAM Apex; the Apexrunning 1X with a 40T chainring and 11-42T cassette, while the 105 version comes stock with a 46/30T crank and a 11-34T cassette. All models are disc-equipped with a 100/142mm spacing front and rear, 12mm thru-axles and internal cable routing. The Apex model also takes full advantage with an inbuilt dropper post.
After the groundbreaking Slate it could just be that Cannonade have tried to keep it safe but realistically the Topstone will be more than many of us will ever need. The straightforward and trusty steed that gets you through a few obstacles your expensive roadie can’t, maybe there is room for another bike.