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Cannondale’s Topstone: A Go-Everywhere Gravel Bike

Photo credit: Kurt Barclay
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Leave the city behind and take on whatever lurks around the next bend with the ‘do-it-all’ Topstone from Cannondale.

From attacking your first gravel century to hitting the road for a multinight bikepacking adventure, the Topstone will take you nearly anywhere without sacrificing performance. Choose your adventure, and the Topstone will take you there.

Cannondale designed the Topstone line with sporty handling, off-road traction, and comfort with all-day riding in mind. REI calls the ride “light and lively, smooth yet snappy.” The all-around performance of the Topstone will bring life to your daily commutes and your weekend cycling adventures.

Topstone Line Standout Features

  • Aluminum and carbon frame options
  • Carbon frames feature Kingpin suspension 
  • Available with Lefty Oliver 30mm front suspension
  • Dropper post-compatible
  • Ability to run 700c or 650b wheels

Biking has exploded in popularity this year. Sizes and styles are flying off the virtual racks. If you want a bike, now’s the time to get one before they’re sold out everywhere.

See all Topstone bikes at REI
Cannondale Topstone AL 105

Cannondale’s Topstone line is made with gravel in mind but built for more. This is a bike that thrives on winding gravel roads and can hang on your local singletrack. Add a dropper post to the Topstone, and you’re ready for steep, choppy downhill sections on your favorite roads.

Why a Gravel Bike?

Gravel riding is one of the faster-growing segments of cycling. Gravel riding removes much of the stress that comes with cars, traffic, and stoplights and exchanges it for long, open roads and the sweet sound of gravel crushing beneath your tires.

While most of us can’t ride gravel trails all the time, we can ride gravel bikes anytime. That go-anywhere versatility is a big part of the appeal. Ride roads when you have to and seek adventure on your bike when you can.

Design-wise, gravel bikes tweak the geometry of road bikes and add clearance for big tires. Some, like the Topstone Carbon, even include suspension.

For purely road-based adventures, a tire change to narrower slicks will make for a faster ride. And while the geometry of gravel bikes is generally less aggressive than its road-only counterparts, you’ll be able to spend all day riding comfortably in a more relaxed position.

Cannondale Topstone AL 105

Why the Cannondale Topstone?

For comfort and endurance, the frame’s geometry puts the rider more upright than a traditional road bike. As an added bonus, there will be more room in the frame for bikepacking bags.

There’s a multiposition mount on the downtube and bosses for adding water bottle cages, racks, and other bags on the frame, top tube, and fork. The rear stays include a removable fender bridge.

Cannondale built the Topstone to accept an internally routed 27.2 dropper seatpost for when you want to hit some gnarlier trails and get the saddle out of the way.

The Topstone is available in multiple build configurations featuring either 700c or 650b wheels and either a rigid carbon or Lefty Oliver 30mm suspension fork.

Topstone AL 105

The Topstone AL 105 is an affordable, do-everything bike. While this model Topstone is the entry-level version of this gravel line, it provides the functionality you need to get you where you’re going at a moment’s notice.

The alloy frame and carbon fork are paired with a Shimano 105 group with hydraulic disc brakes. It’s offered in men’s and women’s models. It’s been a very popular bike this season and is currently out of stock so be sure to check back soon.

Learn more about the AL 105

Topstone Carbon 105, Ultegra RX2, and RX

Kingpin suspension offered on Carbon models

Whether you’re already a carbon convert or have been on the fence, note that the full-carbon Topstone comes with an entirely different and unique design that includes rear suspension.

The reason it’s only available on the all-carbon Topstone is that it uses the flexible characteristic of the carbon material to act as suspension.

Called Kingpin, the suspension uses a thru-axle pivot in the seat tube, which allows the back end of the bike to flex up to 30 mm and absorb bumps and trail chatter. This simple design adds a bit of comfort without the added weight and complexity of a standard rear shock and linkage setup.

The step up to carbon comes with a price, but you get a very different bike with brand-new technology.

The Topstone Carbon is available in three different build configurations:

  • Topstone Carbon 105
    • Shimano 105 drivetrain and hydraulic disc brakes
    • WTB ST i23 TCS tubeless-ready wheels
    • WTB Riddler 700 x 37 tubeless-ready tires
  • Topstone Carbon Ultegra RX2
    • Shimano Ultegra 2×11 drivetrain with hydraulic disc brakes
    • WTB KOM Light i23 TCS tubeless-ready wheels
    • WTB Riddler 700 x 37 tubeless-ready tires
    • Available in men’s and women’s sizing
  • Topstone Carbon Ultegra RX
    • Shimano Ultegra 2×11 drivetrain with hydraulic disc brakes
    • HollowGram 22 carbon 700c wheels
    • WTB Riddler 700 x 37 tubeless-ready tires

Learn about the Carbon 105Learn about the Carbon Ultegra RX2Learn about the Carbon Ultegra RX

Topstone Carbon Lefty 3

For when the gravel turns to a rutted out boulder field, the iconic Lefty fork adds a bit of suspension to the front, turning the Topstone into a true full-suspension machine. Featuring the newly redesigned Lefty Oliver Gen 2 fork, the Lefty model has 30 mm of front and rear suspension to smooth out any road less traveled. 

Beyond that, you get Shimano GRX 1×11 wide-range drivetrain with hyrdraulic disc brakes. It comes with WTB ST i23 TCS 650b tubeless-ready wheels and WTB Byway TCS Light 650 x 47c tubeless-ready tires.

Learn more about the Carbon Lefty 3

Topstone Neo Carbon 2 and Lefty 3 Electric

Looking for more speed with less sweat? The Topstone is also available in two electric-assist options. Both builds feature the same geometry and suspension design as the non-electic Topstone but include a Bosch Performance Line Speed 250W drive-unit ingegrated into the carbon frame. The 500Wh batteries have a range of about 70 miles for when a short ride turns into a long adventure. 

Choose between the NEO Carbon Lefty with 650b wheels and a 1×11 Shimano GRX drivetrain or the Neo Carbon with 700c wheels and 2×11 Shimano GRX drivetrain.

Learn more about the Neo Carbon 2 ElectricLearn more about the Neo Carbon 3 Lefty Electric

Cannondale_TopStone-105 2x10 drivetrain
Cannondale Topstone AL 105

Have One Shipped

Bike stores got cleared out this spring, and it may be hard to find these bikes in stock. To help, REI can ship one to you — and it still comes with a tune-up.

Note: Shipped bikes come without pedals and will require some assembly with instructions. There’s also a video provided by REI’s Expert Advice. 

See all Topstone bikes at REI

This article is sponsored by REI. See more Cannondale bikes here.

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