2022 cannondale topstone carbon
(Photos/Cannondale)

Cannondale Topstone Carbon Gravel Bike Goes Bigger, Adds Safety Features

Cannondale beefs up the Topstone Carbon gravel bike for long-haul adventure with a lightweight rear suspension, bigger tire clearances, and a new gravel lefty suspension fork to handle 700c wheels.

The Topstone Carbon first hit 3 years ago with a unique setup featuring a shock-free Kingpin rear suspension and a rigid carbon fork. Now, the bike gets a complete overhaul.

The highlights are a lighter, more durable rear suspension, Cannondale’s SmartSense radar and lighting system, and a new option for a lefty fork with more clearance than the lineup has ever supported before.

Simply put, it looks like a cruise-y rig. Here’s what you need to know now.

Topstone Carbon Updates

A lighter, more durable Kingpin 2.0 rear end sheds 100 g in a move to simpler low-friction bushings (not bearings) that better handle the low-rotation needs of the Topstone Carbon’s approximately 30 mm of rear-wheel travel.

Topstone rear suspension

At the same time, the reworked rear end now has room for bigger tires. Clearances up to 45 mm for 700c wheels is at least 5 mm more than the previous iteration.

2022 Cannondale Topstone Carbon tire clearance

The setup also allows for more interchangeability. A standard symmetrical-dish rear wheel means any 12 x 142mm rear wheel will fit, as will standard offset chainrings.

Cannondale SmartSense is also brand new for the Topstone Carbon. Debuted on its endurance road Synapse a couple of months ago, SmartSense integrates rear-facing radar with front and rear lighting for improved visibility and safety on the road.

2022 Topstone Smart Sense

Every rider is familiar with rumbling traffic, even on seemingly deserted gravel roads. SmartSense should help every Topstone Carbon owner stay safer and ride with more peace of mind.

The lineup does include the option to bypass the feature, too. In that case, riders can use the integrated battery pack mount to instead equip Cannondale’s StrapRack (which fits spare tubes, tools, etc.).

2022 Cannondale Topstone battery compartment

The Topstone Carbon’s Oliver lefty fork also gets a size update and now provides 30 mm of bump-eating front travel to riders with 700c wheels. According to Cannondale, it’s not re-engineered, just adjusted for more wheel tolerance.

It’s also worth noting that the updated bike now gets a threaded bottom bracket. The change should make any gravel hound who services bottom brackets happy.

2022 Cannondale Topstone threaded bottom bracket

Plenty of cage mounts are available, especially on the entry with the (traditional, two-pronged) carbon fork.

The bike uses a 1.5-inch tapered headset, flat-mount discs, 12mm thru-axles, and full-coverage fender mounts.

2022 cannondale topstone carbon
(Photos/Cannondale)

Cannondale Topstone Options and Build Spec

It looks like eight different builds are possible. The range starts at the MSRP of $2,800 Topstone Carbon 4 on the low end. It gets a Shimano GRX 600/400 10sp mix and 45mm Riddler Comp tires on 700c WTB i23 TCS wheels.

2022 cannondale topstone carbon

At the other end of the spectrum, $7,800 buys either the Topstone Carbon 1 Lefty or the Topstone Carbon 1 RLE. Both feature a SRAM Force eTap AXS drivetrain and HollowGram 22 carbon wheels – 25mm internal, 22mm deep, 1,500 g.

The Lefty gets the suspension fork and a carbon SAVE seatpost. The RLE model gets full SmartSense radar and lights, plus an aero gravel FSA K-Wing AGX carbon handlebar.

2022 cannondale topstone carbon

Cannondale makes every bike in the lineup available today — check out all the details here.

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Sam Anderson
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Sam has roamed the American continent to follow adventures, explore natural wonders, and find good stories. After going to college to be a writer, he got distracted (or saved) by rock climbing and spent most of the next decade on the road, supporting himself with trade work. He's had addresses in the Adirondack Mountains, Las Vegas, and somehow Kansas, but his heart belongs in the Texas hill country.