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. 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. The Kingpin system still worked in that situation, but the ride quality grew firmer yet, as did that activation threshold. The Shimano Ultegra RX rear derailleur shifts superbly, and the clutched pulley cage keeps things quiet on rough ground. Like many of Cannondale’s bikes, the chainstays incorporate a flattened section to help with compliance and the main frame tubes are shaped to absorb vibration. The full tech story on this bike is in our launch coverage post. It’s an easier spec to maintain than a pressfit bearing and should help keep maintenance tasks under control. 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! The 2020 Cannondale Topstone AL 105 is a nimble gravel bike with a carbon fork, aluminum frame, and Shimano 105 components. In their heyday, the fat-tubed Cannondale’s were never known for being compliant. This is a bike that thrives on winding gravel roads and can hang on your local singletrack. 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. That one focuses on the new Lefty-equipped model and fork tech, because the frame itself was launched in summer 2019 and carries over. 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. And those nifty 22mm-wide carbon rims? 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. Cannondale says the Topstone Carbon will clear a 700x40mm tire, although that accounts for 6mm of space all around. More give, more go. 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. Retail price is US$3,250 / … Cannondale was able to work that magic with the drivetrain and tire clearance only by resorting to its asymmetrical Ai concept, which pushes the entire drivetrain outward by 6mm. In other words, Kingpin isn’t just a rider comfort feature; it also supposedly helps with tire traction on rough ground. The seat tube has a deep cutout on the backside for extra tire clearance. With the world under lockdown, I’ve had to pick my rides and keep them briefer than I’d have liked as part of my daily exercise. 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. But there’s a welded mudguard mounting point that protrudes from the left chainstay that would likely collect mud on wintry rides. Brand: Cannondale, Product: Topstone Carbon Ultegra RX 2. Written by Alvin Holbrook, on January 23rd, 2019. The Cannondale Topstone is a Gravel bike. Cannondale Topstone Review. 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. Cannondale Topstone Carbon Ultegra RX ride impressions On longer rides, the Topstone showed its mettle on the tarmac, it’s a bike that feels fast, … 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). Come va nel suo ambiente naturale: il fuoristrada! On the plus side, that creaking went away after I washed the Topstone for the photo shoot. 14/05/2020. Long known for innovative, out of the box thinking, Cannondale today announced its next evolution in all road bikes, the Topstone Carbon. Want to carry more up front? Cannondale Synapse Review (Updated, 2020) – Facts You Need to Know. Cannondale uses its OutFront geometry on the Topstone. 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. The Cannondale Topstone Lefty 3 draws from the best ideas in Cannondale’s history. 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. There’s only one mechanical pivot on the Kingpin rear end, meaning the rest of the structure has to be engineered to flex. Cannondale Topstone. The cables run naked under the bottom bracket too - a potential cause of degraded shifting when they get dirty. Tool access to the mounting bolts is truly horrendous, making adjustments very frustrating. I tested the Topstone AL 105 on both smooth and rough gravel roads, as well as trails, pavement, and granite rock, sand, and dirt. Instead, I mostly just cursed the thing every time it spoke up. 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. The most off-road capable and on-road comfortable road bike ever made!. 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. The WTB Riddler is one of my favorite gravel tires for the Front Range of Colorado, with a fast-rolling center tread and a squared-off shoulder that grabs well on loose-over-hardpack. 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. 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. But the fact that a mere wash had that effect raised other concerns in my mind regarding sealing in general. 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. Copyright © Dennis Publishing Limited 2020. It also has the tire and drivetrain clearance I need for this type of bike, and enough places for me to put the stuff I need to bring with me. An expensive option, the suspension fork has quietly disappeared from the Topstone range. Categories Bikes Post navigation. Cannondale Topstone Ultegra Disc Gravel Road Bike 2020. Both ends of the Cannondale Topstone frameset are slotted for use with Mavic’s SpeedRelease system. Cannondale. 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. 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. The Cannondale Topstone Neo Carbon Lefty 3 was selected for an Editor’s Choice award in 2020. The Cannondale Topstone Al Ultegra 2020 Gravel Bike is named after a favourite dirt road loop near the Cannondale headquarters in Connecticut. The Topstone Carbon is available in four other complete builds, besides our Force eTap AXS test 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. The hidden seatpost binder looks neat, but it isn’t sealed very well and is prone to creaking. tax) out of stock. 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. Tire clearance is very good, but perhaps not incredible depending on how adventurous you want to be. “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. 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