The Cannondale Topstone Carbon gravel bike is ready for more adventure with a new lighter no-shock Kingpin rear suspension design, bigger tire clearances, improved geometry, and a new gravel Lefty suspension fork option for bigger 700c wheel setups. Plus, you can choose integrated SmartSense radar & lighting for added safety on all sorts of roads. And as always, Cannondale has tons of different build options so you can get the perfect setup for your style of gravel riding…
2022 Cannondale Topstone Carbon gravel bike evolved
Cannondale’s Topstone Carbon gravel bike debuted three years ago with its unique shock-free Kingpin rear suspension and a rigid carbon fork, only adding a 650b Lefty Oliver suspension fork option a year later. Now, the Topstone Carbon gets a complete overhaul with improved suspension, geometry, and tons more tech options.
A lighter, more durable Kingpin 2.0 rear end starts it all off, shedding 100g in a move to simpler low-friction bushings (vs. gen1 bearings) that better handle the low-rotation needs of the Topstone Carbon’s ~30mm of rear wheel travel via flex in the carbon stays. Plus, that means Cannondale could slim down the Kingpin setup a bit too.
At the same time, the reworked rear end now has room for bigger tires – up to 700c x 45mm or 27.5 x 2.1″. That’s at least 5mm more for big wheels and 7mm more for smaller wheels. And it’s going to be easier than ever to swap from one size to the next, as the Topstone Carbon ditches the Ai asymmetric rear wheel layout in favor of standard symmetrical-dish rear wheel which means any 12x142mm rear wheel will fit, as will standard offset chainrings.
Cannondale’s SmartSense heads off the tarmac now too. Debuted on their endurance road Synapse a couple of months back, Smart Sense integrates rear-facing radar and front & rear lighting for improved visibility and safety on the road.
Cannondale knows most gravel bikes spend a lot of time on the road, and there’s even some high-speed traffic on gravel roads, so adding Smart Sense build options (and the possibility for future integrated upgrades) can only help improve the gravel riders’ safety on the bike.
All Topstone Carbons are SmartSense-ready, while some come with the full RLE setup, some only with the L light package, and the remainder without.
Lastly, the Topstone Carbon’s Lefty Oliver goes big, now updated to provide 30mm of smooth bump-eating front suspension to riders with 700c wheels. It’s not that Cannondale had to completely re-engineer the fork for bigger wheels (there was always an air piston kit upgrade that increased axle-crown for bigger wheels), just now the complete bikes with a Lefty are all spec’d with 700c wheels, and room for 45mm tires.
Updated Adventure Gravel Geometry
The new Topstone Carbon also refines its gravel bike geometry for dialed-in improvements to handling off-road, especially over rougher adventure riding terrain – while essentially keeping its core angles unchanged in five stock sizes (XS-XL).
The new bike adds 5mm to bring its chainstays up to 420mm and gets an incremental 5mm lower bottom bracket height on the rigid fork models (the longer 700c Lefty means BB drop is the same as the original 650b Lefty Topstones) for improved stability.
The Topstone Carbon’s proportional frame Stack & Reach figures get refined across the board, with the smallest bikes getting noticeably taller & a bit longer, medium bikes a tiny bit lower & shorter, and the biggest bikes noticeably lower & a tad shorter.
Plus, they all get an extra 13-30mm of improved standover to help with managing the bike over technical terrain or when loaded down with bikepacking gear.
Subtle refinements that should add up to better fit & confident handling for all.
In to the details, there are even more new updates beyond the symmetric rear wheel spacing. The new Topstone Carbon swaps to a threaded bottom bracket which should make gravelers happy.
No one likes a creaky BB, nothing makes BBs creak like wet riding & gravel dust, and a threaded BSA bottom bracket is hard to argue with.
For those not opting for Smart Sense, that same integrated mount for the central battery pack can be filled with Cannondale’s new StrapRack to secure a spare tube & tools low in the frame. That’ll also fit those new Synapses that opt out of integrated light & radar, as well.
The new Topstone Carbon features conventional semi-internal cable routing, compatible with 1x & 2x drivetrains and stealth 27.2mm dropper post routing.
The carbon fork has Anything Cage mounts on each leg and the frame also gets a 3-pack Anything cage mounting on the downtube above the SmartSense mount, plus standard pairs of bosses on the seattube, toptube & underside of the downtube. The bike uses a 1.5″ tapered headset, flat mount discs (now on the seatstay), 12mm thru-axles, and also includes full-coverage fender mounts via a removable seatstay bridge.
Cannondale Topstone Carbon – Pricing, Spec & Availability
It looks like 8 different builds are possible – depending on which market you are in. Most of the new Cannondale Topstone Carbon bikes now come standard with 700c wheels for faster rolling & improved rollover now that the bigger tire clearance is there. But there are still 650b options, too.
2022 Cannondale Topstone Carbon 4
The $2800 / 2950€ Topstone Carbon 4 is going to be the lowest cost of entry globally, with a Shimano GRX 600/400 10sp mix and 45mm Riddler Comp tires on 700c WTB i23 TCS wheels.
A North America-only Topstone Carbon Rival $3200 gets a mechancial SRAM 1×11 groupset.
2022 Cannondale Topstone Carbon 3 L
The 3400€ Topstone Carbon 3 gets a Shimano GRX 800/600 11sp mix with alloy WTB wheels the option for 700x45mm or 650x47mm tires.
The $3300 Topstone Carbon 3 L gets the same groupset & either wheelsize option, plus integrated SmartSense lighting (but no radar).
2022 Cannondale Topstone Carbon 2 L (left) or 2 Lefty (right)
Stepping up to the $4200 / 5200€ level buyers can pick either the Topstone Carbon 2 L or Topstone Carbon 2 Lefty, both with a GRX 800 group & lighter WTB wheels. The L-only model sticks with the rigid carbon fork and includes integrated SmartSense lighting, plus a carbon SAVE seatpost. The Lefty model unsurprisingly gets the suspension fork, and adds in a Cannondale DownLow dropper seatpost (60-100mm drop depending on frame size).
2022 Cannondale Topstone Carbon 1 Lefty
At the top tier, $7800 / 9000€ 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, 1500g. The Lefty gets the suspension fork and a carbon SAVE seatpost. The RLE model gets full SmartSense radar & lights, plus an aero gravel FSA K-Wing AGX carbon handlebar.
2022 Cannondale Topstone Carbon RLE
All are available from your local Cannondale dealer starting today.