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    Cannondale Topstone Carbon Review

    Sophia Willmes
    Sophia Willmes
    Mar 4, 2024 3 min
    Cannondale Topstone Carbon Review

    Your new Gravel?

    In this new gravel bike review we take a look at one of the most popular trendy bikes, the Cannondale Topstone Carbon, more specifically the Carbon 5.

    1. Frame.

    Let's start with the frame right away. Cannodale uses its Ballistec Carbon material. This carbon layup provides a great blend of stiffness, strength and compliance for a comfortable, yet fast ride in rough terrain. Like all carbon frames the Topstone is equipped with Kingpin suspension, which connects the seatstays to the seat tube. Together with the compliance of the carbon frame, it provides up to 30 mm of suspension travel in the rear triangle. This provides even more comfort, control and traction in rough terrain and does not affect the power transmission when climbing or riding on straight tracks.

    2. Mounting options.

    The Topstone is packed with mounts located on the top tube, down tube, seat tube, fork and seat stays. This makes the Topstone a reliable partner for bikepacking tours and the mudguard compatibility also makes it great for commuting to work or college in the winter.

    The Topstone does have internal cable routing, which makes for a slightly tidier look, but it would have been nice to see the cable routing under the stem, such as on the Rose Backroad. Another cool feature is the slim integrated seatpost clamp. Who wants to increase the off-road capabilities even further, can also mount a dropper seat.

    3. Geometry.

    It's worth taking a quick look at the geometry: with a stack of 579 and a reach of 385, the bike has typical endurance geometry that puts you in a more upright position, giving you comfort on longer rides and control on technical trails, but isn't so upright that you wouldn't have a fast feel. However, a significant difference in geometry compared to typical gravel bikes is the relaxed headtube angle compared to a long fork offset. This outfront steering geometry makes for stable, secure and agile handling.

    4. Components.

    As for the components, they vary depending on the price range. The Topstone Carbon 5 is equipped with a mix of Shimano GRX, Shimano 105 and Cannodale components. The rear and front shifters are GRX 812 and 800, respectively, which provide Ultegra-like shifting, while the hydraulic brake levers and shifters are GRX 600. The crank is Cannondale's stiff and lightweight 46/30 aluminum crank, paired with a Shimano 105 11-34 rear sprocket for a nice, versatile setup for road and off-road. You get the 160mm RT64 disc brake rotors paired with GRX400 calipers, which aren't bad and offer decent stopping power. Still, there's room for improvement in terms of brake discs. Otherwise, you get the Cannondale 3 aluminum seatpost, a handlebar and stem paired with a Fizik Delta saddle. Nothing special, which is why it remains a bit of a shame that Cannondale has not included a carbon seatpost.

    The Topstone Carbon 5 comes with a WTB ST I23 tubeless ready wheelset paired with 37mm wide WTB Riddler TCS Light Gravel tires. That's not a bad set-up. In terms of tire clearance, you can fit a 40mm wide 700 tire or even a 48mm wide tire on 650 wheels. Unfortunately, that's not exactly industry-leading considering other gravel bikes can fit 45 or 50 mm wide 700 tires.

    The Cannondale Topstone in size M weighs in at 9.69 kg, which is very good and can be reduced even further if you switch to a carbon seatpost, for example. In terms of price, the Topstone Carbon 5 is at 2,999€.

    5. Conclusion.

    Overall, the Cannondale Topstone Carbon 5 is a thoroughly decent bike. The stub axle suspension is a great feature that takes gravel biking to a new level. It's a very versatile and well-rounded bike in terms of geometry, gearing, and mounting options. So if you're looking for a well-rounded bike that can handle both rough gravel and pavement, disappoints neither at high speeds nor while bikepacking, then the Carbon 5 is a bike for you. Even though it tends to play in a higher price range and sooner or later you'll feel the need to upgrade, you can't go wrong with the Cannondale Topstone Carbon 5 do nothing wrong.

    If you want to buy your new Carbon 5 now, you can find it on the buycycle website. If you have any questions, please contact the buycycle team but until then we wish you happy browsing and happy cycling!