Cannondale know a thing or two about aluminium bikes, and whilst
the original Topstone may have been joined by a carbon-framed big
brother it still represents a superb value way into
gravel/adventure, as well as making an ideal winter
Their emphasis here is on ride quality and handling rather than
super-light weight, and that's a sensible thing at this pricepoint
(this 105-equipped model comes in at a quoted weight of just under
10kg complete). That's light enough that, combined with relatively
relaxed geometry and some clever tube shaping, you have a bike that
can handle rough surfaces comfortably and with plenty of fun
The alloy frame is matched with a fully carbon fork to give
stiffness where needed, but the skinny 27.2mm seatpost and slim
rear tubes mean that there's no alloy harshness at the rear either.
We're also glad to see a traditional threaded bottom bracket,
low-maintenance and creak-free, and easy to upgrade to the likes of
Chris King further down the line, if desired.
As you'd expect there's a full complement of mounting points for
bottles, racks and mudguards (including a clever removeable top
bridge for the rear mudguard, which keeps things clean and simple
when not running guards - aiding mud clearance).
photos by Bence Bujaki