Cannondale Topstone Carbon Ultegra RX: The Facts
Frame material: Carbon
Wheel size(s): 700c (650b compatible)
Maximum tire clearance: 40mm (700c) / 48mm (650b)
Axle dimensions (v/h): 12 × 100/142 × 12
Mudguard Eyelets: Ja
Luggage carrier eyelets (v/h): No Yes
bottle holder: Down tube up, down tube down, seat tube
Weight wheels v/h/total (with tires and brake discs): 1.260g / 1.810g / 3.070g
Weight complete bike without pedals (size M): 8,79kg
Price: € 3.799
Sporty carbon frame with innovative Kingping suspension
Last summer, Cannondale caused some open mouths in the industry with the unveiling of the new Topstone carbon gravel bike. The newly developed kingping suspension of the rear triangle, which is supposed to provide 30(!) mm of travel, was primarily responsible for this. How it works? The seat stays are attached to the seat tube with a joint - in combination with a carbon layup specially adapted for this construction, the frame flexes in the event of vibrations and impacts from the ground. Due to the flexible connection of the seat stays to the frame, the entire rear end can move noticeably upwards.
Speaking of frame layup; This is also exciting for another reason about the Cannondale Topstone Carbon: Each frame size gets its very own layup and tube diameter from Cannondale. This is how you want to keep the ride and suspension characteristics the same across all sizes and rider weight classes. The goal: Regardless of whether the frame size is the largest or the smallest, the Topstone Carbon always feels the way its designers wanted it to.
But even apart from these special features, the Cannondale gravel bike has done its homework: Thanks to numerous attachment points on the entire frame, longer bikepacking adventures including the corresponding luggage can be taken under the profiled tires. Speaking of tires: With 40mm (for 700c) the throughput on the frame and fork is not particularly generous, but this should still be sufficient for most areas of application. If you can't do without large-volume tires, you have the option of installing a 650b wheelset, because then even 48mm tires have enough space.
The geometry shows the quite sporty orientation of the Topstone Carbon; the relatively low stack and the rather long top tube should result in a noticeable saddle elevation, which can of course also be mitigated with a few spacers under the stem. Also striking are the very short chain stays (415mm) and the rather slack head angle. The latter promises smooth running, even when things get a little rough.
Geometry Cannondale Topstone Carbon
|seat tube (in mm)
|Top tube horizontal (in mm)
|head tube (in mm)
|chainstay (in mm)
|Wheelbase (in mm)
|Steering angle (in °)
|Seat angle (in °)
|Stacks (in mm)
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Product news / Gravel: In addition to the long-running e-bike, the gravel bike is probably the great discovery of the past few years in the cycling world. Thanks to their enormous versatility, the gravel racers continue to enjoy great popularity. It is therefore not surprising that the selection is now gigantic. Nevertheless, we tried to find the 10 best gravel bikes 2021 for you! The most exciting […]
Convincing equipment - even without GRX
With the Cannondale Topstone Carbon Ultegra RX, we tested the second highest-quality model of the new US gravel bike. Cannondale is asking 3.799 euros, which - so much in advance - is definitely justified in view of the innovative frame and the high-quality to noble equipment. With a total weight of approx. 8,8 kg without pedals, the Topstone is neither particularly heavy nor particularly light - very few riders should have anything to complain about here, especially since you have to dig much deeper into your pocket for noticeably lighter bikes.
The Americans are taking an interesting approach when it comes to switching groups. While most of the competition's bikes are equipped with the new GRX group from Shimano, Cannondale has installed the Ultegra RX, more or less, the predecessor of the GRX: the rear derailleur has damping for less chain slapping when riding off-road, the Ultegra disc brakes have to do their job when it comes to performance by no means hide from their GRX counterparts. The STIs are ergonomically successful, although they don't quite reach the level of the high-quality GRX RX800 levers.
A highlight of the Topstone is certainly the chic and light Hollowgram crank with a 46/30 chainring combination, which, in combination with the 11-34 cassette, ensures a wide range and small gear steps. The wheels with carbon rims also bear the Hollowgram lettering, which are not only extremely light, but also hold wide tires securely thanks to an inner width of 22 - even without a tube if desired. By the way: If you can do without the carbon wheelset and the Hollowgram crank, you will also find a suitable model in the 2 portfolio with the Topstone Carbon Ultegra RX 2020, which costs 800 euros less.
|Topstone BallisTec Carbon
|WTB Riddler 37mm
|Shimano Ultegra RX
|Shimano Ultegra Disc
|Cannondale C3 27,2
|Fabric Scoop Radius Sport
|Cannondale 3 16° flare
A well-hidden special feature of the wheels is the speed sensor pre-installed on the front wheel hub, which was developed together with Garmin and can be connected via Bluetooth to either a smartphone and the free Cannondale app or via ANT+ to most modern bike computers.
The 37mm wide WTB Riddler tires sit in the rims, which together with the G-One from Schwalbe are probably among the most popular Gravel tires - not surprising, because they can show their strengths especially on gravel, asphalt and light terrain.
The seating area is just as pleasing as the cockpit: The 27,2mm carbon post should provide additional comfort, and the stem and handlebars are adapted to the bike category. The flare or the extension of the handlebars is not too extreme at 16°.
More tests, products and background information about the Velomotion Gravel Month:
- Storck Grix Platinum Ultegra Di2 gravel bike in test: Race tourer for gravel and off-road
- GT Grade Carbon Pro in the gravel bike test: Comfortable triangle for lots of driving fun?!
- Orbea Terra M30-D in the gravel bike test: Lively bike for training and gravel tours
- NS Bikes Rag+ 2 in the gravel bike test: Convincing aluminum all-rounder
- Rondo Ruut CF 2 in the gravel bike test: Fast gravel bike with a striking look
Let's Gravel: The Cannondale Topstone Carbon Ultegra RX
The Cannondale Topstone Carbon Ultegra RX shows what it has to offer at first glance with its extremely low rear end and the innovative kingpin joint that was built into it. Because the Kingpin damping system provides up to 30mm of spring travel without affecting the weight of the bike with conventional dampers, as the entire spring movement is only achieved through the joint between the rear stays and the seat tube/main frame.
What may sound strange to many in theory was able to convince us completely in practice, because the entire rear end offers great flex and so skilfully absorbs harder hits and shocks. But the kingpin cushioning also relieves the seating area on level ground and normal sections of the route and, in combination with the sporty, balanced geometry, ensures a pleasant and brisk driving experience.
Even if the liveliness is certainly not one of the most outstanding characteristics of this bike, the solid acceleration fits skilfully into the comfortable overall concept of the Cannondale Graveler and gives it a certain sporty touch on the way. With smooth running and precise handling, the Cannondale Topstone Carbon Ultegra RX not only gives you sufficient security on choppy passages, but also direct steering behavior on more technical sections.
In times of Shimano's GRX, the Ultegra RX variant is certainly no longer one of the long-running favorites on gravel bikes, but it works just as well in practice and always convinced us during our test rides.
The successful overall concept of the Cannondale Topstone Carbon Ultegra RX is rounded off with various mounting options for accessories, racks, bags and mudguards and should not only please bikepacking fans, but also combines versatility, comfort and sportiness.
Other gravel bike highlights in the test:
Test: With the Bombtrack Hook 1, we tested one of the few gravel bikes with a steel frame - and the frame material here lives up to its reputation. High weight stands in the way of excellent comfort. Bombtrack Hook 1 2020: The facts Frame material: Steel Wheel size(s): 700cc Maximum tire clearance: 40mm Axle size (v/r): Quick release Fender mounts: Yes Rack mounts (v/r): Yes / Yes Bottle holder: […]
Test: With the Open UPPER, we tested an extremely light and very elegant gravel bike - equipped with components from Easton, for which the bike serves as a show bike. The UPPER shows that compromises between road bikes and gravel are possible and can be a lot of fun. Open UPPER: The facts Frame material: Carbon Wheel size(s): 700c (650b compatible) […]
Test: The Bulls Grinder 3 also convinces in its 2020 version with very good everyday qualities and high comfort. In addition, the bike comes with very good equipment for less than 2.000 euros without any weaknesses worth mentioning. Bulls Grinder 3 2020: The facts Frame material: Aluminum Wheel size(s): 700cc Maximum tire clearance: 40mm Axle size (v/r): 12×100 / 142×12 Mudguard mounts: Yes Luggage rack mounts […]