2022 Cannondale Topstone 1
- Price: $2325
- Category: Gravel Bicycle
- Frame: Aluminum
- Gear: 2×11
- Tires: 700 x 40c
What we like about it: SmartForm C2 alloy’s rugged frame, BallisTec full carbon fork offers three mounting notches and lightweight versatility.
What we don’t like about it: Not enough light car weight.
In recent years, gravel bikes have become very popular because they offer a lot of versatility for a wide variety of terrain and are perfect for riders who want to go on adventures. The Cannondale Topstone 1 is a gravel bike that is well worth getting because it offers plenty of versatility and is suitable for a wide variety of terrains, making it ideal for riders who want to explore the wilderness.
The frame of the Cannondale Topstone 1 is made of SmartForm C2 alloy with OutFront offset. clean, lightweight frames and geometry have always been Cannondal’s strengths, and this bike is no exception. And it uses Shimano’s GRX kit configuration to optimize the bike’s drivetrain and braking system for exploring uncharted terrain. Not only that, but the Topstone 1 tires are WTB Nano vacuum tires, which are lightweight and durable. Its wired rims also make the tires very strong.
Imagine how happy we would be if we could bring Cannondale Topstone 1 for a forest adventure in our free time.
Cannondale Topstone 1 Climbing Review
Over the weekend, I met up with my friends and rode the Cannondale Topstone 1 into the woods around the city. The open forest roads are not as narrow as the single-track trails, but they still test the bike’s performance, and the Topstone 1 was smooth and silky on these potholes. In addition, the WTB ST i23 TCS tires with their staggered knobs and Flying V pattern design allowed me to easily press through large and small gravel.
Also, with the Shimano GRX set, I could barely feel the gravel hitting the tires. So I can sit firmly on the bike and still keep going at high speed.
I had been riding at second-gear speed before, but luckily I had Shimano GRX 400 hydraulic disc brakes. It braked in time to slow down and helped me complete the big turn with precision, otherwise, I would have drifted out. Of course, the full carbon fork with tapered steerer tube and 12mm barrel axle provides a light, comfortable and precise steering front end. This also provides me with the advantage of agile steering.
The comfortable seat and the removable fender design are also worth points for the Cannondale Topstone 1 throughout the uphill climb.
In this way, we rode to the high places in the forest and also took less time than before. The three mounting tabs on its frame were designed to make our ride very convenient. We unloaded the two bottles of water and the supply bag we had loaded on the Cannondale Topstone 1 and sat down to rest for a while.
Cannondale Topstone 1 Descending Review
The downhill road is just as rough as the uphill, and it requires more precise control of our bikes.
The Cannondale Topstone 1’s extra-long fork offset combined with a slack head tube angle balances agility with stability. In the woods, I can confidently avoid whatever obstacles I encounter. This is thanks to the agile OutFront steering and Shimano GRX 400 hydraulic disc brakes. And the seat tube with dropper design is so snug that I rarely feel physical discomfort from the impact, even when I encounter a drop in the road.
Not only that, but I was very worried about dropping the chain at first, a concern I think you usually have as well. But even as I sped down the hill at top speed, with the intense friction between the chain and the frisbee, the Topstone 1 didn’t stall at all until I stopped after descending. The whole journey the Topstone 1 just lifted the leaves on both sides and rode the wind. The fresh air of the forest intertwined with the Cannondale Topstone 1 and made me feel a different kind of energy from the old days.
I’m sure there are many people who are attracted to beautiful bikes when they buy one. The Cannondale Topstone 1 is just that.
At first glance, I was instantly attracted to the Topstone 1 in Cinnamon. It looks like a brown tree trunk blended with orange and red fallen leaves, and at the same time mixed with the reflective metallic texture of SmartForm C2 alloy, a gentle yet refined feeling.
Of course, its other bike in Mercury color is also very nice. I believe that those who like mechanical style will like it more. And the Cannondale Topstone 1 has a StraightShot internal cable routing design. This protects the cables from wear and tear without sacrificing the beautiful look of the Topstone 1. It’s the best of both worlds!
By the way, this gravel bike also has three mounting tabs and fender mounting holes. If you’re going on a long ride, it’s designed for you with three tabs just in time to meet your need for spare supplies.
Just the right amount of Reach, not too long and not too short. We can adjust our position to different terrains, such as prone or upright. Likewise, the not-too-loose 73.1° seat tube angle is just right for gravel racing. It doesn’t interfere with our being in the right aerodynamic position to ride to maintain speed, while still maintaining comfort.
In addition, the moderate wheelbase is one of the advantages we have in being able to handle the Cannondale Topstone 1 consistently. One more thing, the steep 71.0° head tube angle allows us to have more agile steering. This makes it easier to steer the bike and avoid accidents due to sluggishness.
Components and Specifications
Shimano GRX 810 Drivetrain
I have always been a big fan of the Shimano brand and the superior experience I get from its high-quality components is unique.
First of all, the Cannondale Topstone 1 has a 2×11 speed shift range. This allows us to choose the right speed for riding on a variety of complex terrain.
Secondly, the stable operation of the chain plays an important role in our safety while riding. After all, no one wants to have the problem of chain breakage off the beaten track, which will be no small trouble. Therefore, the Shimano GRX 810 features an adjustable chain stabilizer, which effectively prevents the chain from slapping and falling off. It reliably protects our chain from accidents.
Finally, it has a stable shift switch, which is easy and precise to operate. It allows us to switch to the right speed at any time on different terrains. I think this excellent Shimano GRX 810 drivetrain is very suitable for the Topstone 1.
Shimano GRX 400’s Braking System
The lightweight Shimano GRX 400 braking system utilizes ICE TECHNOLOGIES in order to dissipate heat in time under high-intensity friction. This protects it from wear and tear during the ride, thus prolonging its service life.
As we all know, the most outstanding feature of a gravel bike is that it adapts to a very wide range of terrain. This also means that our braking system needs to be more responsive and ensure fast enough agility.
To achieve this, the Shimano GRX 400 has a flush-mount design that provides us with better control. Not only that, but the flush-mounted design of the brake system is also easier for us to maintain.
Vacuum Tires for WTB Nano
When we choose a gravel bike, we need it to be adaptable to a wider range of terrain. Gravel, dirt, and single track all have to be taken into account.
And as the most direct contact between the bike and the ground, tires can have a major impact on our ride. I think that’s why Cannondale Topstone 1 chose WTB Nano vacuum tires.
This tire has an almost uninterrupted centerline with staggered outer knobs. This provides high-speed efficiency on tough roads and maintains speed even on big climbs.
Moreover, the relatively wide 40mm large tires can press through the gravel effortlessly. Also, the design of the outer grain of the Flying V reduces drag and drives over the road more quickly.
Other versions of Cannondale Topstone
I think you guys should be very impressed with the Cannondale Topstone after my detailed introduction above. It is a gravel bike that is well worth getting, both in terms of appearance and performance.
However, to give you more options to compare, I also tested other versions of Cannondale Topstone. If interested, read on!
Cannondale Topstone 2
The Cannondale Topstone 2 comes in the same two colors as the Cannondale Topstone 1, Midnight Blue and Olive Green, and the forks are both made of carbon. However, the Cannondale Topstone 1 is made of BallisTec full carbon, while the Cannondale Topstone 2 is made of Topstone full carbon.
The Cannondale Topstone 1 is a bit more robust. I think the difference between them is also the rear derailleur: the Cannondale Topstone 2 is a Shimano GRX 400, while the Cannondale Topstone 1 is a Shimano GRX 810. The range is much wider.
Cannondale Topstone Carbon 3
The Cannondale Topstone 3 is made from a lighter Topstone carbon frame than aluminum, and it has the main suspension system and a proportional response structure. The brakes have been upgraded to Shimano GRX 600 hydraulic disc brakes for greater agility and stability. However, the higher specification will naturally be more expensive. If you want a more cost-effective bike, my recommendation is still the Cannondale Topstone 1.
We have reviewed other versions of Cannondale Topstone if you want to learn more.
What we like about it
- Smart Form C2 alloy frame provides lightweight, agile handling.
- Flat mounting plate.
- BallisTec full carbon fork.
- The drivetrain of Shimano GRX 810.
- Vacuum tires for WTB Nano.
What we don’t like about it
- For some people, there is no lighter car weight.
- Not enough color options.
- What is the drivetrain of Cannondale Topstone 1?
The drivetrain of Cannondale Topstone 1 is Shimano GRX 400.
- What is the body material of Cannondale Topstone 1?
Cannondale Topstone 1’s body material is SmartForm C2 Alloy.
- What sizes does Cannondale Topstone 1 come in?
Cannondale Topstone 1 sizing chart.
|Rider height||5’0″ – 5’5″||5′4” – 5′10“||5′7” – 6‘1″||5′10” – 6′4“||6‘3” – 6′8“|
2022 Cannondale Topstone 1 Specs
|Frame||SmartForm C2 Alloy, 12×142 thru-axle, tapered headtube, flat mount disc, StraightShot internal cable routing, multiple gear/bottle mounts Colors: Orange; Slate Gray|
|Fork||BallisTec Full Carbon, 1-1/8″ to 1-1/4″ steerer, 55mm OutFront offset, flat mount disc, internal routing, 12×100 thru axle|
|Bottom Bracket||FSA Cartridge|
|Headset||Integrated, 1-1/8″ – 1-1/4″|
|Stem||Cannondale 3, 6061 Alloy, 31.8, 7°|
|Handlebar||Cannondale 3, butted 6061 alloys, 16 deg flare drop|
|Saddle||Fizik Aliante Delta, S-alloy rails|
|Seatpost||Cannondale 3, 6061 Alloy, 27.2 x 350mm|
|Grips||Cannondale Bar Tape, 3.5mm|
|Rear Derailleur||Shimano GRX 810, Shadow RD+|
|Front Derailleur||Shimano GRX 800, braze-on|
|Crank||FSA Omega AGX+ Alloy, 46/30|
|Shifters||Shimano GRX 600, 11-speed|
|Cassette||Shimano 105, 11-34, 11-speed|
|Chain||KMC X11, 11-speed|
|Brakes||Shimano GRX 400, hydraulic disc, 160/160mm RT54 rotors|
|Brake Levers||Shimano GRX 600 hydraulic disc|
|Rims||WTB ST i23 TCS, 28h, tubeless ready|
|Spokes||Stainless Steel, 14g|
|Front Hub||Formula cartridge bearing, Centerlock, 12x100mm|
|Rear Hub||Formula cartridge bearing, Centerlock, 12x142mm|
|Tires||WTB Nano, 700 x 40c, wire bead|
|2023 Trek Checkpoint ALR 5||$2499||ShimanoGRX 800||GRX 600 Hydraulic Disc||700x40c||Click View|
|2023 Framed Basswood Carbon Gravel Bike||$2400||SRAM APEX 1||Flat Mount Mechanical||700x40c||Click View|
|2022 Canyon Grail CF SL 7||$2699||Shimano GRX 800||Shimano GRX 600 Hydraulic Disc||700x40c||Click View|
|Giant Revolt Advanced 3||$2400||Shimano GRX 400||Shimano GRX RX-400 Hydraulic Disc||700x38c||Click View|
2022 Cannondale Topstone 1 vs 2023 Trek Checkpoint ALR 5
If I were to find a rival for Cannondale, TREK would be the right brand. Today I have chosen the 2023 Trek Checkpoint ALR 5 for analysis and comparison.
The Trek Checkpoint ALR 5, also an aluminum frame gravel bike, is officially priced at $2,499. Not only that, but it also has a more powerful gravel-crushing capability. Unlike the Cannondale Topstone 1, however, it has Trek’s exclusive IsoSpeed, which provides additional comfort. However, according to feedback from other riders, the heavier tires had an impact on their riding experience. There is also the issue of chain protection on the Trek Checkpoint ALR 5, which has caused problems for riders.
2022 Cannondale Topstone 1 vs 2023 Framed Basswood Carbon Gravel Bike
The 2023 Framed Basswood Carbon Gravel Bike is a basswood carbon frame gravel bike with mid-range components and is lightweight. But it is equipped with mechanical brakes, and I think we would all still prefer it to be fitted with hydraulic brakes.
The 2023 Framed Basswood Carbon Gravel Bike has a 33mph SRAM APEX 1 drivetrain compared to the Cannondale Topstone 1’s Shimano GRX 810 drivetrain capable of 36mph. Unfortunately, I think this configuration may lose customers like me who are strict about speed. Also, its price is not an outstanding advantage over the Cannondale Topstone 1.
2022 Cannondale Topstone 1 vs 2022 Canyon Grail CF SL 7
The 2022 Canyon Grail CF SL 7 is a carbon frame bike that is very much configured for performance, using a Shimano GRX 800 drivetrain with a Shimano GRX 600 braking system. There’s no denying that such a setup is a more attractive match than the Cannondale Topstone 1.
However, I feel that the 2022 Canyon Grail CF SL 7 seems to ignore the fact that gravel bikes need comfortable seats and handlebars as well. This is because it allows the rider to have a better long-distance experience. Also, the lack of tire clearance affects grip in mixed terrain.
2022 Cannondale Topstone 1 vs 2022 Giant Revolt Advanced 3
The 2022 Giant Revolt, Advanced 3 is in the same price range as the Cannondale Topstone 1, but I don’t think it’s as cost-effective as the Cannondale Topstone 1.
Firstly, it uses an advanced composite frame, which has no significant advantage in terms of weight. Secondly, and most importantly, the 2022 Giant Revolt, Advanced 3 has chosen a Shimano GRX 400 drivetrain. It is not comparable to the Shimano GRX 810 of the Cannondale Topstone 1 in terms of both sensitivity and comfort. Finally, the braking system of the Shimano GRX 400 and the 38c tires do not provide the rider with enough stability on slippery surfaces. If you have hesitation between these two bikes, then I think the Cannondale Topstone 1 must be the winner.
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