Cannondale launch new Topstone Carbon Lefty and Neo Lefty e-bike for maximum e-gravel goodness
Cannondale has launched an updated version of the Topstone gravel and adventure bike built around a brand new gravel specific Lefty Oliver suspension fork and the brands' Kingpin rear suspension platform. Along with the release of the fork and analogue bikes, the Topstone gets the e-bike treatment with the Topstone Neo lineup, running with a Bosch motor.
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Cannondale today launch three new bikes, first up the Topstone Carbon Lefty, a 650B gravel bike using a new suspension fork. Then there's the Topstone Neo Carbon Lefty, a carbon e-gravel bike with 650B wheels and a Lefty fork and lastly, the Topstone Neo Carbon which is the e-gravel bike with a rigid fork and 700c wheels.
Built around an all carbon frame and the all new gravel specific Lefty Oliver fork, the new Topstone Lefty gravel and adventure bikes are designed to offer a super comfortable ride on-road while being perfectly capable off-road. This is achieved by pairing 30mm of front and rear travel from the Kingpin platform and Lefty Oliver with 650B wheels or a rigid fork if you choose 700c wheels on the Topstone Neo Carbon e-bike.
Before we go any further, the Kingpin suspension system is a combination of specially shaped tube profiles for the top tube, seat tube and chainstays, in conjunction with a thru-axle connecting the seatstays to the seat tube, all intended to provide up to 30mm of compliance. The system essentially works as a leaf spring, the seat tube bows under impacts and the axle at the seat tube and seatstays junction increases the amount of rotation in the rear triangle and means the seat tube can bend more than it would if the stays were fixed to the seat tube. It works in combination with the SAVE seatpost which also bends under loads. If you want to find out more, we have a video here.
The Kingpin flex suspension also gets Cannondale's LockR Pivot, which locks each side of the pivot together to stop each side from moving independently. The brand says that it results in a more solid ride and instantaneous response.
No strangers to front suspension (remember the Cannondale Slate?) up front the suspension of the new gravel bike is dealt with by Cannondale's new single sided Lefty Oliver fork. This gravel specific fork, designed around a 650b wheel, is basically a scaled down version of the cross-country fork the Ocho (which we took a look at here) offering 30mm of travel. The Oliver comes with a new All-Over damper tune and ISO High-Ride air spring to keep a progressive, bottomless feel. There’s a lockout with a blowoff valve and it also accepts volume spacers for tuneable progression.
Topstone Carbon Lefty
Each frame size is specifically tuned with unique carbon layups and different tube dimensions to keep a similar ride feel across the range. Geometry wise the Topstone Carbon Lefty gets a 71.2 degree head angle, 385mm reach, and a 103mm wheelbase on a medium frame for example.
The new Topstone Carbon Lefty line-up features four models, including one women’s specific model. The unisex models will be available in XS, S, M, L, and XL sizes and the women’s spec model will be available in XS, S and M.
All bikes have internal cable routing, space for 47c tyres, internal routing for a dropper post should you want one, mudguard mounts front and rear and thru axels.
If you're into your riding telemetry, the new Topstone comes with a sensor in the wheel, which connects to a free Cannondale app. It sends info such as speed, distance and route information and it'll also remind you of your next service to your phone.
Topstone Carbon Neo and Topstone Carbon Neo Lefty
Alongside the release of the Topstone and the new Lefty, Cannondale has introduced the Topstone Carbon Neo and the Topstone Carbon Neo Lefty, both are e-bikes with the same Bosch motor, the former has 700c wheels with a rigid fork and the latter get 650B wheels and that Lefty Oliver for what Cannondale are calling 'maximum gravel'.
The Topstone Carbon Neo gets all of the same tricks as the regular version but it comes with a motor Bosch Performance Line CX 250w motor and 500Wh integrated battery.
Topstone Carbon comes with 700 x 37c tires for great road-speed and gravel grip. Topstone Carbon Lefty comes with 650 x 42c tires for even more off-road ability and on-road comfort. You still get the KingPin tech with its LockR Pivot plus the mudguard mounts, the wheel sensor and its dropper post ready too.
The e-bikes get pretty near identical geometry to the Topstone Carbon bikes but sizing is slightly different as they drop the XS from the range. The differences in geometry lie in the seat tube length, it's shorter size for size on the e-bike, chainstays are longer on the e-bike and the bottom bracket is higher too. The Topstone Neo Carbon will feature two 650b Lefty Oliver models as well as two 700c models and both versions will be available in S, M, L and XL sizes.
To get your hands on a Topstone Carbon Lefty with Shimano GRX, it’ll set you back £3,399 for the Lefty 3 with the range topping Lefty 1 costing £7,999 which is fitted with SRAM XO1 Eagle AXS.
For the base Topstone Neo Carbon 4, also with Shimano GRX, Cannondale are asking for £3,999. Prices top out at £7,999 for the Lefty and SRAM AXS equipped model.
Wish they did a version of this with the Lefty fork but a standard rear triangle. I simply don't trust that the flexy back triangle will last. Ultimately things that bend, eventually crack.
Blimey, I hope it rides well because it looks shocking.
Give an ugly bike some ugly injections and then punch it in the face a few times. Wow.
2020's contender for the Fugliest bike......
A niche within a niche of ultra niche-ness. Also guaranteed to break with that killer 1-2-3 punch of bb30, offset rear wheel and cannondale 'quality'. Even so... I would.