Cannondale’s latest entry to the burgeoning best gravel bike space is the Topstone Alloy, a bike aimed at bringing gravel riding to a broader demographic thanks to a more accessible price point. Unlike its more expensive sibling, the Topstone Alloy is only available in rigid build configuration, eschewing the Lefty/Kingpin suspension trickery of the recently launched Topstone Carbon for a more basic facade. As a result, the bike has been built with simplicity in mind and comes standard with a slew of pragmatic touches - extra mounting points, wider tyre clearance and a threaded bottom bracket - which should make it easier to live with every day.
What's new on the Cannondale Topstone Alloy?
The Cannondale Topstone Alloy is very much a bike for exploring and the entire recipe panders to this theme. Looking at the bike’s appearance, it takes on the same dropped seatstay and refined tube profiling of the Carbon, which keeps aesthetics consistent across the Topstone range.
Geometry numbers are identical to the outgoing model with parallel head and seat-tube angles of 71- and 71.8-degrees, not to mention 435mm chainstays rounding things off. The Topstone Alloy will be offered in five sizes (XS, S, M, L, XL) and available in as many model variations: Topstone Alloy LTD, Topstone Alloy 1 (available in both Shimano GRX and SRAM Rival 1 guises), Topstone Alloy 2, Topstone Alloy 3 and Topstone Alloy 4, each of which features a unique colourway.
Specification levels vary but mechanical shifting is standard across the model spectrum, with hydraulic disc brakes featuring on all but the Topstone Alloy 3 and 4, both of which utilise Promax Render R mechanical discs. Like the recently launched Cannondale Synapse, the Topstone Alloy is compatible with the brand’s SmartSense light and radar systems.
Multiple frame-mounting points
Cannondale has gone big in terms of practicality and the new Topstone Alloy benefits from several new mounting points. While it retains the pannier rack and mudguard mounts, it gains triple-boss luggage mounts on the fork with an eyelet mount on the crown. Other than those additions, the Topstone Alloy keeps the same three-bottle cage mount configuration of its forebear and will still play nicely with internally routed 27.2mm dropper posts.
Wider tyre clearances
As gravel cycling continues to define itself, the quest to go further and tackle more complex, technical terrain is becoming a common theme. While all five Topstone Alloy bikes come standard with 37c WTB Riddle gravel tyres, Cannondale has looked to futureproof the Topstone Alloy by boosting the frame clearances to accommodate tyre widths of up to 45mm - up from 42mm, the result of which opens the door for more aggressive tyre options that can bolster both ride compliance and capability.
Cannondale Topstone Alloy Pricing
2022 cannondaleTopstone_Alloy_Bikepacking_0075.jpg, by Liam Mercer
While the Topstone Alloy portfolio comprises five models, the Topstone Alloy 1 is available in the choice of either Shimano GRX or SRAM Rival 1, which essentially provides six options to the buyer. The range is headlined by the Cannondale Topstone Alloy LTD which gets a 2x11 Shimano GRX groupset, WTB KOM wheels and a Fizik Aliante Delta saddle, yours for £2,600. This is followed by the Topstone Alloy 1 which is available with slightly cheaper WTB wheels and finished in either 2x11 Shimano GRX or 1x11 SRAM Rival 1, priced at a respective £2,150 and £2,100. The two lower-spec models represent the best value for money in our opinion, especially considering the current cost of living crisis. While they’re not as lavishly laden as their siblings, the £1,400 Topstone Alloy 3 gets Shimano’s 9-speed Sora groupset, mechanically-actuated disc brakes and a heavier finishing kit, while the £1,150 Topstone Alloy 4 is built around a 10-speed microShift Advent X groupset replete with Promax Render R mechanical disc brakes.
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