CORE Bike has long been and gone but there were a few gems within the sea of cool products with Cannondale's new Topstone Carbon being one of them. The freshly updated gravel bike comes with a handful of refinements including compatibility with the brand's Smartsense tech. Here's a quick look at the suspension-equipped Topstone Carbon 2.
The newly released Cannondale Topstone comes with a ground-up redesign that helps the bike fill its role of the 'one bike to do it all'. Those updates affect the Kingpin suspension platform, the bike's geometry, and some neat changes to the frame.
While wandering around CORE Bike a couple of weeks ago, we managed to pull the Carbon 2 Lefty model of the bike, which, as its name suggests, comes with that unique Lefty Oliver fork, complimenting the (approximate) 30mm of flex stay suspension at the rear. It offers up 30mm of front-end squish and tunable spring progression via what Cannondale calls Ramp Rings. It works around an air spring and the fork comes fully equipped with a rebound adjustment and a lockout. Topstone models kitted with a Lefty Oliver roll on 700c wheels although the bike has clearance for up to 700x45mm or 650bx2.1 rubber.
As touched on before, Cannondale says that the Topstone Carbon 2 benefits from some revisions to its Kingpin suspension, and it's claimed that these changes have shed up to 100 grams off of the original weight. Along with the weight saving, the brand has aimed to make the platform more durable and more streamlined.
The bike comes with a couple of neat frame features including a standard wheel dish, meaning that the rear wheel can now be replaced with off-the-shelf upgrades without the need to re-dish them. Along with that, the frame comes sorted with an easily maintained threaded bottom bracket, and it's littered with rack mounts, making big bike packing weekends absolutely possible.
A recent release for the brand is the new SmartSense tech, which the Topstone is built to accommodate. It's a system of lights and radar that's designed to actively communicate with the rider, the bike, and their surroundings to make them more visible while out on the road. Some models of the Topstone Carbon come with it out of the box, however, this one doesn't. Instead, it comes with a neat space to stash some spares.
Moving onto the bike's geometry, this Topstone Carbon 2 Lefty gets a 70.5° head tube angle, a 72.4° effective seat tube angle, and a 420mm chainstay. A large frame comes built with a 550mm actual top tube length and 379mm reach.
As for the spec, this bike comes with the aforementioned Lefty Oliver fork. Shimano has the drivetrain covered with a GRX 800/600 11-speed groupset and the bike rolls on a pair of WTB KOM Light rims which are wrapped with a pair of 700x44c WTB Raddler TCS Light tyres. There's even a dropper post on the Topstone Carbon 2 Lefty too, coming in the form of Cannondale's DownLow dropper.
This model will set you back £4,500 but there are five other builds in the range with prices starting at £2,800 and going up to £8,000.
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