Cannondale Topstone

BikeRide Score

Summary of Reviews

We have read all expert and user reviews on the Cannondale Topstone. In summary, this is what cyclists think.

14 reasons to buy

  • Comfort from suspension and a balanced seating position was undeniable.
  • Every model of Topstone is equipped with a full carbon fork.
  • This rig is renowned for nimble, confident handling on sketchy surfaces.
  • Some reviewers described Apex models as ‘relatively inexpensive’.
  • It’s a cycling factotum; serving as a gravel, road, commuting and winter ride.
  • The Kingpin active suspension system is a breakthrough in the gravel world.
  • SRAM and Shimano hydraulic brakes were welcomed (on high-end models).
  • WTB Riddler tires came tubeless-ready.
  • The 2x12 drivetrain on the Carbon Force saw riders spoilt for a gear range.
  • Subtle color schemes and discreet welds made for an appealing package.
  • One expert felt this bike accelerated well, compared to the competition.
  • Components were seen to be decent as specced. On 105 models, the groupset is lauded.
  • Hollowgram wheels have wide, light, shallow rims strong enough for singletrack.
  • Mounts are provided for three bottle cages, frame bags, spares, a rear rack, full mudguards and a top tube storage pouch.

11 reasons not to buy

  • Experts bemoaned the Topstone’s less-than-stellar climbing abilities.
  • Attaching a dropper post reportedly limited minimum seat heights.
  • On-road, the Topstone rode well but wasn’t a 'road bike'.
  • A long-term review said rims were heavy and didn’t stay true.
  • Gear ratios and ranges were great off-road but not so fast on-road.
  • One expert felt that internal cable routing was noisy.
  • Carbon models were somewhat expensive, compared to the competition.
  • One expert really would have preferred a threaded bottom bracket.
  • The Force eTap AXS shifters were sometimes too bulky for smaller hands.
  • A long-term reviewer felt that Cannondale could have provided more greases and lubes.
  • On technical and rough terrain, small tire volumes and a high centre of gravity caused problems.

Bottom line

Testers enjoyed the Topstone’s ride, feel and fun-factor over uneven surfaces. As is understood, this rig performed better off-road than on. But that didn’t stop enthusiastic owners happily using the Topstone as their do-everything bike. The innovative Kingpin suspension system uses pivot points and apparently has the effect of running a 9mm wider tire. It wasn’t just a gimmick, as experts noted that it genuinely contributed to comfort on longer rides. Due to wide-ish tires and a moderate weight, alloy models felt a little sludgy on climbs. Conversely, the Carbon Force comes equipped with a 2x12 drivetrain, featuring 46/33 cranks and 10–33 cassette, which meant no struggling on ascents. Riders were happy to use the Topstone for short bikepacking trips, gravel, cross and winter road applications. A seemingly impressive bike with performance reflected in the price.
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Release Year
Wheel Size
Number of Gears
Gearing Type
22.80, 19.30, 18.60, 20.20, 19.80 lb
Frame Material

Expert Reviews

90/100 based on 3 rated expert reviews
Cycling Weekly

Cannondale Topstone Carbon Ultegra RX

With a change of tyres the Topstone Carbon is capable of becoming as close to a one bike ‘quiver killer’ as I thought possible.

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Cannondale Topstone Apex Review

Switching lines to avoid holes, hopping obstacles, nailing cambers and precise line choice become second nature.

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Cannondale Topstone Carbon Force eTap AXS [German]

It scores highly with a balanced seating position and high comfort, especially on very rough ground, where the superior damping properties of the Kingpin suspension become noticeable.

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Bruno Bobbink

The New Cannondale Topstone Carbon Gravelbike Review.

It has thirty millimetres of bumpsmoothening suspension… I f you want to be faster than your friends without hurting your ass, this might be the perfect bike for you.

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Cannondale Topstone vs GT Grade | ‘Suspension’-Equipped Gravel Bike Shootout

It’s whether you want the straight-line speed and the stability of the Cannondale or the lively, more nimble feel of the GT.

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Cannondale Topstone Carbon | First ride Impressions

It’s ideal if you’re going gravel racing and you want the comfort and the capability of the rear suspension.

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Road Bike Action Magazine

Cannondale Topstone: An Aluminum Rookie Effort for the Gravel Game

From the multitude of accessory mounts to the 40t chainring, the dropper post and especially the price, it’s obvious that some thought and purpose were designed into the Topstone.

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The Cannondale Topstone Apex1 Is a Gravel Bike That’s Ready to Get Rowdy

Max out the storage capacity and you are ready to head into the back country on a bike packing trip … or tackle a gravel grinder or your daily commute.”

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The Radavist

The Cannondale Carbon Topstone has Evolved Past its Aluminum Sibling

If we’re talking about evolution, the Topstone Carbon is an interesting permutation, with design and technology that works, but also introduces a lot of complexities as an unfortunate byproduct.

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Cannondale Topstone Carbon Long-term Review: A Superb Ride, a Few Quirks

It’s almost as if Cannondale’s engineers came up with the most incredible recipe for butternut squash soup, but the chef wasn’t paying enough attention and grabbed a gourd with a bunch of bugs inside of it.

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Riding Gravel

Cannondale Topstone Carbon Force eTap AXS: Checkpoint

For open minded gravel cyclists not encumbered by traditional expectations, it can be a one way ticket to gravel nirvana. If it were a car, it’d be more of a Ferrari than a Cadillac.

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Riding Gravel

Cannondale Topstone 105: At The Finish

Overall, we’re stoked with the bike’s performance and can recommend it without reservation.

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Cannondale Topstone Apex 1 Review: Roll and Roam

Although I didn’t fall head over heels for the Topstone, it’s a versatile, no-nonsense bike that packs in an impressive amount of features for the price.

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Test: Cannondale Topstone Carbon Force AXS [Polish]

The Topstone Carbon stands out from the crowd not only in good looks, but also in rideability. The micro cushioning system works and allows you to ride in extreme comfort.

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New: Cannondale Topstone Carbon [Dutch]

The carbon Topstone target market could actually have been served with the brand’s current range… The big difference is mainly in the slightly wider tires.

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Test: Cannondale Topstone Carbon [Danish]

…the Topstone Carbon is still more road than gravel, as emphasized by the flareless handlebars and the lack of a protective plate on the underside of the carbon frame, something that all competitors have.

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Rennrad News

Cannondale Topstone Tested: Just For The Gravel Road… Almost Too Good [German]

Although the Topstone is one of the most expensive models in this test range, it scores highly in all other areas.

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User Ratings

95/100 based on 11 ratings
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Bike Comparison

Cannondale Topstone in comparison to averages