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The new Cannondale Topstone 2022 is an XC mountain bike with drop bars

The Topstone Carbon's AI rear end has been scrapped, tyre clearance has been upped and weight dropped

Joe Robinson
5 Apr 2022

Cannondale has updated its Topstone carbon gravel bike range for 2022 with a raft of changes. They include a lighter version of its Kingpin rear suspension system, bigger tyre clearances via a dropped chainstay, and a rear end that accepts standard wheels. The resultant bike looks capable enough to challenge many XC mountain bikes.

Cannondale's new SmartSense system is now available on select builds and the bike follows the recently revised Cannondale Synapse by adopting a threaded bottom bracket too. 

The updated carbon range includes nine models in a range of builds that includes options with Cannondale's Lefty Oliver suspension fork, 650b wheels, the brand's SmartSense system and electronic groupsets. All nine options come in sizes XS through to XL with prices starting from £2,700 in the UK.

Cannondale Topstone Carbon 2022: Features

The first Topstone Carbon was released in 2019 and introduced us to Cannondale’s Kingpin rear suspension system.

It used a thru-axle and sealed bearing pivot where the seatstays met the seat tube to provide a claimed 30mm of travel at the saddle. A year later, the Topstone became even squidgier with the introduction of a dual-suspension option that used the brand's Lefty Oliver fork. In 2022, the big suspension update comes in the form of a refined Kingpin system.

Cannondale claims that it has stripped 100g from the overall weight of the suspension system, while also making it more durable and streamlined, by replacing the bearings with bushings. The claimed 30mm of fore-aft flex at the saddle is apparently preserved with this change.

The Oliver Lefty fork has also carried over for two of the nine models, the Topstone Carbon 1 Lefty and Topstone Carbon 2 Lefty, which matches the rear with 30mm of travel through its solitary fork leg.

Interestingly, while the previous Topstone Carbon Lefty was sold as standard with 650b wheels, Cannondale will now provide the bulk of the builds with a 700c wheelset, claiming they roll faster over tough terrain now that the bike has the capacity for bigger 700c tyres.

Thanks to a dropped driveside chainstay, tyre clearance has gone from 700c×40mm and 650b×48mm tyres to an utterly chunky 700c×45mm and 27.5x2.1in.



Cannondale has also scrapped its AI asymmetric rear end, which necessitated the use of specifically dished wheels. Now normal wheelsets can be used in the bike, making it far easier to modify the bike to the needs of the individual.

Further development comes by way of a borrowed concept from the recently updated Synapse road bike, its SmartSense light and radar system. This consists of a Garmin Varia radar and core battery, Lezyne front and rear daytime light and Cannondale wheel sensor. 

The devices, when paired to the Cannondale app, will provide visual and audible alerts on your phone or bike computer.

The entire Topstone Carbon range come SmartSense ready with it provided on the 1 RLE, 2L, 3L and 3L 650b models.

Cannondale Topstone Carbon 2022: Geometry

The updated Topstone Carbon has received some small geometry tweaks too.

First is the introduction of Cannondale’s 'Proportional Response' construction. Developed initially for the Habit full suspension mountain bike, Proportional Response sees suspension layout and pivot placement differ throughout frame sizes in an effort to create uniform riding experience, whether you’re 5ft and 50kg or 6ft 2in and 100kg.

Cannondale has also dropped the bottom bracket height ever so slightly and lowered standover height for a more grounded, confidence-inspiring ride.

Other slight changes include a marginally shorter wheelbase, lower stack and shorter reach.

Cannondale Topstone Carbon 2022: Specs

Cannondale Topstone Carbon 1 Lefty

Frame: Topstone Carbon
Fork: Lefty Oliver Carbon
Groupset: Sram Force 40t crankset, Sram Force 12-speed 10-44 cassette, Sram Force eTap AXS disc brakes, Sram Force eTap AXS rear derailleur.
Tyres: WTB Raddler TCS Light 700×44c
Wheels: Hollogram 22 carbon
Price: £7,750

Cannondale Topstone Carbon 1 RLE

Frame: Topstone Carbon
Fork: Topstone Carbon
Groupset: SRAM Force Wide 43/30 crankset, SRAM Force 12-speed 10-36 cassette, SRAM Force eTap AXS disc brakes, SRAM Force eTap AXS rear derailleur.
Tyres: WTB Raddler TCS Light 700×44c
Wheels: Hollogram 22 carbon
Price: £7,750

Cannondale Topstone Carbon 2 Lefty

Frame: Topstone Carbon
Fork: Lefty Oliver Carbon
Groupset: Shimano GRX 600 40t crankset, Shimano SLX 11-42 cassette, Shimano GRX 800 disc brakes, Shimano GRX 810 rear derailleur.
Tyres: WTB Raddler TCS Light 700×44c
Wheels: WTB KOM Light
Price: £4,500

Cannondale Topstone Carbon 2L

Frame: Topstone Carbon
Fork: Topstone Carbon
Groupset: Shimano GRX 800 48/31 crankset, Shimano HG800 11-34 cassette, Shimano GRX 800 disc brakes, Shimano GRX 810 rear derailleur.
Tyres: WTB Riddler TCS Light 700×45c
Wheels: WTB KOM Light
Price: £4,250

Cannondale Topstone Carbon 3L

Frame: Topstone Carbon
Fork: Topstone Carbon
Groupset: Shimano GRX 800 46/30 crankset, Shimano HG700 11-34 cassette, Shimano GRX 600 disc brakes, Shimano GRX 810 rear derailleur.
Tyres: WTB Riddler TCS Light 700×45c
Wheels: WTB ST i23
Price: £3,200

Cannondale Topstone Carbon 3

Frame: Topstone Carbon
Fork: Topstone Carbon
Groupset: Shimano GRX 600 46/30 crankset, Shimano HG700 11-34 cassette, Shimano GRX 600 disc brakes, Shimano GRX 810 rear derailleur.
Tyres: WTB Riddler TCS Light 700×45c
Wheels: WTB ST i23
Price: £3,200

Cannondale Topstone Carbon 3L 650b

Frame: Topstone Carbon
Fork: Topstone Carbon
Groupset: Shimano GRX 600 46/30 crankset, Shimano HG700 11-34 cassette, Shimano GRX 600 disc brakes, Shimano GRX 810 rear derailleur.
Tyres: WTB Sendero TCS Light 650×47c
Wheels: WTB ST i25 650b
Price: £3,200



Cannondale Topstone Carbon 3 650b

Frame: Topstone Carbon
Fork: Topstone Carbon
Groupset: Shimano GRX 600 46/30 crankset, Shimano HG700 11-34 cassette, Shimano GRX 600 disc brakes, Shimano GRX 810 rear derailleur.
Tyres: WTB Sendero TCS Light 650×47c
Wheels: WTB ST i25 650b
Price: £3,200

Cannondale Topstone Carbon 4

Frame: Topstone Carbon
Fork: Topstone Carbon
Groupset: Shimano GRX 600 46/30 crankset, Shimano HG500 10-speed 11-34 cassette, Shimano GRX 400 disc brakes, Shimano GRX 400 rear derailleur.
Tyres: WTB Riddler Comp 700×45c
Wheels: WTB ST i23
Price: £2,700