Cannondale is well-known for their propensity to make things a bit differently than the competition. From pioneering aluminum frames in both road and mountain, to the Lefty suspension fork, and everything in between, Cannondale isn’t afraid to do what they think is best for their bikes. With the new for 2019 Cannondale Topstone Apex 1, Cannondale goes back to the basics to make a gravel/allroad/road bike that provides what is best for their customer: smart geometry, wide tire clearances, and serious versatility.
The Cannondale Topstone is named after Cannondale’s favorite dirt road loop in Connecticut. They designed it to work well as an light tourer, an all-weather commuter, or as a wide-tire road bike. This starts with their alloy frame and full carbon fork with thru axles front and rear. The frame features a threaded bottom bracket, integrated rack and fender mounts, and three water bottle mounts and a top tube mount for a feeder bag. The frame is dropper-post compatible, but perhaps the biggest news is its geometry; reach and stack measurements are similar to that of the Cannondale Synapse, meaning fit is easily replicated. Internal cable routing is found just about everywhere but the rear derailleur. Cannondale claims up to a 700 x 42c tire fits, but it looks like there’s space for up to a 45c tire.
Topstone is remarkable in how much value for the money it offers. Ride quality is good thanks to the 40c tubeless tires, and it offers neutral handling without a load. Add the full carbon fork and the Topstone is surprisingly confident over a ton of terrain. It tracks straight at high speeds over gravel roads, but also feels nimble enough should your ride ever take you through some technical singletrack. Thanks to the addition of a dropper post and the Apex 1x drivetrain, Topstone is reliable for every ride, with plenty of capability on and off the beaten path.
The 2019 Cannondale Topstone Apex 1 starts with Cannondale’s alloy frame and full carbon fork, and pairs it to a SRAM Apex 1x drivetrain, which featrues a 40t crankset and 11-42t cassette for a truly wide range of gears. A WTB STi23 TCS/Formula RX-512 tubeless-ready wheelset, WTB Nano 40c tubeless-ready tires, and TranzX 50mm dropper seatpost finish the build. The Topstone Apex 1 is available in five sizes (XS-XL) in a Electric Blue – Gloss colorway.
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