Cannondale Topstone Carbon 3 review: a sublime blend of exuberance, speed and comfort

US brand's signature gravel bike comes in various guises and even without the Lefty fork it still delivers

Cannondale Topstone Carbon 3 on a pink background
(Image credit: Future)
Cycling Weekly Verdict

The slightly softer 700c build of the Cannondale Topstone Carbon still has exemplary handling and an exuberant yet confidence-inspiring geometry. I found myself wanting to push the bike over tougher and tougher terrain, and even hacking around the Ridgeway fully packed with gear, it did not falter.

Reasons to buy
  • +

    Versatile, exuberant frameset

  • +

    Kingpin comfort with minimal compromise to stiffness

  • +

    Clever spec for the money

Reasons to avoid
  • -

    Stock tires could be slightly wider

You can trust Cycling Weekly. Our team of experts put in hard miles testing cycling tech and will always share honest, unbiased advice to help you choose. Find out more about how we test.

If Cannondale’s ‘full suspension’ Topstone Carbon Lefty gravel bike is too outlandish for you, then maybe the standard Topstone Carbon 3 could be up your street. The standard Topstone shares the frame with the Lefty model but sits as Cannondale's speed-orientated gravel bike.

Having put plenty of miles onto the new, more middle-of-the-road gravel offering, including an overnighter on the Ridgeway - the UK's 'oldest' road that dates back at least 5,000 years - I can confirm I have had plenty of fun!

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FrameCannondale Topstone Carbon, Kingpin suspension system, SmartSense compatible, 12x142mm thru-axle, 27.2 dropper post ready, BSA 68mm threaded BB, DirectLine internal cable routing, removable mudguard bridge, multiple gear/bottle mounts
ForkCannondale Topstone Carbon, 1-1/8" to 1.5" steerer, 55mm OutFront offset, flat mount disc, internal routing, 12x100 thru-axle, triple bottle/gear mounts, mudguard mounts
BrakesShimano GRX 600 hydraulic disc, 160mm RT64 rotor
Brake leversShimano GRX 600 hydraulic disc
Front derailleurShimano GRX 810, braze-on
Rear derailleurShimano GRX 810, Shadow RD+, 11-speed
ChainsetShimano GRX 600, 46/30
CassetteShimano HG700, 11-34, 11-speed
WheelsetRims - WTB ST i23 TCS, 700c, 28h, tubeless-ready / hubs - Formula cartridge bearing, 12x100mm, Center Lock
TyresVittoria Terreno dry 700 x 38c
SuspensionKingpin pivot

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