While the carbon fibre Topstone is well established in the gravel world, Cannondale’s latest alloy machine, the Topstone Alloy, brings the brand’s gravel bike platform to more affordable price points.
Here, the Topstone 2 is a mid-range offering at £1,800, which sits alongside a budget Microshift 10-speed option at £1,200 and top-tier alloy build at £2,400.
Having been launched earlier this month, the new Topstone Alloy is bang up-to-date, with plenty of mounting points for bags, mudguards and a rack, clearance for 45mm tyres and dropped seatstays.
In this guise, with a 2x drivetrain and 37mm tyres, it’s an excellent choice for riders who want a versatile gravel bike for all kinds of riding, though you’ll want to make better use of the clearance for more technical trails.
Cannondale Topstone Alloy 2 frame details
Cannondale’s ‘SmartForm C2’ alloy is used for the Topstone frame, with smoothed welds giving an appealing finish.
The seatstays have been dropped since the previous year’s model, giving a more curved shape towards the rear axle, though they still feature full rear rack mounts. There are full mudguard mounts at the rear, too.
In an additional nod to versatility, there’s also internal routing for a dropper post, should you wish to add one later.
Unlike some Topstone bikes of old, the new Topstone Alloy has a traditional wheel dish – matching the new Topstone Carbon – and, continuing the themes of simplicity and compatibility, there’s a threaded BSA bottom bracket. Cannondale says the new bike is also compatible with gravel suspension forks, including its own Lefty Oliver.
As standard, a rigid, full-carbon fork is used, with bikepacking cage mounts both on the fork blades and, as mentioned, mounts for easy mudguard attachment.
Unlike some of the best gravel bikes, the Topstone Alloy is compatible with a double-chainring setup, using a band-on front derailleur.
In fact, aside from the most affordable model – the Topstone Alloy 4, with its 10-speed Microshift Advent X 1x drivetrain – Cannondale only specs 2x drivetrains across the aluminium range.
For 2022, the frames are available in this ‘Midnight’ colourway – a deep shimmering blue/black – or olive green, both with a matt black fork.
Cannondale Topstone Alloy 2 geometry and sizing
Cannondale has applied its ‘OutFront’ steering philosophy, borrowed from the brand’s carbon Topstone gravel bikes. This sees a long fork offset paired with a slightly slacker head angle to keep the steering, Cannondale claims, confident but lively.
All things considered, the Topstone Alloy’s geometry is fairly middle-of-the-road as far as the latest gravel bikes are concerned, matching its ambitions as a safe bet for a variety of riding, whether that be fitting mudguards for winter road riding and commuting, or adding a bit more off-road capability through wider