The alloy version of Cannondale’s Topstone gravel bike is the best entry level gravel bike this year. In this 2022 Cannondale Topstone 4 alloy review I review price, weight and key features.
First generation Topstone bikes were released in 2019, and 2022 models will have the first real upgrades since that time.
The alloy Topstone 4 is the most affordable model in the lineup. Priced at $1,350, the Topstone 4 comes in two color options. The traditional high-gloss black paint looks great, but the mango option is even better. The high visibility mango paint job is a great safety feature when road cycling.
I highly recommend matching handlebar tape, found here on Amazon. The orange Skwiki bar tape feels as great as it looks.
The 2022 Cannondale Topstone 4 Alloy comes with 37c tires, but there is room to fit 40c if wider tires are your thing.
Cannondale Topstone 4 Alloy Weight
Cannondale doesn’t give an official weight on the alloy Topstone 4, stating on their website “BIKE AND FRAME WEIGHTS MAY VARY IN FINAL PRODUCTION.”
After a quick trip to the local Cannondale dealer, the 2022 Topstone 4 Alloy weighs roughly 23.9 lbs on the showroom floor for a size large. That makes it a heavy road bike, but an appropriate weight for an entry level gravel bike.
Gravel bikes are heavier than road bikes because the bike and its components are built to be more durable. The bumpy and constantly changing terrain of gravel trails is hard on a groupset.
2022 Topstone 4 Groupset and Drivetrain
The group on the 2022 Topstone 4 is microSHIFT Advent X. Don’t feel bad if you haven’t head of microSHIFT before. They are a small drivetrain manufacturing company that Cannondale turned to during the initial global supply chain issues caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. It’s a 1×10 drivetrain, and the rear derailleur has a ratchet and pawl clutch.
The reviews on microSHIFT drivetrains have been extremely positive. Unfortunately, the reviews on Promax mechanical disc brakes are not. Promax hydraulic disc brakes are great, but their mechanical disc brakes feel grainy and difficult.
The rest of the components like handlebars, stem, saddle and seat post all come from Cannondale. The wheels are RD 2.0 with a 20mm internal measurement. They are not tubeless compatible.
Cannondale Topstone 4 Alloy Key Features
One of the best features on this bike is the full carbon fork. It has a tapered steerer and delivers a comfortable front end thanks to the vibration dampening effects from carbon fiber.
The progressive geometry of this bike feels interesting. Its great when carrying speed. The front wheel is out in front like a mountain bike, allowing you to maintain precise control.
Another trend for gravel bikes has been after market dropper posts. Bike manufacturers have paid attention, and now bikes like Trek’s Checkpoint and Cannondale’s Topstone come equipped dropper ready. Dropper ready means an opening available for internal cable routing of a dropper post.
Overall, the Cannondale Topstone 4 Alloy is an excellent bike, spec’d with mostly quality parts. It will be a comfortable gravel bike for cyclists working with a budget under $1,400 USD. Hydraulic disc brakes would be a huge upgrade, but for the price Topstone 4 Alloy is still a value-packed gravel bike.
One area of complaint about the Topstone is having too many rattles and creaks. That’s been an issue with first generation carbon models of the bike, but the Topstone 4 Alloy doesn’t have that problem. It’s a quiet and enjoyable ride on any terrain.
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