The top end gravel bike from Cannondale is shared between the Topstone Carbon 1 Lefty and Carbon 1 RLE. Both gravel bikes weigh a touch over 20 pounds for a size large. In this 2022 Cannondale Topstone Carbon 1 Lefty review, I’ll talk about why the Lefty fork makes this the most innovative gravel bike in 2022.
With a $7,800 price tag this bike isn’t in the budget of a many recreational cyclists. However, if you can afford it, the Carbon 1 Lefty the most comfortable gravel bike on the market. It doesn’t sacrifice performance for the added comfort either.
Is Topstone Carbon 1 Lefty Worth It?
It looks quirky. It functions better than any gravel bike fork on the market. If you can get past the untraditional look, the Topstone Carbon 1 Lefty is worth every penny. Topstone has the perfect balance between comfort and speed. In fact, this bike is the most comfortable gravel bike in 2022. Traditionally, comfort has meant slower, but that isn’t the case with Topstone.
The Topstone Carbon 1 Lefty is a full suspension gravel bike. You get up to 30mm of travel in the rear thanks to the controlled carbon flex of Kingpin, and 30mm of travel in the Lefty suspension fork. All the suspension travel, without having to ride a heavy 25 pound carbon XC mountain bike.
Although, the line between XC mountain bike and gravel bike begins to get blurred when you compare the Topstone Carbon 1 Left to a bike like the Trek Supercaliber. Thank goodness for drop bars and flat bars so we can tell the difference. 😉
2022 Topstone Carbon 1 Lefty Key Features
One key feature on this bike is the Kingpin suspension. It’s not a traditional suspension like you see on a mountain bike. Instead, it is a controlled flex within the carbon fiber seatpost. The seatstay is then connected to the seatpost with a thru axle. That thru axle allows for rotation as the seatpost flexes, providing up to 30mm of travel. This innovative design could be the future of carbon road bikes one day soon.
Second most important feature on this bike is the Lefty fork. The Lefty Oliver Carbon gravel suspension fork provides 30mm travel in the front. This means less hand, wrist and arm pain on long bumpy gravel rides. by designing the fork to only go down the left side of the wheel you are able to add front suspension without a weight penalty.
The groupset on this bike is SRAM Force eTap AXS. It is their gravel capable electronic wireless shifting group. I highly recommend experiencing electronic shifting if you haven’t already. Shifting is precise, reliable and can be used in any riding conditions.
Topstone Overall Rating
Overall, the Cannondale Topstone is my second favorite gravel bike, behind Trek’s Checkpoint. It’s a close battle, and I’m probably just vain, but I give the edge to Checkpoint because of its look and style. The RLE version of the Topstone has that new gravel bike look without the quirky looking Lefty fork, but it’s also much heavier too.
If you aren’t racing, at a certain point speed is irrelevant compared to comfort. There is no gravel bike on the market more comfortable than the 2022 Cannondale Topstone Carbon 1 Lefty. It’s a full suspension gravel bike with electronic shifting. What else can we ask for?
If you enjoyed this 2022 Cannondale Topstone Carbon 1 Lefty review, read Trek Checkpoint Review to learn more about my top pick for 2022 Gravel Bike of the Year.