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2022 Cannondale Topstone Carbon 2 L Review

2022 Cannondale Topstone Carbon 2 L Review

There are a lot of model variations with Cannondale’s Topstone. In fact, there are seven different models. In this 2022 Cannondale Topstone Carbon 2 L review, I’ll cover the key features of this bronze winner of the Topstone lineup.

First, it is worth noting, Cannondale mentions on their website that componentry may change without notice. They don’t give an official weight on this bike, but It weighs in just under 23 lbs for most variations. The bike comes with a price tag of $4,200, the same price as the Carbon 2 Lefty, which adds an Oliver front fork with 30mm of travel.

The 2022 Topstone Carbon 2 L comes in two color variations. My favorite is Jade. It reminds me of all the evergreen trees along the gravel trails I ride. The second color option is Chalk. It’s all white, like a commercial truck. It’s a fitting color for a bike capable of working all day.

2022 Cannondale Topstone Carbon 2 L Key Features

Arguably, the best feature on a carbon gravel bike is Cannondale’s Kingpin Suspension. The frame is built with a controlled flex allowing the rear triangle to rotate via a thru axle in the seatpost.If the idea of a flexing carbon frame scares you, don’t let it. Cannondale offers a lifetime warranty to the original owner as long as you register your bike at the time of purchase. Register the bike through your local bike shop, or at

Another key feature on the 2022 Cannondale Topstone Carbon 2 L is the Shimano GRX 800 groupset. Both the 2×11 drivetrain and hydraulic disc brakes are GRX 800 series, which is top of the line for Shimano’s dedicated gravel group. The only upgrade option left would be Di2 (electronic shifting).

Finally, the most underrated feature on this bike is SmartSense. It’s a technology featured on the Synapse, Cannondale’s endurance/commuter road bike. Initial feedback on the SmartSense system has been poor. It is a built-in light system with radar. If you aren’t familiar with radar, read this Garmin Varia Tail Light Review. I think it’s a magnificent feature, but Cannondale failed by including a 350 lumen light when a more appropriate light has 600 lumens or more.

Also, Cannondale has a reputation for coming up with proprietary parts that can be a headache to replace. You need extender arms to move the tail light if you want to add a saddle bag. The light connects using the same system as a GoPro, so these extender arms on Amazon work well. (Check Price on Amazon).

cannondale smartsense light relocation arms
Extender Arms

2022 Topstone Carbon 2 L Overall Rating

This bike is considered third best in the Topstone lineup. In my opinion, the value isn’t there. Quirky look aside, the Carbon 2 Lefty model rides like a full suspension XC mountain bike and it costs the same amount. (Read: Topstone Carbon 2 Lefty Review). For the same price I would have expected some sort of advanced features besides the SmartSense lighting and radar system. The Carbon 2 L would make a great commuter bike for someone taking a lot of gravel to reach their destination.

If you want a gravel bike to explore dirt roads and rough pavement the Carbon 2 L will get the job done. It is a comfortable bike that gets a big upgrade to the rims over lower priced variations. The Topstone as a model is my number two pick for gravel bike of the year because it is so comfortable. The new slack geometry allows you to get even more aggressive on fast gravel descents. I prefer the Lefty model for singletrack trails though.

If you enjoyed this 2022 Cannondale Topstone Carbon 2 L review, consider reading about my number one pick for Gravel Bike of the year:

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