This 2022 Cannondale Topstone Carbon 6 review covers the obvious like price and weight. I’ll also dive into the details of drivetrain, wheels and key features.
The Topstone 6 is a great value considering how well equipped the bike is. Priced at $2,600 for the Cannondale Topstone 6, you get a carbon framed gravel bike loaded with innovation. Not to mention this bike is comfortable!
Topstone Carbon 6 Drivetrain and Groupset
The groupset on this bike is Shimano GRX. It’s the first dedicated gravel group from Shimano. The design difference between a gravel groupset vs. a road group is durability. Long bumpy gravel rides are hard on your bike’s components, and with Shimano GRX you get an incredibly durable groupset that is still lightweight and reliable.
Shimano GRX 400 is similar to the 105 lineup on the road side. The best components in the both 105 and GRX are the hydraulic disc brakes. They offer best-in-class brake modulation, and they are reliable in all weather conditions. Hydraulic disc brakes are great for many reasons, but most importantly is braking performance.
Because the hydraulic disc brakes work so precisely and reliably, you can carry more speed into corners. That’s easy to do with the 2×10 drivetrain. This bike has plenty of speed in both the high and low gears.
With Shimano GRX 400, Shadow RD+ rear derailleur you get a built-in clutch. The clutch keeps tension on your chain to prevent slipping gears and other issues caused by your chain slapping around. It is a ‘must-have’ feature that should be standard on any off-road bike.
Cannondale Topstone Carbon 6 Wheels
The wheels that come on the 2022 Topstone 6 are from WTB. They come tubeless ready, and so do the WTB Riddler tires. Tire size is 700x37c, but the Carbon Topstone 6 is capable of handling tires up to 45c.
The wheels and tires are durable, and lightweight. The 37c tires offer a nice balance between speed and comfort. I prefer 35c tires on my gravel bike, but tire upgrades are simple and will vary depending on rider preference.
If there is a a weak point, its the tires. WTB Riddler tires are fast and lightweight, but I get more flats with Riddlers than other brands. I’ve had my best luck preventing flats with the Maxxis Rambler. (Check Price on Amazon).
Overall, if the 2022 Cannondale Topstone 6 has a wheelset matching the price point of the bike. If you prefer a carbon wheelset, the WTB’s will be a disappointment. Everyone else will love them.
Cannondale Topstone Carbon 6 Key Features
Gravel bikes have to be durable, and that durability usually comes with an increase in weight. The 2022 Cannondale Topstone Carbon 6 weighs approximately 21 lbs or 9.5 kg. The Carbon 105 has a similar weight, which makes sense with GRX often getting compared to the 105 groupset.
Another feature no 2022 Cannondale Topstone Carbon 6 review can go without mentioning is the Kingpin suspension. All gravel bike manufacturers have a feature like this. With Trek it’s called IsoSpeed, and Cannondale calls theirs Kingpin. The Kingpin allows for up to 30 mm of travel without the weight of shocks or a linkages.
I don’t know exactly how much travel IsoSpeed provides, but I give the edge to Cannondale’s Kingpin. It is extremely comfortable, especially on the larger chunky gravel sections.
Overall the Cannondale Topstone Carbon 6 is an excellent value gravel bike. It’s second in my book, behind the Checkpoint from Trek. These two are well ahead of other manufacturers in the gravel bike game.
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