2019 Cannondale Topstone

The New 2019 Cannondale Topstone Light Touring Bikes

Cannondale has just released a budget-friendly bike range that’s going to be a dream for those who are prepared to pack light. Named after a favourite dirt road near Cannondale’s USA headquarters, the Topstone has been designed to be both fast on the road, but capable enough on the dirt. I’m quite excited about the 2019 Cannondale Topstone for a number of reasons…

The aluminium frame features a threaded bottom bracket shell (big tick), rear rack mounts, internal cable routing in the downtube, routing for a dropper seatpost, 3x bidon cage mounts, a cargo cage mount and top tube bag mount. The frameset has been built around modern axle and brake calliper standards (12×100 and 12x142mm axles / flat mount disc). The maximum tyre size is 700x42C and it’s expected that a 650x47C wheelset will fit, however that would drop the already low bottom bracket by about a centimetre.

Up the front is a carbon fork with carbon steerer. A fork of this lightweight specification is very uncommon on bikes of this price range! Given the purpose of this bike, it’s interesting that Cannondale didn’t provide any eyelets for cages on either side of the fork. They did include hidden full-fender mounts on the inside of the fork leg, however. The Topstone’s fork uses a longer-than-usual rake (55mm) which increases the wheelbase length to provide some additional stability on the dirt.

2019 Cannondale Topstone

Cannondale offsets the long fork rake with a slacker headtube angle. This makes the steering a little quicker than similar bikes like the Salsa Journeyman. There are five sizes to the Topstone, which get progressively larger using a stack/reach sizing system. This should allow riders between 155-195cm to comfortably swing a leg over the bike. The chainstay length is 430mm on all models.

2019 Cannondale Topstone

I consider the Topstone a light touring bike because it’s built light and fast, and accepts a rear pannier rack. But bikes of this ilk are also labelled gravel, adventure, all-road, any-road… or Cannondale’s preferred term, ‘new road’. Whatever you want to call it, you get a lot of bike for the price. Let’s take a look at the specifics of each model.

The 2019 Cannondale Topstone Range


2019 Cannondale Topstone

2019 Cannondale Topstone Apex 1 // US $2000
The most expensive model in the range uses a SRAM 1×11 drivetrain, hydraulic brakes and dropper seatpost. It’s using the lightest rims of any bike in the Topstone range which have been paired to some Formula sealed bearing hubs. The gear range is 26-99 gear inches, which is probably a bit narrow for the purpose of this bike (a cadence of 100RPM has you spinning out at 47km/h). I’d recommend looking into fitting a SRAM MTB derailleur and 11-50t Sunrace cassette to this bike, as it will offer gear ratios for more varied terrain.

Expect this model to weigh in at a touch over 10kg.

2019 Cannondale Topstone

2019 Cannondale Topstone 105 // US $1650
The mid-range Topstone model is the pick of the bunch for someone wanting high-performance components but without the high price tag. With this build you get the latest 7000-series Shimano 105 11-speed gearing (it shifts exceptionally), hydraulic brakes, an FSA external BB crankset and tubeless-ready WTB rims (albeit a step down from the Apex build). Fit some narrower 30mm tyres and this would make a pretty decent road bike too. The gear range is 24-114″ which has you climbing at 7km/h and spinning out at 55km/h (60RPM and 100RPM respectively). A Wolftooth Tanpan SH11 will allow you to fit a Shimano 11s MTB derailleur and 11-40t cassette should you need additional climbing gears with this bike.

This model will likely tip the scales to a bit over 10kg.

2019 Cannondale Topstone

2019 Cannondale Topstone Sora // US $1000
The budget Topstone model offers excellent value given it has the same frameset as its more expensive siblings. It uses the latest generation Shimano Sora gearing which works exceptionally for the price. The 30-34t climbing gear gets you a 24″ gear which allows for a decent cadence right down to about 7km/h. But a cool thing about Sora is that it’s compatible directly with Shimano Acera MTB derailleurs and Sunrace 11-40t cassettes, lowering the gearing right down to 20.5 gear inches – perfect for those who love being in the hills! To cut costs elsewhere, the brakes are cable operated, the crankset is square taper, the tyres are wire bead and the rims are not tubeless compatible.

Expect the Topstone Sora model to hit the scales around 11kg.

Want To Compare These Touring Bikes With Dozens of Others?

Check out The Touring Bicycle Buyer’s Guide which compares touring bike steering, sizing, gear ratios, specification, pricing and more. This guide is updated annually with the latest models at no extra cost!

Bicycle Touring Book Sample Page 74-75
The Touring Bicycle Buyer’s Guide helps you compare touring bikes, side-by-side.

Helpful Resources

All About Touring Bike Brakes
Frame Materials for Bicycle Touring
How to Select Touring Bike Gearing
Understand Bicycle Frame Geometry
What’s the Difference between Cyclocross and Touring Bikes?

Touring Bikes Overview

2016 Advocate Lorax
2018 All City Gorilla Monsoon
2016 Basso Ulisse
2016 Bianchi Volpe and Lupo 2016
2016 Bombtrack Beyond
2017 Bombtrack Beyond
2018 Bombtrack Beyond
2018 Bombtrack Arise Tour
2016 Brodie Elan Vital
2016 Cannondale Touring
2016 Cinelli Hobootleg Geo
2018 Co-Op ADV 4.2
2017 Curve Grovel V2
2017 Diamondback Haanjo EXP Carbon
2016 Fuji Touring
2017 Fuji Touring
2018 Fuji Touring
2018 Fuji Touring Disc
2016 Genesis Tour de Fer
2016 Giant ToughRoad
2017 Giant ToughRoad
2018 Giant ToughRoad and ToughRoad GX
2016 Jamis Aurora and Aurora Elite
2019 Jones Plus SWB
2016 Kona Big Rove
2016 Kona Roadhouse and Sutra LTD
2016 Kona Sutra
2017 Kona Sutra
2018 Kona Sutra
2018 Kona Sutra LTD
2019 Kona Sutra and Sutra LTD
2016 Marin Four Corners
2017 Marin Four Corners
2018 Marin Four Corners
2016 Masi Giramondo
2018 Masi Giramondo
2016 Niner RLT9
2016 Rawland Ulv and Ravn
2016 Salsa Deadwood
2017 Salsa Fargo
2018 Salsa Fargo Ti Frameset
2018 Salsa Journeyman
2016 Salsa Marrakesh
2017 Salsa Marrakesh
2018 Salsa Marrakesh
2017 Salsa Vaya
2016 Specialized AWOL
2017 Specialized AWOL
2017 Specialized Diverge
2018 Specialized Diverge
2017 Specialized Sequoia
2018 Specialized Sequoia
2018 Surly Bridge Club
2017 Surly Troll
2016 Traitor Wander
2019 Trek 520
2016 Trek 920, 720, 520 & CrossRip
2017 Trek CrossRip
2018 Trek 920
2018 Trek 1120

Related Posts