For example, the new Topstone Neo Carbon Lefty 3 is basically the modern culmination of all that I mentioned above. How? Well, what we're looking at is an all-road gravel e-bike with a full suspension frame, all the while offering peak power output and an experience that's sure to have you wondering whether or not this really is a gravel monster or the hardtail MTB you always wanted; I personally love what Cannondale has achieved here and let's see why.
For starters, the luscious shapes and sensuous curves we see are brought to life with the use of this manufacturer's proprietary BallisTec carbon fiber and layup techniques. Sure, this baby may be a bit burlier than your average gravel cycle, but that's because of a massive battery pack and motor.
While some bounce reduces the amount of energy you can transfer to the back wheel, this setup is designed to reduce that number to a minimum. Even then, this is an e-bike, and what's lost is simply covered by the motor and then some.
But first, another component we need to shed light on is the Lefty 3's suspension fork and the reason for this bike's name. At the front of this hunk of carbon fiber, Cannondale throws on their proprietary Oliver 3 fork with 30 mm of inverted travel, all on a single stanchion. Whoo!
What does this mean for riders like you and me? It means one hell of a smooth ride on what would otherwise lead to some serious tooth-chatter. Wait, there's a name for this in the industry; road chatter and 30 mm may not seem like much, but you'll just have to take a test ride to find out just what it means.
Now, this is an e-bike, and once again, as with most top-tier bicycle manufacturers, Bosch is the crew behind the power and range of the Lefty 3. As standard, Cannondale has chosen a 250 W Performance Line CX to be the extra kick behind your experience, and integrated into the down tube and removable a 500 Wh PowerTube. Grab two and double your range.
It also seems like Shimano is the crew called upon to furnish the rest of the drivetrain, bringing a GRX setup tuned to 1x11 speeds with an 11-42T range. Sure, the low end of gear ratios aren't there for climbing mountains, but there's electric power to help you with the difference on arduous climbs. This should also allow you to actually feel the burn, so it's a win-win. GRX brakes are also part of the package.
Heck, we also need to consider that the frame is tattered in cargo mounts, meaning that this beauty can also be equipped with countless water bottles for long rides, but, above all, cargo bags, transforming the Lefty 3 into a bike-packing and overnighter machine.
Now, before I go, I want to share something with you that I discovered while exploring this bike. I found one, now sure what model year, but sporting very similar gear, selling brand-spanking-new, for a tad under $3,200 (€2,900). Want it? Well, you can get your hands on it, but to do that, you'll have to embark on a very quick and easy proverbial egg hunt.
I'll even give you a hint on where to start and where to go from there. You have to start on Cannondale's website and search for a particular dealership in Arizona. It's probably first come, first served, so better get moving if it's not sold already.