Well, 52 years of bicycle R&D have led to a lineup of gravel bikes dubbed Topstone, and while you can find two-wheelers of varying abilities and prices, the 4 is the least expensive of the newest specimens. Nonetheless, it shares countless traits with its more expensive brethren, and that's what we'll be exploring today.
For example, you're out there riding along on what appears to be a hardtail bike, like any gravel bicycle should be, but what surprised me most is that Cannondale messed around with the rear triangle on their Topstone series, and you'll find a Kingpin suspension on the rear of the 4. Best of all, there's no added linkage to this mechanism, but your ride will still be softened.
Continuing with the 4's abilities, one of the essentials I look for in any gravel or adventure bike is the ability to handle cargo, and the Topstone bikes are more than ready for this calling. While the rear doesn't look like it can take cargo racks – it's already busy flexing to soften your ride – the front fork does include rack mounts, and so does the forward triangle. You can spot mounts on the top, seat, and down tubes. Don't forget about seat post and handlebar bags too. Oh, speaking of seat posts, this bugger is dropper ready. Just a little something-something to help expand its abilities.
Now, I could keep you here for over an hour or so explaining all that this bike has to offer, but it's much easier if we just take a quick trip into your lifestyle with a Topstone 4. Considering traffic has been literal hell in recent times, you decide to take your bike to work, and with the presence of those cargo mounts, you'll be able to carry your briefcase to your office.
At the end of the day, this experience will only cost you $2,825 (€2,900 at current exchange rates), so the Topstone 4 comes across as a two-wheeler to consider if you're in the market for a new bike. 'Tis the season to start looking for next year's machine.