Cannondale reveals lighter, cheaper e-gravel Topstone Neo SL

The new Topstone Neo SL combines an aluminium chassis and Mahle’s lightweight ebikemotion system for less weight and less expense

Cannondale Topstone Neo SL

Up until now, Cannondale’s e-gravel range consisted of only the premium-priced, weighty, high-power, Bosch-equipped Topstone Carbon Neo.

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We were suitably impressed with the Lefty suspension-equipped, 650b-wheeled, go-anywhere ebike, but its combination of carbon chassis, fork, and powerful Bosch performance line motor doesn’t come cheap; with the premium model retailing for £8,000 and the non-Lefty-equipped Topstone Neo Carbon 4 starting at £3,999.

The new Topstone Neo SL moves away from the centre-mount Bosch system, though, and gets a rear hub motor courtesy of Mahle’s lightweight ebikemotion X35+ system – as used on Cannondale’s lightweight e-road bike, the SuperSix EVO Neo – and a Smartform C2 alloy frame and carbon fork.

Mahle ebikemotion X35+ system

The ebikemotion X35+ is based around a small yet powerful 250w rear hub motor, powered by a 250w/h battery hidden within the down tube.

This system is controlled by a simple single-button that’s flush-mounted into the top tube. Named the iWOC, it turns the system on and off and enables you to cycle through its power modes: turn it on and the LED-lit ring around the button shines white, press and hold and it turns green for low assistance, orange for medium, and red for full assistance.

iWOC also displays battery level: white is 75 to 100 per cent; green 75 to 50 per cent; orange 50 to 25 per cent; red -25 per cent; flashing red less than 10 per cent.

Cannondale Topstone Neo SL
The alloy frame has provision for both racks and fenders.
Cannondale

The system also works with Mahle’s clever app, which provides a more accurate battery level, along with distance travelled, altitude, average speed, cadence, gradient, and current speed.

You can download maps to the app and use it for navigation and it’ll auto-upload rides to Strava.

Pair the app with the bike and a heart rate monitor and you can set heart-rate-based assistance – so if you set your maximum heart rate, the bike will automatically alter the level of assistance without needing to touch the iWOC control button. It’ll even allow you to work within heart rate training zones.

Cannondale claims the 250w/h internal battery is good for a range of around 75km – or further, if you add in the range-extending battery to up the capacity to 450w/h, which externally mounts in a bottle cage.

Cannondale Topstone Neo SL frame and geometry

Cannondale Topstone Neo SL
Tyre clearance is a generous 47mm with 700c wheels.
Cannondale

The Neo SL follows the frame design of its carbon alternative, so gets the same low-slung rear stays, but forgoes the Kingpin suspension in favour of a standard welded back end.

The geometry is much the same too, with its endurance ride position based on the legendary Synapse. Frame and fork tyre clearance is a generous 47mm with 700c wheels.

The frame is built from Cannondale’s Smartform C2 alloy – as seen on the brand’s entry-level Optimo road bike, which this Topstone shares some frame shaping characteristics.

Up front there is a full carbon fork with a tapered 11/8 to 1.5in steerer tube.

Cleverly, Cannondale has included internal light routing into the frame, so you can run lights powered from the e-system both front and rear – a nod to Cannondale’s acknowledgment that plenty of Topstone Neo SL’s will be used as commuter bikes alongside dirt duties.

SMLXL
Seat angle (degrees)73737373
Head angle (degrees)69.5717171
Chainstay (cm)45.545.545.545.5
Front centre (cm)61.762.164.166.2
Seat tube (cm)45.850.555.360
Top tube horizontal (cm)54.556.258.160.1
Top tube actual (cm)52.354.256.258.5
Head tube (cm)12.41518.321.4
Fork offset (cm)5.55.55.55.5
Trail (cm)7.56.56.56.5
Bottom bracket drop (cm)7.57.57.57.5
Bottom bracket height (cm)28.428.428.428.4
Wheelbase (mm)1,0621,0651,0861,107
Standover (cm)74.178.282.286.2
Stack (cm)54.757.760.863.8
Reach (cm)37.838.639.540.6
Wheel size700700700700

Cannondale Topstone Neo SL specs and pricing

At launch there are two available models: the Topstone Neo SL 1 with a 1x GRX 600 groupset (40 x 11-42) and Cannondale’s own tubeless-ready alloy disc wheels; and the Topstone Neo SL 2, with Shimano’s GRX 400 in a 2x configuration of 46/30 with a 10-speed 11-34 cassette.

Cannondale Topstone Neo SL
The SL’s design and geometry follow the same form as the premium carbon machine.
Cannondale

We’ve got a Topstone Neo SL 1 in for testing and it tips our scales at 13.91kg, which is pretty light for an e-gravel bike and compares well to Cairn’s similarly priced e-gravel Adventure 1 at 16.1kg.

It’s significantly lighter than the full-suspension Topstone Carbon Neo Lefty 1, which weighs 17.8kg.

Cannondale Topstone Neo SL
The medium Topstone Neo SL 1 tips the scales at an impressive 13.91kg.
Cannondale

Topstone Neo SL 2

  • Price: £2,900 / €2,899
  • Sizes: SM, MD, LG, XL
  • Frame: SmartForm C2 alloy, 135mm bolt-on dropout, tapered head tube, flat-mount disc, multiple gear/bottle mounts,
  • Fork: Full carbon, 1–1/8in to 1.5in steerer, 55mm OutFront offset, flat-mount disc, internal routing, 12 x 100 speed release thru-axle
  • Drive unit: Mahle ebikemotion X35+ 250w
  • Battery: Mahle ebikemotion X35 250w/h
  • Display: Mahle ebikemotion iWoc ONE integrated controller
  • Charger: Mahle ebikemotion X35
  • Rims: Cannondale Disc, double wall, tubeless-ready 32h (R) / 28h (F)
  • Hubs: (F) Formula CRX-512, 12 x 100mm thru-
axle / (R) ebikemotion X35+
  • Spokes: Stainless steel, 13g
  • Tyres: WTB Resolute Comp, 700 x 42c, tubeless ready
  • Crank: Shimano GRX 600, 46/30
  • Bottom bracket: Shimano BSA Sealed
  • Chain: Shimano Deore, 10-speed
  • Rear cogs: Shimano HG500, 11-34, 10-speed
  • Front derailleur: Shimano GRX 400, braze-on with band clamp adaptor
  • Rear derailleur: Shimano GRX 400, Shadow RD+
  • Shifters: Shimano GRX 400, 10-speed
  • Handlebar: Cannondale 3, butted 6061 alloy, 16-degree flare drop
  • Grips: Cannondale Bar Tape, 3.5mm
  • Stem: Cannondale 2, 6061 Alloy, 31.8, 7 degrees
  • Headset: Integrated, 1.5in lower to 1–1/8in upper, 25mm alloy top cap
  • Brakes: Shimano GRX 400 hydraulic disc, 160/160mm RT56 rotors
  • Brake levers: Shimano GRX 400 hydraulic disc
  • Saddle: Fabric Scoop Shallow Sport, steel rails
  • Seatpost: Promax SP-9032, alloy, 27.2

Topstone Neo SL 1

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  • Price: £3,200 / €3,399
  • Sizes: SM, MD, LG, XL
  • Frame: SmartForm C2 alloy, 135mm bolt-on dropout, tapered head tube, flat-mount disc, multiple gear/bottle mounts
  • Fork: Full Carbon, 1–1/8in to 1.5in steerer, 55mm OutFront offset, flat-mount disc, internal routing, 12 x 100 speed release thru-axle
  • Drive unit: Mahle ebikemotion X35+ 250w
  • Battery: Mahle ebikemotion X35 250w/h
  • Display: Mahle ebikemotion iWoc ONE integrated controller
  • Charger: Mahle ebikemotion X35
  • Rims: Cannondale Disc, double wall, tubeless-ready 32h (R) / 28h (F)
  • Hubs: (F) Formula CRX-512, 12 x 100mm thru-
axle / (R) ebikemotion X35+
  • Spokes: Stainless steel, 13g
  • Tyres: WTB Resolute Comp, 700 x 42c, tubeless ready
  • Crank: Shimano GRX 600, 40t
  • Bottom bracket: Shimano BSA Sealed
  • Chain: Shimano HG601 11-speed
  • Rear cogs: Shimano SLX, 11-42, 11-speed
  • Rear derailleur: Shimano GRX 812, Shadow RD+
  • Shifters: Shimano GRX 600, 11-speed
  • Handlebar: Cannondale 3, butted 6061 alloy, 16-degree flare drop
  • Grips: Cannondale Bar Tape, 3.5mm
  • Stem: Cannondale 2, 6061 alloy, 31.8, 7 degrees
  • Headset: Integrated, 1.5in lower to 1–1/8in upper, 25mm alloy top cap
  • Brakes: Shimano GRX 400 hydraulic disc, 160/160mm RT56 rotors
  • Brake levers: Shimano GRX 400 hydraulic disc
  • Saddle: Fabric Scoop Shallow Sport, steel rails
  • Seatpost: Promax SP-9032, carbon, 27.2
  • Extras: Cannondale wheel sensor