‘The gravel bar has been raised’ - Cannondale’s Topstone Gravel frameset gets the LAB71 treatment
The upgrade is said to take the Topstone to the next level
When Cannondale unveiled the meaning behind the LAB71 stickers that were visible on the new SuperSix Evo frame back in February, the brand added another premium build option to its range. Cannondale says that LAB71 is “a new, elevated tier of products representing the highest expression of craftsmanship and the culmination of more than fifty years of cycling innovation, performance, and design.” Today, the American company has revealed that its flagship gravel frame, the Topstone, will now also be available in a LAB71 option.
Similarly to the LAB71 version of the latest SuperSix Evo road bike, LAB71 Topstone frameset will feature a a˓special carbon lay-up called Superlight Series 0 that drops over 160 grammes of weight compared to the previous iteration. Cannondale explains that it has achieved this significant weight decrease while still maintaining the “toughness, versatility,˓and performance” of the previous Topstone frame.
Like with the LAB71 SuperSix Evo, Cannondale has placed a large focus on aesthetics with the LAB71 Topstone frameset, carrying the same colourway from the SuperSix onto the Topstone model. Cannondle says that LAB71 “elevates aesthetics to the level of engineering,” with understated branding, a ‘marbled oxblood’ colouring on the rear of the bike, a brushed chrome strip along the top tube and a solid matte jet black colour across the frame and front forks.
The LAB71 Topstone frameset still retains the features that have long made it a popular choice among gravel riders. It features Cannondale’s Kingpin suspension system offering up to 30mm of suspension travel at the rear wheel which aims to smooth bumps and increase traction without the weight or complexity of shocks or linkages. The Topstone is aimed at providing riders with more comfort and more control to pass over tricky terrain. This is also helped by the bike’s 700x45mm or 27.5x2.1" maximum tyre size.
The bike also has a plethora of storage mounts and options on the frame, making it suitable for bike-packing adventures as well as shorter haul rides or gravel races. It features mounts for bags and gear both below and above the downtube, on the seat tube, on the top tube and on both blades of the fork. Cannondale explains that this gives riders “endless configurations for storage.” The frame is also compatible with Cannondale’s SmartSense technology which allows integrated lights thanks to a down-tube mounted power pack with a claimed five-hour run time in standard mode.
Cannondale's LAB71 Topstone frameset retails for £3000, find out more via the Cannondale website.