Gravel bikes have gained quite a lot of popularity in recent years thanks to their versatility and efficiency. Essentially combining the long-distance ergonomics of a road bike and the off-road capability of a cross-country mountain bike, gravel bikes strike a balance for folks looking for all-around bikes. The dawn of electrification has made them even more popular, as e-gravel bikes allow cyclists to ride further, faster.
Among the top manufacturers of both regular and electric bicycles is Cannondale. Having been a pioneer in the industry since it opened its doors in 1971, and produced its first performance-oriented road bike in 1983, Cannondale shows no signs of slowing down even in today’s tech-driven e-bike age. That said, it has a new e-bike in its roster, the Topstone Neo Carbon Lefty 3. Quite a mouthful, I know, but those of you familiar with Cannondale will have been able to pick up a useful piece of info from the name alone.
Perhaps the first thing you’ll notice about the bike is its odd looking front end. This is where it gets the Lefty in its name, as it’s sporting a one-sided front fork. The Lefty Oliver 3 fork on the Topstone Neo Carbon has been optimized to be lightweight and provide short suspension travel so as not to disrupt the bike’s on-road performance. Meanwhile, Cannondale’s Kingpin suspension system plays a pivotal role in the frame, providing 30 millimeters of wheel travel to smooth out uneven terrain.
The Cannondale Topstone Neo Carbon Lefty 3 has a frame crafted from top-tier BallisTec carbon fiber promising low weight and high durability. The battery pack is housed within the carbon frame, and is done so in a very sleek fashion – so much so that you could completely miss the fact that this bike was actually an e-bike. Speaking of which, Bosch’s tried and tested Performance Line CX motor lies at the heart of this machine, and produces 250 watts and 85 Newton-meters of torque. The battery is also from Bosch, and is a 500-watt-hour PowerTube.
Complementing the impressive powertrain are a pair of 650b x 42c tires, as well as a Shimano GRX drivetrain with a 1×11 configuration. The brakes are also from the same catalog, and are Shimano GRX hydraulic disc brakes for confident stops on all types of terrain. Regarding pricing, the new Topstone Neo Carbon Lefty 3 commands quite a premium at $6,500. Nevertheless, given its adaptability and specs, you get quite a lot of bike for your money.
Sources: Cannondale, Autoevolution
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