Cannondale gives their Topstone Neo gravel e-bike an SL update, opting for a lightweight hub drive and alloy frame to create a much more affordable e-gravel ride than its carbon sibling. Swapping in an ebikemotion X35 motor, a smaller internal battery, and an alloy frame, the Topstone Neo SL is both more accessible and likely a lot lighter than the original Topstone Neo.
But is right it for you?
Cannondale Topstone Neo SL light, alloy gravel e-bike
For the time being, the new Cannondale Topstone Neo SL is limited to Europe, but it could be a sign of more to come from the American bike company. When the original carbon version of Cannondale’s e-gravel Topstone Neo e-bike debuted last spring, it highlighted the ability to deliver long 127km range with powerful assist from a Bosch Performance CX motor inside a carbon frame to keep complete bike weight manageable.
But now this new aluminum Topstone Neo SL goes all-in on saving weight, opting for ebikemotion’s lightweight X35+ hub motor and 250Wh internal battery. That’s the exact same setup we’ve ridden in the “world’s lightest” e-road bike, and of course also in Cannondale’s own aero e-road SuperSix EVO Neo 25lb e-bike.
So add a 1/3 lighter motor, 1/2 as heavy battery & simple one-button controls to a new hydroformed alloy frame with a full carbon fork, and you’ll still likely end up at least a couple of kilos lighter than one of the longer-range carbon gravel e-bikes. The question just becomes what is your budget, and how far do your gravel adventures take you?
e-Bike – Tech details
The alloy Topstone Neo SL still gets 250W of pedal-assist via the ebikemotion hub motor with the same 25km/hr limit. And the internal 250Wh battery in the downtube promises a max range of 75km (47mi). If you want to extend beyond that, the optional ~600€ extra Range Extender bottle battery could add another 208Wh of energy, giving you another 62km of boost. That might even make it a better option than the carbon e-bike, since you can leave half the battery weight at home for shorter rides, but bolt it on when you want to adventure further?
The alloy gravel e-bike has a max tire clearance of 700c x 42mm limiting it to more ‘fast gravel’ than rougher terrain. And while that would often mean you could swap to wider 650b tires to venture further off-road, since the motor is laced into the rear wheel, you won’t simply be swapping wheels. The Topstone Neo SL frameset also curiously sticks with 135mm rear spacing
& QR wheels instead of thru-axles, and a bolt on rear wheel, plus what appears to be a Speed Release 12mm front thru-axle, and does get flat mount disc brakes.
Available in four sizes with comfortable ‘endurance fit’ geometry, the bike does get plenty of mounts all over for bottle cages, racks, fenders, and anything you could want to carry along. It features a tapered steerer, threaded BSA bottom bracket, and 27.2mm seatpost.
An interesting bit of extra tech, the front wheel of the Topstone Neo SL includes an integrated wheel sensor made by Garmin that syncs with the Cannondale App to deliver accurate speed & route tracking, but is also meant to keep track of how much the bike is ridden to remind you of regular maintenance & service intervals.
Cannondale Topstone Neo SL – Pricing, options & availability
Two complete bike builds are available to buyers in Europe-only. The 3400€ Cannondale Topstone Neo SL 1 gets a Shimano GRX 1x 11-speed with 40 x 11-42T gearing and tubeless-ready alloy wheels with an integrated Garmin wheel speed sensor, in Agave green.
The 2900€ Cannondale Topstone Neo SL 2 gets a Shimano GRX 2x 10-speed with 46/30 x 11-34T gearing and the same tubeless-ready alloy wheels, in Graphite black. Check your local European dealer to see if they already have your size in stock.