Muddymoles mountain biking in the Surrey Hills and Mole Valley

Cannondale Topstone 105 SE has arrived

Posted by Matt | April 28, 2019 | 8 comments so far

Cannondale Topstone 105SE
Finally. God do I mean that. Finally. I’ve been waiting an age (since January 14 in fact) but my new Cannondale Topstone didn’t arrive until April 12, which is incredibly frustrating given how eagerly I wanted this bike.

At least now I can proudly introduce the 2019 Cannondale Topstone 105 SE you see above. Actually, the photo is a bit of a misleading example, as it still had the reflectors and pie plate on when I took the outside-my-garage-shot.

I have plans to tweak a few bits but they are largely cosmetic. So far they amount to a tubeless conversion that includes purple(!) valves, with a purple seat clamp and headset spacers on the menu too. Then a very small amount of fluoro vinyl as a contrast – I just hate black bikes, although this one is more of a smoke grey metallic when the suns on it and looks rather nice with those tanwall tyres.

Talking of tyres – I really have not had any luck with the idea of a tubeless conversion that invloves WTB tyres and Muc Off sealant this year. So far, the same saga of the Bird’s WTB tyres was played out again with my tubeless conversion here. Those old-school re-purposed MTB treads with tanwalls are just too thin to seal up. It’s possible the Muc Off sealant is to blame but I haven’t tried anything else, so I can’t say.

After two weeks of fiddling, the tyres are finally just about holding air but I am paranoid about their longevity off-road due to their flexy sidewalls. To prove that third time would definitely not be a charm, I did a tubeless conversion on Marks WTB wheel and 37c Riddler combo and found the same issues, to the point of needing to deploy the Beto air can and extra pair of hands option. Eventually the tyres sealed, but again not without a great deal of effort.

We shall see how things go. I am fully expecting to need to switch tyres at some point… which is a shame because the WTB tyres roll and grip well.

How does the bike ride? Lovely! It’s not noticeably slow on the road but broken tarmac is an irrelevance (that’s a big novelty for me). It carves turns with notable confidence and grip is huge.

Off road, it’s best on smooth trails of course, but it will scamper along at a fine lick in those circumstances. Loose gravel like on Bookham Common is taken as well as you’d hope. Anything rough or wash-boardy… well what do you expect? Lower tyre pressures would help but I’m still finding the sweet spot after only 75 miles and the tubeless issues I mentioned. It’s been OK down to around 33psi though and I expect to settle around 38psi on the front and a few more on the rear.

So far the Topstone has been everything I was hoping for – more on that later…

Filed under Bikes in April 2019


About the author

Matt is one of the founding Molefathers of the Muddymoles, and is the designer and main administrator of the website.

Having ridden a 2007 Orange Five for many years then a 2016 YT Industries Jeffsy 29er, he now rocks a Bird Aether 9 and a Pace RC-627.

An early On-One Inbred still lurks in the back of the stable as a reminder of how things have moved on. You can even find him on road bikes - currently a 2019 Cannondale Topstone 105 SE, a much-used 2011 Specialized Secteur and very niche belt drive Trek District 1.

If you've ever wondered how we got into mountain biking and how the MuddyMoles started, well wonder no more.

There are 8 comments on ‘Cannondale Topstone 105 SE has arrived’

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  1. Tony says:

    Nice Matt. But purple anodised bike parts. Is it 1989 again?….. did I tell you how much I dislike tubeless on road bikes…

    • Matt says:

      I’m going for a tasteful rendition of purple rather than ‘heritage’ purple Tony! Just the odd bit here and there, with fluoro as a contrast.

      On the subject of tubeless, the question is whether this is actually a road bike or not 🙂

      • tony says:

        “Heritage purple” – you should have been in marketing…. Purple and fluoro…. that’s soooooo 1989….. Should look nice

        Yep gravel – not for me! I like road bikes or mountain bikes.

        • Matt says:

          To be fair, there’s not much gravel around here – I’m viewing this as a comfy commuter with a turn of speed and the option to take in unmade, relatively smooth tracks with ease.

          I really like the fact it rides nicely on rough tarmac but… still having tubeless issues. Will write post on that one!

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