The All-Road category has been quite of growing trend slowly turning into a need here in India. If your love riding both on the Road & Gravel you should pay attention to Cannondale’s new Slate. Cannondale over the years has come up the most amazing designs & technology on their bikes, which they have taken more of a lead-not-follow approach which resulted in many innovations like the Lefty fork, BB30 which are now being used in their latest Slate.
Cannondale has been primarily designed as a road bike but also capable of handling other than just tarmac to keep up with our adventurous spirit. There has been a lot of hype around the world with the Slate; an All Road, Gravel/Adventure bike equipped with a lefty 30mm Suspension & fitted with 650B/27.5in wheels. At first it may sound whacky but you need to see it to believe it, but we advice that you ride it too.
The Slate’s geometry was designed to be lesser aggressive with a shorter reach & taller front end & able to handle itself off the Road & on gravel. That’s what the Slate is all about. It might have a suspension & wide tires but it is a Road Bike at heart say’s Cannondale’s key engineer David Devine who was working on the Slate project.
Compared to the Cannondale’s SuperSix Evo there are minor changes like a slacker headtube which is 1.5 degree less which resulted in a marginally increased wheelbase. The bottom bracket has also been set higher to give you more pedal clearance when you riding off the tarmac. The Slate 105 which is currently available in India weights 11kgs & the 650B/27.5in wheels may be slightly smaller but the outer circumference is the same as a 700c wheel with 23mm tyres. The tyres takes a little bit more effort to keep them going but once they pick up speed they roll very well. The Tire clearance on the frame is good enough to fit a 42mm Tyre & even bigger on the front due to the Lefty fork. The Bike is fitted with Panaracer 650x42c tubeless ready tyres which offer performance & grip both on the roads & on gravel. The Mavic XM419 wheelsets are very light & are tubeless ready. The Wheels & Tyres being both Tubeless ready is excellent for riders wanting to convert it to Tubeless with just addition of that tubeless kit that comprises of the Sealant Fluid & Valves.
The Lefty Oliver with 30mm Travel is standard across all Slate’s. There is a lockout button on the top of the suspension leg to activate the suspension. The Lefty suspension has close to zero sag meaning that it is not always necessary to have the lockout active even when you are sprinting out of the saddle as it is very well damped & composed. The Lefty fork is stiffer than any suspension fork on the market & hence there is no unwanted flex from the Lefty & has direct handling.
The Brakes are Shimano’s R505 hydraulic disc brakes with 160mm rotors on the front & 140mm rotors on the rear. The braking power is quite superb giving it more of Mountain bike like braking feel .
The Slate was developed on the same True Flow Modeling computer as the CAAD12, which has allowed to develop best tube profiles & wall thickness for different requirements of all the individual tubes of the frame. The Slate has an all alloy frame manufactured with Cannondale’s Smart Form technology to produce the most precise tubes in the world. The tube profiles of the Slate varies with every section of the frame, wide & flat on the seat-stays & chain-stays to eliminate road vibration for a smoother ride, it has a huge downtube, the top tube is flat towards the seat-post.
The greatest things about the Slate is having the open opportunities of the gravel road when you are on you tarmac rides when you just might opt a smooth trail in a nearby forest you are passing or just riding on the broken tarmac passing through the villages across the country on your long weekend rides.
Technical Specification and Features