CSG 2016: Cannondale Slate

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UK distributor CSG held its 2016 product launch earlier this week. We’ve a bundle of new things to show you, so let’s get started with the much-anticipated Cannondale Slate…


A Lefty? On a road(ish) bike?! Yes! Do not adjust your set – Cannondale’s proprietary single-legged suspension fork puts in an appearance here, in its Oliver carbon form and with 30mm of travel. Take a closer look at the wheels, too – those aren’t your regulation 700c tarmac hoops, but a distinctly unconventional 650b size. Interesting stuff.

The frame is “SmartFormed 6069 alloy” – hydroformed aluminium to you and me – with a BB30a bottom bracket, and it’s Di2 ready, with beautifully clean internal cable routing. As far as the components go, Shimano does double duty on the drivetrain (105) and hydraulic discs (R505), while elsewhere there’s a smattering of Cannondale-branded finishing kit: Si cranks (equipped with 52/36T FSA chainrings), 28-spoke 650b wheels and Panaracer-made, folding, tubeless-ready, 42c rubber.
So why 650b? Well, with 42c tyres on board, the external diameter of the fat 650b tyre measures up very closely to the external diameter of a skinnier 700c tyre – it’s the same size, but with (much) more comfort. Despite the quirky wheels and suspension fork, Cannondale is pitching the Slate as a gravel bike, but we can see quite a few people fitting some toothier tyres and getting rad on their local trails. That’s certainly what we’re planning on doing if we can get hold of one, anyway…

The Slate is going to be available in small, medium, large and XL, and will retail at £2499.99 for the 105 number, going all the way up to £2,999.99 for one with SRAM Force CX1.

BB30a uses a 30mm crank axle for improved stiffness. It’s still press-fit though…
Now you see it, now you don’t… neat internal gear cable routing.
Yes, it’ll give you a heart attack every time you look down but the 30mm Lefty makes this a very versatile machine.
That’s a biiiiiiig chainring for dirt workers. Crying out for a single-ring set-up…

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