There are mountain bikes, there are road bikes, and there are cyclocross bikes. Then there’s the Cannondale Slate. A bike that almost defies definition, the Slate is a new model from Cannondale that blurs the lines between traditional genres. It has a suspension fork up front like a mountain bike, but it has drop bars and integrated shifter/brake levers like a road bike. So what exactly is the Slate for then? In essence, it’s an adventure bike that’s designed to be ridden over all kinds of different surfaces. Bitumen, gravel, singletrack, forestry roads – the Slate is designed to take all of it in its stride. Perhaps you’re a road biker wanting something a little tougher and more capable for mixed-surface adventure rides? Or maybe you’re a mountain biker who wants a bike for long-distance training rides on dirt roads away from the hustle and bustle of the city? Whoever you are, the Slate is a versatile bike for getting away from it all.
The Slate is built around a high quality 6069 alloy frameset that draws from Cannondale’s lightweight CAAD12 alloy road bike. The tubing is oversized at the head tube to help increase strength and stiffness, and a big downtube connects it to the BB30 bottom bracket junction for solid power transfer. As the Slate is designed to provide comfort for long distance riding, Cannondale have employed thin seat and chain stays that help to encourage flex for enhanced vibration dissipation. The Slate also features 650b (27.5”) diameter wheels, which allow for a wide 42c tyre to be used. This results in plenty of traction for riding along mixed surfaces, and plenty of comfort too. Further aiding comfort is a 30mm travel Lefty Oliver fork up front, which can be adjusted via an air pressure valve depending on how firm or soft you want it. Combined with the wide tyres, smooth riding frame and relaxed riding position, the Slate is the ideal partner for tackling the road less travelled.
All Slate models are built around the same lightweight alloy frame and Lefty Oliver suspension fork. You can choose a Shimano 105 or Ultegramodel, or the top-level SRAM Force CX1 spec that comes with a wide range 1x11 drivetrain and hydraulic disc brakes.