Cannondale Slate road (off-road) bike officially unveiled

650b-wheeled steed blurs the lines between road and dirt trail riding

News Road Bike
This SRAM Force CX1 bike is one of three builds available on the new Cannondale Slate.

This SRAM Force CX1 bike is one of three builds available on the new Cannondale Slate (click to enlarge).

We first got wind of the new Cannondale Slate back in June with a series of teaser videos. Now this innovative new steed has been fully revealed as a “dirt-thirsty road bike for fun-loving souls.”

Built around the 650b wheel platform and equipped with a 30mm suspension fork dubbed the Lefty Oliver (as in ride “all over”), the new Slate (as in “clean slate”) will come in three builds, SRAM Force 1x for $4,260, Shimano mechanical Ultegra ($3,520) and Shimano 105 ($2,980). All the bikes will be disc brake equipped and be available starting in October.

“Slate seemed like a natural evolution to us,” said David Devine, senior product manager at Cannondale. “We started thinking about a bike that we would want to ride when we didn’t know exactly what type of terrain we’d be getting into for the day. It was a case of bringing together all of the different things we love about riding to create something totally new.”

The Slate’s 650bx42c tires have a nearly identical outer diameter and roll-out as 700x23c road tires. This, claims Cannondale, means you get the rolling speed and agile handling of regular road wheels combined with the comfort, traction and float of high volume 42c tires.

Rider position is aggressive and performance-oriented so you can rail corners. Short 405mm chainstays provide agility and quickness, while a longer front-center and slacker head angle provides improved handling and stability on road and off.

The Lefty Oliver fork uses a MAP (multi-surface air preload) spring, that’s designed to provide support at the top of the travel to prevent “bobbing” while offering supple bump absorption. On-the-fly lockout and rebound adjustment streamlines the transition from pavement to dirt

The flattened and shaped seat and chain stays of the 6069 alloy frame form Slate’s SAVE Plus+ Micro-Suspension, a system that’s designed to improve tracking through rough surfaces.

Other features include a patent-pending braze-on flat disc mount that has a low profile, and is claimed to be lighter and stronger than traditional designs. The bike also comes stock with Syntace “X12” 142x12mm thru axle in the rear that boost wheel stiffness.

For more info please visit www.cannondale.com and check out another teaser video and complete build specs below.

SRAM Force 1x build.

SRAM Force 1x build (click to enlarge).

Shimano 105 build.

Shimano 105 build (click to enlarge).

Shimano mechanical Ultegra build.

Shimano mechanical Ultegra build (click to enlarge).

About the author: Jason Sumner

An avid cyclist, Jason Sumner has been writing about two-wheeled pursuits of all kinds since 1999. He’s covered the Tour de France, the Olympic Games, and dozens of other international cycling events. He also likes to throw himself into the fray, penning first-person accounts of cycling adventures all over the globe. Sumner, who joined the RoadBikeReview.com / Mtbr.com staff in 2013, has also done extensive gear testing and is the author of the cycling guide book "75 Classic Rides: Colorado." When not writing or riding, the native Coloradoan can be found enjoying time with his wife Lisa and daughter Cora.


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