Muddymoles mountain biking in the Surrey Hills and Mole Valley

Blurred lines – Cannondale Slate New Road

Posted by Matt | June 19, 2015 | 1 comment so far

Cannondale Slate New Road
Readers might have seen this recently and wondered what the hell is going on.

It’s a Cannondale Slate New Road (or gravel bike), sporting a Lefty fork, 650B wheels, a 12×142 bolt through rear end and large volume tyre clearance. Does that sound a bit like a mountain bike to you?

Gravel bikes, if you’re not aware, are the illegitimate offspring of road and cyclocross bikes. The past 18 months or so have seen them proliferate across manufacturer product ranges as a way of mining a new niche, that of gravel riding in the US. It happens that the US has a huge network of rural, unpaved roads with a wide variety of surface conditions. While you can ride a suitably up-tyred road bike on them, or a cyclocross bike, the industry has determined that a slightly more rugged road bike with relaxed geometry and a longer wheelbase is really the tool for the job.

Now along comes the Slate which to me is taking things a bit further. If you’re already riding gravel roads, suppose you want to venture – just a bit – into the wild. To do that, Cannondale appear to have served up a 90’s MTB (steep geometry for a MTB – 71.5° head angle, short travel – 30mm – front suspension) with some modern accoutrements (disc brakes, bolt through rear end and internal cabling). And then they added drop bars!

I have no idea how this will ride. It’s clearly not for winter riding with the slick tyres, nor is it for bike packing with a Lefty fork you can’t easily add panniers to. It could quite easily be a LOT of fun and could let you build a great multi surface route for commuting. Or just, you know, riding. It could be awesome on city streets.

I guess we’ll have to wait and see. It’s a bike made possible by the recent road moves to embrace disc brakes with the only surprise being that it’s currently shown with a 2x groupset. With SRAM providing the gear and braking tech I would think a 1×11 set up could work?

At this stage, more questions than answers. Or is it simply, as a commenter on said, ‘a cross bike for dentists’!?

(Photo is from the Radavist website – more detailed pics and info there!)

Filed under 2015, News in June 2015


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 is 1 comment on ‘Blurred lines – Cannondale Slate New Road’

We love to get comments from our readers - if you've spent a few moments to comment, thank-you.

  1. ColBeano says:

    Being partial to a bit of cross action, this looks interesting. I’ve tried a couple of bikes from the ‘Gravel’ sector and the trouble I’ve found with them is they still feel very much like road bikes with a small concession to off road. Fine and dandy for proper bridleways, but the minute you want to ride them on mtb trails, they just feel awkward.

    I think the reason I get on with the Whyte is the slack head angle (69.5). However, 30mm travel up front and the addition of a dropper post could make this Cannondale a very quick, capable and fun off road alternative.

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