After releasing a teaser video of its new gravel bike a couple of weeks back, Cannondale has released a new, longer video that gives us a much better view of what could be one of the most unusual bikes of 2015.
The new bike, which looks set to be christened the Cannondale Slate, will have an aluminium frame, drawing on the expertise that Cannondale has gained through its years of producing the generally excellent CAAD frames. The frame features internal cable routing, which we also expect to be added to the next generation of the CAAD road frame.
However, the big story with the Cannondale Slate is with the fork. The Lefty suspension fork has been a feature of many of Cannondale’s mountain bikes for a number of years now, and is claimed to be stronger, lighter, stiffer, and smoother than standard suspension forks. We’ll have to see about that, and while the 30mm of travel on offer with the forks on the new bike is a lot less than with the mountain bike versions, it’s still 30mm more than you get with forks on other cyclocross and gravel bikes.
The other crossover from mountain biking is the choice of 650B wheels. These smaller wheels should enable quicker acceleration and more nimble handling, suggesting that this bike will be very much aimed at the rider for whom having fun on a bike is all that matters.
Smaller wheels also allows for the addition of larger tyres to cope with a wider range of terrains, with the bikes in the video being fitted with 42mm tyres to give a wheel diameter that is the same as a 700c wheel fitted with a 22mm tyre.
The bikes shown both have double chainring SRAM transmissions with one having cable operated disc brakes and the other having SRAM’s hydraulic set-up. There’s an FSA SL-K Light chainset on each bike, a component often used by Cannondale for compatibility with its BB30 bottom bracket standard.
We’re heading to a Cannondale launch next week, so stay tuned for more details then.