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  1. #1
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    Cannondale Slate

    Not a mtb I know but recently picked up a Slate and really impressed with it. I know it's a niche bike since it blurs the lines between road/gravel/cx/light trail bike. I got mine to race cyclocross and do gravel rides, and so far it's met all my expectations.
    Even though it's an aluminum frame, the stock tires set up tubeless plus the Lefty are very compliant on rough terrain. The stock tires have some unique handling characteristics in that they want to turn in fast, but it's easily controllable. The bottom bracket is fairly low so I have to be conscious of that, but it feels very stable specially while cornering.
    This is my first bike with a Lefty and while it only has 30mm of travel it feels very well damped and can't really say that I've felt any pedal bob or harsh bottoming out. I do like the weird looks that people give me when I turn it on the Slate at a cross race LOL

  2. #2
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    Cannondale Slate

    I have had mine since December and done around 600 miles on it (I split my time pretty evenly between my road bike, MTB, and slate). It is a lovely bike. My only complaint is the tubeless setup. The tires just aren't robust enough for tubeless. My tubeless lasted about a month after setting it up initially and I've since shitcanned the idea after getting frequent flats. Tubes are easy to swap and idiot proof. The tires themselves roll really well on pavement while still managing grip on single track and gravel as long as the conditions aren't too sloppy. The gearing is very aggressive for a hybrid style bike, but it has honestly made me just get stronger. Worth the initial pain.


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  3. #3
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    Are you on the Slate branded rims on or the Mavic ones? Granted I haven't had the bike but two weeks but haven't had any problems with the tubeless setup on the Mavic rims in four races and a 25 mile gravel ride with some light singletrack. After dealing with multiple flats on my previous gravel bike trying to run tubes, I'm glad to not have to deal with it at all. I carry a can of the Hutchinson Fast Air just in case on the longer rides.

    Speaking of gearing, I'm going to try a 11-32 cassette for those races with a lot of climbing. Just have to check if the RD will fit a 32.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by matadorCE View Post
    Are you on the Slate branded rims on or the Mavic ones? Granted I haven't had the bike but two weeks but haven't had any problems with the tubeless setup on the Mavic rims in four races and a 25 mile gravel ride with some light singletrack. After dealing with multiple flats on my previous gravel bike trying to run tubes, I'm glad to not have to deal with it at all. I carry a can of the Hutchinson Fast Air just in case on the longer rides.

    Speaking of gearing, I'm going to try a 11-32 cassette for those races with a lot of climbing. Just have to check if the RD will fit a 32.
    I was tubeless on the Mavic wheels. The issue wasn't so much the rim but the tire. It feels like a very light tire and that seems to contribute to the frequent puncture issues. At least with a tube, you put another one in and are good to go rather than trying to seal up a sidewall puncture in one place and a tread puncture in another (current situation on my rear tire).


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    Hello matadorCE,
    The Ultegra CS 6800 rear cassette with 11-32 will work on the Slate.
    I have the Wolftooth Roadlink and running a Sram PG 1170 rear cassette with 11-36.
    I have swapped out the stock crank spiderring from the 52/36 to the 50/34.
    It runs very smooth.
    Thank you for you time,
    Luckyboy.

  6. #6
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    Here's my Slate 105. Upgrades include 11-32 Ultegra cassette, Ultegra chain, 50/34 FSA Super chainrings, KS LEV 272 dropper post, and Surly Knard 650B x 41 tires.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Cannondale Slate-fullsizerender-2-.jpg  

    Enjoy the ride...

  7. #7
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    I've got the 2017 Slate Apex1 for about two months now. I've got already 700 miles (1.100 km) on it. It's a really good ride. When the 11-42 cassette is worn I replaced it with a 11-32 one. And I think after a while I put some 29'er wheels on it.





  8. #8
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    Downside of Cannondale/Left set-up, few options when it comes to stems, etc. It's not a complete deal-breaker, but food for thought.

  9. #9
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    Big question for you slate owners, whats the largest tire size you can fit in there? I am seriously contemplating this as a 1 bike option if I end up moving out to NYC.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tommieboy View Post
    I've got the 2017 Slate Apex1 for about two months now. I've got already 700 miles (1.100 km) on it. It's a really good ride. When the 11-42 cassette is worn I replaced it with a 11-32 one. And I think after a while I put some 29'er wheels on it.
    According to C'dale you will be lucky to fit 29x1", AKA 700x25c, tires on that frame. I'd be interested to see what actually fits, but would question the reasoning at the same time.

  11. #11
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    In my opnion and with my experience with the Slate, the Slate is a road bike. You've got a lot of better alternatives (lighter alternatives) for offroad use. The fat slick tires gives some confort, but with a 25mm 700c you can get almost the same confort on the road. Smaller tires are more performant and weigh less than fat tires. If you want the same good rolling resistance with small tires, you have to mount bigger wheels = 28" (29'er).






  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by tommieboy View Post
    In my opnion and with my experience with the Slate, the Slate is a road bike. You've got a lot of better alternatives (lighter alternatives) for offroad use. The fat slick tires gives some confort, but with a 25mm 700c you can get almost the same confort on the road. Smaller tires are more performant and weigh less than fat tires. If you want the same good rolling resistance with small tires, you have to mount bigger wheels = 28" (29'er).





    Why would you buy a Slate if you wanted a road bike?
    Enjoy the ride...

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtnbkr80015 View Post
    Why would you buy a Slate if you wanted a road bike?
    Or... why you buy a Slate if you want an offroad bike?

    Like I said, in my opinion the Slate is more a road than an offroad bike.

  14. #14
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    Cannondale Slate

    Quote Originally Posted by tommieboy View Post
    Or... why you buy a Slate if you want an offroad bike?

    Like I said, in my opinion the Slate is more a road than an offroad bike.
    Well it is marketed as "New Road". I bought mine as a road bike I could venture off road as necessary but not as an off-road machine only. It seems there are better options for each category as a specific use kind of bike, but as noted in every review and forum that the Slate is a jack of all trades and master of none. If you are riding solely road, there are far better and lighter options for the same price as the Slate. If you are riding solely off road there are, as you noted, far better options. But there are few bikes that straddle the two categories as well as the Slate. Mine is set up with lower gearing, Surly Knards and a dropper post. Much better for off road than stock, but still capable on the road. But at 24 lbs complete, if I was riding solely road I could have gotten a better bike that weighs nearly half as much for what I spent on my Slate.
    Enjoy the ride...

  15. #15
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    I rode one and was totally planning on getting one. The thing that held me back was the wheel size. Say what you want about it rolling like a 700c but I just didn't like the tire choices that were out there. I ride 2 different Cannondales and while I like the brand, I am a little tired of the proprietary nature of some of their parts. I ended up getting an Ibis Hakkalugi which has been great so far. On the flats I'm about as fast as my road bike but I'm running 25-30 psi. I would have preferred a lefty on it but the ENVE CX fork has been riding well.

  16. #16
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    I have a Slate Ultegra and I absolutely love it! I have mine set up solely for the road. I swapped out the rear cassette for the 11-35 with a long cage derailer. I run Absolute Black ovals so the original spiderring is gone too, had to order the 110 spider for it. A set of Zipp 46mm bars and a Cirrius Bodyfloat seat post add to my comfort and a Superwing with 2 more bottle holders.

    I'm just as fast, if not faster than I am on my CF Giant Defy... As comfy and compliant as my Defy is, it just doesn't have the ability to have the front suspension and the suspension seat post. I'm an ex BMX and MX racer, add a few car accidents and other injuries and my middle aged body is a mess (Spinal stenosis, permanent nerve damage in my arms, yadda yadda yadda....) I enjoy my 50 mile plus rides on the road, my body didn't and this has been a game changer for me...

    Cannondale Slate-14890423_10153881021220925_3356324050360822757_o.jpg

  18. #18
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    New wheels for the Slate...

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QdMt301vImE


  19. #19
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  20. #20
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    I've changed the Dt decals with neon yellow Cannondale ones.


  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by tommieboy View Post
    I've changed the Dt decals with neon yellow Cannondale ones.

    Looks pretty rad.


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  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by tommieboy View Post
    I've changed the Dt decals with neon yellow Cannondale ones.

    Looks awesome.
    Where did you get the stickers for the wheels?

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  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by tommieboy View Post
    I've changed the Dt decals with neon yellow Cannondale ones.
    I'm sure the answer is in the geo somewhere but without looking for it I'm not sure I understand the choice of the Slate over a Synapse, or something similar (a more standard "road" bike), in this configuration. Care to shed some light on your choice?

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by big_papa_nuts View Post
    I'm sure the answer is in the geo somewhere but without looking for it I'm not sure I understand the choice of the Slate over a Synapse, or something similar (a more standard "road" bike), in this configuration. Care to shed some light on your choice?
    The wheelsize has a huge impact on the comfort. Almost as much as the fork, IMO. I wouldn't want to off-road the Synapse, either. The Slate aluminum frame will likely survive abuse much better than the Synapse.

    I bought a buddy for my Slate.



    2016 Cannondale CAAD12 Ultegra. It is lighter than the Madone that it replaced. That leaves my Scalpel as my only CF bike.


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  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by big_papa_nuts View Post
    I'm sure the answer is in the geo somewhere but without looking for it I'm not sure I understand the choice of the Slate over a Synapse, or something similar (a more standard "road" bike), in this configuration. Care to shed some light on your choice?
    I was looking for a winterbike. The unique look of the Slate and the lack of a suspension on this cheapest Slate have decided me to go for it. The rigid fork, the alu frame and the 1.5" forktube results in a very stiff general feeling. The original 650B wheels with the 42mm slick tires are a good combination. But I prefer bigger wheels with smaller tires. This is a bad weather bike, and in my opinion this Slate looks awesome. And those looks were for me the main reason to buy the Slate.

  26. #26
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    Cannondale Slate

    Went for a ride on my Slate for only the second time this winter. The snow is melting but the bison are all over the roads up here in Yellowstone. It was good to get back on the bike even if it was just a short ride.


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  27. #27
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    My crank bearings are squeaking like crazy. I think I submerged the BB too many times.


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  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by tommieboy View Post

    This is rad!

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Quentin View Post
    My crank bearings are squeaking like crazy. I think I submerged the BB too many times.


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    Quick disassembly of the crank, cleaning, and re-assembly = no more noise. Must have been debris.


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  30. #30
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    Short ride with a comfortable spin. Weather was cool and the wind was blowing at me all the way up the nearly 1300ft climb but it was sunny and the roads are still closed to automobiles until the 21st. I will head out again tomorrow as it is supposed to be warm and sunny and I'll have more water with me so I can go further to celebrate Easter in beautiful Yellowstone!


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  31. #31
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    Beautiful!


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    I posted in another forum, but since under Classics, may not get best attention.

    Anyway, I've put in almost 1,500 mi on my Ultegra, 75/25 dirt/road split. Served me very well, very smooth bike. I have the Knards for trails, gravel.

    Has anyone lighten their Slate to 18-19 lbs? I'm finding more and more group road rides nowadays. Stock 21 lbs is a bit porky. Upgrade carbon wheels, other components?

    Thanks for any inputs.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 2clue View Post
    Big question for you slate owners, whats the largest tire size you can fit in there? I am seriously contemplating this as a 1 bike option if I end up moving out to NYC.
    I'm curious about this as well. I am interesting in getting one. Probably the Apex version, as I am not fond of suspension forks. How big of a tire can one fit, while leaving enough room for mud/debris? (prob 5mm clearance to either side).

  34. #34
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    Enjoy the ride...

  35. #35
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    What kind of pedals do you use?
    I just bought a used Slate Ultegra and was thinking of putting on combination pedals, but i don't know why... maybe i go with some light clip-less in the end.
    What do you use and why? :-)

  36. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by The_Wanderer View Post
    What kind of pedals do you use?
    I just bought a used Slate Ultegra and was thinking of putting on combination pedals, but i don't know why... maybe i go with some light clip-less in the end.
    What do you use and why? :-)
    I use XT race clipless pedals. Been running Shimanos since the 90's so it's what I'm used to


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  37. #37
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    Eggbeaters. Same as my mountain bike.


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  38. #38
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    How does the Slate feel for 60-100 mile rides? I know it's not marketed as a bike for centuries, but I'm curious if anyone rides one in that range and what your impressions would be.

  39. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by velcipede View Post
    How does the Slate feel for 60-100 mile rides? I know it's not marketed as a bike for centuries, but I'm curious if anyone rides one in that range and what your impressions would be.
    Depends on your expected pace. I biked 68 miles on mine with full bikepacking gear and it was pretty comfortable all day in the saddle.


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  40. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by Quentin View Post
    Depends on your expected pace. I biked 68 miles on mine with full bikepacking gear and it was pretty comfortable all day in the saddle.


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    That's just about exactly what I'm thinking about...a bike I can use for urban exploring and fitness riding, and throwing frame/seat/handlebar bags on and riding 40-80 miles a day on varies terrain, ranging from smooth pavement to dirt roads. I'm not looking to break any land speed records, just to be able to take advantage of the position changed drop bars offer while still having th option of riding easy dirt, with camping gear in tow.

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    I'm thinking of getting a Slate and I have a question on sizing. I'm 6' 2" 34 inside leg, would I be better on a Large or XLarge?

    I used to ride a Surly Cross Check 58cm top tube and currently ride a 19" Kona Unit with a 62cm top tube.

    Is it worth waiting for an updated 2018 model?
    Fast enough to get there. Slow enough to enjoy the journey.

  42. #42
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    I am running Bruce Gordon Rock n' Road 650b tubeless tires that are 43 mm wide, on a size M frame, that is max as far as i can tell...

  43. #43
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    Hello! I have the Slate Ultegra and the gearing is not for my steep climbs. I am looking to swap the cassette for a 11-32 also. Did you make the change? How did it work out??

  44. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by easyrider75 View Post
    I'm thinking of getting a Slate and I have a question on sizing. I'm 6' 2" 34 inside leg, would I be better on a Large or XLarge?

    I used to ride a Surly Cross Check 58cm top tube and currently ride a 19" Kona Unit with a 62cm top tube.

    Is it worth waiting for an updated 2018 model?
    Presumably the Ultegra will get the new drivetrain. That could be worth the wait.


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  45. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by JISIPO View Post
    Hello! I have the Slate Ultegra and the gearing is not for my steep climbs. I am looking to swap the cassette for a 11-32 also. Did you make the change? How did it work out??
    I have the 105 and changed the cassette to an 11-32, rear derailleur to a medium cage and rings to 50-34 and for most of my climbing it works great. But I live on the border of Montana and Wyoming so it gets pretty steep around here


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  46. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtnbkr80015 View Post
    I have the 105 and changed the cassette to an 11-32, rear derailleur to a medium cage and rings to 50-34 and for most of my climbing it works great. But I live on the border of Montana and Wyoming so it gets pretty steep around here


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    the Lefty is worth it



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    About to install an Xtr 11-40 cassette with Xt rear derail and Wolf Tooth Tanpan on my Integra version for shifter compatibility and better gearing range for gravel and dirt excursions.

  48. #48
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    Just picked up a Large Ultegra from my LBS at an incredible deal...looking forward to hitting up some gravel and back country roads on it!

  49. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by velcipede View Post
    Just picked up a Large Ultegra from my LBS at an incredible deal...looking forward to hitting up some gravel and back country roads on it!
    Pictures?


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  50. #50
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    [QUOTE=mtnbkr80015;13359885]Pictures?

    Picked up the Slate today from the LBS and rode through 50 miles of Ohio back roads. Gravel, dirt and pavement, and a beautiful fall day. I usually do these on a CX9, and the Slate is a huge improvement. The Slate is so much more comfortable than I expected, even in the rear.
    Cannondale Slate-img_1837.jpgCannondale Slate-img_1834.jpgCannondale Slate-img_1849.jpg
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Cannondale Slate-img_1843.jpg  


  51. #51
    FIRENZE rulez !!
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    this was my idea , in the 2015 , of the "Slate way to feel biking"

    obviously, lighter but not cheaper...

    https://eliflap.it/2015/12/22/slateliflap/

    i sold it 2 months ago ... damn !!

  52. #52
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    [QUOTE=velcipede;13361168]
    Quote Originally Posted by mtnbkr80015 View Post
    Pictures?

    Picked up the Slate today from the LBS and rode through 50 miles of Ohio back roads. Gravel, dirt and pavement, and a beautiful fall day. I usually do these on a CX9, and the Slate is a huge improvement. The Slate is so much more comfortable than I expected, even in the rear.
    Click image for larger version. 

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    I rode my Slate in Ohio and Kentucky yesterday. Didn't find any gravel, though, unless you count the gravel on the berms.


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  53. #53
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    [QUOTE=Quentin;13361420]
    Quote Originally Posted by velcipede View Post

    I rode my Slate in Ohio and Kentucky yesterday. Didn't find any gravel, though, unless you count the gravel on the berms.


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    Sweet bike! Glad you got out and rode. I rode this on Friday but took the weekend off need to get out on my Slate for some singletrack I've only ridden gravel and fire roads so far


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  54. #54
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    After two days and 138 miles of riding back country and steep gravel roads on the Slate, I'm convinced this was definitely the right choice. I have a 29er hardtail, a 'cross bike, and a dedicated road bike, and none of them would have had the combination of strength, comfort, and speed that the Slate offered. Sure, each of the others excels in its more specific use, but taken altogether, this was the perfect bike for this type of riding.
    Cannondale Slate-img_1905.jpg

    Cannondale Slate-img_1924.jpg

    Cannondale Slate-img_1918.jpg

  55. #55
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    Single track fun times linked into a 45 mile gravel and road ride on Friday.


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    I just noticed that the 2018 models only include a Force 1 and Apex fitted options, and the entry-level rigid version is gone. Interesting...

  57. #57
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    Quote Originally Posted by velcipede View Post
    I just noticed that the 2018 models only include a Force 1 and Apex fitted options, and the entry-level rigid version is gone. Interesting...
    New rims and no more SiSL2 crank available either. Surprised they pared the lineup down that much.


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  58. #58
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    Cannondale Slate

    Ive got mine set up for whatever may come. Picture shows it with Knards but have switched to tubeless and G-Ones, KS-LEV dropper, 11-40 cassette, XT shadow plus SGS derailleur, Wolftooth Tanpan and 50-34 FSA rings
    Last edited by mtnbkr80015; 10-29-2017 at 08:11 PM.
    Enjoy the ride...

  59. #59
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    Weather be damned


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    Cannondale Slate-20171012_142734.jpg

    Personalized personal upgrades. Easton ec70 SL carbon 46mm wide bar, CAR 11-40 cassette with Wolf Tooth Tanpan and XT Shadow Plus derail, Specialized XPC dropper post, 80mm stem, WTB Knard tires and tubeless.Cannondale Slate-20171012_142541.jpg

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    Quote Originally Posted by techfersure View Post
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Personalized personal upgrades. Easton ec70 SL carbon 46mm wide bar, CAR 11-40 cassette with Wolf Tooth Tanpan and XT Shadow Plus derail, Specialized XPC dropper post, 80mm stem, WTB Knard tires and tubeless.Click image for larger version. 

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    I just ordered a Tanpan, XT SGS Shadow Plus rear derailleur, XT 11-40 cassette, chain and cable for doing this conversion. Let me know how you like it. Mainly I am doing it to get a clutch rear derailleur as I keep dropping my chain in rough terrain (but the added climbing gearing is a plus).


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  62. #62
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtnbkr80015 View Post
    I just ordered a Tanpan, XT SGS Shadow Plus rear derailleur, XT 11-40 cassette, chain and cable for doing this conversion. Let me know how you like it. Mainly I am doing it to get a clutch rear derailleur as I keep dropping my chain in rough terrain (but the added climbing gearing is a plus).


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    Just follow directions and set up is easy. Works and shifts well. I wanted more forgiving gearing for trail excursions.

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  64. #64
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    Hello im currently in the midst of upgrading parts of my slate ultegra and was wondering if anyone here has upgraded the rim/wheels and how easy it was to find lefty compatible hubs/wheels. I'm asking to see if change is an option.

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    Quote Originally Posted by its_nihil View Post
    Hello im currently in the midst of upgrading parts of my slate ultegra and was wondering if anyone here has upgraded the rim/wheels and how easy it was to find lefty compatible hubs/wheels. I'm asking to see if change is an option.
    Wheelbuilders. Com offers Chris King and DT Swiss hubs for special order


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  66. #66
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    Could someone with the Lefty Oliver from a Large or XL Slate measure the outer flange distance?
    I mean: bottom of the lower crown to top of the upper crown...

    Thank you, I'd really appreciate.

  67. #67
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    Cannondale Slate

    this was the easy section


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    Last edited by mtnbkr80015; 10-28-2017 at 04:47 PM.
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  68. #68
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    Cannondale Slate



    Last edited by mtnbkr80015; 10-29-2017 at 08:03 PM.
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  69. #69
    Death Mud
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    For anyone interested in attaching a front fender to the Oliver, I bodged together a mount using the bottom clamp and a bent piece of metal. Seems pretty stable from a quick test ride, but I haven't put real miles on it yet. Once I had it figured out, it was pretty simple.
    Cannondale Slate-img_2092.jpgCannondale Slate-img_2093.jpg
    Cannondale Slate-img_2090.jpg

  70. #70
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    Wow--How I appreciate all the input here. I just ordered a stock '17 Slate 105 and you've all really inspired me with your feedback and comments. Very excited to get it although riding won't be available around here (PNW) until late Feb./early March. Just hoping and looking forward to expanding my riding on all kinds of terrain. Big thanks!

  71. #71
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    This terrain reminds me of some areas around Missoula I'm looking forward to riding this Summer. I think you mentioned that you're further down S-SW Yellowstone area. Feel good about the REI closeout I got on the '17 105. Q--is the rear a thru-axle? Might put it on the trainer if so.

  72. #72
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    Cannondale Slate

    The rear on the Slate is 142 x12 through axle Syntace X12 standard
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  73. #73
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    I have a Slate CX1 and, after riding a friend's 1X mtb set up for gravel with an oval chainring that felt very efficient to me, am looking for an oval Hollowgram-compatible ring. However, I haven't found one bigger than 34T (Absolute Black). Looks like Wolf Tooth made one in 42T but they're sold out?

    Anyone running a 1x oval setup on their Slate with success?
    Yeah, well . . . that's just, you know, like . . . your opinion, man. --The Dude

  74. #74
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    Looks like a company called Garbaruk (out of UK--never heard of them) makes a 42t Hollowgram compatible ring. . .for $95. Not sure I want one that much
    Yeah, well . . . that's just, you know, like . . . your opinion, man. --The Dude

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    Quote Originally Posted by mhk View Post
    Looks like a company called Garbaruk (out of UK--never heard of them) makes a 42t Hollowgram compatible ring. . .for $95. Not sure I want one that much
    I just got a Slate and was looking at the exact same thing. You can get a 42T oval 110 BCD ring (should be in stock with WolfTooth) and source a 110 BCD spider (I ebay'd mine).

    I ended up sticking with the 2x system and went with Absolute Black, which also require a 110 BCD spider. A little pricey solution, but I like the oval stuff and wanted to keep the 2x.

  76. #76
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    Thanks for the idea, but I think the $95 Garbaruk option would be better than buying a Hollowgram-compatible spider and 110 BCD ring to go with it, as it seems like that combo would defeat the purpose (stiffness, light weight) of a direct-mount crankset like Hollowgram.

    How do you like your Slate so far?
    Yeah, well . . . that's just, you know, like . . . your opinion, man. --The Dude

  77. #77
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    Quote Originally Posted by mhk View Post
    Thanks for the idea, but I think the $95 Garbaruk option would be better than buying a Hollowgram-compatible spider and 110 BCD ring to go with it, as it seems like that combo would defeat the purpose (stiffness, light weight) of a direct-mount crankset like Hollowgram.

    How do you like your Slate so far?
    Feels great on the trainer!!! Waiting for the weather to break so I can at least try it on a paved rail trail. The wait's killing me.

    The weight of the Absolute Black 50/34 Oval w/spider is 16g less than the standard OPI Spidering 52/36. Not sure how much stiffness and rigidity is lost though.

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  79. #79
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    My brother is thinking about picking up a Slate. He is 6'4". Any other tall guys out there riding the Slate?

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    Im looking at an end of season 105 model but would want to swap out the cassette and derailleur for something that would be more like a 11-40 range. We have some great new climbs here in Washington that are single track but about the smoothest single track youre going to see, which makes the Slate perfect for them. They are also quite steep, which makes the stock gearing not perfect.

    I see people are swapping for more climbing friendly setups, but does that require changing out the shifters too? Are the stock shifters compatible with mountain bike derailleurs or are there road derailleurs that can handle that range? It looks to me that the road ones are generally maxed out at a 32-34 tooth gear, unless I am missing something.

    Thanks.

  81. #81
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    Craig,
    Yes, you can use the STIs with an MTB derailleur. But - you will have to install an additional device called tanpan to make shifters and derailleur work together properly:

    https://www.wolftoothcomponents.com/products/tanpan



    Greetings from Germany
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    Cool, thanks. That makes it a pretty easy decision then.

  83. #83
    BigSki
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    I'm 6'3", 220lbs., 33"+ inseam and just bought an XL at Christmas. Had a break in the weather here in E. WA. so took it for a spin in the neighborhood...size felt great. Awesome really, one of the most comfortable bikes I've ridden but it'll have to live on the trainer until a.) Spring arrives, and b.) shoulder surgery is complete. Good Luck, I highly recommend this bike!

  84. #84
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    Cannondale Slate

    I own now a fatbike which can take multiple wheel sizes,a Cannondale Trigger with two settings for geometry and travel , and a Slate. My favorite bike is still my Slate. It is my do it all bike even though all my bikes cross over, it seems to bring the most fun and the biggest range of terrain capabilities
    Enjoy the ride...

  85. #85
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    Hi Craig

    I bought the 105 with the intention from day one of changing the crankset.
    I swapped out for a FSA SL-K 46/30 and a 11-30 Ultrega cassette. Gives a nice 1:1 climbing gear without the hassle of changing out the rear mech.

    The 52/36 11-28 combo the bike came with no use for old legs and hilly region I live in.

    Cannondale Slate-slate1.jpgCannondale Slate-20171124_103032.jpg

    I've had a 46/30 crankset before on a CX bike - Sugino OX601 - I love the ratios it can give. 46-11 is the same as 50-12.
    Not missing the 50-11 (or 52-11 on the Slate) at all

  86. #86
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    Slate update

    Cannondale Slate-002.jpg

    Tried out the new Garbaruk chainring (42T oval) for the first time yesterday, and I really like it. I must have an inefficient pedal stroke, because it seems like cheating--at least for now. I first noticed this phenomenon when borrowing an oval-equipped friend's bike a couple months ago. My riding buddies wondered what was up. Maybe I just got a hold of an especially effective batch of coffee? I will post a more in-depth chainring review after I log several more long rides.

    WTB Resolute tires. Mud clearance isn't great, but these are top notch tires. Nice volume--especially with the 30mm-wide rims--and good grip, rolls fine on pavement. Clearance is fine (5mm at stays) for everything but mud.

    Origin8 Gary Ergo Sweep OS bars. I like these just as much as my Salsa Woodchippers--maybe more. The aggressive bend just below the hoods is utile during technical descents, and provides an easy-access drop position I would normally not use on a traditional bar. You can see the hoods are canted inward, but it makes for a more ergonomically correct hand position. In the hoods it's easier to shift with my ring finger though, which took some adjustment time. Little bit more adjustment time when switching to a braking position on the hoods because the levers are more "in the way," but I haven't experienced a problem.

    I am a little embarrassed about the wheels, because it was a total gamble. Unbranded Chinese carbon wheels/spokes/hubs from AliExpress (Xiamen A-ONE Bicycle Co). After about 60k, rear spokes detensioned to the point of a spoke coming loose (I thought it had snapped) and a nipple disappearing inside the rim. After retensioning and retruing with plenty of stops to stress the spokes, they've held up fine since. Only about 200k total on the wheels so far, though. They were $490 shipped and weigh 1400g.

    I'm 6'4" and the XL was way too low in front at first. Crazy that it came w a 6 deg 90mm stem, imo. Swapped in a 20 deg 110mm and it fits nice.

    I feel like I'm just now really getting it dialed in, but I really like the bike. It's not particularly fast, but it is peculiarly fun, which makes it my go-to bike when riding from home, since it's game to go just about everywhere.
    Yeah, well . . . that's just, you know, like . . . your opinion, man. --The Dude

  87. #87
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    My Slate updates after 2.5K miles. Still running strong on several tire/wheel combos - stock Panaracers, Surly Knard knobbies, Conti 700c on DT Swiss - a great bike, actually my go-to for mixed surfaces, and comfy on the bumps! Saved me a couple of times on surprised potholes, the Lefty took the hits without me hitting the deck!

    The 700c setup was used for a Century, made the set up at least a pound lighter. Rolls awesome, no handling issues!

    Only one issue after these miles. At about 1.5K while on a slight grade, choppy blacktop, seated climb, the rear derailleur hanger snapped. I was on the 52/28 gears on constant power. I believe this is from fatigue, has anyone else had this problem?


    Cannondale Slate-%40img_e5220.jpg
    Cannondale Slate-%40img_4324.jpg
    Cannondale Slate-%40img_4323.jpg
    Cannondale Slate-%40img_2722.jpg

  88. #88
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    Hey Guys - Slate size question, I read the post and saw that BigSki at 63 is on the XL, but there isnt one larger. Im 511 with a 33 inseam, took a Large out for a short ride today and it felt a tad tight, but think Im used to my longer reach on my Niner, going to go do 2hrs tomorrow on it.

    Here is a pic of it with the seat height, thoughts?

    Seat height is about 3 higher than the bars. My LBS can order me an XL if I want but then Im committed, the closest XL is a 2hr drive away if I want to test ride it.

    Cannondale Slate-8191c49e-379c-4d3d-95da-a872537d7e43.jpg

    D
    Somewhere lost in the Bush!

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