Last week, Cannondale quietly pushed out a video teasing an all-new, Lefty fork equipped gravel road bike. This week, they followed up with part two, in which many details are unveiled.
Called the Cannondale Slate, it’ll get a new Lefty Oliver with 30mm of travel and a lockout. The surprising part? 650B wheels in the form of Stan’s NoTubes Flow EX. While randonneuring bikes in the past have used the 650C wheel size, more and more gravel bikes are looking to the ‘b’ option due to the increased amount of rim and tire options. Official production spec remains to be seen, but the bikes should be available this fall.
Here’s four minutes of gravel grinding goodness with plenty of shots of the bike…the important of which we’ve captured below…
Depending on the angle, the bike can look a little odd with the Lefty…
But at others, it looks quite alright. The smaller 650B wheels seem to help the proportions without making the bikes look too small. More than anything, they just look fun!
The Lefty Oliver looks to get 30mm of travel with their PBR (PB = Push Button / R = Rebound) lockout with an external rebound control knob on the top.
Here’s where the 65oB spec is confirmed, and tire clearance for at least a 42mm width, which they show as having the same roll out (read: circumference) as a 700×22 tire. That means more cush and traction without giving up the speed and roll-over of a standard road bike wheel and tire.
The rear end appears to keep standard quick release axles. Considering the number of flats and sidewall tears we’ve seen on our gravel rides, quicker wheel changes and weight savings might have been a priority…a decision we think is backed up by the lack of rack and accessory mounts. Could be the Slate is initially aimed at the performance riding crowd more than touring.
More as we get it!