The Cannondale Slate was a bike before its time, as such little fuss was made when it disappeared from Cannondale’s lineup last year. The Slate featured, a 1x drivetrain, 650b wheelset, a drop bar, and a signature Cannondale Lefty fork. In 2015! In 2015 it was hard to find replacement tires for the thing, today I just described the ideal gravel bike.
The Slate may be gone, but the ideal is not. Cannondale just brought the Slate back with even more suspension, an updated fork and a new name.
Cannondale calls it the Topstone Carbon Lefty. I think I’ll call it Topslate. And it has an electrified brother, the Topstone Neo Carbon Lefty, as well as a non-Lefty e-version, simply called the Topstone Neo Carbon.
The Topstone Carbon Lefty aims to be the best of both worlds; comfortable on-road, and more capable off-road. It takes the frame of a Topstone gravel bike, including its rear triangle KingPin suspension system, and adds a new gravel-specific Lefty Oliver Fork. This fork provides 30mm of travel and is built around the same internals as the heavier duty Lefty Ocho fork meant for XC mountain biking. Its travel is progressive and features a lockout that’s easy to reach and engage while riding. Weighing in at 1,340g for the carbon version and 1,610g for the alloy version, this fork accepts up to 650x47mm or 700x45mm tires.
There will be two versions of the bike: the Topstone Carbon Lefty 1 featuring a SRAM Force/Eagle eTap AXS 1x mullet build for $7,500, and a Topstone Carbon Lefty 3 featuring Shimano GRX for $3,750. You can also buy a carbon Oliver Lefty fork as a standalone for $1,500.
Here’s the full build kit.
- BRAKE LEVERS – SRAM Force AXS
- BRAKES – SRAM Force eTap AXS, 160/160mm Centerlock rotors
- GRIPS-Cannondale Bar Tape, 3.5mm
- HANDLEBAR-HollowGram SAVE SystemBar, Carbon, 8 deg. pitch adjust
- SADDLE-Fabric Scoop Shallow Race, titanium rails
- SEATPOST-HollowGram SAVE Carbon, 27.2 x 350mm
- STEM-HollowGram SAVE, Alloy, -6Ã‚ °
- BOTTOM BRACKET-SRAM BB DUB BB30 ROAD83-A
- CHAIN-SRAM X01 Eagle, 12-speed
- CRANK-SRAM Force AXS 1x Crankset, DUB Spindle, 40T
- REAR COGS-SRAM PG-1295, X01 Eagle, 10-50, 12-speed
- REAR DERAILLEUR-SRAM X01 Eagle eTap AXS
- SHIFTERS-SRAM Force eTap AXS HRD, 12-speed
- FRONT TIRE-WTB Venture TCS Light, 650 x 47c, tubeless ready
- REAR HUB-Formula DHT-141
- REAR TIRE-WTB Byway TCS Light, 650 x 47c, tubeless ready
- RIMS-HollowGram 23, Superlight Hi-Impact Carbon, 28h, 23mm IW, tubeless ready
- SPOKES-HollowGram 2.0/1.8/2.0
In addition to the unisex version available in sizes XS-XL, there will also be a women’s specific version available in sizes XS, S and M.
Cannondale has taken the Topstone Carbon Lefty and created an two electric versions as well. Both feature a Bosch motor in the bottom bracket with a 500Wh battery, good for a claimed 79 miles of off-road riding. The Topstone Carbon Neo Lefty 1 features 650b wheels, the new Lefty Oliver fork and a SRAM AXS mullet build and costs $9,000. There is also a lower spec’d version, the Topstone Carbon Neo Lefty 3, with GRX which retails for $5,800. The Topstone Carbon Neo 2 features 700c wheels and a rigid fork as well as GRX. It costs $6,500.
More info: cannondale.com