Just a couple of years ago Cannondale launched the futuristic Slice RS, but for 2015 it will no longer be available in the UK. Instead they're offering a brand new Slice with features that ensures it will appeal to multi-sport types.
Another significant change is that it's available in five models. Prices start at £1,999 for a Shimano 105 build - pictured here - and rise all the way to £7,499 for the Black Inc model with a full Dura-Ace Di2 groupset and Vision deep-section wheels.
Why have Cannondale dropped the Slice RS and focused on the regular Slice? Because very few people are buying time trial bikes for the purpose of competing in time trials, Cannondale tell us. Instead it’s triathlon - including Ironman - that is driving demand for these bikes. If further evidence were needed, this bike isn’t UCI-legal so don’t expect to see the team racing it; they’ll continue to use the Slice RS.
As well as providing a wider range of price points, Cannondale have focused on improving the Slice with features that will appeal to multi-sport athletes. In a nutshell that means it's user friendly and easy to adjust, so the Slice uses a conventional stem and base bar setup, not the integrated front-end of the Slice RS. That removes the hassle involved in not only assembly but also in changes to the fit.
Cannondale have developed TAP (Truncated Aero Profile) for the new Slice. You can see it most in the down tube. It has the sort of teardrop profile with a chopped off tail that we’re seeing on most of the latest time trial and aero road bikes.
The seat tube, which now hugs the rear wheel very closely, has what Cannondale calls a "windtunnel channel". This is a feature first seen on the Slice RS - a recess channel in the back of the seat tube facing the tyre - and the idea is to “reduce pressure drag caused by air packing up between the spinning wheel and frame.”
How much this feature and the TAP tube profiles makes in the wind tunnel is something we don’t know. Cannondale offer no aero claims, but we’ve contacted them to see if they do have any data.
Comfort is important if you’re doing an Ironman event - with its 112-mile bike leg - so Cannondale have developed Aero SAVE (Synapse Active Vibration Elimination) for the rear stays and fork. These are designed to provide more compliance to smooth out imperfections in the road.
The Naero Tech seatstays are really skinny, just 8mm wide, and to achieve this they’re solid, not hollow. This makes the bike non-UCI legal. AeroPlane chainstays have been designed to be both aero and compliant. The new fork has an offset dropout which Cannondale claims helps to “eliminate road buzz and bumps.”
Another change is the non-tapered head tube, it’s a traditional 1 1/8in design that allows the frontal surface area to be reduced. It's very narrow from the front.
The frame is constructed from the same Ballistic carbon fibre that Cannondale use in the SuperSix Evo. Cannondale claim this makes it one of the lightest frames in this category, but they don’t specify the actual frame weight. We’ve requested it, however, so we’ll let you know when we do.
Cannondale have partnered with Guru, the fit specialists, to develop what it reckons is the ideal position.
“The resulting design keeps the rider more centred on the bike while in a true aero position for the best possible stability, handling and control,” says Cannondale.
The Slice also features a seat angle that is a couple of degrees steeper than average to keep the rider forward over the centre of the bike.
Brakes are mounted in the usual position on the front of the fork, and underneath the bottom bracket/chainstays at the back. Both brake calipers are direct mount. Other details include full internal cable routing, the cables entering through a new aero headset top cap, and an integrated seat clamp.
The aero seatpost provides two clamping options and a water bottle carrier can easily be fitted. The new Slice is available in five sizes from 48 to 60cm.
The bike pictured is the entry-level model with a Shimano 105 groupset, Shimano RS11 wheels and Schwalbe Lugano 25mm tyres, and an FSA Gossamer Pro 52/36 chainset. The Cannondale C3 base bar uses FSA Tri Max Team clip-on extensions with MicroShift carbon bar-end shifters and alloy aero brake levers.
More at www.cannondale.com
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