Can the good-look­ing Slice per­form as well as it im­presses with its ap­pear­ance?

Triathlon Plus - - Ultimate Bikes - can­non­

CAN­NON­DALE TOOK a rad­i­cal step with their lat­est aero chas­sis and if you want beau­ti­fully smooth, ef­fort­lessly light­weight per­for­mance with calm all-weather han­dling then the Slice is in a class of it’s own.


Can­non­dale’s ul­tra light Hi-Mod chas­sis are among the light­est around and even with the heav­i­est wheels on test it’s the light­est bike here by a clean kilo. Nar­row gauge wheel hug­ging seat-tube, ver­ti­cal seat­post, ul­tra thin seat­stays and care­fully flat­tened chain­stay profiles aren’t just about weight watch­ing ei­ther. Min­imis­ing side pro­file means the Slice gets shoved around by gusty winds much less than a big slab sided bike. Com­fort lev­els are also out­stand­ing even on the rough­est roads too. The Hi-Mod fork is also su­per light with a rolled wrist at the tips to in­crease front end com­fort too. While the con­ven­tional brake place­ment and stem de­sign might not be the most drag ef­fi­cient, they make ad­just­ment very easy. The twin po­si­tion seat­post head also al­lows a 77 or 81 de­gree ef­fec­tive seat an­gle al­though the hid­den bolt head on the clamp makes switch­ing the cra­dle a real pa­tience tester.


The fact it’s shop bought is a big ad­van­tage for less ex­pe­ri­enced rid­ers but it comes at a cost, with the Slice rolling on £350 worth of Mavic Cos­mic Elite al­loy wheels and match­ing, rel­a­tively slow Yk­sion Comp tyres rather than deep sec­tion car­bon wheels and race qual­ity rub­ber. The spec is def­i­nitely dream bike level oth­er­wise, with shift but­tons for Shi­mano’s flag­ship Dura Ace Di2 elec­tronic gearset on both the car­bon base bars and ex­ten­sions of the su­perlight FSA/ Vi­sion cock­pit. The cranks are Can­non­dale’s own ul­tra­light Hol­lowGram SiSL2 run­ning on the over­sized BB30 al­loy axle stan­dard they co-de­vel­oped. Fizik’s Ari­one TriTone sad­dle is one of our favourite snub nosed seats.

THE RIDE While the sad­dle ob­vi­ously helps, it’s the frame and fork of the Slice that make it such an out­stand­ingly com­fort­able and smooth place to spend time. The min­i­mal seat­stays and cen­tre flat­tened Aerosave rearstays, plus the small curved seat­post screen out se­ri­ous wal­lops and ir­ri­tat­ing rat­tle and buzz that’s a con­stant back drop to most UK road rid­ing. The rolled wrists of the fork also al­low more rake than nor­mal with­out af­fect­ing steer­ing ge­om­e­try, cre­at­ing a

smoother front end un­der the al­ready no­tice­ably sprung can­tilevered pads of the Vi­sion bars.

There’s no stress from the han­dling ei­ther as less side sur­face and care­fully shaped tubes give less for cross­winds to bully so it slips eas­ily through tur­bu­lent con­di­tions that can make for tense times on slab sided bikes. It has a rel­a­tively long chain­stay and over­all wheel­base too, which also un­der­write sta­bil­ity to keep you re­laxed right through to the run.

The top qual­ity car­bon and su­per stiff Can­non­dale chain­set means there’s no short­age of punch when you need it. Add the su­per low weight and shift­ing but­tons on the base bars, it at­tacks climbs and charges out of cor­ners with re­mark­able re­spon­sive­ness for an aero bike. Less weight means more en­ergy left for a given climb­ing speed so you’ve got more left in the phys­i­cal and men­tal re­serves as you rack it up in T2 and head out on your run.

The down­side is that it doesn’t have the same aero­dy­namic ad­van­tage as the most ag­gres­sively pro­filed state-ofthe-art bikes. Hav­ing rid­den it with deep sec­tions we’d also sug­gest stay­ing low (30/40mm) on the front rim to re­tain it’s re­laxed han­dling as it feels flexy if you’re fight­ing with a deeper front wheel in gusty con­di­tions. The ad­van­tage of cheaper wheels means you’re free to choose what­ever you want as an up­grade and con­sid­er­ing the frame and com­po­nent qual­ity it’s still de­cent value.

“It at­tacks climbs and charges out of cor­ners with re­mark­able re­spon­sive­ness for an aero bike”

Shi­mano’s Dura Ace Di2 trans­mis­sion is smooth, and dou­ble but­ton set-up means you can shift when you’re in a tuck.

The su­per skinny rear end mem­bers suck fa­tigu­ing rat­tle and buzz out of the road, keep­ing your fresh and on tempo.

Can­non­dale’s Hol­lowgram SiSL2 arms on a 30mm al­loy axle cre­ate some of the light­est yet stiffest cranks around.

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