Cannondale Slice Hi-Mod Force review

Champion's choice

Our rating 
4.0 out of 5 star rating 4.0
GBP £3,199.99 RRP

Our review

Outstandingly fast, yet beautifully balanced and feather-bed smooth, the Slice Force is a true taste of elite performance
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The Cannondale Slice is the bike of choice of triathlon world champion Chrissie Wellington. Quietly spoken yet blisteringly fast, this more affordable SRAM Force equipped model is potentially a personal record-breaker for normal riders too.

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Ride & handling: Super-fast, eerily smooth and easy to ride

While it certainly looks hyper-quick, the Cannondale reveals its performance subtly rather than slapping you in the face. The reason for this is the eerily smooth road feel for a full aero bike.

The combination of carbon layup, super-thin top tube and vibration damping SAVE stay shaping builds a carbon hammock to cosset your rides. While it’s perfectly balanced at all speeds, the Slice also feels fluid and soft through the steering as you trickle through traffic.

The only early pointers to its devastating open-road performance are the bursts of snap acceleration from its super-low weight, and the fact any road rumble comes through your cleats, not bars or bum. As soon as roundabouts give way to open miles, this missile hits the afterburners for real.

Comfortable and affably easy to ride it might be, but roll forward on to the aero bars and set your feet against the solid BB30 cranks and the way the Hi-Mod murders your normal time splits is inspirational.

It’s been wind-tunnel rated as one of the fastest fuselages available, and the contempt the ultra-skinny tubes hold headwinds and high-speed runs in means we never doubted its drag-killing credentials.

Slipping on deep-section wheels proved it’s capable of bike splits that rank with our best-ever results, despite freezing conditions we’d expect to tack minutes on. It’s the ability of the Slice to carry this performance through every aspect of the ride that really stands out though.

The smoothly compliant ride reduces long-distance fatigue and keeps cadence smooth. The rock-solid BB30 crank-to-rear-wheel section combined with low weight means no wattage is wasted.

While not as hatchet sharp as the Cervélo S2, its handling balance means it can be threaded smoothly down technical descents without any worries, and you’ll rarely come out of the tuck on the flat. It’s gagging for full aero wheels, but as an introduction to real superbike performance, it’s got few equals.

Cannondale slice hi-mod force: cannondale slice hi-mod force
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Chassis: Friendly feeling aero frameset

As the name suggests, the Slice is designed to take a cleaver to drag co-efficient, and do the same to your ride times in the process. The short head tube gives super-low tuck potential, and the teardrop down tube gets a fork-top cutout and front-end fin effect with the super-thin, tapering top tube.

The deep multi-aero section wheel-hugger Speed Shadow seat tube bottoms onto an oversized BB30 belly. Rectangular-to-triangular-to-round SAVE chainstays reach back to smooth carbon dropouts with a replaceable gear hanger, while tri-axial hourglass seatstays curve and taper slightly to keep airflow between the legs and wheel clean.

Cables run internally, while brakes and seat tube bottle are conventionally mounted. Cannondale include their own seatpost-mount bottle clip as well, and you can dismantle the seatpost and reconfigure it to use a second rearward clamp mount for a choice of 75- or 80-degree seat angles. Five frame sizes cater for all but the really small too.

Equipment: Clever choice of kit minimises performance compromise

The Force version of the Hi-Mod is half the price of the ‘Ultimate’ dream machine, but there’s nothing here to negate the overall performance of the bike. SRAM’s snappy shifting and positive-feeling mid-range groupset proves they really are becoming a Force to be reckoned with on the road.

You even get a deep dish time trial chainring on the impressively stiff BB30 oversized axle carbon cranks. The carbon paddles are conventional shifters, not the superb R2C fixed-position paddles though.

Cannondale add more carbon with a threadless headset top cap and steerer spacers, and the twin-position bladed seatpost is full-carbon too. The colour-matched Arione Tri saddle is one of our favourite long-haul seats too.

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While the top-dollar aero frameset means some component compromises, Cannondale have done a good job of keeping their impact off the ride-feel radar. The Mavic Aksium wheels aren’t aero, but they’re not too heavy and the custom black and white Schwalbe Ultremo tyres are smooth-rolling lightweights. The alloy Profile base bars are skinny to stop your hands getting stung and the T2 Cobra carbon extensions are well-shaped too.

Product Specifications

Product

Name Slice Carbon Hi-Mod Force (10)
Brand Cannondale

Available Sizes 51cm 54cm 54cm 56cm 56cm 58cm 58cm 58cm 60cm 60cm
Rear Wheel Weight 1480
Top Tube (cm) 55.5
Standover Height (cm) 78.3
Seat Tube (cm) 56
Chainstays (cm) 40.5
Bottom Bracket Height (cm) 26.5
Brake Levers SRAM Force
Weight (lb) 17.37
Weight (kg) 7.88
Stem FSA ST-OS-150 XT
Seatpost Cannondale Slice Carbon Aero HI MOD
Seat Angle 75
Rims Mavic Aksium
Rear Derailleur SRAM Force
Bottom Bracket SRAM Force BB30
Headset Type Cane Creek Slice, Carbon SI, 1.125"
Head Angle 72
Handlebar Profile T2 Wing, 31.8 w/T2 Cobra
Front Wheel Weight 1040
Front Derailleur SRAM Force
Frame Weight 1220
Frame Material Slice Carbon Hi-MOD BB30
Fork Slice Aero Hi-MOD monocoque full carbon
Cranks SRAM Force BB30
Chain SRAM PC-1070
Cassette SRAM PG-1070, 12-25
Brakes SRAM Force
Wheelbase (cm) 99.7