Pretty bike, Marin. Reminds me of my current commuter
So I got my hands on a Slate for a few days. It's the mid-range Ultegra one. Unfortunately it's a Medium, I need the large. I'm actually quite bummed they dropped the 'classic' front triangle with horizontal Top Tube for the production bikes. Regardless, hard to pick it apart as I've only done 10 miles. Below you can read my initial impressions.
Definitely feels ~22 lbs when you pick it up and also try to get it up to speed. I suppose once you finally get up to speed the weight helps it stay there
Surely a comfortable ride. This morning I sat through road perforations and minor bumps in the road that I would normally stand up for even with my carbon CX bike with 700x35c tubeless setup. I imagine this is primarily due to increased air volume of the 650x42c tires, perhaps the SAVE stays are helping a bit here. I suppose I'll notice those more when I start getting the bike out into the rough / chattery more. Feels slow on the road but I think it's because I'm not sitting into the bike well because it's a size down. I have the seat post sticking out an entire inch beyond the minimum insert line. Unfortunately comes with 175mm cranks and what feels like a 42cm handlebar. I typically run 172.5mm cranks & a 44cm bar. So if I were to pull the trigger on a Large down the road I'd have to change the crank arms and cross my fingers the bars come wider. Cranks are the SiSL2 with mid compact 52-36. With the 11-28t cassette it came with I think a standard compact (50-34) would have been the way to go.
Handling is snappy and more enjoyable than my CX bike. I can only imagine it would feel even better if I was riding the right size. The fork feels stiff enough out of the saddle when locked out and the bob experienced while unlocked isn't all that bad, it has a bit of platform and obviously so little travel that it doesn't hold you back too much. Just feels awkward, takes some getting used to. Definitely something to keep locked out on the road for sporadic efforts out of the saddle though. I'm wondering where the weight comes with this bike. Cassette is 105, again 11-28t. They say the main body of the Oliver fork is carbon, appears to be a carbon decal. It could be a carbon decal over actual carbon to keep it looking pretty. The steerer is definitely not carbon. Wheels leave a bit to be desired, they're 28 spoke 2x lacing entry-level, not sure if they're tubeless compatible although I'm sure a few layers of tape would do the trick. I think the bike would really come alive and easily drop a ~pound (~400-500g) with nicer wheels. Wondering how they'll spec the CX1 model. Fortunately the frame feels stiff at the BB area and the SiSL2 cranks don't disappoint. On my way home from work I'm going to try and get it on the dirt. Will definitely report back once I get some more time on it. I'll also have my hands on a large demo soon....fingers crossed.