Silverback’s trail-driven Slade has seen a number of different design iterations over the years, but it seems the South African company, now based in Germany, has found the perfect groove with its latest offering.
Butted aluminum frame, dressed up in subtle grey with black and orange graphics, mated to a set of Sun Ringle 27.5+ wheels and an in-house dropper post – it all points towards the Slade’s trail preference. Other than the dropper post, full-length external cabling is easily accessible, keeping maintenance fuss-free.
The slack head angle (68.5°) and 2.8-inch Maxxis Rekons make for a sled that can be confidently cranked in turns and downs. Throw in a 740 mm bar and that dropper post, and this bike is a confidence-boosting berm railer. At the same time, a hardtail frame mated to 2×10 gearing makes climbing a cinch. The gearing is Deore with an XT Shadow rear derailleur, and a Race Face crankset – decent spec, branded components.
Dependable Shimano M315 brakes keep the stopping power consistent and controlled, though bigger or ‘faster’ ride may prefer to swop out the 160 mm rotor for a 180 mm, match the front end.
Spec highlights: 120 mm for thru-axle dropouts, dropper post, Sun Ringle wide rims, Shimano XT Shadow rear derailleur.
Bottom line: Boatloads of traction and good dirty fun, thanks to plus-size tires and a dropper post. And there’s less maintenance on a hardtail, while bigger tires help with comfort and control over rougher trail terrain.