Breaking down the German direct-to-consumer brand’s range of Ultimate, Aeroad, Endurace and Inflite bikes
German direct-to-consumer brand Canyon have, in recent years, become a powerhouse of bike manufacture, and one of the most desirable bike brands in the industry. That’s quite an achievement, considering you can’t try before you buy unless you visit its home base in Koblenz.
There’s got to be a reason for Canyon’s success, and not just because the bikes can be seen under the likes of Nairo Quintana and Alexander Kristoff at Movistar and Katusha-Alpecin, respectively. We’ve been hands-on with bikes from the Aeroad, Ultimate and Endurace families in recent times, and it’s fair to say we’ve haven’t had too many bad words say about them, putting to rest any potential concerns in the RCUK office about buying blind.
Of course, it’s not quite true to say you buy blind, because Canyon offer a comprehensive bike fit chart that takes into account your dimensions to recommend a size, with each of the Aeroad, Ultimate, Endurace and Inflite having their own geometry characteristics.
The Aeroad is the most aggressive road race bike that Canyon make, with a ‘Pro’ geometry and aero profiling that makes it Alexander Kristoff and Alejandro Valverde’s frame of choice. The likes of Nairo Quintana prefer the lightweight Ultimate, with a ‘Sport Pro’ geometry that is both suited to the typical pro position as well as a slightly more relaxed stance often suited by climbers.
The Endurace frame’s ‘Sport’ geometry is Canyon’s take on an endurance bike. Like the Ultimate, it’s got some aero profiling, especially at the top end of the range, but it’s definitely the bike for all day road rides, thanks to disc brakes and plenty of tyre clearance. The Inflite ties off the road bike range, with an aluminium frame as easily capable of racing cyclo-cross as it is for winter road riding.
There’s plenty to cover, then, so we’d better get started. If you’re in the market for a Canyon, here’s what’s on offer in 2017.
The Aeroad is Canyon’s aero race bike, and used predominantly by the Katusha-Alpecin team. The frame is heavily sculpted for best aerodynamic effect, featuring a Trident 2 downtube and shaped seatpost profile that minimises air disturbance around the rear wheel.
There are eight models in the Aeroad range, with a range-topping SLX 9.0 LTD that comes built with the latest Dura-Ace 9150 Di2 groupset and Zipp 404 carbon clincher hoops, at £7,599.
For £4,899 you’ll grab yourself a mechanical Dura-Ace R9100 version with Reynolds Strike SLG wheels, while the SLX 8.0 Di2 represents the Di2 entry level of the entire Aeroad range at £3,899, with Ultegra Di2 and the same Reynolds rolling stock.
The SLX 8.0 is the cheapest of the rim brake versions at £3,249, and is supplied with those Reynolds wheels and mechanical Ultegra, but comes without the Aerocockpit which is claimed to save 5.5 watts when rolling at 45km/h.
The Aeroad also comes in disc form – new for 2017. Canyon claim it concedes only 0.8 watts in the wind tunnel against the rim brake bikes, meaning it’s still a super-fast piece of kit. The top-of-the-range disc-specific Aeroad is the SLX Disc 9.0 LTD at £6,499. For that you get SRAM Red eTap and Zipp’s 404 Firecrest Carbon Clinchers. There’s also a women’s version, decked in the eye-catching colours of Canyon-SRAM.
The SLX Disc 9.0 SL is alo equipped with SRAM Red eTap and Reynolds’ disc-specific Strike carbon clinchers for an RRP of £5,799, while the SLX Disc 9.0 is £5,199. For that you get mechanical Dura-Ace R9120, and Reynolds Strike disc wheels.
There are two disc models priced at £4,499. These SLX Disc 8.0 Di2 comes packaged with Ultegra Di2 and Shimano’s RS805 disc brake system, complete with 160mm rotors (unless you opt for the 2XS frame size, in which case you’ll have more proportional 140mm rotors). The WMN version also features a female-specific Selle Italia SLS Lady Flow SE saddle, along with a frameset with a modified geometry for a shorter reach.
The cheapest disc-specific Aeroad is the SLX Disc 8.0 – a mechanical Ultegra-equipped bike that, like the SLX 8.0 rim version, does away with the Aerocockpit. That said, you do still get the Reynolds Strike wheelset on a £3,449 disc brake bike that weighs in at a still-impressive 7.8kg for a medium.
With the Ultimate CF, things get a little more complicated, with 32 – yes, thirty-two– bikes coming under the carbon-fibre Ultimate moniker. That’s a lot of bikes, and a lot of options to consider.
It’s best, then, to break them down according to the three frame options available: the new Evo, the SLX, and the SL, with disc options also available for the SLX and SL frames.
At this point, it’s worth saying that they all feature precisely the same ‘Sport Pro’ geometry, so whichever you go for, each should fit exactly the same as one another.
Canyon Ultimate CF Evo
The Evo, launched in February, is Canyon’s ultimate expression of a lightweight climbing road bike, with a frame that weighs in at a paltry 665g and fork at just 290g thanks to an ultra-high-modulus carbon layup. It even features titanium screws, such is the attention to detail here.
There are two bikes on offer with the Evo frameset, topping out with the £11,599 Evo 10.0 Ltd with SRAM Red eTap, Leightweight Meilenstein carbon clinchers complete with CeramicSpeed bearings, and Canyon’s Aerocockpit. The whole bike comes in at 5.8kg for a medium.
It’s little brother, the £8,999 Evo 10.0 SL is genuinely a ‘little’ brother, weighing a staggering 4.96kg in a medium. That means it’s kitted out with the lightest kit money can buy, including SRAM Red mechanical drivetrain, THM-Carbones Fibula carbon brake calipers and Clavicula cranks and bottom bracket, Canyon’s own H18 Ergo carbon bar, Meilenstein’s Obermayer Tubular hoops and Continental’s Podium TT tyres.
Canyon Ultimate CF SLX
The SLX has been around for a couple of years now, and is the frame that Nairo Quintana has ridden to both Giro d’Italia and Vuelta a España victories. Because of the current 6.8kg UCI weight limit rendering the benefits of the Evo almost moot for the pro peloton, it’s likely he and Movistar will continue with it over the Evo through the rest of this season.
Consumers should also still see it as a super-premium road bike, with the £7,199 SLX 9.0 Aero topping the bill. The SLX frame features aero-tidy sculpting reminiscent of the Aeroad, so in this guise it’s not so strange to see Zipp’s 404 NSW wheels on it, alongside a SRAM Red eTap groupset and Canyon’s Aerocockpit.
Further down the SLX range is a WMN SLX 9.0 Team CSR – a bike created in the image of the CANYON/SRAM women’s WorldTour team, complete with a build including lightweight Zipp 202 wheels and SRAM Red gruppo. You’ll also spot the new Dura-Ace on the SLX 9.0 Di2 and SLX 9.0 bikes, with electronic and mechanical drivetrains respectively.
Italian lovers need not despair, either, with two bikes (the SLX 9.0 Ltd and SLX 9.0 Pro) featuring Campagnolo drivetrains. The £4,999 Ltd has a mechanical Super Record and Bora Ultra One 35 wheels, while the cheaper £4,299 version gets ‘regular’ Record teamed with lightweight Shamal Mille hoops with Campagnolo’s striking tri-spoke G3 rear lacing design. Both come supplied with the Aerocockpit, and weigh 6.3kg and 6.4kg respectively. A £4,499 SLX 9.0 SL (SRAM Red eTap) and £4,099 SLX 9.0 (Dura-Ace R9100) round off the range that incorporates the Aerocockpit.
For those wanting the SLX frame but not the Aerocockpit frills, there are three machines available. All come shod with Mavic Ksyrium Pro Exalith SL hoops, with two Ultegra Di2 models (one is a WMN), and the range-opening SLX 8.0 with mechanical Ultegra.
Of course, there are disc-specific versions of the SLX frameset available too. The most premium of these is the SLX Disc 9.0 Aero at £6,199, which comes with SRAM Red eTap and the disc-specific iterations of Zipp’s 404 Firecrest wheels. You also have the CF SLX Disc 9.0 SL, which swaps out those Zipp hoops for Mavic’s Cosmic Pro Carbon Disc wheels for an £800 saving.
The women’s Canyon-SRAM team edition uses Reynolds Assault Le Disc Carbon wheels and SRAM Red eTap (£5,499). Next is the SLX Disc 9.0, with Dura-Ace R9120 mechanical shifting, complete with the full Dura-Ace disc brake package as well. There’s also an SLX Disc 8.0 Di2 with Ultegra Di2, RS805 braking system and DT Swiss PRC 1400 hoops for £4,399, and a mechanical twin costing £3,799 with Mavic Pro Carbon wheels.
The ‘entry-level’ offering is the Ultimate CF SLX Disc 8.0, at £3,499, with Mavic Cosmic Pro Carbon Disc hoops and mechanical Shimano Ultegra.
Canyon have also recently added three new women’s-specific versions of the SLX Disc 8.0 Di2 (£3,899), CF SLX Disc 8.0 (£2,999) and SLX Disc 8.0 Team (£2,649).
Canyon Ultimate CF SL
The SL is the entry-level Ultimate frame, but it still comes in at 940g for a medium – right on the money for a competitive all-rounder of a frame, though it lacks some of the aero-tweaking Canyon introduced with the SLX, and the Aerocockpit.
As a result, the SL cuts the cost considerably, with even the two most expensive models coming in at £3,249. Both are disc-equipped versions: the SL Disc 9.0 Di2 with Ultegra Di2 providing the drivetrain, and the SL Disc 9.0 Aero, which does away with the electronic shifting and DT Swiss Wheels, instead coming equipped with deeper Mavic Cosmic Pro Carbon rolling stock and mechanical Ultegra.
The SL Disc 9.0 comes in both standard and WMN versions, with mechanical Ultegra and RS685 disc brakes for £2,399 apiece. If a more affordable disc brake road bike is your thing, then the SL Disc 8.0 could be up your street, equipped with a Shimano 105 groupset, Mavic Aksium Disc wheels and Shimano ST-BR505 hydraulic disc brake brakes for £1,799.
Rim brake versions of the Ultimate CF SL are naturally also available, with a top level WMN-only SL 9.0 Di2 bike with Mavic Ksyrium Pro Exalith SL WTS wheels and Shimano Ultegra Di2 groupset for £2,599. There are six other versions of the SL rim brake bike, including another WMN machine in the mould of the SL 9.0 Team CSR, with SRAM Force groupset and Zipp 30 aluminium clinchers for £2,299.
The ‘Sport Pro’ frame geometry that’s seen in the Ultimate CF range of bikes is also available in aluminium form too. Canyon manufactures its aluminium frames out of lightweight 6000-series tubes, giving a frame that weighs only 1,170 grams in a medium size.
The frames include ‘all the latest refinements’, including internal cable routing and, thanks to the relatively inexpensive nature of building an aluminium frame, they cost significantly less than their carbon CF counterparts.
There are three bikes in the Ultimate AL range, and all are currently available in rim brake only, although with the shifts in the current road bike market towards discs, we might see a disc-brake aluminium Ultimate in the not too distant future.
The top of the range machine is a £3,099 SLX 9.0 LTD, and for your money you get the same carbon One One Four SLX forks and VCLS seatpost you see with all the Ultimate CF bikes, along with a SRAM Red mechanical groupset and Reynolds Assault Carbon SLG SE clincher wheels. The total bike weight comes in at an impressive 7kg.
The £2,399 model is badged as an SLX 9.0 Aero and fittingly comes with the same wind-cheating Reynolds wheels, but this time with mechanical Ultegra groupset bringing the bike weight up to 7.4kg. Last but not least is the SLX 9.0, which comes with the same frame, fork and groupset as the mid-range bike, but this time comes with a solid and dependable Mavic Ksyrium Elite WTS wheelset. It still weights 7.4kg, but costs significantly less at £1,699.
Canyon Ultimate AL range 2017 (in price order)
£2,799 – Canyon Ultimate AL SLX 9.0 LTD (SRAM Red 22) £2,129 – Canyon Ultimate AL SLX 9.0 Aero (Shimano Ultegra) £1,699 – Canyon Ultimate AL SLX 9.0 (Shimano Ultegra)
Canyon Endurace CF
Like the Ultimate CF, there are now a large number of options for the endurance riders out there among us too, with 18 models of the Endurace CF bike to choose from.
There are also three versions of the Endurace CF frame: the premium SLX, the mid-range SL, and finally a standard ‘CF’ version – the only version of the Endurace to come with rim brakes; testament to the pace at which the endurance bike market is moving over to discs.
Again, like the Ultimate CF, all the Endurace models come with a common frame geometry – this time, called ‘Sport’, which is tailored for the more upright and less aggressive positioning suited to long days in the saddle.
Canyon Endurace CF SLX
The SLX frameset, as of 2017, has gone disc-only. Perhaps slightly unsurprising considering that disc brakes have been most popular on endurance-style frames thus far, it signifies how much stall Canyon have set in the technology.
The SLX frame has been tidied up aerodynamically in a similar way to the Ultimate CF SLX frame, incorporating the Aerocockpit, and weighs in at a mere 820g for a medium. The top line bike of the range is the SLX Disc 9.0 LTD, featuring SRAM Red eTAP and DT Swiss ERC 1100 Dicut Disc hoops for £6,149.
There’s also the Endurace CF SLX Disc 9.0 SL for £5,499, which uses Reynolds Assault Le Disc Carbon wheels, whole thoseDT Swiss endurance-focused ERC 1100 Dicut wheels return for the Dura-Ace-equipped Endurace CF SLX Disc 9.0 for £5,199. If you want a Di2 Endurace SLX, the top bike on offer is the SLX Disc 8.0 Di2, featuring Shimano Ultegra Di2 and RS805 hydraulic brakes, and Reynolds Assault LE carbon clinchers.
There’s also a WMN version of the SLX Disc 8.0 Di2, while you can also opt for a mechanical Ultegra version – Canyon simply lop the Di2 portion of the name off and switch the groupsets over. All the Endurace SLX bikes come packaged with the distinctive comfort-boosting VCLS 2.0 seatpost and Fizik Aliante saddle.
Canyon Endurace SL
The SL frameset is the slightly beefier brother of the SLX, weighing in at 960g for a medium size. It too has been aerodynamically tweaked, and for the top two tiers at least still features the Aerocockpit.
The top SL bike is the Disc 9.0 Di2, and comes with Ultegra Di2 and RS805 brakes, as well as Zipp 30 Course wheels. It’s the only SL-spec bike with Di2, though, and costs £3,399. The next machine is the SL Disc 9.0 SL, at £2,649, and features mechanical Ultegra with lightweight (hence the extra ‘SL’ – for ‘superlight’ – in the name) DT Swiss PR 1400 DB Dicut hoops. Impressively, it weighs just 7.6kg.
Next up is the SL Disc 9.0, available in both standard and WMN frame profiles. Both are fitted with mechanical Ultegra and RS805 brakes, the VCLS 2.0 seatpost and DT Swiss R24 Spline wheels for £2,199. Finally, the SL range is tied off with a ‘budget’ model, the SL Disc 8.0, coming with Shimano 105 groupset, ST-BR505 rotors and Mavic Aksium Disc wheels for £1,799.
Canyon Endurace CF
The CF is the entry-level Endurace frame, and for that you get rim braking, asymmetric chainstays and internal cable routing. Despite not featuring disc brakes or the latest aero tweaking of its premium siblings, it still looks bang up to date, and weighs in at 1,040g for a medium frame.
The top model is the 9.0 Di2, naturally fitted with a full Ultegra Di2 groupset. There’s the standard Canyon V13 aluminium stem instead of the Aerocockpit, but you do get the VCLS 2.0 seatpost for great vertical compliance, and DT Swiss PR 1400 Dicut hoops. Total weight comes in at 7.2kg, and there’s a WMN version available too with a Selle Italia SLS Lady Flow perch too.
Next is the 9.0, which differs in that it has mechanical Ultegra and DT Swiss RR21 Dicut wheels instead. Again, Canyon have made it available in a WMN-specific spec too, and it weighs in at a practically featherweight 7.0kg for less than two grand at £1,949. Interestingly, the 7.0 SL is next in the price stakes, and doesn’t have the VCLS 2.0 seatpost. You do get Mavic Aksium wheels with mechanic Ultegra with this one, for £1,599.
There’s also a £1,499 8.0 model in both standard and WMN-spec, which comes with the heavier Shimano 105 groupset and DT Swiss R24 Spline hoops. Swap those DT Swiss wheels for Mavic Aksium hoops and he 7.o bikes (in men’s and women’s versions) costs £1,329.
The Endurace enjoys more aluminium options in its arsenal than the Ultimate, with nine in total. It’s also the only bike frame variation that Canyon make sure that is available in a complete build for less than £1,000 – with four offerings, two in standard and two in WMN-specific frames.
However, at the top end you’ll be parting with £1,499 for the new Disc frame, which like the CF frame features 12mm thru-axles and full internal cable routing. This AL Disc 7.0 bike is fitted with mechanical Ultegra and RS805 brakes along with DT Swiss R24 Spline wheels and a Fizik Ardea saddle. It weighs in at 8.5kg. The cheaper disc version is the £1,199 Disc 6.0, and instead features a 105 groupset at 8.8kg. Both of those also now come in women’s-specific versions.
At the same price you can have a rim brake version of the 7.0, back with mechanical Ultegra groupset and Mavic Aksium wheels. Below this is the £999 6.0 in standard and WMN-spec, with both fitted with a 105 groupset and the same Aksium hoops. If an entry-level bike is your focus, then the £799 standard and WMN 5.0 bikes could be up your street. You’ll find a Shimano Tiagra ten-speed groupset and Shimano RS010 wheels, and in a slight tweak to the rest of the bikes Canyon offer, Continental Grand Prix rubber.
Canyon Endurace AL range 2017 (in price order)
£1,499 – Canyon Endurace AL Disc 7.0 (Shimano Ultegra)
£1,499 – Canyon Endurace WMN AL Disc 7.0 (Shimano Ultegra)
£1,349 – Canyon Endurace WMN AL Disc 6.0 (Shimano 105)
£1,199 – Canyon Endurace AL Disc 6.0 (Shimano 105)
£1,199 – Canyon Endurace AL 7.0 (Shimano Ultegra)
£999 – Canyon Endurace AL 6.0 (Shimano 105)
£999 – Canyon Endurace WMN AL 6.0 (Shimano 105)
£799 – Canyon Endurace AL 5.0 (Shimano Tiagra)
£799 – Canyon Endurace WMN AL 5.0 (Shimano Tiagra)
Canyon Inflite AL
While technically not a dedicated road bike, the Inflite range of cyclo-cross bikes naturally have a lot of flexibility of use, for both road and off-road, and feature a specific ‘cross’ geometry. There are five models in the range, with two SLX Pro Race versions, perfect for racing on the muddy stuff when the road just won’t do.
The SLX 9.0 Pro Race features a full 1×11 SRAM Force groupset, hydraulic disc brakes and high-spec Reynolds Assault Disc carbon wheels teamed with Schwalbe’s X-One tyres and the CVLS 2.0 seatpost, all coming in at 8.3kg. Yours for £2,699. The smaller brother features SRAM Rival 1x and DT Swiss R23 Spline hoops instead, costing £1,699 and weighing in at 8.7kg.
The other Inflite bikes, aimed away from the CX race market, don’t feature 1x groupsets, but instead opt for a double chainset. You can have the 9.0 with mechanical Ultegra in 46-36t configuration, with DT Swiss R23 hoops and RS785 disc brakes, for £1799, or the 8.0 with the same 46-36t chainrings, based around a 105 groupset (minus the four-arm crankset) and DT Swiss R24 wheels for £1,299.
Finally, there’s a road-tweaked version for those looking for a sturdy winter bike: the 9.0 S ships with a semi-compact chainset, Shimano Ultegra groupset, Shimano RS785 rotors and the DT Swiss R24 wheels shod with 28mm Continental Grand Prix 4000II S tyres. This one will set you back £1,499.
Canyon Inflite AL range 2017 (in price order)
£2,519 – Canyon Inflite AL SLX 9.0 Pro Race (SRAM Force CX1)
£1,599 – Canyon Inflite AL 9.0 (Shimano Ultegra)
£1,599 – Canyon Inflite AL SLX 8.0 Pro Race (SRAM Rival 1)
£1,499 – Canyon Inflite AL 9.0 S (Shimano Ultegra)
£1,299 – Canyon Inflite AL 8.0 (Shimano 105)
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