Gear News

Canyon 2016 road bikes – first look: Ultimate, Aeroad, Endurace, Inflite

Every bike in Canyon's 2016 road and cyclo-cross range

Canyon is a brand which has really come to the fore over the past few years, combining an aggressive price-driven direct sales model with WorldTour-proven bikes ridden by Movistar and Katusha – and it’s a formula which has been incredibly successful for the German firm.

For 2016, Canyon’s road range is split into four distinct categories: the Ultimate series focuses primarily on low weight; the Aeroad is Canyon’s aerodynamic road machine; the Endurace plugs the sportive gap; and the Inflite completes the collection as a winter-cum-cross bike.

Within that there are no less than 49 bikes, so there’s no shortage of options if you’re in the market for a new machine. With that in mind, here’s what’s in store across the entire Canyon road range for 2016.

Nairo Quintana rode the new Canyon Ultimate CF SLX to second overall at the Tour de France (Pic: Sirotti)

Canyon Ultimate CF SLX

The Ultimate series is made up of three frames: the top-of-the-range Ultimate CF SLX, the mid-level Ultimate CF SL and the Ultimate AL SLX,  Canyon’s super-light alloy platform.

Whether you opt for aluminium or carbon fibre, the Ultimate is based around Canyon’s Sport Pro geometry, which sits in between the more aggressive Pro geometry used by the Aeroad and the more relaxed geometry found on the Endurace – both of which we’ll come on to.

Canyon debuted the latest version of the Ultimate CF SLX ahead of the Tour de France and Movistar’s Nairo Quintana duly rode it to second overall behind Chris Froome.

The Ultimate CF SLX seeks to combine low weight, aerodynamics and comfort

The Ultimate CF SLX has long been Canyon’s super-light chassis but this 2016 overhaul seeks to combine that low weight with improved comfort and aerodynamics, without negatively impacting on the stiffness-to-weight ratio which runs through the frame’s DNA.

In fact, frame weight has dropped to 780g, with the fork a claimed 295g, while Canyon has incorporated a series of subtle aerodynamic tube profiles. It’s not aero in the mould of the Aeroad – that would add too much weight – but the D-shaped profile of the downtube, seattube, seatstays and fork is designed to smooth airflow and contribute to a claimed eight per cent reduction in drag, and a number of bikes in the range come with Canyon’s one-piece Aerocockpit integrated handlebar and stem.

In terms of comfort, Canyon say the new Ultimate CF SLX is 15 per cent more comfortable than the previous version of the frame, and that’s largely thanks to the clever seatpost clamp. Canyon have moved the clamp down from the seattube/toptube junction to the seattube/seatstays junction, which allows more of the seatpost to deflect when vibrations are kicked up from rough roads.

Those are the key tech details – you can read more in our report from the Ultimate CF SLX launch, or find out what we made of it in our first ride report – so let’s get on to the bikes available to buy. All in all there are 11 bikes in the 2016 Ultimate CF SLX range, all based around the same frame, and starting at £2,699 before topping out at £5,399. We won’t run through every bike – you can find them on the Canyon website – but here are some of the highlights.

Related reading: Canyon launch more comfortable and more aero Ultimate CF SLX

That £2,699 bike, the Ultimate CF SLX 8.0, comes with a full Shimano Ultegra groupset (that’s a theme which runs across the entire Canyon collection, there are no corners cut) and Mavic Ksyrium Pro Exalith SL wheels, for an all-up claimed weight of 6.7kg. We won’t harp on about the perceived value of Canyon bikes, but a sub-UCI weight limit , Shimano Ultegra-equipped machine based around the latest frame technology for less than £3k is going to turn heads.

The Ultimate CF SLX 9.0 Ltd is the top-of-the-range bike with Campagnolo Super Record and Bora One 35 wheels

The £3,599 Ultimate CF SLX 9.0 is the first bike to come with a Shimano Dura-Ace and it’s paired with Mavic Ksyrium Pro Exalith SL wheels. If you want Campagnolo then the Ultimate CF SLX 9.0 Pro comes with Campag Record and the Italian firm’s Shamal Mille wheels for £3,899, or if you’re a SRAM fan then the £3,799 Ultimate CF SLX 9.0 SL comes with SRAM Red 22 and Mavic R-Sys SLR Exalith 2 wheels, and it’s the lightest bike in the range at a claimed 6.2kg. The Ultimate CF SLX 9.0 Ltd is the top-of-the-range model at £4,899 and is dressed in top Italian finery, coming with a Campagnolo Super Record groupset and Campagnolo Bora One 35 carbon clinchers.

Related reading: Canyon Ultimate CF SLX 2016 – first ride review

Canyon are also, for the first time, offering women’s-specific bikes, though in reality that means the colours and finishing kit have been tweaked. There are two women’s bikes in the Ultimate CF SLX ranging, costing £3,199 with Shimano Ultegra or £4,699 with Shimano Dura-Ace.

Canyon Ultimate CF SL

Canyon launched the Ultimate CF SL ahead of the 2014 season as a more affordable version of the previous Ultimate CF SLX frame and it remains unchanged for 2016, bar updated colours and specs. The Ultimate CF SL concedes a little in the weight department compared to the SLX, coming in at 940g, but it’s still a light frame in its own right, and one which comes in eight builds.

The Campagnolo Chorus-equipped Canyon Ultimate CF SL 9.0 Team comes in Movistar colours

The most expensive model is the women’s-specific Ultimate CF SL 9.0 Di2 WMN, which comes dressed in a Shimano Ultegra Di2 groupset and Mavic Ksyrium Pro Exalith SL wheels for £2,599. Take a small step down and there’s the Ultimate CF SL 9.0 Team, which comes in Movistar team colours if you want that pro look. Movistar are sponsored by Campagnolo so it’s only fitting this bike gets a Campag Chorus groupset and Campag Eurus wheels for £2,449.

Related reading: Canyon Ultimate CF SL 9.0 SL – review

Otherwise, there are four bikes with Shimano Ultegra, and one with Ultegra Di2, while at the entry-level there’s the £1,349 Ultimate CF SL 7.0, which comes with Shimano 105 and Mavic Aksium wheels. Claimed weight is still impressively low at 7.6kg.

Canyon Ultimate AL SLX

The Ultimate series isn’t contained only to carbon fibre, but aluminium too, and the Ultimate AL SLX is Canyon’s super-light alloy frame. Aluminium remains a popular option for riders in the market for a light, stiff frame which won’t break the bank, particularly if you’re racing, and it’s why the Ultimate AL SLX frame formed the basis of our summer race bike build.

The frame may be aluminium, but the Canyon Ultimate AL SLX 9.0 SL still weighs 7.0kg – and we’re big fans of the paintjob

The frame is made from 6000-series aluminium and comes to the party with a claimed weight of 1.2kg. It’s paired with a carbon fibre fork.

Related reading: RCUK alloy race bike build – the frameset

It may be an alloy frame but Canyon haven’t skimped on the build kit, with three bikes available, coming with Shimano Ultegra Di2 and Reynolds Strike carbon clincher wheels for £2,299, SRAM Force 22 and Mavic Ksyrium Pro Exalith SL wheels for £1,849, and Shimano Ultegra with Mavic Ksyrium Elite hoops for £1,399.

Canyon Aeroad CF SLX

The Aeroad is, along with the Ultimate CF SLX, Canyon’s other flagship machine and a second option available to Movistar and Katusha. Where the Ultimate CF SLX focuses on low weight, with a minor concession to aerodynamics, the Aeroad flips the script and aerodynamics rule the roost.

The Aeroad starts at £2,699 and rises to £6,699 – this bike with Shimano Ultegra Di2 and Reynolds Strike wheels costs £3,499

The frame centres around Canyon’s Trident 2.0 tube profiles. The truncated airfoil shapes are based on those used on the Canyon Speedmax CF time trial bike, but Canyon have made the profile wider at the rear and bit shorter to improve aerodynamic performance at the lower speeds at which road bikes are typically ridden, as well as improving handling in crosswinds.

It’s a bike which has achieved plenty of success since its launch ahead of the 2014 Tour de France. In that race Katusha’s Alexander Kristoff won two stages and the Norwegian achieved success across the board at the start of 2015, including victory at the Tour of Flanders, while the Aeroad CF SLX is also the bike of choice for Movistar’s Alejandro Valverde, who has topped the UCI’s WorldTour rider rankings for the second year running.

Pro bike: Joaquim Rodriguez’s custom-painted Canyon Aeroad CF SLX

Valverde may be a climber but the Spaniard clearly appreciates the aerodynamic advantage offered up by the Aeroad – but it’s no heavyweight, either, with the 960g frame weight meaning you can build one of these up close to the UCI’s 6.8kg weight limit without getting too exotic with components. Katusha’s Joaquim Rodriguez, a stage winner and second overall at the Vuelta a Espana, is another climber who rides the Aeroad, a bike which is also said to be 11 per cent stiffer than its predecessor.

Canyon will offer the Aeroad in seven builds for 2016, starting at £2,699 and rising to £6,699, and all based around the same frame. The Aeroad CF SLX 6.0 is the opening model and comes with Shimano Ultegra and Mavic Cosmic Pro Carbon Exalith wheels (all Aeroad bikes come with deep-section wheels), while the top-of-the-range Aeroad CF SLX 9.0 Ltd is dressed in a Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 groupset and Zipp 404 wheels. In between you’ll also find bikes with mechanical Dura-Ace and electronic Ultegra Di2.

Canyon Endurace CF SLX

Like the Aeroad, the Endurace was another new launch from Canyon in 2014. However, while the Aeroad was an update on a previous model (albeit a radical one), the Endurace arrived as a completely new bike. Before the launch of the Endurace, Canyon’s carbon fibre road range focussed on race-ready bikes, with geometry to match, but the Endurace places more of an emphasis on comfort. ‘More comfort for more performance,’ is Canyon’s philosophy as far as the Endurace is concerned.

The £1,149 Canyon Endurace CF 7.0 is the cheapest bike in the range

Comfort comes from both the frame and the geometry. The frame adopts Canyon’s VCLS (Vertical Comfort, Lateral Stiffness) technology, whereby Canyon say they’ve laid-up the carbon fibre to help soak up road vibration while also offering plenty of stiffness. The clue is in the bike’s name – Endurace – with this pitched as a machine which bridges the gap between an endurance bike and a race bike.

The Sport geometry is also more relaxed than the Sport Pro geometry used by the Ultimate series bikes and the aggressive Pro geometry that features on the Aeroad. Like most manufacturer’s, Canyon’s sportive/endurance bike has a shorter toptube and taller headtube to put the rider in a more upright position, though the Endurace certainly isn’t as tall as some brand’s comfort bikes.

Related reading: Canyon launch Endurace ‘comfort’ bike – first ride

There are two frames in the Endurace series, with the 1,040g Endurace CF frame made from carbon fibre, and the Endurance AL made from 6000-series aluminium.

All in all, there are ten bikes in the Endurace CF range, including four women’s models. The Endurace CF 7.0 opens the range at £1,149 and comes with Shimano 105 and Mavic Aksium. Move up the range and there are three more bikes with 105, before you get to three bikes with Shimano Ultegra, starting from £1,399.

Meanwhile, the £2,149 Endurace CF 9.0 Di2 comes with Shimano Ultegra Di2 and DT Swiss RR21 Dicut wheels, and there’s a women’s equivalent with narrower bars, shorter stems and a change of saddle. Heading to the top of the range, the £2,349 Endurace CF 9.0 SL wears a Shimano Dura-Ace groupset and the same DT Swiss, and comes with a claimed weight of 6.7kg – proof that just because this is a comfort bike, you don’t have to give up much in the performance stakes.

Canyon Endurace AL

As we’ve already mentioned, the Endurace AL is an aluminium version of the frame, sharing the same relaxed geometry as the Endurace CF. The switch from carbon fibre to aluminium means the price drops, with the cheapest of the five bikes (including two women’s-specific models) costing £699 and the most expensive coming in at £1,049.

The Endurace AL range includes two women’s-specific bikes

The Endurace AL 5.0 and Endurance AL 5.0 WMN (both £699) come with the latest version of Shimano’s Tiagra groupset, complete with the new four-arm chainset design, and Shimano WH-RS010 wheels, while the Endurace AL 6.0 and Endurace 6.0 WMN (both £799) are dressed in Shimano 105 and Mavic Aksium hoops.

The Endurace AL 7.0 (£1,049) sits at the top of the aluminium tree and for your money you get a Shimano Ultegra groupset and Mavic Aksium wheels. All Endurance CF and AL bikes come with fast, grippy 25mm Continental Grand Prix 4000S II tyres, and the frame has room for 28mm rubber if you want to go wider.

Canyon Inflite AL SLX

The aluminium Inflite is Canyon’s part-cross-part-winter bike, in that it’s designed as a ruff ‘n’ tuff machine capable of being raced round a field or through the woods for an hour with knobblies, or donning skinnier tyres and mudguards and being called into winter training duty.

The Inflite AL SLX 9.0 is Canyon’s new thoroughbred cyclo-cross race bike

That said, the Inflite AL SLX is, in fact, a new frame for this year, and one which leans more towards cyclo-cross, being pitched as a lightweight ‘cross race bike. The frame has no front mech mount for starters and is optimised for use with a single-chainring setup.

As a result, the Canyon Inflite AL SLX 9.0 comes with a SRAM Force 1 groupset and hydraulic disc brakes, and Reynolds Assault Disc carbon tubular wheels in what is a thoroughly race-ready set-up at £2,399.

Canyon Inflite AL

It’s in the regular Canyon Inflite AL range that the lines blur a little between cyclo-cross and winter riding (or commuting for that matter, if you’re after a tough, versatile machine for the ride to work).

The versatile Inflite AL comes in cyclo-cross and road builds

All four bikes in the range come with disc brakes and the frame has mounts for mudguards and a rear rack. However, two of the bikes  are specced for cyclo-cross and two are dressed for winter riding/commuting.

The Inflite AL 9.0 and Inflite AL 9.0 S both cost £1,399 and come with Shimano Ultegra and hydraulic disc brakes, for the former has Schwalbe Rocket Ron Evolution Line knobbly tyres and the latter has 28mm Continental Grand Prix 4000S II tyres. The 9.0 also has a 46-36t cyclo-cross chainset, whereas the 9.0 S gets a 52-36t semi-compact.

Related reading: Canyon Inflite AL 8.0 S – review

Continuing the theme, the Inflite AL 9.0 has knobblies and the Inflite AL 8.0 S has slicks. Both get Shimano 105 components and Shimano BR-CX77 mechanical disc brakes, and cost £1,099.

The final thing to point out is that both road machines, the Inflite AL 9.0 S and 8.0 S, come with a velvet-green paintjob with clever reflective details. A small but smart touch for a bike which is likely to be ridden a fair bit when it’s dark or in low light.

And that’s that for Canyon’s 2016 range. Flick through the photo galleries at the end of each range to see every bike, or visit the Canyon website for complete specs.


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