Canyon launched the 2016 Ultimate CF SLX ahead of the Tour de France, where Movistar’s Nairo Quintana rode it to second place, and now the German firm is working on a disc version of the super-light frame.
The Koblenz-based company used this year’s Eurobike trade show to showcase a prototype Ultimate CF SLX Disc. It’s no surprise, given the UCI has given professional cycling teams the opportunity to test disc brakes at two races of their choice through August and September (Team Sky used a Pinarello Dogma F8 Disc at the Eneco Tour), ahead of a full trial in 2016. Given that Canyon don’t currently offer a race-worthy disc model, the emergence of this updated Ultimate CF SLX is an obvious step.
Canyon say the frame combines the latest industry standards with their own innovative features. ‘Standards’ should be used with a little caution as far as disc brakes are concerned, as it’s still an emerging technology on the road, but Canyon have plumped for 12mm thru-axles at the front and rear (most disc bikes we’ve seen have used 15 at the front and 12mm at the rear until now), with Shimano flat-mount disc brakes (with 160mm rotors).
Other features include a reinforced rear derailleur hanger and Canyon’s proprietary RWS quick releases. The thinking behind thru-axles is they offer a little more stiffness and wheel security (i.e. the force of the disc brake can’t pull the wheel out, particularly at the front) but one of the drawbacks is the extra time it takes to do a wheel change – something particularly of concern to pro riders, who are used to receiving a spare wheel from a team mechanic in a flash in the event of a puncture. However, Canyon have developed a proprietary ‘RWS’ thru-axle quick release system which looks to do away with those concerns.
The reworked frame has clearance for up to 30mm tyres. You can squeeze 28mm rubber into the non-disc Ultimate CF SLX frame (read our first ride review on that here) but that extra 2mm ensures the disc frame offers a little extra versatility for riders who want to use plusher tyres.
Weight is at the heart of the Ultimate CF SLX and remains so here. Canyon claim a frameset (that’s the frame and fork) of less than 1,200g, which isn’t a great deal more than the regular Ultimate CF SLX at a claimed 1,075g (frame 780g, fork 295g).
Don’t expect to be able to get your hands on one any time soon though. This prototype is for the pro peloton only, though, given UCI regulations insist any product raced must be made commercially available to the public, we’d hazard a guess that the Ultimate CF SLX will be on the market at the back-end of next year.