Canyon used Eurobike to introduce three new frames to their model year 2014 road range – the Ultimate CF SL, the Ultimate AL SLX and the Inflite AL.
The Ultimate CF SL is a more affordable version of the Ultimate CF SLX recently reviewed on RoadCyclingUK, while the Ultimate AL SLX is a super-light upgrade of Canyon’s existing Ultimate AL frame. The Inflite AL, meanwhile, is Canyon’s first cyclo-cross bike.
Inflite AL specced for cyclo-cross and winter training
The disc-equipped Inflite AL is also the German firm’s first frame to have mudguard eyelets, marking it out at a versatile ‘cross bike/winter trainer/all-weather commuter.
It’s based around an aluminium frame which shares many of the features of the Ultimate AL, including similar tube profiles, a tapered steerer, PressFit bottom bracket and Canyon’s Maximus Seattube, which is designed to boost stiffness by providing a wide junction with the BB shell while also maintaining comfort.
Other frame details include internal cable routing for the front and rear mech, while the rear brake cable runs along the top of the toptube, to keep it out of the way when shouldering the bike in the ‘cross race. Speaking of which, the toptube is flattened on its underside where it meets the seattube, again to make it more comfortable to carry. The fork, meanwhile, is a full carbon affair with a 1-1/2″-1-1/4″ inch tapered steerer.
Canyon are offering the Inflite AL in three builds, two for cyclo-cross (Inflite AL 9.0 and Inflite AL 8.0) and one for winter road riding (Inflite AL 8.0 S), emphasising their belief that this is a frame which is at home both on the road and in the dirt.
The Inflite AL 9.0 and 8.0 are specced with cyclo-cross in mind and are both equipped with ‘cross-specific wheels wrapped in knobbly Schwalbe Racing Ralph Evolution Line tyres, while Canyon’s VCLS Post 2.0 split seatpost, which is said to offer 20mm of travel, comes as standard to try and take the sting out of bumpy trails.
The Inflite AL 9.0 is based around a Shimano Ultegra groupset, while the Inflite AL 8.0 comes with drivetrain components from the Japanese firm’s 105 setup, which sits on the next rung down on the groupset ladder. Both have ‘cross-specific gearing, pairing 46-36t chainrings with an 11-32t cassette.
The Inflite AL 8.0 S, meanwhile, looks setup to tackle the worst of the British winter, with full mudguards and 28mm Continental Grand Prix 4-Season tyres fitted as standard. Groupset components are Shimano 105, while Mavic provide the Crossone 29 wheels.
All three machines use Shimano’s BR-CX77 mechanical disc brakes. Canyon were hoping to have the Inflite AL ready to ship from their factory in time for the start of the ‘cross season but a voluntary recall by Shimano on those brakes means they’re unlikely to be available until October. UK prices are to be confirmed.
Ultimate AL sheds 60g
Moving on and the Canyon’s aluminium road frame has gone on a diet for model year 2014. The Ultimate AL, which will remain in the range, has shed 60g from its claimed frame weight and becomes the Ultimate AL SLX in its lighter guise.
That drop in weight has come as a result of using a more sophisticated aluminium, dubbed EN AW-6066 T66, which has allowed Canyon to reduce the thickness of the tube walls.
We’ve been championing high-end aluminium as an alternative to entry-level carbon fibre for some time and the Ultimate AL SLX should provide the basis for a lightweight but affordable machine for the privateer racer. We’ve put our name down for a test bike and are looking forward to finding out how it rides.
In terms of spec, the Ultimate AL SLX will be offered in two builds. The 9.0 Di2 is equipped with a Shimano Ultegra Di2 groupset and Mavic Ksyrium Elite S wheels, while the 9.0 SL model comes with SRAM Force 22 – a popular choice for racers who want a lightweight groupset – and keeps the same wheels. All models in the Ultimate AL range now use the same One One Four SLX fork as the Ultimate CF SLX. UK prices are to be follow.
Ultimate CF SL added to carbon fibre range
Meanwhile, the Ultimate CF SL is a more affordable version of Canyon’s lightweight, flagship Ultimate CF SLX, which impressed us so much when reviewed last month.
It comes out of the same mould as the Ultimate CF SLX so shares the same well-balanced Sport Pro geometry (which is also used on the Ultimate AL) and the same tube profiles. What differs is the carbon layup, which increases the frame weight from a claimed 790g to 980g.
That’s still under the sub-kilo mark, though, and has allowed Canyon to offer the frame in five builds from £1,379 with Shimano 105 and Mavic Aksium wheels to £2,419 with Shimano Ultegra Mavic Cosmic Carbone SLE hoops.
Otherwise, the Ultimate CF SLX frame remains unchanged for model year 2014, though
there will be spec changes across the range, including a Campagnolo Super Record EPS build which uses the Italian gruppo manufacturer’s new internal battery.