Germany’s Canyon Bicycles has carved a sizeable chunk of the market for itself over the past few years partly – although certainly not exclusively – thanks to a direct-to-consumer sales model that allows it to offer excellent value for money.
The pricing is backed up by bikes that are the real deal. It does its own product development in-house in Koblenz and it is one of only two brands (Specialized being the other) to support two World Tour teams: Katusha-Alpecin and Movistar.
The Canyon road bike line-up is huge and could be difficult to navigate but there are essentially three different types of bike:
• Aeroad: aero road bike.
• Ultimate: lightweight road bike.
• Endurace: endurance road bike.
• Grail: adventure and gravel bike.
The Ultimate and Endurace are further sub-divided into different platforms. The Endurace, for example, comes in an AL version, a CF version, a CF SL version, and a CF SLX version (see Jargon Buster below).
Then, within each of those categories, there are models in various different builds, each given a different number, so you end up with a name like the Canyon Aeroad CF SLX 8.0. The higher the number, the higher the level of spec, 10.0 being the highest.
We've added the company's brand new Grail as well, although not specifically a road bike it's a gravel and adventure bike that can mix it up with road and off-road use.
Keeping up? Good. Here’s a quick jargon buster before we get cracking:
CF SL Carbon-fibre Super Light
CF SLX Carbon-fibre Super Light Extreme
Disc/Aero Denotes changes to componentry
Wmn Female frame/unisex frame with women’s components
Right, let’s get into some of the highlights.
As soon as SRAM took the covers off their latest wireless components, the Red eTap AXS groupset, Canyon's website was offering models with the new parts. There are three road bikes with Red eTap AXS, one each for the Aeroad, Ultimate and Endurace platforms. Unsurprisingly, they sit at or near the top of each range with prices approaching seven grand for the Aeroad version and six thousand quid for the Ultimate and Endurace. Far from cheap, but they look like bargains next to Trek's Madone SLR 9 Disc eTap at £11,549.
Canyon has added the suffix 'SL' to the new models, each of which is a variant of the top-of-the-line 9.0 version of the family, so the three bikes are Aeroad CF SLX Disc 9.0 SL, Ultimate CF SLX Disc 9.0 SL, and Endurace CF SLX Disc 9.0 SL.
As you can tell from the alphanumeric soup Canyon uses for model names, all three have disc brakes. SRAM lists rim-braked variants of Red eTap AXS, but they don't yet seem to be available. Every bike maker currently offering a Red eTap AXS bike has hung it with disc brakes. The top-of-the-range, rim-braked Ultimate CF Evo 10.0 LTD still has the previous Red eTap 11-speed.
Canyon has also adopted the cheaper Force eTap AXS groupset that SRAM launched in April. Force is a few hundred grams heavier than Red, but builds into bikes that are a bit cheaper and Canyon is using it on the Ultimate CF SLX Disc 8.0 SL, above.
The Aeroad is Canyon’s aero road bike – as you could probably work out from the name – so it’s up against the likes of the Giant Propel, Trek Madone and Scott Foil. It's available in both CF SLX and CF SL versions.
With its Trident 2.0 tube profiles (essentially a cut-off aerofoil, Kamm tail shape) and skinny head tube and fork blades, the Aeroad is a fast bike. Even without a wind tunnel at hand, it's clear out on the road that it's an aerodynamically efficient bike. The drag is further reduced by fully internal hose and wire routing, even including around the handlebar with Canyon's own one-piece setup providing a very clean and uncluttered front-end.
This is the most expensive version of the Aeroad using the best carbon to keep the weight low. It's available in builds costing from £2,839 rising to £6,799 for a race-ready bike complete with SRAM Red eTap AXS and DT Swiss deep section carbon wheels.
Buy if: You want a pro-level aero frameset with an impressive spec for the money.
The Aeroad CF SL shares the identical aero frame shapes and key details as the more expensive Aeroad CF SLX but a lower grade of carbon fibre allows Canyon to bring the price down by quite a bit. This range starts at just £2,449 and tops out at £4,249 with an Ultegra Di2 groupset.
Buy if: You want a pro-level aero frameset without the massive price tag.
The Ultimates are designed to be lightweight and stiff race bikes with some aero features. There are four different framesets, each available in several different builds.
The Evo is the super-high-end version of the Ultimate CF (below) – extremely light thanks to high-grade carbon fibre and a careful laying up process – and built up with boutique components.
Canyon boasts that the Ultimate CF Evo weighs just 935g. That’s not for the frame, it’s the frame and fork together! The frameset, which comes with Canyon’s own H36 aero handlebar and stem and S14 carbon-fibre seatpost, is priced £2,999.
There are only two complete Ultimate CF Evos available, the least expensive of which is the 10.0 SL (above) at a piffling £8,999. It comes fitted with SRAM’s top-level Red groupset, Lightweight’s Meilenstein Obermayer wheels, and brakes and cranks from THM. It weighs a claimed 5.1kg.
If that's not good enough for you, the Ultimate CF Evo 10.0 LTD costs a staggering £11,799 (making it Canyon's most expensive bike) and comes with SRAM Red eTap and THM-Carbones Clavicula M³ SRM Powermeter crank with Lightweight’s Meilenstein wheels, for a claimed 5.8kg weight.
The Ultimate CF Evo is available with rim brakes only; there’s no disc brake version.
Buy if: You want a super-light race bike with boutique parts... and you have a lot of cash to spend.
The Ultimate CF SLX is the company's all-round lightweight go-to race bike, ideal for slaying the mountains or your local sportive.
This is the fourth-generation Ultimate CF SLX and is lighter and more aero than the previous version. Canyon claims it is 10% more comfortable with 10% less drag. Frame weight remains the same (780g frame with a 295g fork) so it’s right up there with the lightest though it’s not by any stretch the lightest.
We've tested various iterations of this bike and always found it to be very impressive when it comes to performance. Stiffness through the wide press-fit bottom bracket is impressive so every pedal revolution transfers directly into speed
We were impressed by the bike’s comfort too. Canyon uses an integrated seatpost clamp with an adjustment bolt that sits between the seatstays as they merge into the seat tube. This leaves a lot of exposed seatpost that flexes under load. At times you can feel the seatpost flexing, which can be a little disconcerting, but it does mean you don’t feel battered by rough roads.
The Ultimate CF SLX is available with rim or disc brakes and costs from £4,899 up to £5,899 for the range-topping Ultimate CF SLX Disc 9.0 Di2.
Canyon offers both the disc brake and rim brake versions of the CF SLX in women’s models. It’s not just the components that are different – such as women’s-specific saddles – the frames are built to different geometries too. The most affordable women’s model is the £3,599 Ultimate Wmn CF SLX 8.0 Di2 (above), with Shimano Ultegra electronic shifting.
Buy if: You’re after a lightweight, stiff and responsive race bike that offers a high level of comfort too.
If the Ultimate CF SLX is a bit too pricey for you, the Ultimate CF SL is going to be right up your street. It’s essentially the same frame in terms of tube profiles and features like the internal seat clamp, but it’s made from a lower grade of carbon fibre. That brings the price down, the only real downside being a bit of increased weight.
There are rim and disc brake versions and women-specific bikes, and prices start at a very reasonable £1,799 and top out at £4,149. This range-topping Ultimate CF SL DISC 8.0 Di2 Aero looks really good with Shimano Ultegra Di2 and Mavic Cosmic Pro Carbon wheels, and comes in a women's version too.
At the other end of the range is the £1,799 Ultimate CF SL Disc 7.0, same carbon frame and fork but shod with Shimano 105 mechanical gears and hydraulic disc brakes.
Buy if: You’re looking for a lightweight race bike and don’t want to pay top-end pricing.
The Endurace bikes are designed for endurance riding – the clue’s in the name! – so they’re built to geometries that are more relaxed than those of the Aeroads or Ultimates meaning that you’ll sit more upright in the saddle.
The Endurace has all the features you want for conquering big rides. It's light and responsive, has bags of comfort and the handling is great. There's clearance for wider tyres but the only niggle is the lack of mudguard mounts for the British winter versatility.
The Endurace is available in three carbon levels and one aluminium range, with disc and rim brake versions and a women's option. The top CF SLX and CF SL ranges are only offered with disc brakes, if you want rim brakes you'll have to do to the CF range.
This is the top of the range version using the best carbon fibre for the lightest possible frame and equipped with the best components.
The Endurace CF SLX looks pretty sporty for an endurance bike. That’s partly because Canyon has added some of the front-end height through the fork rather than the head tube.
When we reviewed the Endurace CF SLX we concluded that it provided “a wonderfully smooth and comfortable ride yet with fast and engaging handling to indulge all those who like to ride quickly.”
The smoothness is helped by the two-part VCLS 2.0 seatpost provides a huge range of rearward deflection at the saddle – you can actually see the saddle moving underneath you when you look. The fact that Canyon sites the seat clamp inside the frame allows more of the seatpost to flex back and forth, ramping up the available deflection.
The H31 Ergocockpit integrated handlebar/stem is designed to reduce the bike’s frontal area and it has also been tuned to provide more compliance. Although the Endurace's geometry is more relaxed than the Ultimate's, it's more agile and nimble than many rival endurance bikes.
This range is priced from £5,289 up to £5,899.
Buy if: You want a wonderfully smooth and comfortable endurance disc road bike with plenty of pace on tap.
The Endurace CF SL is nearly identical but the frame is a little heavier, but the price is much more agreeable. The range starts at just £1,699 and tops out at £3,799 depending on what groupset and wheels you want on your new bike.
Buy if: You want plenty of comfort and the all-weather assurance of disc brakes
The Endurace CF is a rim brake frameset that has been in Canyon’s range for a few years now.
This is a bike that feels really settled at speed but sparkles when you turn up the power through the corners or up the climbs. It feels closer to a race bike than many of its peers, but it's definitely more comfortable and easier to manage on longer rides, especially towards the end when you're a bit tired and your reactions are a bit slower.
It's also only available with rim brakes but that does mean it's very affordable. The range is priced from £1,249 up to £2,349, this model getting a very nice Ultegra Di2 groupset.
Buy if: You want a carbon-fibre endurance bike and have decided on rim brakes
The aluminium Endurace AL incorporates many of the key features of the carbon Endurace and comes with a choice of rim or disc brakes, with clearance for wide tyres and fully internal cable routing.
Canyon has tried to maximise compliance by using specially shaped and very slender seatstays while there’s the now familiar Maximus seat tube to provide lateral frame stiffness. The seat tube accommodates a 27.2mm seatpost and Canyon specs a carbon fibre S23 VCLS seatpost with 25mm of setback.
This range of bikes kicks of at just £799 for the Endurace WMN AL 6.0 with a Shimano Tiagra groupset, and is available in men and women's versions. Move up to the Endurace AL DISC 8.0 for £1,649 and you get a Shimano Ultegra Di2 groupset.
Buy if: You’re after a road bike in an endurance geometry and don’t want to spend top-end prices
Canyon has launched its first dedicated gravel and adventure bike, taking lessons learnt from its Inflite cyclocross bike but tailoring it specifically towards the wide and varied demands of mixed terrain riding.
It takes wide tyres, has rack and mudguard mounts, disc brakes with thru-axles, and on the carbon models, a very unique handlebar intended to provide a smoother and more comfortable ride over the rough stuff.
This is the range-topping Grail using the most expensive carbon fibre and offered in just two builds priced £2,649 with SRAM Force and £4,099 with Shimano Ultegra Di2. 1x or 2x, you decide.
This range is bigger and consists of six models priced from £1,999 up to £2,999. You get basically the same frame and handlebar but there’s a slightly different carbon fibre underneath the paint resulting in a big price saving.
The aluminium version of the Grail gets you a bike costing from £1,099 in its cheapest incarnation, and topping out at £1,449.
The switch to aluminium obviously saves a lot of money but you still get wide tyre clearance and all the mounts for the versatility that many people are drawn to these bikes for. A big cost saving measure is the switch to a regular handlebar and stem too.
|Model||Bike type||Frame material||Price|
|Aeroad CF SLX 9.0 LTD||Aero||Carbon||£6,019.00|
|Aeroad CF SLX Disc 9.0 SL||Aero||Carbon||£6,799.00|
|Aeroad CF SLX 9.0 SL||Aero||Carbon||£6,349.00|
|Aeroad CF SLX Disc 9.0 Di2||Aero||Carbon||£5,799.00|
|Aeroad CF SLX Disc 9.0 Di2||Aero||Carbon||£5,259.00|
|Aeroad CF SLX 9.0 Di2||Aero||Carbon||£5,899.00|
|Aeroad CF SLX 9.0 Di2||Aero||Carbon||£4,709.00|
|Aeroad CF SL Disc 8.0 Di2||Aero||Carbon||£3,889.00|
|Aeroad WMN CF SL Disc 8.0 Di2||Aero||Carbon||£4,249.00|
|Aeroad WMN CF SLX 8.0 Di2||Aero||Carbon||£3,449.00|
|Aeroad CF SL 8.0 Di2||Aero||Carbon||£3,439.00|
|Aeroad CF SL Disc 8.0||Aero||Carbon||£3,349.00|
|Aeroad WMN CF SL 8.0||Aero||Carbon||£2,639.00|
|Aeroad CF SL 8.0||Aero||Carbon||£2,639.00|
|Aeroad CF SL Disc 7.0||Aero||Carbon||£2,539.00|
|Aeroad WMN CF SL 7.0||Aero||Carbon||£2,449.00|
|Aeroad CF SL 7.0||Aero||Carbon||£2,179.00|
|Ultimate CF Evo|
|Ultimate CF EVO 10.0 LTD||Race||Carbon||£11,799.00|
|Ultimate CF EVO 10.0 SL||Race||Carbon||£8,999.00|
|Ultimate CF SLX|
|Ultimate CF SLX Disc 9.0 Di2||Race||Carbon||£5,899.00|
|Ultimate CF SLX Disc 9.0 SL||Race||Carbon||£5,699.00|
|Ultimate CF SLX 9.0 Di2||Race||Carbon||£5,159.00|
|Ultimate CF SLX 9.0 Di2||Race||Carbon||£4,719.00|
|Ultimate CF SLX 9.0 SL||Race||Carbon||£4,849.00|
|Ultimate WMN CF SLX Disc 9.0 Team CSR||Race||Carbon||£5,449.00|
|Ultimate CF SLX 9.0 LTD||Race||Carbon||£4,379.00|
|Ultimate CF SLX Disc 9.0 SL||Race||Carbon||£4,129.00|
|Ultimate CF SLX Disc 8.0 SL||Race||Carbon||£4,349.00|
|Ultimate WMN CF SLX Disc 8.0 SL||Race||Carbon||£3,989.00|
|Ultimate CF SLX 9.0||Race||Carbon||£3,889.00|
|Ultimate CF SL Disc 8.0 Di2 Aero||Race||Carbon||£3,789.00|
|Ultimate CF SLX 8.0 Di2||Race||Carbon||£3,349.00|
|Ultimate WMN CF SLX Disc 8.0||Race||Carbon||£2,559.00|
|Ulimate CF SL|
|Ultimate WMN CF SL Disc 8.0 Di2 Aero||Race||Carbon||£3,789.00|
|Ultimate WMN CF SLX Disc 8.0 Di2||Race||Carbon||£3,179.00|
|Ultimate CF SL Disc 8.0 Aero||Race||Carbon||£3,249.00|
|Ultimate CF SL 9.0 ETAP||Race||Carbon||£2,879.00|
|Ultimate WMN CF SL Disc 8.0 Di2||Race||Carbon||£2,999.00|
|Ultimate CF SL Disc 8.0 Di2||Race||Carbon||£2,999.00|
|Ultimate CF SL 8.0 Aero||Race||Carbon||£2,539.00|
|Ultimate CF SL 8.0 Di2||Race||Carbon||£2,369.00|
|Ultimate CF SL 8.0 Di2||Race||Carbon||£2,379.00|
|Ultimate WMN CF SL Disc 8.0||Race||Carbon||£2,349.00|
|Ultimate CF SL Disc 8.0||Race||Carbon||£2,349.00|
|Ultimate CF SL 8.0||Race||Carbon||£1,999.00|
|Ultimate WMN CF SL Disc 7.0||Race||Carbon||£1,619.00|
|Ultimate CF SL Disc 7.0||Race||Carbon||£1,799.00|
|Ultimate CF SL 7.0||Race||Carbon||£1,449.00|
|Endurace CF SLX|
|Endurace CF SLX Disc 9.0 Di2||Endurance||Carbon||£5,899.00|
|Endurace CF SLX Disc 9.0 SL||Endurance||Carbon||£5,699.00|
|Endurace CF SL|
|Endurace WMN CF SL Disc 8.0 Aero Di2||Endurance||Carbon||£3,799.00|
|Endurace CF SL Disc 8.0 Aero Di2||Endurance||Carbon||£3,799.00|
|Endurace CF SL Disc 8.0 Aero||Endurance||Carbon||£3,099.00|
|Endurace WMN CF SL Disc 8.0 LTD Di2||Endurance||Carbon||£3,099.00|
|Endurace WMN CF SL Disc 8.0 Di2||Endurance||Carbon||£2,539.00|
|Endurace CF SL Disc 8.0 Di2||Endurance||Carbon||£2,899.00|
|Endurace WMN CF SL Disc 8.0 SL||Endurance||Carbon||£2,249.00|
|Endurace CF SL Disc 8.0 Pro||Endurance||Carbon||£2,449.00|
|Endurace CF 8.0 Di2||Endurance||Carbon||£2,349.00|
|Endurace WMN CF SL Disc 8.0||Endurance||Carbon||£1,979.00|
|Endurace CF SL Disc 8.0||Endurance||Carbon||£2,249.00|
|Endurace WMN CF SL Disc 7.0||Endurance||Carbon||£1,519.00|
|Endurace CF SL Disc 7.0||Endurance||Carbon||£1,699.00|
|Endurace CF 8.0||Endurance||Carbon||£1,699.00|
|Endurace CF 7.0||Endurance||Carbon||£1,249.00|
|Endurace AL Disc 8.0||Endurance||Aluminium||£1,469.00|
|Endurace WMN AL Disc 8.0||Endurance||Aluminium||£1,469.00|
|Endurace AL Disc 7.0||Endurance||Aluminium||£1,349.00|
|Endurace WMN AL Disc 7.0||Endurance||Aluminium||£1,209.00|
|Endurace AL 8.0||Endurance||Aluminium||£1,179.00|
|Endurace AL 7.0||Endurance||Aluminium||£999.00|
|Endurace WMN AL 7.0||Endurance||Aluminium||£999.00|
|Endurace AL 6.0||Endurance||Aluminium||£799.00|
|Endurace WMN AL 6.0||Endurance||Aluminium||£799.00|
|Grail CF SLX 8.0 Di2||Gravel||Carbon||£3,729.00|
|Grail CF SLX 8.0 SL||Gravel||Carbon||£3,279.00|
|Grail CF SL 8.0 Di2||Gravel||Carbon||£2,819.00|
|Grail CF SL 8.0 SL||Gravel||Carbon||£2,549.00|
|Grail WMN CF SL 8.0||Gravel||Carbon||£2,349.00|
|Grail CF SL 8.0||Gravel||Carbon||£2,349.00|
|Grail WMN CF SL 7.0||Gravel||Carbon||£1,999.00|
|Grail CF SL 7.0||Gravel||Carbon||£1,999.00|
|Grail AL 7.0 SL||Gravel||Aluminium||£1,449.00|
|Grail WMN AL 7.0||Gravel||Aluminium||£1,349.00|
|Grail AL 7.0||Gravel||Aluminium||£1,349.00|
|Grail AL 6.0||Gravel||Aluminium||£1,099.00|
|Grail WMN AL 6.0||Gravel||Aluminium||£1,099.00|
The aim of road.cc buyer's guides is to give you the most, authoritative, objective and up-to-date buying advice. We continuously update and republish our guides, checking prices, availability and looking for the best deals.
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David has worked on the road.cc tech team since July 2012. Previously he was editor of Bikemagic.com and before that staff writer at RCUK. He's a seasoned cyclist of all disciplines, from road to mountain biking, touring to cyclo-cross, he only wishes he had time to ride them all. He's mildly competitive, though he'll never admit it, and is a frequent road racer but is too lazy to do really well. He currently resides in the Cotswolds.