WorldTour rider Annemiek van Vleuten's Canyon Aeroad CFR is a bike that has donned many colours over the years. The Dutch pro rider stands as one of the most successful cyclists globally, and this year marks her final season before retiring. Anticipation builds as we await the outcome next week, wondering if Van Vleuten will once again ride a yellow Canyon, a bike that holds significant meaning in her cycling career.
At 41 years old, Van Vleuten has been a part of the Movistar team since 2021, and we've grown accustomed to seeing her on the podium, often having won on the Canyon Aeroad CFR – the German brand's aero road bike.
One of the bike's most iconic moments was during last year's inaugural Tour de France Femmes, where Van Vleuten secured victory astride this very bike. Remarkably, she stuck with the Aeroad throughout all eight stages, even on the hillier days when many teammates switched to the lighter climbing bike, Canyon Ultimate.
This year, we witnessed Van Vleuten triumph once again, claiming victory at both La Vuelta Femenina and Giro d’Italia Donne, with the latter win securing Van Vleuten the pink jersey for the fourth time. That same victory also marked her career's 100th stage victory.
The bike Van Vleuten rides to defend her yellow jersey for the next week remains largely unchanged from last year. Why mess with a winning formula when it has clearly served her incredibly well?
The Aeroad doesn’t exactly look like anything out of the ordinary, but its design and performance are anything but. Developed in collaboration with aero specialist Swiss Side, it was first released in 2020, after it had undergone extensive testing, including computational fluid dynamics (CFD) optimisation to achieve maximum aerodynamic efficiency.
The design was then validated in Germany's GST wind tunnel, ensuring exceptional performance. Interestingly, an updated Aeroad has been ridden by Mathieu Van der Poel, but the difference is minor. Canyon has altered the position of the seatpost clamp bolt and slightly amended the frame shape in this area. Canyon says that this is a rolling change rather than an entirely new version of the Aeroad.
Annemiek van Vleuten’s Aeroad is size XS, which might seem small for someone who is 168cm tall, but it's popular among pro riders to size their bikes small.
The bike's performance goes beyond aerodynamics. Careful consideration was given to factors like weight, stiffness, ergonomics, handling, and comfort, resulting in a well-rounded package that has then been tailored to suit Van Vleuten's needs.
Van Vleuten's trusty Aeroad CFR is equipped with a SRAM Red AXS groupset, with a Quarq power meter chainset boasting 52/39-tooth chainrings. The Zipp 303 Firecrest wheels add to the bike's overall speed, while the Fizik Vento Argo 00 short-nosed saddle ensures a comfortable ride.
The handlebars are wrapped in Lizard Skins bar tape, and the team uses Garmin computers.
After the TdF Femmes, Van Vleuten only has one more race on her calendar: the World Championships in Scotland, where she will be competing in the time trial and road race.
Whether we’ll see yet another brightly painted Canyon Aeroad CFR ridden by Van Vleuten in the yellow jersey remains to be seen. But Van Vleuten's race wins and her yellow bike will forever be etched in the history of the cycling world, regardless of how her second – and last – Tour de France goes.
Let us know in the comments below what you think will happen at this year’s Tour de France Femmes! And make sure to check out the other cool bedtime bikes we’ve featured…
Suvi joined F-At in 2022, first writing for off-road.cc. She's since joined the tech hub, and contributes to all of the sites covering tech news, features, reviews and women's cycling content. Lover of long-distance cycling, Suvi is easily convinced to join any rides and events that cover over 100km, and ideally, plenty of cake and coffee stops.