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The new Canyon Endurace CFR is described by the company as 'arguably the fastest endurance road bike ever made' and thanks to the weight of this Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 build, and the inclusion of many aero components, I won't disagree that it can get a shift on. It's comfortable, too, which helps from an efficiency point of view. The tall riding position does take away some of those aerodynamic benefits, though, and I wish the ride feel wasn't quite so 'clinical'.
Generally, I like the new Endurace. Canyon has created a bike that is comfortable to ride, has lots of neat finishing touches and, thanks to the low weight, is pretty nimble and fast for a non-racer. It's still a road bike, though, so it needs to have that confidence-inspiring ride feel at typical road speeds, something I feel it just lacks a touch, and I've struggled to pinpoint exactly what the reason is.
Initially I thought it might be the geometry. This new Endurace is taller in stack and slightly shorter in reach than the previous model, a bike that I enjoyed riding when I tested the CF SLX Disc 8.0 back in 2020. A medium in that version had stack and reach figures of 578mm and 382mm respectively, whereas a medium in this new model is 590mm and 378mm. Basically, it's not as racy.
The large that we have here has a wheelbase of 1,006mm, which is race bike sort of area, and with its relatively steep seat angle of 73.5 degrees and head angle of 73 degrees it's a bike with quick handling. It has a responsive nature as a whole, which suits a forward-focused riding position, allowing you to get a low centre of gravity and get the power down.
In contrast to that, though, it has a 186mm head tube, and a stack measurement of 611mm, which is on the tall side. This puts you in a more upright position, so you kind of have a bike that wants to be ridden fast on the flat and in the bends, with the rear end pushing you forward, while the front is pushing you up, and therefore back. I never quite felt like I was in the right position. I never quite felt 'at one' with the Endurace when descending or taking fast bends and roundabouts quickly.
The numbers are similar to Merida's Scultura Endurance 4000, which I was testing alongside the Canyon, but its slightly longer wheelbase just seems to settle it down a touch, giving a more composed ride feel. And even though the head tube is 11mm longer on the Merida, the Canyon's stack height is 8mm taller.
The seat and head angles of both bikes are identical, and the reach measurement is very similar too, although the top tube of the Canyon is 8mm longer.
I really liked the Scultura Endurance and got on with it very well, so I think it's a combination of the very small differences in size and the actual layup of the Canyon frame.
The Canyon doesn't have the same levels of feedback as the Merida, or quite the same pleasing ride feel; it feels like a very efficient object for propelling you forward, but a bit lacking in character compared with the Merida and many other bikes I've ridden.
It rides well, though. The upright position does increase comfort for your lower back and neck, and it is generally a very enjoyable place to be. For flat cornering or taking less challenging bends, everything feels easy to live with, and the ride quality is still decent considering the firm and stiff frameset.
It's definitely helped by the VCLS seatpost's leaf spring style design, which does have feedback levels that are involving enough to let you know exactly what the rear tyre is up to.
On rides of over three hours the Endurace's upright front end comes into its own in terms of comfort, which really helps fatigue, and going even longer I could feel that my upper body felt quite fresh compared with riding more aggressively styled endurance bikes.
This build tipped our scales at 7.56kg, which considering the deep-section wheels and electronic groupset (plus a few extra accessories included) is pretty decent, and noticeable on the climbs and when accelerating. The CFR is a good climber, and this is one place where the riding position really works. The forward seat angle allows you to open your legs and hips up to get the power down, while the upright front end reduces pressure on your lower back.
Stiffness through the lower half of the frame is very impressive, so when you get out of the saddle to climb or sprint you are rewarded with no flex at all, and it's the same with the fork, which copes well with hard efforts when either going quickly or coming to a stop.
The option to run 35mm tyres does open up the possibility of riding away from the road on various hardpacked surfaces, but the handling is very much road focused – it copes with short sections of bridleway or canal path, so you can take the odd shortcut or explore that track you've never travelled before, but I'd say stick to short distances.
Overall, it's a good bike to ride – it's comfortable and has a sporty nature courtesy of its lack of weight. You'll definitely be able to cover a lot of miles efficiently on it, but for me personally, it just lacks the fun and connection I'd hope for in a bike; it feels a little too clinical. It delivers everything I expected, but not everything I hoped it would.
Canyon has released the new Endurace in both the range-topping CFR builds and cheaper CF SLX options.
The company has never gone into much detail about the grades of carbon fibre used, but as you'd expect, the CFR models get a higher grade to balance stiffness, compliance and weight. Side by side, the CF SLX models are around 100g heavier for the frame and fork.
One of the biggest changes for the Endurace is the 35mm maximum tyre clearance which, to be honest, was gravel bike territory six or seven years ago. I rode the Dirty Reiver in 2017 on a GT Grade which came with lightly treaded 32mm tyres!
There are a lot of performance-orientated road and semi-gravel tyres in 32mm and 35mm on the market, so that does give you plenty of options in terms of where you are going to ride. Others, like the Cannondale Synapse or the aforementioned Scultura Endurance, can also run 35mm tyres, although they also offer the ability to fit full mudguards of some kind or another.
The Canyon doesn't give you that choice. For me, it's not a dealbreaker, but it might be for you. Canyon is far from the only brand that doesn't offer mudguard mounting on its endurance bikes, though.
Also, there is some internal frame storage, with access via a cover on the top tube. It uses a couple of location tabs on the rear with a clip on the top end to hold it in place, a bit like those you find on your TV remote battery cover. I would prefer it attached to the frame in some way because, while it does stick to the Velcro tab of the tool 'sleeve', if you drop it in the dark or it comes undone on rough terrain you are going to be left with a big hole in your top tube.
On the whole, though, I do like the idea. I'm not really a fan of carrying things in my jersey pockets so being able to store them within the bike is a neat solution. In the neoprene sleeve – which looks like a string of sausages – you get a Canyon 3-in-1 Minitool, CO2 cartridge and tyre levers. Well, I say you get, but it doesn't come with the bike, so you have to pay extra for it, or you are just left with a top tube void.
Other than that, it is exactly what you'd expect from an endurance road bike, accessory-wise. There are twin bottle cage mounting positions and that's your lot.
Like many other current bikes, the Endurace does have a very clean look, with all wires, cables and hoses being run completely internally from the levers back to the components.
If you are going to use any kind of frame bag or bar bag there is nothing to get in your way when mounting them, and you don't have to worry about cable rub on your paintwork – although the matt paint used here is very durable anyway.
Keeping with the clean theme, aside from the smooth junctions found throughout the frame, the seatpost clamping design is also completely internal. The bolt used to tighten or loosen the wedge that holds the seatpost in position can be found sitting in the seatstay junction underneath a little rubber cover. Don't lose the cover, though, as it is directly in line with road spray.
For the bottom bracket Canyon has gone down the press-fit route, which can have a bit of a stigma about it. Some press-fit setups creaked like mad after a few wet rides because of the tolerances between the frame and the bearing cups not matching, allowing for water and grit ingress. Thankfully, that is rare these days, and I've ridden in some pretty poor conditions over the last month with no issues.
The benefits are that the bottom bracket shell can be wider as the bearings are inside the frame rather than sitting outboard; this allows for a larger junction where the seat tube, chainstays and down tube meet, for increased overall stiffness.
I've touched on the geometry above, but I'll go into a little more detail here.
Eight sizes are available in total, ranging from 3XS to 2XL, with top tube lengths going from 509mm up to 617mm. A larger spread than most brands offer.
The top tube length of our large test bike is 576mm, mated to a seat tube length of 552mm and that 186mm head tube.
The wheelbase is, as I said, 1,006mm, with a chainstay length of 415mm. The stack and reach figures are 611mm and 387mm respectively.
You'll find a full geometry chart on Canyon's website.
There are three models in the Endurace CFR range, with the Campagnolo Super Record wireless model topping the line-up at £9,499. This Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 model is priced at £8,999, as is the SRAM Red eTap AXS model.
The CF SLX models have the same geometry but a slightly heavier frame and fork. The range starts at a much more affordable £3,499 for the CF SLX 7, which comes with Shimano 105 Di2 and alloy DT Swiss wheels, and tops out with the CF SLX 8 AXS, with SRAM Force eTap AXS and DT Swiss ERC 1400 Dicut wheelset for £5,249.
For the money, this CFR model is a well-specced bike. First of all, you are getting one of the best groupsets on the market with absolutely sublime shifting regardless of whether it's under load or not, and which is slightly faster and lighter than Ultegra Di2 – not that you'd notice unless you were riding them side by side.
My only criticism is that I find Dura-Ace almost too light and smooth for my personal preference. I like the mechanical feel of the chain dropping or climbing across the cassette, or swapping between chainrings, something that Ultegra Di2 and 105 Di2 still have but has been engineered out of Dura-Ace. This is very much a first world problem, mind, and there'll be many of you out there thinking what the hell is he whinging about.
We all have our own little preferences, though. To make your own mind up, you can read our full review.
Anyway, the shifting performance is brilliant, and the powerful brakes are top notch too, with twin piston callipers and 160mm rotors front and rear.
Ratio-wise, Canyon has specced an 11-34 12-speed cassette with a 52/36-tooth chainset rather than a compact 50/34T chainset, which gives a nod to its performance intentions.
You also get a power meter included, which is dual sided to give true output data for both of your legs.
Moving on to the cockpit, you'll find that Canyon does things a little differently to most by making the handlebar width adjustable to three different sizes by sliding the outer sections of the bar inwards or outwards. It's known as the CP0018 Aerocockpit, which has been 'borrowed' from its Aeroad range.
There are various width and stem length options, although you are assigned a specific size with the bike, with no option to change that before ordering. The sizes are pretty much in line with other manufacturers' offerings, though.
The narrowest the bar here can go to is 410mm, which I found slim enough for an aero, racy position. You get a total of 40mm of width adjustment, and 15mm of height adjustment (in 5mm increments) thanks to the selection of different spacers provided with the bike.
Smaller bikes start with a 390mm bar width and a 70mm stem length. This large gets a 110mm stem.
Even though it's made from multiple sections there is no noticeable flex from the handlebar, which was my initial concern. I like the overall shape too, plus there are eyelets underneath for a 3D printed computer mount from Canyon.
Another Canyon component I've already mentioned is the S15 VCLS 2.0 CF seatpost, which Jez reviewed back in 2020. It uses a leaf spring design to bring vertical compliance and it works very well indeed. I have used these seatposts on many Canyons and it does add a degree of comfort to the ride without making the rear end feel soft.
Sitting atop the seatpost is a Fizik Aliante saddle. It's a shape that I like, and this R1 model has a carbon fibre shell and rails.
The wheels are from DT Swiss, ERC 1100 Dicuts, which have 45mm-deep carbon fibre rims. They are lovely wheels that feel fast when rolling and are light enough to not hamper acceleration or climbing.
I have no reason to doubt their reliability, as they took general abuse from poor road surfaces in their stride. Pick-up from the freehub is instant, and if you like a 'buzzy' bit of feedback when you stop pedalling, you'll be a fan of this hub setup.
Canyon has specced Schwalbe's Pro One tyres on the Endurace and that's an excellent choice. These are some of my favourite tyres, balancing speed, performance, grip and suppleness. They'll be expensive to replace when they wear out, but worth it.
The CFR Di2 is the same price as Cannondale's endurance-based Synapse Carbon 1 RLE, which also comes with Dura-Ace Di2 and deep-section carbon wheels. It also has a load of SmartSense tech like 'intellegent' lights, so is arguably better value than the Canyon.
I rode the cheaper 2RL back in 2022, and while I thought it was a great bike to ride, I'm not convinced they need all the extra tech and gizmos. They also add weight, which could be why the 1 RLE is a kilo heavier than the Canyon.
Giant has just released its brand new Defy, its take on an endurance bike. We have the Advanced SL 0 in for review currently, and with Cadex 36 Disc carbon wheels, a SRAM Red eTap AXS groupset and power meter, costs £11,499. As I said earlier, the Endurace CFR with that build is £8,999.
Specialized has also just released the Roubaix SL8 endurance bike range, with the top non-S-Works model Pro costing £8,000 with a SRAM Force eTap AXS groupset and carbon Roval wheels.
The S-Works model, which comes with a higher grade, lighter frame and SRAM Red eTap AXS groupset, costs £12,000.
Taking all of this into consideration, I'd say the Endurace offers decent value for money against the opposition.
So, as a package, compared with those new bikes, the Endurace CFR is well priced for the build, and if – unlike me – you are not too bothered about involvement and feedback, you just want to cover miles and miles in speed and comfort, then the Endurace is a good choice.
If you want to feel more of a connection with the bike you are riding, though, then I think the Canyon will leave you feeling a little underwhelmed. For me it just doesn't have the fun factor of some bikes I've ridden.
Impressive comfort, weight and performance to a degree, but a clinical feel to the ride reduces the fun factor
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Canyon Endurace CFR Di2
Size tested: L, 55cm
About the bike
List the components used to build up the bike.
Rear Derailleur: Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 R9250, 12-speed
Front Derailleur: Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 R9250
Cassette: Shimano Dura-Ace R9200, 12-speed, 11-34
Crank: Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 R9200 Powermeter, 52/36T
Bottom bracket: Shimano Pressfit BB92, PF 86.5
Chain: Shimano CN-M9100 12s
Shift-/ Brake Lever
Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 R9270, 12-speed
Number of pistons: 2
Shift/Brake Lever: Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 R9270, 12-speed
Calipers: Dura Ace Hydraulic, 2-piston
Brake Rotor: Shimano XTR RT-MT900, 160 mm
Wheelset: DT Swiss ERC 1100 Dicut
Tyres: Schwalbe Pro One TLE, 30mm (F)/32mm (R)
Cockpit: Canyon CP0018 Aerocockpit
Saddle: Saddle Fizik Aliante R1 145
Seatpost: Canyon S15 VCLS 2.0 CF
Tell us what the bike is for and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about the bike?
Canyon says, "World-class stiffness-to-weight, incredible ride quality. The Endurace is comfortable enough for a gran fondo and fast enough to win races. Welcome to the Next Level of endurance riding."
In this build it's a light bike and comfortable too for prolonged periods in the saddle.
Where does this model sit in the range? Tell us briefly about the cheaper options and the more expensive options
There are three Endurace CFRs in the range – this is the same price as the SRAM Red eTap build, while a Campagnolo Record Wireless version tops the line-up at £9,499.
Frame and fork
Tell us about the build quality and finish of the frame and fork?
A well-built frame and fork, and the paint job is flawless.
Tell us about the materials used in the frame and fork?
Both the frame and fork are manufactured from carbon fibre of various grades.
Tell us about the geometry of the frame and fork?
The geometry is biased towards comfort, most notably by the height of the head tube, so it has quite a tall riding position.
How was the bike in terms of height and reach? How did it compare to other bikes of the same stated size?
The reach is slightly short for this size of bike, but the stack is high because of the tall head tube.
Riding the bike
Was the bike comfortable to ride? Tell us how you felt about the ride quality.
Yes, the Canyon was comfortable to ride, but I'd say that is more down to the VCLS seatpost rather than the frameset itself.
Did the bike feel stiff in the right places? Did any part of the bike feel too stiff or too flexible?
Stiffness is very impressive throughout, with no noticeable flex through the bottom bracket area or lower half of the frame.
How did the bike transfer power? Did it feel efficient?
This is a pretty light bike which helps its efficiency overall; it feels responsive and it's a good climber. The tall front means you can't get into that aero a position, though, so you do lose some efficiency at speed.
Was there any toe-clip overlap with the front wheel? If so was it a problem?
How would you describe the steering? Was it lively neutral or unresponsive? Slightly quicker than neutral.
Tell us some more about the handling. How did the bike feel overall? Did it do particular things well or badly?
The handling is quicker than many endurance bikes, which gives it a bit of a racy feel to it. The head angle is quite steep, which keeps things direct, and it changes direction well without feeling twitchy.
Which components had the most effect (good or bad) on the bike's comfort? would you recommend any changes?
The VCLS seatpost brings plenty of comfort to the rear end, and Canyon hasn't scrimped on the bar tape, which feels plush and comfortable.
Which components had the most effect (good or bad) on the bike's stiffness? would you recommend any changes?
Any component with adjustability can often bring flex, but the handlebar/stem setup here feels very stiff and the wheels give a tight feel to the ride too.
Which components had the most effect (good or bad) on the bike's efficiency? would you recommend any changes?
Schwalbe's Pro One tyres are fast rolling and grippy, which helps efficiency as you can carry plenty of speed through the bends, plus the deep-section wheels give an aerodynamic boost.
Tell us some more about the drivetrain. Anything you particularly did or didn't like? Any components which didn't work well together?
You'd expect excellent performance from Shimano's top-end groupset, and this is exactly what you get from Dura-Ace. The shifting is top notch, as is the braking in terms of power and control.
Wheels and tyres
Tell us some more about the wheels.Did they work well in the conditions you encountered? Would you change the wheels? If so what for?
The ride benefits from their aerodynamics, and the fact that they aren't that heavy means they help acceleration and climbing.
Tell us some more about the tyres. Did they work well in the conditions you encountered? Would you change the tyres? If so what for?
The Schwalbe Pro One tyres have a supple feel to them and a soft, grippy compound which makes them feel fast, and they give you confidence in the bends. They aren't the most durable, though, and they'll not be cheap to replace once they wear out.
Tell us some more about the controls. Any particularly good or bad components? How would the controls work for larger or smaller riders?
The finishing kit is very good on the Canyon. The adjustable handlebar gives you plenty of position options, and the seatpost brings a lot of comfort, as does the shape of the Fizik saddle. I wouldn't want or need to adjust any of the components offered as standard.
Did you enjoy riding the bike? Yes
Would you consider buying the bike? Yes
Would you recommend the bike to a friend? Yes
How does the price compare to that of similar bikes in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
This Canyon is basically the same price as a top-end Cannondale Synapse, although that does come with SmartSense tech which adds to the overall weight, making it about a kilo heavier. Both Giant's new Defy and the Roubaix SL8 from Specialized are much more expensive in similar builds to the Endurace, so on the whole the Canyon does look to be pretty good value overall.
Use this box to explain your overall score
In this build the Endurace CFR feels light and quick; it's comfortable, too, and pretty good value against rivals. The geometry does give a very high riding position at the front, though, which hampers aerodynamics and can affect the handling at speed.
About the tester
I usually ride: This month's test bike My best bike is: B'Twin Ultra CF draped in the latest bling test components
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: time trialling, commuting, club rides, sportives, fixed/singlespeed,
As part of the Tech Hub here at F-At Digital, our senior product reviewer Stu uses the knowledge gained from putting well over a 1,000 products through their paces (including hundreds of bikes) to write in-depth reviews of a huge range of kit. After first throwing his leg over a race bike back in 2000, Stu's ridden more than 160,000 miles on road, time-trial, track, and gravel bikes, and while he's put his racing days behind him he still likes to smash the pedals rather than take things easy. Although, as he spends a fair bit of his time reviewing ebikes these days he's becoming an expert in letting the motor take the strain. He's also waiting for 23mm race tyres to make a comeback!