With the cyclocross season getting underway next month, Canyon has just unveiled its 2017 range of Inflite cyclocross bikes. And it’s aiming to get noticed on the cyclocross circuit with the boldest paint jobs we’ve ever seen come out of a Canyon bike box. These bikes should also be available for the start of the cyclocross season as well.
The Inflite was introduced in 2013 and combines an aluminium frame and carbon fork with disc brakes and space for cyclocross knobbly tyres. It adds a dose of versatility with concealed mudguard mounts, making it a good option for a do-everything winter bike. You can read my review in the link above.
There are no significant changes to the frame technology for this 2017 range, but it has introduced new paint jobs which in some cases are really quite bold, answering some critics of the brand that the paint jobs are subdued and boring.
Prices have increased a bit, too. Last year the range-topping, race-ready Inflite AL SLX 9.0 Pro Race cost £2,399, it’s now £2,699. You get a broadly similar spec, though, centering around a SRAM Force CX1 groupset with the brand new Quarq Prime Carbon chainset, a power-ready product that is compatible with the upcoming Quarq DZero Power Meter spider making it easy to upgrade to power at a later stage. More on that soon.
Disc brakes are hydraulic and wheels are the snazzy Reynolds Assault Carbon SLG SE carbon clinchers with Schwalbe X-One tyres fitted. Canyon uses it’s own aluminium stem and handlebar and its vibration absorbing VCLS 2.0 carbon fibre seatpost.
As any serious cyclocross racer will no doubt tell you, you need two bikes for high-level racing, for when the conditions are so bad that frequent bike changes throughout the race are required. So it’s interesting that Canyon has recognised this and is offering a ‘sponsorship deal’ where you can order two identical AL SLX 8.0 Pro Race or 9.0 Pro Race bikes and save £400 and £600 respectively.
Next up in the range is the Inflite AL 9.0 (£1,799) which uses the same frame finished with the most daring paint job we’ve ever seen come out of the Canyon factory. There’s a more subdued paint job if you’re not digging the boldness of the pictured bike. This bike gets a Shimano Ultegra groupset with RS685 hydraulic disc brakes and a 46/36 chainset, along with DT Swiss R23 Spline DB wheels and Schwalbe X-One tyres.
Sharing the same paint job, the Inflite AL SLX 8.0 Pro Race (£1,699) switches to a single ring drivetrain with a SRAM Rival 1 groupset and hydraulic disc brakes. You get a 42t chainring paired with a 10-42t cassette, which should provide all the gear ratios you need for a typical cyclocross race or event. Rolling stock is the same DT Swiss R23 and Schwalbe X-One combination.
The Inflite AL 9.0 S (£1,599) switches to a more road-friendly specification with the knobbly tyres swapped for Continental Grand Prix 4000S II’s and a higher ratio 52/36 chainset will cater for the higher speeds of pure road riding.
Propping up the range is the Inflite AL 8.0, which is up £300 compared to last year’s model, and now costs £1,399. This bike gets a Shimano 105 11-speed groupset with RS785 hydraulic disc brakes and DT Swiss R24 Spline DB wheels shod with Schwalbe X-one tyres.
Check out the full range at www.canyon.com/en-gb/road/inflite/
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.