Everyone act surprised, Canyon has released the 'new' Ultimate! The new bike might just be the worst-kept secret in cycling having been raced by the pros for the majority of the 2022 season. Today's release, however, does give us some nitty-gritty tech details including a claimed 15% increase in head tube stiffness and a 10 watt saving at 45kph, with the weight starting from 6.3kg for a full bike.
> Read our review of the new Canyon Ultimate
The latest Ultimate is definitely an evolution rather than a revolutionary step forwards, and as suspected the biggest difference is the integration of the brake and gear hoses.
Canyon says that the new bike "[builds] on the design principles and innovations of the previous four generations. All distilled into a pure form that reflects the continuous development of a bike with an illustrious legacy. In short: this is the natural next step in the evolution of a truly iconic design."
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Critics may argue that the latest Ultimate is a little late to the party when it comes to integrating cables, but Canyon says it represents the "bleeding edge" of road bike performance by "perfectly balancing the five performance factors that define a world-class road race bike".
What are those I hear you ask? Well, Matthias Eurich, Canyon's Road Product manager, says the new bike balances aerodynamics, stiffness, weight and comfort (that's four ticked off at least) and Canyon adds that in collaboration with pro riders, 'toughness' has also been considered.
To hit the optimal balance of lightness and durability, Canyon says the new Ultimate frames are reinforced in high-stress areas with an extra 30g of carbon fibre, namely in the seat tube junctions and bottom bracket area. This extra material is said to "significantly improve the lifespan of the frame, making the new Ultimate not only more durable but a significantly more sustainable product too."
- Increased tyre clearance: now space for up to 32mm tyres
- Improved aerodynamics: 10 watts more efficient at 45kph when used with the same wheels and components
- Integration: hidden cables and lines
- Better fit: new cockpit (CP0018 as seen on the Aeroad) has height and width adjustment with no steerer tube cutting required
- Lower weight: a size Medium Ultimate CFR Di2 has a claimed weight of 6.3kg
- Stiffness: 15% increase in head tube stiffness compared to the previous generation
- New 3XS size
- Scaling chainstay lengths for a better fit for more riders
Who is it for?
We've already mentioned that we've seen the new Ultimate being used by pro road racers, and this has been on both mountainous and flat stages. Canyon says that it "does the Ultimate an injustice to pigeonhole it ‘just’ as a climber’s bike or say it’s only for pros looking to shave every possible gram".
Instead, it says the bike is made for "a range of riders, from casual club riders through to committed performance junkies and pros. And everyone in between."
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We've seen many brands head towards a one-bike approach for their performance needs. The Specialized Tarmac SL7, for example, killed off Specialized's aero road platform, the Venge.
This launch indicates that Canyon appears to have no intention of following suit with the Aeroad, which is designed for pure speed on the flats, and the Ultimate is for everything else; although you only need to look at the variation in choices of the pro peloton to realise that these lines are pretty blurred!
The new Ultimate is also designed to be user-friendly despite the increased integration. Originally developed for the Aeroad, the CP0018 Aerocockpit features complete cable and line integration and will come standard on all Ultimate CFR and CF SLX, plus on selected CF SL bikes.
For travel the 'wings' of the bars unscrew, and this also gives 40mm of width adjustment for day-to-day use. It's also possible to switch between two stem heights with no need to take a hacksaw to the steerer tube.
The Ultimate now also shares identical fit and handling with the Aeroad: ..."combining incredible stability and agility and creating consistent riding dynamics across the complete Canyon road racing line."
> Video first ride review: Canyon Aeroad CFR Di2
Two seatposts are available: a 20mm setback option (110g) will come as standard on the SL and SLX bikes and a 0mm setback (70g) on the CFR bikes for a more aggressive riding position.
Frames and builds
The Ultimate will be available in three platforms: the SL, SLX and CFR, with the main difference being the carbon layups. Each of the frames will be available in multiple build options (a total of 11) to suit a range of budgets.
The frames are available in sizes 3XS up to 2XL, eight sizes in total, and this is the first ever Canyon bike with scaling chainstay lengths. This means that on sizes L, XL and 2XL, they are longer proportionally than on smaller frames.
The SL frames in sizes 3XS and 2XS will have 650B wheels. SLX frames have 650B in size 3XS and 700c only on CFR frames to "guarantee easy serviceability for team mechanics".
The Ultimate CF SL range includes bikes both with external and internal cable routing. With the exception of the Ultimate CF SL 7, all Ultimate CF SL models are equipped with integrated power meters and except for the Ultimate CF SL 8, all CF SL models have electronic shifting.
The Ultimate CF SLX and Ultimate CFR platforms come with full system integration, with exclusively electronic shifting.
CFR models are equipped with pro-level groupsets and wheels for maximum performance.
Unfortunately the UK does see a slight premium when compared to the euro pricing, but the new Ultimate is still a fair bit cheaper than many of its competitors. The cheapest build comes in at £2,699 and the most expensive at £10,899.
We've already been lucky enough to get out for some rides on the new bike. You can read our full review here.
What do you make of the new Ultimate? Does it have all the refinements you were hoping for or were you looking for some more radical changes? Let us know in the comments section below...
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