Mathieu van der Poel became UCI Cyclo-cross World Champion for the fifth time at the weekend and this is the Canyon Inflite CF SLX that he rode to victory, one of the best cyclocross bikes out there.
All pic © SWpix.com (t-a Photography Hub Ltd)
The Dutch rider outsprinted Wout van Aert (Jumbo-Visma) at the end of an exciting head-to-head in Hoogerheide in the Netherlands. He was riding the Canyon Inflite CF SLX cyclocross bike that he’s been riding throughout the season.
According to Canyon, Van der Poel’s Inflite CF SLX frame comes in at just 940g, which is certainly impressive for a disc-brake cyclocross frame, and one of the most eye-catching features is the top tube design. The top tube runs horizontally for most of its length before kicking down to join the seat tube.
The idea is to maintain space within the frame for easier shouldering while also allowing more seatpost to be exposed for extra compliance at the rear end. Van der Poel certainly did his fair share of carrying the bike up the Hoogerheide steps.
The cross-specific geometry is intended to offer a blend of stability and agility, and you get clearance for tyres up to 38mm wide.
At the front of the bike, Van der Poel opts for Canyon’s CP10 carbon aero cockpit, designed to be stiff enough to hold firm during maximal cyclocross efforts.
Van der Poel is sponsored by Shimano so it’s a full Dura-Ace Di2 Disc groupset, including C50 deep-section wheels – “the perfect blend of low weight and aerodynamic performance”, according to Shimano – and hydraulic disc brakes. Van der Poel was an early adopter of discs, 140mm rotors providing sufficient power.
The pedals are also from Shimano, this time in the form of its XTR mountain bike options. The last time we saw any of Van der Poel’s pedals close up, the central part of the pedal body was milled down slightly for extra mud clearance.
For those unfamiliar with the demands of cyclocross, the amount of running and dismounting of the bike means that riders will use mountain bike pedals with matching shoes. Van der Poel uses Shimano XC902 shoes with a claimed weight of 590g (size 42). White might not be the most practical choice for cyclocross but it gets you style points. If someone else is doing the cleaning, why not?
They feature Shimano’s Ultread XC rubber outsole with widely spaced rubber knobs that are designed to dig into mud and provide plenty of grip.
Although it has ‘Canyon’ daubed in big letters across the side, Van der Poel’s bike helmet is an Abus Gamechanger, designed to be aerodynamically efficient while providing plenty of ventilation.
We were super impressed when we reviewed this model, calling it "Cool, stylish and comfortable".