The Canyon Endurace CF SLX Disc 8.0 eTap is the ideal bike for riding fast and long. It's quick, offers plenty of stiffness, and comes fitted with the highly efficient gear ratios of the 12-speed SRAM Force eTap groupset. It's a match made in heaven.
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The Endurace is Canyon's take on the endurance bike – a road bike that sacrifices a little bit of performance for a gain in comfort. Although, this CF SLX Disc 8.0 model doesn't really sacrifice that much.
With hydraulic disc brakes and wireless mechs, this medium sized eTap model weighs in at a pretty light 7.77kg (17.1lb), which transfers to the ride. It's very responsive under acceleration and pretty good on the climbs too.
Stiffness levels are high, which means you can attack the hills either seated or smashing it out of the saddle, and when I only had time for a quick blast of an hour or so I enjoyed riding the Canyon hard. It definitely has a get up and go attitude.
It's on longer trips where the Endurace really shows its hand, though, mostly because of how comfortable it is.
The first thing you'll notice is the bump-taming properties of the leaf-spring S15 VCLS 2.0 CF seatpost. It allows a small amount of movement which takes the edge off rough road surfaces and just smooths the ride – great when you are out for four or five hours as you'll return home noticeably less beaten up around the chamois area.
What I like the most about it, though, is that there is no 'bounce' like you get with a suspension seatpost. If you are riding at a decent lick it doesn't feel like any of your effort is being wasted through the post; the Canyon feels taut and you're getting back everything that you are putting in.
The Endurace also has impressive tyre clearance, coming as standard with 30mm tyres and with room to go up to at least 32mm. The Reynolds wheels are tubeless ready as well, so you can drop the pressures if you like. I didn't. I like the feel and feedback of a pumped-up tyre and even when swapping out the S15 post for a standard rigid carbon one, the CF SLX frame shows its quality ride.
The carbon lay-up seems to have been done well, and while you are getting all of that stiffness, that doesn't cause harshness.
Geometry-wise, the Endurace sits somewhere between a race bike and many endurance bikes. It's a well-behaved machine that's easy to live with, but let it off the leash and you can have some fun.
The steering is quick, but surefooted. At speed on technical descents, the Endurace feels planted, and I was really comfortable just staying off the brakes and letting the bike get on with it.
This size Endurace has a top tube 7mm shorter than the equivalent Aeroad (Canyon's race model) and an extra 12mm of height at the head tube for a more relaxed position, but that didn't stop me being able to get relatively stretched out. Whether pushing along on the flat or tackling a downhill, I could get my bodyweight well distributed over the bike, either for aerodynamics or for balance through the tight bends.
Frame and fork
Unlike many brands Canyon doesn't give too many details away about what materials are used in the construction of its frames and forks, but when I visited the factory a few years ago an employee told me that they use a range of grades of carbon fibre in the frames.
Whatever the specifics, Canyon gives a claimed weight of just 820g for the CF SLX frame.
Overall, the quality looks to be very good, and I especially like the Red Tinted finish which looks to be a red lacquer sprayed over the top of the natural carbon finish. It catches the sun well!
With SRAM eTap being completely wireless, the only thing you have entering the frame is the rear brake hose, but should you go for a Shimano Di2 or mechanical groupset everything will be run internally anyway, which gives a clean look overall.
The seat tube clamp is also integrated into the frame.
In fact, even though the Endurace isn't designed to be an out and out race bike, it does have quite an aero and sleek look to it.
The Endurace does have a slightly taller head tube than the Aeroad, but Canyon has increased the front end height through the fork length, so it still retains the smooth transition between the head and top tube.
Also, the seat tube, top tube and seatstays are all moulded into one.
For increased stiffness, Canyon has gone for a press-fit bottom bracket. Pressing the bearing cups into the frame rather than screwing a set of outboard bearings onto it means you can achieve a wider BB shell, and therefore wider down tube, seat tube and chainstays without affecting the distance between the pedals, known as the Q-factor.
This design can creak if the tolerances aren't spot on between the mating faces, but in what has been a real mixture of very wet and very dry rides over the last few months, there have been no issues on that front.
Other details are pretty much standard: 12mm thru-axles front and rear, and flat mounts for the brake callipers.
The Endurace is available in seven sizes from 2XS to 2XL, which isn't bad for a carbon frame – moulds are expensive to create, after all. You get a stack range of 510mm to 644mm, and reach options of 360mm through to 417mm.
The F38 CF Disc fork has quite slender legs for a performance bike, but they do help to tame the road buzz while retaining enough stiffness to cancel out any understeer when you corner hard. There is no 'dive' when you brake hard, either.
As you can probably guess from the name, this model comes with SRAM's electronic groupset, eTap.
Canyon has gone for the Force level components and they really are very good. It's also really changed my opinion on gear ratios.
The majority of the bikes we get sent in for testing are specced with a Shimano groupset, most with a compact 50/34-tooth chainset, mated to an 11-28T 11-speed cassette, but SRAM has gone 12 speed; the sprockets on the Canyon range from 10T to 33T, which gives you extra ratios at either end of the range.
It doesn't feel as though it has any large gaps between the gears either. Well, except the five-tooth jump from the second biggest sprocket to the biggest. That's a bit of a step, but to be fair, if you need the 33T it's as a bailout gear.
The use of a small 10T sprocket means SRAM has been able to drop the large chainring to 48T while still giving you a top-end gear inch measurement of 127 compared to 120.4. On the Vitus Vitesse Evo Team I reviewed, which had the same setup, I managed to achieve 57mph while still having a gear to push against.
At the other end, the 35T small chainring and 33T sprocket relates to a 28in gear as opposed to the higher 32in of 34x28.
Having this large spread of gears, I found the Canyon to be very efficient and, to be honest, unless you are sprinting you never need to stand up – which means you need a very good saddle.
Canyon has gone for a Fizik Aliante R3, and it has a shape I really get on with.
As I mentioned earlier, the eTap system is completely wireless. The shifters use a coin-style battery which should last around a year depending on how much you change gears, and both the mechs come with their own rechargeable offerings.
I've set the system up from scratch when I fitted the Canyon with the Wide version of the Force groupset, and it is really easy to do, so any fettling will be a breeze for even the biggest technophobe.
Shifting is very good right across the cassette and chainrings, and it is an intuitive groupset to use. You have just one paddle button on each shifter. The right hand one moves the chain down the cassette, the left one up it. If you want to switch chainrings then you press both together – simples.
As an added bonus, the chainset comes fitted with a Quark DZero power meter as standard.
When it comes to braking, the Endurace uses 160mm rotors front and rear.
I find SRAM's hydraulic braking systems a little more on/off than Shimano's, requiring a little more control to avoid locking up, but I can't fault the overall power, and modulation is still very decent.
With the gearing being electronic and not requiring the mechanical workings, the hoods are reduced in size over other SRAM shifters; they still aren't quite as svelte as the Di2 equivalents, but they are comfortable.
I've touched on the fact that Canyon supplies the seatpost and it also provides the handlebar. Well, handlebar/stem combo... it's an all-in-one job. The H31 Ergocockpit is designed to reduce the bike's frontal area and it's a comfortable bar, with just enough flex to take the edge off, but not so much that it feels soft in your hands when sprinting. The flat top sections give a comfortable hand position too.
Different size frames get different combinations of stem length and bar width, but that isn't going to suit everybody. This medium comes with the equivalent of a 100mm stem and 420mm wide bar. I normally go for a bit more length in the stem, but it didn't affect me too much.
If you have wide shoulders or a long torso and want to increase the sizes, it does make things a bit of a faff; you also can't adjust the angle of the bar.
To be honest, I've ridden loads of integrated systems without issue, but if you have a very specific bike fit you might struggle.
Wheels and tyres
As you'd expect on a bike costing north of five grand, the usual suspects that are scrimped on, aren't.
This Endurace comes with a lovely set of Reynolds AR41 carbon wheels which, when we reviewed them back in 2019, delivered a solid all-round performance.
They are 41mm deep, so offer a small aerodynamic advantage on the flat, but also work well in the hills thanks to their 1,630g weight.
With a 21mm internal width and 30mm external, they work very well with wider tyres, hence why Canyon has gone for 30mm Schwalbe Pro One Evos. Very nice tyres indeed, offering loads of grip and a very supple ride.
With its direct-to-consumer model, Canyon often scores well on value for money. Here, though, it faces some stiff competition.
The Vitus I mentioned earlier has a slightly more aggressive position thanks to a stack height some 30mm lower, but other than that things are very similar. With the same groupset, carbon Prime wheels and a traditional bar/stem combo it costs just £3,699.99 which makes it a very competitive option if you aren't that bothered about having the power meter. It's only 300g heavier too.
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Rose is currently offering the X-Lite Six Disc in a Force eTap build for £4,264.67 (down from £4,699) and it has a claimed weight of a mere 6.9kg. (We tested the Shimano Ultegra Di2 model in 2018.) Again, it doesn't come with the power meter of the Canyon, which helps explain the lower price as the Quarq DZero has an rrp of around £860.
Even if you add this into the equation, though, both the Vitus and Rose look good value.
With the Endurace you are also getting a very good set of wheels in the package, and that carbon cockpit, so I wouldn't say it's overpriced. And it's all backed up by a very good frameset.
Overall, the CF SLX Disc 8.0 offers a great ride with loads of comfort and impressive stiffness for when you need it. If you like to ride fast and far then it should definitely be on your short list, especially if you want all of the added data from the included power meter.
All the comfort of an endurance bike while delivering the pace of a race bike
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Make and model: Canyon Endurace CF SLX Disc 8.0 eTap
List the components used to build up the bike.
Battery: SRAM eTap Powerpack 2BY
Rear Derailleur: SRAM Force eTap AXS
Front Derailleur: SRAM Force eTap AXS
Cassette: SRAM Force XG-1270 10-33 12s
Crank: SRAM Force D1
Bottom bracket: SRAM Pressfit RED DUB
Shift-/ Brake Lever: SRAM Force eTap AXS HRD 2spd
Shift-/ Brake Lever: SRAM Force eTap AXS HRD 12spd
Brake Rotor: SRAM Centerline X
Disc Mount: Centerlock
Wheels: Reynolds AR41 DB XD-R
Tyres: Schwalbe Pro One Evo 30mm
Cockpit: Canyon H31 Ergocockpit CF
Reach: 70 mm
Drop: 128 mm
Handlebar Tape: Canyon Ergospeed Gel
Saddle: Fizik Aliante R3
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, "With the wireless SRAM Force eTap groupset, get performance on tap on the longest rides. From smart frame details to the high-grade components, every aspect of this bike is designed and built to deliver speed and comfort in all situations."
What it has described there pretty much covers how the Endurace behaves. A fast bike that focuses on comfort.
Where does this model sit in the range? Tell us briefly about the cheaper options and the more expensive options
Sitting above the 8.0 is the CF SLX 9.0 with Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 (£6,499) or with SRAM eTap Red for £6,699.
A frameset is also available for £2,349; it is designed to work with mechanical groupsets though.
If you want the Endurace geometry but at a lower price then there are the non-SLX versions or a range of aluminium alloy framed offerings.
Overall rating for frame and fork
Tell us about the build quality and finish of the frame and fork?
The overall build looks very good, and I especially like the red lacquer that allows you to still see the carbon fibre below.
Tell us about the materials used in the frame and fork?
Both the frame and fork are manufactured from carbon fibre.
Tell us about the geometry of the frame and fork?
The Endurace is more relaxed that the Aeroad race model but it is still quite aggressive compared to most endurance bike.
How was the bike in terms of height and reach? How did it compare to other bikes of the same stated size?
This medium model has a stack of 578mm and a reach of 382mm. This gives a ratio of 1.51 which is a bit lower, and therefore racier, than many endurance bikes.
Was the bike comfortable to ride? Tell us how you felt about the ride quality.
The frame and fork do provide a firm but compliant ride, helped by the component choice.
Did the bike feel stiff in the right places? Did any part of the bike feel too stiff or too flexible?
Stiffness is impressive throughout, especially around the bottom bracket area.
How did the bike transfer power? Did it feel efficient?
A lowish weight backed up by plenty of stiffness means that the Canyon delivers power well and feels very efficient.
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? On the quick side of neutral.
Tell us some more about the handling. How did the bike feel overall? Did it do particular things well or badly?
The Endurace is slightly faster handling than many endurance bikes, but that does mean you can have some fun on the descents. It never feels twitchy or flighty, which increases confidence.
Which components had the most effect (good or bad) on the bike's comfort? would you recommend any changes?
The SL15 seatpost brings loads of comfort especially when on rough roads.
Which components had the most effect (good or bad) on the bike's stiffness? would you recommend any changes?
There is loads of stiffness delivered by the carbon SRAM Force cranks.
Which components had the most effect (good or bad) on the bike's efficiency? would you recommend any changes?
The Force ratios give a large spread of gears either end, which allows you to remain seated for much of the time.
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Tell us some more about the drivetrain. Anything you particularly did or didn't like? Any components which didn't work well together?
All-round, the Force eTap groupset is very easy to use, and it delivers great shifting and braking power.
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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?
A good quality set of wheels, which suits the Canyon's performance aspirations.
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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?
Some of the best tyres out there for grip and performance while offering a supple ride.
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Tell us some more about the controls. Any particularly good or bad components? How would the controls work for larger or smaller riders?
Some quality components fitted here. I got on fine with the standard handlebar/stem cockpit size, but if it doesn't work for you there is no adjustment.
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?
There weren't that many Force eTap bikes on the market at the time of testing to compare, but the two I've mentioned in the review, especially the Vitus, offer some stiff competition, especially if you are happy to forgo the power meter. Priced at just £3,699.99, the Vitus is a lot of bike for the money.
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Use this box to explain your overall score
The Canyon Endurace CF SLX Disc 8.0 eTap offers a comfortable yet stiff frameset wrapped in top quality components. The cockpit could bring a few compromises for some, but on the whole it is a well priced package, especially if you want a power meter straight out of the box.
Age: 41 Height: 180cm Weight: 76kg
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,
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