Canyon Aeroad CF Limited - First ride £3799

Aero-designed superbike

BikeRadar score 4.5/5

Canyon, an internet-only brand, aren’t terribly familiar outside of mainland Europe. But with a new UK service centre handling customer services, this German company – whose bikes are ridden by the ProTour team Omega-Pharma Lotto– will be hoping to change that.

As the name suggests, the new-for-2011 Aeroad has been aerodynamically designed. Compared to the company’s pro-level Ultimate, as used by Lotto, it has 20 percent less frontal area. Its bladed tubes combined with a faired fork crown and 1-1/8 to 1-1/2in head tube certainly tick the right boxes.

The fork has a particularly interesting and innovative feature: the dropouts can be removed and rotated. This enables you to create either a trail figure of 39mm or 44mm – or, as Canyon describes it, a bike that’s agile for the road or stable for time trialling.

The model we rode had a high-end spec, with Campagnolo Record 11 handling the whole drivetrain and braking, a bar and stem from the Ritchey WCS stable, and the wheelset is a deep-section pair of Mavic Cosmic Carbone SLs. It’s also available with Campagnolo Super Record or Shimano Dura-Ace Di2, Dura-Ace or Chorus, so there’s no doubting it’s aimed squarely at the top rider.

The ride is surprisingly compliant, soft even. This would seem to be down to the seatpost – it’s so flexible you can actually see it move. Canyon claim the composite used to make the post is a combination of carbon and basalt fibres, but whether it’s because of the composite or the design, the comfort levels are far beyond what you’d expect of an aero road bike of this ilk.

Despite such high levels of comfort, the Aeroad has sharp and nimble handling, climbing with ease, and sprinting and descending confidently. It’s not quite in the same league as Cube’s Litening Super HPC or Storck’s Absolutist, but neither of those gives you such a comfortable ride.

Up until now, the only real downside with buying a Canyon has been that any issues had to be dealt with by the German head office. It remains an internet-only brand, which Canyon claim helps keep prices low, but the new UK contact means any issues with warranty or advice can be handled straight away. We’re excited by the possibilities.

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