The Canyon Ultimate Aluminium 9.0 isn't as sharp-steering as some of its alloy-framed rivals but it makes up for this in comfort at the rear, with zero sacrifice of speed or acceleration, and it's graced with an overall light feel. That extra steadiness of the front end might not suit those of you in search of a twitchier response though.
With full Shimano Ultegra providing impeccable credentials, along with normal external cups in a threaded bottom bracket, the Canyon chooses a more conventional and service-friendly path for those not quite ready to hop on the press-fit BB30 bandwagon. Featuring highly manipulated thin-walled aluminium tubing, and Cervélo-like ultra-skinny pencil stays, the Canyon's frame rated highly in the comfort stakes.
Although the skinny stays move around considerably, the Ultimate AL is no weakling, despite its feather-light 7.6kg weight. A simply massive down tube joins an ovalised asymmetric seat tube to keep things firmly planted, so when you stomp on those pedals it’s like hitting the turbo button.
Mavic Ksyrium Equipe wheels do the job of keeping the Canyon fast, reliable and within a pricepoint. Bladed spokes slice through the air while a fairly reasonable rim profile still provides a measure of comfort. A standard 53/39-tooth chainset and 12-25T cassette are plainly aimed at fast riding, with no gaps in ratios: only hard men and women need apply.
Keeping the lightweight aluminium theme rolling are Ritchey’s Logic 4Axis alloy bar and stem, with Canyon’s well designed VCLS seatpost. The cockpit dimensions are perfect, with a comfortable top tube length allowing a good stretch. The overall feeling of being at one with the bike was hugely satisfying; every type of surface, condition and situation was handled with relish.
The Canyon makes an attractive partner in crime. Slicing and dicing through a crowded peloton or urban training ride, carving switchbacks, nailing the perfect line through a fast bend… it’ll make you feel everything is possible.
This article was originally published in Cycling Plus magazine.