Canyon Aeroad CF SLX 9.0 SL - just in

Speedier, stealthier, lighter, faster

Canyon designed its original Aeroad aero road bike with the primary goal of minimising frontal area, but has now thrown the full gamut of tech R&D tools at the wholly revamped second-generation Aeroad CF SLX.

The German consumer-direct outfit says this new version is considerably faster over a wider range of conditions, and also lighter. And now we've taken delivery of the Shimano Dura-Ace Di2-equipped Aeroad CF SLX 9.0 SL model, we can confirm that it looks fantastic too.

Whereas the first-generation Aeroad used more classic teardrop-like tubes, the new and more modern Aeroad CF SLX chassis feature nominally truncated airfoil cross-sections for better aerodynamic performance across a wide range of wind angles. As a side benefit, this has also allowed Canyon to include wider tubes for a claimed 11-percent boost in chassis stiffness and an official frame weight of just 960g for a size 56cm sample.

Whereas the original canyon aeroad uses nominally teardrop cross-sections throughout, the new aeroad cf slx uses truncated profiles that are supposedly more efficient at a wider range of wind angles:
Whereas the original canyon aeroad uses nominally teardrop cross-sections throughout, the new aeroad cf slx uses truncated profiles that are supposedly more efficient at a wider range of wind angles:

The previous version's teardrop-shaped tubes have given way to truncated profiles for more balanced performance at various wind angles

Aero-minded details are littered throughout, including an impressively tidy combined port for the Shimano Di2 wire and rear brake housing, a partial fairing for the rear wheel, a sleekly hidden binder for the proprietary D-shaped seatpost, and front and rear direct-mount Shimano Dura-Ace calipers, which Canyon says areeasier to work on than chainstay-mounted brakes and produce less drag as well.

The focus on improving airflow isn't limited to the frameset. Our tester also arrived with Canyon's new Aerocockpit CF, which combines the carbon fibre stem and handlebar into a distinctly flattened and low-profile form that the company says save 5.5 watts of drag on its own.

The included aerocockpit cf is one of the most striking aspects of the bike. unlike many aero handlebars, this one is actually quite comfortable to hold:
The included aerocockpit cf is one of the most striking aspects of the bike. unlike many aero handlebars, this one is actually quite comfortable to hold:

The stock Aerocockpit CF is visually striking and supposedly quite fast

Canyon has even carried over its novel adjustable fork rake design, which uses flippable 'chips' in the dropouts that let you choose mellower or quicker handling.

Rounding out our test bike build are a set of Mavic Cosmic Carbone SLE WTS wheels with brake-boosting Exalith 2 sidewalls, matching Mavic Yksion Pro GripLink and PowerLink clincher tyres, and a fi'zi:k Arione saddle. Total weight for our complete 50cm sample is 6.83kg (15.06lb) without pedals.

The mavic wheel and tire combo feel fast in a straight line but the sharply pointed trailing edge and flat sides can be hard to manage in strong crosswinds. the rim's 13mm internal width is also disappointingly narrow:
The mavic wheel and tire combo feel fast in a straight line but the sharply pointed trailing edge and flat sides can be hard to manage in strong crosswinds. the rim's 13mm internal width is also disappointingly narrow:

The stock Mavic wheel and tyre package is good but could be better

We're already well underway with testing and so far it's been clear sailing. The new bike is indeed noticeably stiffer and snappier than its predecessor, the direct-mount brakes and Mavic Exalith 2 sidewalls work extremely well, the ride quality is quite reasonable given the genre, and yes, the bike does at least seem fast as you wind things up.

And while it's not exactly cheap at £4,899 / €5,699, it's quite well equipped for the money.

How will things shake out long-term? We'll have our final wrap-up in a few weeks so stay tuned.

For more information, visit www.canyon.com.

Canyon gave its aero road platform a thorough overall for this year:
Canyon gave its aero road platform a thorough overall for this year:

The Canyon Aeroad CF SLX 9.0 SL

James Huang

Technical Editor, US
James started as a roadie in 1990 with his high school team but switched to dirt in 1994 and has enjoyed both ever since. Anything that comes through his hands is bound to be taken apart, and those hands still sometimes smell like fork oil even though he retired from shop life in 2007. He prefers manual over automatic, fizzy over still, and the right way over the easy way.
  • Discipline: Mountain, road, cyclocross
  • Preferred Terrain: Up in the Colorado high-country where the singletrack is still single, the dirt is still brown, and the aspens are in full bloom. Also, those perfect stretches of pavement where the road snakes across the mountainside like an artist's paintbrush.
  • Beer of Choice: Mexican Coke
  • Location: Boulder, Colorado, USA

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