Canyon Endurace CF SL Disc 8.0 Pro review$3,949.00

Endurance-flavoured carbon Canyon with Campagnolo kit and hydraulic brakes

BikeRadar score4.5/5

The Canyon Endurace CF SL Disc 8.0 Pro was reviewed in issue 349 of Cycling Plus magazine in the feature Old v New and contained an incorrect rating of 3.5 stars. The bike actually scored 4.5 stars, which is reflected in this full version of the review.

Canyon's SL Disc 8.0 Pro is one of the most wallet-friendly entries into the world of 11-speed Campagnolo Potenza, complete with the Italian company’s hydraulic disc brakes.

It ticks plenty of other boxes too: it’s friendly on the scales at 7.8kg/17.9lb, has a super-wide range of gearing for tackling all topography, has great braking and the geometry and tyres are designed for long-distance comfort.

Oh, and its carbon frame and full-carbon fork are paired with an all-carbon cockpit.

Canyon Endurace CF SL Disc 8.0 Pro: Campagnolo Potenza

11-speed Campagnolo Potenza
11-speed Campagnolo Potenza

Once the unchallenged groupset king with Tour de France victories stretching back to the year dot, Campagnolo is now the junior player against the Japanese giant Shimano and US challenger SRAM. Which is a shame.

I’m not saying that Campag (or ‘Campy’ if you’re in the US) is better than Shimano, but the Canyon’s Potenza was impeccable.

Its swift, accurate gear shifting and nigh-on perfect braking, with a light, easy action offered oodles of modulation and power whatever the weather.

Campagnolo claims that its brakes stop you 23–26 percent quicker than the ‘competition’ in wet conditions and 14–55 percent quicker in the dry. The competition, we’re guessing, is Shimano and SRAM.

Outside of the laboratory this is hard to confirm, but I found Potenza to be impressively powerful without ever threatening to throw me from the bike. This does give you the ability to brake later when descending with assurance that you’re going to be entirely under control.

Canyon Endurace CF SL Disc 8.0 Pro: brakes and gearing

Campagnolo Potenza hydraulic disc brakes
Campagnolo Potenza hydraulic disc brakes

Campag may have been late to the disc brake party, but its brakes, developed with German hydraulic experts Magura, have arrived fully formed. And with rounded rotors you’re not going to saw off your fingers or limbs, which’ll put some minds at rest.

I was a little daunted by the ‘pro-compact’ 52/36 chainset, preferring a 50/34, but thanks to the 11-30 cassette you get a high 52x11 top gear (126in) as well as a hill-friendly 30in bottom gear from the 36x32 pairing.

Rapid multi-gear sweeps up the block are possible using the more Shimano-like shift lever inside the brake lever

When you hit a steep incline the gearing certainly helps, allowing you to stay in the saddle and spin, spin, spin. If you want to give it full gas uphill, the stiff frame transfers your energy with fuss-free efficiency.

The main difference between Shimano and Campag’s shifting system is that Campag has a thumbshifter — newly sculpted for more comfort — on the inside of the brake hoods. On the left-hand lever this shifts the chain to the smaller chainring, while the right-hand lever moves the chain to a smaller sprocket (higher gear).

Rapid multi-gear sweeps up the block are possible using the more Shimano-like shift lever inside the brake lever. Another difference is that there’s a more definitive and very satisfying, ‘clunk’ from Campag on changing gear.

Canyon Endurace CF SL Disc 8.0 Pro ride impressions

52/36, 11-32 gearing
52/36, 11-32 gearing

As for the ride, it’s lovely. Canyon’s bikes are renowned for their stiffness and, despite being an endurance bike, the Canyon Enduracecertainly lives up to this reputation.

The sense of control you get from the way its frame works with the oversize cockpit is excellent.

Crucially, however, this stiffness is counterbalanced by the smoothness that the 28mm tyres provide. Forget the skinny rubber of the past, and the 23 and 25mm offerings that followed. I reckon 28mm should be the new 23mm, especially because the Canyon’s tyres balloon up to a road-bump-softening 30mm.

The tyres aren’t just wider, they’re tubeless-ready too, allowing you to run them at lower pressures for even more plushness.

Factor in the buffering of the flattened handlebar tops and the shock-absorbing flex in the Canyon-designed carbon seatpost, and you have superb comfort, but this doesn’t diminish the bike’s ability to go fast.

Flattened bar tops are common on German bikes, and if you ride on the tops a lot I’d recommend them.

Canyon Endurace CF SL Disc 8.0 Pro overall

Its carbon frame and full-carbon fork are paired with an all-carbon cockpit
Its carbon frame and full-carbon fork are paired with an all-carbon cockpit

The Endurace name references the Canyon’s endurance nature, though in reality the geometry is not that extreme, resembling that of Specialized’s Roubaix.

The wheelbase is under a metre, frame angles around 73 degrees, the head-tube 158mm (compared with the Roubaix’s 150mm), so we’re not exactly talking sit-up-and beg territory here.

I would, though, recommend checking Canyon’s size charts. I’m 176cm tall, which puts me in Canyon’s ‘Small’ bike territory, but from experience I know I’m a Medium, for riders from 178–184cm tall.

The site does list comprehensive geometry figures, so you should be able to work things out, or you can contact Canyon directly.

My only other reservation is the bike’s look, with the subdued stealth design not reflecting the Endurace’s ride at all. Canyon’s website now lists a bright flash-blue version, much more in keeping.

Other than that, this Endurace shows off all that’s good about a carbon road bike two decades into the 21st century. The price is very appealing, the all-round ride excellent and Campagnolo is still going strong after 86 years.

Canyon Endurace CF SL Disc 8.0 Pro specification

  • Sizes (*tested): XXS, XS, S, M*, L, XL, XXL
  • Weight: 7.8kg (M)
  • Frame: Carbon
  • Fork: Canyon One One Four Carbon
  • Gears: 11-speed Campagnolo Potenza 52/36, 11-32
  • Brakes: Campagnolo Potenza hydraulic disc
  • Wheels: Mavic Aksium Elite Disc UST
  • Tyres: 28mm Mavic Yksion Pro UST
  • Bar/stem: Canyon carbon CF31 Ergocockpit one-piece bar and stem
  • Seatpost: Canyon S15 VCLS 2.0 carbon

Canyon Endurace CF SL Disc 8.0 Pro geometry

  • Seat tube: 52cm
  • Top tube: 55.3cm
  • Head tube: 15.8cm
  • Head tube angle: 73 degrees
  • Seat tube angle: 73.5 degrees
  • Chainstay: 41.5cm
  • Stack: 57.8cm
  • Reach: 38.2cm
  • Wheelbase: 990mm
Simon has been cycling for as long as he can remember, and more seriously since his time at university in the Dark Ages (the 1980s). This has taken in time trialling, duathlon and triathlon and he has toured extensively in Asia and Australasia, including riding solo 2900km from Cairns to Melbourne. He now mainly rides as a long-distance commuter and leisure/fitness rider. He has been testing bikes and working for Cycling Plus in various capacities for nearly 20 years.
  • Age: 53
  • Height: 175cm / 5'9
  • Weight: 75kg /165lb
  • Waist: 33in
  • Discipline: Road, touring, commuting
  • Current Bikes: Rose SL3000, Hewitt steel tourer
  • Beer of Choice: Samuel Adams Boston Lager
  • Location: Bath, UK

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