Canyon has just unveiled its new Endurace WMN, and the popular endurance-focussed bike has had a complete re-work. It now features women's specific geometry, extends to a smaller size and is lighter than previous incarnations.
- Canyon Ultimate WMN CF SLX Disc 9.0 Team CSR first ride review
- 5 approaches to women's specific design
- Read more women's cycling news, reviews, interviews, advice and more on BikeRadar Women
Canyon has previously featured a unisex frame geometry for both its unisex/men's and women's specific bikes, so opting for women's specific geometry is headline news — but there's more.
Canyon has also extended the sizing down to an XXXS model, meaning the Endurace WMN range will now cater to riders from 152cm and taller. The company has also chosen to fit 650b wheels on both the XXXS and XXS models to give more consistent handling across the size ranges.
BikeRadar Women attended the launch for the new Endurace, and the newly women's specific and race-ready Ultimate WMN, and you can read my initial impressions of the Endurace below. I'll be getting the Endurace WMN in for a more comprehensive test, so watch this space for a full review in the near future.
New women's specific geometry
Building a frame geometry specific to women is a new direction for Canyon, who previously based both its men's and women's version around a unisex frame design, adding women's specific finishing kit on the WMN models.
Both the new Endurace WMN and Ultimate WMN have been completely reworked. The decision to adopt this approach, and the design of the frame itself, were based on body dimension data which Canyon customers entered onto the company's website when purchasing bikes — the purchase process asks for certain body measurements, including height, weight, leg length and arm length, in order to determine the correct frame size for buyers.
From this data set, Canyon concluded that there were significant enough differences to warrant changing the bikes' geometry. Most notably, it says that its data showed women tend to have (on average) shorter arms and therefore a shorter reach, a lighter weight and lower power output per height, and a lower average height. Canyon also says that the traditional 'long legs shorter body' view was not borne out by the data it collected.
As a result, the company has adapted the geometry to give a shorter reach, extended the sizing range down to XXXS, opted for 650b wheels on the XXXS and XXS models, and altered the frame design to produce a lighter frame weight and more aerodynamic profile.
Those smaller wheels are significant. The geometry of smaller frame options is typically tweaked to accommodate proportionally larger 700c wheels, which in turn affects the handling. The smaller wheel size means geometry and therefore handling is consistent across the size range.
Also noteworthy is that this bike is fitted with disc brakes, and there are no rim brake alternatives. Canyon says this is because it feels that disc brakes offer a better, more reliable braking action. However, for some countries — such as the UK, where disc brakes are currently banned from road racing — the lack of a rim brake option may well be a barrier to purchasing for those wanting to race.
However, this may be less of an issue for the Endurace, since it is more sportive and endurance-focussed, compared to the Ultimate WMN, which is a decidedly race-focussed machine.
A high-end carbon framed bike for the serious rider
Canyon has not stinted with the spec on the top-of-the-range Endurace.
In addition to the carbon frame and carbon One One Four SLX disc-ready forks, it comes with a SRAM Red eTap groupset, which provides an intuitive and smooth electronic shifting movement.
The 2x11 setup sees a 50/34t crankset with 11-32t cassette; the smaller XXXS and XXS sizes have a 52/36t setup.
Crank length is also size specific, with XXXS and XXS fitted with 165mm cranks, XS with 170mm cranks and S and M with 172.5mm cranks.
The gear range was plenty, and saw me up a long steady climb at an easy, sustainable pace and put a lick of speed on in the flat section.
A racy carbon Reynolds Assault LE wheelset with 25mm Schwalbe Pro One tyres is the same stock as fitted on the race-ready Ultimate WMN.
Hydraulic disc brakes provide a consistent-feeling and powerful stopping action, with modulation that allows subtle speed control, and is easy on the hands on long descents, requiring little pressure to use.
The bike felt fast yet wonderfully stable and confident on descents, with the forgiving impact-absorbing properties of that carbon seat post and Ergocockpit integrated stem/handlebar system taking out the worst of the road chatter. Plus, those powerful disc brakes allowed me to shave off speed here and there without tight pressure on the levers.
The new Endurace WMN does feel shorter yet more 'fitted', and based on this initial ride was a more comfortable feel. However, it's worth bearing in mind that the new Endurace WMN ridden here is several models above the version with a unisex frame tested for Bike of the Year, so other elements such as that carbon cockpit will have a bearing on my experience.
That said, while more comprehensive testing is required to produce a full review and verdict, my initial impression is favourable and I'm looking forward to riding this bike again.
In fact, the spec on the range-topping Endurace WMN is almost identical to the top model in the Ultimate WMN line, so women wanting a less aggressive position for racing may also want to consider this bike. Though, again the lack of a rim brake option is a hindrance to racing in the UK where British Cycling has forbidden their use — at least for now.
While I can't directly comment on how the smaller wheel size on the XXXS and XXS models feels, as I ride a size S frame in Canyon sizing, I did speak to some of the more petite journalists at the press launch. They commented that for the first time, in their experience, they felt like they were actually centred on the bike and riding it, rather than feeling perched on top, and that the handling seemed much improved. The smaller wheel size also eliminates toe overlap when turning.
Prices, sizing and availability
The Endurace is available to order from today on the Canyon website. Canyon currently does not ship to the US, though this is likely to change in the near future. Australian prices to be confirmed.
There are four models of the new Endurace WMN Disc available. The top-of-the-line version featured above is priced at £5,899.
Next down is the Endurace WMN CF SL DISC 9.0 SL for £4,699. This also features SRAM Red eTap and the H31 Ergocockpit integrated handlebar/stem, plus DT Swiss E 1600 Spline DB 23 wheels. However, it is only available in the black 'Stealthy Shiny' colourway.
Then there's the Endurace WMN CF SL DISC 8.0 at £2,499 with a Shimano Ultegra groupset, DT Swiss E 1600 Spline DB 23 wheelset and H17 Ergo aluminium bars. For fans of the turquoise colourway, you'll be pleased to here that this model comes in both Stealthy Shiny and Aquamarin.
The entry level model in the new Endurace WMN range is the CF SL Disc 7.0 at £1,999. This comes with Shimano 105 groupset rather than Ultegra, but otherwise the spec is the same as the spendier model one up.
All the bikes are available in sizes XXXS, XXS, XS, S and M. It's worth noting that Canyon size slightly bigger than some brands, so in my case at 5ft8in/1m 75 where I would be a medium in other brands, in Canyon sizing I take a small.
Canyon Endurace WMN AL
For those on a tighter budget, you'll be pleased to hear that there is also a new version of the Endurace WMN AL. The aluminium-framed version of the bike, which starts at £1,499, comes with Shimano 105 groupset, carbon forks and DT Swiss E 1800 Spline DB 23 wheels.
Spend up a bit and for £1,699 you'll get a Shimano Ultegra groupset. Both bikes are available in either a full coat of vivid Stealth Aqua, a deep turquoise shade, or Electric Crimson, a distinctive red.
All other size-specific features translate across from the carbon version, such as the 650b wheels and 52/36t chainrings on the XXXS and XXS bikes.
After a speed-focussed bike for racing? Have a look at our first impressions of the new Canyon Ultimate WMN CF.