Pro bike: Denis Menchov’s Canyon Speedmax CF Evo

Katusha rider on stealth fighter for Tour de France

Officially introduced to the media earlier this year, Canyon’s new Speedmax CF Evo time trial bike is thoroughly sleek and modern – a major improvement over its predecessor and exactly what the Russian Katusha team asked for. 


The time trials will play a pivotal role for 2009 Giro d’Italia winner Denis Menchov if he hopes to achieve his goal of Tour de France success this year. If all goes well, the new Speedmax CF Evo is the machine that will have helped.

Canyon may have been slow to overhaul the original Speedmax CF, but the new version looks to have caught back up to the leaders in one big step. The sculpted tubes have been wind tunnel-crafted using a modular prototype, and all the requisite features are incorporated: well-integrated front and rear linear-pull brakes, an external steerer tube that sits in front of the head tube for better aerodynamics, a proprietary cockpit with internal cable routing, an ultra-aggressive position with a stem that sits in-line with the top tube, and a wide-format bottom bracket shell with press-fit cups designed around Shimano’s PF86 standard.

The handlebar position on denis menchov’s canyon speedmax cf evo is low and aggressive:
James Huang/Future Publishing

Denis Menchov favors a low, aggressive handlebar position

Canyon have also integrated a few interesting frame geometry features into their flagship aero bike, such as chain stays that are 25-30mm longer than on the old. The front-center is longer, too. According to Canyon road bike product manager Sebastian Jadczak, the intentionally rangy wheelbase provides more stable handling – a trait that’s often elusive with so much of a rider’s weight concentrated on the forearm pads.

Katusha team equipment manager Michael Rich added that while his riders didn’t log as many hours training in formation as he would have preferred earlier this season, the new Speedmax CF Evo’s mellower handling allowed them to maintain a clean line during the team time trial at this year’s Giro.

Extra insurance against inadvertent rotation is provided by this additional bolt:
James Huang/Future Publishing

This additional saddle bolt provides extra insurance against rotation

That extra length is also exemplified by Menchov’s personal setup. Despite standing at 1.80m (5ft 11in) he rides a medium-sized frame with a medium-sized stem measuring just 85mm center-to-center. Canyon have incorporated their clever adjustable-rake fork tips into the Speedmax CF Evo, too, and Menchov tempers some of the bike’s inherent stability by selecting the longer rake option.

Menchov’s Shimano Dura-Ace Di2-equipped bike isn’t particular light at 8.54kg (18.83lb). But, in fairness, there’s a somewhat weighty aluminum-rimmed Mavic rear disc wheel fitted (with grippy Exalith-treated sidewalls) and the matching 80mm-deep Mavic Cosmic CXR 80 front wheel is no featherweight, either. Interestingly, Menchov chooses to ride a rather mundane steel-railed Selle Italia saddle that Canyon normally use as OEM equipment on its cheaper bikes.

In contrast, Joaquim Rodriguez’s Speedmax CF Evo was supposedly just 7.4kg (16.31lb) at the Giro d’Italia.

Complete bike specifications

  • Frame: Canyon Speedmax CF, medium
  • Fork: Canyon Speedmax CF, long rake setting
  • Headset: Integrated
  • Stem: Canyon Speedmax CF, medium
  • Handlebars: Canyon Speedmax CF, integrated, 42cm
  • Tape/grips: Ritchey
  • Front brake: Canyon Speedmax CF, integrated
  • Rear brake: Canyon Speedmax CF, integrated
  • Brake levers: Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 
  • Front derailleur: Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 FD-7970
  • Rear derailleur: Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 
  • Shift levers: Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 
  • Cassette: Shimano Dura-Ace CS-7900, 11-23T
  • Chain: Shimano Dura-Ace CN-7900
  • Crankset: Shimano Dura-Ace FC-7900, 175mm, 54/44T
  • Bottom bracket: Shimano Dura-Ace press-fit SM-FC7900P
  • Pedals: Shimano Dura-Ace SPD-SL PD-7900
  • Front wheel: Mavic Cosmic CXR 80
  • Rear wheel: Mavic disc
  • Front tire: Mavic Yksion Grip Link tubular, 22mm
  • Rear tire: Mavic Yksion Grip Link tubular, 22mm
  • Saddle: Selle Italia Race SE
  • Seat post: Canyon Speedmax CF

Critical measurements

  • Rider’s height: 5ft 11in (1.80m)
  • Head tube length: 90mm
  • Total bicycle weight: 8.54kg (18.83lb)