New Canyon UItimate is more aero, more aggressive and takes 32mm tyres

It’s evolution rather than revolution for the German brand’s lightweight all-rounder

2023 Canyon Ultimate CFR (launch bike)

Canyon has finally launched the latest, fifth generation of its Ultimate road race bike, taking a scalpel to its familiar lightweight platform to bring it up to date with the latest technology, while attempting to retain all that was good about the previous generations.

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From the side, many will struggle to spot the difference, but the new Ultimate has seen an aero overhaul in partnership with specialists Swiss Side that’s claimed to save 5 watts of drag at 45kph with a rider aboard. There’s also a new integrated, width-adjustable cockpit ported over from the Aeroad aero racer.

The new Ultimate also gets a tweaked geometry intended to bring it closer to the Aeroad in terms of fit and behaviour, and is available in three carbon layups: the range-topping CFR, mid-range SLX and entry-level SL.

The new bike will come in 10 complete builds (five SL, three SLX and two CFR models), with an additional CFR frameset available too. The two cheapest SL builds will come with mechanical groupsets: 11-speed Shimano 105 R7000 and Ultegra R8000.

The new Ultimate is available from today, and is priced from £2,699 to £10,899 ($2,999 to $10,999 / €2,699 to €10,999 / AU$4,899 to AU$16,899).

Want to know how the new Ultimate rides? Check out our Canyon Ultimate CFR Di2 review.

Evolution over revolution

The Aeroad-derived Aerocockpit makes it to the new Ultimate.
Canyon

Although the new Ultimate has been under pro riders for a while now – and is said to be the first Ultimate to be designed with extensive input from pro riders such as Team Movistar’s Enric Mas – Canyon has avoided fundamentally changing what it believes is already a class-leading bike.

Consequently, it keeps the same general design as the previous-generation Ultimate, with tube shapes that will be instantly recognisable to those familiar with the platform.

That said, in search of what Canyon has coined “the perfect balance”, a two-and-a-half year development process has yielded claimed gains in aero performance, stiffness and comfort across the range.

Working alongside aero experts Swiss Side, the new Ultimate’s tubes have gained more angular edging and flatter sides, while they are said to be marginally broader too. Canyon claims this yields a drag saving of 5 watts at 45kph.

The head tube sees two new airflow-enhancing ridges, while the fork now offers up to 32mm tyre clearance.
Canyon

The head tube has gained two subtle ridges to help guide airflow along the top tube and around the fork crown, while its subtly broadened profile is claimed to deliver 15 per cent more stiffness over the previous Ultimate.

Additionally, Canyon has addressed the layup in each of the Ultimate frames. It says it’s added a total of 30g of carbon reinforcement in the top tube, junction of top tube and seat tube, and the bottom bracket area to increase lateral stiffness, while also improving frameset reliability.

Meanwhile, there’s a visible (if subtle) tidy up of the rear dropout, which has shed some material from the ovalised profile of the previous generation.

The new Ultimate marks a move away from the traditional rounded 27.2mm seatpost (and therefore waves goodbye to the popular comfort-improving VCLS seatposts of old). Canyon has instead opted for a proprietary D-shape carbon post, said to offer a small aero benefit.

CFR model customers will be provided with a zero-setback model, weighing in at a claimed 70g, which Canyon says is favoured by the vast majority of its pro riders – while SLX and SL customers will get a version with up to 20mm setback for improved fit flexibility and comfort, tipping the scales at 110g.

The CFR model receives a lightweight (70g) zero-setback seatpost. SLX and SL models will come fitted with a more compliant setback post with up to 20mm adjustability.
Canyon

The latter model also features a small integrated bracket for an optional light fitting, arguably playing more to its intended use as the post most riders will want to use in the ‘real world’.

Canyon says that decision is driven by its analysis of the typical customers who buy each tier of the Ultimate range, but each post will be available as an aftermarket upgrade should a rider want the alternative seatpost.

The core of the bike’s improved comfort is claimed to come from increased tyre clearance, which will now accommodate up to 32mm-wide rubber.

That said, Canyon says the three available carbon layups offer steadily increasing levels of compliance as you move down the range, with the SL and SLX layups offering greater vertical flex respectively than the stiffer CFR model.

Aeroad-inspired geometry with adjustability

One of the geometry tweaks sees the chainstays change length depending on which size you ride – in order to make handling more consistent through the range.
Canyon

Overall, Canyon says the geometry now mimics that of the current Aeroad aero bike, which Simon noted in his review of that bike had been augmented to more closely resemble the geometry of the fourth-generation Ultimate.

The Ultimate is now available in up to eight sizes (3XS-2XL). Where previously there was a consistent chainstay length of 415mm throughout the range regardless of size, only the XL and 2XL size frames now get that length.

A large frame features a 413mm chainstay length, with XS-M sizes seeing 410mm chainstays, and 405mm stays reserved for the smallest two sizes.

The result, Canyon says, is consistent stability and handling through the rear of the bike, whichever size you ride.

The ballpark-racy head tube angle gets gradually steeper the larger the frame is, starting at a 70.2-degree angle at the smallest end of the range and 73.75-degree angle for the largest size.

The gaps in angle become incrementally smaller as the frame size increases, likely for the need to push the front wheel out a little further in the smallest sizes. The angle stays in a 0.5 range between the medium and 2XL sizes.

Incidentally, the 3XS and 2XS-sized SL bikes feature 650b wheels, while the SLX frame only gets 650b wheels in the 3XS size.

The CFR models are only available down to a 2XS size, and all feature 700c wheels, mirroring the SLX – Canyon claims, to “guarantee easier serviceability for team mechanics”.

Adjustable Aerocockpit

The CP0018 Aerocockpit has been brought over from the Aeroad, offering built-in width adjustability.
Ashley Quinlan / Our Media

The Swiss Side-developed CP0018 Aerocockpit first seen on the Aeroad has also made it to the new Ultimate, offering up to 20mm width adjustment on either side. The four smallest frame sizes come with an Aerocockpit with a 390mm width (+/- 20mm), while the four larger frames get a 410mm-wide version (again, +/- 20mm).

It also offers the same quill stem-esque Acros headset integration, which enables the rider to add or remove up to 15mm of jigsaw-like spacers (in 5mm increments) without taking off the Aerocockpit completely. This negates the need to cut the steerer for a clean look.

Like the seatpost, if you have specific bike fit preferences that mean you want the narrower or wider bar not offered as default for your bike size, or a different-length stem, you’ll need to buy it as an additional accessory.

In any case, it tucks electronic cabling and hydraulic brake hoses away for a clean aesthetic, although it won’t come with the (cheaper) mechanically equipped SL bikes. These require a more traditional two-piece setup to accommodate non-integrated shift cables.

Canyon Ultimate availability and prices

As mentioned, the Ultimate comes in eight frame sizes (seven for the CFR, which drops the 3XS size), and is available in 10 builds, plus a standalone CFR frameset.

Prices start from £2,699 ($2,999, €2,699, AU$4,800) for the Ultimate SL CF 7 model with Shimano 105 R7000, rising to £10,899 ($10,999, €10,999, AU$16,899).

Canyon Ultimate specifications

Eight out of 10 Canyon Ultimates will see power meters come as standard.
Canyon

Interestingly, Canyon has taken the decision to spec all bar two of the complete-build Ultimates with power meters – we’re told, as a response to the changing habits and training methods of today’s Ultimate customer.

All SRAM-equipped bikes and Shimano Dura-Ace R9270 Di2 models come fitted with native dual-sided power meters to that groupset.

The Shimano Ultegra R8170 Di2 and 105 R7170 Di2-equipped bikes receive a left-sided 4iiii Precision power meter crank.

Canyon Ultimate CFR eTap

2023 Canyon Ultimate CFR eTap.
Canyon
  • Price: £10,899 / $10,999 / €10,999 / AU$16,899
  • Frame: Canyon Ultimate CFR
  • Fork: Canyon Ultimate CFR
  • Groupset: SRAM Red eTap AXS
  • Power meter: SRAM Red AXS power meter crankset
  • Wheels: Zipp 353 NSW
  • Tyres: Schwalbe Pro One TT, tubeless-ready, 25mm front / 28mm rear
  • Seatpost: Canyon SP0064 (zero setback)
  • Handlebar/stem: Canyon CP0018 Aerocockpit
  • Saddle: Fizik Antares Versus Adaptive R1 Carbon

Canyon Ultimate CFR Di2

2023 Canyon Ultimate CFR Di2.
Canyon
  • Price: £10,399 / $10,999 / €10,499 / AU$15,349
  • Frame: Canyon Ultimate CFR
  • Fork: Canyon Ultimate CFR
  • Groupset: Shimano Dura-Ace R9270 Di2
  • Power meter: Shimano Dura-Ace FC-R9200P
  • Wheels: DT Swiss PRC 1100 Mon Chasseral
  • Tyres: Schwalbe Pro One TT, tubeless-ready, 25mm front / 28mm rear
  • Seatpost: Canyon SP0064 (zero setback)
  • Handlebar/stem: Canyon CP0018 Aerocockpit
  • Saddle: Selle Italia C59 Carbon

Canyon Ultimate CFR frameset (with brake kit)

2023 Canyon Ultimate CFR frameset (with brake kit).
Canyon
  • Price: £4,949 / $N/A / €4,999 / AU$7,399
  • Frame: Canyon Ultimate CFR
  • Fork: Canyon Ultimate CFR
  • Brakes: Shimano Dura-Ace R9270
  • Seatpost: Canyon SP0064 (zero setback)
  • Handlebar/stem: Canyon CP0018 Aerocockpit

Canyon Ultimate SLX 9 Di2

2023 Canyon Ultimate SLX 9 Di2.
Canyon
  • Price: £8,599 / $8,999 / €8,699 / AU$12,749
  • Frame: Canyon Ultimate SLX
  • Fork: Canyon Ultimate SLX
  • Groupset: Shimano Dura-Ace R9270 Di2
  • Power meter: Shimano Dura-Ace FC-R9200P
  • Wheels: DT Swiss ARC 1100 50mm
  • Tyres: Schwalbe Pro One, tubeless-ready, 25mm front / 28mm rear
  • Seatpost: Canyon SP0055 (20mm setback)
  • Handlebar/stem: Canyon CP0018 Aerocockpit
  • Saddle: Selle Italia SLR Boost Superflow Carbon

Canyon Ultimate SLX 8 Di2

2023 Canyon Ultimate SLX 8 Di2.
Canyon
  • Price: £6,449 / $6,999 / €6,499 / AU$9,549
  • Frame: Canyon Ultimate SLX
  • Fork: Canyon Ultimate SLX
  • Groupset: Shimano Ultegra R8170 Di2
  • Power meter: 4iiii Precision power meter crank (left only)
  • Wheels: DT Swiss ARC 1400 50mm
  • Tyres: Schwalbe Pro One, tubeless-ready, 25mm front / 28mm rear
  • Seatpost: Canyon SP0055 (20mm setback)
  • Handlebar/stem: Canyon CP0018 Aerocockpit
  • Saddle: Selle Italia SLR Boost Superflow Ti316

Canyon Ultimate SLX 8 eTap

2023 Canyon Ultimate SLX 8 eTap.
Canyon
  • Price: £6,249 / $N/A / €6,299 / AU$9,299
  • Frame: Canyon Ultimate SLX
  • Fork: Canyon Ultimate SLX
  • Groupset: SRAM Force AXS eTap
  • Power meter: SRAM Force AXS power meter
  • Wheels: DT Swiss ARC 1400 50mm
  • Tyres: Schwalbe Pro One, tubeless-ready, 25mm front / 28mm rear
  • Seatpost: Canyon SP0055 (20mm setback)
  • Handlebar/stem: Canyon CP0018 Aerocockpit
  • Saddle: Selle Italia SLR Boost Superflow Ti316

Canyon Ultimate SL 8 Aero

2023 Canyon Ultimate SL 8 Aero.
Canyon
  • Price: £4,949 / $N/A / €4,999 / AU$7,399
  • Frame: Canyon Ultimate SL
  • Fork: Canyon Ultimate SL
  • Groupset: Shimano Ultegra R8170 Di2
  • Power meter: 4iiii Precision power meter crank (left only)
  • Wheels: DT Swiss ARC 1600 50/62mm
  • Tyres: Continental GP5000, clincher, 25mm front / 28mm rear
  • Seatpost: Canyon SP0055 (20mm setback)
  • Handlebar/stem: Canyon CP0018 Aerocockpit
  • Saddle: Selle Italia SLR Boost Superflow manganese

Canyon Ultimate SL 7 Di2

2023 Canyon Ultimate SL 7 Di2.
Canyon
  • Price: £3,999 / $N/A / €3,999 / AU$5,949
  • Frame: Canyon Ultimate SL
  • Fork: Canyon Ultimate SL
  • Groupset: Shimano 105 R7170 Di2
  • Power meter: 4iiii Precision power meter crank (left only)
  • Wheels: DT Swiss Performance LN
  • Tyres: Continental GP5000, clincher, 25mm front / 28mm rear
  • Seatpost: Canyon SP0055 (20mm setback)
  • Handlebar/stem: Canyon CP0018 Aerocockpit
  • Saddle: Selle Italia Model X

Canyon Ultimate SL 7 eTap

2023 Canyon Ultimate SL 7 eTap.
Canyon
  • Price: £3,799 / $4,699 / €3,799 / AU$5,649
  • Frame: Canyon Ultimate SL
  • Fork: Canyon Ultimate SL
  • Groupset: SRAM Rival AXS eTap
  • Power meter: SRAM Rival power meter crankset (left only)
  • Wheels: DT Swiss P1800
  • Tyres: Continental GP5000, clincher, 25mm front / 28mm rear
  • Seatpost: Canyon SP0055 (20mm setback)
  • Handlebar/stem: Canyon CP0018 Aerocockpit
  • Saddle: Selle Italia SLR Boost Superflow manganese

Canyon Ultimate SL 8

2023 Canyon Ultimate SL 8.
Canyon
  • Price: £3,199 / $3,999 / €3,199/ AU$4,799
  • Frame: Canyon Ultimate SL
  • Fork: Canyon Ultimate SL
  • Groupset: Shimano Ultegra R8020
  • Power meter: No
  • Wheels: DT Swiss Performance LN
  • Tyres: Continental GP5000, clincher, 25mm front / 28mm rear
  • Seatpost: Canyon SP0055 (20mm setback)
  • Handlebar/stem: Canyon H36
  • Saddle: Selle Italia Model X

Canyon Ultimate SL 7

2023 Canyon Ultimate SL 7.
Canyon
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  • Price: £2,699 / $2,999 / €2,699 / AU$4,899
  • Frame: Canyon Ultimate SL
  • Fork: Canyon Ultimate SL
  • Groupset: Shimano 105 R7020
  • Power meter: No
  • Wheels: DT Swiss Performance LN
  • Tyres: Continental GP5000, clincher, 25mm front / 28mm rear
  • Seatpost: Canyon SP0055 (20mm setback)
  • Handlebar/stem: Canyon H36
  • Saddle: Selle Italia Model X