Canyon has revealed its 2020 Grail CF SLX and CF SL line-up, with fresh paint jobs and new builds that use the latest gravel-specific GRX components from Shimano and 12-speed AXS parts from SRAM to provide friendlier off-road gearing.
The Canyon Grail is one of the most distinctive bikes available today, thanks to its comfort-enhancing, double-decker handlebar, and the box-fresh 2020 range is more eye-catching than ever.
Two bikes make up the flagship SLX range, costing £4,299 (€4,599) and £4,549 (€4,899), while the second-tier CF SL collection is made up of seven builds, from £2,049 (€2,199) to £3,349 (€3,599).
The Grail was originally launched in March 2018 as Canyon’s first dedicated gravel bike and the ‘hoverbar’ was unsurprisingly its most talked about feature.
By suspending the ‘tops’ from the base of the handlebar, Canyon claims it has been able to exploit the elastic properties of carbon fibre to improve comfort, while retaining stiffness when steering and sprinting.
The flip side, as with any proprietary handlebar, is an inherent lack of adjustability, and Canyon’s unique design requires more buy-in from a prospective rider than, say, a one-piece aero cockpit.
That aside, the Grail is otherwise a wholly capable all-road machine, with generous tyre clearance (42mm with 700c wheels), a geometry that balances race reactivity with off-road stability, and a lightweight carbon frame that weighs a claimed 830g for the flagship SLX chassis and 1,040g for SL bikes.
Let’s not forget the aluminium Canyon AL, either. It’s one of our favourite gravel frames of 2019 – and the only place in the Grail range where you can get a regular cockpit as standard – but Canyon has yet to announce the 2020 AL line-up, so we’ll focus on the new carbon machines here.
The Canyon Grail CF SLX 8.0 eTap sits at the top of the range and comes with a 1x SRAM Force eTap AXS 12-speed drivetrain (42t chainset) and a 10-50t SRAM Eagle cassette.
The rolling stock is made up of DT Swiss GRC1400 Spline db wheels wrapped in the 40mm Schwalbe G-One Bite tyres found across the Grail range. Claimed weight for the complete bike is an impressive 8.3kg.
You’ll then find the Grail CF SLX 8.0 Di2 which, as the name suggests, features a full Shimano GRX800 Di2 groupset (we rode this for the first time just last month). There’s a 48-31t chainset and 11-34t cassette, while Reynolds provides the ATR SH11 wheels.
Of the seven bikes in the more affordable Grail CF SL range, the cheapest of the lot, the £2,049 Grail CF SL 7.0, is our pick of the bunch.
As we’ve come to expect from Canyon, it packs a punch on paper, with a Shimano GRX600 groupset, DT Swiss C 1850 Spline db wheels and a claimed weight of 8.90kg. Like the rest of the bikes in the carbon Grail range, it features the wild Canyon CP07 Gravelcockpit CF handlebar.
Both of the flagship CF SLX bikes are available in a new ‘forest orange’ colour that’s sure to turn heads, while a selection of the more affordable CF SL bikes have the option of an equally adventurous ‘discovery blue’ paint job. More conservative options are available, too.