Canyon’s Speedmax prototype: slick, fast, illegal

Canyon targets Plasma 5 with new race-proven tri-specific rig

Canyon’s Eurobike stand is usually packed with prototypes and this year the German brand was showing off a new triathlon-specific version of its Speedmax TT bike.

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This is the exact model ridden to victory at the Ironman European champs by German pro and Olympic gold medallist Jan Frodeno. The new Speedmax triathlon-specific prototype features UCI-illegal tweaks to make this superbike – already one of the lightest and fastest out there – both quicker and more practical for long-distance riding.

Canyon reps wouldn’t be drawn into conversation regarding the new Speedmax, but there are plenty of obvious modifications here. The frame has extended tube ratios compared with the existing Speedmax, with the head tube and seat tube getting deeper profiles, while the seat / top tube junction has been massively beefed by a diagonally sloping design very reminiscent of the Scott Plasma 5.

Also following in the tyre tracks of that world champs-winning bike, the Speedmax tri features a redesigned cockpit with a bolt-on hydration and storage system.

The front end features what looks like a 3d-printed hydration system:

The new Speedmax’s integrated front end

The drinks bottle hugs the front of the bayonet-style stem. In contrast to Scott’s version, the bottle, which looks to be 3D printed for this prototype, has a completely flat bottom. A straw pops out the top for on-the-go slurping, but can be locked down to keep it out of the wind.

In front of the bottle is a Garmin mount – we’re also expecting compatibility with the new Canyon / Sony Smart Bike computer. Directly behind the hydration system is a food / accessories storage box with a slitted rubber lid. The seatpost also features a bottle cage mount, for secure, out-of-the-way stowing of standard-size bidons.

When Frodeno switched from Specialized to Canyon his SRAM sponsorship, combined with the lack of mechanical cable compatibility on the Speedmax, meant he was one of the first athletes to use SRAM’s wireless groupset for time trialling.

SRAM is still trying to keep the shift buttons under wraps (check out Ben Delaney’s look at Kristen Armstrong’s bike for those), but one aspect of SRAM’s wireless derailleurs we’d not seen before is the red plastic tag, that reminds you to install a battery before use – thanks for the tip guys!

Check out more pictures in the gallery above.

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