The best paintwork in the peloton is now yours to buy
When the Canyon//SRAM pro cycling team launched in 2016 it did so with one of the nicest liveries we’ve seen in the sport. This bike, Canyon’s Ultimate WMN CF SLX 9.0 TEAM CSR, not only wears the same enviable colour scheme as the bikes in that team, it also shares the frame and many of the components used by a selection of the fastest women on the planet.
The svelte, purposefully shaped frame of the Ultimate is said to come in at 780g for a size medium sample, and presumably less for our size small test bike. It’s worth mentioning that any riders already using a frame above 52cm may have to look elsewhere as that’s where this frame tops out, though smaller women will be pleased to learn that these are made down to a miniscule 2XS size with a 43cm seat tube, which Canyon states will suit a rider from 158cm or 5 foot 1 inches tall.
We don’t think we’ll ever tire of seeing this colourwayOliver Woodman/Immediate Media
This is also the same chassis that has been beneath Tiffany Cromwell, Hannah Barnes and the rest of the Canyon//SRAM pro cycling team. Compare it to the previous generation Ultimate CF SLX and you’ll find a different seat cluster, which neatly incorporates its clamp in a cleaner, more aerodynamic way than before.
But it’s the positioning of this clamp that is also key. Situated low down on the frame’s seat tube, it secures the Canyon S13 VCLS post in a way that maximizes what Canyon refers to as a ‘vertical leeway’. Because of this, seated comfort is claimed to be up 15% over the last bike, and we know from experience that it’s a system that works extremely well.
The seat clamp is tightened via a single allen key bolt. It’s positioned low at the seat tube in order to maximise comfortOliver Woodman/Immediate Media
The front triangle and fork legs now feature kamm-tail aero profiling, while the down tube itself has been changed significantly to better cheat the wind. Leading the way is Canyon’s one-piece H36 aero cockpit: it’s particularly well executed and combines a fixed reach measurement of 74mm, a drop of 130mm and a width of 390mm.
At £5,399 / AU$8,599 (US price TBC) this model tops out the women’s specific side of Canyon’s Ultimate range. Its build pairs the best of SRAM’s mechanic drawer with Zipp’s superb 303 Firecrest wheelset, amounting to a UCI illegal 6.56kg in size small.
A closer look at the one-piece Canyon H36 aero cockpitOliver Woodman/Immediate Media
We are extremely fond of the 303s here at BikeRadar. In disc and non-disc flavour our only real criticism with these has been the high price, which itself makes up a large portion of this bike’s price tag. Wrapped around the generous 28.5mm wide rims are Continental’s Grand Prix 4000S II tyres in the all-important BlackChili compound offering maximum grip.
The mechanical version of SRAM’s Red 22 groupset stands around 80g lighter than the electronic eTap version, making it the obvious choice for this weight weenie build. Standard seating comes in the form of Selle Italia’s SLS Lady Flow SE saddle.
Those willing to shed the Zipps and that lovely paintwork may want to know about Canyon’s Ultegra Di2 build that exists for a whole £2,000 / AU$4,100 less with a weight penalty of just a few hundred grams.
Even though in reality very few are likely to stump up for this exact build, it’s undoubtedly the closest most of us will get to rolling like the pros… and it looks the business, too.