The first rim brake Aeroad appeared over four years ago, with the disc model arriving some time later. Its sleek looks, integration and specification marked it out as a racy contender for class-leading honours.
Some of the latest road aero machines have arguably surpassed the Aeroad’s styling, and offer even greater levels of integration, but few can match its value.
The Aeroad CF SL Disc 8.0 Di2 has a specification list as long as its name and it offers Shimano Ultegra Di2 shifting, as well as hydraulic disc brakes. And the 62mm DT Swiss wheelset, and Canyon’s integrated carbon bar and stem couldn’t shout aerodynamics any louder.
My medium weighed in at 7.64kg, which is impressive given the quantity of carbon fibre on display. Although the Aeroad prioritises aerodynamics it’s still a versatile bike.
The carbon cockpit gives the feeling of lateral stiffness. David Caudery / Immediate Media
The medium frame’s 146mm head tube allows for the most aggressive positions, and is so short that the near horizontal top tube still leaves a decent amount of exposed seatpost to provide seated comfort.
The standard cockpit has a bar width of 410mm and stem length of 100mm but if, like me, you’d prefer more (or less) length, Canyon offers an exchange scheme. The cables and brake hoses run within external channels under the bar, so swapping is simple.
Two things are immediately apparent when setting out on the Aeroad. First is its obvious stiffness with an extremely direct sensation of acceleration from every pedal stroke; second is the deep carbon rim whoosh as the bike leans from side to side.
The feeling of lateral stiffness starts from the unyielding carbon cockpit, continues along the large truncated airfoil profile down-tube, and through the beefy chainstays via a sizeable bottom bracket shell.
Dropped seatstays keep the rear triangle compact. David Caudery / Immediate Media
The space between the seat tube and rear wheel is filled in and dropped seatstays keep the rear triangle compact. Deep, wide carbon rims further increase lateral stiffness, and pouring hundreds of watts through the drivetrain just arrows the bike forwards ever faster, with little hint of deflection.
For real-world shifting performance, Ultegra Di2 is hard to beat. It’s so quick and accurate and has superbly ergonomic hoods that, for most, the expense of Dura-Ace is unnecessary. The 52/36 and 11-28 ratios gear this bike for performance, but it’ll still romp up most climbs with ease.
Continental’s Force and Attack clinchers – 25mm rear and 23mm front – play their part in the Aeroad’s whoosh and are intended to improve aerodynamics. In these days of larger volume tyres at both ends, the concept of giving away potential front-end grip and comfort seems alien, but their saving grace is the ARC1400 wheelset. Its generously wide, tubeless-ready rims expand the Contis to 28mm and 26mm respectively.
Although at times it’s a choppy ride, this machine is built for speed. Russell Burton
Uncompromisingly quick, the Aeroad’s performance-enhancing stiffness isn’t equally matched by comforting compliance. It’s far from the sort of cast-iron boneshaker that existed before carbon design and layups improved, but alongside some seriously plush and fast competitors, it’s perhaps showing its age.
Vibration and road buzz absorption are good, but the sort of frequent surface undulations found on often-repaired tarmac make the ride quite choppy. Long-ride comfort from the contact points remains pretty good though.
The tyres’ expanded contact patch and lowered pressure help the handling to feel precise, railing fast, technical corners and carrying speed efficiently.
Its 73.3-degree head angle makes for a slightly more active front end than some, but control is never in question. The overriding sensation is just its pure speed.
The Aeroad CF SL Disc 8.0 Di2 has a specification list as long as its name. Courtesy
Canyon Aeroad CF SL Disc 8.0 Di2 geometry
Seat angle: 73.5 degrees
Head angle: 73.3 degrees
Seat tube: 54.1cm
Top tube: 56cm