Looking to buy yourself a shiny aluminium endurance bike? Then there’s a pretty good chance that Canyon’s Endurace in one form or other – disc or rim brakes, carbon or aluminium frame – will be on your radar. But why aluminium over carbon fibre?
Value. You’ll get more bang for your buck buying metal rather than carbon. That’s why the Endurace AL 8.0 Disc is yours for £1,649, with a complete Shimano Ultegra disc groupset and a Mavic UST wheelset consisting of Aksium Disc rims and tubeless-ready Yksion Pro tyres in a comfort-friendly 28mm width.
By contrast, the similarly specced carbon Endurace is £600 more and only around 600g lighter, not something you’d notice much in practice.
Commutes and hillier rides were tackled with measured and smooth-rolling ease. David Caudery/Immediate Media
The aluminium frame is light, at a claimed 1,350g, and it’s paired with a full-carbon fork. It features Canyon’s Sport geometry and comes with all the usual comfort-boosting touches: narrow seatstays for absorbing road buzz and even a carbon seatpost that has Canyon’s VCLS – Vertical Compliance, Lateral Stiffness – technology.
The handlebar is swept-back slightly and gently ovalised on the tops, which is great for endurance riding and pretty much my favourite combination. Canyon’s own Ergospeed Gel tape and Selle Italia’s X3 saddle complete an impressive – and, yes, comfortable – spec.
The Mavic wheel and tyre combination is also good for the price; the 28mm tyres are the perfect size to balance comfort and speed on the road.
A very neat touch are the axles, which blend the best of thru-axles and quick-release levers. The thru-axles ensure good braking and to take the wheels out you just undo the levers.
A final plus is the DT Swiss-style cam lever. Once you’ve tightened the lever, a cam lets you pull it out so you can point the lever in whichever direction you want.
Ultegra works impeccably. David Caudery/Immediate Media
The Shimano Ultegra disc groupset is faultless, with the usual powerful and controlled braking and smooth, accurate shifting.
Canyon specs a 34t sprocket, giving you just that little bit more climbing assistance. And, unlike a single-ring setup, stronger riders are unlikely to run out of gears at the top end; I certainly didn’t spin out on the 50×34 pairing.
Seatpost with Vertical Compliance Lateral Stiffness. David Caudery/Immediate Media
There’s no doubt that you feel more through the Endurace aluminium frame than its carbon equivalent. But that’s not always a bad thing.
The frameset, seatpost, wheels and contact points dull the worst of the road buzz while giving you enough feedback for an engaging and enjoyable ride that emphasises comfort over all-out speed. That’s not to say if you want to put the hammer down it’s slow – it’s not. And Canyon’s geometry, even on its endurance bike, is never that slack.
I got in commutes and longer, hillier rides on this. And each was tackled with measured, smooth-rolling ease. It’s a pleasingly nimble climber and a poised, precise descender where it’s helped by excellent braking.
Its commuting credentials are slightly dented by a lack of rack and mudguard fittings, but you could squeeze in aftermarket blades.
A pleasingly nimble climber and a poised, precise descender. Robert Smith
My only other criticism is Canyon’s sizing chart, which makes me a small rather than a medium.
But for long-distance road-based cruising this Endurace Disc is up there with the very best.
Canyon Endurace AL8.0 Disc geometry
Seat angle: 74.5 degrees
Head angle: 74 degrees
Seat tube: 53.7cm
Top tube: 53.7cm
Head tube: 16.7cm
Fork offset: 3.35cm
Bottom bracket drop: 7.3cm
Bottom bracket height: 26.8cm