A versatile, comfortable and value-for-money bike that's hard to beat
Buy if, You want a great value-for-money bike that's comfortable, versatile, and great for everything from winter training to everyday riding and sportive events
The all-new Canyon Endurace WMN is a value-for-money sportive machine that doesn’t compromise on parts, looks or comfort. Available in a wide range of sizes, it’s the first of a new generation of bikes from Canyon to feature bespoke women’s specific geometry.
The whole new Endurace range comes with disc brakes as standardRussell Burton / Immediate Media
Endurace WMN highlights
Hydraulic disc brakes across the whole range
New women’s specific geometry
Carbon or aluminium frame option
Shorter reach without a more upright position
Bespoke women’s geometry
Direct-sell brand Canyon has built a solid reputation for developing bikes that ride well and represent good quality for money.
While the brand has always had what it listed as ‘women’s specific’ models, these were based around a unisex frame with women’s specific finishing kit, but no longer.
The new Endurace WMN, and its racy sister the Ultimate WMN, now have a bespoke geometry that’s based on data Canyon has collected directly over the years.
The Endurace WMN CF 7.0 is the entry-level carbon model in the new women’s specific Endurace WMN range, though at the other end of the spectrum there’s the top-of-the-range special edition Endurace WMN CF SLX Disc 9.0 Team CSR, which I’ve also ridden.
Canyon Endurace WMN CF SL 7.0 ride impressions
Out on the road
During testing I rode the Endurace around the sweeping hills of Koblenz in Germany, where the company’s HQ is located, and took it on plenty of long rides around the Mendip Hills and Somerset levels in the UK — it even got out for a spot of urban commuting.
I found this bike exceedingly comfortable over long and short distances. The compliance in the frame and the carbon seatpost, combined with cushioning from the 28mm tyres, allowed me to almost glide over the road surface without fatiguing.
It doesn’t have quite the same plush feel as pricier models, which include features such as a split seatpost to absorb more of those lumps and bumps, but for the price the comfort is impressive.
Despite being a few millimetres shorter than the unisex model, the position doesn’t feel more upright but does feel more fitted and comfortable over longer rides.
The new Canyon Endurace WMN has a top tube length of 535mm, a reach of 369mm and a stack of 561mm. For comparison, for this type of riding, the Specialized Ruby comes up longer and considerably more upright with a top tube length of 544mm (though a similar reach of 370mm) and a stack of 596mm. The women’s specific Liv Avail has a longer top tube length and reach (540mm and 377mm respectively) and a taller stack at 569mm.
Canyon finishing kit throughout includes aluminium bars and stem, and a carbon seatpostRussell Burton / Immediate Media
Personally, I’m a big fan of disc brakes on road bikes, particularly those more focussed towards endurance or sportive riding. Unsurprisingly, the braking power over previous non-disc models is immediately noticeable, allowing smooth braking control and the ability to shave of a little speed here and there in a controlled manner.
One niggle I do have are the chunky hoods of the Shimano RS505 levers. They make reaching for the brakes while on the hoods awkward and uncomfortable over long descents, but there is some scope for adjustability in the reach. This is an issue that comes up regularly for riders with smaller hands, particularly women, as there is limited spec choice for manufacturers when it comes to hydraulic brake levers and until that changes this will continue to be an issue for some riders.
The bolt-thru-axle design feels considerably more secure and direct than the skewer system used by older disc brake bikes, and handling feels secure, stable and surprisingly fast.
The Endurace feels planted in the corners, though is definitely not as quick and nimble to manoeuvre as more aggressive, race-oriented bikes, such as the Canyon Ultimate and Liv Langma.
Canyon Endurace WMN CF SL 7.0 gearing and brakes
The Endurace WMN CF 7.0 comes with full Shimano 105 groupset including hydraulic disc brakes. Canyon has opted to go full-disc across the new range, with no rim-brake options available although you will see a few of the previous generation WMN bikes with rim options lingering on the site.
The wide gear range comes courtesy of Shimano 105Russell Burton / Immediate Media
The gearing comprises a 50/34t chain ring paired with a wide 11-32t 11-speed cassette, though both the XXXS and XXS frame sizes have a bigger 52/36t chainset which compensates for the smaller rolling diameter of the smaller 650b wheels that are fitted.
This provided ample gearing for all the hills I encountered, as well as for powering along the flats.
The DT Swiss E 1800 Spline wheelset has a tubeless-ready setup with Schwalbe Pro One tyres, which helps cut down the overall weight and reduces the risk of puncturing.
Finishing kit includes aluminium stem and bars, the latter of which vary in width and diameter depending on the bike size to help ensure the best fit.
Finally, the overall look of the bike is excellent. It’s available in either a stealthy gloss black or a matt turquoise, cables are routed internally, and a sleek integrated seat clamp is located at the rear of the seat tube, keeping lines clean and neat.
I even got on with the Selle Italia X1 Lady Flow saddle it comes specced with. This is obviously a matter of personal preference, but I found the fit and supportive padding worked well for me, though generally I prefer something a little less bulky, such as the Specialized Power saddle.
Canyon frame sizing
One of the main features of note in the new Endurace WMN range, and indeed in its racier sister the Ultimate, is the wide range of sizes available.
Both the Endurace and the Ultimate go from a size XXXS to a M, which Canyon states covers riders from 152cm to 186cm, which means smaller and taller riders are catered for.
DT Swiss wheels with thru-axles give a secure feeling, particularly over rough terrainRussell Burton / Immediate Media
Canyon has also opted to fit the XXXS and XXS models with smaller 650b wheels, as previously mentioned.
If you’re wondering why, it’s because the geometry of the smallest frame sizes of bikes are often tweaked to fit the regular 700c wheel size that’s standard for a road bike. Canyon opted for smaller wheel sizes to keep the geometry — and therefore the handling and feel — consistent across the range. The smaller wheel size also eliminates toe overlap when turning.
While I am too tall to ride the smaller sizes, I did talk to a couple of more petite riders at the launch event to hear their thoughts on the smaller wheel size. They commented that for the first time, in their experience, they felt like they were actually centred on the bike and riding it, rather than feeling perched on top, and that the handling seemed much improved.
Hand-in-hand with this smaller wheel size comes smaller cranks; the XXXS and XXS are fitted with 165mm cranks, the XS has 170mm, and the S and M 172.5mm. This corresponds with the gearing options as mentioned above.
Following Canyon’s online sizing system is crucial however because its bikes size up larger than many other brands. At 5’8/173cm I’d usually ride a 54cm or medium-sized frame, but in Canyon sizing I take a small — and this is consistent across both its unisex and WMN ranges.
Canyon Endurace WMN CF SL 7.0 pricing and availability
While the saddle won’t be to everyone’s taste, I found it comfortableRussell Burton / Immediate Media
Priced at £1,799 / AU$2,899, the Ultimate WMN CF 7.0 is the entry-level carbon model, with the range going right up to the Ultimate WMN CF SL DISC 9.0 LTD at £4,999.
If your budget doesn’t stretch as far as carbon, worry not, for Canyon has also produced an aluminium selection of bikes with the same geometry as the pricier carbon Ultimates. These range from £1,349 to £1,699, again disc brake only.
You will also spot non-disc Endurace WMN bikes on the website in both the carbon and aluminium frame version. These do not feature the new women’s specific geometry, and are the older generation of unisex frame.
Internal cable routing keeps this bike looking sleek and speedyRussell Burton / Immediate Media
Availability on the Canyon Europe website is, at the time of publishing, good with the vast majority of sizes and colours available to ship immediately. Canyon regularly updates its product availability online and provides estimated availability dates when products are out of stock. So, if you need something quickly best check that it’s in stock before making your purchase.
While Canyon has recently launched in the USA, sadly this particular model is not available there, though you can purchase the aluminium version.
Interestingly, Canyon has bucked the trend for raising prices in the UK and this model costs the same as the non-disc equivalent of the previous year.
The integrated seatpost collar is adjusted from the rearRussell Burton / Immediate Media
Canyon Endurace WMN CF SL 7.0 overall
This is a bike that’s hard to fault, particularly when you factor in the price point. It looks good, has great quality parts for the money, carbon frame and forks, and is ripe for future upgrades.
The ride feel is comfortable and relatively versatile. Plenty of clearance around the wheels means you can pop on a chunkier set of tyres and boost your comfort levels further, or choose something that provides better traction in slick or muddy conditions.
Stick on handlebar and seatpost bags and take it for light bikepacking, pop on mudguards and use it for winter training, or have it as your go-to bike. If you’re thinking of commuting on it, bear in mind that it doesn’t have the lugs to fit a full pannier rack.
All in all it’s been my favourite so far this year to test, well suited to the type of riding I do, and an excellent choice if you don’t have big bucks to spend.
Why the move to women’s specific geometry?
Canyon launched the new Endurance WMN in spring 2017, and it’s notable for several reasons.
First, the older version of the Canyon Ultimate WMN has both won and scored highly in various categories of previous BikeRadar Bike of the Year tests, so any update to a high-performing and popular bike is worth closer scrutiny.
Second, Canyon has decided to develop a frame with women’s specific geometry. This is significant because the debate around women’s specific geometry is still ongoing.Brands such as Liv have long stated that there are a significant enough morphological differences between the average man and women to warrant developing a frame optimised for female riders.
Members of the Canyon//SRAM team have been involved in the development of the new Ultimate
Specialized, on the other hand, has looked at the data it has gathered and determined that a unisex frame, which takes into account both male and female morphology and biometrics, is suitable for the vast majority of cyclists.
As a direct sell brand, Canyon has built up its own body of data based on a range of body measurements that customers input into the site to determine frame size as part of the bike buying process.
Its data suggests that women tend to have (on average) shorter arms and therefore a shorter reach, a lighter weight and lower power output per height, and a lower average height. Canyon also says that the traditional ‘long legs shorter body’ view was not borne out by the data it collected.
As a result, the company has adapted the geometry to give a slightly shorter reach, extended the sizing range down to XXXS and altered the frame design to produce a lighter frame weight and more aerodynamic profile. Although the reach is shorter, the stack has also been adjusted, so unlike some women’s geometry bikes you don’t end up in a more upright position.
Ensuring the performance of bikes is consistent across smaller sizes within a range is also important, not least because Canyon is a headline sponsor of the Canyon//SRAM pro women’s team. A number of the riders within the team ride smaller sizes, and having a professional level bike that fits and performs equally well as those ridden by teammates and competitors is obviously of critical importance.
Members of the Canyon//SRAM team have been involved in the development of the new Ultimate, the Endurace’s racier sister, and the Endurace has also undergone a testing and feedback process with prototype models.
Aoife is an experienced journalist, editor and product tester. With 6 years’ experience of reviewing bikes and kit, she’s ridden and rated nearly every women’s road and mountain bike available on the market. She enjoys putting the latest products through their paces, helping riders find the right kit for them and sharing the best advice, hints and tips to help them get the most out of riding.