Canyon Ultimate CF SL Disc 8.0 Di2 Aero review

Value-packed flyweight race machine and one of our Performance Bike of the Year contenders

Our rating 
4.0 out of 5 star rating 4.0
GBP £3,749.00 RRP | EUR €3,999.00 | AUD $5,299.00
Canyon Ultimate CF SL Disc 8.0 Di2 Aero black road bike

Our review

Awesome specification matched to a fast, exciting ride
Pros: Light; extremely fast; sharp handling
Cons: Firmer front than rear; takes some getting used to
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The Canyon Ultimate CF SL Disc 8.0 Di2 Aero is the most race-ready bike on test in this year’s Bike of the Year, and rides better than past versions but retains lightness and stiffness.

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The size large R051 chassis is lightweight (920g frame), but also shaped and sculpted for compliance. The angular front-end junctions add stiffness, while the straight-legged and skinny forks offer fore-aft compliance.

The seatstays are incredibly skinny and meet lightweight carbon dropouts that blend into mid-sized, squared-off chainstays.

Canyon Ultimate CF SL Disc 8
Those skinny seatstays.
David Caudery / Immediate Media

Bike of the Year 2020

The Canyon Ultimate CF SL Disc 8.0 Di2 Aero is part of our annual Bike of the Year test.

Head to our Bike of the Year hub for the full list of winners, categories and shortlisted bikes, as well as the latest reviews – or read our behind-the-scenes feature on how we tested Bike of the Year 2020.

Canyon Ultimate CF SL Disc 8
Shimano’s Pressfit BB72 is substantial.
David Caudery / Immediate Media

The bottom bracket is substantial but the seat tube flowing from it is flattened in its lower third. It’s that combination of seatstays, seat tube, buzz-killing VCLS seatpost and Fizik Antares saddle that serves up a smooth ride outback, despite 48mm-deep stiff carbon DT Swiss wheels that feature a narrow profile and 25mm Continental tyres.

Upfront the story’s less clear. On the positive, the one-piece CP10 carbon bar and stem reduces drag and it’s aero-bike fast over silky tarmac.

Unfortunately, in sync with the steep, 73.3 head angle, straight-legged fork and narrow tyre, it’s a little ragged over rough roads.

Canyon Ultimate CF SL Disc 8
The front-end can feel a little twitchy.
David Caudery / Immediate Media

It handles well through fast, open corners and holds speed beautifully, but the front end doesn’t feel as balanced as, say, Focus’s Izalco. The mix of steep head angle and narrow bar-width edges into twitchy territory.

The sharpness of the steering, for example, means that you can veer into oversteering until you’ve acclimatised to the subtle adjustments.

Canyon Ultimate CF SL Disc 8
The Ultimate is a light and stiff and fast.
David Caudery / Immediate Media

The Ultimate’s race-DNA means that your concentration mustn’t wane, but treat it with respect and you’ll fly. Those speed intentions derive from the 592mm stack and 399mm reach on my large size.

As noted, the head angle’s steep at 73.3 degrees and at 73.8 degrees, the seat angle’s steep to match. A 1,011mm wheelbase steers the Ultimate CF into an aggressive position that encourages effort and subsequent speed.

Canyon’s direct-to-consumer model cuts down on overheads and those savings are passed on.

Canyon Ultimate CF SL Disc 8
Shimano Ultegra Di2 (52/36, 11-30 cassette).
David Caudery / Immediate Media

Shimano Ultegra Di2 handles shifting duties and it’d be hard to justify upgrading to Dura-Ace Di2. Canyon hasn’t skimped on rotors, either, choosing Shimano’s Ice Tech 160mm rotors upfront and at the rear.

The Continental GP5000 tyres are among the best and sit on DT Swiss ARC 1400 Dicut wheels, which are tubeless compatible.

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Canyon must be applauded for the Ultimate and a specification that’s up there with superbikes. It’s arguably the most race-focused on test, although it requires handling dexterity to maximise its capabilities.
Canyon Ultimate CF SL Disc 8
Fizik’s Antares saddle sits atop the carbon seatpost.
David Caudery / Immediate Media

Canyon Ultimate CF SL Disc 8.0 Di2 Aero geometry

  • Sizes (* tested): XXS, XS, S, M, L*, XL, XXL
  • Seat angle: 73.5 degrees
  • Head angle: 73.3 degrees
  • Chainstay: 41.5cm
  • Seat tube: 55.4cm
  • Top tube: 57.1cm
  • Head tube: 17.4cm
  • Bottom bracket drop: 7cm
  • Wheelbase: 1,011mm
  • Stack: 59.2cm
  • Reach: 39.9cm

With thanks to…

BikeRadar would like to thank 100%, Q36.5, Lazer, Garmin and Facom for their support during our Bike of the Year test.

Product Specifications


Price br_price, 5, 3, Price, AUD $5299.00EUR €3999.00GBP £3749.00
Weight br_weight, 5, 6, Weight, 7.54kg (L), Array, kg
Brand br_brand, 5, 10, Brand, Canyon


Available sizes br_availableSizes, 11, 0, Available sizes, XXS, XS, S, M, L, XL, XXL
Bottom bracket br_bottomBracket, 11, 0, Bottom bracket, Shimano Pressfit BB72
Brakes br_brakes, 11, 0, Brakes, Shimano Ultegra Di2 R8070 with Ice Tech 160mm rotors
Cassette br_cassette, 11, 0, Cassette, Shimano Ultegra 11-30
Cranks br_cranks, 11, 0, Cranks, Shimano Ultegra 52/36
Fork br_fork, 11, 0, Fork, Carbon
Frame br_frame, 11, 0, Frame, Canyon Ultimate CF SL Disc Carbon
Front derailleur br_frontDerailleur, 11, 0, Front derailleur, Shimano Ultegra Di2
Handlebar br_handlebar, 11, 0, Handlebar, One-piece CP10 carbon bar and stem
Rear derailleur br_rearDerailleur, 11, 0, Rear derailleur, Shimano Ultegra Di2
Saddle br_saddle, 11, 0, Saddle, Fizik Antares
Seatpost br_seatpost, 11, 0, Seatpost, Canyon carbon
Shifter br_shifter, 11, 0, Shifter, Shimano Ultegra Di2
Stem br_stem, 11, 0, Stem, One-piece CP10 carbon bar and stem
Tyres br_tyres, 11, 0, Tyres, Continental GP5000 25mm
Wheels br_wheels, 11, 0, Wheels, DT Swiss ARC 1400