Canyon Urban 7.0 review

Super-distinctive flat-barred city slicker

Our rating 
3.5 out of 5 star rating 3.5
GBP £1,300.00 RRP

Our review

Lovely fast ride and great kit, but adjustability might be an issue
Buy if, You want a quick city slicker mainly for short, sharp rides
Pros: Light, fast, efficient; clean, low-maintenance gates belt drive; superb hydraulic disc brakes
Cons: Price and limited adjustability are its main drawbacks
Skip to view product specifications

Bikes for commuting need to be tough and tend to fall into well-recognised camps, whether tourer, hybrid or cyclocrosser. But this contender from direct-buy king Canyon is ploughing a very distinct Teutonic furrow.

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Fresh urban approach

The German online retailer obviously gave its design team a clean slate – or whatever the electronic version is – when it told them to make its machine for the concrete jungle. The Canyon Urban is the result. It’s available in four permutations, and we tested the top-end belt-driven model.

There’s a more expensive Canyon ‘Commuter’, which also comes in belt and chain drive versions. When testing, the futuristic Canyon drew more than its fair share of comments – not all of them entirely positive, we might add.

Neat and unobtrusive but the stem is one size only, limiting adjustability:

It’s neat and unobtrusive but the stem is one size only, limiting adjustability

The Canyon is impressively light and, though an urban machine, it’s in Canyon’s ‘Category 2’, which means it can be used on maintained gravel tracks and dirt roads. The super-slick Kojak tyres aren’t the best on loose gravel but are an absolute winner in its more traditional urban heartlands.

The downside of such a distinctive design is that you have to get the sizing bang on when you buy, and this is an internet-only purchase so trying before you buy isn’t an option. Our tester would have liked a longer stem than the 80mm one fitted, for instance, but that’s standard on the two smaller size Urbans, and as it’s a dedicated design swapping it is a non-starter.

Too much security?

Punctures might also be a bit of an issue to sort, as the bike comes with Ixow Wheelguard Gravity security axles. It’s a neat system to improve bike security, only allowing the axles to be unscrewed and the wheel removed when the bike’s upside down, but forget the dedicated key and you’ll have to repair the puncture in situ – with a puncture repair kit. Damage the tube totally and be prepared to walk!

Not everyone who passed comment on the urban during testing took a shine to its looks:
Philip Sowels

The Urban’s look is a conversation starter

The hydraulic disc brakes, however, are pretty much faultless, and the Gates Carbon belt drive smooth, clean and oil free.

The ride is lovely. A lot of Canyon’s own flexy seatpost is exposed, but you can still feel the efficiency and stiffness of the compact alloy frame. The Urban’s wheels are notably small, though they’re not the old 26in mountain bike standard we thought they were, but the newer (or rediscovered) 650b, also known as 27.5in.

Their size means they roll better than 26in wheels and they’re tougher than 700c wheels. In spite of being a ‘new’ size (if you’re a roadie, anyway), there’s already a lot of choice, especially in rubber designed for gnarlier rides.

The urban is a winner for zipping around rough city streets – just take care with the sizing:

The Urban is a winner for zipping around rough city streets – just take care with the sizing

Its lack of adjustability is probably its main weakness, but the Urban is light, fast and comfortable, and ideal for shorter, sharper commutes, zinging through traffic, bouncing over potholes and dropping off kerbs with élan. It’s great fun, too.

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We’d put more versatile bar-ends on for a greater variety of riding positions, but the Gates belt drive is a winner. It’s surprising given its lack of need for lubing that it hasn’t become more popular in urban machines. Our guess is that the extra expense has put companies and consumers off, though the trade-off is that the belt will outlast numerous chains, and there’s no oil to stain your clothes.

Commuter bike group test

Product Specifications

Product

Name Urban 7.0
Brand Canyon

Available Sizes S M L XL
Rear Wheel Weight 3000
Wheelbase (cm) 100.5
Top Tube (cm) 57
Standover Height (cm) 80
Seat Tube (cm) 49
Chainstays (cm) 41
Bottom Bracket Height (cm) 28
Weight (kg) 10.02
Trail 5.8
Stem Canyon integrated
Shifters Shimano Alfine
Seatpost Canyon VCLS 2.0 carbon fibre
Seat Angle 72
Saddle Selle San Marco custom leather
Rims DT Swiss XR331
Rear Tyre Schwalbe Kojak 27.5x35mm (650b)
Bottom Bracket SRAM GXP press-fit
Frame Material Canyon Urban aluminium
Brakes Shimano BR-M506 hydraulic discs
Cassette Shimano Alfine 8-speed hub gear
Chain Gates CDN belt
Cranks Miranda Delta Hollowtube/Gates CDX
Fork One One Four SL Disk carbon
Fork Offset 5
Front Hub DT Swiss Centerlock 370 front
Rear Hub Shimano Alfine
Front Tyre Schwalbe Kojak 27.5x35mm (650b)
Front Wheel Weight 1400
Handlebar Canyon H27 flat
Head Angle 72
Headset Type Canyon integrated
Rear Derailleur Shimano Alfine 8-speed hub
Frame size tested M