Canyon has hit the sweet spot, smashed the ball out of the park and generally hit the bullseye with its aluminium Endurace road bikes over the last few years. You can choose whatever cliché you like, but the German direct seller’s Endurance has proved popular with cycling press and punter alike.
- The Canyon Endurace AL 7.0 is one of our Bike of the Year bikes for 2018. To read reviews of the other contenders and the categories tested across road, mountain and women's bikes, visit our Bike of the Year hub.
The Endurace AL7.0 is a compact-framed aluminium bike with non-smoothed welds and a full-carbon 1 1/8in fork. Claimed weights are 1,350g for the frame and another 350g for the fork.
The 7.0 is the middle of the three-bike range and there are also a couple carbon Endurace models from £1,349 in men’s, women’s and disc versions.
The Endurace is available in seven sizes from XS to a whopping 3XL, with a 24.8cm head tube for riders up to 204cm tall (a shade over 6ft 8in). There's a rider and bike limit of 120kg too, which should cover most of us.
So, short, tall, big or small just what are you getting for your £999?
In addition to that endurance-friendly frame (581mm stack, 375mm reach, 175mm head tube for my Medium) you’re getting one of the lightest bikes available at this price, coming in at less than 8.5kg.
Canyon Endurace AL7.0 kit
Unboxing and setting it up took very little time, but I'd recommend enrolling a friend if you doubt your own spannering skills, and thanks to Canyon’s supplied torque wrench you’re not going to wreck anything.
The component line-up is a full raft of Shimano 105 with a compact 50/34 chainset and wide-ranging 11-32 cassette. Up hill and down dale that’ll get you out of just about any jam.
Fancy sprinting with your mates to the next village sign? Then crank it up and you’ve got a Manx Missile-friendly top gear. Reach double-digit and you can sit comfortably in the saddle and spin too, alternatively you can stay in a higher gear and puff and grunt your way up of course.
Canyon Endurace AL7.0 ride impressions
England’s west-country doesn’t have Alpine or Pyrenean peaks, but it does have short, steep, sweat-inducing inclines that challenge bike and rider alike, and the Canyon came up better than the tester this winter.
It descends very well too, though early rides were accompanied by a slight ticking from the Mavic Aksium wheels, and their metal joins weren’t as smooth as I’d like. This does go away in time, but is still a distraction to begin with and one I’ve come across before.
Braking from the Shimano 105 calipers is smooth and powerful and I think the Endurace probably has the best tyres you’ll find on any bike at this price — and on a lot of bikes costing twice as much.
Continental’s Grand Prix tyres are made in Continental’s German factory and feature Conti’s BlackChili compound and PolyX Breaker anti-puncture technology. They’re not ultra-light but for their combination of very good rolling resistance and durability they’re great to see and a pleasure to ride.
The same is true of the Canyon’s handlebar and bar tape combination. Canyon’s own Ergo bar has comfortable semi-flattened tops that complement the bike’s endurance ambitions, as does the padded Ergospeed Gel tape.
I don’t know why German companies have a bit of a love-in with flattened bar tops but I for one approve. If you ride more on the tops than the drops I find them a more natural handhold for my smallish hands. The bar itself has quite a short reach, again showing that this is a distance and comfort over speed machine.
But in spite of all that, if you want to get your heart pounding and power through the gears, the stiff sub-metre frame delivers a smooth, rewarding and comfortable ride. It resembles Rose’s Pro SL 105 in many ways, but where that’s hammer-down hard, this is more of an all-rounder.
Doing a long sportive and looking for a PB? Fine and dandy. But, if you fancy a first race outing, Canyon’s idea of endurance geometry isn’t that extreme and you should still be able to mix it with the fast boys and girls, though you might want to consider a longer stem.
Canyon has made no shortcuts in kitting out the Endurace AL7.0, it is one of the very lightest bikes at this price and the ride is impressive. Just about the only downside is that you have to do the first fettling yourself.
Interested in what else is available at this price point? Have a look at the following list of tried, tested and reviewed bikes.
- Rose Pro SL 105
- Giant Contend SL 1
- Dolan L'Etape Carbon 105
- Vitus Zenium VR Disc
- Boardman Team Carbon
- Trek Domane AL R 3