Canyon designed its original Aeroad aero road bike with the primary goal of minimising frontal area, but has now thrown the full gamut of tech R&D tools at the wholly revamped second-generation Aeroad CF SLX.
The German consumer-direct outfit says this new version is considerably faster over a wider range of conditions, and also lighter. And now we've taken delivery of the Shimano Dura-Ace Di2-equipped Aeroad CF SLX 9.0 SL model, we can confirm that it looks fantastic too.
Whereas the first-generation Aeroad used more classic teardrop-like tubes, the new and more modern Aeroad CF SLX chassis feature nominally truncated airfoil cross-sections for better aerodynamic performance across a wide range of wind angles. As a side benefit, this has also allowed Canyon to include wider tubes for a claimed 11-percent boost in chassis stiffness and an official frame weight of just 960g for a size 56cm sample.
The previous version's teardrop-shaped tubes have given way to truncated profiles for more balanced performance at various wind angles
Aero-minded details are littered throughout, including an impressively tidy combined port for the Shimano Di2 wire and rear brake housing, a partial fairing for the rear wheel, a sleekly hidden binder for the proprietary D-shaped seatpost, and front and rear direct-mount Shimano Dura-Ace calipers, which Canyon says areeasier to work on than chainstay-mounted brakes and produce less drag as well.
The focus on improving airflow isn't limited to the frameset. Our tester also arrived with Canyon's new Aerocockpit CF, which combines the carbon fibre stem and handlebar into a distinctly flattened and low-profile form that the company says save 5.5 watts of drag on its own.
The stock Aerocockpit CF is visually striking and supposedly quite fast
Canyon has even carried over its novel adjustable fork rake design, which uses flippable 'chips' in the dropouts that let you choose mellower or quicker handling.
Rounding out our test bike build are a set of Mavic Cosmic Carbone SLE WTS wheels with brake-boosting Exalith 2 sidewalls, matching Mavic Yksion Pro GripLink and PowerLink clincher tyres, and a fi'zi:k Arione saddle. Total weight for our complete 50cm sample is 6.83kg (15.06lb) without pedals.
The stock Mavic wheel and tyre package is good but could be better
We're already well underway with testing and so far it's been clear sailing. The new bike is indeed noticeably stiffer and snappier than its predecessor, the direct-mount brakes and Mavic Exalith 2 sidewalls work extremely well, the ride quality is quite reasonable given the genre, and yes, the bike does at least seem fast as you wind things up.
And while it's not exactly cheap at £4,899 / €5,699, it's quite well equipped for the money.
How will things shake out long-term? We'll have our final wrap-up in a few weeks so stay tuned.
For more information, visit www.canyon.com.
The Canyon Aeroad CF SLX 9.0 SL