The whispers have swirled for a while, and now it's finally here: the Canyon Endurace CF SLX. This is the German firm's first road disc brake bike, and we've just ridden it on the firm's home roads of Koblenz. Read on for a rundown of the new Endurace CF SLX range.
- Canyon adds disc brakes to entire road range
- Canyon Endurace CF SLX first ride review
- Canyon Ultimate CF SLX 8.0 review
As the name suggests, this new bike is definitely aimed at endurance riders, those who want to go on long rides and gran fondos, outside competition. That's not to say it isn't quick: according to Canyon's aerodynamics engineer Michael Adomeit it's just 1.4 watts less aero at 45kph than the Ultimate CF SLX Disc prototype we saw at Eurobike last year.
It certainly looks quick, with its integrated carbon cockpit, aero forks, hourglass head tube, flat and broad top tube, bridgeless seat stays and internal cable routing. “Aerodynamics are not reserved for racers,” Adomeit said.
The new Endurace CF SLX frame weighs just 820g in a size medium, and has been designed to offer (wait for it) an excellent stiffness-to-weight ratio, thanks in part to frame tube shapes carried over from the racy Ultimate platform. Pains were taken to improve the aero efficiency of elements most exposed to wind, such as the down tube, and bolster the torsional stiffness of those less exposed, such as the top tube.
Canyon Endurace CF SLX: pricing and availability
Let’s get this out of the way early: all six versions of the bike are pricey, starting at £2,999 / $3,379 for the Endurace CF SLX 8.0 model. This comes with mechanical Ultegra shifting, Shimano hydraulic disc brakes, DT Swiss RR21 wheels and Continental Grand Prix 4000s II tyres. Complete build weight is 7.4kg.
Elsewhere in the range, there’s a women’s 8.0 Di2 model with electronic Ultegra shifting which costs £3,499 / $4,029 and comes in 2XS/XS/S/M sizing. Top of the tree is the Endurace CF SLX 9.0 SL, which comes with Dura-Ace Di2 electronic shifting and Mavic Ksyrium wheels, costing £5,099 / $5,899 and weighing 7.3kg.
The full range is as follows:
- Endurace CF SLX 8.0 / Shimano Ultegra / £2,999 / $3,379
- Endurace CF SLX 8.0 Di2 / Shimano Ultegra Di2 / £3,499 / $4,029
- Endurace WMN CF SLX 8.0 Di2 / Shimano Ultegra Di2 / £3,499 / $4,029
- Endurace CF SLX 9.0 / Shimano Dura-Ace / £3,499 / $4,029
- Endurace CF SLX 9.0 Di2 / Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 / £4,299 / $4,879
- Endurace CF SLX 9.0 SL / Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 / £5,099 / $5,899
All models are on sale from today (9 June) from the Canyon website – we'll update on international pricing as we get it. BikeRadar was told that Canyon has got on top of the significant delivery issues it suffered earlier this year, but the production schedule means that it can only start delivering the new Endurace CF SLX from late August.
Canyon Endurace CF SLX cockpit: higher, comfier, just as fast
So what’s new? Well there's a fresh integrated carbon stem/handlebar called the H31 Ergocockpit. This is 24g lighter than the H11 Ergocockpit used on the Aeroad models, with similar aerodynamic performance, and 10% more vertical compliance. Ergo, it's lighter, comfier and just as fast.
This new H31 Ergocockpit features modestly flared (3-degree), compact handlebar drops with shorter reach, and backswept (6-degree) tops for more comfort. To compensate for the latter, a slightly longer stem is used. There's an integrated 'out-front' Garmin bike computer mount, and an integrated Di2 junction holder beneath the stem.
It's worth noting that the new cockpit does have a less racy position than that found on the Ultimate and Aeroad platforms: riders will find they have a 10mm higher stack compared with the Ultimate on a medium frame, and 8mm shorter reach. Handlebar drop, width and length are adapted for each of the seven bike sizes available (2XS, XS, S, M, L, XL, 2XL).
Oh, and one more stiffness-related factoid: the H31 Ergocockpit has a clever concept for clamping the stem onto the steerer tube without cutting the carbon fibres and damaging stiffness. It involves pressing the stem onto the fork steerer via two screws and an alloy transition plate, which is said to be safer and stiffer than conventional designs, and means that the carbon fibres are not interrupted at the rear of the stem.
Canyon Endurace CF SLX: subtle comfort features and Sport Geometry
Given the new bike's target audience, it's worth lingering for a while on how Canyon's engineers back up their claims that this new model will "break all records for comfort". It offers Canyon's Sport Geometry to cater for a wide range of rider requirements – which in BikeRadar's case, included unexpected sorties on gravel during our test ride.
This geometry configuration (as opposed to the Aeroad's strict Pro Geometry which delivers a low and aggressive riding position, or the Ultimate's Sport Pro geometry), is designed to reduce load on the back and shoulders. For comparison, the stack-to-reach ratio for the new H31 cockpit is 1.52, compared with 1.38 on the Aeroad’s racier H11 cockpit.
The 415mm chainstays on the Endurace CF SLX are slightly longer than the Ultimate's 410mm items, for added stability on fast descents. To compensate for these longer chainstays, the seat tube is kinked to bring the rider 10mm forward and place them in the same position as on the Ultimate. The top tube is also shortened.
Larger 28mm tyres are used on all six Endurace CF SLX models, with Continental Grand Prix 4000s II rubber used everywhere except the top-end Endurace CF SLX 9.0 SL, which rides on Mavic Yksion Pro tyres.
An impressively premium aspect of this bike is how it includes various comfort-orientated design features that you wouldn't even notice unless you were looking for them. For example, the seat tube clamp is considerably lower than normal and integrated into the frame, visible as a single bolt around 100mm down from the top of the seat tube. This clamping concept was taken from the Ultimate platform, and considerably increases the seat post's effective bending length. A soft seal is used at the head of the insert.
We’re pleased to see that the same ‘leaf spring’ VCLS 2.0 split seatpost carries over over from the existing Endurace models: it gives added flex at the rear end, and the floating saddle clamp is designed to ensure that saddle tilt remains constant throughout. In combination with the lowered seat tube clamp described above, this should be the most comfortable rear end of any Canyon road bike.
Canyon Endurace CF SLX: spec details
In terms of spec, the main differences between the six models are whether you get mechanical or electronic shifting from Shimano’s Ultegra or Dura-Ace groupsets. All models get semi-compact 52/36t cranksets, and 11-28t cassettes. Shimano’s superb BR-R785 hydraulic disc brakes are used throughout the range, paired with the Ultegra-level shift-brake levers in either mechanical or Di2 variants (ST-RS685/ST-R785), and 160mm rotors.
It’s good to see that 12mm thru-axles are specced, giving a stiff and stable connection with the powerful brakes. The thru-axles also feature clever DT Swiss-made levers that can be tightened to the right position, then removed entirely for a cleaner look. And if you accidentally leave the levers at home, the thru-axles can still be tightened and loosened with a regular 6mm Allen key.
The saddle used throughout is Fizik’s Aliante R5, chosen from the Italian firm’s endurance-friendly ‘Bull’ range. On the women’s model, a Selle Italia SLS Lady Flow saddle is used. Nearly all bikes run on DT Swiss RR21 wheels shod with 28mm Continental Grand Prix 4000s II tyres. The top-end Endurance CF SLX 9.0 SL uses Mavic Ksyrium wheels and Mavix Yksion tyres, again in 28mm width.
There are some nice subtle details that underline what a premium bike this is: for instance, the internal cable and wire routing is designed to banish rattles, with a small port between the bottle bosses on the down tube that fits a zip tie, so the hydraulic brake hoses can be held tight.
Other minor but welcome features include the rear derailleur hanger, apparently designed to be 14% stiffer than previous versions to enable crisper shifting, and the custom RWS levers for removing the wheels.