Fresh coffee, emails and the perfect lawn aren’t fundamental needs for most road riders, but this unique combination of things is exactly what Canyon have delivered. Their new Endurace CF SLX is a bit aero, a bit race-y, yet allows you to be adventurous in comfort. So Canyon have basically created the bike version of a coffee grinding, tablet-toting lawnmower (patent pending!)
Since their early days, when they won acclaim solely for the price of bikes, Canyon have arrived in the upper echelons of the bike industry, becoming a reference point amongst road bikes. Better technology, better specs, while retaining the same aggressive prices. Canyon have evolved these three pillars to nigh on perfection thanks to their vast design and engineering team, thereby throwing a spanner into the previous status quo that revolved around dealer focussed brands.
The new Canyon Endurace CF SLX is no exception. As the missing letter in its name suggests, it claims to be more than an endurance bike, it’s endu-race. After our first test rides we were unanimous, with wide grins betraying our first impressions. Once on the bike it’s almost as though a bond has developed between you and it just gets stronger with every kilometre you ride. The high level of comfort offered by Canyon’s S15 VCLS 2.0 seatpost takes some getting used to, and you might catch yourself throwing the odd anxious glance at your rear tire. Did you just get a flat? Nope, not the case. Fortunately, this comfort doesn’t result in twitchiness, and Canyon’s painstaking R&D has clearly paid off. Heavier riders might benefit from a less compliant post model, as one seatpost perhaps isn’t equipped to cover the entire spectrum of rider size and weight. The bars and moderately sized stem feature the stylish integration of spacers, leaving more than enough adjustment to find your preferred position.
The Canyon Endurace CF climbs brilliantly, thanks to its 7.28 kg, making it in more than 400 g lighter than its nearest rival in this group test. On descents the geometry ensures a stable ride and its lightweight carbon frame has premier league-worthy stiffness. The bike is really fun to ride taking on bumpy ground and cobbles with ease. Canyon have nailed it when it comes to the riding position, with components that work together at a price of just € 4,299, creating a bike that is uncomplicated and enjoyable. As an interesting counterpart to the Trek Domane from a technical point of view, the Endurace excels with an incredible package. The purity of the design philosophy happily isn’t reflected in an ascetic distaste to comfort.
Specification of the Canyon Endurace CF SLX 9.0
Drivetrain: Shimano Dura Ace | 52/36, 11 – 28
Wheels: DT Swiss RR21 DB Dicut
Brakes: Shimano BR-RS805
Tires: Continental Grand Prix 4000S
Weight: 7.28 kg
Price: € 4,299
More info: canyon.com
It’s hard not to wax lyrical about the Canyon Endurace CF, as it works just as well in reality as on paper. The one-piece H31 Ergocockpit was every test rider’s favourite when it came to ergonomics. The downside is that it doesn’t leave room for any adjustments and Canyon only offers two cockpit options at the moment i.e. if you want a more individual configuration, you’d need to replace the Ergocockpit with a classic aftermarket combo. Another option we liked is the choice of up to 33 mm tires, which could be key to unlocking ‘comfort nirvana’, if that’s your goal. And while it looks at first glance like a quick release, there’s a rigid 12 mm thru-axle kitted out with Canyon’s own RWS lever, which makes it frighteningly easy to adjust the tensioning and can even be removed entirely.
So, did we have any complaints? Well, the front disc brake’s hydraulic line rubs on the head tube so we think a steeper exit angle from the fork could be the solution. But other than that, it’s a refreshingly well thought-out bike that’s a steal at this price!
Having done away with the superfluous (much like a certain car company’s ‘reduce to the max’ slogan), this bike has a brilliantly simple design, technological excellence and an unbeatable price, making it the ultimate choice in the test fleet for those who ride a lot, aren’t averse to an adventure, see themselves as an endu-racer and live to ride. Now the only question remains: can Canyon keep up with demand?
- extremely versatile, great handling, lowest weight
- super ergonomic and stylish cockpit
- the seatpost delivers additional comfort
- Lack of cockpit and seatpost options
To get an overview about the bikes we tested, check this article: What’s the best road bike to conquer the Alps? 7 bikes on test
All bikes in test: Trek Domane SLR 7 | Specialized Roubaix SL4 Pro Disc Race UDi2 | Merida Scultura Disc 6000 | Giant Defy Advanced Pro 0 | Cervélo C3 SRAM Force 1X | Argon 18 Krypton XROAD Disc
This article belongs to the GRAN FONDO Issue #002. For the full interactive experience we recommend reading it in our magazine app for iPhone & iPad – it’s awesome – and free!
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Words: Thomas Seidelmann, Robin Schmitt Photos: Klaus Kneist, Noah Haxel, Robin Schmitt, Julian Mittelstädt (Post production)