Where is the limit? In the past, the notion of a road bike has been limited by convention and the industry’s drive to create niche-specific bikes. With the brand new Endurace CF SLX, the German brand Canyon claims to have designed a bike that’s capable of anything from an alpine raid to a island jaunt. While what you do with your bike is down to your personal gusto, we set out to determine whether the Endurace could live up to its hype!

GRAN FONDO had the exclusive opportunity to be the world’s first magazine to test the new Canyon Endurace CF SLX in South Tyrol.
GRAN FONDO had the exclusive opportunity to be the world’s first magazine to test the new Canyon Endurace CF SLX in South Tyrol.

At first glance we wouldn’t blame you if you brushed the new Endurace CF SLX off as just a disc brake version of the Canyon Ultimate CF SLX, seeing its similar silhouette, but there are a ton of minute detail changes on this bike. And considering the missing “n” its name, it’s clear that the Endurace wants to be more (and faster) than a standard endurance bike.

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How does the Canyon Endurace CF SLX differ from the Ultimate CF SLX?

Compared to the Ultimate CF SLX, the new Endurace CF SLX offers a 10 mm higher stack and 8 mm shorter reach in their proven Sport Geometry, which both lend themselves to a comfier and more upright riding position on the Endurace. More complex than just extending the steerer, Canyon adjusted the forks and the crown too, thereby retaining the speed-orientated aesthetic. Moreover, the 415 mm longer chainstays (an additional 5 mm over the Ultimate CF SLX) generate more stability at high speeds. Featherweight at just 820 g (manufacturer’s stats) for the medium frame, the new Endurace CF SLX sits with the best on the market. The strengthened disc brake forks are just 30 g heavier than the rim brake version found on the Ultimate CF SLX.

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Looking to improve every area of their bikes, Canyon carried out extensive wind tunnel tests to ascertain the crucial speed-saving aspects of the Endurace. Initially 5.1 watts separated the Endurace CF SLX from the Ultimate CF SLX, largely down to the disc brakes, but when considered next to the Ultimate CF SLX disc brake prototype the difference is just 1.8 watts, a figure that can be traced back to the Endurace’s higher stack, ergo (rather than aero) cockpit and the S15 VCLS 2.0 seatpost. This lower figure of just 1.8 means that you’re not losing any significant performance gains and it can still rival the speed of a purebred racing bike.

A look at the Canyon Endurace CF SLX 9.0’s technical details:

Drawing on the H11 Aerocockpit created for the Aeroad, Canyon state that the H31 Ergocockpit has upped the comfort level by 10 % and is even 24 g lighter than the H11 Aerocockpit. In 90% of the cases the Ergocockpit will be a perfect choice with an incredible feel, but if you really want to personalize the set-up up of your bars and stem all you can do is swap the entire cockpit as it leaves no room for specific adjustments.
Drawing on the H11 Aerocockpit created for the Aeroad, Canyon state that the H31 Ergocockpit has upped the comfort level by 10 % and is even 24 g lighter than the H11 Aerocockpit. In 90% of the cases the Ergocockpit will be a perfect choice with an incredible feel, but if you really want to personalize the set-up up of your bars and stem all you can do is swap the entire cockpit as it leaves no room for specific adjustments.
Aside from being ergonomic and good looking, the H31 Ergocockpit is a technological feat of design and engineering.
Aside from being ergonomic and good looking, the H31 Ergocockpit is a technological feat of design and engineering.
A refined solution on the stem clamp that simultaneously safeguards the carbon by dispersing the forces equally around the steerer whilst giving extra stiffness, Canyon’s Clamping Concept involves two screws and a transition plate.
A refined solution on the stem clamp that simultaneously safeguards the carbon by dispersing the forces equally around the steerer whilst giving extra stiffness, Canyon’s Clamping Concept involves two screws and a transition plate.
Developed to distribute clamping forces equally on the seatpost, the hybrid injection moulded synthetic insert has allowed Canyon to clamp the seatpost at a much lower position than regular seat clamps, thereby generating an increased effective bending length of up to additional 110 mm.
Developed to distribute clamping forces equally on the seatpost, the hybrid injection moulded synthetic insert has allowed Canyon to clamp the seatpost at a much lower position than regular seat clamps, thereby generating an increased effective bending length of up to additional 110 mm.
A fundamental part of the Endurace CF SLX’s comfort-enhancing concept is the leaf spring design in the S15 VCLS 2.0 seatpost, which offers more compliance. Unlike other comfort seatposts with flex, Canyon’s floating seat clamp ensures consistent tilt.
A fundamental part of the Endurace CF SLX’s comfort-enhancing concept is the leaf spring design in the S15 VCLS 2.0 seatpost, which offers more compliance. Unlike other comfort seatposts with flex, Canyon’s floating seat clamp ensures consistent tilt.
According to Canyon, the integrated seat clamp housed inside the frame is a key player when it comes to the bike’s smoothness and comfort.
According to Canyon, the integrated seat clamp housed inside the frame is a key player when it comes to the bike’s smoothness and comfort.
The Endurace CF SLX has clearance for tires up to 33 mm wide. However, our test bike featured 28 mm tires, but it was nice to know you could go wider if you were hitting some gravel.
The Endurace CF SLX has clearance for tires up to 33 mm wide. However, our test bike featured 28 mm tires, but it was nice to know you could go wider if you were hitting some gravel.
For the Endurance CF SLX, Canyon have exclusively employed flat mount hydraulic disc brakes, with 160 mm rotors at the front and rear. There’s one exception for the 2XS size frames where 140 mm diameters are used.
For the Endurance CF SLX, Canyon have exclusively employed flat mount hydraulic disc brakes, with 160 mm rotors at the front and rear. There’s one exception for the 2XS size frames where 140 mm diameters are used.
Additional stiffness comes courtesy of a special thru-axle that Canyon developed alongside DT Swiss (front wheel: 12x100 mm/ rear wheel 12x142 mm) with its custom RWS lever for adjusting, tightening, and placing in your back pocket if and when desired.
Additional stiffness comes courtesy of a special thru-axle that Canyon developed alongside DT Swiss (front wheel: 12×100 mm/ rear wheel 12×142 mm) with its custom RWS lever for adjusting, tightening, and placing in your back pocket if and when desired.
True to Canyon form, the internally routed cables give the bike its tidy image and they’re all meticulously measured: if the brake cable’s exit angle on the fork were any steeper, it wouldn’t hug the frame as well.
True to Canyon form, the internally routed cables give the bike its tidy image and they’re all meticulously measured: if the brake cable’s exit angle on the fork were any steeper, it wouldn’t hug the frame as well.
Not ones to rest on their laurels, the Canyon bike developers scratched their heads even more when it came to increasing the stiffness of the rear derailleur hanger by altering the design, managing to render it 14 % stiffer than its predecessor.
Not ones to rest on their laurels, the Canyon bike developers scratched their heads even more when it came to increasing the stiffness of the rear derailleur hanger by altering the design, managing to render it 14 % stiffer than its predecessor.

Canyon Endurace CF SLX: weight, pricing & geometry

Available from July 2016, the Endurace comes in seven sizes (2XS, XS, S, M, L, XL, 2XL) with prices starting from 3,599 € for the Endurace CF SLX 8.0 with Ultegra parts.

Canyon Endurance CF SLX 8.0 | 7,4 kg | 3.599 €
Canyon Endurance CF SLX 8.0 | 7.4 kg |€ 3,599
Endurance CF SLX 9.0 | 7,2 kg | 4.299 €
Endurance CF SLX 9.0 | 7.2 kg |€ 4,299
Endurance CF SLX 8.0 Di2 | 7,4 kg | 4.299€
Endurance CF SLX 8.0 Di2 | 7.4 kg | € 4,299
Endurance WMN CF SLX 8.0 Di2 | 7,35 kg | 4.299 €
Endurance WMN CF SLX 8.0 Di2 | 7.35 kg | € 4,299
Endurance CF SLX 9.0 Di2 | 7,30 kg | 5.199 €
Endurance CF SLX 9.0 Di2 | 7.30 kg | € 5,199

Our medium-sized Canyon Endurace CF SLX 9.0 SL test bike weighed in at 7.28 kg

Kitted out with Dura Ace Di2 and Mavic Ksyrium Pro Carbon SL Disc Clincher WTR wheels, the top of the range Endurace CF SLX 9.0 SL comes with a € 6,299 price tag.
Kitted out with Dura Ace Di2 and Mavic Ksyrium Pro Carbon SL Disc Clincher WTR wheels, the top of the range Endurace CF SLX 9.0 SL comes with a € 6,299 price tag.
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The Canyon Endurace CF SLX 9.0 on test

As already mentioned, we had the exclusive opportunity to test the pre-release Endurace CF SLX in South Tyrol and around our base in Stuttgart, putting it through its paces on South Tyrol’s Penser Joch pass, weaving through the Sarntal valley on little-known mountain roads, gravel lanes and gentle undulating asphalt.

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Understated and classy, the Endurace CF SLX has accomplished the rare feat of uniting complex technologies with refreshingly simple execution. Essentially giving just plug and play setup of the bike, this impressed us as we adjusted it to our preferred riding position with ease. Canyon’s relatively short head tube (158mm) left room to adjust the height of the cockpit (effectively the stack) to shift the bike from a more relaxed fit, perfect for gravel, to a more aggressive position when we wanted to get aero.

As soon as we got on the bike it shone with its balanced handling, which was immediately apparent. Tracing back to its mere 7.28 kg and stiff bottom bracket, the Endurace has a real kick to it and climbs eagerly.
As soon as we got on the bike it shone with its balanced handling, which was immediately apparent. Tracing back to its mere 7.28 kg and stiff bottom bracket, the Endurace has a real kick to it and climbs eagerly.
So much better than silicon! Slightly swept back, the tops of the bars and drops offer excellent grip. And in terms of aesthetics, the transition between the tapeless central part and the start of the bar tape is phenomenal.
So much better than silicon! Slightly swept back, the tops of the bars and drops offer excellent grip. And in terms of aesthetics, the transition between the tapeless central part and the start of the bar tape is phenomenal.
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Poor road surfaces and gravel are tackled by the bike with ease. There’s consistent comfort from the bars to the saddle, with the S15 VCLS 2.0 seatpost delivering a noticeably comfier ride! However, the seatpost doesn’t account for the rider’s weight, with heavier and lighter riders getting a different level of flex. Naturally, if it isn’t to your taste then you can easily swap the seatpost (although you’d lose the insanely welcoming amount of comfort that we valued on our adventures in South Tyrol).

The geometry delivers significant stability on descents as well very balanced handing, giving the bike a composed ride.
The geometry delivers significant stability on descents as well very balanced handing, giving the bike a composed ride.
The Shimano disc brakes delivered super consistent braking power in all conditions (believe us, we had it all) with the 160 mm Ice Tech Freeza discs.
The Shimano disc brakes delivered super consistent braking power in all conditions (believe us, we had it all) with the 160 mm Ice Tech Freeza discs.
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Conclusion

In short, the Endurace CF SLX offers an unrivalled package that renders it a mighty whip for everything from a gravel getaway to a solo breakaway in the Maratona dles Dolomites. For us mere mortal users, the ultra lightweight, comfortable and efficient Canyon is a worthy all-purpose ride to tackle undulating routes and Gran Fondo epics. So the only limit is your imagination and one crucial question: Can Canyon build and deliver enough bikes to satisfy us all?

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How does the Canyon Endurace CF SLX perform against the likes of the Trek Domane, Specialized Roubaix, Giant Defy or Cervélo C3? You’ll find the answer in issue #002, which will be released on the 28th June. Sign up for the newsletter to be among the first to get free access to the magazine. You can download the current issue here.

Words: Robin Schmitt Photos: Noah Haxel, Klaus Kneist