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!
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.
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.
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:
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.
Our medium-sized Canyon Endurace CF SLX 9.0 SL test bike weighed in at 7.28 kg
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.
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.
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).
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?
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