What does it take to be a real rockstar? Under the beating heat of the Spanish sun, we had the exclusive opportunity to test out and face the speed of the hotly anticipated Canyon Ultimate CF SLX 8.0 Disc: this is a story of Lamborghinis, silver arrows, drum brakes and the entourage of a rockstar.

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Who wants a Porsche with drum brakes?

After a few hundred kilometres on the Canyon Ultimate CF SLX 8.0 Disc, this was exactly what we were wondering. Earlier this year we’d tested its rim brake sibling, and it had won us over with its handling, integration and design. But as a roadie with roots ensconced in mountain biking, we missed the edge that disc brakes add – particularly if one likes to get wild on the descents. But not only on the descents.

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600,000 cars and 200,000 motorbikes; if you want to commute in Barcelona, you’ve got to be fast whilst retaining full (stopping) control. Well, the Canyon Ultimate CF SLX 8.0 is anything but a city bike, but it’s still a dab hand at traffic light drag races (although admittedly I’m yet to pit it against the Lambo – but they look good next to each other in the garage).

Living life on the edge: Few rockstars tread such a fine line as cyclists when it comes to living dangerously.
Living life on the edge
Few rockstars tread such a fine line as cyclists when it comes to living dangerously.
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The qualities of a rockstar (and yes, this time we’re referring to you – not the bike).
Be it a Lambo or a road bike beneath you, you’ve got to have the right equipment if you’re in the fast lane, equipment that you can trust when you’re living dangerously.

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So we’re not just talking about decent (disc) brakes, which can arguably make the difference between a fatal crash and an adrenaline-fuelled ‘damn, that was close,’ as you charge down a pass at 107 km/h, but you also want smoothness, stability and predictability in the handling – regardless of how boring that might sound.

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This is exactly where the Canyon Ultimate CF SLX 8.0 Disc delivers the goods: with incredibly balanced handling and razor-sharp precision, the Ultimate tracks your movements impeccably. Despite its irrefutable racing genes, there’s a really decent level of comfort too – although it’s still a fair level below the Canyon Endurace SLX CF. On descents where you can reach high speeds there’s a generous sensation of stability, and the same applies on poor road surfaces where it keeps superb composure.

Wiederholungstäter: Im Januar 2016 waren wir mit der Rim-Version des Canyon Ultimate auf denselben spanischen Straßen unterwegs wie nun mit der Disc-Version.
In January 2016 we’ve hit the same roads with the rim version of the Canyon Ultimate as we did for the review of the Ultimate Disc. Back then the Mercedes Pagode was as classy as rim brakes: beautiful, but if you really want to go fast you don’t want to miss the power of a modern sports car’s disc brakes.
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While the lithe 7.79 kg Ultimate Disc accelerates like a silver arrow on the flat, it feels a touch slower on the climbs than its 1000 g lighter rim-braked sibling.

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However, the confidence gains on the descents thanks to the disc brakes means you’ll forgive it fairly quickly. The Shimano Ultegra disc are potent as well as intuitive and predictable in their modulation.

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While the attribute “Griplink” in the Mavic Yksion Pro Griplink C tires promises confidence, we were left unimpressed. The 25 cc tyres deliver an acceptable quantity of comfort and speed, but require time to get a feeling for their cornering capabilities and traction, especially when the temperatures get lower and the surfaces a little wet. Our recommendation: upgrade to some better tyres!

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With a 45 mm deep carbon construction on aluminium rims, the Mavic Cosmic Pro Carbon Disc wheels add some bling to the bike without making the price soar too high. On wind-buffeted test rides along the coast road, they feel quite vulnerable to cross winds.

The Canyon Ultimate CF SLX Disc 8.0 Di2 in detail

Canyon Ultimate CF SLX Disc  Di2 | 7,70 kg (Gr. M) | 4,199 €
Canyon Ultimate CF SLX Disc Di2 | 7.79 kg (Gr. M) | € 4,199

Drivetrain Shimano Ultegra DI2, 11-fach
Wheels Mavic Cosmic Pro Carbon Disc
Brakes Shimano Discbrake Flatmount ST-RS805
Tires Mavic Yksion Pro Griplink C
Weight 7.70 kg (Gr. M)
Price € 4,199

Here you’ll find the entire Canyon Ultimate CF line up 2017

2XS XS S M L XL 2XL
Seat height 630 mm – 730 mm 665 mm – 765 mm 690 mm – 790 mm 720 mm – 820 mm 750 mm – 850 mm 780 mm – 880 mm 810 mm – 910 mm
Seat tube 430 mm 460 mm 490 mm 520 mm 550 mm 580 mm 610 mm
Top tube 513 mm 529 mm 543 mm 556 mm 571 mm 596 mm 611 mm
Head tube 89 mm 107 mm 130 mm 148 mm 174 mm 195 mm 213 mm
Head angle 69,6° 71,0° 72,3° 73,3° 73,3° 73,5 73,8
Seat angle 73,5° 73,5° 73,5° 73,5° 73,5° 73,5° 73,5°
Chainstay 415 mm 415 mm 415 mm 415 mm 415 mm 415 mm 415 mm
Wheelbase 983 mm 988 mm 993 mm 996 mm 1011 mm 1033 mm 1046 mm
Stack 500 mm 522 mm 546 mm 567 mm 592 mm 613 mm 631 mm
Reach 368 mm 378 mm 385 mm 391 mm 399 mm 418 mm 428 mm
Stem length 90 mm 90 mm 90 mm 100 mm 110 mm 110 mm 120 mm
Handlebar width 390 mm 390 mm 390 mm 410 mm 410 mm 410 mm 430 mm
Crank length 170 mm 170 mm 170 mm 173 mm 175 mm 175 mm 175 mm
Für Design-Enthusiasten setzt das Ultimate CF SLX den Maßstab. …
Design transcends personal taste…
… Denn Design ist keine Geschmacksache, sondern folgt klaren Regeln.
…and the Canyon Ultimate CF SLX Disc knows exactly what works.
Their in-house developed H36 Aero cockpit is a serious favourite amongst our editorial team: ergonomic and aesthetic in form, it’s a visual and haptic treat for the rider. Criticism: Really pernickety riders might bemoan Canyon’s lack of size options.
Their in-house developed H36 Aero cockpit is a serious favourite amongst our editorial team: ergonomic and aesthetic in form, it’s a visual and haptic treat for the rider. Criticism: Really pernickety riders might bemoan Canyon’s lack of size options.
Canyon have opted for flat-mount standard brakes at the front and rear.
Canyon have opted for flat-mount standard brakes at the front and rear.
The Ultimate Disc has a 142 x 12 mm thru-axle at the rear and 100 x 12 mm at the front.
The Ultimate Disc has a 142 x 12 mm thru-axle at the rear and 100 x 12 mm at the front.
As expected, the Shimano Ultegra Di2 shifts with impeccable precision. When the gradient hits double figures, the 36/52t gearing with a 11-25t cassette asks your legs for a show of force.
As expected, the Shimano Ultegra Di2 shifts with impeccable precision. When the gradient hits double figures, the 36/52t gearing with a 11-25t cassette asks your legs for a show of force.
Integrated seat clamp.
Integrated seat clamp.
Integrated dirt wiper and markings on the S13-CLS-CF seat post.
Integrated dirt wiper and markings on the S13-CLS-CF seat post.
Integrated dropouts.
Integrated dropouts.
Integrated spacer.
Integrated spacer.
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The Ultimate rocks an understated and clean look, which means you can showcase some wild kit on the bike without the health authorities being alerted to an increase in the cases of vision-related injuries – or being on the receiving end of MAMIL insults.

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Conclusion

The Canyon Ultimate CF SLX 8.0 Disc delivers on performance and speed with its distinctive character and great overall concept. The good news is that you don’t have to be a fully-fledged, tattoo-sporting rockstar to ride this bike. It certainly aspires for the ultimate in terms of design, performance and integration without excluding amateurs from the scene. Regarding the spec, the only thing you want to upgrade is the tyre-wheelset combination. The € 4,199 price tag will make your dream of living (i.e. riding) good times and fast times closer than ever before… like a true rockstar.

For more information head to canyon.com

If you like the kit, we have some bad news for you: you currently can’t buy it but you can follow the guys at Sundays here.