This was the moment that we had been waiting for– testing the new women’s version of the Canyon Ultimate. Before getting onto a bike like this your expectations are–speed. Right from the start you feel like the bike just wants to move forward, and it does. Even on the climbs you feel the responsiveness and lightness of the bike and that it’s made for performance. Out of the saddle acceleration and the bike wants to come with you.

This lightness comes from the smaller frame tubes, designed with the mindset that the bikes structure doesn’t have to be the same as the men’s frames due to women generally being lighter. Canyon says by having thinner tubes this improves the bike’s aerodynamics by 3% in comparison to the unisex models.

The model we tested was fitted with Shimano Ultegra Di2, which was personally found to be a better disc braking system than the SRAM RED eTap, even with a lower spec wheel, the DT Swiss PR 1400 DICUT DB 21. But this is definitely up to personal preference on what you’re used to. The SRAM RED lever system is said to be better for women who have smaller hands because there is more modulation in the braking. But if you have never ridden with disc brakes, again this takes a bit of getting used to. Feathering the brakes to reduce the chance of locking your back wheel takes times to develop a feel for. But once you do then you’ll have an appreciation for the increased stopping power the discs give.

Comfort over Performance

Whilst you can still feel a bit of flex in the bike it’s certainly a lot stiffer feeling than the Canyon Endurace, and you can sense that in the cornering. But it’s still comfortable enough not to feel every wrinkle of the roads surface. The biggest difference compared to the Endurace frame is the position. It’s definitely more ready to race, with more aggressive seat to cockpit dimensions. Over longer rides, people not accustomed to this position may start to feel it in their back and neck. It’s a position you have to spend time getting used to.

One thing to mention about sizing – if you are on the cusp between two size ranges we recommend going to the larger size. Getting out of the saddle and your knees hitting the handlebars is a sure way of knowing you’re slightly under-biked.

How it handled a sprint

Towards the end of the test the ride leader gave the nod to signal here was a good place for a sprint test, and sprint we did! The power transfer is instant and the connection to the road feels great. The acceleration comes easy and you can feel that the Ultimate is built for speed.

Who is it for?

This is one for the racers, whether that be actual competition or someone who just has an appreciation for speed. Although as mentioned by a colleague, if you are wanting the Ultimate as a race bike, first check if the events you plan to race allow disc brakes. Otherwise you will be left frustratingly with a redundant, rather beautiful race machine.


Specifications of the ULTIMATE WMN CF


ULTIMATE WMN CF SLX DISC 9.0 TEAM CSR

FRAME Canyon Ultimate WMN CF SLX
FORK Canyon One One Four SLX Disc
GROUPSET SRAM RED eTap
WHEELS Reynolds Assault LE
GEAR RATIOS 50/34 – 11-32, 52/36 for 3XS and 2XS
BAR Canyon H31 Ergocockpit
SEATPOST Canyon S13 VCLS CF (15–35 mm Setback)
PRICE €6,199

ULTIMATE WMN CF SLX DISC 8.0 DI2

FRAME Canyon Ultimate WMN CF SLX
FORK Canyon One One Four SLX Disc
GROUPSET Shimano Ultegra Di2
WHEELS DT Swiss PR 1400 DICUT DB 21
GEAR RATIOS 50/34 – 11-32, 52/36 for 3XS and 2XS
BAR Canyon H31 Ergocockpit
SEATPOST Canyon S13 VCLS CF (15–35 mm Setback)
PRICE € 4,299

ULTIMATE WMN CF SLX DISC 8.0

FRAME Canyon Ultimate WMN CF SLX
FORK Canyon One One Four SLX Disc
GROUPSET Shimano Ultegra
WHEELS DT Swiss PR 1400 DICUT DB 21
GEAR RATIOS 50/34 – 11-32, 52/36 for 3XS and 2XS
STEM Canyon V13
BAR Canyon H17 Ergo AL
SEATPOST Canyon S13 VCLS CF (15–35 mm Setback)
PRICE € 3,399

ULTIMATE WMN CF SLX DISC 8.0 TEAM CSR

FRAME Canyon Ultimate WMN CF SLX
FORK Canyon One One Four SLX Disc
GROUPSET SRAM Force
WHEELS DT Swiss PR 1600 Spline DB 23
GEAR RATIOS 50/34 – 11-32, 52/36 for 3XS and 2XS
STEM Canyon V13
BAR Canyon H17 Ergo AL
SEATPOST Canyon S13 VCLS CF (15–35 mm Setback)
PRICE € 2,999

For more information head to: canyon.com

Words: Hannah Troop Photos: Canyon, René Zieger