We already know that the Canyon Grizl is a solid and versatile gravel bike. That means the main question is how adding a suspension fork affects performance. That’s why the Grizl CF SLX 8 eTap Suspension with its Rudy suspension fork and SRAM Force electronic groupset had to prove itself in direct comparison to 18 of the best gravel bikes of the year.

For an overview of the test fleet head to the group test: The best gravel bike 2022 – 19 models on test

Canyon Grizl CF SLX 8 eTap Suspension | 30 mm (f) | 9.42 kg in size M | Manufacturer’s website

Yes, we already know the Canyon Grizl. We’ve previously tested the aluminium and carbon versions of the bikes in the form of the Grizl AL 7 (read the review here) and the Grizl CF SL 8 (read the review here). The latter also represented classic gravel bikes in the concept comparison between gravel and mountain bikes (read it here) in the last issue of GRAN FONDO. That’s no more: the Canyon Grizl CF SLX 8 eTap Suspension is clearly different from what was previously understood as a “classic” gravel bike. That’s because of the RockShox Rudy Ultimate suspension fork, which helped the True Grit SRAM XPLR Edition (read review here) claim overall victory in the previously mentioned concept comparison. With 30 mm travel, 700 x 50C clearances and a lockout, it also promises to raise the comfort and performance of the Canyon Grizl to the next level. You can find out everything you need to know about it in our test of the SRAM XPLR Collection (read the review here).

In addition to the suspension fork, Canyon rely on proven components from the gravel cosmos. The drivetrain is SRAM Force eTap AXS with a 40 t chainring and 10–44 t cassette, offering intuitive shifting logic and, at the expense of somewhat larger gear jumps, delivering the right gear ratio in almost all situations. Only on steep ramps do the bikes with a larger gear range have a true advantage.

This makes the difference
The Rock Shox Rudy Ultimate suspension fork on the Canyon Grizl takes the bike’s comfort to the next level and also contributes to the bike’s first-class efficiency. It is the key to the bike’s victory.
Just about
The Reynolds ATR wheels come from the all-road segment. With an inner width of 23 mm, they are just about wide enough for gravel use. We can’t complain about the cool looks of the 40 mm deep section rims either.
Stiffer than the front
The Canyon S15 VCLS 2.0 CF seat post reliably absorbs vibrations but can’t hold a candle to the front end. If you want more, you’ll need to upgrade to a dropper or suspension post.

Canyon Grizl CF SLX 8 eTap Suspension

€ 4,999


Fork RockShox Rudy Ultimate 30 mm
Seatpost Canyon S15 VCLS 2.0 CF
Brakes SRAM Force eTap AXS HRD 160/160 mm
Drivetrain SRAM Force eTap AXS XPLR 1x12
Stem Canyon V13 80 mm
Handlebar Canyon HB0063 440 mm
Wheelset Reynolds ATR
Tires Schwalbe G-One Bite 700 x 45C

Technical Data

Weight 9.42 kg

Specific Features

RockShox Rudy Ultimate suspension fork offering 30 mm travel
clearances for up to 700 x 50C tires
compatible with mudguards and a dropper post
wireless SRAM Force eTap AXS XPLR 1×12 drivetrain

Everything is possible
Flat pedals on the best performing bike in the group test? Of course! And why not? In graveling, everything is allowed and riders come from different segments, including the world of mountain biking. Beginners will also find it easier.
Efficiency enhancer
With the lockout closed, the efficiency of the Grizl on asphalt increases significantly. The lack of a remote isn’t a bad thing: reaching for the fork quickly becomes intuitive and you’ll only need to do it when a long asphalt section begins or ends.
Less is… less
Compared to other Grizl models, the CF SLX 8 eTap Suspension doesn’t have any additional mounting points on the fork or under the down tube. It’s not a die-hard bikepacking bike.

The Canyon Grizl with its suspension fork is equipped for almost all situations – even mountain bikers who only ride flat pedals won’t be able to find fault.

Seat tube 492 mm 522 mm 552 mm 582 mm 612 mm
Top tube 562 mm 574 mm 588 mm 612 mm 627 mm
Head tube 118 mm 138 mm 164 mm 185 mm 204 mm
Head angle 71.0° 72.3° 72.5° 72.8° 72.8°
Seat angle 73.5° 73.5° 73.5° 73.5° 73.5°
Chainstays 435 mm 435 mm 435 mm 435 mm 435 mm
BB Drop 75 mm 75 mm 75 mm 75 mm 75 mm
Wheelbase 1,036 mm 1,037 mm 1,050 mm 1,072 mm 1,086 mm
Reach 397 mm 402 mm 409 mm 427 mm 436 mm
Stack 556 mm 579 mm 605 mm 626 mm 644 mm
Helmet POC Octal X MIPS | Glasses POC Aspire | Jacke POC Enthral Gilet
Jersey POC Poise Crew Neck | Pants POC Rove Cargo VPDS
Shoes Five Ten Freerider Pro | Socks POC Lure MTB Socks Long

The Canyon grips the ground with 700 x 45C Schwalbe G-One Bite tires. These have been on the market for a while but still offer excellent grip across a range of different surfaces. They also transfer the high braking power of the SRAM Force eTap AXS HRD brakes, which rely on direct mount 160 mm rotors at the front and rear, reliably to the ground. However, the tires can’t quite match the comfort and performance of their successors, the G-One R, especially on packed gravel and asphalt. The Schwalbe tires are mounted on Reynolds ATR carbon rims, which offer good support with their inner width of 23 mm but could still be a little wider. Nonetheless, the 40 mm depth contributes to the good aerodynamics and cool look of the Grizl CF SLX 8 eTap Suspension.

The stiff cockpit of the Grizl, consisting of a Canyon V13 stem and 440 mm wide Canyon HB0063 handlebars, fits the character of the bike well and keeps it precise at the front. This results in good-natured, balanced handling that perfectly maintains the balance between smoothness and agility and always allows precise cornering – on asphalt, on gravel highways and on relaxed flow trails. The Rudy suspension fork boosts comfort and safety, as it effectively absorbs shocks at the front, increasing grip and control. However, you have to keep in mind that the bike rolls on gravel tires, not mountain bike ones. Get too enthusiastic and you might bottom out your tire on the rim, so make sure to keep tubeless plugs at hand.

Tuning tips: bars with more flare for even more control off-road | dropper post for those who want to hit more trails

However, if you stay within the tires’ limits, the overall system of tire, suspension fork and Canyon S15 VCLS 2.0 CF seat post absorbs vibrations and small impacts extremely reliably. While the seat post can’t generate the same level of comfort as the suspension fork at the front, passing rough impacts to the rider much more unfiltered, the Canyon Grizl has the best overall comfort in the group test. This also has an effect on the bike’s speed. The Grizl can’t hide its relatively high weight of 9.42 kg when accelerating, and when the lockout of the suspension fork is open, you’ll lose some propulsion to the fork bobbing. That said, because the suspension fork smoothes out bumps, you lose less energy from the up and down movement of the frame. The result is incredible efficiency, less muscle fatigue and better power delivery to the pedals, meaning more speed on a wide variety of surfaces.

Some may question whether the Canyon Grizl CF SLX 8 eTap is still a gravel bike and, undoubtedly, the bike further blurs the lines between gravel and mountain bike. Ultimately, it offers the combination of intuitive handling, comfort, high speed and riding fun across the broadest range of applications. While there are no additional attachment points on the suspension fork and the gear ratio is too big for bikepacking adventures with heavy luggage, the Canyon Grizl CF SLX 8 eTap AXS is the best all-rounder in this test, and that with a reasonable price to boot. You’ll need to spend € 4,999 to ride our Best in Test.

Riding Characteristics



  1. cumbersome
  2. playful


  1. nervous
  2. confident


  1. demanding
  2. balanced

Fun factor

  1. boring
  2. lively


  1. firm
  2. comfortable

Value for money

  1. terrible
  2. very good

Technical Data

Grizl CF SLX 8 eTap Suspension

Size: S M L XL XXL
Weight: 9.42 kg
Price: € 4,999

Indended Use

Smooth tarmac 1
Allroad/Gravel 2
Everyday/Commuting 3

Canyon Grizl CF SLX 8 eTap Suspension conclusion

The Canyon Grizl CF SLX 8 eTap Suspension impresses with its wide range of applications and a well-executed combination of comfort, handling and speed. This makes it the right bike for people who want to ride fast and comfortably over gravel roads of all kinds, who don’t have great bikepacking ambitions and who are also looking for fun on easy trails from time to time. The bike deservedly wins this test and is a glimpse into the future: gravel all-rounders will increasingly have active suspension – the performance says it all!


  • best comfort in test
  • widest range of applications
  • intuitive, very fun handling
  • incredible price-performance ratio


  • too little flare in the drops
  • not as clean visually as its unsuspended relatives

You can find out more about at canyon.com

The testfield

For an overview of the test fleet head to the group test: The best gravel bike 2022 – 19 models on test

All bikes on review: 3T Exploro Ultra (Click for review) | BMC URS LT ONE (Click for review) | Cannondale SuperSix EVO SE (Click for review) | Canyon Grizl CF SLX 8 eTap Suspension | Cervélo Áspero GRX Di2 (Click for review) | CUBE Nuroad C:62 SLT (Click for review) | Curve Kevin of Steel III (Click for review) | Falkenjagd Aristos R (Click for review) | Felt Breed 20 (Click for review) | FOCUS ATLAS 6.8 (Click for review) | GIANT Revolt Advanced 0 (Click for review) | OPEN WI.DE. (Click for review) | Ridley Kanzo Fast (Click for review) | ROSE BACKROAD EKAR LTD (Click for review) | SCOTT Addict Gravel Tuned (Click for review) | Specialized S-Works Crux (Click for review) | Stelbel Nina XCr (Click for review) | Storck GRIX.2 Platinum (Click for review) | Wilier Rave SLR (Click for review)

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Words: Photos: Benjamin Topf, Peter Walker