Three years with the number-one ranked rider – Joaquim Rodriguez of the Katusha team – using the Aeroad has been a sweet run for Canyon. Now, though, they’ve shelved the winning machine in favour of a lighter, stiffer and more aero model. Enter the 2014 Aeroad CF SLX.
With technology borrowed from Canyon’s time trial machine – namely the Trident tube profile – and the ride qualities of the Ultimate, the German engineers have stuck their collective necks on the block and set quite a target for themselves to try and better the old Aeroad in every metric.
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Leaning heavily on engineering knowhow gained from both of the other top-end race bikes, the main difficulty that they found, as every bike company does, is that aerodynamics are very much opposed to the other desirable attributes in a bike (lightweight, stiffness and comfort). In fact, they are opposite sides of the scales, meaning when one goes up the other goes down, and vice versa.
To get around this, Canyon opted to chase the small gains one at a time and really drill into the detail each time with these goals in mind.
With the Trident tube shape as the basis, the tail of the tube was broadened. As road races are slower than time trials, meaning the angle of effective crosswinds is greater, the wider section reduces drag in these situations. This new tube shape became Trident 2.0.
By making the tube wider, the new shape allows more stiffness to be built in to improve the ride characteristic. Another touch that improved both stiffness and aerodynamics was the fairing created between the seat tube and the seat stays, which cleans up airflow onto the rear wheel.
Of course, the primary area that needs to be aero and stiff is the front end as it’s the leading edge to the wind as well as the steering point of the bike. Here Canyon found it best to design its own bar, Aerocockpit CF, which thanks to spacers and a sharp designer’s pencil flows nicely out of the headtube. They’ve even stepped the bar to ensure that the tape fits flush with the centre section.
Sticking with the front end, the headset has gone up a size to reduce flex when throwing the bike around, and here the design team went to Acros to make narrow, lighter bearings showing yet more detail sweating.
All these considerations mean that the whole frame including the hardware merge more seamlessly together for what we think is a neat and undoubtedly fast frame at a weight that Canyon lists as 960g. The bike is due to go on sale at the end of August/start of September so we’ll have a little wait to find out pricing but we’ve been tipped off that the first bike in the range will come with Ultegra and be about £3,000.
For more information visit www.canyon.com
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