New Canyon Ultimate takes notes from the Aeroad - but will it suffer from the same flaws?
Canyon's finishing-kit fumbles of last year look to be firmly behind it judging by the tougher, sleeker new Ultimate
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Canyon was trialling a new version of its Ultimate CFR at the final weekend of the Critérium du Dauphiné.
Video footage of Enric Mas's machine captured by matosvelo.fr (opens in new tab) (and reproduced here by kind permission) shows that the German brand's climbing bike has inherited some of the features of both the Canyon Aeroad (opens in new tab) as well as beefing up in some areas in the style of the Endurace (opens in new tab), while still remaining very recognisably a Canyon.
Nouvel Ultimate sur le Dauphiné. pic.twitter.com/i3PhlUMwvHJune 11, 2022
The most obvious change is at the front end, where the hydraulic hoses have now been brought inboard via a new integrated cockpit that will almost certainly be based on the one used by the latest Aeroad.
Our counterparts at CyclingNews (opens in new tab) spotted bolts underneath the tops of the bars that appear to confirm that this will be the same adjustable-width bar that Canyon launched with the Aeroad.
This handlebar design became famous for all the wrong reasons last year, when Canyon issued a 'stop ride' notice in March after a high-profile failure when Mathieu van der Poel finished Le Samyn with a snapped handlebar.
However, the redesigned, reinforced version was relaunched in time for the Tour de France, in which Van der Poel rode the Aeroad to the yellow jersey (opens in new tab) on stage two - so any issues around that front end design appear to be resolved.
The angular new fork looks to have more in common with the Canyon Endurace, perhaps now wider at the crown for extra tyre clearance, though aerodynamics will also of course be a key consideration.
Meanwhile the bottom bracket area looks to have been significantly widened to supply extra stiffness. Whereas previously the down tube flowed downwards and and then rearwards as it met the chainstays, now it finishes more abruptly at a boxier shell. This could be to work in extra rear tyre clearance as well as adding resistance to torsional flex for sprinters and climbers.
As for the seatpost, Canyon seems to have abandoned the round-profiled VCLS style of the previous Ultimate but has clearly decided against an aero design with flex built in below the top tube junction - as deployed with the Aeroad.
Canyon redesigned the 2021 Aeroad's seatpost (opens in new tab) after the inbuilt flex caused excessive wear if it wasn't kept very clean.
So, the new Ultimate looks to have a D-shaped seatpost as adopted by an increasing number of manufacturers including Giant with its D-Fuse technology. The D-shaped section allows rearward flex while (in the right circumstances) also supplying kamm-tail aerodynamics.
The clamp bolt is on the front of the seat tube on the underside of Canyon's so-called compensation triangle.
At first impressions Canyon seems to have equipped the new Ultimate with its latest tech, now fully tried and tested with the teething problems behind it.
We'll bring you more definite information from Canyon as we receive it, but in the meantime it's fair to say that the new Ultimate looks to have played safe with an evolution than a ground-up redesign.
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Simon Smythe is Cycling Weekly's senior tech writer and has been in various roles at CW since 2003. His first job was as a sub editor following an MA in online journalism. In his cycling career Simon has mostly focused on time trialling with a national medal, a few open wins and his club's 30-mile record in his palmares. These days he spends most of his time testing road bikes, or on a tandem doing the school run with his younger son.
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