Canyon Aeroad CF SLX 9.0 disc SL

It might be a good few years old now but the Canyon Aeroad CF SLX 9.0 disc SL is still a very good bike despite the aero market upgrading significantly in between

Score

9/10

Pros

  • Efficient and fast
  • Excellent brakes
  • Comfortable for an aero bike
  • Value
  • Excellent spec

Cons

  • Not the fastest aero bike on the market
  • It is longing for an update

Price as reviewed:

£6,799

It’s the bike of choice for the likes of Katusha and Movistar but interestingly enough, it isn’t the choice of Alejandro Valverde who opts to use Canyon’s Ultimate as his go to ride. But don’t go discrediting the Canyon Aeroad CF SLX 9.0 disc SL just yet, as it still remains a great bike.

>>> Buy now from Canyon for £6799

Canyon Aeroad CF SLX 9.0 disc SL frame

The Canyon Aeroad CF SLX 9.0 Disc Ltd was first leaked online by Alexander Kristoff in April 2016 and it wasn’t until later that year we got hold of the lower spec 8.0 version. The Aeroad platform has actually been around since 2015 and remains a light frame when compared to the likes of Specialized Venge, Trek Madone or Cervelo S5.

Al those bikes have improved significantly and in modern terms the Canyon is starting to lack a few features we have all come to expect on the high end aero bike scale. Approaching its fifth birthday, I would have hoped we would have a major update of the Canyon Aeroad, are we due one this summer?

>>> Canyon bikes: the range explained 

Compared to its rim going sibling though, the Canyon Aeroad CF SLX 9.0 disc SL does weigh, we reckon, around 600g more owing to the strengthening within key areas to handle those disc brakes. However, both bikes do carry the same great ride characteristics; they’re fast, agile and comfortable.

Canyon Aeroad CF SLX 9.0 disc SL

The now classic handlebars from Canyon are a comfortable and aero addition

In the last year or so the likes of the aforementioned bikes have all been updated. So compared to those rival aero racing machines, the Canyon Aeroad CF SLX 9.0 disc SL does have a little less integration upfront. Albeit only two cables on this particular bike, thanks to the new SRAM Red eTap AXS groupset.

You also get the impressive integrated bar and stem from Canyon, which compliments this bike well. Although, you can’t help but think you’ll be losing out on some efficiency thanks to the advancement in technology available elsewhere.

Specification

The 9.0 SL is the second highest-spec Aeroad Canyon offers, with only the £7,299 LTD version with Shimano Dura Ace Di2 with Zipp NSW wheels sitting above.

This is my favourite version, its a great deep red colour, like the Katusha team colours with the new SRAM Red eTap AXS groupset that only helps clean up the lines.

Canyon has even thought about slicing the air more efficiently by supplying a 23mm Contintenal GP Attack tyre at the front with a 25mm Continental GP Force at the rear. These are shod on a pair of DT Swiss ARC 1100 Dicut wheels. Of course the bike includes its integrated stem and handlebar called Canyon H11 Aerocockpit CF.

The Fizik Arione saddle is a nice touch for me personally as it is my preferred saddle.

Ride

For a while I liked to compare the rim and disc brake versions of many bike brands but here I feel its a no brainer, as the Canyon Aeroad CF SLX 9.0 disc SL is just made better by the addition of disc brakes. All aero bikes are for that matter.

The brands have made them faster too, aerodynamically, and I have long forgotten the dodgy braking you used to get on some of the more integrated braking systems from rim style wheels.

Despite being a heavier bike due to disc brakes, the Canyon Aeroad CF SLX 9.0 disc SL is surprisingly svelte at 6.9kg for a size small, even with those monstrously deep DT Swiss wheels.

This makes this aero bike one of the best all-round road bikes on the market and does often beg the question why many of the Movistar pros opt for the Ultimate over the Aeroad.

Those guys of course climb at a much faster rate than I do and I still felt the benefit of the fast rolling bike. Don’t get me wrong the Ultimate is a great bike, but when marginal gains are everything surely you’ll opt for the fastest bike in the Canyon range?

The great thing about the Aeroad disc is that despite being an out-and-out aero machine, it remains an amazing handling road bike; seemingly giving you enough performance advantage aerodynamically without completely destroying the ride.

Canyon Aeroad CF SLX 9.0 disc SL

SRAM eTap makes gearing easy to use

For a race bike the Canyon Aeroad CF SLX 9.0 disc SL is rather comfortable compared to the likes of Trek Madone, despite it having the ISO Speed technology. However, the likes of Specialized and its Venge, along with the latest Trek Madone, have improved to now offer a race spec without the race ride.

This is where Canyon starts to lose its edge, but that doesn’t mean it has lost all its credentials and it still remains one of the most comfortable aero bikes on the market.

Once up to speed the aerodynamic profile takes over, and it constantly feels as if the Aeroad is ticking along a couple of miles per hour faster than a non-aero bike. This is because it is, and works well over undulating roads.

Canyon Aeroad CF SLX 9.0 disc SL

Disc power helps make this bike great

The low weight of the Aeroad really is its trump card. This is a bike that feels great on climbs, which is not often said for aero bikes, though when in the mountains a switch for shallower wheels might be a better idea as these deep DT Swiss wheels just don’t operate at their potential at low speeds.

To put it simply: the Canyon Aeroad CF SLX 9.0 Disc Ltd is a performance bike that you can live with. It is unfussy, works well in all areas without too much compromise in either aero, weight or handling. It is easy to maintain too.

My time with the bike around the Hampshire lanes has proved to me that this is still a great bike. I would have liked to switch the wheels for something shallower but that isn’t a dig at the wheels themselves. They have a purpose and are good for that but everyday living they are hard to justify.

Value

The Canyon Aeroad CF SLX 9.0 Disc SL scores a 9 for me as it works well in all areas including the wallet. Yes of course it is an expensive bike at £6,799 but what you get in terms of spec and the frame itself easily rivals aero bikes sitting nearly £2,000 above this price point. You do loose out on a bit of aero though.

If this is a little over your price range, with the exact same frame you can get the 8.0 for just over £3,500 with Shimano Ultegra mechanical.

It is in need of an update though, as Canyon is in danger of becoming outdated with its Aeroad. Things have moved swiftly on since 2015 and it is starting to show, although for now, it remains a great bike.

Verdict

The Canyon Aeroad is an excellent bike and superb to ride. Canyon has nailed the spec, especially with the latest top end groupset from SRAM. It might be a couple of watts slower than slightly more modern designs, but the Aeroad is lighter and offers unrivalled comfort and value.

Details

Weight: 6.9kg (small)
Size Tested: XS
Groupset: SRAM Red eTap AXS
Wheels: DT Swiss ARC 1100 Dicut
Tyres: Continental GP Attack III front and Force III rear
Handlebar/Stem: Canyon H11 Aerocockpit CF
Seatpost: Canyon S27
Saddle: Fizik Arione R3
Sizes: 2XS - 2XL
Contact: www.canyon.com
Colour: Stealth or red

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