Navigating Canyon's bamboozling range can be quite the task, but in between two carbon bikes lies this absolute alloy gem for £1,500. It's a butter-smooth ride, with 28mm tyres and disc brakes for maximum fun.
28mm tyres and disc brakes
Planted, assured handling
The Canyon Endurace AL 7.0 Disc includes the same technology as its older, more expensive, carbon sibling but jammed into an alloy frame at a fraction of the price.
It’s a big claim but the German company has always managed to offer a staggering number of options at a mind-boggling number of price points.
Happily, though, the lower price point and aluminium frame don’t necessarily mean a compromise in quality or enjoyment.
As the AL name denotes, this is the highest-specced aluminium version of Canyon’s Endurace bike. Made with 6000 aluminium, the frame is light – the whole bike comes in at 8.3kg, which is actually lighter than some carbon bikes we've tested.
In terms of geometry, the frame’s angles are in the ballpark of one my favourite-handling bikes, the Cervélo R5.
The relatively lengthy 994mm wheelbase allows the bike to feel planted, while the handling feels assured thanks to the 73° head angle.
Of course, the Canyon Endurace AL Disc 7.0 isn’t trying to operate at the same level as the Cervélo R5. For starters, it's aluminium and it’s not a race bike, but that doesn’t stop it being one hell of a fun ride.
The cables are routed internally through the frame, giving a tidy set-up to the front end.
As we've come to expect from Canyon bikes you get a lot of bang for very little buck, and that's the case with the Canyon AL Disc.
The drivetrain is Shimano Ultegra 6800, which already pushes the bike’s performance beyond what most £1,500 bikes can offer. It’s a perfect performer really, and is a great match for the bike.
The Shimano hydraulic brakes are equally good. As usual, I still feel the levers are a little unergonomic, especially after riding Campagnolo’s new disc brake groupset (but let's wait and see what new Shimano Ultegra 8000 can offer). But that doesn’t stop them providing ample stopping power and plenty of confidence.
The real charm of the ride, though, is the pairing of the disc brakes with the excellent Continental Grand Prix 4000 II S 28mm tyres. It’s a great partnership – one that’s quickly becoming a favourite of mine and will have you beaming from ear to ear.
The oversized rubber provides ample grip and control while the disc brakes give you the on-tap power and reassurance you need to send you grinning down descents like a madman.
Canyon’s partnership with DT Swiss continues with the aluminium R24 Spline DB wheels. They’re a great option for the £1,500 bikes, a price point that traditionally might see companies skimp a little on wheels.
They’re aluminium rims, but they’re laced to DT Swiss hubs via bladed spokes for aerodynamic benefit. With an inner width of 18mm and an outer of 23mm they’re suited to the 28mm Continental tyres specced, even if they do balloon over the rims just a little.
Lastly, the Fizik Ardea saddle was pleasantly comfortable, with plenty of scope to shift your bodyweight around when laying down the power.
Despite its alloy frame and the modest price point, the Canyon Endurace AL 7.0 Disc has an undoubtedly performance-orientated ride. I’ve pushed my limits on efforts and rides aboard this bike, and it has kept up admirably. It doesn’t feel out of its depth on long rides, and it's not cumbersome on climbs. In fact, as part of Canyon’s dedicated endurance range, it loves them.
The ride is buttery smooth, no doubt a result of the quality aluminium frame as well as the 28mm rubber. It just irons out any nastiness in the road’s surface, relieving any fatigue that might arise from road chatter.
It goes without saying that the best bikes are the ones that make you want to get out and ride, and the Canyon does exactly that. It’s comfortable without being sluggish, and efficient without compromising ride quality.
The beefy rubber and the powerful brakes fill you with confidence to attack on the descents, while the efficient frame lets you at it on the ups. It’s a bike that will have you grinning, wanting more at each turn.
It's hard not to get hung up on carbon, and £1,500 could buy you a carbon-fibre Canyon Endurace CF 7.0 model. But rather than an Ultegra groupset you get Shimano 105 and Mavic Aksium wheels.
Perhaps even more tempting is the fact that £100 more can buy a Shimano Ultegra-specced carbon-fibre Canyon Endurace.
It’s obviously a crammed field, and Canyon has always provided a staggering number of options but if you’re not a carbon-fibre fan or if you prioritise ride quality over super-light weight, this Canyon with its alloy frame, big rubber and disc brakes is a standout option.
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