It just is a great mix of comfort, speed and performance. Weighing in at 6.8kg on our scales means it just eats up any ride without a complaint and without breaking your back!
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The Canyon Endurace range is all good, but I feel the chart-topping Endurace CF SLX in this Di2 spec gives the best value and the highest level of pure riding pleasure. It has hit the balance between a fun, fast ride with great compliance, all in a lightweight package and was a true companion on my rides this year – a thoroughly deserved spot in this years Editor's Choice.
I've tested the Endurace in a number of different guises, from the entry-level aluminium version, disc and rim as well as the frameset just below this one, which is called CF SL as opposed to the higher-end CF SLX frameset here.
>>> See more: Canyon CF SLX range here
The Endurace from Canyon is, as the name implies, the German brand’s take on the all-day comfort bike and it is fair to say the range-topping carbon model, the Endurace CF SLX 9.0, is very dreamy and expensive but not ridiculously so with its current £5,499 price tag – discounted by £450 on Canyon's website – offering a great spec that other brands just can't offer.
I used a similar version of this bike for our Coast-to-Coast Challenge video back in the spring and it was a world apart from the aluminium version. It is super-lightweight: our size small test bike weighed 6.8kg (that's with disc brakes!) and helped us dance on all our rides. It is comfortable, fast and looks fabulous — a bike we’d ride all year round
The Canyon Endurace CF SLX is built around Canyon’s Sport Geometry, which promotes a comfortable, efficient position to make long hours in the saddle less painful. However, unlike many endurance bikes out there at the moment, this one doesn’t look ‘endurance’ at all: side on it could easily be mistaken for the race-orientated Canyon Ultimate, which isn’t a bad thing at all.
So as it's an endurance bike let's start with comfort.
In all aspects the the Canyon Endurace CF SLX is super smooth. The geometry balance is poised and isn't all biased towards comfort, which is good as the ride is fast and fun, but you get a little extra height at the front to ease the back.
There are a number of aspects that make the Canyon Endurace CF SLX a step above its rivals in this department, though.
The handlebar is one of Canyon’s very good integrated bar/stems. It’s the H31 version that has a slightly shorter reach, offers a 6° setback on the tops for a comfortable position riding up hills and a 3° flare on the drops for a slightly more stable handling while on the drops.
The position is on point and Canyon has done a great job supplying something that fits its purpose so well. The ergonomics in all the positions feel right and it's shaped well.
Again another item in Canyon's armoury developed by the brand itself is the S15 VCLS 2.0 CF seatpost. It's designed to help absorb shocks and road buzz, offering extra comfort. Canyon says this is a revolutionary leaf spring concept and works by allowing suspension-like movement in the seatpost.
Finally it's the clearance for wider tyres that makes this bike supple. Disc brakes are a great addition to endurance-style bikes as it finally allows us to go wider with the rubber giving an extra bit of give where it is needed. When I was down in the South West in and around Dartmoor with pretty bad roads, the Canyon Endurace CF SLX wasn't fussed, even in the bleak conditions – it was suppose to be spring! The tyres rolled effortlessly over broken tarmac, something that I felt limited the rim-braking aluminium version tested previously.
So all this comfort is usually at the detriment of performance, more often than not weight being the penalty, but the Canyon Endurace CF SLX in a size small here weighs 6.8g which is the UCI weight limit!
6.8kg! For an endurance bike! With disc brakes!
The Canyon Endurace CF SLX comes alive on a hilly ride – it really does whip up a storm, effortlessly taking me up climbs. I feel in a year of aerodynamics we have forgotten what a true lightweight bike feels like and it's a great feeling dancing on the pedals like Contador, not feeling weighed down.
And it's the Sport geometry that helps this bike too. It isn't a ship that needs time to steer, it's lively, fun and agile to the point I'd be happy to race it.
The South West brings a new challenge to bikes] with steep uphills, downhills, narrow twisty lanes that need a bike to be capable and stable with good stopping power to boot. The Endurace CF SLX disc offers all of that and this is what has made it such a joy to ride. You'll have a lot of fun with this bike!
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