Canyon Inflite CF SLX (video)

A number of unique frame designs makes the Canyon Inflite CF SLX one of the most radical cross bikes around

Canyon Inflite CF SLX
Canyon Inflite CF SLX

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The Inflite CF SLX is a dedicated race bike that Canyon says is “packed with features that slash seconds off every lap”. The German brand designed it to meet the demands of cyclo-cross riders from local leagues up to World Cup level — and despite its radical-looking frame it’s fully UCI legal.

The kinked top tube opens up the central triangle for easier shouldering, even on the smaller sizes. With a seatpost clamp under the front of the top tube, seatpost length is also increased for a smoother ride. The theory is that it’s easier to put the power down while staying in the saddle.

Canyon specs 650b rather than 700c wheels to the two smallest sizes of the Inflite CF SLX. This keeps the wheelbase and trail short so that riders from 1.52m to 1.66m get the same sharp handling as the taller ones.

Canyon’s one-piece carbon Ergocockpit combined bar and stem comes with all three Inflite models. The Ergocockpit is claimed to be stiffer, lighter and more compliant than a conventional bar and stem. The broad tops and backward sweep make for a comfortable hand position, while the drops are slightly flared for extra control. There are five different bar width/stem length combinations.

Borrowed from the latest MTB designs, the Inflite CF SLX’s geometry includes a longer reach coupled with a 1cm shorter stem and wider bars, with the aim of increasing manoeuvrability on technical courses.

As you’d expect, there’s plenty of frame clearance: over 9mm with the supplied 33mm Schwalbe X-One tubeless-ready tyres. And crucial parts of the frame like the top of the chainstays have been designed with sloped surfaces to reduce mud build-up. All the cable runs are fully enclosed and all frame ports sealed to prevent mud ingress as well as giving a cleaner look.

Price            £3599.00

Frame            Canyon Inflite CF SLX carbon

Fork            Canyon One One Four Inflite CF Disc carbon

Size range            3XS – 2XL

Weight            7.6kg/16.8lb

Groupset            SRAM Force 1, Quarq Prime Carbon chainset

Gear ratios            40, 11-36

Wheels            Reynolds Assault LE Disc carbon

Tyres            Schwalbe X-One 33mm

Brakes            SRAM Force hydraulic

Bar            Canyon H31 Ergocockpit CF

Seatpost            Canyon S13 VCLS CF carbon

Saddle            Selle Italia SLR Lite

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Paul Norman

Paul started writing for Cycling Weekly in 2015, covering cycling tech, new bikes and product testing. Since then, he’s reviewed hundreds of bikes and thousands of other pieces of cycling equipment for the magazine and the Cycling Weekly website.

He’s been cycling for a lot longer than that though and his travels by bike have taken him all around Europe and to California. He’s been riding gravel since before gravel bikes existed too, riding a cyclocross bike through the Chilterns and along the South Downs.