Canyon Bicycles: Our Honest Review


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Price is often the biggest determining factor in making any purchase. To reduce customer cost for their product, Canyon has adopted a clever factory direct retail strategy that makes their bicycles more affordable than those of their competitors. Starting at around $1,500, the price of Canyon bicycles is high, but this is comparable to the industry standard for bicycles of this quality. Before making a purchase, potential customers need to know of the quality of Canyon’s bicycles and the value these bicycles represent compared to the overall market.

There are certain advantages gained from purchasing your bicycle through the traditional industry model of patronizing a local brick and mortar store. Customers can test ride bicycles at local bike shops to ensure ride quality and fit. Local bicycle shops usually have a professional mechanic who can tune the bicycle and make fitting adjustments. The question for anyone in the market for a new bicycle is whether the savings inherent to making a purchase from a factory direct bicycle retailer like Canyon outweigh the advantages you gain from purchasing at a local bike shop.

For this review, we tested several bicycles in the Canyon line. We found these bicycles to be absolute peak performers worthy of professional riders. The Canyon website provides a lot of information, and customer service is there to help you with any further questions. Our conclusion is, if you are a knowledgeable cyclist who feels confident enough to tune and fit yourself to your own bicycle, then Canyon bicycles are a great purchasing option.

WHAT ARE CANYON BICYCLES?

Man sitting beside a bicycle

​Image via Pexels

Canyon bicycles are professional, top quality bicycles that are available online through a direct sale selling model. This model has an advantage in pricing over the retail sales model of traditional bicycle stores because it reduces cost to the retailer. By asking their customers to purchase online, Canyon eliminates the need to pay rent for a retail store space. Also, there are significant savings in employee wages. There are even more expenses saved through direct retail, and these savings result in a lower item price.

No matter what your cycling needs, Canyon is sure to have an option. Their web page features road bicycles, cyclo-cross bicycles, mountain bicycles, triathlon bicycles, winter bicycles, and urban bicycles. Most of their models are available in both men’s and women’s geometry, and detailed geometry schematics are available on the web page for sizing. Sizing charts are not as intuitive as a test ride, but if used with guidance it is possible to achieve a perfect bike fit through the use of a sizing chart. A variety of frame material options are also available including aluminum and carbon fiber.

PRODUCT SPECS  

Product specs differ on the various models depending on the cycling requirements of the rider. Canyon sponsors professional teams, and their bicycles are high performance, top quality machines. Canyon bicycles feature high-quality frame materials, and the component groups are like those featured on high-end bicycles from other manufacturers. The various bicycle styles are available with many differing options for wheels, components, and other accessories.

PRICING  

Pricing differs depending on the style, model, component group, and frame material. Standard pricing for high-performance bicycles from any manufacturer starts in the $​ range and can go as high as $​$$ for the top-end models. The pricing for Canyon bicycles is noticeably less expensive than similar bicycles available from traditional brick and mortar retailers when you consider the quality of the frame material and included component groups.

HOW IT COMPARES

For this review, we examined several models from Canyon bicycles to go into a detailed analysis of what they offer. These models include the Canyon Ultimate, Canyon Aeroad, Canyon Speedmax Time Trial Bike, and the Canyon Endurance. These models represent selections from Canyon’s road line.

Canyon Ultimate

Ultimate CF SLX 9.0 Di2

​Canyon Ultimate CF SLX 9.0 Di2

​Canyon offers a high-performance road bike called the Canyon Ultimate. This is the choice used by professional cycles in events like the Tour of Spain. These bicycles are available with both carbon fiber and aluminum frames and feature aggressive frame geometries specific to the needs of pro riders. The Canyon Ultimate also features a women’s specific design comprised of a slightly different frame geometry.

​Price

$$-$$$

These bikes are top-quality racing machines with state-of-the-art frames and matching component groups.

Frame​

Most the frames in this line feature Canyon bicycles’ CF SLX frame set which stands for carbon fiber, super light extreme. They feature the sport pro geometry which is an aggressive geometry designed for peak athletic performance. There is also an optional capacity to install a disk brake system.

​Wheels

The wheel sets available along the line range from the Mavic Cosmic Pro Carbon SL C, to the Zipp 202 NSW Carbon Clincher. All the wheel sets along this line will be recognizable to serious riders as top performance wheels. Wheels are easy for owners to upgrade at a later date, so selecting a less expensive initial wheel set is a good strategy for lowering the initial purchase price.

Components

​The entry level Ultimate comes with Shimano Ultegra.

PROS

  • Lightweight frame
  • Superior component groups
  • Aggressive frame geometry

CONS

  • Represents a significant investment
  • Frame geometry might be too aggressive for casual riders
  • High-end component groups often require professional tuning

​Canyon Aeroad

Aeroad CF SLX Disc 9.0 SL

Aeroad CF SLX Disc 9.0 SL

​The Aeroad line featured by Canyon is another professional class of racing bicycles available with a variety of components and other accessories. The Aeroad is also available in the carbon fiber super light and carbon fiber super light extreme constructions. The Aeroad has an additional aerodynamic wind blade component between the chain stay and seat tube and boasts overall aerodynamic tubing. The Aeroad frames feature a pro geometry which is performance ready and aerodynamic.

​Price

$$-$$$

Pricing varies on various models due to upgrades in components and the addition of options like disk braking.

Frame​

This is a fantastic, full carbon frame with bladed tubes that offer a significant reduction in wind resistance. Carbon frames are stiff, lightweight and responsive, and also absorb road shock more effectively than aluminum frames.

​Wheels

The wheels on the various models in the line range from Mavic Comete Pro Carbon SL UST, to Zipp 454 NSW Carbon Clinchers on the top end models. All wheel options offered will be recognizable to knowledgeable cyclists as high-performance models.

Components

The bikes in Canyon’s Aeroad line start with Shimano 105 on the entry level models, Shimano Ultegra in the mid-tier models, and Shimano Dura-Ace on the top end models. These are Shimano’s top three racing groups and are standard on all high-performance bicycles.

PROS

  • The pro geometry offers a more upright body position while still being aerodynamic
  • The bladed tubes significantly decrease wind resistance
  • Light, responsive frame with fantastic component group options

CONS

  • Represents a significant investment
  • Frame geometry may be too aggressive for casual riders    

​Canyon Speedmax Time Trial Bike

Speedmax CF 8.0 SL

Speedmax CF 8.0 SL

​Canyon bicycles’ Speedmax time trial bike represents something of an industry standard that has gone unbeaten at the Ironman World Championships in Kona three years in a row. This is a fantastic machine designed to put the rider in an ideal, aggressive time trial position to achieve peak athletic performance. The overall style, appearance, and detailing of this bicycle is exceptional.

​Price

$$-$$$

This is a competitive industry standard for elite, high-performance time trial bicycles.

Frame​

Canyon’s Speedmax comes in Carbon Fiber and Carbon Fiber Super Light Extreme models. Both models feature an aggressive time trial geometry and bladed tubing. A women’s specific design is also available.

​Wheels

The Speedmax features Mavic Cosmic Elite wheels on the entry-level models and features Zipp 858 NSW on the top-end models.

Components

The entry-level models feature Shimano 105, with Shimano Ultegra in the mid-tier models, and Shimano Dura-Ace on the top end models. These are Shimano’s top three racing groups and are standard on all high-performance bicycles.

PROS

  • A fantastic, industry-leading choice for a time trial bike
  • Excellent geometry and overall design
  • High-end components at all levels

CONS

  • No women’s specific design for the Super Light Extreme frame option
  • Significant investment    
  • Time trial bikes are not ideal for your primary bicycle

​Canyon Endurance

Endurace CF SL Disc 8.0 Di2

Endurace CF SL Disc 8.0 Di2​

​The Endurance model featured by Canyon bicycles is a bicycle specifically designed for the more varied needs of casual cyclists. Featuring an endurance optimized sport geometry, this is is the bicycle for your local friend or neighbor who wants the best ride while pursuing cycling as a fitness activity. The Endurance is available in a variety of frame materials making for some affordable options. Of all the bicycles we tested in this review, the Endurance was the best suited for the greatest variety of riding.

​Price

$​-$$​

More of an elite sport bicycle, you won’t see these at professional races, but it is still a high-performance machine.

Frame​

The line starts with an aluminum option and has carbon fiber super light and carbon fiber super light extreme options with the same geometry.

​Wheels

The wheels on the entry-level aluminum model are the DT Swiss E 1800 Spline DB, while the top-of-the-line model features the Reynolds Assault LE Disc Carbon. The Reynolds are a great set of wheels, but the Swiss aren’t up to the standard of other options available on the Canyon product line.

Components

The entry-level models feature Shimano 105, with Shimano Ultegra in the mid-tier models, and Shimano Dura-Ace on the top end models. These are Shimano’s top three racing groups and are standard on all high-performance bicycles.

PROS

  • More of a relaxed geometry
  • Variety of pricing options with both aluminum and carbon fiber frame    
  • Great component groups featured

CONS

  • Wheel sets on entry-level models not as high quality
  • Aluminum frames provide more of a rigid ride than carbon fiber

CONCLUSION

Canyon uses a unique, factory-direct business model to offer their product for sale to the public for great savings. The bicycles themselves are fantastic, industry-leading machines used by professionals to perform and succeed at the highest level. These bicycles are five-star quality across the board, but that does not mean there aren’t factors to consider before purchasing a ride from Canyon.

The factory-direct business model means that purchasers cannot test ride Canyon bicycles or receive a professional fit without incurring further cost. The frame geometry charts available on the web page and through customer support will help customers pick the perfect bicycle, but this business model still requires a significant amount of mechanical ability from the purchaser. After shipping, the bicycles require some assembly. Videos are available for guidance and the purchase price includes a few basic tools.

Assembling a Canyon bicycle is fairly easy, but shifting and braking systems often require tune-ups from professionals to work properly. Purchasers should consider that local bicycle shops may charge a fee of several hundred dollars to make sure the brakes and derailleurs are working correctly. Out-of-the-box assembly requires no work on the cassette or bottom bracket, so tune-up should be minimal. A professional fit is also desirable and could incur additional cost.

The Canyon Speedmax time trial bike is an elite piece of equipment that has accrued an impressive list of wins. This is a good choice for athletes who are interested in setting a personal best at any triathlon event. Of all the bikes we tested, the Speedmax has the most limited range of uses.

The Endurance model is the bicycle that should be of most interest to amateur fitness riders who want a top-level machine. With price points starting at $1,500, this is an affordable option that will provide everything you can ask for in an elite bicycle. With a more relaxed geometry, this is the bicycle that boasts the greatest variety of ride possibilities.

Canyon bicycles offer top level, high-performance rides at highly competitive prices. The bicycles themselves are fantastic, and the factory-direct sales model offers some advantages in pricing. Canyon bicycles represent a great option for knowledgeable cyclists who have the mechanical skills to tune and fit their own equipment.

​FINAL VERDICT

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