The second of the five bikes on test in RIDE Cycling Review #75 is the Canyon Ultimate CF SLX Disc 8.0.
We have reviewed a similar Canyon before but it was with standard caliper brakes – this one, as the name suggests, includes disc brakes. This means that the bike has a few alterations other than simply the way that it brings the rider to a halt.
Thru-axles are used (front and rear), the forks boast a different carbon lay-up and the rear end is slightly longer.
All this adds up to a bike that feels fantastic to ride and looks great in the studio. Oh yeah, and you have that great modulation in the braking.
The build report could have been done twice: a quick overview by the publisher, Rob Arnold, who pulled the bike out of the box and put it together as a customer would (below) – ie. very quickly, possibly with the assistance of a nice pale ale and the handy instruction manual supplied in the box. Or, the second option (and the one we went with on p.178) is for Lachlan McKillop to explain what mechanical nuances it had.
From every angle, the Canyon Ultimate is a funky looking bike. The grey on grey finish matched with Shimano Ultegra (Di2 shifting) is very attractive.
A compact gear ratio up front (52/36) suits the kind of riding that you could expect to do on this bike. Pull it out of the box, put it all together in around 12 minutes and set off for the hills! You’ll appreciate the ride qualities going up and down mountains all day long.
Note: the bike we received to review came with a few inclusions that are not standard fare for this bike – rather offered as extras… the bidon cages and computer mount are listed in the spec sheet but you’ll pay more for these if you order the bike direct from Canyon.
Thru-axles mean that the rear end is a little different to the equivalent Ultimate frame with standard brakes.
Yeah, this frame is approved by the UCI (so the sticker says) but exactly what comes of the disc brake trial in racing remains to be seen. Word on the street is that the jury is still out: the industry wants discs, the administrators aren’t too sure, some riders love them, other riders loathe them… many simply don’t care too much about their equipment.
Neat cable routing options that were laced up in the manner required by Australian standards: right lever for the rear brake…
This was our first sighting of the new Mavic Cosmic wheels with disc brake technology. Without the flattened surface required for rim brakes, these carbon beauties arguably look even better than the other iterations. The logo goes very close to the tyre and although it’s only a minor detail it adds to the aesthetic.
These computer mounts can be specified when ordering the bike… but it comes at an additional cost.
The integrated handlebar and stem: lovely to look at, good to hold onto… and another aspect of the Canyon package that customers are likely to appreciate. (Note: we don’t always cut the fork steerer on test bikes as they are often on-sold and we don’t want to limit the options for the end user.)
– Photos by Shane Lovejoy & Rob Arnold