New bike conundrum. De Rosa Merak EPS vs Canyon CF SLX 9.0 PRO

by jonnyllew   January 18, 2014  

Hi, I'm looking to buy a new bike with some cash I've saved for a while and have a 4Kish budget. I currently ride a 2011 Giant TCR 1 with kysirium elites and a mix of SRAM Red/Force but I'm looking to buy a light, sharp handling exciting carbon bike with race geometry but also comfort as my aluminium frame sometimes feels like a bone shaker.

I've narrowed my choice to two bikes. A De Rosa Merak with Athena EPS and Fulcrum Racing Zeros or a Canyon CF SLX 9.0 PRO with Campagnollo record mechanical and Mavic Kysirium SLR WTS.

I've ridden the Merak briefly but in the wrong size with Fulcrum Red Wind 50s (which I didn't like too much when climbing due to weight), loved the EPS but never ridden a Canyon.

The bike will be used for club runs, occasional races and long endurance rides and I live in South Wales so a lot of hilly/mountainous rides.

Any info on the carbon used in a Merak welcome as I can't find much about it and any advice/thoughts/personal bike reviews on either bike welcome!

Thanks and happy riding, Jon Confused

18 user comments

Oldest firstNewest firstBest rated

Canyon are terrific value, and if you're doing a lot of climbing and club runs the Mavic wheelset is a very good match. I'm not convinced aero wheels are a good choice for an all-round bike.

Also, having spoken candidly with some mechanics they say that EPS is still problematic. If you want electronic shifting Di2 is much more reliable.

posted by thereandbackagain [159 posts]
18th January 2014 - 12:21

8 Likes

Agreed. Aero wheels are out of the equation.

JL

posted by jonnyllew [17 posts]
18th January 2014 - 12:34

11 Likes

Hi Jon,

A happy conundrum you are faced with - both excellent bikes. I know it's an obvious thing for me to say, but the DeRosa is a little more exclusive than the Canyon, although there is no argument that the Canyons represent very good value for money.

I wondered if you'd seen this DeRosa we have:
http://www.bikeSwanky.co.uk/bike/2013-derosa-merak-athena-eps-545cm-clea...

There is a video of it on the link.

It has the spec you're after with the Racing Quattros.

We have bikes with EPS and Di2 on them and we've found both to be equally reliable in all weathers. Both are smooth change and are an excellent component on any road bike.

There is never going to be an end to the argument of Shimano vs Campagnolo vs SRAM. They all build their components to the best specification they can within the price point their "bean counters" obligate on them.

At Athena EPS and Ultegra Di2 level, they're both equally efficient, effective and reliable. At least in our experience anyway.

Good luck with your search and decision making.

Bike Swanky's picture

posted by Bike Swanky [25 posts]
18th January 2014 - 12:39

10 Likes

Record is two steps above Athena. If you can do without electronic shifting go for the Canyon.
I have a Canyon Ultimate AL (Athena mechanical) and is is brilliant, comfortable and fast. I've never ridden a DeRosa of any description.

posted by Owen Rogers [32 posts]
18th January 2014 - 12:56

12 Likes

Thanks for the advice! I'm going for zeros if I buy the Merak as Quattros are too heavy. Appreciate your comments.

JL

posted by jonnyllew [17 posts]
18th January 2014 - 13:08

10 Likes

I'd go for the Canyon, with a different wheelset. Ksyrium's are, in my terrible, badly informed but never humble opinion, very overrated as a wheelset. I may have a very unlucky sample group, but a few of us have used ksyriums in their various guises and they seem to struggle with:
- staying true
- shonky bearings
- braking surfaces made of chocolate or similar soft material
- having a really stupid name

posted by bashthebox [759 posts]
18th January 2014 - 15:28

11 Likes

Jon, I took delivery of my Canyon CF SLX 7.0 (Ultegra 6800) in November, so cannot comment on the Record groupset, but can give you my impression of the frameset. My bike also came with the SLR wheels but I've swapped them out for Ultegra for winter after just 2 rides, too early for a fair review, especially as they were still in the 'screaming rim' stage!

The frame has been a revelation. My previous frameset was a Wilier Cento Uno to give you some comparison and I am so glad I swapped. The Canyon is plenty stiff enough, very noticeable at the bottom bracket when you're out of the saddle or accelerating. The biggest difference it has made to be though is just how comfortable it is to ride. I don't know if its carbon lay-up, thin seat stays or the seatpost, but it flexes just enough to be a super-smooth ride.

The main reasons I swapped my old bike was for a larger frame and more comfort - the Canyon has that in spades. I am training for the Flanders Sportive in April and the Dragon ride in June, so piling the hours in the saddle, regularly doing 3-4 hour rides. The only thing that hurts is my legs, none of the fatigue I used to get with the Wilier (I put a lot of that down to the intreated seatpost and huge seat stays). I only ordered the standard VCLS seatpost with mine to keep the budget down, but don't regret not going for the more expensive version (I might regret it in Flanders though!).

There are plenty of glowing reports for the Canyon around, but if you have an iPad check out Tour QTR magazine download, the german mag and one of the most thorough bike testers around. They gave the frameset their joint best ever score. Buy one, you won;t regret it for a minute.

Just an aside, I went from Campag Record/Super Record mix to Shimano Ultegra with this bike, which has also been a revelation. 2-3 rides to to stop looking for a missing thumb shifter, and I am now a Shimano convert! Smooth and very precise, the only arguable shortcoming compared to Campag is that it's not as pretty!

posted by sorebones [126 posts]
18th January 2014 - 15:33

11 Likes

I can confirm that the ride quality and stiffness of the latest CF SLX is indeed fantastic, and a big step up from the previous incarnation - I have both; it's such a great bike for UK roads. Not ridden De Rosa, so cannot compare, but the SLR wheel package should be excellent. I have Ksyrium SRs on one of my CF SLX bikes and they have been solid, true and very comfortable even after 12,000 miles including winter. You could always sell the SLR wheel set as new and with the money buy yourself a great hand built wheel set using some top end hubs.

posted by Metjas [334 posts]
18th January 2014 - 16:18

10 Likes

Hi,

Both very good bikes by all accounts. I have a Merak although with ultegra groupset. I absolutely love the bike which I rode from London to Paris. Bikes are about how they make you feel aswell aside from technical capabilities and it makes me smile every time I look at it, never mind ride it! I can tell you I get loads of favourable comments as you don't see many about. Other than on some cobbled sections in northern France, I've found the bike very comfortable but mega stiff. You kick on the peddles and you feel the boot along the road. The handling is the ultimate highlight. I'm descending much faster than on my previous bike, a Trek 2.1, which is itself a good bike for the money.
I've got Ksyrium elites wheels which are great going uphill and racing mates.
You can't go wrong with either bike but I love my De Rosa!! (I might have said that a few times...)

posted by liverlepool [11 posts]
18th January 2014 - 17:37

11 Likes

jonnyllew wrote:
Thanks for the advice! I'm going for zeros if I buy the Merak as Quattros are too heavy. Appreciate your comments.

Hi again Jon,

It would easy enough for us to upgrade the wheelset to Racing Zeros if you didn't want the Quattros.

Bike Swanky's picture

posted by Bike Swanky [25 posts]
18th January 2014 - 18:30

10 Likes

Thanks for the advice! Just downloaded Tour QTR and read a good review on Athena EPS

JL

posted by jonnyllew [17 posts]
18th January 2014 - 19:42

9 Likes

Hi, thanks that's good to hear. Does your Merak feel like a quick bike? Liking the exclusivity factor too!

JL

posted by jonnyllew [17 posts]
18th January 2014 - 19:44

10 Likes

Thanks for the feedback!

JL

posted by jonnyllew [17 posts]
18th January 2014 - 19:46

12 Likes

I'm a very average rider but the Merak is pushing me on. Its best on rolling type of roads where the stiffness of the frame is noticeable when you really push it, especially when standing up on short sharp inclines. I love getting on the drops and blasting along. Hard to say if its fast, because I'm not that fast, but I feel quick enough and it makes me want to get out and ride. And like I said before the handling is superb!
And so many people come and chat to me now I've got a De Rosa!
Hope that helps. Either bike is great but as you're lucky enough to pick get whatever makes you smile!

posted by liverlepool [11 posts]
18th January 2014 - 20:45

11 Likes

Thanks! I've def got my eye on a pearl one locally!

JL

posted by jonnyllew [17 posts]
18th January 2014 - 22:11

9 Likes

Buy the one you really really want. It will make you happier and you'll ride faster.

drmatthewhardy's picture

posted by drmatthewhardy [528 posts]
19th January 2014 - 21:20

9 Likes

I want them both – there lies the problem, struggling to decide! Crying

JL

posted by jonnyllew [17 posts]
20th January 2014 - 10:10

11 Likes

Hi, thanks for your comments! Any idea on the actual weight of your bike??

JL

posted by jonnyllew [17 posts]
20th January 2014 - 13:43

6 Likes