Just in: Canyon Endurace CF 9.0 SL

A first look at Canyon’s new endurance carbon road bike in a £2,600 Dura-Ace 11spd build

by David Arthur   August 2, 2014  

“Maximum comfort meets performance” is the strapline for Canyon’s brand new Endurace, the German brand's all-new endurance road model that enters a fast-growing sector of the cycling market.

Up until recently the direct-to-consumer company’s bikes had all been a bit race focused, but with the introduction of the new Endurace range they’re finally, some might say, meeting market demand for a comfort-orientated bike.

Canyon offer the new Endurace in four builds, all using the same carbon frame and fork, priced from £1,399 to £2,599. We’ve got the most expensive model on test here, and it’s fully decked out with a mechanical Shimano Dura-Ace 11-speed groupset, Ritchey parts, DT Spline wheels and 25mm Continental tyres.

These ‘endurance’ bikes, and there are plenty to choose from, are all about offering more comfort. That’s comfort through a geometry that provides a shorter and higher reach, so less strain on your back, and increased compliance in the frame and equipment to smooth out rough roads.

Sporty geometry

Canyon developed the new Endurace using similar carbon fibre technology to that used in their flagship race bike, the Ultimate CF SLX. There’s even an aesthetic similarity in the shape and proportion of the tube profiles.

The key difference is in the geometry. In essence, they’ve made the reach shorter, and the bars higher courtesy of a taller head tube and fork crown. Canyon now categorise the geometry they use for all their bikes into three groups; Pro, Sport Pro and Sport. The Endurace uses the latter.

To put that into context, here are a few numbers for you: a size large (58cm) has a stack of 590mm and reach of 380mm, an 555mm effective top tube, 565mm seat tube and 175mm head tube, though with a 6mm taller crown height the front-end is effectively higher. That’s a size comparable to a typical 56cm frame.

Compared to a same size Ultimate CF, the new bike has an 11mm taller stack and 15mm shorter reach, with a 5mm taller head tube. To clarify, stack is the vertical distance from the centre of the bottom bracket to the top of the head tube. Reach is the horizontal measurement from the centre of the bottom bracket to the centre top of the head tube.

The Endurace also has a shorter wheelbase than the Ultimate, but there’s more length in the chainstays to counteract the short front centre. Still, it’s shorter than most of the other bikes in this category. The size large Endurace has a 989mm wheelbase, while the Bianchi Infinito CV is 1002mm and the Cannondale Synapse is 1000m. There’s not a lot in it admittedly, but shows Canyon have been keen to retain some of the lively handling of their race bikes.

Bring the comfort

Those changes take care of providing a comfortable position on the bike. The other area that a endurance bike differs from a race bike is in its ability to iron out all the niggly imperfections in the road surface that can lead to a choppy and jarring ride quality.

Every company has a different approach - Specialized have their Zertz, Trek their Isospeed Decoupler, Giant go for a tuned carbon frame with skinny stays and integrated seatmast, and Bianchi uses a viscoelastic material in the carbon layup.

Canyon have VCLS. Standing for Vertical Comfort Lateral Stiffness, VCLS features optimised carbon fibre layup in the seat tube, top tube and seat stay junction. Canyon call this section of the frame the ‘VCLS Module’ and it’s the task of these frame elements to provide compliance, chiefly by deflecting under load.

The most striking part of the Endurace is the novel VCLS 2.0 seatpost fitted to every bike in the range. We’ve reviewed this clever post previously on road.cc. Essentially the seatpost is split into two halves and works like a leaf-spring to provide a large range of fore-and-aft flex.

The new One-One-Four SL fork, developed specifically for the Endurace, has a 6mm higher crown. This allows them to get the higher front-end without putting all the extra height in the head tube. Plus, they claim it allows a bit more flex. They’ve also changed the taper of the steerer tube, placing it lower down than the Ultimate’s One-One-Four fork, which they claim offers a smoother front-end.

Canyon claim a 1,040g frame weight (size medium) with a 340g fork which is right on the money for this sort of bike, and is in the same ballpark as the other main bikes in this category.

Wider rims and tyres

So there’s all that, and there’s the DT Swiss R23 Spline wheels and Continental Grand Prix 4000S II 25mm tyres they’ve fitted to the entire range. Tyres have the most impact on the ride comfort of any bike - simply letting some air out of your tyres, even as little as 10psi, will make a huge difference to the smoothness of any bike.

These new DT Swiss R23 Spline wheels though have a wider profile. They measure 18mm across internally, and 23mm externally. A regular rim will have something like a 15mm internal width.

This wider rim spreads out the tyre beads and in effect gives you a wider tyre with a bigger air volume, without the weight increase of actually fitting a bigger tyre. These 25mm tyres look much closer to a 27mm tyre to our eyes (we’ll dig out the digital calipers later) so you’re getting a wider tyre without the extra weight of a wider tyre. That’s rather appealing.

The frame and fork will take up to 28mm tyres if you do want to go wider. We’ll be trying some wider tyres in the frame for certain.

Dura-Ace build and 6.95kg weight

Add the 11-speed Shimano Dura-Ace mechanical groupset and Ritchey WCS 4-Axis stem, Ritchey WCS Evo Curve handlebar and plush Fizik Aliante VS addle, and you’ve got a bike weighing 6.95kg (15.32lb). That’s for a size large. That’s an impressive weight for this sort of bike, let alone when you factor in the cost.

The new Canyon Endurace offers unbeatable value for money, but will it offer unbeatable ride performance? That’s something I aim to find out in the following weeks, it’s up against some stiff competition from established rivals.

More details and a full look at the range here https://www.canyon.com/_en/roadbikes/series/endurace-cf.html

22 user comments

Oldest firstNewest firstBest rated

Was going to buy the CF SLX, but may go for this instead with a Mavic Ksyrium SLR wheelset. Good work Canyon!

posted by pfitz13 [3 posts]
2nd August 2014 - 17:23

11 Likes

WOW...A black bike...I'm not bored.

CJStevens

posted by CJSTEVENS1955 [66 posts]
3rd August 2014 - 1:50

14 Likes

Looks nice. Any idea whether they will offer this as a frameset only as they do with other models? I'd be very interested in this option...

Pastaman

posted by pastaman [220 posts]
3rd August 2014 - 5:45

7 Likes

I would love if they sold it as a frameset aswell, but i doubt they will. Looking at their other carbon framesets, this one would end up at 5-600£ and i think it would seem to cheap. They don't do a frameset of their inflite model either.

posted by Jakal79 [55 posts]
3rd August 2014 - 10:07

7 Likes

Comfort is important although it can make you lazy.

posted by Beaufort [183 posts]
3rd August 2014 - 10:41

7 Likes

Jakal79 wrote:
Looking at their other carbon framesets, this one would end up at 5-600£ and i think it would seem to cheap.

You're crazy if you think a frameset would go that low. Comparing build specs and pricing with their other models, it'd be much more reasonable to expect framset pricing in line with the Ultimate CF SL (without the X), which retails for £969.

posted by Mayhem SWE [11 posts]
3rd August 2014 - 13:54

8 Likes

Mayhem SWE wrote:
You're crazy

Crazy aside(and it's never been proven) an ultegra Endurace is around 250£ cheaper than an CF SL ultegra so that would come out of the frameset, so it might not be 600£ but it should be more than 700£ bringing it close to their top Alu frameset.

No another note, Rose have startet showing their 2015 range and the first thing they've done is reduce the price of their endurance range Xeon Team CGF to match Canyon's. With a lighter frame and slight aero benifits it's a fierce competition in that bracket.

posted by Jakal79 [55 posts]
3rd August 2014 - 14:30

4 Likes

Great review, but one that is encouraging me to save my pennies until next year.

I'm on the verge of buying a sportif bike for fitness riding (anything up to 100 mile rides). Just as i was about to decide on either something from Ribble or Planet-x, along come these Canyons.

But I think I'm going to wait. I suspect that this time next year, a lot of 'endurance / sportif' bikes will be sporting disc brakes. I can last out with what I've got (a Dawes Horizon tourer and an old Raleigh steel frame 12-speed) until then.

posted by kennethsross [16 posts]
3rd August 2014 - 16:58

3 Likes

The CF SLX and CF SL are already incredibly compliant bikes, my CF SLX has been a joy to ride over any distance (175k my longest so far) and it has never once left me feeling beaten up. Comfort without sacrificing stiffness and sharp handing.

posted by sorebones [111 posts]
3rd August 2014 - 21:10

3 Likes

by the way,even though a frameset sold separately would be nice, I doubt anyone could build a better specced bike for less money if buying new parts. Or at least it'd be hard and take a bit time. Smile Wave

2ryd

posted by Vejnecske [28 posts]
4th August 2014 - 5:28

4 Likes

I have one on order and I just have to manage to get through the next 2-3 weeks until it arrives. I picked the CF Endurace 9.0 Pro with the Campagnolo Chorus groupset.

It has seldom been so hard waiting for time to pass since I have ordered.

posted by 1860 [10 posts]
4th August 2014 - 9:22

4 Likes

If you built a CF SLX 8.0 using the frameset (currently £1609 and helpfully including stem and seatpost, which a lot don't) and the same groupset/wheels etc it would cost about £200 more than ready-built from Canyon...

markfireblade's picture

posted by markfireblade [18 posts]
4th August 2014 - 13:12

2 Likes

On the subject of Ribble, I've had my Stealth (now replaced by the R872) for 3 years and I absolutely love it. It's fast and, with a Brooks Cambium C17 saddle plus a pair of Duranos, very very comfortable. The difference in comfort and smoothness after switching (temporarily) from its usual Utremo ZX's was amazing. I'd definitely seriously consider the Ribble option especially as their after-sales performance when I had an issue with the initial Stealth frame, (slight crack! frame exchanged - no prob) was excellent.

posted by Jacko [10 posts]
5th August 2014 - 16:31

1 Like

There is a 105 specced version for £1350 with the VCLS Module seat tube, top tube, seat stay junction, seat post and the one one four SL Fork and the DT Swiss R23 spline wheel set and GP4000 tyres

posted by Norvass [1 posts]
5th August 2014 - 20:30

1 Like

Name a bike that is better value. Full dura ace and carbon!! Ridiculously good bike for the bucks. Smile

posted by veseunr [282 posts]
6th August 2014 - 10:14

2 Likes

Quote:

There’s not a lot in it admittedly, but shows Canyon have been keen to retain some of the lively handling of their race bikes.

Lively? I find my mates Ultimate CF SLX handles like a hearse, feels really slow to react compared to my Biacnhi.

glynr36's picture

posted by glynr36 [484 posts]
6th August 2014 - 10:46

1 Like

glynr36 wrote:
Quote:

There’s not a lot in it admittedly, but shows Canyon have been keen to retain some of the lively handling of their race bikes.

Lively? I find my mates Ultimate CF SLX handles like a hearse, feels really slow to react compared to my Biacnhi.

Possibly the wheels .... or the rider? I can't believe an SLX can be compared to a hearse! Although Bianchi is an anagram of twitchy! Wink

posted by veseunr [282 posts]
6th August 2014 - 13:33

1 Like

He's got a set of Mavic 40C's on there.
I just can't corner it like I do my Bianchi, which just goes exactly where I push it.

Though I imagine it's more the Bianchi is twitchy like you say, than the canyon that bad.

glynr36's picture

posted by glynr36 [484 posts]
6th August 2014 - 13:59

1 Like

glynr36 wrote:
He's got a set of Mavic 40C's on there.
I just can't corner it like I do my Bianchi, which just goes exactly where I push it.

Though I imagine it's more the Bianchi is twitchy like you say, than the canyon that bad.

..perhaps - steering feel is probably one of the more personal aspects of a ride IME. The CF SLX can't be too bad given all the reviews i've read describe the steering using words like 'responsive', 'sharp' or 'impeccable', so may be also something about that particular set-up ?... who knows, in the end whatever tickles your boat I guess.

That said, MoviStar seemed to get on OK with it in the Giro although I guess they're hardly going to slag it off publicly Smile

fukawitribe's picture

posted by fukawitribe [486 posts]
6th August 2014 - 20:49

1 Like

Already got mine - and it was worth the wait (I went for Ultegra in Large size), it also looks much better than any of the photos on the web.

My two cents:
I was a touch nervous going for the sport geometry with the higher stack height as I was swapping from a Giant TCR, however the shorter reach makes for a much more comfortable bike on longer rides.

Retaining a relatively steep head angle and short wheelbase means it goes where you point it without it feeling nervous or twitchy, it's not lightning fast like some all-out race frames but it's still responsive enough when descending fast so you don't get caught out (it's very fast in the right conditions). The VCLS post is also brilliant, I thought that would be the first item I'd take off as I expected it to be a bit too flexible; it's plenty stiff enough for putting power down but stops you getting a kicking on broken surfaces or if you catch a sunken drain cover or pothole.

A minor niggle would be the slight toe overlap you get with the front wheel due to shorter reach dimensions; that said it's only ever noticeable when track-standing at lights or turning round in a narrow space. The initial numbers suggest it's a lot faster over my training routes too, I've changed the Fizik Aliante saddle that comes fitted as it's not my chair of choice. Otherwise I'm hoping for many comfortable miles to come.

posted by 3000ST1 [1 posts]
27th August 2014 - 7:32

1 Like

I just got my first Canyon bike and for anyone contemplating doing the same here is my review of Canyon Bikes:
Pre-order.
I live in Japan and was finally in a position to buy a decent Mountain bike, my friend recommended me to try Canyon Mountain Bikes - he has 2 of them and I was able to ride one of his one day - I loved it. I spent a lot of time checking both online and in local bike shops and as far as value for money goes and the quality of components offered on the bike I could not find a better deal - Canondale came close but still price was higher and the Canondale bike did not have the high quality components that Canyon offered.
I sent of a few e mails to Canyon's service center asking various questions but received no replies (Some of these questions were answered at a later date when the answers were of no help to me)
Ordering the bike.
I finally settled on a bike the Grand Canyon CF SL 7.9 S.E. in a large size - Canyon's sizing chart told me I should be ordering a medium, I also e mailed about this sizing and was told I should stick to their sizing chart and order a medium - but after carefully and repeatedly sizing up their large size geometry with my present medium sized bike I felt like the large would be a better fit - this decision caused me a lot of stress and worry - after all it is not a cheap bike, and as I am importing I don't want to get the sizing wrong. (Ultimately I made the right choice more on that later)
Waiting for my bike.
I placed my order on the 4th. of June which is week 23 - I was told I could expect my bike on week 27, after week 27 had come and gone and I heard nothing I contacted Canyon and was told my bike was delayed till week 29. I finally had to go though 5 delays - but every-time I had to ask repeatedly if my bike was shipped and was then told my bike was delayed, at one point after the 3rd. delay I was told my bike was ready for shipment and will be shipped out within 48 hours - after hearing nothing, after I waited 72 hours I contacted Canyon and told there was an error, my bike had not been shipped and I was issued with a new order number. At this stage I was panicking as I wanted the bike for my early August summer holiday I was told I would likely have the bike in time, but after that received 2 more delay notifications - I was never told about delays until I had repeatedly e mailed asking about my order. My summer holiday came and went around mid August (week 33) I received an e mail telling me my bike will be shipped soon and passed onto the courier company, I didn't pin too many hopes on this new delivery date but this time it was for real! I was really excited so set about tracking my order - not such an easy task as I was given the wrong tracking info. by Canyon, it took me several e mails to both Canyon and Courier company to finally get proper tracking information.
Bike arrives.
Finally on 23rd. August after a long wait and many delays my bike arrived, by this point I had lost faith in Canyon so didn't feel the excitement that one should feel when receiving ones first carbon MTB - I was expecting more problems with some aspect of the bike, I was thinking that if Canyon's mechanics are anything like Canyons service department I will be guaranteed a bike with a problem - BUT I was not disappointed the bike was really well and safely packed, I was able to put the bike together without any problems at all, my first ride was on the road gear change etc. was very smooth and as it should be, the next day took a ride on my local trail which was well washed out covered in debris but this bike plowed through and over everything in its path, as my old bike was over 10 years old with components near 6 years old I just can't compare the 2 - night and day - I love this bike and really can't find any fault with it. The sizing chart recommended me to get a medium size but the large size frame I got suits my long limbed 179Cm. body perfectly - so anyone contemplating a bike order should carefully check sizing and not take the word of sizing charts.
Conclusion.
Though my order experience was bad and I felt that very often the people answering my questions really didn't know much about bikes, were sloppy and really slow in answering my questions, the final product was excellent but I do worry that finally the mechanics putting the bikes together will develop the careless attitude that sales department have - maybe my experience was the 1 bad one out of hundreds of good ones.
Would I recommend Canyon bikes ? Yes I would but if you are in a hurry for a bike you might want to choose a model that is available for purchase straight away, if you are in a position to wait well and good. I would buy from Canyon again but hope that they will endeavor to improve the services department and answer questions in a more timely and professional manner.

posted by mikemc [2 posts]
28th August 2014 - 5:41

1 Like

I'm a longtime fan of Canyon Bikes, my main bike being the CF SLX. I have just taken delivery of the 105 build Endurace, to use as a new commuting bike, and winter trainer.
I did my first, albeit brief, ride on it today. Overall I would say its a very capable stunner. Very compliant, direct, comfortable at the rear, with enough feedback through the forks. The position is reasonably upright, compared to the ultimate, but for those new to Canyon, I think it would still feel reasonably racy and business like.
It's not quite as supple and direct as the Ultimate (power transfer isn't as snappy, but still very firm and responsive compared to most Carbon bikes I ride... this ispossibly due to the 105 groupset, rather than the frame.).
For the price it would be hard to not recommend the Endurace as a cost effective alternative to those seeking the thrills of the ultimate, at a fraction of the price. A very good, fast and comfortable bike.

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posted by rowemeister83 [6 posts]
12th September 2014 - 9:28

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