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Verdict: 
Stunning performance from a bike that balances stiffness and comfort, and stability and excitement
Weight: 
6,530g
Contact: 
Canyon Ultimate CF SLX 9.0
9 10

Wow. Just simply – wow. Bang for buck, you'll struggle to find a better race machine than the Canyon Ultimate SF SLX 9.0. But even taking value out of the equation, you'll be hard pressed to beat the weight and performance of the German company's 'all-round' racer. I spent a month testing the updated frameset around the West Country lanes, and one of the best just got better.

A glimpse of summer recently hit the South West, and with the Ultimate's test period coming to a conclusion, I decided a trip to the Dorset coast and back would encapsulate what the Canyon is good at – pretty much everything really.

> Buy this online here

An early morning start while most were still languishing in bed meant for little traffic, so a quick blast down a deserted dual carriageway for 10 miles showcased the Canyon's ability to just absolutely devour miles without any real feeling of effort. Canyon has concentrated on aerodynamics with the new Ultimate and it certainly felt quick sitting at a steady 25mph on the flat, smooth tarmac.

Canyon Ultimate CF SLX - riding 2.jpg

Canyon Ultimate CF SLX - riding 2.jpg

It's not aerodynamic in a way that Canyon's Aeroad is, or Storck's Aerfast, as once you start to pass 25mph on the Ultimate you can really feel the wind resistance increasing. The true aero bikes like the two mentioned take much less effort to go above this speed, but the Ultimate makes a good compromise.

This Ultimate sports a newly designed down tube profile – a box section with the bottom face (closest to the road) being rounded to create a 'D' shape. Compared with the previous Ultimate, the profile is narrower with a rounder nose, which is designed to decrease flow separation by ensuring the air sticks to the tube. Making it narrower has an impact on stiffness, though, so Canyon has developed a new box section top tube and wider seatstays to provide the necessary frame stiffness.

Canyon Ultimate CF SLX - UCI badge.jpg

Canyon Ultimate CF SLX - UCI badge.jpg

The all-in-one H36 Aerocockpit CF handlebar/stem is surprisingly comfortable, and with quite shallow anatomical drops offers loads of hand positions for practically every rider. Canyon claims an advantage of around 5.5W at these sorts of speeds (around 45kph) over a standard handlebar and stem setup.

Canyon Ultimate CF SLX - bars.jpg

Canyon Ultimate CF SLX - bars.jpg

It's when you get into the rolling lanes that the Ultimate really comes to life, though...

Hill, yeah!

Going to the coast means lots of hills, and if you've read any of my other reviews you'll know I like descending as fast as possible, and if things get a little out of shape when you find the limits... well, it all adds to the fun, doesn't it?

No such luck with the Ultimate. If you find the limits of this frame then, boy, you must be pushing it hard. Thankfully the sheer speed achievable provides all the excitement and adrenaline you'll need.

Canyon Ultimate CF SLX - riding 5.jpg

Canyon Ultimate CF SLX - riding 5.jpg

Twisting B-road descents are an absolute joy. The bike is so stable, so composed no matter what the speed, even at 50mph-plus the tiniest little input just keeps the Canyon exactly where you want it.

With your weight on the pedals, thighs positioned towards the rear of the saddle, face dropped near to the stem and the lightest grip on the bar, you can just let the bike do what it wants to beneath you; give it enough rein to absorb the bumps and, should your trajectory need a tweak, just a touch of weight on either side of the bar changes your line with confidence and accuracy.

Canyon has actually ditched the oversized tapered head tube on this new model for aerodynamic reasons, going for matching diameter bearings top and bottom. They are still a pretty meaty 1 1/4in diameter so this hasn't impacted on front end stiffness at all.

Canyon Ultimate CF SLX - head tube junction.jpg

Canyon Ultimate CF SLX - head tube junction.jpg

What goes down has to come up, but obviously with a weight of 6.53kg even the most challenged climbers aren't going to have problems on the ascents. Shimano's 11-28 toothed cassette range gives a pretty low climbing gear when paired with the semi-compact 52/36 chainset – pretty low for a race bike at least.

Canyon Ultimate CF SLX - crank.jpg

Canyon Ultimate CF SLX - crank.jpg

Stiffness through the wide press-fit bottom bracket junction is impressive, as is the front end, so every pedal revolution you put out gets delivered to the road whether you're in or out of the saddle.

Canyon Ultimate CF SLX - bottom bracket.jpg

Canyon Ultimate CF SLX - bottom bracket.jpg

The only fly in the ointment is the Mavic Ksyrium Pro Exalith SL wheelset; it's a phenomenally light set of aluminium race wheels, but I could get a good deal of brake block rub due to flex when really putting the power down.

Comfort consideration

As well as aerodynamic improvements, Canyon has really concentrated on comfort – especially at the seat tube junction.

Changing the standard style seat clamp for an integrated version has left an amount of seatpost exposed from the frame, which will then flex under load.

Canyon Ultimate CF SLX - seat tube junction close up.jpg

Canyon Ultimate CF SLX - seat tube junction close up.jpg

The adjustment bolt sits at the rear of the frame between the seatstays as they merge into the seat tube, so it sits quite low down. Inside the seat tube is an aluminium shim covered by a soft seal which spreads the load of the bolt over a much larger surface area to protect the post and create a tight seal. Our Ultimate came with a pack of carbon fibre paste and it's always a good idea to use this between mating surfaces; there were certainly no slippage issues.

At times you can really feel the seatpost flexing, which can be a little disconcerting, especially when you first ride away – I guarantee the first thing you do is to look back to see if you have a soft tyre.

Canyon Ultimate CF SLX - saddle and post.jpg

Canyon Ultimate CF SLX - saddle and post.jpg

What it means from a riding point of view is that you never suffer from any muscle fatigue or soreness from being battered by rough roads. You don't need to fanny about with tyre pressures to get a cosseting ride – just pump them up to where you want them and let the frame and fork deal with it. After seven hours in the saddle, I got off without the slightest feeling of pain, just that of turning the pedals over.

The fork legs allow a bit of fore and aft to control vibrations at the front end, and while the bike still feels direct and stiff, the bangs and crashes don't make it through to your hands or forearms.

Spec's appeal

The spec list is impressive when you consider all the kit is being attached to a Grand Tour-ready 760g frame and 295g fork.

Shimano Dura-Ace is a beautiful groupset that has a noticeable jump in performance from Ultegra, with a really quick, slick shift – although the acceleration of the Ultimate means you could sometimes do with something a little snappier like Di2 to keep up.

Canyon Ultimate CF SLX - shifter.jpg

Canyon Ultimate CF SLX - shifter.jpg

The power from the Dura-Ace dual pivot brake callipers is awesome too.

Canyon Ultimate CF SLX - front brake.jpg

Canyon Ultimate CF SLX - front brake.jpg

Speaking of braking, the Mavic Ksyrium wheels use a coating called Exalith, which is added to the aluminium during manufacturing and makes it stronger, so less can be used to make the rim lighter for the same strength.

The swirly rim pattern benefits braking by shedding water in the wet, stopping pads from becoming glazed due to high temperatures in the dry. The only downside is that they absolutely eat pads, and being Mavic-branded Swissstops, they ain't cheap.

Canyon Ultimate CF SLX - rear brake.jpg

Canyon Ultimate CF SLX - rear brake.jpg

When the wheels first came out, Mavic said this was only the case with the first set of pads, so hopefully that still applies for this newer compound, as I've probably eaten through a third of the pad in about 500 mainly dry miles.

I mentioned the flex in the wheels, and it's worth bearing in mind if you are a bigger or powerful rider, but on the whole the Ksyriums are great all-rounders.

> Check out our guide to Mavic road wheels here

I'm not such a big fan of Mavic's own tyres, which come with most of its wheels these days as a package, mainly because they have such poor grip levels, even in the dry.

Thankfully it doesn't seem to affect things at really high speed or flowing bends, it's more the slower, tighter ones like roundabouts or junctions. They just seem to break away with little warning. The Ultimate that I rode in Germany recently came with Continental tyres, and the more engaging feel and confidence-inspiring grip levels were very evident.

Canyon Ultimate CF SLX - riding 4.jpg

Canyon Ultimate CF SLX - riding 4.jpg

The rest of the components come from Canyon, and I've already mentioned the Aerocockpit handlebar for its stiffness and comfort. For our medium test bike, the stem length is 100mm and the bar 410 mm wide. Both are 10mm smaller than I would normally use, but everything felt right when I sat on the bike; there was no adjustment or settling in period required (if you don't get on with your assigned size, Canyon will replace them for you).

Canyon Ultimate CF SLX - stem.jpg

Canyon Ultimate CF SLX - stem.jpg

In relation to the rest of the bike, I found the Fizik Aliante R5 saddle quite harsh and stiff. I was certainly thankful for the flex in that seatpost at times.

Value for money

Although £3,599 isn't cheap, on the flipside it's not often you can ride a frameset straight from the pro peloton with full Dura-Ace and £1,000 Mavic wheels for such a good price.

Canyon Ultimate CF SLX - full bike.jpg

Canyon Ultimate CF SLX - full bike.jpg

It's not just the spec list, though – the ride quality, the behaviour and the weight of the Ultimate stands head and shoulders above a lot of bikes we've tested costing much, much more. It's an impressive package, even if you do need to add on another 50 quid for delivery.

> Check out our favourite superbikes of 2015-2016 here

I had never ridden the previous model of the Ultimate, but I know a man who's got a 2014 model, so with wheels swapped over I was ready for a bit of back-to-back testing to see whether all these tweaks actually make a difference.

Comparing the old and new models, you'll find very small differences between the two. Each change has quite small benefits in isolation, but added together they create a much more refined frame. The new Ultimate feels snappier, more responsive and quite a bit more comfortable – which all together will make you faster.

Canyon Ultimate CF SLX - riding 3.jpg

Canyon Ultimate CF SLX - riding 3.jpg

You don't want to discount Canyon's aerodynamic claims either, as although it's difficult to quantify, the new frameset does feel quicker, especially above 20mph.

Conclusion

Overall, Canyon has taken its highly revered Ultimate frameset and tweaked it to create a slightly more polished product with better refinement, speed and comfort while maintaining its excellent value-for-money selling point.

Verdict

Stunning performance from a bike that balances stiffness and comfort, and stability and excitement

road.cc test report

Make and model: Canyon Ultimate CF SLX 9.0

Size tested: Medium

About the bike

State the frame and fork material and method of construction. List the components used to build up the bike.

FRAME: CANYON ULTIMATE CF SLX CARBON FIBRE

FORK: CANYON ONE ONE FOUR SLX CARBON FIBRE

HEADSET: ACROS/CANYON

REAR DERAILLEUR: SHIMANO DURA-ACE, 11S

FRONT DERAILLEUR: SHIMANO DURA-ACE, 11S

BRAKE/SHIFT LEVERS: SHIMANO DURA-ACE, 11S

BRAKES: SHIMANO DURA-ACE

CASSETTE: SHIMANO DURA-ACE, 11-28

WHEELSET: MAVIC KSYRIUM PRO EXALITH SL WTS

TYRES: MAVIC YKSION PRO GRIPLINK MAVIC POWERLINK

CRANKS: SHIMANO DURA-ACE, 11S

CHAINRINGS: 52/36

BOTTOM BRACKET: SHIMANO PRESSFIT

COCKPIT: CANYON H36 AEROCOCKPIT CF

HANDLEBAR TAPE: CANYON ERGOSPEED GEL

SADDLE: FIZIK ANTARES R5

SEATPOST: CANYON S13 VCLS CF (15 - 35 MM SETBACK)

FRAME SIZES: 2XS, XS, S, M, L, XL, 2XL

COLOUR STEALTH: ASPHALT GREY | STEALTH - RED

 

INCLUDED IN DELIVERY

TOOLS CANYON TORQUE WRENCH

FRAME PROTECTION CANYON FRAME PROTECTION

Tell us what the bike is for, and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about the bike?

Canyon says, "For a decade the Ultimate series has stood at the pinnacle of the Canyon road bike range. These framesets are meticulously designed to combine low weight and maximum stiffness with outstanding ride quality to create an unparalleled overall package. With our Sport Pro Geometry the rider can achieve the ideal position on the bike for optimum performance and comfort for hours in the saddle. Available in a wide range of carbon or aluminium models, these machines have been proven at the top level for years and are the ride of choice for pros and enthusiasts alike."

Canyon do seem to have achieved the near perfect balance of a race bike's speed and handling but with the comfort levels of an all-day machine.

Frame and fork

Overall rating for frame and fork
 
9/10

Tell us about the build quality and finish of the frame and fork?

Canyon has often mentioned that a product recall would be a disaster for it, considering the 'direct sale' setup, so quality control at its HQ is probably some of the strictest in the business with x-rays and the like being carried out on carbon components, frames and forks.

Tell us about the materials used in the frame and fork?

Canyon keeps the exact material choice and layup close to its chest but from what I found out the company uses a range of different grade high modulus carbon fibres. This is the same for both the frame and fork, running right through to things like carbon dropouts to reduce weight.

Tell us about the geometry of the frame and fork?

The Ultimate uses what Canyon calls its Sport-Pro geometry. It describes it thus: "A balanced geometry for enthusiasts. The Sport Pro Geometry lays emphasis on performance while maintaining rider comfort."

It basically takes what would be considered a long and low race position and softens it just a little by increasing the height of the head tube and shortening the top tube a touch. It's not by much, though, as don't forget this is still a frame that is used in the pro peloton.

How was the bike in terms of height and reach? How did it compare to other bikes of the same stated size?

You get a stack to reach ratio of 1.45 – exactly what you'd expect for this kind of geometry.

Riding the bike

Was the bike comfortable to ride? Tell us how you felt about the ride quality.

Unbelievable comfort through the seatpost area, which gives you such a supple ride quality that you can keep riding for hours.

Did the bike feel stiff in the right places? Did any part of the bike feel too stiff or too flexible?

Out of the saddle efforts find a frame and fork that gives nothing away in power wastage.

How did the bike transfer power? Did it feel efficient?

Yes, very efficient. Acceleration is unbelievable.

Was there any toe-clip overlap with the front wheel? If so, was it a problem?

No, none.

How would you describe the steering? Was it lively, neutral or unresponsive? Very quick but incredibly balanced.

Tell us some more about the handling. How did the bike feel overall? Did it do particular things well or badly?

The Ultimate is one of the most balanced bikes I've ever ridden, with razor-sharp, pin-point handling that never becomes twitchy or vague.

Which components had the most effect (good or bad) on the bike's comfort? would you recommend any changes?

The amount the seatpost is allowed to flex by is the biggest contributor to the overall comfort of the bike. The forward and back movement seems to soak up the harshness and vibration out from poor road surfaces before it reaches the rider..

Which components had the most effect (good or bad) on the bike's stiffness? would you recommend any changes?

The Shimano Dura-Ace chainset is one of the stiffest out there. Canyon's own cockpit is beautifully stiff without being harsh.

Which components had the most effect (good or bad) on the bike's efficiency? would you recommend any changes?

The Mavic Ksyrium wheels are light, which aids climbing and acceleration, although there is some flex under load causing brake block rub and therefore a slight detriment to efficiency.

Rate the bike for efficiency of power transfer:
 
9/10
Rate the bike for acceleration:
 
9/10
Rate the bike for sprinting:
 
9/10
Rate the bike for high speed stability:
 
10/10
Rate the bike for cruising speed stability:
 
10/10
Rate the bike for low speed stability:
 
10/10
Rate the bike for flat cornering:
 
9/10
Rate the bike for cornering on descents:
 
10/10
Rate the bike for climbing:
 
9/10

The drivetrain

Rate the drivetrain for performance:
 
9/10
Rate the drivetrain for durability:
 
8/10
Rate the drivetrain for weight:
 
9/10
Rate the drivetrain for value:
 
7/10

Tell us some more about the drivetrain. Anything you particularly did or didn't like? Any components which didn't work well together?

Dura-Ace doesn't command such a high price for nothing. The shifting is slick, direct and very fast, plus the dual-calliper brakes are some of the best on the market.

Wheels and tyres

Rate the wheels for performance:
 
8/10
Rate the wheels for durability:
 
8/10
Rate the wheels for weight:
 
9/10
Rate the wheels for comfort:
 
8/10
Rate the wheels for value:
 
7/10

Tell us some more about the wheels.Did they work well in the conditions you encountered? Would you change the wheels? If so, what for?

The Ksyrium wheels do suffer with some flex under load if you are a bigger, powerful rider. They are exceptionally light for alloy rims and thanks to the Exalith coating they offer exceptional braking, wet and dry.

Rate the tyres for performance:
 
6/10
Rate the tyres for durability:
 
8/10
Rate the tyres for weight:
 
7/10
Rate the tyres for comfort:
 
8/10
Rate the tyres for value:
 
6/10

Tell us some more about the tyres. Did they work well in the conditions you encountered? Would you change the tyres? If so, what for?

The tyres are a weak point, with limited grip levels that reduce your confidence to push the bike to its limits.

Controls

Rate the controls for performance:
 
8/10
Rate the controls for durability:
 
8/10
Rate the controls for weight:
 
8/10
Rate the controls for comfort:
 
8/10
Rate the controls for value:
 
8/10

Tell us some more about the controls. Any particularly good or bad components? How would the controls work for larger or smaller riders?

The Canyon cockpit is very comfortable, with multiple hand positions, and offers excellent stiffness for a carbon bar.

Your summary

Did you enjoy riding the bike? Yes

Would you consider buying the bike? Absolutely

Would you recommend the bike to a friend? Yes

Rate the bike overall for performance:
 
10/10
Rate the bike overall for value:
 
8/10

Use this box to explain your score

So, so close to being a 10 overall but hey, nothing's perfect. For me this Ultimate model is let down a little by the slightly flexible wheels and the poor Mavic tyres reducing confidence thanks to their limited grip. Slighty rough overspray around the bottle cage rivets too, which cheapens the finish slightly – as you can probably tell, I'm being really finicky as the Ultimate CF SLX 9.0 is a truly astounding race bike.

Overall rating: 9/10

About the tester

Age: 37  Height: 180cm  Weight: 76kg

I usually ride: This month's test bike  My best bike is: Mason Definition

I've been riding for: 10-20 years  I ride: Every day  I would class myself as: Expert

I regularly do the following types of riding: time trialling, commuting, club rides, sportives, fixed/singlespeed

Stu knocked out his first road.cc review back in 2009 and since then he's chucked the best part of seventy test bikes around the West Country, a couple of them quite literally! With three alloy and two steel bikes in his fleet he's definitely a metal man (that'll be the engineering background) but is slowly warming to that modern carbon fibre stuff along with fat tyres & disc brakes.
It's not all nostalgia though, after spending the last few years in product design Stu keeps banging on about how 3D printing is going to be the next big thing and he's a sucker for a beautiful paint job too.

24 comments

Avatar
Bobbinogs [250 posts] 1 year ago
5 likes

...and yet no mention of all the delivery/cancelled order problems? Oh yeah, I remember now, the CEO said that was all sorted so it must be true.

Avatar
Stu Kerton [83 posts] 1 year ago
6 likes

Bobbinogs wrote:

...and yet no mention of all the delivery/cancelled order problems? Oh yeah, I remember now, the CEO said that was all sorted so it must be true.

I didn't feel the need to mention anything about delivery schedules as I was reviewing the bike not Canyon as a whole. 

 

Avatar
CharlieTwoWheels [7 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes

Any word on the disc version that we heard rumours and pictures of? Or have they given up now that discs are banned everywhere? 

Now I'm used to them on my commuter, I don't want to go back to rim brakes. 

Avatar
sneakerfrfeak [115 posts] 1 year ago
2 likes
Bobbinogs wrote:

...and yet no mention of all the delivery/cancelled order problems? Oh yeah, I remember now, the CEO said that was all sorted so it must be true.

 

My neighbour has just received his six weeks earlier than scheduled, so yeah I think you're right.

Avatar
Rapha Nadal [606 posts] 1 year ago
3 likes

Stu Kerton wrote:

Bobbinogs wrote:

...and yet no mention of all the delivery/cancelled order problems? Oh yeah, I remember now, the CEO said that was all sorted so it must be true.

I didn't feel the need to mention anything about delivery schedules as I was reviewing the bike not Canyon as a whole. 

 

But, in all fairness, this is quite a contributing factor in amongst the great frame, fast ride etc.  If a bike is so great then nobody would want to wait months & months for it!

Avatar
jmmccann [2 posts] 1 year ago
1 like
Bobbinogs wrote:

...and yet no mention of all the delivery/cancelled order problems? Oh yeah, I remember now, the CEO said that was all sorted so it must be true.

 

My recent delivery experience was examplary as was the experience of a club colleague. Clearly I can't comment for all customers but they may have sorted out their issues.

Avatar
olic [73 posts] 1 year ago
1 like

The delivery of the actual bike does appear to be sorted out - customer service on the other hand is still an issue.

In the review it mentions that the stem/bar combo can be swapped out for a different size if you prefer - this contradicts what another user has said about the Canyon aero cockpit who said that Canyon don't offer exchanges for it.

Canyon did switch my stem/bars to a different combination on my ultimate CLX 8.0 Di2 which are the standard version, but it took them over 2 months to do so, which was about the same time as it took to originally deliver the bike! I had no end of emails with customer support, phone calls and web chats and each time was told a different story.

It was an incredibly frustrating experience but I was finally able to take the bike out at the weekend and it really is rather impressive - I'd suggest that the 8.0 Di2 is probably a better bet than this model though - but i guess Di2 isn't for everyone

Avatar
SergioM [1 post] 1 year ago
0 likes

Hello,

What is the difference between these frames :

Ultimate CF SLX and Ultimate CF SL

Rgds,

Avatar
greenlight [17 posts] 1 year ago
1 like

Gold star for doing a comparison ride with the 2014 model Stu, was a little worried the incremental gains might not be with the extra outlay over the previous model! Looking forward to breaking mine out of its box when I get back from holiday! Oh and the Ultegra base model is available from stock when I ordered it not so long ago, so I do think Canyon are getting a hold on their stock levels and subsequently delivery time accuracy seems to be improving.

Avatar
DrJDog [422 posts] 1 year ago
1 like
SergioM wrote:

Hello,

What is the difference between these frames :

Ultimate CF SLX and Ultimate CF SL

Rgds,

 

I'm not sure if there is a new CF SL, but the last model is just a lower grade version of the old CF SLX. Same geometry etc, but slightly heavier. Still a terrific bike, and the frameset is half the price.

Avatar
Kadinkski [722 posts] 1 year ago
2 likes

I think it's only fair to at least point out to readers who may be interested in purchasing this bike  that they should expect sub-par customer experience from Canyon.

Avatar
Milkfloat [49 posts] 1 year ago
3 likes
Kadinkski wrote:

I think it's only fair to at least point out to readers who may be interested in purchasing this bike  that they should expect sub-par customer experience from Canyon.

 

I would accept 'sub-par', unfortunately the only thing on offer is 'complete turd'.  Ignoring the thousands of disgruntled customers or attempted customers people should be aware that warranty claims can take many months and that assumes anyone from customer services even replies.

Avatar
gonedownhill [165 posts] 1 year ago
2 likes
Kadinkski wrote:

I think it's only fair to at least point out to readers who may be interested in purchasing this bike  that they should expect sub-par customer experience from Canyon.

 

Thing is though in this instance they haven't made a purchase so there isn't anything to report in this particular instance and there are people in this very comments section saying their recent orders have been early. I don't recall any other bike reviews commenting on customer service so it would be a bit odd to do it here. 

Of course a lot of people have had trouble with Canyon but in fairness road.cc did run a couple of articles on that late last year I think.

Avatar
Yorkshire wallet [1437 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes

After reading that review I wish I had an understanding wife.

Avatar
Stueys [13 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes

Have to say I agree with the commments, it seems very odd not to mention the significant delivery issues and poor customer service that Canyon still generate numerous reports about. 

I'm a previous Canyon owner (an ultimate slx cf) that I was very pleased with but I wouldn't order again from Canyon until I start to a lot more feedback that they've addressed the problems.  No mention of such a wide spread, and fairly critical issue given their sale model, seems an odd ommission.

Avatar
700c [1152 posts] 1 year ago
2 likes
gonedownhill wrote:

I don't recall any other bike reviews commenting on customer service so it would be a bit odd to do it here. 

The business model they use is based on direct internet sales, which is different to most of it's competiton. This reduces the overall cost of the bike and 'value for money' is something the reviewer assesses. 

So given the problems with ordering / supply/ customer support, linked to this business model, it is highly relevant in considering whether or not to purchase. 

 

 

Avatar
Stu Kerton [83 posts] 1 year ago
3 likes

700c wrote:

gonedownhill wrote:

I don't recall any other bike reviews commenting on customer service so it would be a bit odd to do it here. 

The business model they use is based on direct internet sales, which is different to most of it's competiton. This reduces the overall cost of the bike and 'value for money' is something the reviewer assesses. 

So given the problems with ordering / supply/ customer support, linked to this business model, it is highly relevant in considering whether or not to purchase. 

 

 

 

Yes I agree but I didn't buy the bike or need to deal with customer services so how can I review that part of the process.

We all know there have been issues and road.cc have ran plenty of pieces about the state of play at Canyon, especially the recent write up looking at the cause of the initial problems so I saw no reason to drag things up again here.

Judging by the comments here we are seeing that some people are having no problems whatsoever while others are.

I was given a bike to review and I reviewed the bike.

I've got a Ribble up next, a company that follows a similar theme to selling their own brand bikes and one that hasn't been immune to criticism of their customer service over the years. I won't be looking into that either. 

Chain Reaction with their Vitus range, Wiggle with their Verenti and Eastway ranges - all in house, direct to consumer brands which I've reviewed and their customer service has never been mentioned or questioned so why should Canyon be singled out.

  

 

Avatar
bendertherobot [1454 posts] 1 year ago
2 likes
Stu Kerton wrote:

 

Chain Reaction with their Vitus range, Wiggle with their Verenti and Eastway ranges - all in house, direct to consumer brands which I've reviewed and their customer service has never been mentioned or questioned so why should Canyon be singled out.

  

 

To be fair those bikes are in stock and generally built and despatched with pretty tidy customer support. So whilst I do agree there are only so many times an article could have a Canyon health warning they're not really a fair comparison. When I ordered a Vitus for the wife it came two days later.....

Avatar
700c [1152 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes
Stu Kerton wrote:

Chain Reaction with their Vitus range, Wiggle with their Verenti and Eastway ranges - all in house, direct to consumer brands which I've reviewed and their customer service has never been mentioned or questioned so why should Canyon be singled out.

 

Certainly one brand shouldn't be unfairly singled out. Yes supply problems have been reported by Road.cc recently and granted most people in the market for a circa £4k bike will have done their research anyway. .

But this is a top end model, which, as you say offers some of the best value for money and performance in the market. How does the consumer then go about differntiating this from, say, Giant's TCR advanced SL (OK I'm biased as I have one!), which is also stiff/ fast/ light/ good value for money etc.

The main difference between the two?  - sales, distribution and manufacturing. Canyon get Giant to make their bikes and then save money by not having retailers and customer support in the country  in which the bike sold. Giant make their own bikes but insist on sales and distribution through authorised retailers with physical premises.

That kind of information would be relevant and might swing the buyer's final decision.

Avatar
macbob [38 posts] 1 year ago
1 like

700c,

Giant do not make Canyon bikes - Canyon frames are made in the far east like 99% of bike frames these days, but designed, assembled and quality checked  in Germany - hence all the problems when Canyon switched to their new $20million production facility in Koblenz last year.

The main difference between buying a Giant & buying a Canyon is price/value for money as with Canyon you are not paying a huge chunk of your cash to the distributor and retailer.

Avatar
nopants [33 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes

I'm interested that you say the exalith rims eat pads, Stu. My rims chewed through the surface of the exalith specific pads pretty quickly, and then stopped. Now I have the opposite problem: the wheels have had about 8 months use, they are only half way through the first set of pads, and all the exalith coating is wearing off. Has anyone else experienced this?

Again, it was direct mount Ultegra brakes on a Canyon frame.

 

 

Avatar
TypeVertigo [400 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes
macbob wrote:

700c,

Giant do not make Canyon bikes - Canyon frames are made in the far east like 99% of bike frames these days, but designed, assembled and quality checked  in Germany - hence all the problems when Canyon switched to their new $20million production facility in Koblenz last year.

The main difference between buying a Giant & buying a Canyon is price/value for money as with Canyon you are not paying a huge chunk of your cash to the distributor and retailer.

You may be surprised just how many bike frames and forks Giant makes under contract for other companies. Canyon is one of them. Trek is another. They're that big.

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700c [1152 posts] 1 year ago
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TypeVertigo wrote:
macbob wrote:

700c,

Giant do not make Canyon bikes - Canyon frames are made in the far east like 99% of bike frames these days, but designed, assembled and quality checked  in Germany - hence all the problems when Canyon switched to their new $20million production facility in Koblenz last year.

The main difference between buying a Giant & buying a Canyon is price/value for money as with Canyon you are not paying a huge chunk of your cash to the distributor and retailer.

You may be surprised just how many bike frames and forks Giant makes under contract for other companies. Canyon is one of them. Trek is another. They're that big.

Exactly.

I think both brands have a claim on offering value for money (a relative concept on a £4K bike!!), but if you accept there's cost savings in distribution/ sales, there's also cost saving in the manufacturing model (making frames and wheels yourself). Personally I think the use of LBS, customer support, test riding, warranty claim process etc is part of that whole customer value proposition.

Canyon may end up slightly cheaper, but you pay for that in other ways.

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matthewn5 [1065 posts] 1 year ago
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nopants wrote:

I'm interested that you say the exalith rims eat pads, Stu. My rims chewed through the surface of the exalith specific pads pretty quickly, and then stopped. Now I have the opposite problem: the wheels have had about 8 months use, they are only half way through the first set of pads, and all the exalith coating is wearing off. Has anyone else experienced this?

 

There was a fashion for black rims on wheels in the 90s too. You can find them all over ebay with the black worn off in patches. Cheap too, because they look so tatty with the partly-worn anodising.

As a principle, rim brakes=silver rims, black rims=disc brakes, to do otherwise will mean eventual disappointment.