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Verdict: 
Light, fast, responsive – a hugely enjoyable ride whether you're out for a quick blast or on an all-day epic
Weight: 
7,240g
Contact: 
Canyon Endurace WMN CF 9.0 Di2
9 10

Wow! That was genuinely the first thought that came into my head when I set off on Canyon's Endurace WMN CF 9.0 Di2. I might even have uttered it aloud. Its 7.24kg might not be superlight in this day and age, but it's still pretty feathery, and the bike is so responsive I thought for a moment it was going to leave me behind.

This isn't the brand new disc brake version of the women's Endurace – there's a review of that one coming soon. This is the unisex model made 'women-specific' by the speccing of certain parts – a woman's saddle, shorter cranks, narrow handlebar... It also has rim brakes not discs.

> Buy this online here

Apart from the lack of disc brakes – made more noticeable by testing the disc brake version at the same time in a very similar spec (but mechanical Ultegra not Di2) – this is a lovely, lovely bike to ride. It looks beautiful, accelerates like a dream, and I really don't want to give it back.

Canyon Endurace Wmn CF 9.0 - riding 3.jpg

Canyon Endurace Wmn CF 9.0 - riding 3.jpg

As the name suggests, the Endurace is designed for riding good distances at pace, in comfort, and that's what the WMN CF 9.0 delivers.

I've been in training for the Deloitte Ride Across Britain forever, it feels like, so have been getting in plenty of miles most weekends, as well as riding to work. The Endurace zips along; it's light and stiff, and requires little effort to get up to speed and stay there, spinning along on a pair of light DT Swiss wheels.

Canyon Endurace Wmn CF 9.0 - rear hub.jpg

Canyon Endurace Wmn CF 9.0 - rear hub.jpg

Up front it is a little twitchier than you might expect of an endurance bike, a combination of the geometry and the light wheels. It's easy to move around if you need to avoid potholes or other obstacles on the road (though not, sadly, a low-flying young thrush,  2 ), but did take me by surprise when I took one hand off the handlebar to shake my fist at a far-too-close-passing driver and nearly came a cropper.

Canyon Endurace Wmn CF 9.0 - riding 2.jpg

Canyon Endurace Wmn CF 9.0 - riding 2.jpg

Uphill it makes you feel like you're a climbing supremo – why haven't those team bosses spotted my amazing abilities? The overall weight, or lack of, is one of the main reasons, the front end feeling particularly so, but the stiffness in the frame also comes into play, meaning none of your energy going into the pedals is wasted.

Also helping here is that it has my ideal gear range of a 50/34 compact chainring up front and a wide 11-32 cassette at the back. It's hilly round these parts, okay?

Canyon Endurace Wmn CF 9.0 - drivetrain.jpg

Canyon Endurace Wmn CF 9.0 - drivetrain.jpg

That lightness up front doesn't make it too hairy on the downhills; it's not as solid feeling as the heavy steel bike I normally ride – obviously – but the 25mm Continental tyres help it feel planted, wet or dry. The wheels aren't deep section but can get buffeted about in strong winds, and I did feel a bit nervous descending on one particularly windy day, though I suspect I'd have felt the same on any bike.

Geometry

Initially, I was surprised to find I needed an XS size frame. I'm 5ft 6 1/2in and normally ride a small or medium, a 52 or 53cm, but Canyon's men's and women's models share the same sizing scale. A women's M and a men's M are for men and women of the same height. Not that this model has a women-specific frame; as I said, it's referred to as the 'unisex' frame, with women's parts.

Canyon Endurace Wmn CF 9.0.jpg

Canyon Endurace Wmn CF 9.0.jpg

In numbers, it has a stack of 541mm and reach of 366mm (stack and reach are the vertical and horizontal measurements from the centre of the bottom bracket to the top of the head tube) and a head tube angle of 70.9 degrees.

Canyon Endurace Wmn CF 9.0 - head tube.jpg

Canyon Endurace Wmn CF 9.0 - head tube.jpg

What that equates to is a slightly stretched out riding position, as expected given that the Endurace sits at the racier end of the endurance bike spectrum. It's still very comfortable, and if you spend most of your time riding on the hoods you're not too upright and inefficient.

Frame and fork

There are all sorts of shapes going on with the tubing: a big and chunky, slightly squared-off down tube; a top tube that starts wide at the front and tapers towards the rear; narrow diameter seatstays for comfort and chunkier chainstays for stiffness... It all adds up to a frame that's responsive and efficient without being uncomfortably stiff.

Canyon Endurace Wmn CF 9.0 - UCI sticker.jpg

Canyon Endurace Wmn CF 9.0 - UCI sticker.jpg

My daily (ahem) commute home takes in a mile or so of rough farm track (well, old railway track) that I probably shouldn't be riding a carbon bike along, and, okay, it's not a super-smooth experience but it's not that rattly a ride either.

Canyon Endurace Wmn CF 9.0 - down tube decal.jpg

Canyon Endurace Wmn CF 9.0 - down tube decal.jpg

The full-carbon fork – reassuringly x-rayed for defects, as all Canyon's forks are – has a tapered steerer, 1 1/2in at the bottom, 1 1/4in at the top, and the fork blades also taper to the dropouts.

Canyon Endurace Wmn CF 9.0 - fork.jpg

Canyon Endurace Wmn CF 9.0 - fork.jpg

Finishing kit

The DT Swiss wheels and 25mm Continental Grand Prix II tyres suit the bike well; the PR1400 Dicut wheels have a claimed weight of 1,435g, and though not deep section they're light enough and still deep enough to catch strong crosswinds. They look good too.

Canyon Endurace Wmn CF 9.0 - rim.jpg

Canyon Endurace Wmn CF 9.0 - rim.jpg

Dave Arthur tested the wheels last year, and while I'd agree with him that they're 'stiff and responsive, with no give or flex when putting the power down' I wasn't as convinced by the braking prowess of the Oxic coating.

I have used Shimano Ultegra rim brakes before and have got on with them well, but for some reason – maybe the brake blocks, maybe the Oxic coating on the wheels – these seemed to require quite a bit of notice. Quite a bit more in the rain. If only it came with disc brakes...

Canyon Endurace Wmn CF 9.0 - front brake.jpg

Canyon Endurace Wmn CF 9.0 - front brake.jpg

Gear changes with Shimano's Ultegra Di2 were a revelation. Seriously. I'm an electronic shifting novice, and previously couldn't imagine what all the fuss was about. I can now. Any naysayers, don't knock it til you've tried it. Be warned, though: you don't half miss it when you go back to mechanical.

Canyon Endurace Wmn CF 9.0 - bar and shifter.jpg

Canyon Endurace Wmn CF 9.0 - bar and shifter.jpg

All it takes to change gear is a light press of the knobbly or smooth bit of lever, but it's the trim function that I'm really taken with. 'Bzzzt' as it moves ever so slightly to counter any chain rub, whatever gear you've selected.

Canyon Endurace Wmn CF 9.0 - front mech.jpg

Canyon Endurace Wmn CF 9.0 - front mech.jpg

I appreciated the 165mm cranks too; I really notice the difference when using 170 or 175s, and actually have 160s on my own bike.

Canyon Endurace Wmn CF 9.0 - crank.jpg

Canyon Endurace Wmn CF 9.0 - crank.jpg

The aluminium H17 bar and H13 stem are Canyon's own. The diameter and drop of the bar are both dependent on the width, in this case 38cm, and it's wrapped in very comfortable Ergospeed Gel tape. A bit of road buzz does get through, though, and I found my hands turning a bit tingly after three or four hours.

Canyon Endurace Wmn CF 9.0 - bars.jpg

Canyon Endurace Wmn CF 9.0 - bars.jpg

Although the VCLS 2.0 'leaf spring' seatpost adds rear end comfort, I didn't get on with the Selle Italia saddle – a bit of a shame as this is one of the women-specific specifications. It's a little hard for my liking; maybe I need to toughen up. I also can't understand the need for deeply etched lettering right on the edge where it's likely to cause discomfort. Make it smooth please.

Canyon Endurace Wmn CF 9.0 - saddle and post.jpg

Canyon Endurace Wmn CF 9.0 - saddle and post.jpg

Value

An Ultegra Di2-equipped carbon frameset with £800 wheels for £2,649, which rides as well as this, strikes me as very good value. How does it compare with the competition? With many of the big names adopting disc brakes, or choosing mechanical Ultegra rather than Di2, it's not entirely clear, but there is certainly a lot of choice out there for women who want to cover decent distances at speed.

Trek's rim-brake Silque with mechanical Shimano Ultegra costs £2,100, while Specialized's disc brake Ruby Comp, again with mechanical Ultegra, is £2,650. Giant's Liv Avail Advanced Pro 1, with disc brakes and mechanical Ultegra, is £2,899.

> Buyer's Guide: 12 of the best road bikes from £2,000-£2999

Canyon's own disc brake equivalent of the CF 9.0, the CF SL Disc 8.0, with mechanical Ultegra, is £2,199, while the SRAM Red eTap model is £4,199.

Conclusion

We took delivery of the WMN CF 9.0 Di2 just as I was invited to Canyon's launch of its brand new, completely remodelled women-specific range, which includes the new disc brake Endurace.

Hearing about – and seeing and riding – the new model did make me wonder about the 'old' unisex version, and I have to confess the shine was rather taken off even the idea of riding it and testing it. Happily, I was proved completely wrong. It's an absolutely beautiful bike to ride, and if disc brakes aren't a concern for you, I urge you to give this bike serious consideration. If you don't like this Blue Lagoon colourscheme, it's also available in Silk-Pearl (white).

Canyon Endurace Wmn CF 9.0 - riding 4.jpg

Canyon Endurace Wmn CF 9.0 - riding 4.jpg

Verdict

Light, fast, responsive – a hugely enjoyable ride whether you're out for a quick blast or on an all-day epic

road.cc test report

Make and model: Canyon Endurace WMN CF 9.0 Di2

Size tested: XS

About the bike

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

Carbon fibre frame and fork

FRAME CANYON ENDURACE CF

FORK CANYON ONE ONE FOUR SL

HEADSET ACROS THE CLAMP

REAR DERAILLEUR SHIMANO ULTEGRA DI2, 11S

DERAILLEUR HANGER DERAILLEUR HANGER NO. 18

FRONT DERAILLEUR SHIMANO ULTEGRA DI2, 11S

BRAKE/SHIFT LEVERS SHIMANO ULTEGRA DI2, 11S

BRAKES SHIMANO ULTEGRA

CASSETTE SHIMANO ULTEGRA, 11S

WHEELSET DT SWISS PR 1400 DICUT OXIC

TYRES CONTINENTAL GRAND PRIX 4000S II

CRANKS SHIMANO ULTEGRA, 11S

CHAINRINGS 50 | 34

BOTTOM BRACKET SHIMANO PRESSFIT

STEM CANYON V13

HANDLEBAR CANYON H17 ERGO AL

HANDLEBAR TAPE CANYON ERGOSPEED GEL

SADDLE SELLE ITALIA SLS LADY FLOW SE

SEAT POST CANYON S14 VCLS 2.0 CF (2 / -10 MM SETBACK)

PEDALS NONE INCLUDED

FRAME SIZES XS, S, M, L

COLOUR BLUE LAGOON | SILK - PEARL

WEIGHT 7,1 KG (SIZE S )

 

INCLUDED IN DELIVERY

TOOLS CANYON TORQUE WRENCH

FRAME PROTECTION CANYON FRAME PROTECTION

POWER ADAPTER SHIMANO DI2 CHARGER

HANDBOOK CANYON MANUAL ROADBIKE

ACCESSORIES ACROS T6 TORX TOOL, CANYON ORGANZA BAG, CANYON TOOL CASE, CARBON ASSEMBLY PASTE, REFLECTOR SET

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: "Just because you love the philosophy behind the Endurace doesn't mean you have to dive into the disc brake ocean. Rim brakes are also an option, and with the Endurace WMN CF 9.0 Di2 you can get a women's specific build that offers a high quality electric spec at a super reasonable price. The full carbon frame of the Endurace WMN CF 9.0 Di2 has been layered to provide the lateral rigidity that you'll want for all your race-winning attacks, but has also added a few perks that give the bike an unperceivable springiness for a supple ride. To make sure you have a solid feeling up front, Canyon has included the H17 Ergo AL handlebars which offer a short reach and width-dependent drop that will make it easy to change position quickly while always remaining in complete control. The S14 VCLS 2.0 seatpost with its spring leaf design to soak up road noise and vibration will support the most important touch point, the Selle Italia SLS Lady Flow saddle with its lady specific relief channel in the middle will ensure your backside doesn't suffer from unwanted pressure points or friction. The Shimano Ultegra Di2 electric groupset comes with the top-line performance but at a price that non-sponsored riders can afford. If you are looking to buy a women's specific bike that values rider specific needs, then the Endurace WMN CF 9.0 Di2 will be a great way to get top quality spec without breaking the bank."

Frame and fork

Overall rating for frame and fork 9/10

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

Excellent.

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

Carbon fibre.

Tell us about the geometry of the frame and fork?

On the racier side of endurance.

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

Felt slightly stretched initially, comfortably racy.

Riding the bike

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

Very comfortable – apart from the saddle.

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

Stiff and very responsive.

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

Very efficiently.

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? Quite lively.

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

Light and responsive, and just a little twitchy at times.

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

I didn't get on with the saddle.

Rate the bike for efficiency of power transfer:
 
9/10
Rate the bike for acceleration:
 
10/10
Rate the bike for sprinting:
 
9/10
Rate the bike for high speed stability:
 
8/10
Rate the bike for cruising speed stability:
 
8/10
Rate the bike for low speed stability:
 
7/10
Rate the bike for flat cornering:
 
8/10
Rate the bike for cornering on descents:
 
8/10
Rate the bike for climbing:
 
10/10

PR on my local climb – carrying a backpack with my laptop inside.

The drivetrain

Rate the drivetrain for performance:
 
10/10
Rate the drivetrain for durability:
 
8/10

Very good, I think...

Rate the drivetrain for weight:
 
8/10
Rate the drivetrain for value:
 
8/10

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

My first real 'go' at electronic shifting and I absolutely love it. I used SRAM eTap at the launch of the new women's Canyon bikes, but this was my first time with Shimano Di2 and it felt more intuitive.

Really like the gear range too; 50/34 at the front, 11-32 at the rear suits me perfectly.

I also like the shortish 165mm cranks (I have 160mm cranks on my custom-made Paulus Quiros).

Wheels and tyres

Rate the wheels for performance:
 
9/10
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:
 
6/10

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?

They're not deep rims but still got blown about a bit by strong gusts of wind, not helped by the light weight of the overall package.

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

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?

No punctures, grip seemed good – but I'm not one for racing hard into corners and pushing it.

Controls

Rate the controls for performance:
 
7/10
Rate the controls for durability:
 
7/10
Rate the controls for comfort:
 
7/10

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

Bar width of 38cm suited me well; I have a 40cm on my Paulus Quiros, but this didn't feel too narrow.

Anything else you want to say about the componentry? Comment on any other components (good or bad)

The only things that didn't wow me were the rim brakes; unless it was the wheels...

Your summary

Did you enjoy riding the bike? Yes, very much.

Would you consider buying the bike? Yes

Would you recommend the bike to a friend? Yes

Rate the bike overall for performance:
 
9/10
Rate the bike overall for value:
 
8/10

Use this box to explain your score

It's an excellent bike – light, fast and responsive. The only thing it could really do with is disc brakes.

Overall rating: 9/10

About the tester

Age: 51  Height: 169cm  Weight: size 10-12

I usually ride: Vitus Venon  My best bike is: Paulus Quiros

I've been riding for: Over 20 years  I ride: Most days  I would class myself as: Experienced

I regularly do the following types of riding: commuting, sportives, general fitness riding

Tass is our production pedant, who boldly goes hunting for split infinitives, rogue apostrophes and other things up with which she will not put. She's ridden off-road but much prefers on, hasn't done half the touring she'd like to, and loves paper maps.

10 comments

Avatar
jaysa [13 posts] 1 week ago
0 likes

All credit to Canyon for offering 38cm bars and shorter cranks for us girls - all my bikes have had narrower bars fitted post-purchase. And a properly light wheelset for the price point.

Isn't the rear tyre pressure really low though?

Avatar
ridebeast [4 posts] 1 week ago
0 likes

I hope Canyon have sorted out their design and quality issues for the BB cable guide and poorly designed and manufactured Acros headset on their endurance models.

Avatar
StantheVoice [105 posts] 1 week ago
0 likes

jaysa wrote:

Isn't the rear tyre pressure really low though?

 

Yep, you're right, we only spotted that after the photoshoot! Which was after having the bike and riding it for a few weeks. We don't just take it out for a quick spin, take a few pics and publish a review you know!  1

 

Avatar
mcvittees73 [21 posts] 1 week ago
0 likes

I've often wondered so maybe can get an answer here, but  are men and women of the same height  differently porportioned to such a degree that they need different bike ranges? The only specific change I understand might be the saddle, but handlebar width, stem / crank and  top tube length wouldn't need to differ any more than they would between men would they?

I mean no slight, but often wonder when I see 'woman specific' if all thats being done is painting a bike a different colour and changing the saddle.

Avatar
jaysa [13 posts] 1 week ago
0 likes

"painting a bike a different colour and changing the saddle" - so called 'Pink and Shrink'!

Women generally have slightly shorter backs and longer legs than men of the same height.  We can also have shorter arms and narrower shoulders so appreciate 38-40cm bars rather than the 44cm bars that came on my SuperSix.

But there is a lot of individual variation - for example, at 6ft, I am perfectly comfortable on one of Wout Poel's old Pro bikes with saddle dropped 1mm, perhaps because they ride bikes with slightly short toptubes to minimise stack ...

Avatar
The _Kaner [1119 posts] 1 week ago
0 likes
mcvittees73 wrote:

I've often wondered so maybe can get an answer here, but  are men and women of the same height  differently porportioned to such a degree that they need different bike ranges? The only specific change I understand might be the saddle, but handlebar width, stem / crank and  top tube length wouldn't need to differ any more than they would between men would they?

I mean no slight, but often wonder when I see 'woman specific' if all thats being done is painting a bike a different colour and changing the saddle.

I am 160cm, so short for either sex...

I am on a 2XS Aeroad, 38cm bars - which are possibly just too narrow for me.

Crank size for that particular bike is 165mm, which I prefer- many XS/S small frame bikes from other manufacturers (e.g. Giant) have 170mm cranks.

It may not seem that much of a difference, but it then means footering about with the saddle height/position, which usually leaves less exposed seatpost, meaning less comfort.

Also with the Canyon, an 80mm stem is standard with 2XS frame size, I ordered a 90mm stem.

I have good flexibility, so a longer stretch is easy enough and my core doesn't suffer strain.

Frames that size do look comical though as the wheels look totally out of proportion with the titchy frame.

Avatar
gonedownhill [158 posts] 1 week ago
1 like
The _Kaner wrote:
mcvittees73 wrote:

I've often wondered so maybe can get an answer here, but  are men and women of the same height  differently porportioned to such a degree that they need different bike ranges? The only specific change I understand might be the saddle, but handlebar width, stem / crank and  top tube length wouldn't need to differ any more than they would between men would they?

I mean no slight, but often wonder when I see 'woman specific' if all thats being done is painting a bike a different colour and changing the saddle.

I am 160cm, so short for either sex...

I am on a 2XS Aeroad, 38cm bars - which are possibly just too narrow for me.

Crank size for that particular bike is 165mm, which I prefer- many XS/S small frame bikes from other manufacturers (e.g. Giant) have 170mm cranks.

It may not seem that much of a difference, but it then means footering about with the saddle height/position, which usually leaves less exposed seatpost, meaning less comfort.

Also with the Canyon, an 80mm stem is standard with 2XS frame size, I ordered a 90mm stem.

I have good flexibility, so a longer stretch is easy enough and my core doesn't suffer strain.

Frames that size do look comical though as the wheels look totally out of proportion with the titchy frame.

 

At the other end of the spectrum...

Avatar
Bluebug [70 posts] 1 week ago
0 likes
mcvittees73 wrote:

I've often wondered so maybe can get an answer here, but  are men and women of the same height  differently porportioned to such a degree that they need different bike ranges? The only specific change I understand might be the saddle, but handlebar width, stem / crank and  top tube length wouldn't need to differ any more than they would between men would they?

I mean no slight, but often wonder when I see 'woman specific' if all thats being done is painting a bike a different colour and changing the saddle.

Some bike companies have measured lots of women and found a difference on average e.g. longer legs, shorter torso, narrower shoulders compared to men of the same height.  However as people are individuals  some women find men's bikes suit them better and vice versa. 

Avatar
Tass Whitby [22 posts] 1 week ago
0 likes

The _Kaner]</p>

<p>[quote=mcvittees73

wrote:

Frames that size do look comical though as the wheels look totally out of proportion with the titchy frame.

Not the new 2XS and 3XS Canyon WMNs disc brake bikes - they have 650B wheels and look perfectly proportioned.

http://road.cc/content/tech-news/221982-canyon-launches-women-specific-r...

 

Avatar
cdamian [152 posts] 2 days ago
0 likes

It is interesting to see Canyon going for women specific bikes, while Specialized is going the other direction.

With their "Rider Shared Platform" they use the same geomentry and just offer a few options with smaller contact points: https://www.bikeexchange.com/blog/specialized-2018-tarmac-ten-things-to-...

I prefer Canyon's way, but that also doesn't stop any man from picking up a bike from the women's range and vice versa.