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Canyon responds to storm of customer criticism over late orders

Internet company bitten by internet - but blames growing pains

Canyon Bikes is under fire from frustrated customers on social media, some cancelling orders after delivery dates were pushed back – in one case to next April, eight months after the bike was ordered, and six after it was originally due to be delivered.

The German brand, which has a direct-to-consumer business model, says the move to a new factory coupled with teething problems following the implementation of a new IT system, are to blame. It insists it is clearing the backlog of orders.

But other issues raised by unhappy customers on Twitter include failure to respond to questions about delivery dates through multiple channels, plus incorrect or multiple billing.

Some have even bypassed UK customer service altogether, contacting CEO Roman Arnold directly in the hope of resolving problems.

He’d written to customers in November to explain the issues the company was encountering.

However, several Canyon customers have contacted in recent weeks to express their concerns about the service – or lack of it – they have received.

One, Jos (we’ve withheld full names) told us he’d ordered a bike in August, paid for it in September, and been promised delivery in October. He’s now been told to expect it in April.

Another, Phil, sent us a picture of the box containing a Canyon bike he received in late December, almost three weeks after he cancelled his order; a few days before it arrived, his card was charged the £1,699 cost, but he said that earlier, the company had tried to take £5,000 from his account.

Other customers contacted by include Guy, who bought a Canyon bike in February,  receiving it 11 days later, and who then decided to order another bike from the brand to use in the winter.

After ordering the Canyon Inflite 9.0s on 20 November, he was told it would ship 10 days later; the date was put back to 14 December, then 21 December, but no bike arrived.

He spoke to Canyon UK on 23rd December who said they would email Canyon Germany, promising a reply by 28th December.

“I’m still waiting for that reply,” he told us. He said he had twice tried calling Canyon, spending half an hour on hold each time without an answer, was unable to contact them via the chat function on their website, and received no reply to tweets.

“I then emailed a formal cancellation over and tweeted Canyon saying the same again,” he said. “I’ve had zero response to either.

“Bearing in mind the number of people I’ve spoken to who have cancelled and then had either money taken or bikes then actually sent to them I’m not overly hopeful of this cancellation taking effect,” he added.

A fourth customer, Elliott, said that when he was told the bike he had ordered in September wouldn’t ship until March, he emailed the company’s CEO to complain.

He accepted a discount on a past season’s bike, only to be told later it was no longer available.

“At this point I was furious as I hadn't gotten anywhere, it was absolutely ridiculous and having done some research I'm not the only one in this boat, a friend of mine had a similar experience and just gave up in the end and bought a different bike from a different manufacturer,” he said.

Having set his heart on a Canyon, he persevered, but says that despite the company offering him a 10 per cent discount, the paperwork he has received does not take that into account.

He has continued to pursue his order via the CEO and received a shipping order in mid-December, then another yesterday; he’s now wondering whether two bikes will turn up.

So, what’s gone wrong with a brand that many swear by for providing a lot of bike for a lot less money than much of the competition?

Well, it seems in part that Canyon is a victim of its own success.

A move to a new factory in Koblenz in October to meet rising global demand was accompanied by the rollout of a new IT system that proved to have some bugs in it that needed ironing out.

While in the planning stage it may have made sense to do both together, hindsight suggests that the company had not accounted for the potential disruption that would cause.

Canyon brand manager Frank Aldorf, who is based at its head office in Germany, told us that those changes were accompanied by a surge in demand, partly as a result of the success of riders from teams it sponsors, such as Katusha.

Migration of orders from customers who had ordered before the IT system changed caused problems too due to incompatibility issues, while customer service representatives would check the database to confirm a despatch date one day, only for it to be pushed back the next.   

Meanwhile, customer services in the UK at least were becoming overwhelmed, with 1,000 emails and 600 contacts through its website chat function each day.

A reduced staff over the Christmas and New Year period didn’t help the situation at a time when angry purchasers were using their own downtime from work to chase the company.

He admitted that the company’s recent performance had not matched the expectations customers have of it, and told us it is working round the clock to remedy the situation; of 15,000 orders outstanding at the start of October, some 2,000 remained unfulfilled by mid-December, although that is still around one in seven customers who remain disgruntled.

"From our standpoint, all the compelling reasons why a customer would choose a Canyon have in no way changed,” he insisted.

“Canyon continues to stand for the highest quality possible and for excellence in product design, in order to provide the very best riding experience. Here our demands from ourselves are no less than those of our customers.”

Nick Allen, UK market manager for Canyon, told us: “We are aware of the teething issues and subsequent delays and take them incredibly seriously and I can assure you that both myself and the team here in the UK are working extremely hard to ensure we give the best level of customer service we possibly can to ensure the levels of outstanding customer service we expect.”

The reality of doing business these days, however, is that consumers can now vent their frustration about poor customer service – or, their perception of it – on social media.

So brands – and especially internet pure-players with a direct-to-consumer model – need to reassure potential and existing customers that they are delivering on their promises.

If you’re thinking about buying a Canyon bike and your research takes you to the company’s Twitter page right now, you may think twice given other people’s recent experience; some have said as much on internet forums.

As Guy said says: “In the space of six months Canyon have managed to turn me from a fan (the Ultimate is a superb bike) into a very unhappy now ex-customer.

“The lack of communication from anyone senior at Canyon addressing this up front and explaining what is going on is an object lesson in how to not deal with your customers.

“Yes they’re great value and superb bikes, but the low prices are no longer worth the grief involved with actually getting a bike from them.”

Canyon have promised that they are committed to turning rectifying the problems.

Aldorf said: "The current situation is simply the unfortunate consequence of truly astronomical growth. Canyon’s brief history and staggering product demand is unparalleled in the bicycling industry.

“And, as we have struggled to accommodate this astonishing growth, we have fallen short of providing an equally positive consumer experience.

“We are confident, however, that all our recent investments and changes will enable us to achieve customer service on par with our products, and that we will be able to put these growing pains behind us in the next one to two months.”

Customers waiting on orders will be looking to the company to fulfil that promise.

Simon joined as news editor in 2009 and is now the site’s community editor, acting as a link between the team producing the content and our readers. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, he has reported on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, the latest developments in the bike industry and the sport’s biggest races. Now back in London full-time after 15 years living in Oxford and Cambridge, he loves cycling along the Thames but misses having his former riding buddy, Elodie the miniature schnauzer, in the basket in front of him.

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CXR94Di2 | 8 years ago
1 like

I have had to cancel two bike orders because of extensive delays. My last order was for a 2016 scott mtb which was due to come into stock Dec '15, but got reschedule d to April '16 So instead I bought a higher spec 2015 frame and I'm in the process of building it up.

m1bjr | 8 years ago

Another Canyon 'victim' here, recently.

In fact I cancelled my order today and confirmed it on web chat. Phones go unanswered, and last time even web-chat (they reccomend you use this) took FOUR HOURS of constant tyring to get an advisor on the page. Today it took a minute, and they seemed totally relieved and without any apology or question they cancelled a £3.2k order.

It's the first true and accurate communication I have had from Canyon since my order in November for the latest Ultimate CF SLX.

They have consistently failed to answer any questions at all, and three times quoted the EXACT block of meaningless text, alluding to having no idea where or when my bike would be delivered.

According to the CEO in a bike mag article, he wrote to everyone to apologise. I have yet to find anyone who received this letter so can only presume its a corporate lie.

The UK section are constantly bumming-up the range on the Facebook pages but yet are impotent at dealing with real live  customer complaints and are firmly shackled by the Germans. In fact they seem to get ignored by Canyon Germany for whining at them....

Good luck with the bike search, but this company is sadly in decline in 2016/17 and so best avoided. This many people are NOT wrong.

Chapo | 8 years ago

My Canyon buying experience has been excellent. Perhaps I am lucky but then again - I do ride like the wind.

Best of all the Canyon logo on the downtube is a clever font back-slanted so that when it's on the upright it's straight. #Chapeau!

DanTe | 8 years ago
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I can't actually bring myself to write out all the sh**e I had with my canyon order(s), all 5 of them. Every one was screwed up some really badly. I've had the Aeroad 4 months now but the whole thing has tainted the bike and I've still not gelled with the bike. Not what you want when you spend 5 grand. They even screwed up a couple of orders for water bottles.

They should be ashamed of themselves really. It's greed that's done it.

zoid | 7 years ago

FYI for anyone reading this 6 months on I am having the same issues as people here so don't assume this has all been fixed - bike ordered mid April, availability at the time shown as mid May but on invoice jumped to end of June, end of June date missed, now I have been told they just don't know when it will be delivered... 

Can't recommend. Great bikes though especially on offer as mine was.

The Dane | 7 years ago
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Canyon has got to be the most incompetent group of individuals assembled under one roof. No one working in customer service has any clue what's going on with my order and can't give me any information when it will ship. I'm asking for a refund on my Ultimate Aero CF SLX and shopping with another brand. Canyon act's like they are doing me a favor selling bicycles. I can see them going out of business soon with this service and lack of communication with it's customers. Never again will Canyon get any money from me.

surly_by_name replied to DanTe | 8 years ago
1 like

DanTe wrote:

I've had the Aeroad 4 months now but the whole thing has tainted the bike and I've still not gelled with the bike.

So this thread has been a pretty wild ride, what with the analysis of the pros and cons of privatisation, the role of the modern state, the NHS and the broken promises of IT, but this takes the cake.

It is a bicycle. An inanimate object. Bicycles have no feelings. A bicycle is not aware of your feelings. The purchasing process (however poor) cannot have any affect on the performance of a bicycle. It wouldn't have worked any differently if the order/delivery process had run precisley to plan. Your inability to "gel" with the bike is a consequence of physical factors (fit, for example). It's unfortunate it seems to have taken you 4 months to realise you should have purchased a different bike but the good news is that you now know not to order a Canyon. Or maybe you don't - ordering 5 Canyons having had a poor experience on every occasion reminds me of the old saw about second marriages, a triumph of hope over experience. Or the definition of stupidity - doing the same thing over again and expecting a different outcome.

I own 2 (SLX, Lux) Canyons (and had another (CF) previously); my wife has one (AL) and there are 4 (2 Grand Canyons, a Speedmax and an SLX) among a couple of mates. No problems or delays with any of those orders (admittedly all orders date back to prior to summer 2015). Minor issue when ordering a replacement rear mech hanger for the SLX but I've had worse service from physical bike shops.

hampstead_bandit | 8 years ago


either way you were getting a 'Giant manufactured' frame by buying the Aeroroad or Propel , the Propel is a great bike  1

(Canyon is Giant's largest CF frame customer)


regarding LBS not servicing Canyon bikes, that just seems really stupid and short sighted, as well as somewhat bitter?


there is good money to made from servicing, its actually the most profitable part of a bicycle business, and with the dramatic changes that bicycle retail is undergoing, smarter retailers are changing their focus away from holding large stocks of branded goods, to servicing, bike fitting, fitness training and other services the internet is not able to provide! 

we will service anything at my shop (admittedly we'd advise a customer if we cannot get a proprietary headset or mech hanger), and we make good money from assembling bikes bought mail order. we charge a normal labour rate. this customer often becomes "our" customer and will come back for servicing, bike fitting, new tires, clothing, etc. 

I did about a dozen bike fits, at £150 a time (plus average spend of  approx £110 on saddle/custom footbeds/cleat shims) last year for customers who had bought Canyon bikes  3

polainm | 8 years ago
1 like

I had my heart set on an Aeroroad but the delivery problems in August 2015 were an issue. These bikes are getting more technical to look after and less easy DIY. Frame faults with carbon being pushed to higher performance limits makes local inspection a must. Any online business MUST have exceptional remote customer support to compete with LBS, regardless of the price difference.

In the end I opted for a Giant Propel with 20% off RRP plus some clothing and misc kit worth £350 added for zero cost via LBS.

It's been perfect and flawless, even if it has less of the cache of an Aeroroad. However I have been riding it and not waiting for it....

Sorry Canyon, you messed up.

AndyCS | 8 years ago

They're having problems with existing orders.

They're going through the backlog of orders they're late in sorting.

Do you see them closing orders until they get it sorted and not mounting more and more on the existing problem? No? I wonder why they're "victims of their own success".

You get what you deserve when you buy into this company's little world.

OhYesWell | 8 years ago

Try Rose at They lived up to their delivery date for me, and nothing's come loose.

Fish_n_Chips | 8 years ago
1 like

Should have bought from your LBS with something in stock.


Canyon should have been honest and reduced their danage limitation and kept up customer service.

Now they made this error while under pressure, they may take a long time to recover but Ribble had this problem too and turned it around too into a successful business.


NHS? Wait till the schools are privatised lol.


Jamespalmer100 | 8 years ago

I ordered a Canyon Aaroad. They mucked me around so I'm now a proud owner of a Scott Foil bought from Westbrook Cycles. Spot on customer service and the bike is brilliant!

peter.smith | 8 years ago

I have ordered canyon bikes before and after the UK office opened. I found things better before the Uk office opened.

Also check out the euro prices much less than that we get to pay I pounds!!!


still like the bike though. And would buy from canyon again if the pound price was comparable to the euro price.

ourtel replied to peter.smith | 8 years ago
1 like

peter.smith wrote:

I have ordered canyon bikes before and after the UK office opened. I found things better before the Uk office opened.

Also check out the euro prices much less than that we get to pay I pounds!!!


still like the bike though. And would buy from canyon again if the pound price was comparable to the euro price.

You can bypass using Canyon UK and the GB pricing by requesting to be charged in Euros on the order form in the special instructions section. Means that you have to transfer your money straight into the Canyon bank account but it worked for me and the bike turned up earlier than anticipated.

dwbeever | 8 years ago

I was in a LBS just before Christmas, and the whole Canyon issue was discussed.  They told be that there is now a quorum of LBS's that actually refuse to service Canyons - more to do with their direct selling model than anything to do with this mess they've caused for themselves.  Is this really the case?  Any Canyon owners been declined LBS services on their bike?



wycombewheeler replied to dwbeever | 8 years ago
dwbeever wrote:

I was in a LBS just before Christmas, and the whole Canyon issue was discussed.  They told be that there is now a quorum of LBS's that actually refuse to service Canyons - more to do with their direct selling model than anything to do with this mess they've caused for themselves.  Is this really the case?  Any Canyon owners been declined LBS services on their bike?



Can't see this being the case generally after all there are plenty of LBSS to deal with. If they turn away business just go somewhere else. They should make money on servicing anyway. Failing that learn to do your own. I may chose to take my bike to LBS dud to time, but I have built bikes from scratch in the past. Wheel fixing is the only thing I can't do and for that I would only take the wheel, they would have no way of knowing what bike it came from. Your LBS should not dictate which bike manufacturer you can choose.

Leeroy_Silk replied to dwbeever | 8 years ago
1 like

dwbeever wrote:

I was in a LBS just before Christmas, and the whole Canyon issue was discussed.  They told be that there is now a quorum of LBS's that actually refuse to service Canyons - more to do with their direct selling model than anything to do with this mess they've caused for themselves.  Is this really the case?  Any Canyon owners been declined LBS services on their bike?

A friend used to work at a concept store for a very well known cycle manufacture. They would service any make of bike but not Canyon, all to do with the reasons you have stated. I've also known certain LBS's actually charge more to service bikes from direct sales manufacturers. 

I find this attitude totally bizarre as another friend who runs his own shop is quite happy to admit that a big chunk of his profit is from servicing work.

sorebones | 8 years ago

I am nervous - my new CF SLX frameset is due for pre-payment in a couple of weeks and for delivery by mid-Feb.  I have that sinking feeling that I will transfer the funds only to later be informed of a big delay.

My first Canyon purchase was incredibly smooth, but this order process has been chaotic to put it politely.  I must have received half a dozen pre-payment invoices, each one different.  I also requested a change of stem length - previously no issue.  The new system however is totally inflexible, they cannot even send the correct stem length with the new frameset, I have to wait until it arrives and then request the correct one is sent afterwards.

To put this down to the new IT system or factory move is a little disingenuous though I believe. My brother purchased an 'in-stock' CF SL early last year, it took 10 weeks to arrive.

I genuinely feel sorry for the UK team though.  They are clearly overwhelmed and under-resourced, taking an average of 2 days to respond to each email and not being able to give any real information as the info from Germany seems innacurate. 

The only comfort I have is that I ordered my frameset before they hiked the price up £200! 

lambylamby | 8 years ago

I can answer this from both perspectives, as I have 2 canyon bikes, a mountain bike and a roadie, and have had both flips of the coin 'experience'.

I ordered a road bike Christmas 2014, and it came 2 weeks before delivery date. absolutely spot on, and very very happy. The delivery was extremely speedy, and I saved a lot of money on a great bike/components. I recommended the company to friends, and 2 friends subsequently ordered Canyons after I tested the water (one a cyclocross inflite the other a full-suspension Nerve). No problems.

Come summer last year, I ordered a mountain bike, as even though i'm a road cyclist at heart, I love mountain biking too. I ordered early in May, and it took a month and a half longer than predicted. I did actually do a lot of social media shaming, amongst other platforms, and (I think because I was a bit of a bastard about it) I got the bike a lot quicker (haha, felt like quicker even though there was a delay) than others may have waited for, despite the delay. I read a rumor on twitter that there was misplaced shipping for the frames and that was why there was a delay in delivery, but I think it was a load of codswallop.

I must re-iterate what others here have said, the service is what lacks (majorly) with Canyon, if you get it fast, of course you would have no reason to complain, on the surface of experience you would expect it provides the same service as a shop like amazon or the like, click and buy. however, where as you kind of expect a fast-ish delivery, the problem Canyon operate with is this 'murky' grey area of not letting you know honestly where they are. My creative imagination wondered if Somalian pirates had somehow kidnapped the frame and were now holding it hostage, because Canyon certainly didn't give updates. The second thing that bugged me was revised delivery dates, they claimed a new date, and surpassed that date too after severe pestering from me. What I hate is when you give a company a chance to rectify, trust that the second date would be achievable, then they let you down again. I just took to twitter to warn other potential purchasers of the risks of severely delayed bikes, then the bike came soon after.
What I will summarise with is if Canyon gave honest (albeit long) delivery times, it would feel more like they care for their customer, instead they 'hold' onto a sale, by updating unrealistic delivery dates. This I believe is a selfish act and should be called into question from their ethos, If they are about 'pure cycling' as their strapline says, then if they can't offer that experience to a customer when they say they will, they should let more honest companies fill that void. I have put this to them, their very own strapline - used against them, still didn't move things forward.
They did offer €100 off the model up from mine as they had it in stock, but I only wanted what I paid for.

Unfortunately the German efficiency statement seems to have bypassed Canyon as of last year. I can only assume from this recent news from the problem is still severe. I do hope they pull through this major blip of theirs.

My advice to potential buyers would be to factor a delay in, if you anticipate an extra 2 months at least and can tolerate a wait, then I can confirm the the Canyon frames are very good, and matched with handsome priced components, making a great overall bike.

My advice to Canyon would be: Pull your bloody finger out!   

matthewn5 | 8 years ago
1 like

Thank goodness I bought my Canyon second hand from someone on Ebay...

Gweeds | 8 years ago

I'm the Guy in the article.

I did finally receive a response from Canyon yesterday. Actually two.

The first was confirming the cancellation:

'We have cancelled this order. You will receive a full confirmation within the next 24 hours.'

That was it. No apology, nothing.

About 3 hours later Canyon UK tweeted me to say if I went onto chat they could update me (here's an idea - how about you call your customer rather than expecting them do so all the time). An update on the order that was now confirmed as cancelled.

Not impressive.

In the meantime I was at my LBS test-riding a disc Defy. 3 hours later I was back there to collect it, steerer cut down, cables all cut down, saddle and cassette changed and the RideSense all set up for me.

Actually impressive.

I love my Ultimate to bits, but Canyon have shot the fox here.

riderstuart | 8 years ago
1 like

Ordered a Canyon in March and it arrived exactly 9 days after pressing "confirm".

However, I had an issue with the frame side chainset bolt, which somehowcame loose  and, whilst peddling, hit the underside of the bottom bracket/chainstay causing minor frame damage. To their credit, Canyon said they would replace the frameset.  I dropped the bike off at Canyon UK in September - just before the warehouse move and IT shift - resulting in a wait of 3 and a half months until the replacement frame was delivered.

like others, it was very difficult a) getting hold of someone at canyon uk and b) getting any sort of confirmation on dates once  I did get through.  the whole expericence was very frustrating and I would think twice about ordering again.

thankfully the bike is now under a nice warm duvet until the spring!!

Dr. Ko | 8 years ago

Well, to be fair in 2012 my Colnago C 59 took three months to arrive. Placed an order with a local dealer. In 2006 my BMC SLC 01 took more than six months, I ordered by the time it had won the TDF, by the time of arrival it no longer hadindecision

The Lotus was another story, as I got it offered from Condor, so it was in stock.

SAP: I know of at least one company who had to postpone the roll-out by a month to avoid severe trouble.

But also I need to agree with most of you about the lack of communication. noThese days it has become a kind of standard to receive tracking info with your order, sometimes even with predict service up to the hour. If I place an order for an article say a jersey to feature it in the blog and it arrives late, it might miss the photo shoot and is no longer of any use to me.

>>Ironic mode on:

Stop it. Most car drivers have to wait at least six months or more for their car of their dreams. You cyclist are still like small children and Freddy Mercury "I want it all, I want it all" and I want it right now. Many famous cyclist actually had to save their pennies to buy their beloved first bike!

Ironic mode off<<


Yorky-M | 8 years ago
1 like

I ordered mine last year.

It came on the week promised and it is lovely.



just saying.

700c | 8 years ago

Exactly. Its important to factor in customer service/ reputation/ warranty terms etc when making a buying decision, and not just product quality or initial cost

That's why I went with Giant rather than Canyon when recently getting a new bike. Ok I Ordered over the internet, but from a real UK bike shop & authorised retailer, an in-stock item which arrived in three days. 40% off as a 2015 model and lifetime warranty!  3

ironmancole | 8 years ago

Shame for the customers and the company, it'll get sorted and hopefully they'll learn from it!

Will take the opportunity to praise Specialized and Trek when I've had problems in the past. Always looked after me hence being a repeat customer.

Agree definitely though, it's not about the problem, it's about how the company sorts it out, makes all the difference.

phil72 | 8 years ago


I'm the Phil in the article above. I emailed Roman Arnold direct on Monday of this week. I received a reply within 24hrs from his secretary who was extremely apologetic. My refund was activated yesterday (still to show on my statement), a UPS driver collected the bike from me at 3pm.

Still a real shame it had to be this way. I hope the customers that are still waiting, get their bikes soon, and Canyon get their act together. 

Would I buy from Canyon again? The pull of their bikes is strong, but I'm waiting to see how generous Mr Arnold is with the discount code he's surely going to be emailing me, right Roman?

Rapha Nadal | 8 years ago
1 like

Quite glad I didn't order one of their aluminium frames now!

iso2000 | 8 years ago

Test rode and ordered a Trek on Tuesday at the LBS. Going back next week for a free bike fit and collection enlightened (I hope). 


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