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Eurobike demo day: Canyon 2011 road bikes + Erik Zabel video

Ultimate SLX heads up the range, new Aeroad CF launched

Canyon were very keen to show us their new bikes at Eurobike, and we even got to have a go them at the Demo Day. Most of the talk was about the new Aeroad CF frame, and we had none other than pro cycling legend Erik Zabel weighing in with some comments on how the new machine fares next to its more established sibling, the Ultimate SLX.

Canyon bikes have been available in the UK, direct from Germany, for years, but they're busy right now setting up a UK operation. The bikes will still be shipped from mainland Europe but there'll be a UK helpline for customers, and all warranty issues will be dealt with over here too, making the whole business of buying and owning one a lot more straightforward. The UK stuff should all be live by the time the 2011 bikes appear on the Canyon website.

So to the bikes. The Ultimate SLX remains the UCI-limit-pushing top dollar machine, but the Aeroad sits alongside it, offering a much more aero platform. Canyon tell us it's aimed at 'breakaway riders' and is more efficient when you're out of the peloton; certainly the reduced drag should mean you're a bit quicker for any given power output on the flat. It's also a bit heavier and not quite as stiff as the Ultimate, so that's still the bike for the hilly stages, but with a frontal area 20% smaller, and a host of other aero features, the Aeroad still only comes in a couple of hundred grams heavier. Here's what Canyon had to say for themselves...

Perhaps the most interesting innovation is a user-swappable front end geometry. There's a plug in the fork dropout which when reversed gives the bike a bit more trail and makes it more stable. It's aimed at triathletes and TTers who would use the bike with extensions and be glad of a little bit more stability.

Cables are all internal, as you might expect, and the ports pop out so you can fit a new set of cables more easily. The beefy bottom bracket is mated with a similarly large down tube, but the thin seat stays should soak up some road buzz. Not that we got any road buzz on the test ride, on German roads that tester Jo said had probably been 'ironed specially' for the occasion... here's what our chaps had to say about the bikes after a half hour spin on the silky tarmac.

Dave is a founding father of, having previously worked on Cycling Plus and What Mountain Bike magazines back in the day. He also writes about e-bikes for our sister publication ebiketips. He's won three mountain bike bog snorkelling World Championships, and races at the back of the third cats.

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