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Tour de France Tech 2018: Katusha Alpecin’s Canyon Ultimate CF SLX & Aeroad CF SLX

Take a look at the bikes being raced by the German team

It has been a tough Tour de France for Katusha Alpecin with big name riders heading home early, Tony Martin having suffered a spinal fracture in a crash on Stage 9 and Marcel Kittel missing the time cut-off on Stage 11.


USA’s Ian Boswell is still hoping to continue to Paris, though, and this is his Canyon Ultimate CF SLX. 

Read our review of the Canyon Ultimate CF SLX 9.0 


The Ultimate CL SLX is Canyon’s lightweight road bike although it does have a few features designed to reduced drag, such as a down tube with a narrow profile and a rounded leading edge that’s intended to decrease flow separation. 


The narrow down tube has an impact on stiffness, though, so Canyon developed a box section top tube and wide seatstays to add rigidity. The frame has a claimed weight of 780g (size medium).


Canyon’s One One Four SLX fork, with a tapered steerer tube, has a claimed weight of 295g.

Katusha Alpecin is the only World Tour team to use SRAM components, the bikes being built up with Red eTap wireless electronic shift systems. 

Read our SRAM Red eTap review 


Boswell’s bike is set up with a Quarq DZero crank based power meter (Quarq is owned by SRAM) and standard 53/39-tooth chainrings.


The wheels are Zipp 454 NSWs with a distinctive ‘SawTooth’ rim shape that varies in height from 53mm to 58mm. Zipp says that the series of fin-shaped ‘HyperFoil nodes’ along the inner diameter of the rim improve the airflow, reducing drag and side force at all wind yaw angles.

Find out all about Zipp 454 NSW wheels here

The wheels are fitted with Continental Competition ProLtd tyres in a 25mm width.


Boswell uses a Selle Italia SLR Superflow Team Edition saddle with carbon rails, a carbon composite shell and a huge cutaway to avoid pressure in the centre.


Nils Politt is also still in the race and this is his Canyon Aeroad CF SLX. As the name suggests, it’s the aero road bike in the range with airfoil profile frame tubes and fork legs that are designed to reduce drag. 

Read our review of the Canyon Aeroad CF SLX 6.0 here 


Canyon’s S27 Aero VCLS CF seatpost follows the profile of the seat tube while the clamp is a wedge-type design, the bolt sitting within the top tube. 


Canyon’s Aerocockpit combined handlebar and stem has aero-section tops that are designed to further improve efficiency.

Want more 2018 Tour tech? Then visit our special Tour de France tech 2018 tag page and fill yer boots! 


Mat has been in cycling media since 1996, on titles including BikeRadar, Total Bike, Total Mountain Bike, What Mountain Bike and Mountain Biking UK, and he has been editor of 220 Triathlon and Cycling Plus. Mat has been technical editor for over a decade, testing bikes, fettling the latest kit, and trying out the most up-to-the-minute clothing. He has won his category in Ironman UK 70.3 and finished on the podium in both marathons he has run. Mat is a Cambridge graduate who did a post-grad in magazine journalism, and he is a winner of the Cycling Media Award for Specialist Online Writer. Now over 50, he's riding road and gravel bikes most days for fun and fitness rather than training for competitions.

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