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Endurance Meets Speed: Canyon Endurace CF SLX Disc 8.0 eTap

From Issue 97

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Let’s face it, we’re not all racers. But desiring a slightly less aggressive geometry with added comfort doesn’t mean you don’t crave speed and lively handling—a bike that, if called upon, could hold its own in a competitive environment. Too many brands seem to treat these desires as mutually exclusive; to them, riders are either trying to win the Tour or they’re going touring with a beach-cruiser-like upright position. With the Endurace (no second “n”), Canyon is sending a helping hand to those who feel caught in the middle between wanting a bona fide, no-holds-barred race bike and the comfort and versatility of an endurance bike—those who say “no way” to this dichotomy.

THE DETAILS

First and foremost, as a less-aggressive bike, the Endurace features Canyon’s Sport Geometry, with an approximately 10mm higher stack and an 8mm shorter reach versus the race-focused Ultimate CF SLX. But to maintain a look more similar to the Ultimate than other endurance-oriented frames, Canyon has built that additional length into the fork. And for greater stability at speed, the Endurace features longer 415mm chainstays across the range of sizes.

In addition to the geometry, comfort is added in a couple different ways. Canyon’s VCLS 2.0 seat post has a split design allowing it to deflect road buzz but maintain a constant saddle tilt, so that any seat deflection doesn’t distract from enjoying the ride. The seat-post clamp is also placed deeper into the seat tube, increasing the effective amount of seat post that can deflect road buzz by 110mm. Additionally, the seat tube has a slight bend to it, allowing for a shorter top tube while maintaining a seat-tube angle that places the saddle above the bottom bracket for optimal power transfer.

Comfort is also added through wider tires. Our CF SLX Disc 8.0 eTap model came stocked with 30mm Schwalbe Pro One tires. And the frame and fork offer an advertised 33c tire clearance, providing enough versatility to explore beaten-up roads and quasi-gravel, mixed-surface events.

But this bike is about speed too. It takes an approach of optimizing for aerodynamics on parts of the bike that are more exposed to the wind, like the down tube, but making up for losses in torsional stiffness in other parts of the frame less exposed to the wind like the top tube.

To reach a lower weight up front, with higher stiffness and comfort, Canyon opted for a new integrated bar/stem H31 ErgoCockpit, which is 24 grams lighter and 10 percent more vertically compliant than Canyon’s previous integrated bar/stem. The frame itself tips the scales at a scant 820 grams (medium), while the fork adds 325 grams. It’s a pretty light package, especially for an endurance bike. Our size small CF SLX Disc 8.0 eTap version weighed in at 16.84 pounds (7.64 kilograms) without pedals or cages. And like most Canyon builds, this one is nicely spec’d, built with Force eTap, a power meter and Reynolds AR41 wheels for $6,000.

THE RIDE

The Endurace’s chops as an endurance bike are hard to deny. Its geometry puts you more upright than most race bikes—but not so upright that your torso is a sail catching the wind. Rather, it lets you settle into a comfortable but still challenging pace and stay at it for hours on end. Deflection of road buzz from the seat post subtly, yet noticeably, makes for a more comfortable ride. And top-end Schwalbe Pro One tires also contribute to the comfortable ride, without leaving much performance on the table. Plus, we love the option to add some more volume for exploring.

With its latest generation H31 ErgoCockpit integrated bar/stem, Canyon has a winner in our book, offering an optimal balance between comfort in the tops and aerodynamics. The tops feature a low-profile shape, but not one that is so aero that it’s uncomfortable. Plus, the tops, with their ergonomic 6 degrees of back-sweep, are almost completely wrapped with bar tape—unlike many other aero bars.

But make no mistake, this bike is ready to hit the throttle when called upon. The aero-tube shapes make for a slippery ride that can maintain high speeds. And, when jumping up to speed from a stop light or sharp turn, it’s surprisingly nimble. If you don’t see yourself as a full-time racer, but still have the need for speed, the Endurace is calling your name.

SPECIFICATION

canyon.com

$6,000; 16.84 lbs/7.64kg (size small w/o pedals or cages)

SRAM Force AXS eTap (10–33 cassette, 48/35 Force crank w/power meter); Canyon H31 ErgoCockpit CF integrated bar/stem; Canyon S15 VCLS 2.0 CF seat post; Fi’zi:k Aliante R3 saddle; Reynolds AR41 DB wheels; Schwalbe Pro One Evo 30mm tires.

From issue 97, the Official Tour de France Guide, get your copy here.