Canyon's top end Ultimate CF SLX 9.0 has landed at La Velocita. Stunning to look at and equipped with some of the best components available this bike has turned heads wherever we took it.
Words - Glen O'Rourke Images - Andrew Clifforth
In 1985 Roman Arnold and his brother Franc Arnold founded 'Radsport Arnold' - a supplier of bike parts out of the back of a trailer at bike racing events. It wasn't until 1998 that the first bikes with the brand name Canyon appeared. They established a strong following and reinvented the bike sales market through online sales. The business has been so successful that they now sponsor two of the best pro-tour teams in the world and their bikes have won grand tours and world championships.
This really is German engineering at its very best; sleek, Innovative with a no fuss attitude. The bikes are not flashy look at me, much more in the category of a Mercedes Benz ; understated, cool, wait until you see what’s under the bonnet type of bike.
Canyon has just entered Australian market and so we had to take a look at one of the top of the range models, the Ultimate CF SLX 9.0 Aero to see what all the fuss is about.
I was really excited when the bike arrived and the initial set up literally took 10 minutes. The designers of the bike have taken into consideration the fact that most people will set the bike up themselves because everything is nice and easy to access and adjustability really is very easy.
For example the seat post has 15-35mm fore and aft adjustment (setback) and tilt angle adjustment, this allows a wide adjustment range on one seat post. A nice touch and really simple to get your position dialled in.
Top of the range specs on the Ultimate CF SLX 9.0 Aero really make for a great package. My very favourite group set of Shimano Dura Ace Di2 is super smooth and shifts under pressure without a grumble. Pair it with a set of Zipp 303s and it’s a great combination. Normally you would be adding wheels in on top of your new bike purchase, not here.
Then you couple that with Canyon's own one piece Aero cockpit bar and stem, a work of art in itself, that hides away that nasty junction box that we all hate seeing with Di2 group sets. The front end of the machine is made to cut through the air like a knife through butter – beautifully sleek.
The Ultimate CF SLX 9.0 I tested also came with the remote sprint trigger gear changers on the handle bar drops. I could be a convert to these and should come as standard if you fancy yourself as the next Alexander Kristoff.
It’s all of the little things with this bike that have been added that makes you think it has had the premium upgrade, like that Mercedes Benz with all of the optional extras included. Another example of this is the semi compact cranks as standard. A 52 – 36 chain ring with 11-28 rear cassette. Again I am a convert and recommend that you give this combination a try as it just makes sense – you get the best of both worlds. They made the climbing pleasures of Donna Buang that much more exquisite as well as having the ratio to race for the state criterium championships. There is nothing lost.
I know I am gushing about this machine and that’s before I have even mentioned the Aero designed (780gram) frame and forks and – and frankly it only gets better. The paint job says it all with these bikes, understated but fast. I found the bike extremely quick on every terrain I rode. Over a few weeks I raced crits, took it up mountains, down dirt roads and I really didn’t want to give it back.
The Canyon Ultimate handles extremely well and has the ability to be whatever you want it to be. The seat post is designed to flex, while it takes a little getting used to, it provides welcome additional comfort on long rides while allowing the frame to do the work of taking every watt of power to the back wheel.
There are so many great things about this bike... so what about the not so good bits? There was really only one thing for me and that was the Fizik Antares R5 saddle, they don’t agree with me, but you know this is a personal preference.
SIZE / OPTIONS
The Ultimate CF SLX 9.0 Aero comes in seven sizes - 2XS, XS, S, M, L, XL, 2XL
There are two colour options available - Stealth and Jet Silver
This is the range topper in the Ultimate line up and comes in at $9,999 plus $199 shipping. For what you are getting we think this bike represents excellent value... Dura Ace Di2 and Zipp 303's alone will get you well on your way to this amount.
The Ultimate CF SLX range starts at $4,699 plus shipping for an Ultegra with Mavic Ksyrium Pro Exalith SL wheelset and also makes for great buying at this price point.
WHERE TO BUY
Head online to www.canyon.com to check out the Ultimate CF SLX 9.0 Aero
Is the hype around Canyon landing in Australia deserved? If the performance of the Ultimate CF SLX 9.0 Aero is anything to go by it's a definite yes from us. A top end package that is fast, comfortable in all conditions and wants to pull you towards whatever finish line you want to set.
Check out our other Canyon reviews: