CANYON ENDURACE CF SL DISC 8.0 ROAD BIKE TEST
Canyon’s Endurace CF SL Disc 8.0 is a Value Add
No matter what group ride or group of strangers we rode the Canyon Endurace with, whenever somebody would ask how much the bike cost, they would always follow up on our reply with the same two questions: “How much did you say?!” quickly followed by, “Are they purposely losing money on the bike?!”
In addition to the brand’s winning performances on the WorldTour circuit, it’s the consumer-direct price model that has not only delivered the German brand a growing slice of the international bike sale pie, but has also brought much consternation to established brands like Trek and Specialized who rely on a large dealer network to get their bikes into consumers’ hands.
While Canyon’s biggest headlines have derived from their higher-end race bikes, the Endurace is focused on cyclists looking for a less-than-all-out performance experience, where easier handling and a softer ride are paramount features.
Taking a sizing cue from the old-school way, the carbon Canyon (with a claimed weight of 960 grams) is available in seven sizes, plus a women’s-specific version. A strong sense of contemporary styling has become a signature of Canyon and is achieved via the smooth, svelte shaping. Other than the seatstays, nary a frame tube is round in shape, with the large box-section downtube acting as the main instigator in providing frame stiffness.
Typifying Canyon’s legacy of unique design features, the seatpost binder is tightened on the backside of the seat tube. As the bike is intended to lean more towards a performance-oriented endurance bike, there are no rack or fender mounts.
If ever there was a drivetrain noted for its value and durability, it would be Shimano’s Ultegra, and Canyon wisely chose a 50/34 Compact crank mated to a knee-friendly 11-34 cogset.
The Canyon rolls on a pair of aluminum DT Swiss hoops wrapped with 28mm Continental GP4000 tires and slowed by a pair of 160mm rotors. The DT Swiss thru-axles remain our faves due to their pull-and-rotate adjustable handle.
Another unique Canyon touch is the proprietary VCLS suspension seatpost that, despite its svelte appearance, provides the most compliance of any suspension post we’ve ridden.
As famous as Canyon has become as a pro-level race bike, the Endurace is a bike best suited for the non-racer looking for a bike that delivers steady handling and plenty of compliance. The compact gears negated the need for front downshifts and allowed for plenty of big-ring pedaling over rollers and up most climbs.
While some riders fell in love with the compliance offered by the seatpost, some riders thought it provided too much movement that gave the feeling that they were falling off the back of the bike.
Canyon has 11 versions of the carbon Endurace in their catalog (and two aluminum), with the price spread starting at $1599 and topping out at $7999. For battery buffs, a Shimano Di2 version will knick you for $3999.
Like other consumer-direct brands, Canyon has carved a comfortable niche in the bike industry by selling bikes based on a more-bike-for-less-money platform. While there is no shortage of other consumer-direct bikes that bring hard-to-beat prices and good performance, no other enjoys the same Euro panache and WorldTour street cred that Canyon has earned over the years.
Given the Compact drivetrain that any fast/serious rider would stick their nose up at, as our Canyon test bike rolls, it is simply a great bike best suited for an entry-level to intermediate-level rider.
• So much for so little
• 1:1 gear ratio
• Impressive “all-day” comfort
Weight: 17.68 pounds
Sizes: 2XS, XS, S (tested), M, L, XL, 2XL