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Canyon’s new disc brake-equipped Endurace CF SLX endurance race machine is the answer to the question, “Which bike should I ride today?” Whether you’re hoping to climb through the hills, explore unknown roads, or even hit the local crit, the Endurace makes an excellent choice. Sure, we have some minor quibbles: The overly stout gearing isn’t ideal for steep back roads; external cable routing disrupts the sleek cockpit. But this is, without question, the best do-everything bike we’ve ridden this year.
Canyon perfectly engineered this frame to bridge the gap between twitchy performance and all-day comfort. The stiffness numbers rival some of the best aero bikes on the market, like Specialized’s Venge ViAS, with bottom bracket (0.43 millimeters of deflection) and head tube (0.61 millimeters of deflection) numbers that create a responsive ride with impressive power transfer and quick handling. But the frame is tuned for compliance, with thin seatstays, a kinked seat tube, and a leaf spring seat post that absorb road vibrations before they reach your body.
Still, we refuse to label the Canyon Endurance CF SLX as just another endurance bike. The geometry actually leans closer to a typical racer, with a 73-degree head tube angle and a 73.5-degree seat tube angle. It also keeps the rider in a low and aggressive position, with a short head tube (157 millimeters for a size 56), and ready for any sudden moves with a short, responsive 990-millimeter wheelbase.
Furthermore, the massive tire clearance of the Endurace sets it apart from other endurance race bikes. Canyon specs the bike with 28-millimeter tires, but it can accommodate up to 33-millimeter rubber, with room to spare. This swings the door wide open for all-road adventure riding. Those gravel and dirt roads you’ve been eyeing are not just accessible now — they’re actually fun to ride with fat tires and a very non-endurance, aggressive riding position.
The Endurace comes by such robust clearance because of its disc brake design, which also provides better braking performance and smoother modulation. Shimano’s hydraulic disc brake performance is hard to match, and pairing them with the Dura-Ace Di2 drivetrain makes it an incomparable package.
The bike’s 52/36-tooth chainring configuration is a bit aggressive for an endurance bike that begs to be ridden off-road. We would have preferred a 50/34-tooth selection for the added versatility on long adventure rides. Then again, the bigger rings are what you’ll want if you plan to jump into road races every now and again.
We were also disappointed to see Canyon’s sleek, integrated H31 Ergocockpit cluttered with Di2 wires and the junction box. An integrated stem that houses the junction box, wires, and hydraulic brake cables would tidy things, even if it did make setup and maintenance more involved. (SRAM’s wireless eTap system would also make for a slick package.)
Despite the front end untidiness, Canyon nailed the look of the Endurace CF SLX. The kerosene red paint scheme is matched with smooth lines and stylish details. It’s a head-turning jack-of-all-trades that can replace a garage full of bikes. The $7,199 price might have you feeling like you’re buying two mid-level bikes at once, but the Endurace CF SLX 9.0 SL top-level spec and premium performance features are wrapped together in a single package that outshines the competition.