Canyon released three new road bikes that feature women’s specific geometries and extra-extra-extra-small sizes. The German-based bike company has been making waves for over a year now with plans to sell its performance bikes in the U.S. Canyon uses a direct-to-consumer sales method that has many bike shops and manufacturers wary about market impacts.
Beyond its sales platform, Canyon is also known for its clean frame designs and quality performance features. I tested the Endurace 9.0 CF SLX last year and was quickly won over by the silky ride, smart geometry, and big tire clearance.
New for this year, Canyon took a look at women’s cycling needs and redesigned three of its existing bike platforms: the Ultimate CF SLX carbon race bike, the Endurace CF SL carbon endurance bike, and the Endurace AL aluminum endurance bike.
Geometry and sizing
The three women’s specific bikes have shorter top tubes, taller head tubes, slacker head tube angles, and steeper seat tube angles. They also get longer wheelbases than their unisex counterparts.
Canyon says the new geometry helps optimize handling for smaller bike sizes. Instead of developing the bikes around a size medium — what Canyon does for the men’s or unisex bikes — the women’s specific geometries were designed around the extra-small size. Canyon engineers based the approach on the average-size woman, who would best fit the company’s XS bike.
Besides changing the geometry, Canyon also expanded its range of bike sizes, adding a new 3XS option with a 49cm top tube. Aiming to provide the same handling and ride qualities as the larger bikes, Canyon designed the two smallest women’s sizes (2XS and 3XS) around a 650B wheel platform.
On the other side of the size range, Canyon stops its women’s specific designs at a size medium with 55cm top tubes. With plenty of tall women like me — I’m 5’11” and usually ride size 56cm bikes with long stems — this is a bit disappointing. However, the unisex bikes may ride better than a size large women’s bike (remember the women’s geometry is optimized around the XS platform). It does beg the question whether these should be termed “women’s bikes” versus “short-people bikes.” But that’s a debate for another day.
We’ll get our hands on the new women’s specific Canyon bikes later this month and will have some first ride reports to share about the new geometry and ride. Stay tuned for updates.
All three women’s specific bikes are equipped for 12mm thru-axle, flat mount disc brakes — an indication of where Canyon sees the bike industry is heading. While we haven’t seen the Canyon-SRAM women’s team riding the new bikes yet, next week’s Tour of California could provide an ideal venue to test the disc brakes in the women’s pro peloton.
The three new women’s models will be available for purchase when Canyon goes live with sales in the U.S. later this summer.