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  1. #1
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    Achtung! A One Year Review of the Canyon Ultimate CF SLX

    Achtung!  A One Year Review of the Canyon Ultimate CF SLX-canyon.jpg



    A rainy evening here in Florida has afforded me time to tap out something I'VE been wanting to do for awhile: give my thoughts on the Canyon Ultimate CF SLX after a full year of riding/racing.

    First off: the color. I have always been a fan of flashy paint jobs, in the past having a fondness for all things colnago and even owning a sean kelly inspired violet colored Vitus 992 back in the day. So when I was offered the choice at Canyon of either all white or all black, I didn't exactly jump out of my sidi's. One year on, I absolutely love the stealth look. And you never have to wash it. The picture above was taken after probably 3k miles between frame cleanings. perfect.

    I had the option of either the Aeroad or Ultimate, and took the Ult CF for several reasons. The Ult is a proven winner, refined over the last several years. When I asked the guys at Canyon to differentiate between the two, they said the Ult was a "better sprinter and a better climber", the Aeroad the choice "for breaking away". Not a real believer in the whole aero fad,coupled with the Ult being several hundred grams lighter made it a no-brainer.

    Like most americans, I had never actually seen a Canyon in the flesh. When it arrived, I open the box from germany with great anticipation. I must say, the pictures you see online don't do the frame justice. All lines, all tubes, look purposeful, in a workmanlike, say german, sort of way. From the 1.5 inch headtube, to the uniquely shaped downtube, to the super thin seat stays, its all for a reason.
    Having outfitted the Ult with record/super record and some 50 mm Boyd carbon clinchers, we were ready to roll. 10,000 miles later, here are my thoughts:

    This is my first time on a bike with a long headtube (16cm). As a 50 year old masters racer, I like it. Very stiff, and I can still get my 6cm saddle to bar drop and flat back position. and ride in the drops all day. and walk upright after I get off the bike! The bike was stiff and responsive, yet incredibly comfortable. They use a proprietary basalt fiber seat post, which I was skeptical of upon arrival. But it really works. On rough road, you can actually feel it flex. The frame is very responsive, and stable at speed . on fast downhills, you can take both hands off the bars, and the bike tracks straight as on rails.

    specifications:
    Canyon Ultimate CF SLX size 56
    campagnolo record RD,FD,Ergo shifters, Skeleton brakes
    campagnlo super record crankset (53/39)
    campagnolo chorus cassette (11-25) and chain
    Ritchey WCS 4 axis stem (120mm)
    Ritchey WCS Curve handlebar (42cm)
    Prologo nago evo saddle (ti rails)
    Garmin edge 500
    Boyd 50mm carbon clinchers
    Veloflex master 23mm tires
    Acros ai-70 headset
    Look keo blade pedals (16nm tension)

    Overall, I am very pleased with the Canyon, and get many compliments on it. If you can get your hands on one, absolutely go for it! I give it 5/5 pony tails!

    Fignon's Barber
    Last edited by Fignon's Barber; 02-14-2013 at 08:39 AM.

  2. #2
    RoadBikeReview Member
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    So they shipped it to Florida? How did you pull that one off?

  3. #3
    classiquesklassieker
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    A review with actual ownership experience, thanks for sharing! Glad you enjoyed the bike. I saw one in flesh, brought to the US by somebody who had bought it in Israel (I think) and then moved to the US with it. He said it was very stiff and nice, but a bit too harsh. Too bad it was too big for me, otherwise I would have loved to take it out on a test ride.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jay Strongbow View Post
    So they shipped it to Florida? How did you pull that one off?
    professional acquaintance of someone very high up in the Canyon hierarchy. Even so, I had to sign a long liability waiver.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by orange_julius View Post
    A review with actual ownership experience, thanks for sharing! Glad you enjoyed the bike. I saw one in flesh, brought to the US by somebody who had bought it in Israel (I think) and then moved to the US with it. He said it was very stiff and nice, but a bit too harsh. Too bad it was too big for me, otherwise I would have loved to take it out on a test ride.
    I thought people here would appreciate some actual feedback. In a nutshell, really a brilliant machine. totally satisfying as a race bike.
    By the way, julius, wait til you see what I have on the way from Cyfac.

  6. #6
    classiquesklassieker
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fignon's Barber View Post
    I thought people here would appreciate some actual feedback. In a nutshell, really a brilliant machine. totally satisfying as a race bike.
    By the way, julius, wait til you see what I have on the way from Cyfac.
    :-O

    A Cyfac!! For a man whose username is "Fignon's Barber" and whose avatar is a Cyfac under Gitane paint!!

    I can wait to hear about this one!!

  7. #7
    classiquesklassieker
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    Ah yes, I see now which bike you are getting ;-). Very nice paintwork, sir, very well done!

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by orange_julius View Post
    Ah yes, I see now which bike you are getting ;-). Very nice paintwork, sir, very well done!
    How do you know this? its still on the paint rack drying!

  9. #9
    classiquesklassieker
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fignon's Barber View Post
    How do you know this? its still on the paint rack drying!
    Tsk tsk .... I have my sources. Straight from the grapevines of the Loire Valley region :-D.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by orange_julius View Post
    Tsk tsk .... I have my sources. Straight from the grapevines of the Loire Valley region :-D.
    ssshhh....to quote derek zoolander, "its not ready".

  11. #11
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    Canyon bikes totally look the business. Nice review. You ever look into their current VCLS 2.0 post? A cool looking piece, although it costs an arm and a leg.

  12. #12
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    Achtung! A One Year Review of the Canyon Ultimate CF SLX

    Great review. Most of the canyon reviews I've read we're very consistent. Stunning. Stiff. Absolutely fantastic ride. I love the setback and the stem combo (120?). I could totally ride this bike as is ;). Been admiring canyon bikes from afar. The first one I saw up close was that bike Julius mentioned. To was a drool fest on wheels.

    I too love loud colors but they're a secondary feature to the ride quality. I don't mind the stealth look of your steed.

    Joe
    Ow.. ow.. oww... CRAMP!

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by santosjep View Post
    Great review. Most of the canyon reviews I've read we're very consistent. Stunning. Stiff. Absolutely fantastic ride. I love the setback and the stem combo (120?). I could totally ride this bike as is ;). Been admiring canyon bikes from afar. The first one I saw up close was that bike Julius mentioned. To was a drool fest on wheels.

    I too love loud colors but they're a secondary feature to the ride quality. I don't mind the stealth look of your steed.

    Joe
    thanks joe. Yes, the stem is 120mm. The canyon seatpost has a tremendous amount of setback range, I have it set midrange, and its probably the first bike that I haven't had to smash the saddle all the way back to get the reach I need. One thing I failed to talk about in the review was the Canyon Acros headset. There is no top cap on the steerer tube, you can look straight down into the tube. This highlights the fact that you don't need a cap or star nut to hold the headset in place. You simply clamp on the stem, turn a small allen bolt to expand the headset against the stem, and ride. It literally took 2 minutes to execute, and has not needed an adjustment in 10000 miles!

  14. #14
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    Are Canyons made in Germany? Focus is a German company too right? Between all the German brands, which has the best workmanship? Storck? Canyon? Focus? Cube? I might have to import a German frame when I move back to the US in 3 yrs. want one that most others can't get in The US.
    Ordered and Fitted for my Custom DEAN Titanium frame on Sept 17th, 2008. Finally got it in Oct, 2010!!!

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