Over the weekend on the island of Mallorca for the Toros de Gravel, Canyon was one of the sponsors of the new European gravel gran fondo, teasing pending updates to their popular but divisive Grail gravel bike. The biggest news is that an aluminum version of the Grail is coming soon – without the wild double-decker Hover bar. Plus, both the new alloy Grail and the original carbon frames will be available with 1x SRAM drivetrains too…

Canyon Grail AL affordable aluminum gravel bike

2019 Canyon Grail AL affordable aluminum gravel bike with conventional two-piece drop bar

Canyon’s original carbon Grail CF caught a lot of flak – and buzzwith its two-leveled biplane-style Hover bar. Claiming more comfort on the tops for rough tracks and more responsive control descending in the drops, it had some solid ideas on a carbon bike that performed well on its own. But if you weren’t sold on the idea, or just weren’t ready to get locked into one bar & one position option, Canyon looks to have your back in a new, more affordable alloy Grail AL.

2019 Canyon Grail AL affordable aluminum gravel bike with conventional two-piece drop barDetails remain limited on the new alloy Grail AL, but we got our hands on the new bike for a close up look. Plus, the bike rumor has it that the full details should be available later this week. Of course, the big standout feature over the Grail CF is that the Grail AL features a gently sloping toptube with a conventional headtube & headset configuration.

What’s new in the alloy Canyon Grail AL?

2019 Canyon Grail AL affordable aluminum gravel bike with conventional two-piece drop barThat of course means a conventional handlebar and stem (sorry no biplane Hover board bar is likely coming in alloy), plus more conventional Stack & Reach calculations on the bike. With the new alloy bike comes a new compact alloy handlebar called the Gravel AL HB50. Presumably, it will come in several width options.

2019 Canyon Grail AL – Tech Details

2019 Canyon Grail AL affordable aluminum gravel bike with conventional two-piece drop barThe alloy Grail looks pretty solidly built with massive welds and gussets at the headtube & seat cluster. Seatstays are flattened and get a curve at their ends to offer some comforting flex, working together with the seattube flattened just above the bottom bracket.

The alloy bike also builds in plenty of functionality. The model we got a sneak preview of was sporting a single ring SRAM Rival 1x drivetrain (a departure from the all Shimano 2x setups when the carbon bike debuted), but it retains 2x compatibility with a removable  front derailleur hanger.Mounts on the seatstays will support a rear rack, while the bike also offers full fender capability.

2019 Canyon Grail AL affordable aluminum gravel bike with conventional two-piece drop bar

Inside the main triangle there are two standard bottle cage mounts and routing for Di2 electronics, plus a third bottle cage mount under the downtube. The bike has plenty of clearance for these 700x40mm Schwalbe G-One Bite tires, and no chainstay bridge to collect mud.

2019 Canyon Grail AL affordable aluminum gravel bike with conventional two-piece drop bar

The long chainstays suggest a stable ride like the carbon version claims, although Canyon calls the geometry for this bike ‘Sport’ vs. the ‘Gravel Pro’ of the carbon bike. We suspect the difference is just relative to the conventional vs. Hover bar setup, with ultimate fit likely to be the same for both. Modular internal routing looks to handle most setup options. And the full carbon fork looks to be shared with the carbon bike.

2019 Canyon Grail AL affordable aluminum gravel bike with conventional two-piece drop barThe alloy bottom bracket is Press Fit and the bike gets standard 12mm thru-axles, flat mount discs, and the tabs to mount both racks & fenders at once.

1st annual Toros de Gravel gran fondo Mallorca

2019 Canyon Grail CF SLX carbon gravel race bike first annual Toros de Gravel gran fondo MallorcaThe bike was previewed at the first edition of what is likely going to turn into a popular European gravel race on the Spanish island of Mallorca in the Mediterranean. Based at the velodrome in the small town of Sineu in the center of the island known as a road riding destination, the Toros de Gravel event covered some 140km of technical terrain mixing smooth gravel roads, quiet paved back road, and gnarly rock strewn tracks winding along the coast. I took the opportunity to put the original carbon Grail to the test for several taxing days on the island and will publish a detailed review in the coming weeks.

2019 Canyon Grail CF updates

2019 Canyon Grail CF SLX carbon gravel race bike first annual Toros de Gravel Sineu velodrome

We also got a look at the next season of carbon Grails too. What’s missing from this picture is the front derailleur. Available now, Canyon has added a couple of SRAM Force 1x complete builds of the two levels of carbon bikes – both the Grail CF SLX & SL. Both also include an adjustable direct, high-mount chain retention device that may make it onto the 1x alloy bikes as well. The bike (& Hover bar) itself look to be otherwise unchanged.

We’ll update when we know more concrete details on the new alloy bikes.

Now that the Grail AL is officially available for sale, we have the full details, including spec, pricing & availability. Check it out.

Canyon.com

16 COMMENTS

  1. You know those bars that are like… double handlebars?

    The only “divisive” element to those bars is *why* people hate them.

    • Equipment like that is only cool if a small, artisanal company or Kickstarter creates them. If any of the large bike companies come out with them, we deride them for trying too hard.

    • The hover bar is an ok idea, but it makes the bike’s fit very hard to estimate. Their geometry chart shows reach/stack as measured to the handlebar because the point of reference on a normal frame’s head tube doesn’t exist on the Grail. Plus, Canyon sells consumer direct, so you can’t try it out first, and if you get it wrong, another bar setup is what, $600? All this would be somewhat more tolerable if a conventional stem & bar could be used, but it can’t..

      Integrated aero road bikes seem to be able to pull that off, but I don’t think the gravel set is there by a long shot.

      The alloy bike will sell, but I bet they’re counting the days until they can re-do the carbon bike.

    • at first I thought that maybe the silver paint was making the welds look funny, but it does look like that seat tube gusset got too much heat and maybe not enough cover gas. maybe this one is a prototype that was built in-house rather than by the more skilled factory welders?

      • The decision to make the aluminum seat cluster mimic the carbon frame shaping with that gusset seems to guarantee an ugly joint no matter the weld quality (tho I agree this example looks particularly awful). Also I’m no engineer but is that a place where a gravel frame needs reinforcement? Seems like brands thought to take functional design seriously try to put compliance there w/ skinny or dropped stays, “IsoSpeed,” long bendy seatposts, etc. Why gusset that junction on a bike meant to ride rough surfaces for hours?

  2. It seems to have a similar geometry concept like the new Inflite AL with a long reach (408 mm in size M, as pictured) and a short stem (probably a 90 mm). However the Stack ist relativily high with 580 mm you get a very sportive S/R of 1,42! That’s sportier than my Cannondale Supersix race bike. Isn’t that to aggressive for a Gravelbike?

    • We were told it would be introduced last week, but haven’t seen anything yet. Canyon always wants to have the bikes available to ship when they launch officially, so most likely they are holding off for real production availability. We’ll update when the Grail AL is ready to buy…

  3. Regarding the fender mounts on the Grail AL: I wonder where the leading edge of a full-length rear fender will mount up to? We don’t get any details other than that there’s no chainstay bridge, which usually provides that mount.

    My guess is most likely there’ll be some sort of removable adapter bridge, or one may have to zip-tie the rear fender’s leading edge in place, in absence of that.

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