Two weeks back we got a detailed early sneak peek at Canyon’s new aluminum framed version of their Grail gravel bike. With similar overall geometry and performance specs, the new Grail AL cuts prices at least in half vs. the carbon models and drops the double-decker, biplane Hover bar in lieu of a more conventional stem + drop bar.
Canyon Grail AL affordable aluminum gravel road bike
The new aluminum Canyon Grail AL does look to hit all the same points as the original gravel bike, plus added fit versatility thanks to a conventional bar & stem setup. Of course lower price was the real big driver here, with all five different specs of the aluminum Grail AL coming in under 1500€, making it a lot easier to but in to the idea of purchasing a new gravel bike.
Canyon Grail AL gravel Sport Geometry & small 650b sizes
Geometry of the aluminum bike is quite similar to that of the carbon bike, but a few mm more upright & a few mm longer. That is less of an issue on the new bike though, as with a standard bar & stem setup, riders have more & easier fit adjustability. Headtube angles on the Grail AL are also close to the same as on the carbon bike, +/- 1/4° or 1/2° here or there, with the same seattube angle, and 5mm longer chainstays on larger frame sizes.
Like the carbon bikes, the alloy Grail AL comes in a generously wide seven size range, from XXS up to XXL. Again the two smallest bikes drop down to smaller 650b wheels to maintain uncompromised handling (while S-XXL stick with 700c wheels.)
While that doesn’t mean much to many riders, the use of 650b/27.5″ wheels here means this could be the best handling affordable gravel bike option for riders shorter than say 5’5″/165cm who otherwise are affected by toe overlap and unstable handling in drop bar bikes sporting 40mm tires
Canyon Grail AL alloy gravel bike – Tech Details
Pretty much as we saw it in our first look, the Grail AL features a shaped aluminum tubeset, the same full carbon tapered 1.25″ fork as the CF SLX frame, flat mount disc brakes, and 12mm thru-axles.
Cable routing is modular & internal, electronic or mechanical shift friendly, with a PressFit bottom bracket, and rear rack & rear fender mounts. Clearance on the alloy frame remains 42mm like the carbon model, with room even in muddy conditions.
Canyon Grail AL alloy gravel bike – Complete Builds & Pricing
The top-level Grail AL 7.0 SL retails for 1500€ and is the only version to come with a 1x setup – opting for a SRAM Rival 1 group with a wide-ranging 10-42 11 speed cassette. Canyon’s own alloy cockpit components round out the complete build, together with a set of DT Swiss C 1850 cross series alloy tubeless wheels and tubeless G-One Bite tan wall tires, for a claimed complete weight of 9.3kg/20.5lb (size M.)
All of the other Grail AL bike builds still stick with a wide-ranging traditional 2x road compact double drivetrains. Canyon likes the idea of the Grail as a mixed surface all-road bike without boundaries, so tight gearing steps are meant to work well on- or off-road. The Grail AL builds also all get spec’ed with the same exact 22mm wide internal, tubeless-ready DT Swiss C 1850 wheels and 40mm Schwalbe G-One Bite tubeless-easy tires to offer a plush, but fast rolling ride.
A mechanical shift/hydraulic disc brake Shimano 105 level Grail AL 7.0 is available both in a standard version in brushed alloy or outback olive green, or a WMN version that swaps the green option for copper red. Both share the same specs, 9.4kg/20.7lb claimed weight, and 1400€ pricetag. They feature road compact 50/34 & low 11-34 cassettes for 1:1 low gearing. And the WMN model comes only in the smallest four sizes, also getting a women-specific saddle.
Then the most affordable bikes – the Grail AL 6.0 & Grail WMN AL 6.0 – sell for just 1200€ with a Taigra 2×10 build featuring the same 1:1 road compact gearing range, and a claimed weight of just 9.8kg/21.6lb.
In Europe, all of the new Grail AL bikes can be ordered from Canyon now, although real availability is a mixed bag. One or two color & size combinations are available to shop immediately. Some bikes show delivery times in late November 2018, but many bleed over into December, with a few reaching as far as late January 2019. So you’ll have to check individually for what you are looking for. US customers it seems will still have to wait, as the Grail AL doesn’t appear to have started its trek stateside at all just yet.