Canyon’s new Ultimate CFR road bike gives a new name to their top-tier carbon bikes – Canyon Factory Racing. Created to take their carbon frame works to a next level and to more riders, CFR isn’t only about building lighter bikes, but also about building in real race-ready durability. Canyon Factory Racing looks set to make it both easier and cheaper than ever to get Canyon’s lightest Ultimate CFR road bike…
Canyon Ultimate CFR: Canyon Factory Racing ultralight road bike
Canyon has already had a number of superlight versions of their excellent all-rounder Ultimate road race bike. The Ultimate CF SLX that we reviewed two summers ago was no slouch with its claimed 785g frame & 325g fork. But the more recent Ultimate CF EVO already eclipsed that down to the 641g frame & 285g fork we see here…
That’s right, this Ultimate CFR appears to be the exact same Ultimate CF EVO Disc that we covered last summer, with its complete production build under 6kg. So what we are seeing now is more the idea of making Canyon Factory Racing more accessible. And at the same time, Canyon is now confirming that even the largest size of the Ultimate CFR is kept under 675g. But it’s also of note that the rim brake version is completely gone. If you are going to build a ultralight Canyon Ultimate, it’s only going to get disc brakes from here on out.
So the 2021 Ultimate CFR update is pretty much an update in name only to the ultra-high-mod, ultra-high-tension carbon frameset. So, the Canyon Factory Racing – Ultimate CFR frames remain unchanged. That means they still get the same geometry and wide seven size range (XXS 43cm – XXL 61cm). They also fall under the same UCI frame approval, so that Canyon//SRAM & Movistar can race them (built up to at least 6.8kg).
That’s an important note actually. A couple of seasons ago before the onslaught of disc brakes, we had heard from a Canyon team mechanic that riders were racing CF SL frames re-labeled as CF SLX, because weight that close to the UCI limit wasn’t a real concern, and the slightly heavier frames were more durable. But now Canyon confirms that their best climbers like Canyon//SRAM’s Kasia Niewiadoma and Movistar’s Enric Mas will race the new ultralight Ultimate CFR in the coming weeks (possibly with some extra weight added.) That’s an interesting shift, supporting the improved CFR durability claims to give pro riders real access to the claimed stiffness:weight improvement.
As a quick aside, it’s also curious to see the debut of a new top-level carbon road bike that features external cable routing.
But what’s next for Canyon Factory Racing? The Canyon Aeroad CFR?
Yes, actually. OK, so we don’t know when the Canyon Aeroad CFR is coming, but we do know it is coming!
Quoting Canyon on the new Ultimate CFR… “It is the first in a range of CFR road bikes that will define performance within their categories.” That unambiguously suggests that more is on the way. And you’ll never guess the name of the most recent Canyon to receive UCI approval in late September of last year… “AEROAD CFR DISC R065” in eight sizes.
Now we know what the CFR abbreviation means. Of note, there are also CF SLX & CF SL version that were approved at the same time, so more affordable versions are coming soon, as well.
Canyon Factory Racing is to step up to the next level: to force ourselves to go faster, be smarter, and build better. It is the pursuit of greatness, distilled into three letters.
Now we just keep waiting on that new aero road bike…
Canyon Factory Racing – Ultimate CFR Pricing & availability
Back to the Ultimate for a moment, it seems a big part of the Canyon Factory Racing ideology was making super-light race bikes more accessible – even if they are undeniably still super-expensive. But at 7600€ with a complete Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 R9170 electronic+hydraulic groupset (with the power meter, like in this photo?) and tubeless aero carbon 50mm deep DT Swiss ARC1100 wheels, the Ultimate CFR Disc Di2 still hits a respectable and actually race-able 6.5kg weight level once you add pedals, some water bottles, and a computer mount.
The 9000€ Ultimate CFR Disc EPS even gets the ultra-premium Campagnolo Super Record EPS 12 gruppo and superlight, low 25mm profile DT PRC1100 anniversary wheels for a 6.2kg weight claim. That only gives up 200g to their lightest recent disc brake complete build, but at a 10% cost savings over AXS – but you’ll probably have to stuff some lead into the bottom bracket to make race weight.
And if you want to build the ultimate superbike yourself, this new CFR frameset is around 10g lighter than ever, yet 400€ cheaper. That means the new Ultimate CFR Disc frameset sells for “only” 3500€ (1196g for frame fork & cockpit), including the CFR frame, CFR fork, CP20 cockpit, and Schmolke 1k weave, 2-bolt carbon seatpost.
Both complete Canyon Factory Racing bikes and Ultimate CFR framesets are available now globally, although we have not yet received $ pricing or expected USA availability.