Canyon has just uncovered their 2017 cyclocross line-up with the hopes of getting riders on new bikes before the race season starts. Overall the changes are pretty minor versus the 2016 setups and stick with the same alloy frames, but there are some new brighter colors that add to the Canyon standard black and one more affordable spec on the lighter SLX frameset. What also is nice is a new program Canyon is calling their ‘Sponsorship Deal’, which is more deal, less sponsorship, to help amateur racers ride away with a pair of bikes for that truly ‘pro’ cross setup…
The Inflite range carries over its top bike with the smooth-weld AL SLX frame and full carbon tapered F21 fork. With a claimed frame weight of 1480g, it isn’t going up against carbon bikes for weight, but some shaping of the chain and seatstays is said to balance drivetrain stiffness and overall comfort, as does Canyons’ own VCLS flexing seatpost. Really, aluminum has always seemed appropriate for the short duration and rough & tumble of cross racing, so maybe this is a good place for Canyon to offer some value. Availability on all of the bikes is slated for around the end of September, and you can check individually on each bike and size by adding to your cart from Canyon’s consumer direct site.
The top-tier Inflite AL SLX 9.0 Pro Race carries over in the same black and gray color scheme for 2017 at the same 3000€ price. Spec on the bike is mostly the same with a SRAM Force CX1 disc brake build kit. Noted changes this season are a switch to Schwalbe X-One tires across all of the whole cross range, as well as updated spec of Selle Italia saddles. A curious change on the top 2017 bike is the move from Reynolds tubulars to the same wheels in their tubeless version matched to tubeless-ready Schwalbe clinchers.
While the move away from tubulars may make the SLX 9.0 Pro Race makes the bike less race worthy for the same cost, Canyon looks to be trying to make the bike more flexible. They’re even adding another build of that top frame with a more affordable spec, and this time adding in a new bright blue and yellow Miami Sunset color in addition to black. By dropping down to a Rival1 group and DT Swiss R23 tubeless-ready alloy clinchers, the new Inflite AL SLX 8.0 Pro Race keeps most of the other spec as the top bike but brings the price down to just 1900€. Another tiny change in spec for the SRAM drivetrain Pro Race bikes is their inclusion of the new Quarq Prime power meter ready cranksets, in case you want to take CX training to the next level when their new DZero power meters come out later this month.
Stepping down to the second-tier non-SLX Inflite frame which looks to use mostly the same tubing shapes with a more conventional 7005 alloy and large, visible welds, Canyon has three more bikes on offer. Both Inflite framesets are said to share essentially the same weights and both combine a quick release rear end with a thru-axle front. The Inflite AL 9.0 carries over almost unchanged for the new season, save for the new tires and saddle, but curiously goes up in price a couple of hundred Euros to 2000€ for the mechanical/hydraulic Shimano Ultegra 11 speed double CX-specific 46/36 build.
The next step down Inflite AL 8.0 also climbs in price by the same amount, although its price jump is understandable. The new 1600€ AL 8.0 gets upgraded from last years mechanical disc brakes to Shimano’s newer 105/RS505 mechanical shifting, hydraulic braking which we have been quite pleased with, even considering the very bulbous look to the new lever bodies.
The last bike in the Inflite ‘cross’ family is the Inflite AL 9.0 S, which is just a slightly altered spec to suit riders looking for a cross style bike for fast, mixed surface road and trail riding. With the ‘S’ designation the bike gets spec’ed with a set of mid-compact 52/36 chainrings and 28mm Conti Grand Prix 4000 road tires for more smooth surface riding. The AL 9.0 S switches up to DT R24 wheels, but keeps its price at 1800€ for another year.
The last new thing is that ‘Sponsorship Deal’. Canyon wanted to make it easier on the wallet for the amateur cross racer who wants to take cross a bit more seriously this season. And what is more serious in cyclocross than having matching A & B bikes? So with their deal if you buy two identical spec Pro Race bikes (either a pair of AL SLX 9.0 Pro Races or a pair of the 8.0 version), they will discount your total purchase 500€ or 400€ respectively. While that is only an 8-10% deal overall, if you were already thinking to buy two bikes to have a spare in the pits, maybe 3400€ for two raceable cross bikes isn’t too bad of a deal after all?!