CX Pro Bike Check: Canyon Inflite CF SLXs of van der Poel & Ferrand-Prévot

Introduced just before the start of cyclocross season this fall, Canyon’s new carbon Inflite CF SLX has found its way under some of the top cyclocrossers in the world rather quickly. It wasn’t much of a surprise to see ex elite women’s World Champ Pauline Ferrand-Prévot racing the new bike as she crosses over into road and mountain on her Canyon//SRAM pro team. But ex men’s elite World Champ Mathieu van der Poel was more of a surprise as Canyon took over bike sponsorship from Stevens for his Corendon-Circus team from the start of January.

Canyon Inflite CF SLX cyclocross bike of van der Poel

courtesy Canyon, photo by Stefan Simak

Mathieu van der Poel has been dominating the World Cup series this season, and seems to have made a smooth shift from the Super Prestige that he rode since his pro debut to this new carbon Inflite.

courtesy Coredon-Circus

It seems the impetus of the move somewhat comes from van der Poel’s crossover plans to the cross-country mountain bike, targeting the XCO race at the Tokyo Olympics in 2020.

courtesy Canyon, photo by Stefan Simak

Van der Poel has raced a number of custom finished bikes in the past, but for now is riding a standard Inflite CF SLX in team-issued red & black with its distinctive bent toptube in front of the seat cluster, and simple rider name & bike number decals. With the bike switch, the team continues on mostly the same bike builds, racing new Shimano Dura-Ace 2×11 Di2 drivetrain, hydraulic disc brakes, and wheels, wrapped in FMB tubulars.

Now Canyon takes over the cockpit with an integrated bar/stem combo and seatposts topped with Selle Italia saddles. Much like Frenchwoman Ferrand-Prévot, he will be able to take advantage of Canyon’s top-level XC race bike fleet as well, together with his Belgian Corendon-Circus team.

courtesy Coredon-Circus

The 22-year-old 2x Junior CX World Champ and Elite World Champ from 2015 is also the current Elite CX European champ.

Corendon-Circus.be

Canyon Inflite CF SLX cyclocross bike of Ferrand-Prévot

Pauline Ferrand-Prévot – having been the only rider to ever hold the World Champ title on the road, cross & cross-country at the same time – got an earlier start on the new carbon Inflite CF SLX from the start of this cyclocross season.

courtesy Canyon//SRAM, photo by Tino Pohlmann

Building back into her race form after taking last season off from cross, Ferrand-Prévot has already earned a couple of top 5 finishes on the World Cup with the new bike. While she was one of a few Canyon rider who started the season on the stock yellow & black bikes that consumers can get straight from Canyon, she’s since moved on to a fleet of Canyon//SRAM team edition bikes.

courtesy Canyon//SRAM, photo by Cyclephotos

Ferrand-Prévot’s builds reflect her road team’s sponsors, and carry over SRAM RED eTap hydraulic disc brake builds. Canyon also handles cockpit setup with Ergon saddles, while Zipp delivers wheels that the team glues up with Dugast tubulars.

courtesy Canyon//SRAM, photo by Cyclephotos

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Matt Carey
4 years ago

Interesting that both Ferrand-Prévot and Nikki Brammier (who has also switched to Canyon from 1st January) are running a lot of spacers under their stems. MvdP has his slammed.

Maybe there is a height/reach issue, and to get the right reach means a smaller frame, and then pushing the bars up?

Dinger
Dinger
4 years ago
Reply to  Matt Carey

MVdP is just a typical pro cycling freak, running more saddle/bar drop than he probably should. Typically, smaller women have a more difficult time arriving at a low enough bar height on CX bikes and 29er’s (especially 29er’s) because of how tall the necessary parts add up to.

comrad
comrad
4 years ago
Reply to  Dinger

Agreed, MVdP runs a 120 stem which is ill advised for a cx bike, but he’s the best rider in the world, not me.

Crash Bandicoot
Crash Bandicoot
4 years ago
Reply to  comrad

Correct PVP is also a smaller woman and typically women have higher stack shorter reach based upon torso length. My understanding is that Canyon do not make this frame in womens specific build. Funny how common crazy long/low stems are these days. I was looking at one of lances TDF bikes last week and amazed at his weekend warrior-esque spacer stack seemed to work well for him.

Andrew
Andrew
4 years ago

Dammit….as much as I thought this bike was ugly a month ago its already grown on me 😛

typevertigo
typevertigo
4 years ago
Reply to  Andrew

It’s especially terrific with the red-on-black livery van der Poel uses. Somehow the colorway just works well with the top tube kink.

Nice to see Pauline Ferrand-Prevot back in ‘cross action too.

Mike W
Mike W
4 years ago

Think the bike looks fine except for the ball-breaking top tube.

SAWTOOTH
SAWTOOTH
4 years ago

Why is Canyon such a cool thing now? Is it just another grass is greener on the other side situation? This bike is just ugly. All I can think is that these are super hyped and everyone gets a “pro” discount buying direct.

barael
barael
4 years ago
Reply to  SAWTOOTH

Generally clean and (with exceptions) somewhat understated no-nonsense design; high quality components without fuckery (“Ultegra” with 50% 105 parts); very competitive prices. What’s not to like?

barael
barael
4 years ago
Reply to  barael

Disclaimer: I’ve actually only had bad experiences ordering kit from Canyon so far; dunno if it’s a problem with them, UPS or the integration between their respective systems but they _cannot_ get my delivery address right if their lives depended on it, it seems.

Crash Bandicoot
Crash Bandicoot
4 years ago
Reply to  SAWTOOTH

I’m guessing you’re based in the United States? Currently the US options aren’t great but their EU line of products is great value and as the previous comments said they don’t really molest the groupsets that come on their bikes

Crash Bandicoot
Crash Bandicoot
4 years ago

Actually doing a little investigation, even in the US an AEROAD CF SLX 8.0 is $500 cheaper than a comparable Cervelo (R3 Ultegra 8000) both have almost identical spec except the Canyon has Reynolds Strike carbon clinchers and good tires whilst the Cervelo has a basic alloy training wheelset and garbage tires.