Canyon had several new bikes on hand at Eurobike, with most available outside at the Demo Day. While the Connected Bike concept looks like it is on the way and its Smart Bike Computer will be available in the spring, most of the new offerings that are available now are on the mountain side of things. The newest on the list is this carbon hardtail, the Exceed CF SLX which the Topeak-Ergon Team has been racing this summer, and on which Alban Lakata won the 2015 UCI XCM World Championship. Add to that a new aluminum Nerve trail 29er, the full-suspension slopestyle Stitched 720, and a lightened up alloy Grand Canyon AL SLX. There was even an interesting aero-at-all-costs triathlon bike inside the show that had already won a European championship. Get a close-up look and some actual weights…
Exceed CF SLX
The Exceed CF SLX takes the top XC race hardtail spot from the current Grand Canyon CF and drops 300g in the process. A shift to slimmed down joints at the headtube, BB, and seat cluster shaved off 109g alone. Other weight savings came by straightening some tubes out and thinning tubes out when possible, as Canyon realized they could build in a little comfort instead of constantly trying to increase the stiffness:weight ratio. Final frame weight comes down to a claimed 870g for a medium sized bike.
The headtube gets an Impact Protection Unit that combines with a special limit-stopped headset to prevent the bar from damaging the toptube under normal conditions, but uses breakaway hollow bolts to absorb an extreme impact. Geometry gets updated to give the bike 10mm more of frame reach and a 0.5° slackened head angle for more stability.
The new bike gets a trimmed down dropout and puts the brake caliper directly over the 12x142mm thru-axle inside the rear triangle. It also gets completely internal routing, compatible with singles, side-swing doubles, Di2, and stealth dropper posts, all with cleanly integrated modular ports and blank covers.
The Exceed CF SLX gets spec’ed with Canyon’s split VCLS seatpost which can be seen as it makes its way past the clamp. It will be available in 5 frame sizes, with the XS 14″ using 27.5″ wheels and the rest being 29ers. The large Exceed CF SLX 9.9 Pro Race that Canyon had outside at the demo weighed 9.5kg on our scale, although the catalogs give it a claimed weight of 8.92kg (although without the 280g Crankbrothers Eggbeater 3 pedals).
Nine different spec levels of the new carbon Exceed will be available from the XT 8.9 up to this 7.88kg LTD with XX1, Tune components, and Bike Ahead Biturbo RS wheels.
The new Nerve AL takes the existing platform and slims it down for 2016. It will still be available in both 120mm travel 27.5″ and 110mm 29″ varieties as a light do-it-all trail mountain bike.
Tubing gets slimed down via better hydroforming however, with updated lengthened and slackened geometry and a bit more standover clearance. In the process, the rocker link pivot gets integrated into the seattube and the front derailleur switches to a side-swing model offering better tire clearance and a chance to shortening the chainstays. The lower shock mount even gets slimmed down, and better spreads its forces into both the seat and downtube.
The overall suspension design stays the same, but execution is cleaner, with much more tidy and lighter dropouts, as well as an update to the asymmetric main pivot and chainstays. Brake routing stays external, while shift routing goes inside, and dropper posts get a mix with compatibility for stealth posts. The XT equipped Nerve AL 9.9 weighed 13.11kg with a set of XT trail pedals.
The Stitched 720 brings back the idea of a full-suspension single speed with its eccentric main pivot. The last bike we’d seen with a similar suspension setup was probably from Kona or even Zinn, but this bike brings the stiffness and stability of a dirt jump bike with a 100mm to soak up some of the big hit impacts. It takes the same jump geometry of the hardtail stitched to make the swap from one bike to the other seamless and adds an inch of wheelbase for a bit more big jump stability.
Canyon had a special setup for the new Stitched 720 on hand at Eurobike customized by their team rider Peter Henke. Henke takes the new frame and adds a few small touches for it to suit his jump style. Canyon worked to come up with a solution to keep the cranks from spinning back while freewheeling in the air, but in the end a rubber gasket from an industrial application suggested by Henke, combined with a zip tie was the best solution for simplicity and light weight.
The Stitched 720 uses a faux-bar suspension layout with a seattube split inside the main triangle to locate the shock with the shortest possible chainstays, with the shock driven by a forged upper link. It gets a tapered headtube with a generous downtube gusset in hopes of withstanding a number of cased landings. The aluminum bike gets a set of horizontal track-end dropouts with built-in chain tensioners to keep the singlespeed drivetrain taut, and sticks to just about 12kg to stay maneuverable.
Grand Canyon AL SLX
Back to the hardtail XC department, while the Exceed takes over the lightweight banner, Canyon’s aluminum Grand Canyon gets a tuning update as well with a new AL SLX. The new bike gets a completely redesigned frame that carries over the idea of comfort is OK form the Exceed, and gets a redesign and thinned toptube and seatstays for dramatic improvements in comfort at the saddle and bars.
The new bike gets updated, longer trail geometry, a slacker headtube angle, and a lower bottom bracket (plus wider bars and short stems). New frame weight drops to an admirable 1570g for the alloy bike by drastically reducing the frame’s aluminum surface area. The bike builds on the ideas of the Exceed and saves a good bit of weight just by shortening and straightening the tubes, and slimming down the joints.
The last up out of Canyon booth full of new bikes is probably this prototype Speedmax Tri. The bike is a distinct departure from the current UCI-approved Speedmax. The new bike throws out the 3:1 ratio and smooths headtube, seat cluster, and bottom bracket junctions to maximize its aero benefits. That’s of course not to mention a couple of extraneous fairings on the fork and toptube that serve no real purpose other than to transition the flow of air across this prototype.
The bike has already been racing, winning the European Triathlon Championship just before Eurobike. The bike takes a lot of Tri and TT tech in to make it as slippery as possible. It uses a lot of horizontal tube shapes form the toptube to bottom bracket to minimize drag, and even incorporates an aero bento box (concept) and water bottle to add to the slipstream. Then add in a large nose cone to direct air around the headtube, fork, aero-extension mounted computer, and integrated linear-pull brakes to minimize drag on the front of the bike. The bike clearly has a prototype feel, with several 3D printed elements, but there is surely a hint of the direction Canyon is headed with their TT/Tri bike, of nothing else for some integrated aero accessories. Plus it is hard to fault a bike that has already garnered a European Championship, before it has even made it out of the prototype stage.