Canyon Bike: The CF SL 8.0 Aero sits at the top of Canyon’s Endurace CF SL range. There’s also the SLX range, which runs into superbike money thanks to its light-weight frame of 820g.The SL frame uses a more modest carbon in its construction, but it still tips the scales under the all-important kilo mark. The Endurace steers you into a relaxed riding position – Canyon calls it ‘sport geometry’ – with the R054 frame having a stack of 604mm and reach of 389mm on this large-sized bike (the equivalent of a 57/58cm bike).
Bike of the Year 2020
Throw in a sharp 73-degree head angle and steeper 73.5-degree seat angle, plus the 1,006mm wheelbase for a sporty feel and steering response that feels every bit as sharp as the quick handling Ultimate in our Performance category.
It’s a traditional full-sized rear triangle design – no dropped stays here – with impressive compliance from the S15 VCLS (vertical compliance, lateral stiffness) seatpost.
The idea behind this split design is that two halves are clamped together by the saddle-rail clamp and bound at the base so both halves can move independently when you hit an obstacle.
This creates a huge amount of movement on big hits such as potholes and speed bumps but doesn’t leech power on smooth terrain. It’s no Domane or Roubaix in the comfort stakes, but it’s acres smoother than your average race bike.
Canyon Endurace CF SL Disc 8.0 Aero Di2 kit
Canyon has introduced an ‘Aero’ sub-model to the Endurace and Ultimate ranges, which means they’re specced with Reynolds’ AR41s. They’re 41mm deep and have a broad, blunt shape featuring 21mm internal width and full tubeless compatibility, though come fitted with Continental’s GP5000 tyres in clincher not tubeless guise.
I was impressed with their ability to shrug off crosswinds, while at 1,630g a pair they’re plenty light enough when you consider the aero benefits. It’s great to see a set on a bike of this price too, with them priced at £1,100 a pair.
Canyon’s aerodynamic integrated bar and stem come courtesy of the ‘Aero’ model too, and here that means Canyon’s H31 cockpit.
The drops feature a slight back sweep towards the hoods and the shallow drop of 128mm has a short 70mm reach. It’s quite stiff but, in combination with the luxury tyres with plenty of volume, the front end feels composed and comfortable.
Elsewhere, Canyon scores highly spec-wise. I’ve waxed lyrical enough about how good Shimano’s Ultegra Di2 is, and here, as expected, it does everything without issue.
It’s good to see Canyon hasn’t skimped on the all-important brake rotors or the cassette too, which are Icetech and Ultegra respectively.
The Fizik Aliante saddle is also a good choice with its swoopy shape making it one of the very best around for when you intend to spend a long time in the saddle.
Canyon Endurace CF SL Disc 8.0 Aero Di2 ride impressions
The Endurace is a whole heap of fun to ride, with its nip and tuck handling it’s a thrill and not a slouch when it comes to holding pace over rolling terrain without putting you in a back-breaking position.
It floats over broken roads, the broad rims and brilliant tyres coping effortlessly, while the 7.93kg total makes it one of the lightest endurance bikes on test; in fact it’s one of the lightest overall in this year’s Road Bike of the Year.
The lack of mass shows when you get into the hills and the 50/34, 11-34 gear combo helps it fly. This gearing is also what I’d consider to be the default for endurance riders.
I did get a not insignificant amount of front brake rub when climbing out of the saddle, though, and honking on the bars and when sprinting out of the saddle on the flat I could sense that tell-tale disc rotor tick as I hauled on the bars.
When the road surface started to deteriorate the broad rims and brilliant tyres, in a very welcome 28mm width that bloats out to 30mm on these rims, meant the Endurace coped admirably with chatter, road noise and vibrations.
I’ve been critical of previous Endurace models for lacking the comfort of pure endurance bikes, but that’s when they were running older-style, narrower rims and 25c tyres. Thankfully, technology’s caught up with the Endurace’s potential because this 2020 model fulfills the original brief of a comfortable ride that’s a race bike at heart.
Canyon Endurace CF SL Disc 8.0 Aero Di2 geometry
- Sizes (* tested): XXS, XS, S, M, L*, XL, XXL
- Seat angle: 73.5 degrees
- Head angle: 73 degrees
- Chainstay: 41.5cm
- Seat tube: 55.2cm
- Top tube: 56.8cm
- Head tube: 18.4cm
- Bottom bracket drop: 7.3cm
- Wheelbase: 1,006mm
- Stack: 60.4cm
- Reach: 38.9cm