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  • Oko Or?a

    I always wonder, aren’t alloy rim brakes essentially disc brakes? An alloy rim is the biggest rotor possible, isn’t it? What happened to SRAM hydraulic rim brakes, are they still available?

    • Warwick

      I know what you’re getting at but its not the same. Rubber on an alloy surface is quite different to a metal sintered pad on a steel disc in terms of the amount of force you can apply to it (if we focus on that one aspect and ignore all the other differences between disc callipers and rim brakes).
      Interestingly having a look at the Sram site they seem to have a Hydraulic rim option in all group sets now so they are obviously still supporting it, not that you see it very often / ever. https://www.sram.com/sram/road/component/hydraulic-brakes#sm.0001cnylsv1cx0cyjslwhvfck7e6l

      • Oko Or?a

        Aaa, so these are metal sintered pads! I didn’t know that, I ride road bikes only.

        • AlMac

          Resin disc pads are equally good in the wet or dry. So not just about the pads.
          The difference between discs in the dry and wet is negligble. Alloy rims and rim brakes, or carbon rims, are vastly different in wet and dry – especially when compared with discs.
          Discs also work extremely well when full of mud and slop on the Mountain Bike.

  • spukas

    Thanks for a interesting review!
    However, Ultimate CF SLX Disc is available in five builds (not three as stated in the article) – 2 SRAM Red’s and 3 Shimano’s.

    • Ah yes, Canyon’s now taking orders for models with the new Dura-Ace road disk groupset and eTap Hydro. Neither were available at the time I was writing this review.

  • Eat More Lard

    How does the ride compare to the Endurace Disc?

    • Very similar as long as you ignore the effect of the leaf-spring seatpost that is supplied with some Endurace models, which adds a lot of compliance at the saddle. Deciding between the Endurace and Ultimate Disc is really a matter of which frame geometry will provide a better fit.

  • Choi Yoonho

    Um. Disc version is slightly different geometry from rimbrake ver.
    Disc Ultimate SLX’s chain stay length 5mm more than Ultimate SLX. (Non-disc Ultimate SLX is 410mm)
    Thus, Disc Ultimate SLX’s wheel base is overall 8mm long than Ultimate SLX.
    It’s not a long. but It make a slightly different ride feeling.
    Short wheel base is more nimble, but Long wheel base is more stable.
    Anyway, I was ride both of them. It is quite good. :)

    • Yes, you’re quite right, I’d overlooked the difference in chainstay length. I also agree with you on the effect it might have on the feel of the bike.

  • Larry @CycleItalia

    “While the extra weight is equivalent to little more than an extra water bottle on the bike, it can blunt the performance of the bike.” Am I the only one willing to admit I can’t tell any difference (except when lifting the bike to put it on a roofrack) riding a bike with two full water bottles vs one?

    • GH0STP1X3L

      I would say that largely depends on the weight of the bike. If your bike is in the 9kg range, then perhaps the weight difference of one water bottle will not be that noticeable. If your bike is in the 7kg range (like mine), one water bottle weight difference will be more noticeable. I can tell when I’ve emptied one of my bottles. Cheers!

      • Larry @CycleItalia

        The bike tested was 7.89 kg “out-of-the-box” which I assume means without pedals, bottle cages, etc. Claims like these remind me of the component factory engineer I spoke with years ago – he told me their test-riders would almost always come back claiming they could detect the benefits (lighter, stiffer, more aero, etc.) of whatever they sent them out on to test – as long as they described it as such before the test. When they said nothing beforehand, the test-riders came back saying pretty much the same – nothing.

        • I’m well aware of how my impressions can be biased by marketing, which is why I ignore it and any other information (including reviews) until after I’ve ridden the bike. Some pieces of information can’t be ignored, such as the weight of the bike because I’ve got to lift and move it around when photographing it. Be that as it may, I’ve a range of tyres and usually have a few different wheelsets on hand so I can test and verify my impressions. And on occasion, I will take a break from the bike so I can come back to it fresh to further verify my impressions.

          A related phenomenon that I’m also very wary of are the explanations that manufacturers provide for any aspect of a bike’s performance. e.g. “We developed a new stay design to increase the stiffness of the frame.” I’m always reluctant to make such associations since I can never prove it.

          I do rely on a couple of key baselines that I like to keep consistent from one bike to the next. I always fit my own saddle. I always endeavour to get close to my ideal fit. And I like to ride the bike with a set of familiar tyres and/or wheels.

          • Larry @CycleItalia

            “…such as the weight of the bike because I’ve got to lift and move it around when photographing it.” Even I can tell which bike weighs more when I do this, but shouldn’t the bike be reviewed as something to RIDE rather than carry around?
            I’m not trying to bust your chops here, you have a tough job since most of these things are made from the exact same materials in the same country and often in the same factory – so “nuance” is all there is, despite the marketing-maven’s efforts to convince the punters their product is somehow vastly superior to the others.
            I can’t tell a full bottle from an empty one while RIDING and doubt many others can either (backed up by some other commenters – a pleasant surprise) – so I thought this claim was a little suspect.

            • GH0STP1X3L

              Oh the fragile ego of the online poster. Relax. You posed a question and I offered a rational explanation as to why a it might be harder to “tell any difference riding a bike with two full water bottles vs one”. It was not an indictment against you or your abilities or a personal attack.

              Your response to me above referenced the weight of the “bike tested”, which unless you own and ride a Canyon Ultimate CF SLX Disc 8.0 Di2 has nothing to do with my response to your initial question.

              I do not know how much your bike weighs or what type of bike you are referencing in your question (and I don’t need to know). The Canyon Ultimate model is a race bike, and while the spec of the CF SLX Disc 8.0 Di2 may not be seen in the pro peloton it is still a race-oriented performance bike. And if you don’t think that the weight of a water bottle makes any difference, watch the pros when they approach a climb. They are always throwing their bottles aside.

              “I’m not trying to bust your chops here…”, yes Larry, that is exactly what you are attempting to do to Mr. Wilkstrom. You continue to challenge him even after he has taken the time to explain his review process and how he deals with bias.

              Lastly, the fact that you “can’t tell a full bottle from an empty one while RIDING” does not rule out the fact that others can tell the difference. So when you state things like “so I thought this claim was a little suspect” you are in effect calling Mr. Wilkstrom (and myself and others) liars.

              • Larry @CycleItalia

                “Oh the fragile ego of the online poster” sums it up well. This site’s refreshingly free of the snark seen elsewhere so excuse me if I offended you but so far it does seem more admitted (a pleasant surprise to me) that they couldn’t tell if their bottles were full or empty either. What does this say about their egos? As to whether this makes a difference to the pros, last time I checked none of them pay for their machines or pay any attention to the marketing-maven hype – so why does what they think or do matter? If you’re a real pro you pretty much ride what they give you and shut up about it, no?

      • Coogs

        Yep I definitely notice the weight difference too. And this Canyon is a heavy bike to start with. The Focus Izalco Max Red Disc is still a better choice I reckon.

    • Wily_Quixote

      I am baffled as well.

      A bike bottle is less than 1% of my weight I’m not likely to notice that.

      Its 10%, or so, of my bike’s weight and i might notice two full 750 ml bottles on a hot day, I suppose, but I can’t say that i have ever noticed. It might make out of the saddle feel differently but in no way is it likely to alter handling or performance. If you have a functioning cerebellum you can still turn a corner without flying off the road.

      If it bothers people so much they could use a camelbak and restore ‘the performance of their bike’ by shifting that weight to the torso.

    • For the most part, all of my bike reviews are about nuance, and I’m fortunate that I’m very good at detecting it. One of the chief reasons that I don’t normally spend any longer than 3 weeks on each bike is that’s when everything about the bike becomes familiar and I adapt to it.

    • mrp33p3rs

      i cant either. and this is with bikes from 7-9kg range. although i dont climb that many hills and am not that great at it in the first place….

      • AlMac

        When you do something for a living you notice and experience that “something” differently to others and are able to provide greater insight into it.
        It’s no surprise that Matt experiences bicycles differently to the rest of us who are not reviewers.
        Aside from the experience aspect, the ability to compare and contrast different bicycles also provides a different frame of reference. While we might not pick up the former (experience) I think we could all appreciate the latter (differences between bicycles) if given the chance.

  • Antonio Boškovi?

    love that bike, still saving money though

  • David9482

    Looks like a great bike to ride – i’m currently sitting in my office haven’t touched my bike in seemingly decades i’m in tax season need to go for a bike ride….. and breathe

  • jon

    I really wished Canyon would maintain the same geo and clearance as the rim-brake version. It just feels like the bike is having an identity crisis. I know this may sound silly, but the bike with that much tire clearance at the fork just doesn’t look right. Why can’t I have the cake and eat it too.

    • Wily_Quixote

      It’s just not the same cake that everyone else might want.
      Why restrict yourself to 25mm tyres when you could have wider options?
      The 35 year old racer who buys this bike might become a 45 year old gravel/endurance rider. Or want to fit mudguards for training.
      Why restrict your bike to one application? They make a rim braked bike for people who never want wider tyres or are happy to buy a different bike if they do.

      For $7k many people want versatility. Jeez, I would.

      • jon

        The same could be said of this cake, this is not the cake that people of my camp want. It’s all relative isn’t it? Why do Porsche produces the iconic 911 GT3 and at the same time a SUV? Why stop at just one bike? With few exceptions, but nothing in our lives is ever just one.

        • Wily_Quixote

          well you’ve provided the solution to the problem that you have created for yourself: don’t buy this bike.

          Buy the one with less clearance if the aesthetics displease you. I think that bianchi produce disc braked bikes that can only fit 25mm tyres. Now I know why.

          • jon

            Not sure about Bianchi, but Specialized Tarmac Disc is a race trim road bike with disc, and so is Cannondale Super 6 EVO DIsc. Scott Addict is also similar.

            The point being that it’s not so much of just walking away from a good bike. If I, as a consumer, can influence a company’s design philosophy and engineering, I’ll do so to the best of my ability. After all this is how this world works; you could either walk away or try to influence to your benefit. and I choose the later in most cases.

            • Wily_Quixote

              Oh well, people didn’t like the Giant TCR when it came out either.

    • HamishM

      I have the opposite view. A mate of mine has an S-Works Roubaix with disc brakes, which would have plenty of tyre clearance except that Specialized has put a brace in the frame just millimetres above the rear tyre. I look at it as such as wasted opportunity.

      • Simon Wile

        But then why would you need to buy a Diverge or Sequoia if you could run 30+ on a Roubaix? ;) (I have an SL4 roubaix with that brace… annoying!)

  • Wily_Quixote

    Bikes like this are really blurring the lines. This is just about the one road bike that can do it all.
    You could race it and it wouldn’t hold you back, you can fit mudguards and/or wider tyres and train/commute in all weather, you could fit wider tyres and ride really crappy roads all day in comfort (did anyone say the ‘g’ word). Is the occasional cyclocross event out of the running?

    Sure a racer with very deep pockets or who is very devoted might want a bike for each application, but for thd rest of us?

    Our British readers will save a fortune on that separate ‘winter bike’ with mudguards that they love to have.

    • Velt

      Does it have mudguard mounts? Or are you referring to a non mounted mudguard option?

  • Tomas Eduardo Gonzalez

    I bought the rim version last year and I love it. With pedals and bottle cages it weight 7.1kg very impressive and a perfect bike for climbing. Only two things were missing for me, 1) the consistence performance and effortless of disc brakes and 2) the comfort that wider tires provide (28mm). I was very keen to see what specs the new Ultimate disc would have late last year when it was released but was a bit disappointed to see the almost 1.8kg Mavic Cosmic Pro Carbon Disc wheelset as standard, especially for a bike that is supposed to be a climbing bike… Anyway, I decided to buy just the frameset and built it using DA 9070 and enve 3.4. It weighs 7.4kg (including pedals and bottle cages) let me tell you, I’m very happy with a penalty of 300 grams for a bike that is truly an ULTIMATE bike. It got everything you could ask for… you can ride all day, up and down and always with a big smile on your face… By the way, no issues buying stuff from Canyon, it takes sometime depending on availability but it was delivered as promised and it takes less the 15min to fully assemble the bikes…

  • Giuseppe Magnetico

    Still don’t understand the UCI’s 160mm front and rear mandate, also reflected on your test bike. I weigh 175lbs and descend HC-C3 mountains almost every weekend on 160/140 rotors, and have used 140/140 in the past with no problems. There’s just no need for that much brake power on the rear wheel.

    • DaveRides

      It’s not actually mandatory, it’s just the specification they said would be carried by neutral service vehicles during the racing trial in the absence of the industry having agreed a standard.

      Teams can use other setups if they want, but only if they accept that the riders won’t be able to call on neutral spares.

      • Giuseppe Magnetico

        I understand that, and there already have been a few instances where that played out. Most recently with Boonen at Abu Dhabi who ran 140/140. My point was that 160mm rear rotors are overkill for any rider on any parcours.

        • DaveRides

          This is one area where the UCI stuffed up the trial.

          They would have done a better job of helping the industry sort it out by saying there would be no neutral service at all until the industry had agreed on a unified standard.

  • Chris Brown

    I think I need a cold shower

  • Michal Toman

    I believe it is ‘centre of mass’, not ‘centre of gravity’.

  • Tracy Sharples

    Matt, Thank you for the comprehensive review on the Ultimate. I noticed in your bike pics a computer mount. Is that something which Canyon sales, or did you find it elsewhere? Also, latest news-opening date on the USA Canyon site?

    • The computer mount was supplied with the bike, I expect it comes with any bike featuring Canyon’s integrated bar/stem. As for Canyon USA, I’ve got no info on that at all.

  • Ethan

    At those prices there is absolutely no reason why we shouldnt have a distributor in each state. There is no way id be spending that much on a bike to be treated like im buying a set of steak knives from Home Shopping.

  • cthenn

    IMO, gold should be an “off limits” color, unless you are an Olympic champion. Just like the Tour does not allow a primarily yellow kit, gold does not seem like it should be allowed. When I’m watching the Giro, I see these gold helmets and think those riders are something special or they are leading some classification. Just seems odd. Also, maybe it’s a European thing, but gold is ugly IMO. I could not imagine a recreational or club rider wearing a flashy gold helmet. I’m not sure this color would sell well here in the US.

  • JS

    With all due respect for the historical standard of Cyclingtips tech articles, this ‘review’ almost enough to make me want to adjust my scores in the Cyclingtips survey. While I appreciated the pic of Jan Ulrich (no sarcasm at all intended – that really is as cool as you could ever look as a cyclist), how do you review a helmet without discussing the weight or ventilation, especially when both have historically been weak points for the company?
    This read more like a catalog description of the material, with every feature listed, or worse still, a thank you letter after being given some cool kit. The average tech article here is so frequently and measurably better that I feel a bit bad for calling you out on this one, but at the same time, that high standard is also the reason I think you’d want to know when you’ve missed.

    • slowK

      Yep – completely agree on all points. Not to the same outstanding standard as Matt or James’ reviews.

    • Louis Raymond

      Hey @disqus_p2Q9zzykkO:disqus we can both agree that Jan truly was panache personified. Perhaps I should have prefaced this review with the fact that I in no way claim to be an experienced tech reviewer like Matt or James. I work at CyclingTips as a community manager for VeloClub, however, on occasion non-editorial staff have a go at writing reviews or articles. I’lll take your feedback on board. Rest assured that we all set out to meet Matt and James’ high standards.

      • LeeRoy

        Hi Louis – not sure why people need to leave unpleasant comments dressed up as “constructive advice”. I enjoyed the piece. Thanks.

      • Yetiman

        Love your article, keep up the good work! Don’t give a F#&k about the weight of the helmet

      • velocite

        I agree with JS, but good response, Louis. I need more functional information in a review. Helmets I buy as infrequently as possible, most recently because of a crash. My current Limar is lightweight, which is good, easy to adjust, good, and quite comfortable. However, it comes a bit low on my forehead, doesn’t handle sweat that well, and the patches of padding tend to detach from their velcro backing. I am unfamiliar with ‘RSR 9’ or ‘Divider pro’, so pics and more description would have been useful. Onward and upward..

  • Matt Davis

    I still wear a pair of Tayo’s with blue lens after seeing Jan in them all those years ago. 18 now I think. Good shades

  • The helmet sits far too high. Please don’t tell me this trend is coming back… if you are going to wear a helmet at least make it safe.

  • Neuron1

    My optometrist says that Rudy Project glasses have the best coatings of any sporting sunglasses available. That makes for better light transmission and visual accuracy.

    • Wily_Quixote

      That would be an optometrist that sells them….

  • Ben Elvy

    I have the Tralyx in photochromic and love ’em. Have always coveted Oakleys and wore them for 5 years. Oakley feel like a stronger build and more solid on my face. However, the Tralyx are just an awesome solution for all-round application.
    Currently using the Windmaster helmet (’cause Sagan used to) and would happily got to the Racemaster – just not in gold! My only quibble is the internal mesh lining. I always wear a cycling cap under my helmet for sweat absorption in summer and warmth in winter which makes the mesh unnecessary.

  • Wouter Beneke

    I absolutely dig the new racemaster from Rudy Project, they have a beautiful display at ASG The Store in Paarl, South Africa (awesome bike shop by the way) that shows all the different colours… Probably prefer the racemaster over the new Boost but that’s just personal preference. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/a45b6ae228d7d09e57b4dfa2817a5b48a7853a56af8f9c4c17ab80e0bf1208ac.jpg

  • badhombrebigdo

    Least favorite Rudy lid of all time… design looks dated and that plastic that comes out at the back.. gahh, dreadful..

    • Andrew

      Agreed! When the Bahrain Merida team was first shown at the beginning of the year I assumed they were wearing some old/low-end Rudy helmet until they had better helmets made in the right colour….turns out that this helmet is just really ugly on purpose.


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