A bit of extra performance with plenty of extra practicality
Words SAM CHALLIS
The Endurace was Canyon’s first road bike to use disc brakes, but since that revision in 2016 the manufacturer has tended to debut its most innovative features on its more aggressive race bikes, the Ultimate and Aeroad.
What’s more, while Canyon introduced new Endurace models last year, that update focused on the lower end of the range.
Up at the top end, it feels like the Endurace is long overdue an overhaul, but there is a good reason why the brand has taken its time.
The bike’s name is a legacy of its original category, but traditional endurance bikes seem to be a dying breed.
Ultimately this is just semantics, but more ‘endurance’ bikes are introducing features that shift them into being what might more accurately be described as ‘allroad’ bikes.
Canyon’s poshest Endurace models needed complete reengineering to bring them up to scratch with the latest designs elsewhere in the market – hence this update.
The Endurace has been given a ‘CFR’ frameset tier like the Ultimate and Aeroad.
Canyon says CFR framesets use its most exclusive materials and fabrication techniques, making them lighter than other grades of the same model.
According to the manufacturer, the CFR frameset is 100g lighter than the similarly revised new CF SLX, although it is also considerably more expensive.
The bikes join lower-tier Endurace models in offering 35mm tyre clearance but diverge in design at the top tube.
Where the cheaper models introduced a top tube mount, the CF SLX and CFR bikes incorporate a hatch in which a neoprene tool sleeve is stashed.
It fits a slim multitool, tyre levers, Dynaplug, CO2 head and cartridge, which all fit specific sleeve compartments but must be bought separately.
There’s a claimed seven-watt improvement at 45kmh, which Canyon attributes to a slimmer down tube and deepened fork blades too, although I suspect that much of the aero improvement comes from the slimmer head tube and the CP0018 integrated cockpit, which has been ported over from the Ultimate and Aeroad.
Essentially, it uses a pseudo-quill stem arrangement and detachable drops to facilitate a good degree of adjustment, with the cockpit offering 12 positions.
That largely overcomes the usual hurdle of integrated front ends – adjustability – albeit in a proprietary package that doesn’t allow changes in stem length.
Taken together, the updates modernise the top-tier Enduraces.
There are prices to pay, however. The new design is around 500g heavier than an equivalent predecessor.
‘The additional weight was a conscious investment to offer our customers a better riding experience and greater usability,’ says the Endurace’s engineer, Daniel Heyder.
In several instances Heyder’s justification is valid.
The CP0018 cockpit is a great bit of design, and the aero touches, although intangible, should be a constant benefit to the rider even when going nowhere near 45kmh.
The LOAD top tube compartment leaves a bit to be desired, though.
Its location might make it simpler to integrate versus a down tube (less structural force to deal with, no hoses to avoid), but the smaller amount of space introduces too many compromises.
It incorporates the tools to deal with the tubeless tyres the bike comes with, but I know most riders still want to carry an inner tube as a last resort, which there isn’t room for here.
What’s more, I found the multitool bits, stored in an open-ended compartment, quickly wore through the neoprene and began to rattle against the frame.
After that, they started sliding out, meaning at least once during every ride I found myself having to tilt and shake the upturned frame to extract the bits as if the bike was some sort of marble maze.
In the end, I removed the sleeve and restocked my saddlebag, which was already on the bike carrying a tube anyway.
As a result, the bike’s weight dropped by 200g, meaning although the new bike’s other updates have added bulk too, its sleeve-less 7.3kg weight compares favourably to rivals.
When I wasn’t extricating tools from inside it, the Endurace was a pleasure to ride.
The S15 VCLS 2.0 seatpost adds tangible compliance, as does the 32mm rear tyre, letting the bike cruise beautifully along the broken country roads I ride on generally.
I do think the plushness at the back of the bike might be at risk of making the front of the bike feel firm in comparison, given its stiff cockpit and smaller 30mm tyre, but it’s worth noting that I’m speaking relatively.
The bike’s extra squishy rear throws the front of the bike into harsh perspective and, in most normal circumstances, I can’t imagine any users would complain the bike is chattery under their hands.
While it has aspects that aren’t perfect, I’d suggest that broadly Canyon has developed the bike enough to maintain its popularity for the next few years.
Model Canyon Endurace CFR AXS
Weight 7.5kg (large)
Groupset Sram Red AXS
Wheels DT Swiss ERC 1100 45
Finishing kit Canyon CP0018 cockpit, Canyon S15 VCLS 2.0 seatpost, Fizik Aliante R1 saddle, Schwalbe Pro One TLE 30mm front/32mm rear tyres
- The leaf spring design of
Canyon’s S15 VCLS 2.0
seatpost does a fantastic job
of flexing to provide comfort
- The Endurace gets
adjustable cockpit. The user can
alter stem height and bar width,
though sadly not stem length
- This update bumps tyre
clearance up to 35mm, but
there are no mudguard mounts