TESTED: Canyon Ultimate CF SLX Disc 9.0 – Bike Magazine Australia

by Sebastian Jayne    Photography: Robert Conroy and Tim Bardsley-Smith

The chasm between speedy race bike and all-day adventurer extraordinaire is a rift that has been attempted to be crossed by many bike crafters. A ‘one bike to do it all’, and do it well, is the holy grail for cyclists who are keen to keep the n+1 algorithm and the bank account within relative check. Canyon’s attempt at filling the void – albeit with a very race-heavy bias – is the aptly named Ultimate. 

And due to Canyon’s direct market sale option, which cuts out the middle men and means bikes go straight from the factory in Germany to the customer’s door, there are some very competitive prices on offer. When it comes to testing a bike like the Ultimate, conditions need to feature the most extreme terrain in order to push it to its absolute limits. So we simply had to go to the mountains.

But first, we had to build the Ultimate out of the box. Thanks to Canyon’s attention to detail in packaging it was an a dream – as much as building a bike can be, at least. It meant less time worrying about nuts and bolts and more time enjoying the all-important looks of the bicycle. And the Ultimate is one very good looking machine. 

The CF SLX Disc 9.0 is one of the top tier regular models of the Ultimate range and comes equipped with Shimano Dura Ace running gear and new hydraulic disc brakes. The test models’ silver paint scheme glistened in the sunlight, while the overall subdued colourway made the tiny red accents ‘pop’ off the frame. 

Canyon’s attention to detail is highlighted by subtle choices being made across the bike that makes it a premium product. The tyres are 25mm Continental GP 4000s II, a size that has been shown to be the fastest option thanks to its rolling speed, comfort and aerodynamic efficiency.

The gearing runs a semi-compact 52-36 up front and a 11-28 at the rear to give riders a wide range to tackle both the flats and climbs with ease, depending how fresh you are of course! Aiding your climbing speed is the 820g frame that helps get the weight down to 7.5kg total, which for a disc brake equipped bike is very good.  

The front and rear thru axles do work against the Ultimate being a feather-light machine, but these have been chosen by Canyon to please the rider, not the scales. What an interesting concept.