Review: Canyon Aeroad CF SLX 9.0 SL

German speed machine put to test — and how you can get one in the USA

Road Bike
While it’s a pain to purchase for American customers, Canyon’s Aeroad CF SLX 9.0 SL is a steal at just $6,700 for full Dura Ace Di2.

While it’s a pain to purchase for American customers, Canyon’s Aeroad CF SLX 9.0 SL is a steal at just $6,700 for full Dura Ace Di2 (click to enlarge).

The Lowdown: Canyon Aeroad CF SLX 9.0 SL

American cycling fans are undoubtedly familiar with Canyon Bicycles, even though the German brand isn’t for sale on this side of the Atlantic. The Movistar WorldTour team of Alejandro Valverde races on Canyon, as does the Katusha and Joaquim Rodriguez. The bikes get plenty of podium time.

Canyon is also big in the triathlon world, thanks to recently crowned Ironman world champion Jan Frodeno of Germany. It’s no surprise, then, that Canyon bikes are similarly ubiquitous with weekend warrior-level cyclists across Europe.

The bikes, however, are rarely spotted on this side of the Atlantic. But that trend could soon change. Canyon’s popularity in Europe is due in part to its consumer-direct model. The German brand designs its bikes at the company headquarters in Koblenz, and then produces the frames in Asia, similar to most carbon bikes. But unlike American bike companies, Canyon cuts out independent bicycle dealers entirely from the cost structure. Customers simply log onto Canyon’s website, choose their frame and spec, and then pay. Within two weeks, the bike arrives at a customer’s door.

Canyon’s aerodynamic cockpit — called H11 Aerocockpit — was more comfortable than other aerodynamic handlebars we’ve tried.

Canyon’s aerodynamic cockpit — called H11 Aerocockpit — was more comfortable than other aerodynamic handlebars we’ve tried (click to enlarge).

The model allows Canyon to significantly undercut its competition. For example, the carbon fiber 2016 Endurace 7.0 entry-level racing bike (spec’d with Shimano 105) costs a modest $1,590. On the other end of the scale, a top-end Aeroad CF SLX 9.0 LTD, complete with Shimano Dura Ace Di2, costs $9,662. The Aeroad CF SLX 9.0 SL model we tested is fairly easy on the wallet, with an MSRP of $6,705. By comparison, top-end Di2 racing bicycles from Trek, Specialized and Cannondale all tip the scales at no less than $12,000 MSRP. But how did the bike stack up? Read our full review below.

Stat Box
Size Tested: XL (59.2cm top tube) Wheels: Mavic Cosmic Pro Carbon Exalith WTS
Claimed weight: 15.2 lbs (size medium) MSRP: $6,705
Groupset: Shimano Dura Ace Di2 Rating: 4.5 Stars 4 out of 5 stars

Pluses
Minuses
  • Affordability
  • Not available in North America (yet)
  • Compliance and ride quality
  • Braking noise
  • Handling on descents
  • Wheel selection
  • Easy assembly
  • Cable routing is non-convertible to
  • Parts spec (minus the wheels)
    traditional cable set-up
  • Weight

Full Review: Canyon Aeroad CF SLX 9.0 SL

Murmurs of Canyon’s ambitious American plans have existed in the bike industry for years, but thus far, the German brand has yet to stake a claim in the USA. A Canyon representative said that the plan hinges in part on finding the right subsidiary partners here. “Putting everything in place just takes time…” the representative said. “We just ask for a little more patience.”

We took the bike on punishing rough roads and were impressed with the smooth ride.

We took the bike on punishing rough roads and were impressed with the smooth ride (click to enlarge).

Fortunately we got the chance to do some testing, logging time on a Canyon Aeroad CF SLX Team bike during a recent trip to southern Spain. The Aeroad CF SLX is the brand’s flagship aero racing road bike, and it came equipped with a Shimano Dura Ace Di2 drivetrain and Mavic Cosmic Pro Carbon Exalith wheels. From the moment the bike arrived, we were impressed.

Continue to page 2 to read more from our full review of the Canyon Aeroad CF SLX 9.0 SL »

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  • Scott says:

    Canyon has been asking Americans to be patient for too long. I ended up buying a nice Propel on closeout. Too bad, I would have loved a Canyon, based on what I have read. Maybe for my next bike – but knowing Canyon, more likely the bike after that…or the one after that.

  • richard@metdesign.co.nz says:

    Anyone world wide can purchase a Canyon. Just organise an International courier to pick up the bike from Canyon and then deliver anywhere in the world you like.

    easy

  • Mike says:

    Felt Bicycles does just the opposite. It’s dealer only. What a disaster. Try purchasing one of their higher end road frames such as the F1. They don’t ship or conduct online sales. You have to go to a dealer and order without seeing the product. They only stock the cheap bikes. You’ll pay local taxes and the middleman markup. Pass on Felt. Poor customer service as well.

  • Sue George says:

    Thanks to Greg Phare for using BikeFlights.com to ship his Canyons – we appreciate the mention and always enjoy reading customer reviews. We do assist our customers by completing necessary customs paperwork for international shipping, whether they are travelling with a bike, are having a bike repaired or are selling/purchasing a bike online. But we wanted to clarify that BikeFlights.com only charges for the shipping service. All duties, taxes and/or clearance fees are due by the recipient to the appropriate customs authority – they are not included in BikeFlights.com’s shipping rates.

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