There has been a plethora of new frames under the riders at this year’s Tour – and we consider that a very good thing. New frames bring not only new advances in technology to the current peloton (and your garage) but also spur the next round of innovation. And the Canyon Aeroad CF SLX is a direct result of this competitive landscape.
The Canyon Aeroad CF SLX
Just looking at the Aeroad you can see the direct influence of its pure time trial sibling – the Speedmax CF. In fact, the frame would look right at home among its TT brethren. Similar to pure TT bikes, the seat stays have been dropped down and a rear wheel fairing was created by enlarging the seat tube for the rear wheel cutout. Canyon did have concerns that this fairing would add weight and reduce rider comfort. To that end, the seat tube was designed with two separate parts; one to guarantee aerodynamic performance and the other to help keep things comfortable.
The 35mm seat post uses an internal clamp to provide a cleaner aerodynamic profile. The seat post is available with either 0-15 mm or 15-30 mm of offset. The saddle clamp can be inverted so the offset can be either positive or negative – the goal being that riders across all disciplines (yes even triathletes) can achieve the optimum position on this frame.
Likewise the head tube has been elongated and the fork has been designed to seamlessly continue the lines of the frame. The downtube has been broadened to both increase stiffness and aerodynamic performance.
The tube shapes are actually a modification of the shapes used on the Speedmax (Canyon calls this their Trident profile). While use of the original shapes was considered, they were deemed to be too heavy and not stuff enough for a road bike. Hence Trident 2.0 was developed specifically for the Aeroad. Trident 2.0 allowed Canyon to hit the high stiffness and low weight goals they had set for this bike. Canyon claims the Trident 2.0 shape resulted in a stiffness improvement of 11% and an overall performance improvement of 17%.
In what is starting to seem like a trend in the category, the SLX is using direct mount brakes front and back. Continuing the trend, the rear brake is attached to the seat stays. Canyon claims that the direct mount brakes attached to the seat stay costs the rider just 1.3W at 45 km/h as opposed to 2.75W on the previous CF. Additionally, the location provides a huge maintenance advantage – specifically for those Tour mechanics hanging out the rear windows of the team cars. The frame is designed to match the contours of the brake at both braking locations in order to provide a consistent aero profile.
The cockpit of the CF is a completely integrated monocoque design that seamlessly transitions from the bar to the stem through the spacers to the frame. This results in not just a more aero design (saving 5.5W) but a design that is 30% lighter than the previous incarnation. Canyon has included a specific recess for the Di2 junction box and full integrated cable routing.
Geometry and Pricing
The CF SLX will be available in 6 sizes (XS-2XL) with relative sizes ranging from 50-62.
Unfortunately we do not yet have pricing info, and the Canyon is not available in the U.S. So for now, our U.S. readers must be forced to stare enviously at our European counterparts.
Our first impression is obviously one of jealousy – why can’t we get this in the States! Once we got past that, however, our second thought was whether the integrated cockpit on an aero road bike is going to become a trend. We have seen this type of integration for quite some time now in TT bikes (and in some road bikes) and it does make sense that this could become the norm in the aero road category as well. In the end, it will come down to what Team Katusha does with the new Aeroad, and how this frame sets the benchmark for innovations yet to come.