In the post Covid era, September seems to be the month of launches again and today it’s up to new Canyon Ultimate 2023that is the most versatile and lightest racing bike of the German brand.
The fifth generation of the Ultimate, introduced for the first time in 2004, in reality it is no longer a novelty, as some Pro ‘were using it since the beginning of the season. We had already seen it at Dauphinéand then to Tour and Vuelta.
According to the Canyon technicians, the Pros’ played an important role in the realization of the final product, which thanks to their feedback has undergone some small changes compared to the initial project.
As you can see from the pictures, it is an evolution, not a revolutionwith updates made in order to obtain a more modern and extremely balanced bike.
We had the chance to try it for a couple of days during the Press Camp organized at the end of August in France. In the video below we show you the main news and the first sensations in the saddle.
The bike you see in the video is the CFR Stealth version mounted with Dura Ace and DT Swiss Mon Chasseral wheels, that is the lightest one.
The one in the photos, on the other hand, is the other top-of-the-range model, namely the CFR Cold Crystal with Sram / Zipp components.
New Canyon Ultimate 2023: the main news
At first glance, the line of the new Canyon Ultimate does not differ too much from the previous one, but there are still some important news.
The declared goal of the Canyon technicians was to obtain a very balanced mediumsuitable for any racing situation, without forcing your hand too much in a specific direction.
Here is a summary of the main news:
- New tube shapes to optimize stiffness and aerodynamics
- New seat post and repositioned clamping system
- Integrated cable routing, also thanks to the use of the CP0018 cockpit
- Improved comfort thanks to a more abundant wheel passage
- 8 sizes, with progressive geometries
Always light, but more aerodynamic
Lightness remains the Ultimate’s workhorse, even if it hasn’t been taken to the extreme.
The CFR chassis (the most valuable version) for example, weighs a little more than the previous model, but this has allowed us to improve stiffness and aerodynamics. The stiffness / weight ratio, in fact, has been improved and only in the front axle area Canyon declares a 15% higher stiffness.
The weight of the CFR Stealth frame, in size M, is 730 grams. The Cold Crystal color rises to 760 grams due to the weight of the paint.
The CF SLX frame, also in size M, painted, weighs 846 grams, that CF SL 1.062 grams.
The painted CFR fork has a declared weight of 320 gramsthat SLX of 350 grams.
Canyon has expressly explained that it has added an extra 30 grams of carbon fiber in the most delicate points, not only to increase the stiffness, but above all the longevity and resistance in the event of an impact.
The overall appearance of the bike has not changed, but almost all of the tubes have different, more generous and shapes squared off. You can see it well from the image below, which shows the evolution of some key points of the frame.
The new profiles allowed a aerodynamic gain of 10 watts at 45 km / h. Nothing exceptional, but still important when it comes to a vehicle intended for Pro ‘and that does not make aerodynamics its key feature.
Comfort is not the aspect that professionals pay the most attention to, but it becomes of paramount importance over long distances, especially if the same frame is intended for sale. And therefore for use by enthusiasts.
The most significant improvement in this sense is attributable to the increased wheel passage, which allows to accommodate tires up to 700 × 32, according to the user’s needs.
All CF SLX and CFR models, as well as the CF SL8 Aero, are delivered with a differentiated tire combination: 25 mm on the front and 28 mm on the rear, in an attempt to find a compromise between aerodynamics, lightness and comfort.
The other CF SL models, on the other hand, are offered with 28 mm tires both at the front and at the rear.
In terms of comfort, an important role is also played by seat postwhich can greatly absorb the roughness of the ground.
It is good to do a little in-depth on this component, because there are differences between the CFR platform and the others, even if the profile is always the D-Shape one.
On the CFR we find a straight-head seat post, designed for maximum lightness and to meet the needs of the Pro ‘, who increasingly require a lot of pedaling. above the bottom bracket. The weight of the seat post mounted on CFR frames is 70 grams.
On the CF SLX and SL, on the other hand, we find a seat post with 20 mm setback, able to flex more and accommodate a less aggressive riding position. The weight in this case rises to 110 grams.
Obviously both are available for purchase in the aftermarket, so you can customize your bike setup.
Aeroad handlebar and more integration
Complete wiring integration is now a must for all high-end bikes, not just aero ones.
The “old” Ultimate had lagged a little behind in this sense and with the new Canyon version it ran for cover.
The internal routing of the cables offers small advantages in aerodynamic terms, but the main thing to gain is the aesthetics.
The complete integration takes place thanks to the use of the carbon cockpit CP0018that is the one (much discussed) already seen on the Aeroad.
After the problems following the break in the race on Van Der Poel’s bike, the question is now resolved: the handlebars weigh about 30 grams more, but are more robust (we talked about it HERE).
The interesting aspect of the CP0018 handlebar is that it allows you to vary the width by 2 cm per part without having to change style.
And, moreover, of change the height by 1.5 cm without having to saw the fork stem.
To better understand how it works, take a look at the photos and videos below.
Together with the new Ultimate Canyon also presented a specific computer holder, 3D printed, weighing only 17 grams.
Eight sizes with progressive geometries
The geometry of the Canyon Ultimate 2023 has been slightly revised compared to the previous model and now they are (almost) identical to the Aeroad. Not exactly identical, as we mistakenly said in the video.
The setting is racing, but not too strong. It should be noted that for the first time in the Canyon house the length of the rear stays varies according to the measure and this, of course, allows to obtain more progressive and balanced geometries as well as a similar behavior on each size.
The measurements are well 8from 3XS to 2XL and it is fair to point out that there are not many brands that offer such a wide range of choices.
Speaking of sizes, since Canyon only sells online, it seems important to us to remember that it is geometry development is a bit different Compared to most competitors: Canyon sizes dress a lot, so before ordering, analyze them carefully.
First impressions in the saddle
I had the chance to try the new Canyon Ultimate for a couple of outings in the hinterland of the Côte d’Azur. To be clear, the streets of the classic final stage of Paris-Nice.
I rode on one size L, maybe a little big for me (I’m 183 cm and I pedal at 77.5 cm saddle height). If I had to buy it in all probability I would orient myself on an M.
The set-up was the lightest, that is the one with Shimano Dura Ace and DT Swiss Mon Chasseral wheels, with low profile and 18 mm internal channel.
Weight measured without pedals just over 6.2 kg. With two bottle cages, Garmin mount and pedals we come to 6.7 kg.
The bike is actually well balanced and more balanced than the previous model.
The climb remains its chosen terrain, especially when it comes to relaunch the action standing on the pedals, when it just seems to escape from under your ass. Ease of acceleration that can also be appreciated on the flat. In short, the stiffness / weight ratio makes the difference …
The first impression is that it is also more comfortable and easier to drive (probably thanks to the stiffer front end), even if standard wheels and tires, in my opinion, do not help in this sense.
Let me explain: the very light wheels with a relatively narrow channel by current standards, combined with tires for the inner tube, enhance agility, handling and responsiveness, but sacrifice something in terms of comfort and stability. In short, they are the best choice for the Pro ‘and the advanced agonist, not for the average user.
On the other hand, here we are talking about an “extreme” assembly, devoted to maximum lightness, but the set-ups to choose from are many others.
I can already anticipate that the bike will be the subject of a long-term test in which I will try some changes to the starting setting. We will talk about it in a few weeks.
Overall, mounting differences aside, I can confirm that the new Ultimate performs as Canyon hoped: it is light, but very balanced.
A good bike to have fun on any terrain, both in competition and in training.
Equipment and prices
The new Canyon Ultimate 2023 is available in the three usual platforms CFR, CF SLX and CF SL. The difference is in the quality and lamination of the fiber, which affects the weight (we talked about it in depth in this article).
In total, there are 11 models available, with a price range ranging from 2,699 euros of the Ultimate CF SL7 ai 10,999 euros of the Ultimate CFR Etap.
The best model for quality / price ratio? Take a look at the CF SLX 8 Di2…
HERE you can find fittings and prices in detail.
For more information: canyon.com/it
We would love to give thanks to the author of this short article for this incredible material
New Canyon Ultimate 2023: details and first impressions
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