We test Canyon's lightweight all-rounder

Product Overview

Overall rating:

Score 10

Canyon Ultimate CF SLX 8.0

Pros:

  • Lightweight
  • Stiff bottom bracket
  • Sharp handling
  • Decent value
  • Comfortable ride

Cons:

  • None

Product:

Canyon Ultimate CF SLX 8.0

Manufacturer:

Price as reviewed:

£2,999.00

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The Ultimate has been part of the Canyon range since the early 2000s, and this latest version is the best yet, making it our overall Bike of the Year for 2017.

Frame

The climbing prowess of the Canyon Ultimate CF SLX 8.0 is clear to see just from its appearance.

This has the look of a classic lightweight machine, with slender seatstays and a slim seatpost, but Canyon hasn’t ignored aerodynamics entirely, with a redesigned down tube and front end saving 7.4 watts a claimed at 45kph compared to the old model.

Comfort has also been factored in too, with the lowering of the seatpost clamp helping to improve rear-end compliance.

Specification

The 8.0 sits at the bottom of the Canyon Ultimate CF SLX range, but that’s no reason to be snobby about the build.

In fact, the Shimano Ultegra groupset with a race-ready 52/36t chainset offers close to Dura-Ace levels of performance at a fraction of the price.

Add in to the mix some well-built and relatively light Mavic wheels and the spec cannot be faulted.

Ride

The standout figure from this bike’s stats is the 6.8kg weight, putting it smack on the UCI weight limit. No surprise then that it’s an absolute rocketship when the road ramps up.

On steep slopes with double-digit gradients the Canyon Ultimate CF SLX 8.0 springs into life, letting you dance on the pedals as if you were Nairo Quintana scaling the slopes of Mont Ventoux.

Performance is also faultless on gentler grades, where the bike taps along with minimal fuss aided by the super-stiff bottom bracket and rear end.

Of course what goes up must come down, so it’s great that Canyon has built a bike that offers sharp handling for tight and tricky descents.

Value

Canyon might not offer quite the same value as it once did (the old Ultimate with a similar build was about £800 cheaper back in 2013) but there are still very few bikes on the market that offer such a superb riding experience for less than £3,000.

Verdict

The Canyon Ultimate CF SLX 8.0 offers everything you would want from a road bike. It's light so it thrives in the hills, has a stiff rear end for perfect power transfer, and is comfortable too. For that reason it was a natural choice for our 2017 Bike of the Year.