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Canyon Strive Gets Color & Spec Updates for 2021

Dec 17, 2020
by Daniel Sapp  


Canyon’s enduro machine, the Strive, has received a fresh coat of paint and updated spec for 2021. While 2020 has been an unpredictable year on all counts, with Jack Moir joining Canyon's CLLCTV Enduro Team, the Strive remains what Canyon's team feels is one of the fastest enduro bikes on the planet.

The Strive retains its unique 'Shapeshifter' technology. Produced in close collaboration with Canyon's partners at Fox Suspension, the Shapeshifter offers on-the-fly adjustment for both geometry and rear-suspension travel. By pushing a lever, riders can switch between descend mode (with low, slack geometry and more supple suspension performance) to climb mode (sharpening the handling and raising the BB) while simultaneously reducing the available travel at the rear and firming up the suspension.

All models in the range now feature 170mm travel forks, a tweak that was previously reserved for CFR bikes. This raises the front end and slackens the head tube angle for increased capability on steep, technical descents. Also new for 2021 is the move to GRIP2 dampers on the Fox fork equipped CF 8 and CFR models.

The CFR is now equipped with DT Swiss’s gravity focused EXC 1200 carbon wheels and a FOX 36 Factory fork. The CFR model also sees the inclusion of One Up’s V2 dropper post, while across the entire Strive range the droppers get more travel (depending on size). The Strive still rolls on Maxxis tires, only now the rear Minion DHR II tire moves to an even more durable EXO+ casing, and the front tire has been switched to the Maxxis’ Assegai.

As far as colors go, the X-Ray green is no longer reserved for the likes of Tahnee and Kaos Seagrave. It is now an option on the CF 7 and CF 8 models, while the CFR sees a move to a black and white colorway.

In the US, there are three models available, starting at $3,599 for the CF 7, with a race-ready build and a full carbon frame. The CF 8 is $4,599 with a full XT drivetrain, FOX 36/DPX2 suspension combo, and DT Swiss E1700 wheelset. The top-end CFR model at $6,999 is unique, with a bespoke frame layup and ultra-premium material mix saving 300g over the standard Strive CF. The build is kitted out with top-drawer components including the aforementioned DT Swiss carbon wheels and FOX 36 Factory fork, Code RSC brakes, and a SRAM X01 Eagle groupset.

All 3 models will be available from December 17th at


  • 93 5
 Hope they are carefull when stripping these old bikes and repainting new colors.
  • 7 0
 Oh snap!!! LOL
  • 10 1
 @mybaben: no, that was Bad-Santa Cruz.
  • 1 0
 Beat me to it!
  • 58 0
 Who is buying this in 2021 over the new Spectral?! ... Good luck selling them.
I was really looking forward to a full frame overhaul
  • 4 1
 Germans, is quite popular model actually
  • 31 1
 Not with that actual seat angle. Me not likey sit over cassetteey
  • 7 0
 @Richt2000: word, I have a 2019. Great descender but terrible pedaling bike. Can’t imagine how much worse it will pedal with a longer fork further slackening STA.
  • 4 0
 @nickmalysh: german here, can‘t confirm
  • 4 5
 @Richt2000: I'm 184 cm riding a large 2020 strive, and run my seatpost at roadie height for the climbs with the saddle fairly centred on the rails - I'm not finding the STA to be a problem, at least running a 160 Lyrik.
  • 2 0
 i actually think that shapeshifter tech has Canyon engineering in a really bad spot, the first models were mostly defective, it took them 2 years to bring out the 2.0 and have that part of the bike dialed. Now that is dialed they need to address the next problem, the STA, if they want to fix that (give the STA a steeper angle) they would definitely need to change the frame and fiddle with the shapeshifter piston, which is something they definitely don't want to.

This bike is going to stay with an old style geometry for a long time.

A friend of mine owns one of these, worst purchase ever.
  • 1 0
 @Narro2: Wow, so much hate.

Why do you think changing the STA would require changing the shapeshifter? There is plenty of room to move the kink in the ST closer to the wheel, allowing them to steepen the actual STA close to Grim Donut territory without having to move any of the pivots. If you don't believe me, get your friend to depressurise his shock and cycle the suspension, the wheel comes nowhere near the kinked part of the seat tube.
  • 1 0
 @dsut4392: why hasnt it been changed?
  • 1 0
 @Narro2: because real buyers value the ratings from comprehensive field test comparisons more highly than opinions of ransoms on Pinkbike maybe? Name any bike and someone on here is guaranteed to hate it... Plus maybe we did test rides to see how the handling compared for the kind of riding we do? I know I cross-shopped the Strive with SC Hightower & Megatower, Norco Sight, Specialized Enduro & Stumpy and Yeti SB 150, these being all the bikes I could actually get a proper demo ride on in my size. I’m more at the ‘trail’ end of the ‘Enduro’ spectrum than the ‘DH’ end, but then again I’m writing this from Derby TAS which the EWS pros voted as their favourite round last year...
  • 1 0
 @Narro2: ‘randoms’ not ‘ransoms’...
  • 1 0
 @dsut4392: just leave it there my friend, cheers
  • 64 25
 That mint green and grey has to be the uggliest colorway a bike co has come up with yet. Sorry for the negativity, just... no.
  • 16 0
 They're just trying to make a colorway that won't sell out before you even get the email that they're available for sale.
  • 18 1
 Now that's a slack seat tube
  • 14 0
 I think we can say that a modern mountain bike is when the seat tube line and head tube line intersects each other above the bike and an old one is when this intersection is below. That said, this smells quite old one.
  • 14 1
 I really dig the idea of an on-the-fly geo adjustment. . . but too bad Canyon Customer Service has such a horrific reputation and getting replacement parts is supposedly impossible.
  • 7 0
 it's not impossible it's just way more tedious than it needs to be. My personal frustration with the brand came from dealing with their local warehouse/hub. They had a full mechanic shop on hand, with tons of parts to support the demo fleet, but would bend over backwards to come up with reasons they couldn't work on bikes or give easy solutions to component demands, and always refer us to some other corporate connection. It doesn't make it better that their bikes are insanely proprietary and you can't just toss other parts on there. All in all just a lot of eye rolling and heavy sighs when we saw one come into the shop. "oh ya your canyon needs work, we'll have it done in 3-4 weeks" and that was pre-covid.
  • 6 0
 I was really enjoying ripping around on a Neuron this year... for a few months until the chainstay broke, and Canyon wouldn't do sh*t to fix it
  • 14 1
 That seat tube angle :/
  • 11 0
 Why would anyone buy this rather than Spectral? For the new colorway, I think not.
  • 11 0
 seat angle is competing with slash
  • 1 0
 When you go from a 2017 Slash to a 2019 Strive you notice the difference haha....Where to next
  • 10 0
 'Well, this is awkward.' - Spectral
  • 11 1
 Colour* Thought this was a Canadian website.
  • 10 1
 It's been said before, but the new Spectral makes this look so outdated
  • 5 0
 The Strive makes the Strive look outdated!! LOL!
  • 6 0
 The Strive rather needed new frame geometry...
  • 3 1
 I own a 2020 Strive it's a mad bike! I have a 180mm fork like Fabien and it rips on the downs. I'm coming off a 2018 Nukeproof Mega and i would say the Strive is hands down a better riding bike in every aspect.
  • 2 0
 That's because you haven't ridden a 2020 or 2021 Mega! Wink
  • 3 0
 Should have offered them only in "surrender white" as the Spectral will get all the biz now.
  • 3 0
 66 deg ha? 2013 Orange five territorie, all you did was make the colour worse than last year and put the price up £500?
  • 1 1
 I reckon gearbox bikes are on the horizon, that's why they are not investing too much in completely new frames for a lot of thevmanufacturers. The Yeti patent I think gave a big clue to that. Where Santa Cruz and Specialized are gonna mount the shocks remains to be seen.
  • 1 0
 New colors and spec warrants an article? Most bike companies do this every year with bikes that aren’t getting full frame updates. Why does Canyon get an article about it?
  • 1 2
 lots of apathy and dislike here, for some balance I have a new one of these. I have had lots of bikes and have been riding for some time - I have 4 bikes in the 'stable' right now, each are very different, but I do get on with the Strive - I think it's a very capable climber once you flick the switch and you have the pressures set correctly. I've had no issues descending and as my confidence with the bike grows the faster I get.

On the other side - the dropper post was dead-on-arrival and trying to get that warrantied was a BS process, so i simply bought a longer one and put that on! Also my Fox shock was built incorrectly and the internals came out on the 4th spin, I couldn't get that covered (again a BS process involving multiple emails and forms, boxing and sending) - so I paid for a full rebuild at my LBS - and it's fine now, That fault lies squarely with Fox. the shop couldn't believe it - the main seal was installed incorrectly leading to the failure. Again all at my cost.

so there you go - some balance - it's a great bike. But there may be some foibles
  • 1 0
 I think this bike Strives to survive until the next update that will Torque the ability to shine in the full Spectral of light.
  • 2 0
 I thought 36 was up to 160 only? Why no 38?

Things that make you go hmmmm
  • 4 0
 I assume it’s either availability or they didn’t want the extra axle to crown of the 38 to rob any more reach or seat angle
  • 1 0
 @kleinblake: that makes a lot of sense
  • 6 1
 Another possibility might be/my theory is, direct-to-consumer bikes are an outlet for companies like Fox and SRAM to sell their 'old' stock. Hence why the mk1 Jeffsy had non-boost forks, hence maybe why next year's Strive has 'old' 36s, or new 36s with old 170 airshafts.
  • 2 0
 Can't speak to the 38 bit though what kleinblake said makes sense, but the 36 does go to 170 it just can't be purchased that way. Same as how you can run a 38 at 150.
  • 2 0
 @wowbagger: even though it was impossible to tell from the Canyon website, the Strive I bought in August this year had the absolute latest Lyrik Ultimate/Super deluxe ultimate - confirmed with the serial numbers what damper version was installed.
Major brands like Canyon specify OEM components years in advance, using cut-price leftovers isn't a strategy that works at volume - if anyone is using a cheaper part on a 2021 bike, it's because they chose the cheaper part in late 2019.
  • 2 0
 The Spectral's getting all the praise. This one's just Striving, ok??
  • 8 8
 LOL at all you haters. Jack Moir is fast as shit on this thing, up and down the hill. What makes you think you are too good for this bike?
  • 9 0
 Rider not the bike.
  • 7 0
 hes a pro, i‘m not
  • 8 0
 @mybaben: funny how some riders who actually ride their bike prefer older geo....
  • 1 0
 @SPOKEn: *most pros
  • 7 0
 @Linc: Pros tend to prefer what they're paid to...
  • 7 1
 Because I own one and don’t like it?
  • 3 1
 @boozed: pros tend to use custom links, custom headset anglesets, custom chainstays, custom reach headsets, and all sorts of wild things. They get paid to win/do well, not ride a bone stock outdated bike.
  • 1 0
 I pay for my bikes. So I chose what I will pay for.
  • 3 0
 Since I am not Jack Moir I need an even better bike then him to achieve much less. I do not understand these arguments.
  • 1 1
 @slothez: Exactly, hence my post above, "rider not the bike".
  • 6 5
 Am I the only one who likes a slacker seat tube angle?
  • 7 3
  • 7 5
 No, you're just the only one who will admit it because it's "not cool". Deciding what you like about a mountain bike on this site has nothing to do with what feels good or what works good, it's only about what's cool. Which is why anything with handlebars shorter than 800mm or a HTA steeper than 64° or a seat tube slacker than 79° is consider an unrideable POS by most who comment on pinkbike.
  • 2 0
 @robw515: my bikes a POS...
  • 2 0
 How long are your legs?
  • 2 0
 I’m still in an older bike so I don’t know for sure but it seems to me like the steeper STA would be better for climbing tech and no real different for grinding fire roads. But what I am worried about, and I am not sure if anyone else does this, is on real big days on the bike when I am tired I will ride some mild tech in rolling terrain seated. When doing that it really seems like getting a few inches further back is a more ideal position than the current 80 degree STA trend. Plus with my current rig when hitting a punchy technical piece I naturally slide forward on the saddle for a more balanced position. So while I can’t say for certain I wouldn’t love a steeper STA it doesn’t seem for certain I would benefit in my circumstance.
  • 2 0
 @iantmcg: plus more pressure on wrists etc with sitting more forward. I’m sure a more upright seat angle is the way to go (less back ache) but some of the crazy upright angles seem too much. My 2018 Giant Trance has a very slack seat tube and on my home trails climbs fine, as you say, just slide forward a bit. Maybe the extreme geo we see now will be cut back a bit into a middle ground. Trail bikes don’t need the full on Enduro-bro angles.
  • 1 0
 @GazeeMW: yeah, i never really get back pain either so for me it wouldn’t really be solving any problem, just potentially better. But being 5’7” and on a medium I am probably not a prime target to see a ginormous advantage to a steeper STA anyway.
  • 1 0
 On an enduro bike, which are intended to ride up in order to ride straight back down, the steep seat angle is the right tool for the job. Seat angles up in the 77-plus range do a better job of keeping your weight over the BB, put you in a better position to push down on the pedals, and is more comfortable on your low-back on long rides. For a bike more towards the cross country end of the spectrum, a bit slacker of a seat angle (around 75ish) can make sense, as it puts less weight on your hands (which matters when riding on flats for a while) and puts the seat slightly further behind your butt when riding with the seat up. Even though most these bikes have dropper posts, when riding undulating terrain you’re not always going to want to drop the post out of the way for short sections of tech, so not having the seat between your legs is nice. Overall, the trend towards steep seat angles for enduro bikes is fantastic. For XC bikes I can see the need to be a bit slacker, but I don’t see any reason for a seat angle below 75.
  • 1 0
 P@eblackwell: wouldn’t you want a steeper STA on XC too? More evenly balance your weight to decrease the the rolling resistance of the two tires. Or does the drop stem make up for the weight distribution enough that a bit slacker STA still balances weight. The other thing is we are talking about a STA being ideal for whatever but I don’t think most people care about a few seconds of time. So to me it comes down to comfort which may be an argument for steeper STA, I’ve never felt back pain from riding my older bike though.
  • 1 0
 @eblackwell: totally agree with your point about steeper STA's being the right solution especially for enduro bikes. I've been following this topic intently for years and there still seems to be a bit of a divide driven in part by a rider's height, or more specifically, inseam length.

Generally speaking, those with shorter inseams seem to prefer a slacker STA so when the saddle is slammed for descents it's more out of the way. On the other end, taller riders ie with longer inseams, again generally speaking, prefer steeper STA's to prevent moving further over the rear axle.

A trend I've been seeing a lot lately is nosing the saddle down for climbs to stay forward on the bike and have a level platform to push off and generate power and efficiency. That makes a lot of sense to me but that saddle orientation isn't ideal for descending or undulating terrain.

Any thoughts on that?
  • 2 0
 @yale986: it seems to me like ideally you’d want to find a way to move the seat tube forward on the bike but have it be slack. So you get the more forward weighted position with the post in the up position and you get the post more out of the way when it is slammed. Perhaps that will be the hip trend in another couple years.
  • 1 0
 @iantmcg: Yeah, I think it is more about comfort than time, but I think those two things are pretty correlated. Riding bikes with very slack STAs (e.g. the old Hightower LT) I felt I was pushing forwards in my pedal stroke, rather than the downwards sensation I get riding my Norco Sight or old Transition Sentinel. The forwards-feeling pedal stroke was less comfortable and felt less powerful (I am assuming less power and less comfort = slower, but I haven't done any proper testing). But once you get into the 75 degree range you seem to get a good balance between pushing down on the pedals feeling and the other benefits (seat up maneuverability, wrist comfort). I've never thought about the relationship between rolling resistance and STA, so I can't really comment on that, but I think having a steeper STA on an XC bike would work well for people who are doing a lot of steep climbing and less flatter terrain, or those who don't have issues with wrist/upper body soreness and fatigue on longer rides. But generally speaking I think a bit slacker is OK for flatter terrain, but not so slack you get into that pushing forwards feeling on the pedals (in my experience, you get rid of this sensation above 75 degrees, but the specific numbers will differ depending on rider height, bike size, the way the brand measures the STA, seat position, etc.)
  • 1 0
 @yale986: I'm not totally sure, but I think that a steeper STA would actually get the saddle more out of the way in the seat down position (riding down hill your hips are further back towards the rear axle, so a seat more forwards would be less in the way?).

I have a pretty short inseam (under 30in) and I definitely prefer steeper STAs, but I think riders with longer inseams should have even steeper STAs because their saddles will be higher (and therefore further rearwards over the axle). For someone with long legs, a 78 or 79 degree STA will feel similar to a 77 degree STA for someone with shorter inseam.

For saddle orientation, I totally agree. Nosing down the saddle feels great for steep climbs, but I find it pretty uncomfortable on flatter terrain. Again, I think it comes down to terrain and the bike's intended use. For bikes more towards the XC side of the spectrum, flatter saddle and slightly slacker STA is probably the best compromise, and for enduro bikes, steeper STA and a bit of saddle tilt works well. You're always going to have some compromises, but those have been the general guidelines I find work best.
  • 1 0
 Canyon should update the after-sales support!!! A real crap!!!!
  • 2 1
 ALUMINIUM please!
  • 1 0
 that shock tho Razz
  • 1 1

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