Canyon Strive CF Race 9.0 - Review

Feb 16, 2015
by Mike Levy  
Canyon Strive CF Race 9.0 Photo by Paris Gore

Canyon's signing of the legendary Fabien Barel in 2013 signalled a hefty commitment towards enduro racing, and I'm not only talking about the three-time World Champion's paycheck. No, the German brand was also ready to develop a purpose-built enduro race bike, and the result of that effort is the 160mm Strive that's tested below. The 27lb 13oz carbon Strive is not just a big-travel trail sled, though, as Canyon have employed a rather clever supplementary air actuator, hidden mostly from sight, that allows the bike to downsize to 130mm at the push of a handlebar-mounted button. This also speeds up the handling as well, with the idea being to allow a racer to have the best of both worlds in order to put time in on the competition. The Shapeshifter system should also make life easier for everyday riders who could benefit from the bike's adaptability, which is exactly what I was looking to figure out during my time on the bike.
Strive CF Race 9.0 Details

• Intended use: all-mountain / enduro
• Wheel size: 27.5''
• Rear wheel travel: 160 / 130mm
• Frame material: carbon fiber
• Tapered head tube
• Internal cable routing
• Post mount rear disc mount
• 12 x 142mm thru-axle
• ISCG 05 chain guide tabs
• Weight: 27lb 13oz
• MSRP: €4,299
www.canyon.com @Canyon-PureCycling


At €4,299, the Strive CF Race 9.0 is the mid-priced carbon model, but aluminum versions that sport more traditional top tube lengths (shorter than the carbon Race range) and the Shapeshifter design start at €2,499. A carbon Strive CF Race frameset (incl. Cane Creek DBinline shock, Shapeshifter, Reverb Stealth seat post, and headset) is also able available for €2,899. You've probably noticed I'm using a whole lot of €s and no $s. That's because Canyon doesn't ship to North America at this point in time, so anyone reading this from the continent with good burgers and fries is going to have to do some scheming if they want a Strive of their own.


Canyon Strive CF 9.0 geometry review test



Frame Details

The first thing to know is that Canyon's Strive range is split into two distinct categories, although both look very similar from a distance. The less expensive, four bike Strive AL lineup are all assembled around, you guessed it, aluminum frames. The more important bit of information is that they also feature shorter top tube and reach lengths that are more in line with traditional thinking. For example, a large sized Strive AL has a 626mm top tube, a 442 reach, and a 1187mm wheelbase. The Strive CF Race range are all built around carbon frames and longer 'Pro' geometry, with a large having a 648mm top tube, a 468mm reach, and a 1207mm wheelbase. The difference between the two comes from a longer front end, and Canyon's goal with the longer bike is to provide more stability for someone who might race or likes to let it hang out, while the shorter aluminum models should be a touch more playful.

Canyon Strive CF review test Photo by Paris Gore
A burly down tube guard protects the carbon frame from damage.
Canyon Strive CF review test Photo by Paris Gore
Canyon has gone with a roomy front end on the longer carbon models of the Strive range. The less expensive aluminum bikes are shorter up front.

I think it's fair to say that only an ISIS terrorist with a thing for goats (probably more common than we suspect) would think that the Strive isn't a looker. This is a bike with extremely clean lines, something made all the more impressive when you consider that it has an extra cable sprouting out of it for the Shapeshifter system. That's down to the internally routed housing, with all of the lines running inside the frame until the shift and rear brake housing exits from underneath the bottom bracket, and the Shapeshifter cable pops out at the base of the seat tube.

It's carbon fiber nearly everywhere you look, and Canyon says that a frame with the Shapeshifter setup weighs in at 2,400 grams. A full carbon fiber rear end helps, but Canyon has gone with an aluminum rocker arm, likely because the weight savings would be extremely marginal and the added cost would be anything but. There's frame protection found under the down tube and on the chain stay, and a small bonded in place metal section works to keep the chain from making lunch of the chain stay. There's a set of ISCG 05 chain guide tabs should you want to mount up something more serious than the e.thirteen XCX guide that comes stock, and a direct mount front derailleur can be bolted in place if you're looking for more gearing range.

Canyon Strive CF review test Photo by Paris Gore
  The Strive's clean looking, four-bar rear end belies its ability to offer either 160mm or 130mm of travel at the push of a button.


The Strive's Suspension Explained

Stand back ten feet and the Strive's suspension layout looks a lot like a four-bar design that makes a single-pivot bike look cluttered and complicated, which is exactly what it manages to do. There doesn't appear to be anything groundbreaking going on at first glance, which is nice given that some companies would have gone out of their way to have all eyes within a kilometer glued to their clever Shapeshifter system that's tucked up into the rocker link. What's Shapeshifter? It allows the rider to change the bike's geometry and travel between two settings while on the move.

It uses a supplementary air actuator, hidden mostly out of view behind the rocker arm, that actually changes the location of the upper shock mount in order to alter the leverage. The upper mount moves by just 15mm, which doesn't sound like much, but it takes the Strive CF from 160mm to 130mm of travel, as well as raising the bottom bracket by 19mm and steepening the angles by 1.5 degrees. The Shapeshifter system is controlled via a handlebar mounted remote, with a standard shift cable and housing being run internally through the frame and up to the small air actuator, and a small indicator on the rocker link reminds you what mode you're in. Canyon says that Shapeshifter adds a total of 200 grams to the bike, and that their team has been using the system throughout the 2014 EWS season. The design allows nearly any shock to be used due to the Shapeshifter system being entirely separate from it, meaning that you're not locked into using a proprietary damper. Keep in mind that the actuator unit does not function as a shock in any way, even if it looks like a tiny version of one - its only job is to move the suspension between the two travel settings.

Canyon Strive CF review test Photo by Paris Gore
Long-travel mode: the upper shock mount is moved back towards the rocker arm pivot for less leverage to provide 160mm of travel. The head angle is at 66 degrees.
Canyon Strive CF review test Photo by Paris Gore
Short-travel mode: the upper shock mount is moved out away from the rocker arm pivot by the air actuator for more leverage. Travel is at 130mm and the head angle is 67.5 degrees.




Specifications
Release Date 2015
Price $4870
Travel 160
Rear Shock RockShox Monarch Plus RC3
Fork RockShox Pike RCT3 Solo Air
Headset Cane Creek 40
Cassette SRAM X01
Crankarms SRAM X01
Chainguide e.thirteen XCX
Bottom Bracket SRAM
Rear Derailleur SRAM X01
Chain SRAM
Shifter Pods SRAM X01
Handlebar Renthal Fatbar Carbon
Stem Renthal Apex
Grips Ergon GE1
Brakes SRAM Guide RSC
Wheelset SRAM Rail 50
Tires Maxxis Highroller II EXO / Minion DHR II MaxxPro
Seat SDG Circuit
Seatpost RockShox Reverb Stealth
Canyon Strive CF review test Photo by Paris Gore







Climbing / Handling

With Canyon putting a big emphasis on enduro racing in the Strive's marketing banter, one could be easily forgiven for assuming that the black and blue machine is all about crushing the downs at the expense of the ups. But, for a bike that is so adept at descending, the Strive is actually a very, very capable climber. The geometry and travel-adjusting Shapeshifter system is a big reason for this (more on it below), with the bike scrabbling its way up more technical singletrack than any other bike we had in our test fleet during our month-long stay in Sedona. In fact, it was the only bike that I managed to get up and over one exceptionally steep and tricky line that, up until that point, I had never been able to clean through years of trying. Given that pushing a handlebar-mounted button drops the travel down to 130mm and steepens up the head angle by 1.5 degrees, it almost seems unfair to compare its technical climbing abilities to other static 160mm rigs, but you simply can't ignore how the Shapeshifter system manages to hide the bike's size when it comes to picking your way up steep bounder fields or tight singletrack. Just imagine if you could push a button and all of a sudden be appreciably better at math, cooking, or your job. That's what Shapeshifter is like, except more fun because it's mountain biking, not math, cooking, or your job.

The Strive also climbs acceptably well when left at 160mm, but it's more of a par for the course kinda bike when left at full travel - not overly impressive in any way, but an adequate ascender that will get you where you need to go. The same goes for pedalling efficiency in both travel settings, with the bike moving forward without any real sense of urgency. In fact, there were many times when I would have preferred a handlebar-mounted button that would considerably stiffen the Monarch shock's stroke rather than adjust travel and angles, and I found myself flipping the shock's compression lever to the middle setting anytime there was smooth, extended climbing ahead.
bigquotesJust imagine if you could push a button and all of a sudden be appreciably better at math, cooking, or your job. That's what Shapeshifter is like, except more fun because it's mountain biking, not math, cooking, or your job.

Canyon Strive CF review test Photo by Paris Gore
  A run of the mill Clark Kent on the climbs when left at full travel, the Strive turns into Superman as soon as you use the Shapeshifter system to put it in short-travel mode.


Pushing the cheater button, which is exactly what it is, doesn't turn the Strive into a cross-country bike (remember, the 160mm Pike can't be dropped down), but it certainly does make it easy to get the bike around the sharpest of switchbacks without too much effort. Fanny packs of traction out back doesn't exactly hurt, either. So, is it a class leader when it comes to climbing? It is impressive, no doubt about that. And yes, when the Strive is in short-travel and steep mode it out-climbs other 160mm bikes easily enough to make you think you're a lot better than you really are. A big part of me likes that and believes that's exactly what well designed equipment should do: allow you to perform even better than your best. Then again, I'm not a fan of buttons and different modes and all that fuss. I own a toaster that toasts my toast without letting me choose from twenty different shades of toasting, which kinda sums up my thinking: I like simple, and I want to get used to how a bike handles without swapping between different modes, however effective they may be.



Descending and Suspension

The fact that the Strive descends well shouldn't be any more of a surprise than a cross-county whippet being a rocket on the climbs, especially when you consider the bike's intentions, but just how good it actually is on the downs was still enough to see me pushing well past where I'd usually start pulling the brake levers. It's just plain easy to ride fast when in long-travel mode, and that will immediately have you re-thinking your lines in order to include some extra spicy options. That comes from the bike's handling that's more neutral than Switzerland - it never feels too lazy or too pointy - which means that the Strive is just as happy carrying too much speed into a chunky rock garden, creeping down the steepest and slowest of lines, or sliding around some flat corners at full trot. It's slack and long, so no surprises there, right? Of course not, but couldn't I say the same of the GT Sanction, Trek's Slash, or any other contemporary mid-travel monster? The Sanction rules the steeps and the Slash is an absolute animal at serious speeds, but both feel like a 450cc dirt bike that's stuck in neutral on flatter ground. The Canyon, however, matches both of those bikes when things get rowdy but avoids sucking out the fun factor on tame ground. The Strive is just less demanding and easier to live with day in and day out.
bigquotesActivate the Shapeshifter unit to drop the travel to 130mm, steepen the head angle and raise the bottom bracket, and the Strive slices and dices tight trails like it's a Slap Chop and the singletrack is an over-ripe tomato.

Canyon Strive CF review test Photo by Paris Gore
  Strive owners will have a reason to grin when things get steep and chunky.


A lot of the bike's easygoing personality comes from how manageable the Strive feels when you're picking your way through tighter trails. It's still a big, slack bike, so I'm not going to tell you it's easy to slow dance on, but it's also not as difficult to get through stop and go sections as other bikes of similar travel and angles, even when left in its slack and long-travel mode. However, activate the Shapeshifter unit to drop the travel to 130mm, steepen the head angle and raise the bottom bracket, and the Strive slices and dices tight trails like it's a Slap Chop and the singletrack is an over-ripe tomato. In fact, I ended up spending quite a bit of time on the bike with it in the short-travel setting, even on some pretty fast and chunky terrain, and while the suspension balance front to back leaves a bit to be desired when doing so, it's still extremely capable. Save the Shapeshifter system for just climbing and you won't be using the bike to its full potential.

The Strive's suspension's most noticeable trait is that it's not noticeable, but I don't mean that in a ''it could be better'' sort of way, because I'm not sure how much better Canyon could do. The leverage ratio and Monarch shock combination make for an impressively active stroke, and saying that it's coil-like is entirely justifiable. The air spring does make for a good amount of ramp-up once deeper in the travel, though, which wouldn't be as pronounced with a coil shock, but it felt to be spot-on to keep a rider from clanging off the end of its stroke. One jump in particular, a legitimate triple with a worn out takeoff that kept me from ever getting the bike's rear wheel on the good side of the built-up landing, showed just how much Canyon wants to keep riders from bottoming out. Full travel but no smashing to be had.

Canyon Strive CF review test Photo by Paris Gore
  Gecko-like grip and faultless suspension means that rolling into tricky lines is simply less tricky.


Shapeshifter Performance

I already outlined my feelings about multiple-choice toasters and multiple-choice bikes above, but my preference for setting and forgetting doesn't diminish the fact that there's a lot to like about Canyon's extremely effective Shapeshifter system. It works as advertised, and swapping between 'rowdy mode' and 'tame mode', which takes all of a second or two while on the move, has a massive effect on the bike's personality. The remote also sits up against your left grip and looks a lot like the lever that KS uses to control their seat posts, which is a good thing because it's in just the right spot and the lever travel isn't excessive.

Canyon Strive CF review test Photo by Paris Gore
The Shapeshifter remote sits up against the left grip and is easy to push when in need.
Canyon Strive CF review test Photo by Paris Gore
The small green window lets you know you're in short-travel mode (it's black at full bounce), but an audible indicator would be appreciated.

The actual method of moving between the two modes does require some parking lot practice before you're likely to have it nailed down: push the remote button and give the seat a solid bounce to get it in long-travel mode, or push the button and unweight the rear end to put it in short-travel mode. I found myself being a bit excessive at first with the latter, as you don't even need to get the rear tire up off the ground, but rather just unweight it enough to allow the air-charged piston to push the top of the shock out for more leverage. Neither motion felt natural for the first few rides, but I eventually had it down well enough to perform the job when in some pretty tight trail situations.

The great ergos of the remote and the system's effectiveness mean that you'll likely use it more than if it was a pain in the ass to active, but Canyon didn't perfect it on their first production run. There were a handful of times that saw the system either not fully transform or refuse to switch between modes entirely, regardless of how many times I tried or how much I'd fiddle with cable tension. Air pressure in the Shapeshifter actuator was correct, and I never could figure out what the hold up was, although I suspect it was related to the cable not moving freely at some point along its length. Also, while there is a barely audible ''thunk'' as the actuator tops out when you switch to short-travel mode, there's no indicator as to when you've moved to the long-travel setting, which was a bit annoying considering how it sometimes wouldn't perform that task. I'd like to see Canyon build-in a loud and distinct noise that would let you know you've fully engaged either travel setting in order to keep people from having to look down at the indicator window that's about the size of a grain of uncooked rice.



Technical Report

• Guide RSC Brakes: These are good, really good. The power is there, no doubt about it, but it's how that power is delivered that makes the new Guide stoppers so great. It comes down to modulation, with some powerful brakes giving up feel and control on low traction surfaces - sorry, that's not a great tradeoff in my books. The Guides avoid this by retaining the lever feel that their predecessors had but without any of the annoying quibbles that held those earlier brakes back from being awesome.

• Renthal Cockpit: The short stem, which is a no brainer on a bike with such a roomy front end, and 780mm wide Fatbar Carbon feel spot-on for how a bike like the Strive is meant to be ridden. It also doesn't hurt that I'm a fan of the handlebar's shape. Don't need so much leverage? Then just cut them down. Canyon gets it, why don't others?

Canyon Strive CF review test Photo by Paris Gore
Renthal supplies the 780mm wide handlebar and 50mm stem, and there's no reason to swap them out for anything else.
Canyon Strive CF review test Photo by Paris Gore
The new Guide brakes are quickly becoming a staff favourite. Loads of power but, more importantly, class leading control.

• SRAM Rail 50 Wheels: Saying that you didn't really notice a bike's wheelset is almost a backhanded compliment, isn't it? The Rail 50s aren't as flashy as other options out there, but every set has been faultless on the trail, which surely counts for more than bling. No dings, dents, or truing required after loads of big Sedona miles - picture rocks who throw other rocks at you and laugh as you ride by - which is more than I can say about some other wheelsets who have been put through similar tests.

• Ergon GE1 Grips: These would get swapped out for something softer and more traditional if the Strive were in my garage. Maybe I just have sissy hands? Not so, with everyone who rode the big Canyon noting that the GE1's aren't for them.




Pinkbike's Take:
bigquotesThe world of 160mm travel bikes is full of extremely capable choices, and it's a given that the large majority leave a rider not asking for anything when it comes to getting down the mountain. However, it's rare for such a bike to not feel like a rolling compromise in at least a few situations - a good bike can't be good everywhere, right? Of course not, but Canyon's managed to come closer than anyone else out there when talking about big, slack machines that you could win an enduro race on. The real trick, though, is how the German's haven't sacrificed the type of performance you need when it comes time to pretend you're Fabien Barel. Like a beautiful woman that rides hard and swears more than a sailor, the Strive is a bike that you'll want to spend a lot of time with. - Mike Levy


Visit the high-res gallery for more images from this review





About the Reviewer
Stats: Age: 34 • Height: 5'10” • Inseam: 33" • Weight: 165lb • Industry affiliations / sponsors: None
Mike Levy spent most of the 90s and early 2000s racing downhill bikes and building ill-considered jumps in the woods of British Columbia before realizing that bikes could also be pedalled for hours on end to get to some pretty cool places. These days he spends most of his time doing exactly that, preferring to ride test bikes way out in the local hills rather than any bike park. Over ten years as a professional mechanic before making the move to Pinkbike means that his enthusiasm for two wheels extends beyond simply riding on them, and his appreciation for all things technical is an attribute that meshes nicely with his role of Technical Editor at Pinkbike.



189 Comments

  • + 120
 This shape shifter thing isn't new at all like Canyon would have you believe. I've had one most of my life, I can shift my shape from a static 4" to 7" for when things get hairy.
  • + 49
 so you have 3" of stroke then?
  • + 101
 It said 4 to 6" before he edited it.
  • + 121
 so he upgraded to the enduro spec.
  • + 41
 I am worried that his shape shifts when things get hairy. Mine would shift confronted with things that had a nice wax.
  • + 19
 The shape of my girlfriend's back end alters for a better ride.
  • - 50
flag lukachadwick (Feb 16, 2015 at 3:40) (Below Threshold)
 *sigh* back to bikes - geometry change has existed for a while in different bikes too. Just not remote adjustable. Such as the morewood A,B,C and D setting from a short steep high bike to a low slack long bike. Not quite as big a change as the ShapeShifter but it's a technology that has been aroud for a little while.
  • + 12
 yup, morewood is definitely a shape shifter.
  • + 18
 Yes I did upgrade to the Enduro specific. That extra inch really let's you pound through the rough stuff.
(Actually my conversion was off).
  • + 2
 then they should pair with joystick cockpit.
  • - 20
flag Mattin (Feb 16, 2015 at 5:20) (Below Threshold)
 My Old SR Suntour (2004 model) had this same option. Only as a fork directed at mainly xc / trail riding the suspension could be switched between 80-120mm. Also by a single push of a lever on my handlebars.
  • + 1
 Bionicon have also been doing this for many years except their system can change front and rear simultaneously. Clever people, I tried their bikes years ago and thought they were really great. I'd love to compare to this Canyon.
  • - 6
flag lukachadwick (Feb 16, 2015 at 5:37) (Below Threshold)
 Not that I care about props, but I was just saying how, as well as falices and ShapeShifter, geo changes have been around for a while. I'm not digging canyon or saying that shapeshifter isn't revolutionary - I don't know, haven't tried it.

But travel adjust and frame geometry adjust (which is why shapeshifter is) has been around or a while. Perhaps not for the same reason or use but equally, perhaps so. Rockshox's U-Turn travel adjust affects travel and geometry, and many frames have had pivot adjusts that affect geometry.
  • + 7
 Fallacies... Hehehehe
  • - 12
flag rdawg (Feb 16, 2015 at 19:17) (Below Threshold)
 looks like a specialized pitch, trek remedy and basically every other all mountain bike on the market
  • + 8
 Can we just give the Germans the credit they deserve for executing this design so well? Sure maybe geo adjust has been around for a while, but making it at the control of your fingertips in mere seconds is impressive, the light weight and aesthetically pleasing look of the whole package (haha) is very impressive. Two thumbs up, wish I could swing my legs over that beast (no homo).
  • - 4
flag zede (Mar 3, 2015 at 5:40) (Below Threshold)
  • + 25
 On this article it says that Al range have 4 shorter TT frames, but it's not true. There are 2 shorter TT bikes and 2 longer TT Race bikes...
  • + 21
 Yup, Race sizing is available in AL and CF frames and geo on them is identical. Fix the article Mike.
  • + 2
 I noticed that too! And they also offer 2 carbon models with the non race geo and 3 with the race geo.
  • + 8
 And yet they don't do a race version in XL.... There are a lot of us lanky tw@ts out there you know.
  • + 2
 I'm new to Canyon... looks like they make 2 Strive frames with different measurements, both available in aluminium and carbon? The XL normal frame has numbers close to a Large Race frame. A bit confusing.
  • + 1
 Yes, that's right. The Large Race has the same ST height as normal Large, but noticeably longer TT and reach and a few millimeters higher stack height than the normal Large. They also offer 20mm shorter stems, 20mm wider bars and 1x11 drivetrains with Race builds.
  • + 2
 Yeah @mikelevy should correct this, the race geo is available in both alu and carbon. It should also be noted that the difference between Race and non race geo is that the M Race Geo is the the L Non race...so basically the Race Geo is just one size up from what I could tell.
  • + 1
 @bigtim you might be interested to know that the owner of canyon is 6' 8" I believe! Maybe not that exact height but he is massive.
  • + 1
 May be so but Steve Jones from Dirt mag said they don't do a bike to fit him at 6'2" - he said they do 7 f***in sizes and not one of them fit
  • + 18
 I own an old Canyon and still love it.
Anybody still miffed at the online only thing, get over it or stick to your overpriced snobbery and miss out. It just works... 99.9% of the time anyway.
Thanks Canyon for shaking up the industry and making great bikes with proper specs affordable.
  • + 25
 I hear what you are saying, but you must understand some owners of Nomads, Blurs, Mojos, Enduros, Spitfires - they feel the need to btch on Canyons or YTs to make some sense of the sport. It's hard to think otherwise when you are told by 99% of press releases that 10k bike is worth it and necessary for the wellbeing of the sport, so that technology will trickle down in the future bla bla bla. Canyon is already sponsoring plenty of high-profile athletes, major events out there, they open concept stores and arrange press camps - so enjoy the prices now, because in the future it will be just like all other companies - that investment has to go into the price, it is not that simple that it is the direct sales that cut so much, it's all investments aside of production that make for the bill. Also it is hard to blame major companies to setup show rooms in your town which Canyon does not do. There is no better way to figure out whether you want certain bike or not, than by testing it out. I love the fact that Trek and Specialized have their centres in my town so I can try almost every bike from their range in my size. Depends what you compare it to. If we take Santa Cruz which is not that far from direct sales company and their aluminium bike costs 30-40% more than Canyon, something's fkd up! Yet here again - we all enjoy This is Peaty isn't it and Syndicate podcasts? Nothing is simple in this world - found your grove? Stay in it, and if you like it don't get invite too many people into it Big Grin Great that you like your bang for the buck bike!
  • + 4
 Love my old single pivot 2014 Strive as well, mini DH bike that goes up hills!
  • - 20
flag bikecustomizer (Feb 16, 2015 at 2:15) (Below Threshold)
 @ ThePriory1978
So, the €4,299 for A BIKE is not overpriced snobbery?
  • + 4
 Yo Waki, i hear what your saying and imma let you finish but.... being the pioneer of the mtb direct sales philosophy Canyon are cleaning up and with demo days and branded service centre's springing up in the UK. Specialized/Trek etc will be glueing the brabon frames together with tears before long.
  • + 5
 @bikecustomizer hell yes, of course it is. Its still crazy expensive but its discounted snobbery. A different head badge would cost 25% more.
  • + 16
 @ThePriory1978 - excuse me, English is my second language whcih I use 90% on Pinkbike, and I have no clue what you just wrote...
  • - 2
 @ ThePriory1978
"hell yes, of course it is."
So it is a snobbery.
Why to discount then ? A well snobbery should not have any discounts.
  • + 15
 brabon - the material ENVE wheels were made of where the brass nipples dissolved in the carbon wheel creating a new element. 'Brabon'. Weaker than both materials on their own but twice as Enduro. You can have that for the next installment of WAKI-leaks. No charge.
  • + 6
 It's not snobby to buy a mountain bike - even though they cost a lot. A cheap mtb is inbetween $1000 and $2000 right? That's a hell o' lot of money I think we'll all agree , but spending it isn't snobby.

What can be seen as snobby is buying a brand for the (as mentioned) headtube badge. When actually, the yt capra had pretty much top reviews throughout so it's fair to say it's on a par with santa cruz's and specialised etc. But for the price of a carbon frame from these companies. I know what I'd choose, and I did and I don't regret it.

That's not to say anyone with a SC or spesh or trek Etc. Is a snob, as waki said, the media a responsible or a lot of the big spending, and it's safer to buy in a store where you have support, you trust the banks for transferring money and you can test what you're buying. And they are just different bikes. How boring would it be if everyone owned canyons and yt's? And specialized made te first mtb, trek pioneered and steve peat says it all for the success of SC. They've all been at it for a long time and their bikes have been adjusted and tweaked for years and years where as the capra was in it's first generation in 2014. Hard to trust it is it not?

I think there are many people who buy the latest bike every year to show off in the car park but that's pretty much where the snobbery finishes.
  • + 6
 It depends how you look at it, Santa Cruz and trek bikes are solid and the carbon frames are reliable. Likewise with enve wheels. They also come at a very high premium.

Yes you can get cheaper carbon bikes for example lapierre. As we all know lapierre are notorious for cracking and There's also a lot of similar stories appearing for YT Capra.
I'm not saying that canyons carbon frames are the same but it does add the element of doubt, is it too good to be true?.

I've always loved the look and canyons and the value for money is undeniable, but I am a big believer of buying from somewhere I can return to if things go wrong and will happily pay a higher price for that security.

If there are canyon service centres opening in the U.K. it would be a very serious contender for my next bike.
  • + 3
 Frame reliability is an issue for all companies, the main difference is, the capra was yt's first carbon frame. They addressed issues as I'm sure sc would have had to in their first gen carbon bikes. I have been riding mine for 2 months mostly dh and hitting some pretty big jumps and drops all in the shite gritty conditions and I've (touch wood) had none of the common issues (e13 hub reliability and frame cracking). That's not to say that the issues aren't occuring though. It's definately a problem. Although yt swear that they are paint cracks which is a dangerous claim for a company which could be held responsible for an injury caused by a false judgment causing it to actually snap.

I have snapped a fork and cracked an aluminium frame too, so I'm fully aware of the problem and it's a massive pain in the arse.

But If you look at Fox vs. Rockshox (I'm only using them as an example, I don't want to spark a massive debate) fox are more expensive and tend to be less reliable than RS. So it's not always a case of 'you get what you pay for'. I think there is a lt to be said for direct sales bikes and components - superstar for example make bombproof kit for rediculous prices. After all, if canyon and yt supplied to distributors, they would cost as much as sc and trek I'm sure.
  • + 4
 Mmmmm... Santa Cruz vastly overbuilt their first carbon frames. First Blur LTc weighed as much as current Nomad at 2.8kg (These days 5010c at 2.5kg, Trc at 2,2kg ) and first V10c was 3.8kg I think. Now compare it to 2.8kg Session 9.9 or aluminium Reign at 2.6kg!
  • + 1
 Yeah, I have no evidence that sc had issues but there have recently been reports of cracking nomads.

I'm just recognising it as an issue that companies face when developing frames. Perhaps the overdevelopment of sc's original frames was to prevent cracking? Which is just a different way of going about it.

And if yt made a super heavy frame they would sell very few in this day and age with lightweight frames available from SC.
  • + 1
 What I can report on with SC is that I chipped off a large chunk of clear coat and some base composite layer on my TRc after hitting a rock on an uphill. I can see the bearing now. It has little to do with carbon itself, (although I'd prefer aluminium swingarm) much more with ridiculous pivot location putting it in the way of things. Ridiculous alsp when considering how low BB this thing has. When I compare it to my X01 cranks, they are much better at taking hits than my frame.
  • + 4
 2014 Giant Trance Advanced SX ticks almost all the boxes! Strong yet light (Advanced) carbon frame, aluminum swingarm, LIFETIME WARRANTY...
  • + 1
 The brass nipples dissolved from sealant that problem is fixed now , and to my second point how the f*ck does carbon fibre dissolve spoke nipples?
  • + 1
 Does sealant dissolve brass nipples?! And salt from roads in winter damages aluminium nipples? - So there is no escape?!
  • + 0
 How is SC close to a direct sales company???

Consumers can only buy SC bikes through dealers either brick and mortar or online retailer... Am I missing something?

SC, Trek, Spec, are not necessarily overpriced, but priced as a function of a being in the wholesale business. I can say that SC's prices on "pro/industry form" (i.e. direct sales) is the same as YT. Trek is lower and EP on Spec is quite a bit lower than YT.

I guess the question is, can we really support the wholesale/retail market with the current prices? If we can't, what then happens to the LBS as retail sales do make up some of their margin. Most people on PB handle their own stuff well, but I think we are the minority and I will say there are sometimes where it is great when an LBS can fix m f*ck ups quickly...
  • + 2
 dhx42 - yes I ordered both of my SC frames via SC dealer - 1 step in many cases no shop, no show room, sometimes just a dude with a garage, ordering stuf based on orders he gets from people, making order of several frames at once for them, no purchases in advance.
  • + 1
 @WAKIdesigns - OK well that's a very unique circumstance. However, it is still through a dealer, who I am guessing makes money. Direct sales would imply buying directly from SC.

All I am saying is that non-direct companies pricing is more a function of the business model than anything else.
  • + 1
 Whatever enve done to there Brass nipples a while back sealant corroded them, there grand now im happily running the m60 40s for 8 months and there very impressive, they are pricey though but I do enjoy them, only pain is changing tyres, you need lots of patience and tyre levers, took me 6 hours to get a Wtb Vigilante over the rim wall.
  • + 3
 The WTB Vigilante is a notoriously tight fit. Took me hours and hours and hours, much cursing and the toughest Park Tools metal tyre levers to get it on my DT Swiss EX500 rims. I'm dreading the day i puncture, gunna need a nuke to get the sodding thing off. Is an awesome tyre though.
  • + 1
 Unlucky for me im moving the tyre to the front today and trying the trail boss, it's way too draggy to have 2 vigilantes and im not even running the team issue let alone 2 of them lol.
  • + 1
 SC seems to have some of the strongest prohibitions for dealership deals as well. It certainly seems like the distance you have to be from an existing dealer is quite a bit farther than any other brand I've encountered. I'm in a area with 1 million+ people, a strong MTB community, & there's only one dealer, & I know for a fact other shops have tried to get their product.
  • + 18
 "except more fun because it's mountain biking, not math, cooking, or your job. "

But mike, riding bikes IS your job! And how jealous we all are Frown
  • + 14
 I had to look twice, I read it first time as "except more fun because it's mountain biking, not meth cooking, or your job."
  • + 8
 Walter white is sponsored by the big S serious.
  • + 1
 That's a law-suit, bitch.
  • + 3
 Better call Saul!
  • + 8
 4299 euros for a very nicely spec'd complete carbon bike. Even at today's exchange rate, that's roughly $4800 U.S.for a race ready bike. Meanwhile, Specialized and Santa Cruz are selling their high-end carbon enduro frames (Enduro S-Works, Nomad) to us dopes in the U.S. anywhere from $3200 to $4000. Just for the frame!

The YT Capra CF Pro Race can be had for $5495 direct from the manufacturer.

Direct sales model. It's the wave of the future.
  • - 2
 Not really. Completely unsustainable for the biking industry. Taking the bike shops out of the local scene means taking out the local bike scene.
  • + 3
 So? With no LBS there would be no MTB? What is the "local scene" anyway?

I love the guys who cling desperately to old romantic notions of the LBS. Economics is all about pricing and value-add. That's where companies with revenue models like Amazon and others I have mentioned before have dominated the competition.

There's is this emotional belief that mountain bikes are somehow special and exempt from the laws of economics. At the end of the day, mountain bikes are vehicles made from labor and material.

I can sell you a bike that's just as good if not better that what's available at your LBS for significantly less via my direct sales model. Would you be interested?
  • + 1
 Ok, but how many people would be in the mtb scene if there were no bike shops for groms to take their bikes to, to get worked on?
What happens when I break things on a bike?

Imagine a scenario where there were no such things as automotive shops, and you bought cars online, and they were delivered. Sure they would work great for a loongg time, but for the majority of the population who do not have time to work on their own cars, as soon as they develop problems they are screwed.

You can have a bike shop that has good techs and a mediocre sales team, and it will probably come out at the end of the year. If they have shitty techs, they will slowly die out.
  • + 8
 Garages don't sell cars; they fix them. Bike-shops must adapt or die out, but that is the case for almost every business that exists. The sport itself will live on regardless.
  • + 0
 Car dealerships sell cars, warranty them, and fix them. Waaaaay more successful than a repair shop.
  • + 1
 Yeah but with this analogy, if there are no bike shops, there are no dealerships? Strictly as somewhere to buy locally? A bike shop usually functions as a dealership/automotive shop, were just palying devils advocate here.
My argument is, if there is nowhere close to get your bike fixed, it is a way bigger hassle to get my bike boxed up, and flown back to chainreactioncycle while they fix it Razz
  • + 2
 @dualsuspensiondave: The whole car analogy is not accurate since there are NO car manufactures that even allow independent dealers to sell them. The auto industry has dealers locked into the equation. Complete consumer scam IMO.
  • + 11
 Looks very much like a 'shiny thing' to me Mike....
  • + 5
 I'm so pumped that this bike gets the thumbs up for Pinkbike as I have one due next week. Although, saying that I ordered in October and it was actually due in January and I am now on my third delivery postponement. Though not too bothered as its winter and every time there is a delay they add another free item to my order. At this rate they will need to send me two boxes, 1 for the bike and 1 for all the free gear!
  • + 4
 @mikelevy Agree, the @Canyon-PureCycling Strive CF is amazing! Out of all the bikes in our Colorado office quiver, the Strive sees the most use. As for the GE1 grips, if you want something "more traditional" and softer, check out the recently released GA2. The GA2 will more than meet your personal request(s).
  • + 5
 WTF with the geometry in these days?????

santa cruz, YT, specialized, ibis ecc.. say that "PRO" is short..

canyon and mondraker state "PRO" as super long..

look at those TT..

your opinion???
  • + 4
 Maybe the riders they back and have a say in development prefer different things?
  • + 3
 Given Fabien Barel's past history with Mondraker in the development of their forward geometry concept, its not surprising that Canyon bikes also exhibit longer geometry as well.
  • + 2
 I cant see that those Canyon bikes like Spectral or Strive are in any way near Mondrakers forward geometry. I own a Spectral myself, and it is just normal with 480mm reach in size XL. The Strive in size XL is too short for me with 465mm. I am 202cm.

Ever looked at the geometry of a Mondraker? In size XL the reach is 520mm if I remember correctly.
  • + 3
 Note that this bike doesn't have ISCG05 tabs as described above. They instead use their own ISCG standard which does not fit any standard chain device. An additional adaptor is required to add a chain device. I know this because the carbon tabs holding the E13 chain device snapped on my bike and when Canyon refused to replace the chainstays I had to install a chain device using the tabs which I thought would be ISCG05 as per the article above.
  • + 1
 I did the same thing...nearly a year later. BIG (damned) shame Pinkbike hasn't updated the article. I've just bought a MRP Sxg chain guide with lower bash guard (check it out, these things are the dog's nuts...although the price is more properly represented just north of those nuts...US$177) for my Strive CF 2015 and had it shipped from the United States to Hong Kong...only to discover that my bike very clearly does NOT have ISCG05 tabs. I checked Canyon bike manual and the exploded diagram on its website but neither mentioned the BB tab standard. guess I can just trace the MRP mounting plate onto aluminium or carbon fibre and alter the tab spots...but what a hassle after paying so much for the thing. Did you manage to get an adapter for this?
  • + 4
 After a lot of messing about with Canyon and not getting the right answer it was a fellow Pinkbiker that gave me the solution:

1 x A1012197 (Thats the adaptor to covert it to ISCG-05)
3 x A1012196 (The screws for it)

Ask Canyon for that and you can use your ISCG05 chain guide.
  • + 3
 I spy a tiny issue... If it's so difficult to know which setting you're in that you have to keep looking or desire an audible siren, surely it's not that different? Or am I being unfair? I'd want to be able to tell whether I'm on 130 or 160 or frankly, what's the point? Maybe I've missed it.
  • + 2
 Agreed. I can't say the shapeshifter system is all that exciting. I'll take one without please.
  • + 5
 I received my Strive AL 7.0 three weeks ago. I guarantee you can feel a deep difference between the two positions, especially when you sit on the saddle. The indicator is helpful changing from XC to DH, when you are engaging a descending route and you want to check you are on the good mode.
  • + 3
 I'm lucky enough to live close to the Canyon mothership and was able to pop down last saturday to give the strive cf a test. It was only a parking lot fumble , but I came away from it a larger fan of the shape shifter system than I was beforehand ( and I was already quite giddy ).. My opinion of their excellent apple cake remained constant.....
  • + 2
 "Ergon GE1 Grips: These would get swapped out for something softer and more traditional if the Strive were in my garage. Maybe I just have sissy hands?"

You do have sissy hands, best single lock ring grip delivered to market thus far!
  • + 2
 This is a really good bike. But how would you know what size to get? A bike like this needs to be demo'ed. How else do you figure out the long and the short TT option thing.

As for me, I would much rather pay more to buy locally and keep more people locally employed who can help me locally when I need work done on my bike.
  • + 10
 You're making an emotional decision, not a logical one. Emotion has no place in financial dealings. If that's the case, we should all go out and throw rocks at windows to make work for the local glass repair shop.

Are you familiar in with Best Buy? The retail electronics model is on it's last dying breath (Radio Shack just filed for Chapter 11). The only reason Best Buy is still alive is because they have lobbyists who basically bribed politicians to vote to mandate sales taxes on purchases made on internet giants like Amazon. Why would I pay 8+% sales tax for a big ticket item when I could buy the same item on Amazon, pay $0 tax and get free 2-day shipping. Plus why should I get in my car, sit in traffic and the crowds to get to a store only to find that it doesn't have what I want in stock. Amazon has exactly what I want and I know instantly if it's available.

I've been riding MTB since my first Pro-Flex 856. I've purchased all of my bikes from LBSs who charge me tax and % mark-up. The amount of the mark-up all depends on how well that particular business manages it's costs. Why should I pay extra for a business that isn't managed well? Plus of the 6 or so bikes I've owned, I don't ever recall saying "damn, if I had only demoed this bike beforehand!" Plus how much can you get out of a short demo usually taking place on unfamiliar terrain?

Also, what's to keep direct sales manufacturers from providing demo bikes? Why do you need an LBS fort that? Hire a couple of guys with a factory trailer to drive around from trail-head to trail-head so people can demo their wares.

If you're OK with paying such mark-ups, then just consider it a "just to feel good" surcharge.
  • + 5
 @halopower,

I pay more to deal directly with people I know and trust. So I pay more and in my opinion I get more. That seems logical to me.

As for demo'ing bikes: I demo'ed multiple bikes at local trails for complete rides before I decided on my current bike.
  • + 0
 So you'll never buy anything over $10 over the Internet?
  • + 1
 Emotional decisions like that are logical. You take away the local shops, you take away the local bike scene. Maybe you've never seen a good bike community like in Pisgah, NC. Incredible bike scene fueled by some really good local shops. Every good bike community that I've seen has good local bike shops supporting it. Selling out to internet sales for everything bike related sucks.
  • + 2
 Dave, again I ask respectfully... what is the local bike scene? What does that even mean? I've been riding for 20+ years. Maybe I'm just anti-social so I don't know what my local "MTB scene is." I wake up, grab my bike and hit my local trail. When I'm done, I grab lunch and go home. Is that the scene you speak of?

Also, speaking of "selling out".. should notable stores like Dunbar or Fanatik or Universal Cycles be told not to augment their revenue by selling bikes and parts via the Internet to "non-locals?" If you were the owner of one of these shops would you not do the same?

How about big component manufacturers like SRAM or Shimano, etc. Should they be allowed to sell their products directly to customers via the web or does everything need to be marked up by a distributor and then a retailer before I can buy it?
  • + 1
 @halopower,

I buy items off the internet that I cannot find at my local bike shop( for example my KS LEV dropper post.)

I find value in bike shops in ways that don't equal dollar signs:

Bike shop group rides can take a new rider turn him into a lifetime lover of the sport because of all the fun he had on his first group ride.

A bike shop can let you experience the differences between products. Vs. only reading about it online.

Some of the best riders and friends I know are people that work in bike shops. Their advice has never steered me wrong.
The value of that is piece of mind, which in my experience cannot be measured in currency.
  • + 1
 @halopower - I can relate to that completely. I spent the majority of this last season riding by myself as you do. Had no complaints, and actually really enjoyed it.

I recently have found three other cities that have good biking communities. You can actually ride with other people while having fun. Beer induced at times, and good beer at that. Good riding, good food, good beer, happy people, and most either work in a local shop or have in the past. It's good to have the ability to ride with others that know what's up and can be helpful.
  • + 1
 I bought my first Canyon in 2004, after endless woes and troubles that I had with a Ventana MPFS I bought from a local dealer. The dealer could not help me with those always worn out bushings and broken swingarms, so I had to call Ventana myself and write email over email, so they sent me all the spare parts. For free, but this all took months!

The Canyon I bought then had one of those Manitou forks that had a misfit crown. I tried to get a new fork from Canyon. After hundreds of calls to the hotline and uncounted numbers of emails to the manager they finally let me send it back for inspection - guess what, they sent it back without fixing it. I sold the bike and bought a new one, Canyon of course Smile . It broke after some years of freeriding. I tried to get a new frame on warranty (5years!), but they said no, my fault. Same again, emails, phone calls, lawyer - finally I got a new frame (new old stock, slightly scratched).

I cant see a difference. What do I need a lokal bike shop for, if they dont help me?
Many of those "big" internet stores emerged from local bike shops. Canyon too. And in some years, all those local bike shops around the corner will do the repairs and the big ones will sell the bikes.
  • + 4
 While shops can be a valuable from a culture/scene point of view:

A: If shops don't exist, clubs & informal group rides will fill that gap. It's a need that won't go away, & won't be left unfilled.

B: FAR too many shops expect to get that loyalty, be a source of community, & monopolize their customer's bike dollars without working for it. I don't think that shops will die out, but I do think there's far too many shops in most places, who expect to make money because of artificial agreements that limit product availability(restrictions on how close another shop carrying the same brand can be, for example,) & resent the fact you aren't beholden to them for your parts. I resent them when they tell me a certain product is the best, because it's the brand they can get ahold of, instead a clearly superior alternative. Those agreements encourage shop staff to lie for your business at times, that's not the sign of a healthy retail sector. It's what you'd expect from shyster car dealers, in fact.

Most places need far fewer shops, with perhaps increased mechanic staff to compensate for less total shops, rather than the common "little shop with a 2 bike stand every 5 miles" current paradigm, that's artificially propped up by availability restrictions.
  • + 2
 groghunter, well said. I'm not anti-LBS. In fact I'm very lucky to live near one of the best around (The Path in Tustin, CA). A number of bike manufacturers out there however are finding that the direct sales model is the way to go. This model couldn't exist 10 (or even 5) years ago without the Internet and the establishment of eCommerce and efficient logistics, etc.. And what about smaller boutique shops like Canfield Bros.? Maybe they find it easier to sell directly to their customer via the web instead of the extra cost and hassle of trying to establish a dealership network. I just looked at the Canfield site and I believe you can their frames direct via the website. Are these guys "sell-outs?" Shit, I just think these guys are trying to sell bikes to keep their dream going and put food on the table.
  • + 2
 Interesting Canyon decided to have the 3rd tier spec reviewed instead of the more expensive SL or TEAM specs, nice change from all the tip top spec wonder bikes that pb normally get given to review . . . having said that, the Team spec looks so sweet
  • + 2
 The shapeshifter thing seems awesome, and Im seriously considering ordering a Canyon when Im back in the UK. I do however wonder why no one is discussing the long term reliability of the shapeshifter system? It seems like it would be the sort of part that might be difficult to get parts for or to find a shop that could service it? This is pretty important too for those of us who dont have a race team to back us up!
  • + 3
 'I think it's fair to say that only an ISIS terrorist with a thing for goats (probably more common than we suspect) would think that the Strive isn't a looker.'

Classic cyst-isis bashing.
  • + 4
 Haha Adam Hills gold right there.
  • + 1
 Not sure what to make of that quote. He might also get flamed for it..
  • + 2
 The men who stare at goats. Hmm.
  • + 3
 Sort of funny sort of not funny at all - the very least they deserve is the mickey taken a bit but I think Id rather for that hateful group not to get air time at all
  • + 1
 Funny you should refer to 'airtime' for such a media circus act.
  • + 1
 @thelumberjack,fair comment pal .....
  • + 1
 @lumberjack, isis&media..its a dbl edged sword, pardon the pun. We need to know about evil-Modern day islamo nazis; beheadings and atrocities vs Christians and Jews.
  • + 2
 Another prime example of Godwin's law. Let's just agree they're dicks and move on. Ooo look, a pretty bike!
  • + 1
 @jrocksdh

Plato had something to say about foreign enemies.
  • + 1
 Plato used to ride a hardtail too ,pretty switched on bloke eh ..
  • + 2
 Don't matter how many switches, levers, links, pulleys, inches, bells or whistles they put on em, you canny beat a hardtail.
  • + 2
 The very instant I read that line I was like "I'm reading a Mike Levy article. I don't even need to scroll up and confirm."
  • + 2
 Funny how you mention the pike not going down in travel. I will nerve understand why these higher priced bikes have the RCT3, nobody ever uses the 3 stages. I'm Muchore happy with my RC with dual position air so it CAN go to 130mm travel.
  • + 2
 That's the first thing I thought when I read "the 160mm Pike is not adjustable". Why would they not spec a dual position 160-140mm Pike here? That would make it a perfect bike... like having a Solo and a Nomad all in one.
  • + 2
 Lowering the fork would lower the bottom bracket, negates one of the reasons the shapeshifter is so beneficial
  • + 5
 A lot of people don't prefer the dual position Pike because you can't add tokens.
  • + 1
 The marketing machine is gorgeous:

SCOTT had the pretty much the same thing with their Equalizer/Nude shocks/Twinlock: on the Genius LT you had 185/110mm in the back and 140mm/180mm in the front with the help of Fox Talas. This was in 2012 and here is the pinkbike review link:
www.pinkbike.com/news/Scott-Genius-LT-10-Tested-2012.html

And also the Cannondale models feature the same system: Who remembers the wild Claymore, or the actual Trigger or Jerome's Jekyll ?

But, let's be honest, Canyon is the new kid in town who learnt from the others' mistakes and chose their own path: normal shock with special fitting !
A simpler (?) solution vs proprietary shock ?

Only the riders will live to tell the story...
  • + 1
 I thought I would share this you. I have the model below this one and it also comes with Sram wheels but Roam 40 version. I was a little concerned that they are a bit thin/light for the bike. Anyway I thought I would look into the cost of rim replacement just in case. I could not find anywhere listing the rim so I contacted Fisheroutdoor here in the UK. Also asked about 26mm tubeless tape as I have struggled to find any forsale in the uk. This was the reply:

"We have no rims for any SRAM wheels available for aftermarket sale.
If a warranty issue arises or a rebuild is requested, the wheel/s are returned to the SRAM tech department and a quote is sought from SRAM.
The wheels are then sent to SRAM for rebuild in either case.
These wheel builds do not take place in the UK.
With regard to the 26mm tape, the product code you need to order from your local bike shop is RT8126001 (Tubeless Kit Includes 26mm Tape, 2 Valves & 1 Valve Core Wrench (Fits 21mm inner width rims, Roam Wheels) (Special Order)).
We currently have stock and the retail is £25:00".

There you have it, if you damage your rim you need to send your wheel back to them and they will send it back to Sram (US or Germany I don’t know) for a rebuild. I’m guessing a lot of time and I would imagine a lot of money!
  • + 3
 Gorilla tape. Cut it to width.
  • + 1
 All the talk of fabien. But I would bethink a dollar or 2 that Joe had some influence on the design. He always was very shrewd in his component selection etc knew his reasons and justifications.
This looks like an amazing bike. I wish I could justify the price over a nukeproof mega. (Moving from a nomad).
  • + 1
 After just five rides out with a new Strive CF Team the shapeshifter stopped working. I checked the air pressure up to the recommended pressure but the thing just started leaking oil!

Tried to bring air pressure back up again and after the oil leak the shapeshifter is just not engaging anymore so stuck in DH mode.

Bike is amazing but the shapeshifter just has some quality issues. I have written twice to info@canyon.com and no response yet. Hope to get help soon.

...Problem is I am in Mexico and guarantee will present shipping challenges...
  • + 3
 Telling everyone in North America how awesome this is when it's not available here is the biggest tease ever. Damn you PB.
  • + 1
 I can't believe they don't ship to canada and usa !!! Seriously i was about to checkout on the site for a strive!!! big big problem in the bike industry : so many nice bike that we just can't have!! it totally piss me off.
  • + 3
 Just got the AL6.0 race last week, to replace my Kona coil air, very happy so far!
  • + 0
 One thing I don't get is, why the Shape shifter should work better than a TALAS fork or any other dual position fork on a regular frame. I had a TALAS and I was very pleased with the low option for climbing. IMO for climbing you don't need 160mm of travel. Personally I am absolutely satisfied whith the gometry change you have with a dual position fork. Especialy on steep climbes. Comare it with this system and I don't see much advantages.

Downhill setup:
Shapeshifter:
160mm front 160mm rear; BB height: low;head angle: slack
Dual position fork:
160mm front 160mm rear; BB height: mid;head angle slack

Uphill setup:
Shapeshifter:
160mm front 130mm rear; BB height high;head angle steep
Dual position fork:
130(or less)mm front 160mm rear; BB height: low;head angle steep

Do you need a high BB for climbes? I don't think so. Do you need a geometry change to stiffen rear end for climbs? Not essentially, the shock compression can be changed on the shock and it works well enough.
Aslo I essentially don't wat another thing on my bike i will need to service or worry about (and another 200g). Telescopic seatposts convinced me. They are a huge diference. But this thing? Is it needed? How will you service this thing in 5 or 10 years?
  • + 2
 Well I kinda liked most of what you said.
  • + 2
 What you missed is that the leverage rate also changes.
  • + 1
 "Do you need a geometry change to stiffen rear end for climbs? Not essentially, the shock compression can be changed on the shock and it works well enough." Sorry, maybe I was not precise enough. But I meant that.
  • + 2
 If I wanted to point a long travel bike up a hill, ideally I would stiffen the rear and if nothing else, drop the front.
  • + 0
 I have a TALAS and never use it, I do feel the drag that most people notice with it. And yes, a higher BB does help a lot on rough climbs. Besides that, overall comfort on long rides would be much better on the Strive XC geo.
  • + 2
 The fact that they don't sell to North America is a total buzzkill for most PB readers In other news, the bike seems pretty awesome.
  • + 1
 Just looking at their site, jaw dropping prices
  • + 5
 at least you have the (quote) "good burgers and fries".
you can't have it all over there... ;-P
  • + 2
 @dirttrailsociety and remember that the price is including 19% Geman VAT.
  • + 2
 You can guarantee that the prices will be higher when they start offering them in North America. If I compare the price of a YT Capra to a similar bike from a shop, not much difference at all, especially compared to a Giant or Devinci. Shops don't sell at full retail !
  • + 3
 so many cool bikes, so little time/money...
  • + 3
 Canyon, please bring your bikes to Australia.
  • + 5
 And the US.....
  • + 1
 Ordered mine in the beginning of january, going to receive it in the middle of may, just 4899,00 EUR, wouldn't even think about buying a SC.
  • + 1
 Every review of an "enduro" bike says the same exact thing, but I guess that means lots of companies are making awesome bikes.
  • + 1
 Best looking enduro rig imho. But, I'd loathe the day that ss cable snagged internally, as my ks does, and you get stuck in one position or another.
  • + 1
 Great review, I like how comparisons were made to the Slash and Sanction! I would love to see more of this in future reviews.
  • + 1
 I'd like to see a comparison between the Race and standard frame length bikes, I'm seriously considering one but not sure which version would be best
  • + 1
 I don't get the long/short alu/carbon write up. A small race is a medium "normal" frame - or did I miss something comparing them?
  • + 1
 hey mike, what trail are you riding in the second pic, I'm going to Sedona next week and would love to ride that trail. Thanks
  • + 1
 Way too late, but thats Highline
  • + 1
 No XL in the race geometry. Do German companies not understand that their are people over 6'2 who like to ride mountain bikes?

I'm out.
  • + 1
 Look here: www.canyon.com/fr/technology/strive-cf-geometrie
"L Race" goes up to 1m94 >> almost 6'4
  • + 1
 Still not long enough to run a 35mm stem at 6'4
  • + 1
 Why would you run a 35mm stem?
  • + 1
 Why wouldn't you?
  • + 6
 Because there are stems between 0mm and 150mm? Never heard about anyone chosing a bike based on stem length, that's why I want to know what he thinks. Now if you excuse me...
  • + 0
 Because I happen to like short stems. That's the interesting thing about life, people like different things Wink
  • + 1
 I've been buying bikes based on reach and shortest stem possible for years as have many others I'm sure. If you need more than 50mm you need a longer bike.
  • + 1
 I love riding with a 35mm stem. In my opinion it gives you the most control when your bike is leaned over to the maximum angle.

I took 5 seconds off my best time on a 3:35 track when I put on a 35mm simply because it allowed me to lean the bike harder. I'm taking stopwatch seconds here, not strava seconds.
  • + 0
 I was just interested and reply is more than satisfactory with no prejudgments taken. Jclnv - you should become a president of USA and enforce a law on those stems and reach. Would you ride a minus stem and handlebars backwards to put those elbows out?
  • + 1
 IMO there is no downside to running a shorter stem on the right bike. Companies like Canyon are producing bikes that are long enough so that you can run a 35-40mm stem and still have the same reach as if you had a 60mm stem. Great idea, but make it in a big enough size so it works for tall riders.
  • + 1
 IMO everyone should test different stuff for longer period of time that gives quality feedback on what does what, and afterwards decide what they feel comfortable with. I did that homework and I don't give a bloody damn if someone finds a problem with my 60mm stem with 740 Renthal Lite bars on my Blur Tr in large with 160 fork, Specialized tyres on 27mm inner carbon rims, on my trails on the other side of the planet, with certain kinds of obstacles, surface, vegetation, elevation, achievable speeds, also taking to account my physiology, strength, skill, muscle memory patterns, because I love that setup. I have no probs with someone saying he likes 35mm stem. I have a problem with a moron who believes in one solution for all, based on a greater good idea, that even if this and that may not be optimal for every single person, they are still on the better side of things by listening to his ideology. Yea I said it - that's what it is - ideology, preference, mumbo jumbo, belief in a certain arrangement of numbers. Don't like 580 bars wit hbar ends and 130mm stem? (pause we take a loooong pause here, breaaaathe in, puffffff breathe out - noting follows, stay with that urge to react by not reacting, umphhhhhh, breath in, breathe out, there is no stem, there are no bars whupffffff aaaaaah, repeat whuffff aaaaaaaah)

Why is relativity so itchy for some people?
  • + 2
 I've ridden stems from over 100mm in the 90's down to 30mm on a Mondraker. I'd imagine most people who have been riding mountain bikes for a while will have done something similar.

After riding a bike with a longer reach and shorter stem the vast majority will prefer it. Why? Because it improves the bikes handling.

Personal preference and what is most efficient are two different things.
  • + 3
 The problem is that this stem is efficient for you and may not be efficient for someone else so it still remains your belief not the common truth. As long as you stay on your territory and shout over the border how cool it is where you are it's fine, I also have little problem if you shout: long stem wanker! Be my guest, even though it is more efficient to say it quietly or to the neighnor on the other side. I was interested in your stuff and got your opinion thanks. I was genuinely interested why would you run 35mm stem, honestly not willing to swap my 60mm or 70mm. I just don't like people getting on my lawn, peeing on it and telling me it's raining. For a side note ekhem... Different handlebars, even in gravity genre alone, put your grips somewhere within over a full inch of fore/aft measured distance in
relation steerer axle so for instance 35mm stem with 740 renthals will give same reach as 50mm stem with Answer pro taper DH at 740 while easton haven bars which have loads of backsweep will put your grips in the same place with 60mm stem... Ehh iz better people... Many Personal preferences are stupid yes, the bauty is most of them are harmless to you
  • + 1
 Opinions are like arseholes, everyone has one. If you like your 60mm great. No one is telling you, you must run a shorter one, just saying what they prefer.
  • + 1
 I feel that the back end looks a bit spindly.
I wonder how it would hold up during jumps, berms, and big drops under my 205lbs/93kg.
  • + 1
 Now please Canyon... Ship to North America, you're missing out on a large portion of the market!
  • + 1
 Get ordering if you want one. Something like a four month lead time for mine, which is due next week.
  • + 2
 Anyone have €4,299, I wont it.
  • + 1
 One for me as well please haha
  • + 2
 And I am in love all over again. What a beaut.
  • + 2
 When is Canyon going to join YT and Polygon and start selling in the US?
  • + 2
 Never, YT did it by themselves, Canyon isn't even thinking about it and Polygon... who wants a Polygon?!
  • + 2
 what size frame was the test bike? thx.
  • + 2
 It was a large pro
  • + 1
 aka the mad scientist, aka xtra pee
  • + 2
 I'm striving to read all these comments without laughing hard at work.
  • + 2
 I'm still rolling out of bed
  • + 2
 I would get the model above for slighty more.
  • + 2
 who wouldn't? Big Grin
  • + 2
 50 shades of toast...
  • + 2
 you just made me hungry !!!
  • + 2
 That is gorgeous.
  • + 2
 I like a fucking lot!!!
  • + 1
 This bike looks properly epic.
  • + 0
 Kona magic link with modern geometry. But switch operated instead of automatic.
  • - 3
 Really great article but has anyone else noticed the error?

The fifth set of pictures down the article explaining the different modes has gotten the numbers wrong.

Short travel (XC) mode = 66 Degrees head angle and 130mm travel

Long travel (DH) mode = 67.5 degrees head angle and 160mm travel

Also the writer has gotten a few of the references wrong relating to these specifications. In the Climbing/Handling section for example.

Don't mean to be 'that guy' but just thought i'd point it out.

I've got the AL 7.0 arriving today, thanks for a good write up despite the errors, I knew what you meant :p
  • + 1
 But why would the longer travel setting have the steeper head angle? I don't get that.
  • + 8
 Ah shite. Yeah you're right. For some reason i've thought that a larger number meant the head angle was slacker. It's the other way round isn't it. Ignore me. Delete post. Pretend I never said anything.
  • + 1
 Turns out you get to be 'that guy' after all! Happy days! Smile
  • + 7
 Yes I do....

*head in hands*

In other news. My Strive just arrived : D
  • + 1
 how is your strive? I'm looking to get the Al 7.0 race but concerned about the shapeshifter. If it breaks, big headaches getting it fixed from Nepal..
  • + 1
 My shapeshifter has been fine mate. They're not all plagued with problems.
  • + 0
 its canyons new line of hunchback frames. ...looks good guys...
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