First Look: Canyon's 2022 Exceed and Lux Get Even More Race Focused

Sep 28, 2021
by Seb Stott  

Canyon's Lux and Exceed are proven performers under team riders including Mathieu van der Poel, Ceylin del Carmen Alvarado, Emily Batty, Andreas Seewald, and Martin Stosek. For 2022, the frames remain the same but the spec gets an update, including more remote lockouts, short-travel forks and rigid seatposts.

2022 Canyon Lux

The Lux was first released back in 2019, featuring a flex pivot rear suspension design and steering limiter headset to protect the frame from damage while allowing it to be lighter. It was always a traditionalist's XC bike, with steep angles and an emphasis on lightness, but for 2022 the parts list is even more race-focused. All modes share 100mm forks (shorter than some XC race bikes these days) for what Canyon calls the "most aggressive setup – steeper angles, lighter parts, faster handling." They all come with rigid seatposts too for the minimum weight and, according to Canyon, improved stiffness too. Finally, all Lux CF SLX models (mid-range) now have handlebar-mounted lockouts for improved pedalling efficiency.

The Lux CF 6 (left) and Lux CF SLX LTD.

There are four models in the 2022 Lux range. At the entry-level is the Lux CF 6 which is equipped with Shimano SLX shifting, Fox SC Performance suspension, and DT Swiss XR1900 wheels. At the other end of the scale is the Lux CF SLX LTD (The SLX doesn't stand for the Shimano groupset but Canyon's SLX carbon). It boasts a claimed weight of 1,662 g for the CF SLX frame; is spec'd with a RockShox SID SL Ultimate fork and SID Deluxe Ultimate shock, plus SRAM’s XX1 Eagle AXS groupset. There's also the Lux CF SLX 9 Team with Fox Factory suspension and Shimano XTR shifting.

2022 Canyon Exceed

The Exceed CF 6 (left) and CFR LTD.

The 2022 Exceed hardtail is available in three grades of carbon, called CF, CF SLX and CFR. The Exceed CF frameset is the entry-level option. The CF 6 model is the second cheapest at €2,299 and is equipped with a Fox 32 Rhythm fork, Shimano SLX shifting and DT Swiss XR1700 wheels. The flagship of the range is the Exceed CFR LTD. The top-end CFR frameset has a claimed weight of 835g (just over half the weight of the lightest Lux frame). The CFR LTD is equipped with a RockShox SID SL Ultimate fork, SRAM XX1 Eagle AXS groupset, Reynolds Black Label wheels and DT Swiss D232 One 60 mm dropper post. It's interesting that Canyon chose to spec dropper posts on some of their hardtails but not the full-suspension bikes.

The new Lux and Exceed models are available now at

Mathieu van der Poel gurning for glory.

Author Info:
seb-stott avatar

Member since Dec 29, 2014
298 articles

  • 113 1
 “Meet bike that got the most airtime in the Tokyo Olympics”
  • 1 1
 beat me to it...
  • 2 0
 Golden comment
  • 1 1
 Consistent with the speccing too - droppers are thin on the ground! #flatbargravel
  • 43 1
 It's the same bike they've been riding for the last 5 years. Nothing new here.
  • 20 0
 "But its stiffer"
  • 19 0
 Yeah, I was losing my mind trying to figure out how they are calling this a new bike.
  • 6 1
 @hamncheez: because they downgraded the seatpost
  • 4 1
 @hamncheez: Thats what she said!!
  • 33 0
 " including more remote lockouts, short-travel forks and rigid seatposts."

They're sure throwing it in reverse pretty hard there.
  • 27 0
 And next year you can expect a 3x8 drive train with rim breaks
  • 5 0
 @Dem628: Don't forget the 26" wheels. I hear its the next big thing.
  • 7 3
 You re obviously not an XC guy
  • 4 0
 @ConMan05: weight optimized! Significantly lighter than even the lightest 29" wheels
  • 4 0
 @Dem628: Nah, no rim breaks, thats their cockpits.
  • 1 0
 @Sn0rk: No rim brakes, only back brakes!
  • 1 0
 @GZMS: totally an XC guy. Like bib shorts and everything.

I'm just looking at the future and it's 120mm suspension from and back with a 67HT, 34mm stanchion forks and dropper posts.
  • 1 0
 @slowSS: Absolutely, no way will I drop $6K on something that will be outdated and will be a challenge on modern XC courses within a couple of years -- I bet the 2023 LUX will be the trail version.
  • 1 0
 @mrkkbb: Honestly I expected the Lux to be a lighter version of the Lux Trail. The numbers there are on point and with some racier wheels totally race-able.
  • 1 1
 @slowSS: well you mentioned 3 things.. and on all of them you are wrong-ish…
remote lockouts - thats how pretty much everybody rides in xco and even xcm field and it is an essential part.. heck you see lockouts in DH with that bruni switch
Short-travel forks - yes there will be more and more builds with 120mm, but 100mm not going anywhere anytime soon
Rigid seatposts - again this is how most of xco field rides right now and until we trully get a range of ~300g droppers this wont change.
You could argue that geo is a bit dated, but thats not what was in your original comment, and also it is not something that is universally true but to a degree, it is a preference thing. Not everybody lives and races in big mountains, and for many a full sus xc bike is a tool to boost comfort and not to boost grip and stability..
  • 1 0

Remotes: this is the only one i’ll give you a concession on. Yes they are still popular but with a high anti-squat, flex stays and a platform shock id not think they're still “necessary” equipment. More a hold over from a previous era.

Forks: Give it 2 years. Every big brands next- gen will be 120/34 up front. Fox already dropped the 32SC and with lighter but stiff 120 forks available the reason to go shorter is negligible. This is the same argument when it was 80mm vs 100mm.

Droppers: This one you’re just plain wrong on. Look at the pro field. And who’s winnning. Fixed posts are an increasing rarity. Not specking one in these builds is a cost move plain and simple.
  • 1 0
 @slowSS: no amount of antisquat will control the bob when you're sprinting for finish, attacking, or simply grinding a climb standing up.. forks, yes 120mm will become more popular, but id say give it 5 years.. and for light riders there is no need in 34/35 chassis at all... droppers - this really only happenned in the second part of this season, with launch of transfer SL (which is still shit and super unreliable).. and those who are on rockshox are either running rigid or some prototypes, as discussed here Nino said many times that fullsize reverb is too heavy.. mvpd prety much never has a dropper.. niether trek, nor cannondale, nor sworks include droppers in their top spec. to me it doesnt look like cost cutting here from canyon, but an effort to differentiate between normal lux and lux trail.
  • 4 0
 @GZMS: we can go back and forth on specs but the bigger point you’re missing is that during an era of progression, this is a design that looking in the rear view for inspiration.

XC is exciting again because courses are more tech and riders are on machines capable of riding them at a high level. We’re not going back.

And honestly the “not necessarily” argument is the same canard that gets trotted out every time there’s a step change.

Suspension forks were “not necessary”

Disc brakes were “not necessary”

29ers we’re “not necessary”

Full suspension was “not necessary”

And yet here we are.
  • 1 0
 @slowSS: And then end result is bikes that are sooooo much better and more fun to ride than what we had 20 years ago. IMO, it's fundamentally changed the sport to be more accessible. You can take an absolute novice on relatively chunky trails, and they'll be totally fine even with no form.
  • 25 4
 The Lux is basically the only XC race bike left with a 70° head tube angle. It was outdated the moment it was released, and I still can't believe they didn't update it before the Olympics.
  • 11 9
 And yet it's one of the most successful xc bikes. These twitchy bikes are perfect for racing thru tight technical trails, longer slacker, lower just means you'll get left behind at the first tight turn.
  • 8 0
 Maybe van der Poel would feel more comfortable dropping obstacles if he had a slacker head tube angle.
  • 1 0
 @RichieNotRude: The actual conclusion is the rider>>bike. This bike has wins because it's been under PFP and MVDP. The vast majority of XC races over the last several years have been won on much more progressive bikes than this. I don't see Pidcock or Nino, or Evie, or Jolanda getting left behind in corners.
  • 1 0
 @nattyd: or in my case riderbike.
  • 1 0
 @nattyd: riderbike….
  • 1 0
 @nattyd: last attempt: rider ““ bike
  • 20 6
 A real XC bike for XC racers. They’ve done everything right. It’s obviously not popular with the PB commenter crowd, but most racers (including me) strongly dislike „downcountry“ bikes and their longer suspension, slacker angles and dropper posts.
  • 2 0
 I've had the last three generations of Epic, with head tube angles going from 71.75° -> 69.5° -> 67.5°. Going from 71.75° to 69.5° made a huge difference in how easy the bike was to ride on steep descents and loose terrain. Going from 69.5° to 67.5° made much less difference in most XC terrain, but it's noticeably better when things get into chunky trail bike territory, and led me to sell my short-travel trail bike.

Have you tried any of the new generation progressive XC bikes? They're pretty great. Hard to justify "most racers... dislike" statement when nearly every elite pro is on one of these bikes, and especially when any of them could opt out of a dropper post, and yet 90+% of the World Cup field uses them.
  • 1 1
 Exactly. The head angle is fine for most true xc race courses and almost all that I've ever raced were thru tight trees with sharp turns. That's the fun stuff to me and where this bike will pull away from a slack angled bike .
  • 1 0
 @nattyd: That's because world cup races are held on the side of ski slopes and they often include steeper amdrops than the courses I normally race on. I've been racing xc the past 7 years and been in over 50 races in Thailand, colorado, Utah and Arizona and only three courses included long seriously steep
  • 1 0
 @Xcmtberbill: Fair enough. I felt like my 2018 Epic (69.5°) was still better in the trees than the steeper one before it. The current one (67.5°) doesn't feel cumbersome, but I haven't pinned a number on that one with COVID and all. But as a person who does a lot of riding that isn't racing, it's an awesome bike that I can use for anything except big hits. So I don't miss the steeper bikes.
  • 16 1
 *Sidestepping PB conventional wisdom crticisms* They are good looking bikes.
  • 6 1
 I agree in general but IMO the angle of the fork looks very wrong, like it's been ridden into a wall
  • 1 0
 sure, but they aren't too good at drops I hear
  • 1 0
 This is true. I wouldn't buy a Lux, but they are very nice to look at.
  • 11 1
 I would like one of these. It's an unpopular opinion but so many bikes are (to me anyway )too damn slack to be proper xc weapons nowadays.....there's plenty of those bikes already so I wish we had more like this bike.
  • 9 0
 Trying to keep the Lux relevant after launching the Lux Trail. Not a fun job.
  • 9 1
 Thank god, so sick of companies turning their XC race bikes into trail bikes.
  • 3 0
 But the overwhelming majority of XC bikes are just ridden on trails as trail bikes? Seems more logical to sell to the crowd and let the smaller number of riders who want a steeper HTA reduce fork travel??
  • 1 0
 Well said.
  • 1 0
 Me too.
  • 8 1
 The LUX Trail is what should have been the new XC focused LUX.
  • 2 0
 If someone did, in fact, wanted to add slack to a Lux's HT via an angled headset spacer, is there a point where the twitchy feel could still exist? -1deg? -2deg? Asking for a friend.....
  • 1 0
 I have slackened one degree by angled headset (step 1) then changed to 120 travel Sid which slackened maybe another 1 degree. Still twitchy/sharp, but feels slightly less scary heading down fast - not plush but controlled.
  • 3 0
 I was hoping for a lighter frame version of the Lux Trail with their integrated handlebar and stem combo. Guess I have to look for another bike.
  • 3 0
 In stock, or delivery this year. What the...?
  • 6 4
 What the hell is "gurning for glory"? Proof reader/editor is on the ball again!
  • 15 1
 Google gurning...then re-check photo.
  • 13 0
 @theboypanda: I learned my 1 thing for the day. I can sign off now?
  • 2 0
 more remote lockouts

The new MTB arms race: Lockouts that are increasingly further away.
  • 3 0
 Sweet! Old school geo
  • 7 10
 I usually wouldn’t say one number makes or breaks a bike but the 69.5 degree head angle on these bikes is a joke. MvdP can ride around it most of the time because he’s that good but PFP has a nightmare on this bike on the descents. You can visually see her fighting the bike where others are letting the bike go.
  • 12 1
 Since when does PFP ride a Canyon? She rides for Absolute-Absolon-BMC.
  • 3 2
 @Mike-Jay: Yes it was last season.
  • 11 0
 PFP also struggles with technical stuff on her BMC
  • 2 1
 Can anyone tell me why a stiffer seat post is a good thing?
  • 7 1
 Less flex as you pedal = more power to the pedals (and also more uncomfortable but that doesn't matter in a race situation)
  • 1 0
 Wonder if the droppers on the HT bikes and not the FS is a cost thing
  • 2 1
 It's definitely a good way to cheap out. If they actually cared, they'd just include a dropper and have a spare solid seat post with it.
  • 6 2
 Thats how most in XCO field ride .. if a HT it is more often with a dropper, if it is a fullsus, it is almost never with a dropper..
  • 1 0
 @GZMS: wrong
  • 1 0
 @GZMS: This was true in 2018, but it isn't true now. Now both men's and women's field are 90% on droppers, regardless of the bike. Everyone except Loana and a handful of others.
  • 2 1
 expecting geometry update but ok

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