ational stereotyping and bike reviews, like love and marriage in Frank Sinatra’s famous number, seem to go together like a horse and carriage. German bikes, for instance, are routinely described as clinical, ruthless and efficient, reflecting our commonly held views of the country itself and its people.
But while German brand Canyon’s creations are indeed all of those things, Canyon’s story has more in common with romantic artisans than mass-production monoliths. In the 1980s brothers Roman and Franc Arnold would tour the country, Roman pedalling his bike in races, Franc peddling his wares at the roadside from his trusty trailer. Over time that trailer grew into a bike shop, that bike shop into a wholesaler and that wholesaler into an upstart brand.
I say ‘upstart’ because Canyon was one of the first to eschew the traditional bricks and mortar approach for a direct sales model, cutting out the dealer, cutting prices