The Ul­ti­mate has a pre­dictable char­ac­ter that al­lowed me to push my lim­its

Cyclist - - Bikes -

its speed over­all, which I’d at­tribute as much to the su­perb Zipp 303 wheels as any­thing else.

With the stiff­ness-to-weight ra­tio main­tained but over­all weight re­duced, the im­pli­ca­tion is that the frame is less stiff. Yet the fact re­mains it was stiff enough for me at 80kg and 5ft 11in, par­tic­u­larly up front where the one-piece bars did an ad­mirable job of not only look­ing sleek and seam­lessly hous­ing the Di2 wiring, but also of feel­ing com­fort­able and damp­en­ing road buzz.

To de­crease drag Canyon has thinned the down tube and given the head tube an hour­glass shape, which it con­cedes does have the ef­fect of in­hibit­ing stiff­ness. To counter this, it has beefed up the top tube, which many man­u­fac­tur­ers are mak­ing as nar­row as pos­si­ble, lead­ing to the dis­jointed feel­ing of a frame that flexes too read­ily front to back un­der big ef­forts. Not so here. On ev­ery ride I was struck by just how co­he­sive the Ul­ti­mate felt. It’s ex­pertly bal­anced, with enough flex to track cor­ners nicely but a stiff­ness that runs evenly through the frame. This af­fords the Ul­ti­mate a pre­dictable char­ac­ter that al­lowed me to push my lim­its, par­tic­u­larly on de­scents, with­out hav­ing to worry about how the bike would cope.

A sweet ride

It’s im­pos­si­ble to truly quan­tify com­fort ob­jec­tively – if you could the sofa sales­men at DFS would be do­ing it – so I tend to ig­nore fig­ures pro­vided by man­u­fac­tur­ers claim­ing to do just that. The proof is in the pud­ding, and in this case the pud­ding is like a good crème brûlée: stiff on the face of it but with a soft un­der­belly. The Ul­ti­mate

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