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