The Aeroad truly re­veals its qual­ity once it’s up to speed and set­tled into a fast tempo

Cyclist - - Canyon | Bikes -

By con­trast, at £4,499 this Canyon seems like a gen­uine bar­gain. Of course, there are those who will say the cash sav­ing is an­other nail in the cof­fin of the lo­cal bike shop, but I’ll leave that half-opened can of worms there.

First date jit­ters

My first cou­ple of rides on the Aeroad CF SLX Disc hap­pened to both be fairly leisurely jaunts, and the bike and I didn’t get off to the best of starts. At a gen­tle pace the steer­ing felt quite twitchy, plus I couldn’t say I found it an overly com­fort­able com­pan­ion. But just as a high­per­for­mance car en­gine will of­ten splut­ter and mis­fire at idle, only to come on-song once the revs come up, the Canyon found its feet once I lifted the pace. Sub­se­quent rides, where my speeds and ef­fort lev­els were sub­stan­tially higher, put things back into more pos­i­tive per­spec­tive as I started to see be­yond those ear­lier low-speed foibles.

Speed comes eas­ily on the Aeroad. The low front end (146mm head tube height on this size medium) makes for a fairly ag­gres­sive rid­ing po­si­tion, which with the nar­row 41mm bar width con­trib­utes to get­ting your body shape as slick as the frame’s Tri­dent 2.0 aero tube pro­files. The frame is ex­tremely stiff and the 62mm deep Reynolds Strike wheels back up this so­lid­ity with an equally staunch re­sis­tance to flex.

The bike ac­cel­er­ates well, but the Aeroad truly re­veals its qual­ity once it’s up to speed and set­tled into a fast tempo. It holds speed re­mark­ably well.

It’s not easy to quan­tify one bike’s ef­fi­ciency ver­sus an­other’s out on the road, but a telling sce­nario was rid­ing the Aeroad CF SLX Disc in a fast-paced chain­gang. Reach­ing the front of the line to take my pull into the wind wasn’t met with the usual in­ten­si­fi­ca­tion of ef­fort, which my train­ing data seemed to con­firm too. It was as if I still had the ben­e­fit of the shel­ter of the wheels in front, de­spite them hav­ing peeled off, which I could only at­tribute to the bike’s wind-cheating ap­ti­tude. A good chunk of that is likely due to Canyon’s H11 Ae­ro­cock­pit,

which the com­pany claims saves 5.5 watts of drag on its own over a stan­dard han­dle­bar set up.

Lit­tle wob­bles

The disc brakes en­ticed me to brake later and take a few ex­tra risks through cor­ners, which the Aeroad han­dled with great com­po­sure. Its steer­ing is at the snap­pier end of the spec­trum (as I found on those early rides) but once I’d got to grips with that I found I had a good sense of con­nec­tion with the road, and the bike tracked my cho­sen lines with ease.

There were a few mo­ments de­scend­ing at high speed when I felt it lacked a bit of sta­bil­ity, and at times it was jit­tery enough for me to ques­tion whether tak­ing my hand off the bars to sig­nal a pot­hole was wise. It was also sus­cep­ti­ble to catch­ing side gusts so some vig­i­lance was re­quired there too, but nei­ther was of ma­jor con­cern.

When it comes to com­fort, it’s a fa­mil­iar story: if you want the speed, you have to ac­cept cer­tain trade-offs.

AERO FEA­TURES The low-down at­tach­ment of the seat­stays and the heav­ily aero-sculpted seat tube that closely fol­lows the con­tours of the tyre are both key com­po­nents in the Aeroad’s slip­per­i­ness.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.