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