The Canyon Ultimate has been a staple bike in the pro peloton for over a decade now, ever since the German brand sponsored the Omega Pharma-Lotto team in 2011.
It has since been seen under riders of the various iterations of the Katusha, Movistar, Alpecin-Deceuninck, Arkea-Samsic teams and its partially eponymous Canyon/SRAM outfit – spanning four distinct evolutions… with more in-between updates on top.
However, the Ultimate’s lineage dates back to 2004, before Canyon transitioned to premier team sponsorship.
So when a new Ultimate appeared on the UCI’s list of approved fork frames in June and burst into the Critérium du Dauphiné, we expected to see a bit more of it at the Giro d’Italia Donne and the Tour de France. We were not disappointed.
We pulled out our magnifying glasses and pored over the images that emerged of the bike in action…and that’s what we know so far.
One of the biggest updates to the new Ultimate appears to be the reprofiled fork, which now features a wider crown with legs that extend downward with almost no flare.
The obvious reason for this would be to get more tire clearance – the Ultimate is recognized as a powerful all-rounder, capable of seeing everyday riders through their long club and sport rides, as well as riders through the mountain stages of the Grand Tour.
Running wider tires remains one of the best ways to achieve greater comfort on the road for most riders, and we bet Canyon is designing the new Ultimate to use 28mm or even wider tires. natively.
Could this be the first race-oriented lightweight bike to be designed around 30mm tyres?
The fork profile also nods to the latest thinking on optimized aero performance. There is still plenty of space between the fork legs and the wheel, while also clearing space under a raised fork leaving the crown and under the downtube.
Additionally, the carbon wheels we expect to fit on most models of the Ultimate all feature ever-wider external rim widths, so Canyon likely took note and optimized the design of those wheels.
Aerocockpit stem inspired by Aeroad
One thing that has already broken the cover is the new aero bar stem configuration, as originally reported by Cyclingnews at Dauphiné, which looks very close to the CP0018 Aerocockpit used on the Aeroad.
This uses a proprietary quill rod style, which—as Simon pointed out in his review of the Aeroad—theoretically locks riders to using only the Aerocockpit bars.
We expect Canyon to have done their research here, possibly using the Aeroad as a data source, to make sure the bar adds enough performance to the overall bike, without compromising rider customization.
The Aerocockpit has a three-width adjustment. The Aeroad offered 40mm of total adjustability, with achievable widths depending on the frame size you purchase.
We expect at least the same here, but we’d like to see more than the 15mm of height adjustment offered so non-pros can more easily get the perfect fit.
Also, as with the Aeroad’s P0018 Aerocockpit (and virtually all fully integrated handlebars), the stem length is likely to be fixed. That means you’ll likely have to swap the whole thing out if you prefer a non-stock stem length, unless Canyon intends to offer point-of-purchase customization.
Over the past few generations of the Ultimate, Canyon has used their VCLS seatpost to provide a level of comfort through the saddle.
This features a rounded tube with a flared top section that does a light job of mimicking the more compliant properties of a D-shape tube. Now, though, Canyon has gone D-shape with a new carbon post.
Naturally, this fits into a D-shaped seat tube, which we think is a decision made to do the usual trick of increasing lateral stiffness, improving vertical flex and reducing airflow. turbulent air ahead of the rear wheel.
Additionally, a new seatpost clamp has been spotted under the seat tube/top tube junction.
On the current Ultimate, the seatpost clamp is located in the seatstay bridge. Moving it to below the seat tube/top tube junction would provide accessibility improvements, in addition to moving it out of the line of fire for road spraying.
We’ve mentioned aerodynamics three times already, but it’s worth looking at the new Ultimate as a whole to see other changes.
In addition to the rounded fork profile, Aerocockpit and re-profiled seatpost and seat tube, the frame tubes appear to have undergone some milder modifications, which are likely aimed at improving wind-blocking performance.
That said, Canyon did not choose to obviously fill in these new UCI-approved offset areas and decided against going with discontinued seatstays, as seen on many lightweight all-rounders such as Cannondale’s SuperSix EVO. .
Naturally, Canyon will be wary of the new Ultimate encroaching on Aeroad territory, but what looks like slightly deeper side profiles at the downtube, head tube and toptube/seatstay junction are all a nod to control airflow.
In this case, we think Canyon has been looking for more real-world performance, prioritizing stability at wider yaw angles than the Aeroad, while looking for the wins when it can in more benign conditions. .
If that’s true, we’d suggest that’s a wise call from the German brand.
Frame materials and disc brakes
A quick check of Canyon’s website reveals three layers of carbon for the existing Ultimate: the CF SL, CF SLX and CFR. Of these, all but two of the versions offered are disc brakes.
The new Ultimate could present Canyon with an opportunity to streamline its lineup a bit more, potentially removing the now aging SL layer from the new design entirely.
In a world of rising costs, it might be prudent to keep the current Ultimate design for its entry-level CF SL carbon, while offering the new design in both CF SLX and CFR layers.
It would also allow the brand to easily maintain a lowest priced rim brake offering for those who want them – with a carbon layup that is still very competent, in our opinion.
There’s no doubt that the tide is getting closer to the rim brake sandcastle, but Canyon may have the opportunity to dig a ditch around it for a little longer.
Under the skin, the new Ultimate could introduce some sort of revised frame technology, or a more optimal carbon layup, to improve compliance or stiffness, but that’s pure speculation at this point.
When will it be launched?
Canyon has been tight-lipped about when the new Ultimate will launch, but it’s been in the wild for a while now, so we expect to see it sooner rather than later.
With the latest Ultimate launch – the CFR – Canyon has waited until the end of the summer to release officially covered, while today’s industry struggles with component availability, which could mean it decided to hang on until she had a decent stock of the new Ultimate ready to go.
We’ll be sure to bring you the latest news and information as it becomes available.
#Canyon #Ultimate #Canyons #unreleased #allrounder