Review: Canyon Endurace road bike goes long on comfort, keeps the speed
If long rides with fast folks is your idea of a good time, the Canyon Endurace is an endurance road bike that delivers. Designed with aerodynamic touches, it mixes efficiency with thin seatstays and their S15 leaf spring seatpost to add compliance. The result is a bike that rides great for hours on end, but may need a few tweaks out of the box.
I tested the Endurace CF SL 8.0 Disc, which comes with Shimano Ultegra Di2, DT Swiss wheels, and Continental tires. After waffling between the Large and XL sizes, I opted for the XL, but requested a shorter stem, and that ended up being the best setup for me…and this is important, so I’ll start with the geometry and fit…
How to order the right sized Canyon Endurace
It doesn’t matter how great a bike is if it doesn’t fit you. Absent retail dealers where you can go try one, Canyon’s direct-to-consumer business model means you really want to get this right the first time.
I usually ride bikes with somewhere around 585mm Effective Top Tubes (ETT), and a 90-100mm stem. Canyon’s L and XL Endurace model splits that, with 568 and 592, respectively. Combine that with stem 110mm lengths for both, and I was worried the XL would have me too stretched out, but the Large would cramp my riding style.
Canyon sent a 90mm stem separately, and this ended up creating a bike that fit me very well. For now, if you wanted to mix and match, you’d have to order a different size stem separately, then return the original, unused stem that came on the bike for a refund. Canyon’s rep says adding such customizations directly to the online ordering process is in the works.
It’s worth noting that I’m 6’2″ (188cm), which puts me on the tall end of the recommended bike size for a Large frame, but going with an XL was the right call. So, don’t just rely on their recommended range…get a professional bike fit, or measure your other bikes, and use your judgement.
Canyon Endurace tech, features & actual weight
At first glance, the Endurace looks like a normal road bike, with a few design cues (like the little triangle created at the seat- and top- tube junction by the seatstays) to set it apart. This model comes in black, also, but this matte blue’s iridescence is simply gorgeous.
Like most endurance road bikes, it has a taller headtube, with plenty of steerer tube length to help you get as much of an upright riding position as you’d like.
The Endurace CF (Carbon Fiber…there’s an alloy version, too) comes in distinct electronic or mechanical drivetrain versions. So, this one has no cable ports for mechanical shifting, only Di2/EPS wire ports. Brake hoses run internally on the frame and fork.
Tube shaping is subtle, but you’ll find angles creating an inside perimeter under the top tube and continuing down the head tube. From there, they soften, but leave a slightly flatter topside to the downtube.
The downtube’s overall shape is one of a truncated Kammtail foil, with a longer “cone” to the leading edge than I’ve seen on some other aero bikes. This complete bike isn’t aero per se, but the downtube’s shape and smooth headtube facade cut drag where they can.
Nothing is oversized on this bike. In fact, even the chainstays look thin compared to a lot of bikes these days. But the Endurace keeps its composure on sprints and standing slogs up the mountain. Nothing about it seems overbuilt, but nothing felt under built either. Just a good solid bike that rides well.
The bike is full of little details that illustrate the thought that went into it. The rear axle through into a covered port, and the derailleur hanger is quite robust for a road bike. The entire drive side dropout is simultaneously sleek, yet obviously quite solid.
Things like the recessed top cap with Canyon’s logo…
…concave washers on the stem faceplate bolts, and a hidden plug covering the seatpost binder bolt all add up. Small things like this make me happy because it shows they’ve really thought about the entire user experience, adding functionality without sacrificing aesthetics.
The bike comes stock with 700×28 Continental Grand Prix 5000 tires on DT Swiss E 1800 wheels. What you see above, though, are Bontrager R3 700×32 tires, which is what I used for the duration of the test.
Because the Continental tires are not tubeless ready, but the wheels were. And, since I was using this bike for a 3-day, 240+ mile ride to the NC coast, I wanted as much cushion and compliance as I could get.
The size XL Endurace weighed in at 17.59lb (7.98kg) out of the box. I dropped about 30g off that total once it was setup tubeless with the wider tires.
Couple more notes on the Canyon experience: It comes with everything, including little tools and accessories to help you put it together. The packaging is solid, ensuring the bike arrives in great shape. This is the second Canyon I’ve reviewed (the other was their entry level mountain bike, the Neuron AL), and both were packed really well.
The 8.0 level Endurace models (of which there are several builds to choose from) is the lowest level that gets you their carbon fiber leaf spring seatpost.
It’s a clever design that uses two “blades” to allow flex, with minimal change to the saddle’s angle. That said, if you want to adjust the saddle’s angle, you have to pull the post out of the bike and loosen the bottom bolt that clamps the two halves together. It’s quicker and easier than you’d think…actually, it’s about as quick and maybe even easier than loosening the usual bolts on many seat posts.
Once loosened, you simply slide the halves, using the printed guides as an indicator of movement. It doesn’t take much movement to bring a big change to the angle. Once bolted down and reinserted, it held its position perfectly. The saddle’s fore-aft positioning is adjusted with the rail clamp bolts, like normal.
Canyon Endurace road bike review
Most rides aren’t 80-mile point to point adventures. And I got a lot of regular rides on the Canyon, too. It impressed me with its mild manners and easy riding demeanor. It could also carve a mean corner. Basically, for regular riders who aren’t toeing a line every weekend, this is the kind of bike that makes everything from those after-work interval workouts to the all-day rides more enjoyable.
Out of the saddle and county line sprint efforts are rewarded with solid forward momentum. The fork’s legs look small (and actually pretty cool, thanks to a forward cant at the crown), but they kept the front end tracking true.
Note the rear blinky light placement on the seat tube in the pic above. The wide open space between the chainstays allows for this, which came in handy once we loaded the bikes up for our ride to the beach:
The Endurace pulled light duty as a credit-card-bikepacking machine, helping me get the essentials from stop to stop over three days in the sweltering summer heat. And, to its credit, neither sweat nor the bags’ straps had any effect on the paint finish. It looked good as new once I got home and removed everything and washed it off.
Check out the review of these Blackburn Design Outpost bags here, which shows all the stuff I packed into them, too. Even with the added weight, the Endurace still handled predictably and rode smoothly.
I put about 450 miles on the Endurace for this review, with a little more than half that on the big ride. Everything remained tight and quiet, and all parts worked flawlessly.
When you step up to a higher model, the upgrades come in drivetrains and wheels, but also their one-piece carbon handlebar and stem. This model’s alloy bar and stem were fine, but I do prefer carbon bars for their ability to mute vibrations better. This becomes more valuable as an upgrade when you’re spending hours and hours on the bike.
If you ride to escape or ride to explore, the Canyon Endurace is the kind of bike that makes it easy for your mind to wander. Easy to ride, easy to own, and easily grabs compliments for its good looks. If you’re looking for an endurance road bike for gran fondos, century rides, or just keeping comfortable while hanging in the pack, give this bike a look.