Trail Tested: Canyon’s New Strive CF Enduro Bike
Canyon is a brand that’s made a strong name for themselves in the European market by delivering exceptionally dialed bikes direct to the consumer. While the bikes have been renowned for exceptional performance on both the road and mountain bike world, and been raced by the likes of World Champion downhill rider turned enduro specialist Fabien Barel, they have never been available to riders in the United States. Times have changed, and sources have leaked to us that the Euro-only period for Canyon may be rapidly coming to a close, and these bikes may be available to US riders in the very short term. When the Canyon crew invited us to test out their newest creation on their home trails, we simply couldn’t say no.
The new machine: Enduro riders need to be able to handle technically demanding trails. Uphill, downhill, whatever – you’ve just got to ride it. With the new Stive CF, Canyon sought to solve the fundamental question posed by these types of riders, and build a bike that unites the climbing characteristics of a lightweight cross-country bike with the ability to attack any descent like a big travel downhill rig.
The heart of the machine: Shapeshifter has been entirely developed by Canyon and consists of a gas spring embedded in their patented rear shock linkage and a handlebar mounted remote.
With the flick of a switch: Shapeshifter changes the rear shock linkage and with it the entire suspension dynamics while you ride. As a result, you get two fundamentally different geometries, suspension rates, and travel settings to choose from, all without the
need of a specially designed rear shock.
Enduro Slayer: Seeking to revolutionize the mid travel trail bike game for the Canyon lineup, the new Strive bikes are designed to have a nimble feel that’s confidence inspiring on technical terrain.
- In XC mode: When set to the cross-country mode, the bottom bracket is higher to allow more clearance over roots and rocks. Steeper steering angles mean quicker handling on technical climbs, while a more upright seat position results in better power transfer and more load on the front wheel for improved balance uphill.
In the DH mode: With the downhill mode engaged, the rider’s center of gravity is lowered and the weight distribution is spread more evenly across the bike for more stability and control at speed and giving a much surer feel when taking on steep descents.
The geometry difference is achieved through combining the action of the Shapeshifter with the corresponding effect on sag due to the change in suspension leverage ratio.
The test begins: While just a few days on a brand spaking new machine like the Canyon Strive isn’t enough time to make a full ride report, we can say that our initial impression is very positive. The bike strikes a nice balance between cross-country efficiency and downhill confidence on gnarly terrain. Stay tuned to the future pages of Mountain Bike Action magazine for the full report