canyon lux cf slx

Canyon’s new Lux full suspension XC race bike will fit two bottles and has a sub-2kg carbon frame. Sort of…

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Following two years of development, and a few rounds of testing on the World Cup XCO circuit, today Canyon proudly launches its brand new Lux full suspension race bike. Replacing the existing Lux – a model that has remained largely unchanged for five years – the new Lux carries over the 29in wheels and 100mm of rear travel. Almost everything else is new though. There’s a lighter carbon fibre frame along with a new suspension platform, which offers more clearance inside the front triangle by repositioning the rear shock to sit in parallel with the top tube.

canyon lux xc wil water bottle
The new Lux frame features a redesigned suspension platform that flips the shock orientation to increase room in the mainframe. Photo: Markus Greber.

There will be six spec options and four frame sizes for the new Lux, and each one will accommodate two full-size 800ml water bottles inside the mainframe – even the Small size. As a bike that’s pitched towards the XC and marathon race market, that is potentially a very appealing feature for long distance riders and racers.

2019 Canyon Lux Features

  • Lightweight full suspension XC race bike
  • Full carbon fibre mainframe & swingarm
  • 29in wheels only, with clearance for a 2.3in rear tyre
  • Available in SL and SLX carbon frame options
  • Triple Phase suspension design
  • 100mm rear travel
  • Designed for 100-110mm travel forks
  • 70° head angle
  • 74.5° seat angle
  • 435mm chainstay length
  • 1x specific frame design
  • PF92 bottom bracket
  • 148x12mm rear hub spacing
  • Internal cable routing
  • Room for two x 800ml water bottles inside the mainframe
  • CF SLX claimed frame weight: 1662g (bare frame without shock)
  • Available sizes: Small, Medium, Large, & X-Large
  • Complete bike RRP: £2,349 – £5,499
canyon lux
The Lux is Canyon’s flagship full suspension race bike, and it is all-new for 2019. Photo: Markus Greber.

LUXurious Carbon Fibre

The new Lux will only be available in carbon fibre – there are no alloy frames for now. However, Canyon has two grades of carbon fibre in the SL and SLX. As with Canyon’s other carbon bikes, the SLX frame represents the pinnacle, with higher modulus carbon fibres employed to retain overall rigidity and strength, whilst stripping away extra material.

The result is a very low weight – a Medium Lux CF SLX frame is claimed to weigh just 1662g. Cheekily on Canyon’s behalf, that weight doesn’t include the shock or hardware. By the time you add in the rear shock, remote lockout, the rear axle, seat clamp, and headset, the claimed weight actually comes out around 2128g. Still impressive, but not quite as headline-grabbing.

A significant amount of mass has disappeared by placing the rear shock underneath the top tube, and moving to a more compact linkage. According to Canyon, this new linkage alone has saved 144g compared to the rocker on the old Lux. A significant amount of metal has been removed from the frame too. One example is the rear disc brake mount, which has moved to a new flat-mount standard that removes any threads from the frame. Don’t worry – regular callipers can still fit on the Lux, they’ll just require a flat-mount adapter. However, SRAM’s flat-mount Level Ultimate calliper does look super neat with a 160mm rotor, and there’s clearance for up to a 180mm diameter rotor if you want more braking power.

The flat-mount disc brake looks super neat, and allows the seatstay to flex more easily throughout its length. Photo: Markus Greber.

Other highlights on the new Lux include a superlight chainstay protector (8.2g), and a cutesy chainguide (4.2g) that bolts directly into the head of the main pivot bolt. The alloy chainguide can be rotated to accommodate chainring sizes from 30t-38t.

No Front Derailleurs Club

In a somewhat surprising move for a German brand, the Lux itself is 1x specific, with no provision for mounting a front mech at all. This raises the question: if one of Europe’s biggest bike brands isn’t speccing a front derailleur on its flagship XC bike, then who’s Shimano going to sell 2x drivetrains to? Fascinating front derailleur-themed discussions aside, going 1x has allowed Canyon to lighten the chainstays by making them shorter and straighter. The main pivot is built wider for increased stiffness, and its location is optimised around a 34-38t chainring.

Isn’t that chainguide just the sweetest little thing you’ve seen? Photo: Markus Greber.

Also surprising is the lack of Di2 compatibility. According to Canyon’s design team, now that Shimano has joined SRAM with a wide-range 1×12 drivetrain, they see 1x as the future for XC racing. And since you lose the main advantage of Di2 – the automatic front shifting – by going to a 1x system, you reduce the need to build in Di2 compatibility. Given how far into the future Canyon’s product managers can see however, I suspect there’s a clue hidden here. My guess is that Shimano’s working on a wireless Di2 mountain bike groupset, therefore removing the need to build in specific Di2 compatibility into the internal routing system.

Speaking of vapourware, I also asked if the new frame would be Fox Live Valve compatible. The answer is no, and that’s because Canyon doesn’t see the Live Valve system as being a big enough advantage for XC racing. We’re none the wiser to what Live Valve will look like or how it will operate, so we’ll just have to wait and see.

The Impact Protection Unit helps to shield the frame from over-rotation of the bars. Photo: Markus Greber.

Onto hardware that actually exists, and the Lux frame gets Canyon’s neat Impact Protection Unit to prevent over-rotation of the bars in the event of a crash, hopefully to save your top tube from being smashed by the shifter and brake levers. Cables and hoses are hidden inside the frame, with bonded plastic tubes running through the chainstay tubes to help with installation. There are no such guide tubes through the top or downtubes, but foam insulating tubes are designed to help mitigate any vibration and noise from loose cables and hoses flapping about.

cable routing internal canyon lux
The Lux has plastic guide tubes that run through the chainstays into the bottom of the downtube. From there, insulating foam tubes slide over the mech, brake and dropper post lines to stop them from clanging about.

Lastly, there are two very small but practical features on the Lux that I particularly like. The first is just a good ol’ external seat clamp, which is quicker and easier to adjust trailside compared to an integrated clamp with a hidden bolt. Then there’s the groovy tool-free Quixel rear axle lever that you simply pull out of the end of the axle to tighten or loosen. It’s an effective design that means tyre repairs and wheel changes don’t require a tool to perform.

Racers are going to love the tool-free Quixel. Photo: Markus Greber.

Triple Phase Suspension

With simplicity, low weight and efficiency being the key goals, the Lux’s 100mm of travel is delivered by a single pivot suspension design. There’s a one-piece carbon fibre swingarm, which uses flexy seatstays instead of a pivot near the rear axle. There are only two other links – a composite shock yoke connects the top of the seatstays to the end of the rear shock, and a hidden alloy link connects that yoke to the seat tube. This alloy link serves as both a structural member for stiffening the back end of the Lux, as well as controlling the suspension’s leverage ratio.

canyon lux linkage bearing bushing
The suspension is controlled by a composite outer link, and a compact alloy link that joins it to the seat tube. Photo: Markus Greber.

Just like the new Sender, Torque and Spectral models, the Lux has moved to a reworked suspension platform dubbed ‘Triple Phase Suspension’. Essentially this separates the leverage curve into three distinct phases;

  1. Sensitive: the suspension has a higher leverage ratio up to the sag point, allowing for more shock movement with a supple feel for better traction and small-bump response.
  2. Stable: past the 25% sag point, the suspension curve flattens out through the mid-stroke to provide more support for efficient pedalling performance and reduced ‘wallow’.
  3. Progressive: in the last third of the travel, the suspension ramps up to avoid harsh bottom-out.

Look at the leverage curve, and it’s evident that there’s significantly more progression built into the new Lux’s suspension design. The shock itself is a new metric-sized option, with the 210x55mm size delivering a very low average leverage ratio of 1.81:1. This allows for lower operating air pressures, and Canyon has also tuned the rear shock with lighter rebound and compression damping to give the suspension a more active and lively feel.

canyon lux suspension graph curve
The leverage curve is a lot more curvy for the 2019 Lux.

Double Bottle

As well as altering the kinematics, the new suspension layout provides significantly more room inside the mainframe. In fact, there’s now clearance to fit two 800ml water bottles – even in the Small frame. There aren’t many full suspension bikes that’ll do this, with the Specialized Epic being a notable exception.

For the Canyon-Topeak endurance race team, carrying two water bottles is of paramount importance. It allows them to continue through feed zones without having to stop to change bottles, which can make all the difference at the finish line. So when the team were consulted on the design of the new Lux, water bottle storage was a key consideration. I do find it a bit odd to optimise a whole frame around carrying two water bottles, but Canyon seems to have achieved it in an aesthetically-pleasing way that hasn’t affected performance elsewhere. To the contrary – it’s a high performance bike that packs in practicality too.

alban lakata canyon lux
Endurance peeps like Alban Lakata appreciate the option to run one or two water bottles inside the mainframe. Photo: Markus Greber.

While any bottle and cage will fit, Lux customers will have the option to purchase Canyon’s own Sideloader bottle cages when they buy the bike. These cages allow you to insert the bottle from either the left or right side – important since clearance is quite tight.

“Modern Race Geometry”

Canyon claims it has employed ‘Modern Race Geometry’ on the Lux, but the numbers aren’t exactly what I’d call contemporary. The head angle remains the same as the current Lux at a tight 70°, while the seat angle has kicked forward half a degree to 74.5°. There is a good 20mm more reach per size though, and the chainstays have been tugged in from 450mm to a more-respectable 435mm. ‘Refined’ or ‘purposeful’ might still be a better way to describe the overall geometry.

With four frame sizes on offer, Canyon states the Lux will fit riders from 165cm tall through to 202cm. However, unlike the Spectral, there is no women’s specific frame option. Canyon states that female XC racers don’t want different geometry to their male counterparts, so the Lux is one geometry for all – unless you’re shorter than 165cm or taller than 202cm.

To match the racey geometry, Canyon has built each frame size around an 80mm long stem, and narrow 720mm flat bars.

canyon lux geometry
Geometry for the higher-end SLX carbon frames.
canyon lux geometry
The SL models come with a 110mm fork, which kicks back the angles a touch.

Complete Bikes

With six complete bikes on offer, Canyon covers the price spectrum from £2,349 to £5,499. The two top-end models come with the higher end SLX frame, while the four cheaper build use the CF SL frame, which is just 190 grams heavier than the SLX frame.

Another difference for the SL frame is that it comes specced with a slightly longer 110mm travel fork. This has the effect of relaxing the head and seat angles by half a degree, and lifting the BB height by 4mm. An interesting side note on forks – any Lux model that features a RockShox SID fork uses a 51mm offset, while the Fox models come with a shorter 44mm offset. More on that in the first ride review.

All models roll on 29in wheels with 25mm wide (internal) rims and 2.2in wide tubeless tyres from either Maxxis or Schwalbe. Drivetrains are all wide-range 1x systems with a 34t chainring, and thankfully you’ll find KS dropper posts on all but the two cheapest models.

canyon lux cf sl
Canyon’s Lux 6.0 kicks off the range with a full carbon frame and SRAM NX Eagle 1×12 shifting.

2019 Canyon CF SL 6.0 Pro Race

  • Frame // CF SL Carbon Fibre, 100mm Travel
  • Fork // RockShox Reba SL, 110mm Travel
  • Shock // RockShox Deluxe RLR
  • Wheels // DT Swiss X1900 Spline
  • Tyres // Maxxis Adrent Race 2.2in Front & Ikon EXO 2.2in Rear
  • Drivetrain // SRAM NX Eagle 1×12
  • Brakes // SRAM Level TL
  • Claimed Weight // 11.8kg
  • Price // £2,349
canyon lux cf sl
The 7.0 comes with a burlier Fox 34 Step-Cast fork with 110mm of travel.

2019 Canyon CF SL 7.0 Race

  • Frame // CF SL Carbon Fibre, 100mm Travel
  • Fork // Fox 34 Step-Cast, Performance Elite, 110mm Travel
  • Shock // Fox Float DPS, Performance Elite
  • Wheels // DT Swiss X1700 Spline
  • Tyres // Schwalbe Racing Ray 2.25in Front & Racing Ralph 2.25in Rear
  • Drivetrain // Shimano Deore XT 1×11
  • Brakes // Shimano Deore XT
  • Claimed Weight // 11.8kg
  • Price // £2,699
canyon lux cf sl
Going up to the Lux 8.0, you get a lightweight RockShox suspension package and a KS dropper post.

2019 Canyon CF SL 8.0 Pro Race

  • Frame // CF SL Carbon Fibre, 100mm Travel
  • Fork // RockShox SID RLC, 110mm Travel
  • Shock // RockShox Deluxe RLR
  • Wheels // DT Swiss X1501 Spline
  • Tyres // Maxxis Adrent Race 2.2in Front & Ikon EXO 2.2in Rear
  • Drivetrain // SRAM X01 Eagle 1×12
  • Brakes // SRAM Level TLM
  • Claimed Weight // 11.3kg
  • Price // £3,399
canyon lux cf sl
The top-model with the CF SL frame is this bike; the 8.0 Race Team, complete with Shimano XTR 1×12 shifting and Fox suspension.

2019 Canyon CF SL 8.0 Race Team

  • Frame // CF SL Carbon Fibre, 100mm Travel
  • Fork // Fox 34 Step-Cast, Performance Elite, 110mm Travel
  • Shock // Fox Float DPS, Performance Elite
  • Wheels // DT Swiss XRC 1250 Carbon
  • Tyres // Maxxis Adrent Race 2.2in Front & Ikon EXO 2.2in Rear
  • Drivetrain // Shimano XTR 1×12
  • Brakes // Shimano Deore XT
  • Claimed Weight // 11.3kg
  • Price // £4,199
canyon lux cf slx
The Lux CF SLX 9.0 Pro Race features the higher-end SLX carbon fibre frame and superlight carbon wheels from Reynolds.

2019 Canyon CF SLX 9.0 Pro Race

  • Frame // CF SLX Carbon Fibre, 100mm Travel
  • Fork // RockShox SID World Cup, 100mm Travel
  • Shock // RockShox Deluxe RLR
  • Wheels // Reynolds Black Label XC259
  • Tyres // Maxxis Ikon 2.2in Front & Ikon EXO 2.2in Rear
  • Drivetrain // SRAM XX1 Eagle 1×12
  • Brakes // SRAM Level Ultimate
  • Claimed Weight // 10.0kg
  • Price // £4,999
canyon lux cf slx
At the top of the Lux tree is the 9.0 Race Team, complete with a full Shimano XTR groupset and Fox Kashima suspension.

2019 Canyon CF SLX 9.0 Race Team

  • Frame // CF SLX Carbon Fibre, 100mm Travel
  • Fork // Fox 32 Step-Cast, 100mm Travel
  • Shock // Fox Float DPS, Factory Series
  • Wheels // DT Swiss XRC 1200 Spline Carbon
  • Tyres // Maxxis Ikon 2.2in Front & Ikon EXO 2.2in Rear
  • Drivetrain // Shimano XTR 1×12
  • Brakes // Shimano XTR
  • Claimed Weight // 10.0kg
  • Price // £5,499

Want to know how the new Lux performs on the trail? Then check out my first ride review of the 2019 Canyon Lux CF SLX 9.0 Pro Race here.


Flights & accommodation for this trip were covered by Canyon

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