Canyon Lux World Cup CFR Team review

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Mathieu van der Poel rides a Canyon Lux World Cup Team, not races, as he hasn’t done a top-level mountain bike race this year, but he certainly has one.

  • Brand: Canyon
  • Product: Lux World Cup CFR Team
  • Price: £6,649
  • From: Canyon
  • Review by: Rhys for 3 months

Three things I liked

  • Looks fantastic
  • Ruthlessly efficient at covering ground
  • Very quiet bike over rough ground

Three things I’d change

  • It needs a dropper to be versatile enough on modern XC courses
  • The very firm ride won’t be for everyone
  • Conservative geometry doesn’t inspire confidence descending

Picture the scene…

We’re at another 10@Kirroughtree endurance XC and I’ve rolled out another one-ride-old cross country racing steed from the back of the van. This year it’s a Canyon Lux World Cup CFR Team. Sometimes I think they give bikes extra-long names to justify hefty price tags; or vice versa. Either way it’s the German firms top spec 100mm travel race machine.

It’s a serious piece of kit. You probably shouldn’t be thinking about one of these unless you’re a serious racer looking to push hard on the cross country racing circuit. Even marathon XC racing seems a little beyond the scope of this beast. Ironic, considering the conditions and course I’m about to subject it to for the next ten hours.

Initial Impressions & New Specs

Is Mathieu van der Poel that relevant here? No, not really but several people pointed this out to me during my time with the Lux World Cup so there’s clearly some influence there if you’re the kind of person who likes that kind of kudos.

This bike does look quite striking in its orange Fox factory fork, bright white front triangle fading into a deep blue towards the back end. White wheel graphics highlighting the rolling gear whilst everything else is carbon fibre and black. As it should be within the realms of taste; nobody really likes flashy, clashy component colour schemes. They’re so 2005.

There is space for two bottle cages which are supplied. Cool. Here’s a secret, I don’t actually like bottles for XC racing since I discovered these fancy hydration bladder things. How fashions change. Either way I can appreciate the fitting of two bottles inside the front triangle (no sniggering Amanda) of a size small frame is great packaging. The side entry cages and clear bottles are also provided.

Frame Spec, Sizing & Geometry

Canyon claim their top spec CFR frame material shaves 390g from the standard Lux frame. This may also include savings from the Ceramic Speed SLT bearings that are used in the pivots and headset. 390g is a lot of weight to lose from anywhere, so is it impressive or is the regular Lux a tad lardy? I’ll leave you to decide.

I will however state that we weighed this small frame bike at 10.60kg with bottle cages. That’s exactly the same as the medium Santa Cruz Blur we had a year ago and that had a 100mm dropper post fitted and near identical frame design. If I could type a ‘shrug’ emoji this is where I’d use it.

Sizing and geometry are fairly standard fare for a modern cross-country race machine, perhaps a touch on the conservative side. Nobody really needs a 68.5˚ to climb efficiently but they sure as hell don’t need it on a steep gnarly modern XCO course. Did you see how gnarly the Les Gets World Champs course was?! The steep-ish geometry isn’t a deal breaker however, I do predict head angles on XC bikes converging down towards the 65-66˚ angles we see on trail bikes in the not so distant future.

The 75˚ seat tube angle may seem conservative to some of you however from a biomechanical bike fit perspective its pretty good. Smidge steeper than a road bike, doesn’t overload your hands or quads when pedalling hard. However, some would argue with the way XCO is going, with increasingly technical courses, steeper seat angles and subsequently the whole longer, lower, slacker trend (yawn) might be where XC bikes are going.

Suspension Design & Performance

The frame and rear suspension design are very similar to the flex-pivot seat stay designs were seeing basically everywhere at the moment. Its light and gives enough leverage rate tuning possibilities to get things feeling how the frame designer wants. Canyon have engineered the frame so that its nominal position of the flex pivot is at the sag point of the frame, effectively adding some negative spring rate into the back end. Clever stuff.

How have the clever intentions worked out? Well, not so good. When I think of XC race bike suspension I want smooth small bump absorption allowing me to pedal over as much chatter as possible. What the Lux World cup achieves is a very firm ride that doesn’t really come alive until speeds are high and the impacts are hard. Because of this I basically found no use whatsoever for the lockout, despite running the fork and shock with more sag than usual.

Why is this? The shock has a 50mm stroke and provides 100mm of wheel travel. 2:1 is a very low leverage ratio. It doesn’t feel like the shock tube has been specified to accommodate this. I ran the rebound adjuster fully open to try and get some more life out of the back end at low speeds but it didn’t really cure the problem.

Don’t get me wrong, at warp speed, the Lux comes alive and feels well damped over high-speed rock gardens and root blankets. The damping taking the hits and converting them to dull thuds. It’s just not the end of the spectrum I’d have tuned the suspension towards given the intended nature of the bike.

Component Specification

The component spec on this Team spec Canyon Lux is tasty in anyone’s eyes. Fox Factory 32’s, Fox Float Factory shock, full XTR groupset, carbon Race Face cranks, DT Swiss’ top end carbon rims on 180 hubs. It’s all drool worthy.

In operation it’s flawless. Even if I love the bzzt bzzt of SRAM’s electronic derailleurs I certainly can’t complain at the speed and accuracy the full XTR drivetrain offers. Is it lighter? Google tells me that a full XTR drivetrain is almost exactly the same weight as a wireless SRAM one so I guess that just makes is a preference. Personally I’d rather have one less cable on the bike; for reasons about to make themselves known.

Which brings us to the headset. It’s one of THOSE. A cables and hoses through the upper headset bearing, a total mechanics nightmare of a headset. The Lux didn’t come with a dropper post despite Canyon having worked with DT Swiss to develop the mightiest dropper on the market for XC racing. So, to tackle the very challenging 10@Kirroughtree course I had to fit one.

Canyon have internally ‘tubed’ all the hoses and cables the bike comes with. But there isn’t one for a dropper. Which means I had to gut the poor thing to get a cable through the headset, down the down tube, round the bottom bracket and into the seat tube. If I’d have bought one of these and experienced that I would have been quite displeased to say the least.

The only discernible reason this bike comes with a fixed carbon seat post is so the weight figure on the website is as low as possible. Trading that for a huge performance advantage that a dropper offers is a terrible mistake. If weight was more ultimate performance decider we wouldn’t have suspension, or gears for that matter.

The DT Swiss carbon rims on 180 hubs are delightful. Super light and seemingly very strong. I gave them some hammer over some fairly chunky rocky terrain and they were fabulous. The 2.4 Maxxis Ikon tyres offering great volume and plenty of rolling speed. The Ratchet EXP freehub has a very pretty sound that’s pleasingly inoffensive despite being quite loud.

The 740mm one-piece carbon bar and stem is a work of art. Uncompromising in its design for simplicity and weight saving. Just don’t expect to be able to attach anything to them. Seriously, nobody makes a D-section-with-flat-bits shaped clamp for a light or head unit. You’ll need Canyon’s head unit mount that tops the stem as a headset spacer for that. Just don’t plan any night riding or racing because you’re never getting a light on those bars. Trust me, I tried.

Ride & Performance

So, you’re probably concluding that the Canyon Lux World Cup isn’t all that great? That’s true but also not true. It’s definitely not a trail bike. It’s too firm, too sharp and there are too many uncompromising design features of the bike to make it useable on a daily basis. I’d even go as far as saying it could be a difficult bike to train full time on due to the difficulty attaching lights and accessories. So a race bike for race days only.

What the Canyon Lux World Cup Team is, is exactly as its name suggests. It’s a full on zero compromise XCO race machine. No messing around. Its firm, its fast. Don’t ride it slow, neither you nor the bike will have a good time. If you want something with manners perhaps look elsewhere.

If you’re a committed XC racer and you want a fast climbing, fast descending, stiff sprinting race bike then this may be one of the most focussed machines currently on sale. Just don’t expect forgiveness if you bite off more than you can chew.

Specification

  • Frame // Carbon (CFR), 100mm
  • Shock // FOX Float DPS Factory Remote
  • Fork // FOX 32 Step-Cast Factory Remote, 100mm
  • Wheels // DT Swiss XRC 1200 Spline
  • Front Tyre // MAXXIS Ikon Exo 2.35″
  • Rear Tyre // MAXXIS Ikon Exo 2.35″
  • Chainset // Race Face Next SL
  • Shifter // Shimano XTR, 12-speed
  • Rear Mech // Shimano XTR, 12-speed
  • Cassette // Shimano XTR CS-M9101 12s 10-51
  • Brakes // Shimano XTR M9100, 180/180mm rotors
  • Stem // Canyon CP0008 XC-Cockpit
  • Bars // Canyon CP0008 XC-Cockpit
  • Grips // Ergon GA20
  • Seatpost // Canyon SP0061 Carbon Seatpost
  • BB // Shimano
  • Size Tested // S
  • Sizes Available // XS, S, M, L, XL
  • Weight // 10.7kg

Geometry of our size H3 test bike

  • Head angle // 68.5°
  • Effective seat angle // 75°
  • Seat tube length // 415mm
  • Head tube length // 90mm
  • Chainstay // 432mm
  • Wheelbase // 1,120mm
  • Effective top tube // 581mm
  • BB height // 38mm drop
  • Reach // 430mm
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Review Info

Brand: Canyon
Product: Lux World Cup CFR Team
From: Canyon
Price: £6,649
Tested: by Rhys for 3 months
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Viewing 6 posts - 1 through 6 (of 6 total)
  • Canyon Lux World Cup CFR Team review
  • colin9
    Full Member

    you’re never getting a light on those bars. Trust me, I tried.

    There’s a picture immediately underneath that sentence of a light on those bars.

    Take your point though.

    mrlebowski
    Free Member

    Interesting.

    A number of things for me.

    1. That HA – 68.5. I’ve an Intense Sniper XC at 67.5 & it’s eminently capable of bailing me out of trouble. I’ve looked at the Blur & TBH been put off by 68.5 (& no room for an angle set). Your thoughts on that aspect are pushing me towards NOT changing the Sniper for the Blur. I’m not convinced XC bikes will become much slacker though, as otherwise that front wheel will be too far out up front on climbs.
    2. I’m not sure a properly set up XC bike with appropriate geo needs a dropper. I’ve had my Sniper for 4 yrs (?) & not once thought I need a dropper. Maybe that’s because of where I ride or how I ride but I’ve had that discussion with other old elites & we all say “nah”. Mind steeper pro courses are a different ball game to what us mortals ride so…
    3. The JS VPP compared to the single pivot I can’t compare, but again it never seems out of its depth or to have too much bob. I do lock it out on fire roads & it can get a bit excited on long fast choppy descents otherwise all good.

    thegeneralist
    Full Member

    Impressively honest [ read damning] review.
    Will stear clear if I ever get round to replacing the Anthem.

    AD
    Full Member

    I didn’t read that as a particularly damning review to be honest.

    It’s just a bike designed for a particular purpose.

    I’ve got a Lux Trail (slightly slacker head angle/dropper post/heavier frame) and its a great bit of kit for the riding I do (I live in the Lakes before anyone decides I live in Norfolk…).

    Kuco
    Full Member

    Yes, it’s an XC bike designed for WC racing so about 1.5 hours, not 10 and the last WC XC race I watched none of the riders had bladders all had water bottles. Seems funny all WC bikes seemed to have had water bottles.

    You mention Mathieu van der Poel rides a Canyon Lux World Cup Team but hasn’t raced this year yet Loanna Lecomte has raced one very successfully this year including winning the Women’s Euro’s.

    continuity
    Full Member

    I just can’t work out how it’s so heavy.

    My 500mm reach size large NS synonym, 120 34 stepcast, 30mm rims, 125mm dropper, 2.35 mezcals and an insert in the rear is lighter.

    Did you fill the frame up with water?

    Weigh it with 6 pairs of pedals attached?

Viewing 6 posts - 1 through 6 (of 6 total)

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