With an increasing number of gravel, adventure and do-it-all drop barred bikes hitting the market, its easy to forget where it all began for many of us; cyclocross.
‘Cross race numbers are still going up in the UK, however and at the elite and UCI level, speeds are getting faster and courses more technically challenging. Ironically, the growth in the popularity of more generic drop-barred off road bikes is allowing many manufacturers to produce more focussed ‘cross bikes, rather than trying to cover all bases with a single model.
One of the companies out there who still passionately back ‘cross is Canyon, and to confirm this, it has launched the Inflite CF SLX – a new no-holds-barred ‘crosser.
The Inflite CF SLX
From the outset, the aim when developing the all-new Inflite CF SLX was to come up with a series of solutions that enable the rider to slash seconds off every lap. A unique patented carrying system, mountain bike style geometries and a reduced layout for maximal mud clearance makes for seamless dismounts, enhanced handling control and a bike that stays cleaner for longer, so racers spend less time in the pits and more time on the course.
They are some pretty big aims set by Canyon. It’s hard to argue with what it is trying to achieve. The Inflite CF SLX is the first all-carbon ‘cross bike the company ever made; Canyon claim that it has created a snappy-accelerating, durable and lightweight (940g medium frame).
There are three models in the range, and a whopping eight sizes, ranging from 3XS to 2XL. Prices start at £2499/€2,799 for the Inflite CF SLX 8.0 Pro Race and top out at £3599/€3,999 for the Inflite CF SLX 9.0 Pro Race – a race ready machine if we ever saw one, coming with full SRAM Force CX1 and Reynolds Assault LE Disc wheels. If your budget can’t stretch to £2499, an aluminium version will start at £1449.
The smallest two sizes of bike – the 3XS is designed to fit riders from 152cm tall – use 650b wheels for clearance and to keep geometry figures (and ride characteristics) similar to the larger models.