New Canyon Speedmax CF range provides Kona-winning speed, integrated design and disc brakes at a more accessible price point.
The Speedmax CF has benefitted greatly from the CFD and wind tunnel validation work that went into Canyon’s range-topping tri bike, with this more accessible six-bike line-up offering a marked upgrade from the previous rim brake generation.
Canyon calls this trickle-down tech process ‘Democratising Performance’, a way to channel the team’s expertise into bikes that more athletes will be able to get their hands on. Or, as Canyon puts it, “The absolute best triathlon bike at the absolute best price.”
Speedmax CF – Headlines
- New disc-specific frame that’s projected to save 3.5W at 45kmph
- Bolt-on bento box and tool storage
- Standard twin-pillar cockpit and extensions
- Power meters included on some models
- Mechanical and electronic shifting options
Speedmax CF Development
While it’s not the halo bike in the Speedmax family, Canyon’s renowned obsession for detail was still in evidence throughout the Speedmax CF’s development process.
Like the pro-level Speedmax CFR, the Speedmax CF was born from CFD analysis of the outgoing bike. That speed machine, the R040, has a big legacy to live up to having won Kona every year since its 2015 launch as well as a pair of Ironman 70.3 World Championships, two European titles and having also helped Jan Frodeno on the way to his epic 7:35:39 iron-distance world record.
After analysing the old bike and taking plenty of learnings from the Speedmax CFR project, the Speedmax CF frame has changed quite a bit compared to the previous generation. The areas most impacting aero performance were found to be shorter handlebar, fork leg, head tube and down tube profiles and no lower bottom bracket sail form.
Taking these key areas into consideration, the new design was then prototyped and tested in the wind tunnel, which in turn led to another round of honing the bike’s shapes for even more aero performance.
This included implementing an improved base bar shape and mounting, a longer chord fork profile (the distance between the leading and trailing edges of its airfoil shape), a narrower down tube profile and a refined head tube shape.
The final Speedmax CF shape has proven to be extremely fast, just 0.2W slower compared the bikes ridden to Kona glory by Frodeno and Lange – yet starting at a much more accessible price point.
Nutrition and Spares Storage
All models of the Speedmax CF benefit from Canyon’s accessories expertise, coming equipped with a completely redesigned bento box, toolbox and the new ‘top tube snake’.
The aero-optimised bento box has been entirely redeveloped to make it more user friendly thanks to hardshell construction with a simple hinged lid. Offering space for two energy bars and one gel, the box butts up behind the stem, also serving as a port through which to route cables.
The toolbox sits above the bottom bracket to maintain aerodynamics and help maintain a low centre of gravity. Made from nitrile rubber with a simple slit on top, it’s designed to hold a spare tube as well as a multi tool. It also comes in three version to ensure a good fit on each frame size.
The most innovative addition to the Speedmax CF in terms of storage is the new top tube snake, a long, flexible bag that stores two CO2 cartridges, an adapter and a set of tyre levers. Once packed, the snake is stowed directly inside the top tube, easily accessed when needed via a simple pull cord from the bottom of the bento box.
While not as radical as the Speedmax CFR’s front end, the Speedmax CF utilises a newly developed cockpit with aerodynamic profiles and a direct-mount spacer system. By calling upon the expertise of Profile Design for the bars, riders can be sure of a wide range of fitting options, the Aeria Ultimate 2 even featuring integrated angle adjustment for electronic groupsets.
Given Profile Design’s proliferation in the triathlon market, it also means cockpit spares will be easy to come by to customise setups even further. By extension, there will be plenty of compatible hydration systems out there too, something that the Speedmax CF hasn’t inherited from the R040.
Models and Specs
The Speedmax CF range features six bikes and four colourways, starting at £3,899 and topping out at £6,699, still £1,300 short of the most affordable Speedmax SLX.
Like its bigger brother, the CF is also optimised for a 25mm tyre up front and 28mm at the rear, maximising aerodynamics and comfort, all bikes specced with Continental GP5000 rubber.
The first three bikes in the line-up feature mechanical shifting. The ‘entry level’ Shimano 105 version (£3,899) still comes with race-ready Reynolds AR58/80 DB wheels and only weighs 30g more than its fancier sibling.
A pair of Ultegra bikes come next one being a women’s specific version, both coming in at the same price of £4,399. As well as the groupset upgrade, they also get DT Swiss ARC 1600 Spline db 62/80 race wheels.
Next up are the men’s and women’s Ultegra Di2 bikes featuring DT Swiss ARC 1400 Spline db 62/80 wheels and a 4iii power meter for £5,999.
Top of the Speedmax CF range is the SRAM Force eTap AXS version giving greater gear range thanks to its 12-speed group, also with a built-in power meter. £6,699 also gets you Zipp 404/808 Firecrest wheels, though it’s actually got the highest quoted weight of the range at 9.47kg.