Spied: Canyon Speedmax CF

Canyon's all-new Speedmax CF, as ridden by Katusha at the Giro d'Italia this year. Photo: Caley Fretz | VeloNews.com

Sneak a look at this all-new tri bike spotted at the Giro D’Italia cycling race.

If you don’t recognize this brand, you probably aren’t alone. Canyon is well established in Europe, supplying road and time trial bikes to ProTour cycling teams since 2007. This new model was spied at the Giro D’Italia, and could make its way to transition areas in the States in the near future.

The all-new Canyon Speedmax CF combines unique tube shapes with a level of integration seldom seen on a triathlon bike.  For the design of the frame, Canyon enlisted the services of Simon Smart, an ex-Formula One racecar aerodynamicist with equally impressive cycling industry credentials. His designs have already had a huge impact in the world of bike equipment for triathlon, from the Scott Plasma to the Enve Smart System series of wheels. The Speedmax uses a combination of Kamm tail truncated airfoil shapes and more traditional teardrop airfoil tube shapes. The focus of the design engineers with the Speedmax was to optimize the bike for wind yaw angles from 0 to 9 degrees. This may or may not be good for triathletes. On the one hand, if you’re a pro or a fast age grouper, you will probably find yourself racing winds from 0 to 9 degrees the majority of the time, which tailors this aero design to your specific needs. On the other hand, if you aren’t quite breaking age-group records, or are racing in very windy conditions, you might find yourself out of this range

Canyon claims that with the new design, they were able to increase the stiffness over the original Speedmax by 15% while also improving on the aerodynamic package. Stability was another focus when creating this bike. The integrated fork was designed for optimal performance with wheels 80mm in depth. This is good news for triathletes that race aboard wheels of this popular depth, such as the Zipp 808.

The Speedmax CF comes in two flavors, time trial and triathlon.  The tri version, termed the High Cockpit Concept, has a raised integrated stem and a forward seat tube clamp allowing for an effective 76.5 degree seat tube angle.  Most multisport athletes will appreciate this forward seating position combined with a raised front end, as it lends itself to spending long periods in the aero position. However, triathletes should select the version that will best support their unique fit coordinates, not simply choose the tri version because it bears the name of their sport.

Further inspection of the geometry will reveal that the top tube is exceptionally long on the Speedmax. The medium frame size, for example, measures 594mm. Canyon has done this to counter the fact that the stem is intended to be shorter than what a rider might normally ride, to create a more stable handling geometry. The integrated stem is available in three different lengths: 70, 90 and 105mm, and the bars, which have a claimed 7,000 possible configurations, should allow most riders to dial in their precise fit to a comfortable and powerful position on the Speedmax CF.

Front and rear brakes on the Speedmax CF are both tucked nicely away and out of the wind. The center-pull design should allow for predictable and powerful brake performance, even with the cable routing tucking the vast majority of brake housing inside the frame and out of the way of the wind. In fact, Canyon claims that only 12cm of brake housing is exposed through the entire bike.

Availability is the big question mark for Canyon. The company has been highly successful using a direct-to-consumer sales system in Europe, bypassing local bike shops, but hasn’t yet tried to implement the same in the U.S. They insist they are working to bring the brand across the pond, and intend to do so in the near future. Until then, if you simply must have one you have to fly to Germany, where Canyon will happily sell one to you starting in October. No price or firm availability date is available.

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