Photo: Oliver Baker

Triathlon bikes: Canyon Speedmax CF SLX 9.0


The draw: The “it” factor

Jan Frodeno has twice piloted a version of this bike on his way to winning the Ironman World Championship, and you can get one, too! (Almost.) Germany-based Canyon bikes will finally be distributing the Speedmax CF SLX 9.0 in the U.S. late this summer through its direct-to-consumer model, and it’s worth the wait. Don’t let the traditional double diamond frame fool you—this bike is as quick as anything out there. The integrated storage and hydration up front is the most well executed of the bikes we tested and is easily removed for short races. Another small internal storage area in the top tube just ahead of the seat post fits a tube, two CO2 inflators and a lever in a custom-designed neoprene sleeve. The front end offers just enough adjustability while remaining simple and clean. The soft grips and arm pads from Ergon are extremely comfortable, making this a great weapon for long-course racers. The bottom bracket supplies all the stiffness you need, and at 18.6 pounds for our size medium, it’s one of the lightest bikes we reviewed. As such, it’s noticeably quicker to get up to speed. Handling characteristics can be tailored by changing the position of inserts in the fork dropouts to move the front wheel forward by 2.5mm (Stable position) or back 2.5mm (Agile). We think most will prefer the Stable option. When you do put the hammer down, the Reynolds Strike wheels roll exceptionally smoothly. Less about one standout feature, this bike shines through all the details working together perfectly.

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