Canyon's Inflite cyclocross bike has generated some buzz thanks to its kinked shouldering-friendly top tube, and now with its Grail CF gravel bike, it is getting folks to talk yet again. This time it's not the frame, but rather the handlebar.
At Sea Otter, we saw two models of the Grail CF. The mid-level SL 8.0 has a Shimano Ultegra 8000 drivetrain, and the SLX 8.0 Di2 has an Ultegra 8070 Di2 drivetrain and a different carbon layup to yield a lighter frameset. How light? Canyon claims the a Medium SLX frameset weighs only 830g.
Canyon built the Grail for long gravel and off-road miles. Unique to the Grail is the CP01 bar/stem that takes a drop bar, adds a crossbar at the mid-level of the drop section and integrates the stem to that crossbar. The design makes the bar appear to float above the top tube and is thus nicknamed the Hover Bar by Canyon.
We got to take the Grail CF for a brief parking lot spin, and it does offer a couple of extra hand positions and some suspension when pushing down on the bar. We will need a longer term review to see if it offers tangible benefits out on gravel roads.
Canyon told us the setup adds only 120 grams over a conventional bar and stem. Due to the design, the stem mounts low to the Canyon 114 straight 1 ¼" steerer that we wrote about in the spotlight of the Inflite CF SLX ’cross bike. At maximum height the stem integrates with the top tube, but still drops below the saddle height, depending on the rider. If you want your bar level with the saddle, you’ll either have to size up or look elsewhere. To keep the bar from hitting the top tube, there is a stop built into the steerer fit under the down tube.
The $4,900 SLX Di2 comes with an Ultegra 8070 Di2 drivetrain and 50/34t crankset. The wheels are Reynolds Assault ATR Disc Carbon with Schwalbe G-One Bite tires. The ultra-light SLX frameset alone sells for $2,500.
The SL model with Ultegra mechanical shifting sells for $2,900. It has DT Swiss C 1800 Spline DB wheels and the same Schwalbe tires. An Ultegra Di2 version of the SL 8.0 sells for $3,600.
Canyon also offers women's-specific WMN models of the mid-level SL 8.0 and the lowest-level SL 7.0.
For more on the Grail CF gravel bike, see the photo gallery below.
More info: canyon.com
Stay tuned for much more coverage from the 2018 Sea Otter trade show and bike races.