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Welcome to Riding Nerdy, TNW’s fortnightly dive into bicycle-based tech, where we go into too much detail and geek out on all things related to pedal-powered gadgets.

Despite everything that’s going on in the world at the moment, I have been very lucky. Here in the Netherlands, we’re still allowed to go cycling, so long as it observes social distancing. Which is just as well, because last week, the folks at German online-only direct-to-consumer bike manufacturer Canyon, sent me a brand-spanking new race bike to put through its paces. 

Before diving in deep, in typical Riding Nerdy fashion, here are my first thoughts:

  • Is it light? Yes, for a bike of this type, it’s desirably light.
  • Is it fast? So far, yes. 
  • Is it affordable? It’s certainly not cheap, but it does represent excellent value for money. 
  • Does it look good? The day I got the bike, I stood it in front of my TV, and just sat looking at it for a while. This is one of the most gorgeously finished bikes I’ve ever seen. 
  • Is it practical? For a bike dripping in high-end tech, trickled down from bleeding edge products, it’s actually reasonably practical. 
  • Is it worth it? Well, that’s the million dollar question (or more accurately, the €5,499 question). To find out my answer, carry on reading and jump off that proverbial diving board of tech.

Let’s find out!

Besides its catchy name, what does Canyon say about its Ultimate CF SLX Disc eTap 8.0?

This bike is built on Canyon’s Ultimate CF SLX frame, which it positions as its top-flight, pro-level platform. CF standards for carbon fiber and the SLX bit is Canyon’s naming convention for its super-light frames.

Credit: M Beedham