Canyon_Strive_Finale22_cover.jpg
Product Intro

New 2023 Canyon Strive CFR

Words Tim Coleman
Date Apr 20, 2022

Canyon released the previous Strive in 2019. At that time the Strive was the only long travel 29er in Canyon's lineup, so it had to be a pedal-focused trail bike as well as the enduro race bike. Since then Canyon has added a number of bikes to the line, leaving the design team with the freedom to build the new Strive CFR as a focused enduro race bike.

Full-full_2022_strive-cfr_3195_bk-sr_P5.original.jpg

The new Canyon Strive CFR.

Canyon Strive CFR Highlights:

  • Shred mode travel increases to 160 mm.
  • 29 inch wheels only.
  • Longer front centers, slacker head angle, and steeper seat tube than the previous Strive.
  • 435 mm chainstay on all sizes.
  • Bar mounted "Shape Shifter" remote adjusts the travel and geometry between Pedal and Shred Mode.
  • +/- 5 mm of reach adjustment.
  • 2,700 grams (5.95 lbs) for a fully built frame without shock.
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Clean packaging on the Strive.

Canyon leveraged Fabien Barel and the enduro team heavily in the design of the new Strive, which is only available as a CFR (Canyon Factory Racing) model. This denotes Canyon's top tier construction, because the new Strive is intended to be Canyon's dedicated enduro race bike. The head angles have got slacker, the front centres have got longer, and the seat tube angles have got steeper to compensate. Canyon has used a 435 mm chainstay length on all the sizes, explaining that team riders tested different length stays, and that everyone on the different sizes liked the 435 mm chainstays. The thinking was the longer front center made the bike more stable, but the shorter rear center allowed the bike to change directions more easily, and kept the bike feeling more agile. With all the sizes having generous front centers, this seems like a strange choice on the larger frames, but I'm looking forward to trying it out.

Builds.original.jpg

The Strive's Shape Shifter system is an air cylinder that changes the position of the upper eyelet of the shock with the push of a button on the handlebar. It operates sort of like a very short dropper post. As the eyelet moves from "Shred Mode" to "Pedal Mode" the bottom bracket lifts by 15 mm, the head angle steepens by 1.5°, the shock feels firmer, and the suspension travel is reduced from 160 mm to 140 mm. Canyon say this isn't only to be used for climbing, but also to be used on race stages or trails where you may want a more efficient and agile bike in a section.

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The Strive's Shape Shifter System is neatly packaged into the rocker pivot.

Strive_Remote.original.jpg

All buttons for your left thumb to play with. Dropper post on the bottom and the Shape Shifter controls on the top.

The Strive CFR retains the rocker actuated, Horst Link, rear end of the old bike. While the architecture hasn't changed, Canyon has moved the pivot points around to update the kinematics with a focus to extract more benefit from the Shape Shifter system. The travel in the "Shred Mode" is increased to 160 mm from the old Strive's 150 mm. In the "Pedal Mode" travel is now 140 mm, up from the old bike's 127 mm travel. Canyon claims the leverage curve was picked to give the Strive some suppleness around sag, but with some ramp to prevent severe bottom outs.

Leverage_Ratio.original.jpg

Canyon Strive travel chart for "Pedal" and "Shred" Modes.

The new Strive has more anti-squat at sag in the Pedal Mode, which should make it pedal more firmly than the old bike. The anti-squat falls off more than the old bike to reduce the pedal feedback deeper in travel.

Anti-Squat_Strive.original.jpg

The new Canyon Strive CFR Anti-Squat curves.

Canyon says the new frame weights in at a respectable 2,700 grams with all hardware, but without a shock. Canyon claims they made the front triangle 25% stiffer than the previous Strive to improve the feel and precision of the bike, but kept some compliance and flex in the rear triangle. They also tell us this should make the bike more forgiving, and help generate more traction. Durability wise the Strive CFR is tested to Canyon's Category 4 "EWS Proof" standards, which is one step down from the standards they test the downhill bike to. Large bearings are used on all pivots, and are all filled with a special solid lubricant to increase bearing life.

Canyon_Strive_Finale22_AS6I9489.original copy.jpg

I like the simple, clean, paint scheme on the Strive CFR.

There are two builds available; the Underdog for $6,599 CDN and the CFR for $8,249 CDN. Both versions are available in Canada right away. The Underdog won't be available in the US until late 2022 / early 2023, while the CFR should be available in a few months.

Builds.original.jpg

Canyon appears to have put a lot of thought into small details. The Strive comes with frame protection in the usual spots on the downtube and chainstay. The cable routing is internal on the Strive, but isn't guided on the Strive CFR to keep the weight down and uses a universal mech hangar so finding replacement parts at a race should be easier. There are two has two sets of bottle mounts so you can run a full size water bottle, and a tube/tool/bag setup on the other mounts.

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Canyon say this new Strive CFR is optimized for performance between the tape.

The new Strive CFR looks like a more race-focused Enduro weapon than the previous version. I'm excited to try is because, on paper at least, all the changes should make it more fun to ride on the types of trails I like most. I'll be getting a CFR to test here in the next few days, and will report back later with a full review.

Canyon.com

Timmigrant
Tim Coleman

Age - 39

Height - 183 cm / 6'

Weight - 86 kg / 192 lbs

Ape Index - 1.055 / +10 cm

Inseam - 81 cm / 32"

Race Enduro and Downhill

Bar Width - 800 mm

Preferred Reach - 500 - 520 cm (but this is stack and head angle dependent)

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Comments

Poz
Poz
1 month ago
+13 Lynx . Speeder1 Pete Roggeman NewGuy 4Runner1 Simon Apostol YDiv Timer Vik Banerjee DMVancouver Tjaard Breeuwer imnotdanny kcy4130

Canyon Marketing: Let's release the embargo after the SC Megatower is released but still fresh in people's minds. We will look like an absolute bargain!

Reply

vincentaedwards
Vincent Edwards
1 month ago
+1 Tjaard Breeuwer

Totally… I was just thinking this feels like a routine ‘of bad cop good cop’, but with pricing.

Reply

craw
Cr4w
1 month ago
+5 Andrew Major Poz Lynx . Andy Eunson Tremeer023

Canyon has used a 435 mm chainstay length on all the sizes, explaining that team riders tested different length stays, and that everyone on the different sizes liked the 435 mm chainstays.

How many team members ride XL?

The prices seem downright affordable after the new Sant Cruz pricing. I bet most people would rather pay 40% less for a very decently spec'd bike then upgrade what they like.

Reply

denomerdano
Deniz Merdano
1 month ago
+4 Cr4w 4Runner1 Jerry Willows imnotdanny

Considering multiple friends recently ordered top spec Spectrals for under $9K.. this is the way. Don't forget about the sneaky duties when ordering a Canyon however, around $1.4K at the door

Reply

craw
Cr4w
1 month ago
+8 Lynx . Pete Roggeman Simon Apostol Allen Lloyd Timer DMVancouver imnotdanny Tremeer023

For that much duty I wonder if it's better to get a cheap flight to Europe, ride in Spain for a few days and bring home a dirty bike. Even if you spend $300 each way on baggage fees you might almost break even. At least you'd get something for your $1400.

Reply

Timer
Timer
1 month ago
+2 Tjaard Breeuwer Tremeer023

It used to be the other way round, people from Europe would fly to the US, buy an Intense or Santa Cruz and bring it back home. For about the same price as a frame from the European distributor.

Reply

Lynx
Lynx .
1 month ago
0

I like how you think Cr4w :-) We have guys from down here who'll get a flight up to Miami just to collect a bike and bring it back for that very reason, so very, very sad. BTW, those duties don't sound so bad, down here once you add and compound everything up, the duty is about 45-50% on a complete bike :-\ But bike "parts" are just 5% + 17.5% VAT :-|

Reply

pete@nsmb.com
Pete Roggeman
1 month ago
0

Now you're talking. Even better, you would only pay to bring the bike in one direction.

Reply

Poz
Poz
1 month ago
0

Don’t forget VAT! You’ll have to pay that but you likely could get it refunded on exit but you would want to confirm that

Reply

pete@nsmb.com
Pete Roggeman
1 month ago
+1 Poz

That's a big consideration. With people so keen to travel, Cr4w's suggestion is not that crazy, and getting your VAT back on the way out would cover part of your airfare. 

Once upon a time, BMW had a program where you could pick your car up from the factory in Bavaria, drive it around in Europe to hit a certain mileage minimum, and then they would help you organize the export back to your home country. On a smaller scale, this would be an insanely cool program for a bike brand to coordinate.

Poz
Poz
1 month ago
0

It absolutely is a great idea! I actually considered this myself just before covid with a UK steel bike as I was over that way a couple times a year for work. Would have been a fun side trip to go to the shop, ride the area, and come home with a great souvenir.

Tjaardbreeuwer
Tjaard Breeuwer
1 month ago
0

Most airlines in the US now fly bikes free. So you wouldn’t have to pay at all, is that not the case in Canada?

Reply

Tjaardbreeuwer
Tjaard Breeuwer
1 month ago
+3 Cr4w Lynx . Pete Roggeman

That is exactly what I wondered, was the XL tested as well? And of course, they don’t make an XXL, so that also biases the range to the smaller end.

I like the reach adjust headset cups.

I think all modern bikes should come with those. Frame sizes are about 20-25mm apart on reach, bit more  once you correct for stack also.

We used to fine tune with stem length. When 60-100 mm stems were considered acceptable, that easily covered the difference between 2 frame sizes.

The longer stems also made it easy to raise the bars by using an angled stem.

Nowadays, most people consider 35-50 the range. That means there is barely any height adjustment possible, and less reach adjustment then the jump in frame sizes, in many cases.

Using reach adjust headsets can help offer the fit options to fine tune that. So, I applaud Canyon for that.

Reply

craw
Cr4w
1 month ago
+2 Lynx . Tjaard Breeuwer

I'm not sure why they don't use a flip chip for the rear center as well. It would save them having to produce multiple carbon pieces and tidily build in that extra range.

edit: according to the PB article the test L had a 442mm rear center despite the geo chart. What is going on Canyon? Who knows how big or small your bike will be when it arrives as apparently the geo chart is just a guess.

Reply

Timer
Timer
1 month ago
+1 cxfahrer

I guess that’s the case with a lot of bikes. It’s just that bike reviewers usually aren’t as thorough as Seb Stott and don’t measure their frames.

Reply

xy9ine
Perry Schebel
1 month ago
+3 Lynx . Kenny Niels

i'm wondering if that reflects a difference in measurement methodology. it's difficult to take a tape & get an accurate perpendicular to axle measurement (which is what the CAD derived published measurement will reflect). ie, did he measure center of crank bolt to center of axle @ the dropout (which is longer)?

Reply

Lynx
Lynx .
1 month ago
+1 Kenny

My thoughts exactly on that CS measurement, most just measure axle to center of BB, which is not how it's truly sposed to be measured and I'm betting that's the discrepancy.

Tjaardbreeuwer
Tjaard Breeuwer
1 month ago
0

According to the geo chart, the XL has a 530mm reach, so that could be called XXL.

And then there is the fact that the chainstays are actually a fair bit longer than claimed.

Reply

cxfahrer
cxfahrer
1 month ago
0

The Commencal Meta has about the same reach in XL. 

Just because YT calls an L a XXL, it won't be that way. And they don't have an EWS team.

Riding fast on an EWS course I would always prefer a shorter bike, most of my life I rode short bikes and one can ride them fast. But for everyday riding in bikeparks or trails, I never would go back to 435mm reach or anything under 500mm, and imagine that 530mm would be ideal for my 6'7". Never mind the wheelbase!

Reply

Kenny
Kenny
1 month ago
+1 Lynx .

Medium Meta is 460 though, medium canyon is 480. That's almost a full size apart? Craziness IMO.

Reply

Lynx
Lynx .
1 month ago
0

@Cxfaher, dude, well no Duh, you're 6'7", yes you've been one of the ones who've suffered in the past from not being able to find a "proper" size, big enough bike, custom usually being the only option. You're 5" taller than me, wouldn't expect you to want anything shorter than a 500mm Reach, but for someone 5'10" to be riding that same size, seriously, WTF.

Reply

Lynx
Lynx .
1 month ago
+1 Tjaard Breeuwer

I'm putting $$ that Jack Moir will be running a Medium this year, maybe even a rebadged SM saying it's a Medium :-\

[edit to confirm] Jack replied back to my comment on his YT video to say he's on the Medium.

Reply

agleck7
Agleck7
1 month ago
0

This comment has been removed.

jgshinton
John Hinton
1 month ago
+3 Timer cheapondirt Velocipedestrian

I'm glad to see shapeshifter is still around. I love the idea of steepening the angles a bit for the climbs then relaxing things for the downs, which most climb switches can't do.

Reply

Kenny
Kenny
1 month ago
+3 Lynx . Vik Banerjee Tjaard Breeuwer

I just don't get the race for the longest reach, I guess. 

I'm 5'11" and I'd literally be considering the small if the reach adjust headset will take it to 460mm.

Reply

Tjaardbreeuwer
Tjaard Breeuwer
1 month ago
+1 Lynx .

Agree. I love it personally because I am tall, but why the M and S sizes are getting so long is beyond me.

Reply

Lynx
Lynx .
1 month ago
+1 Cr4w

I'm curious, was this bike only made for their race team or was it made to sell to the general public, you know the people who actually have to pay for their bikes? I ask, as seriously, while Pro riders are excellent for roughing out ideas, you need "avg Joe's" to do the final testing, because they/we don't ride anywhere near like the Pro's so don't need/want the same sort of setup - most could not ride their suspensionsetups, way too stiff for us normal folk. Stupid AF IMHO to not have an adjustable rear or rears getting longer for bigger sizes, don't need a 435 rear on a 480mm reach to make the bike handle and steer snappy from the back.

As to the reach, WTF, guess they don't want to sell bikes to anyone under 5'10" and that's going by most comments on the PB article on this bike. The SC number for the new MegaTower seemed about right inline and perfect, Large should be in the 480mm range, IMHO, then you still have options if you're shorter or taller.

Pricing wise, compared to the SC, yeah, seems much more reasonable, but in general bikes are just stupid expensive these days. At least they spec'd Shimano drivetrain, although in the higher end doesn't make a lot of sense, but in the low end GX, NX and SX, SRAM 12spd doesn't even compete with Shimanos's Deore. Also weird that they spec'd Shimano when the race team is full SRAM :-\

Reply

pete@nsmb.com
Pete Roggeman
1 month ago
+3 Simon Apostol Tjaard Breeuwer cheapondirt

Both. Neither. The Strive is definitely intended for serious Enduro racing, and therefore for riders who have similar demands to the team. Easier to think of this the way you'd think of a DH race bike being sold to the public, like Canyon's Sendr or a V10. For the buying public that doesn't like this package, I'd argue either Canyon's Torque (170mm travel, three wheel size choices, different geo) or Spectral (150mm, same slew of options) are both excellent choices.

Keeping everyone happy with geo is impossible. Shorter or taller people will always be unhappy - in this case at least one end of the spectrum has something going for them (wheelbase issue notwithstanding, but whether you agree or not, it sounds like there was at least a reason behind that decision).

Bike costs...well, we've been told for a few years they were going to go up to the tune of 15-20% so if you apply that to what we're seeing now, it makes sense, even though it sucks: fuel and shipping/logistics costs are driving prices up, plus we have inflation at levels higher than we've seen in decades, plus international bike co's like Santa Cruz and Canyon have to hedge against foreign currency fluctuations. It sucks, but it's not brand greed so much as it is 'good' business practice that will keep them afloat, albeit at the cost of irate customers. The consumer feels the squeeze and the brands know that. Maybe we'll see an accelerated rearrangement of the bike industry supply chain: I imagine the levels in between brands and consumers (ie. shops and distributors) will feel the squeeze the most. Remember to support your shop when you can - we need those folks to keep our good times rolling.

Reply

Timer
Timer
1 month ago
0 Lynx . Tadpoledancer

I have to disagree with the reasoning here.

The Great price hike in bikes started at least a year before inflation started showing sings of rising.

Shipping cost is still miniscule for light, low volume, high value goods like bikes. They still ship 3$ t-shirts from Asia while making a profit, don't anyone tell me that a bike needs to be 500$ more just to cover shipping. Bike companies are not fighting to stay afloat, especially not the large ones. They are growing at rates not seen in decades.

I suppose the main issue is a supply crunch and massively high demand. Which allows everyone along the supply chain to hike prices per unit without losing business.

Reply

mike-wallace
Mike Wallace
1 month ago
+1 Andrew Major

I really liked the previous version of this bike.  Lots of travel without being a bulldozer.  
Pretty bummed though to see it still comes with the Shapeshifter.

Reply

Timmigrant
Tim Coleman
1 month ago
0

What didn't you like about the Shape Shifter? I'm curious so I can keep an eye out for potential issues during the review period.

Reply

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