New Canyon CF SLX bike blends aerodynamics and integrated storage

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The all-new Canyon Speedmax CF SLX

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The latest high-tech triathlon bike from Germany's Canyon Bicycles GmbH, the Speedmax CF SLX aims to keep the competitor prepared and refreshed with its integrated storage. A hydration system between the grips, a lunch box on the top tube and a tool box under the saddle ensure that the rider is left wanting for naught, all without slowing him or her down. It was introduced at the Ironman World Championship in Hawaii earlier this month, where it helped bring home first place.

The Speedmax CF SLX is both super-svelte and strangely visually heavy and blocky at the same time, its thin, light frame weighed down by the unexpected geometric shapes jutting outward. Those shapes are not there just to make the bike stand out or look like something from the next futuristic thriller coming to big screens; they're all completely functional.

Canyon has taken a complete system (or "system complete" as its advertising says) approach with the latest member of its Speedmax family. It's integrated its own aerodynamic storage solutions and performed extensive CFD analysis and wind tunnel testing to optimize the design for racing speeds of 50 km/h (31 mph).

The frontmost solution is the "Hydration Source," a thin, L-shaped removable water container complete with drinking straw. It keeps hydration right where the cyclist needs it and possibly eliminates the need for a frame-mounted water bottle or two. The bike has the usual cage mounts on the down tube and also behind the seat post.

Behind the Hydration Source, the Energy Source is an integrated bento box designed to hold energy bars, gels and other nutritional items. This component is purpose-designed to serve in place of accessory bento boxes and the practice of taping such foodstuffs to the top tube.

The triangular box at the intersection of the seat tube and down tube is the Gear Box, which comes filled with a tire repair kit: spare tube, two tire levers and two CO2 cartridges. Other features of note include Ergon armrests and grips, an integrated bike computer mount and a repositioned front brake designed for stiffer braking.

Starting with the long, stable geometry of the Speedmax CF, Canyon tweaked the steering angle on the CF SLX to make the bike even more stable at speed. Tweaks back near the seat and around the cockpit are aimed at making it easier to maintain a compact riding position.

Canyon racer Jan Frodeno, who was integral in testing and development of the new bike, helped introduce it prior to the start of the Ironman World Championship in Kona, Hawaii earlier this month. He then hopped on board and raced it to a first place finish (or a third of that finish, at least). Frodeno had 50:50 swim, 4:27:27 bicycle and 2:52:21 marathon times.

The Speedmax CF SLX will be available for order in December.

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