Mountain Bike Rider|October 2020
Super-lightweight 29er seeks speedy singletrack for fast-paced fun. Here’s how the first date went
Alan Muldoon

£5,349 / 29in /


New 29er hardtail from Canyon boasts an impressive 835g frame weight

Chainstay lengths increase on L and XL sizes for better weight distribution

Custom 60mm dropper posts on CF SLX models and Exceed CFR LTD

Range starts with £1,599 Exceed CF5

When the new Canyon Exceed arrived we had some recalibrating to do. Even on the scales we thought we were using the wrong units, as it’s rare for us to weigh a bike and get a single-digit reading. Just how light is the Exceed CFR Team? It’s 9.01kg for the size L bike, and that’s with two bottle cages fitted and both tyres converted to tubeless.

So it’s light, but it’s not your typical, modern 29er XC race bike. Developed and tested in marathon-style races like the Cape Epic, where riders huddle in packs to protect themselves from the wind, the attitude of the new Exceed is actually quite traditional. The head angle is a smidge under 69°, the seat angle a safe 74°, and with a BB height of 312mm you won’t have any issues keeping the crank spinning at all times.

There is no concession for increased standover clearance either, with the relatively flat top tube needed to accommodate two full-size water bottles even on the smaller frame sizes – which, incidentally, are now all on 29in wheels. It’s why the Exceed has Canyon's Impact Protection Unit built in. This is basically a steering block headset to prevent the handlebar and controls smashing through the top tube in a crash. It’s a nice touch and well executed, but best of all it offers a turning circle that would impress a London cabby.


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October 2020