Review: Canyon Speedmax SLX and Speedmax CF
article & images by Nick Salazar
Mar 1, 2019
Without question, the Speedmax and Speedmax SLX have been very successful, both on the racing scene and with the buying public. Up until now, that success has been confined sales overseas. But the bikes are now landing on US soil, and athletes have some very interesting options to choose from. While the SLX is incredibly clean, full-featured, and aesthetically gorgeous, the limitations and difficulties regarding aerobar adjustment have me leaning toward the standard Speedmax as a matter of preference. The lower-end Speedmax can be built up with a blazing fast cockpit and be every bit as slick as its big brother.
So my preference is the lower-end Speedmax. On the other hand, if you're an athlete who knows with certainty that your position is not subject to any change, and you know that the SLX can hit that position, the SLX would be a very solid option. But in the case of that static-fit athlete, I might still veer toward a different brand altogether, something more like the Trek Speed Concept, which is just a little more user-friendly and also features continuous tilt adjustment. And of course, I'd recommend the Omni with our newest Alpha One bars, which offers the best of all these worlds, but that's obviously a biased opinion.
In any event, Canyon is doing really great work in the road and tri bike space, and continuing to innovate year after year. The current iterations of the Speemax are leaps and bounds better than the previous generation of the bike, and I expect that they will continue to have really great stuff in store for us as the years roll on. Again, dear reader, please feel free to take us to task where we have been unfair, overly biased, or flat our wrong. We continue to try to offer careful, useful, and insightful reviews of equipment, and we work hard to consistently deliver the quality you have come to expect of us.
The Speedmax SLX is an undeniably clean bike. It has smooth lines everywhere, no weird gimmicks, super clean cable routing, and great transitions from one part to the next. Its highly-integrated setup does pose some problems, especially at the aerobar, but it is an overall excellent ride. The newest versions of the bike have an updated front end which we reviewed in Kona last year. It's a bit of an aesthetic (and probably aerodynamic) upgrade, but still doesn't really address our concerns about fit.
The lower-end Speedmax is much like its bigger brother, but foregoes the integrated front-end and integrated brakes, keeping virtually everything else. It's a very high-value proposition. Unfortunately Canyon doesn't sell a bare frameset, but on the plus side the lowest-price build is just $2500, and easy to upgrade. Our final build is a fair bit MORE desirable than the SLX, at a much lower price point.
Mavic Comete Clinchers
Along with the HED Jet series, this might be the best set of rims on the market. A textured aluminum track provides braking power and modulation superior to ANY carbon rim, while offering aerodynamic performance equal or better to virtually anything else on the market.