The 2022 Canyon Strive updated as the no-compromise enduro race bike


The Strive has long been Canyon’s enduro bike.

Still, until now it needed an extra layer of versatility to satisfy the 29er wheel, long-haul crowd, who prefer trail riding or big mountain lines over racing, because that was the only Canyon bike offered with big wheels and long travel.

Following the release of its new 2022 Spectral and 2022 Torque models to fill the gaps in trail and freeride, Canyon decided to take the Strive back to its roots and make it a thoroughbred race bike.

The bike‘s geometry is completely overhauled. There’s more suspension travel, a stiffer frame and improved kinematics. Canyon retained Strive’s Shapeshifter geometry adjustment system, but the changes to the bike make it more trail-oriented rather than just a climb switch.

With input from the Canyon CLLCTV Enduro race team and Canyon’s gravity department, the brand says its engineers set out to build a bike that could save time on every track, from hotly contested KOMs to EWS stages.

Canyon Strive CFR frame and suspension details

Although there is a striking resemblance to the old Strive, the latest version features geometry, kinematics and chassis changes.
Boris Beyer

From a speed standpoint alone, Canyon went with 29er wheels for the Strive CFR, thanks to their ability to maintain momentum and improve grip.

The brand believes the overall benefits of 29er wheels outweigh a mixed-wheel mule bike design for enduro due to the variety of terrain and less consistently steep trails than in downhill mountain biking. The bike is not mule compatible.

All four frame sizes: small, medium, large and extra-large are made from carbon fiber and are only available in Canyon’s flagship CFR configuration.

As this is a no-compromise race bike, Canyon says the higher-grade carbon allowed engineers to achieve their new stiffness goals while keeping weight to a minimum.

By modifying the cross-sections of nearly every tube in the frame and subtly adjusting the pivot locations and carbon layers, the front triangle is now 25% stiffer for a weight penalty of 300g.

Canyon claims the new frame is still only 100g heavier than the lightweight Spectral 29. Front triangle stiffness has been increased to keep the bike more stable and composed at speed, while the rear triangle retains a similar stiffness to maintain tracking and grip.

There are bolt bosses under the top tube for attaching bags or tool storage solutions.
Boris Beyer

There is no internal frame storage, but there are bosses under the top tube for attaching spares. The frame, starting from a medium size, can also hold a 750ml water bottle inside the front triangle.

Internal cable routing uses foam lining to minimize noise. To add to that, the chainstay protection is heavy and should keep the chainstays free of chain slap.

There is also a decent downtube protector to keep rock impacts from causing damage.

There is tire clearance for a maximum width of 2.5 inches (66mm). It also uses a 73mm threaded bottom bracket shell and Boost hub spacing.

Three-phase suspension

The new Strive gets an extra 10mm of travel bringing it up to 160mm. This extra travel allowed Canyon to tune the start of the suspension to be more responsive to hunting grip, adding composure and reducing fatigue.

Mid-stroke and end-stroke follow a suspension curve similar to the three-phase design of the previous model. The character of the suspension is one of the key attributes Canyon wanted to keep from the previous bike.

The rear suspension now offers 160mm of travel. The extra 10mm makes initial travel softer to increase grip and reduce fatigue.
Boris Beyer

However, there are some changes, especially in terms of the bike’s anti-squat. Because of the added suspension and increased sensitivity, Canyon increased the anti-squat on sag to help the Strive be a competent climber.

Still, he managed to dampen the potential for pedal bounce by quickly dropping the anti-squat to give the Strive a more chainless feel the further it moved.

Canyon says the frame is coil and air shock compatible and was designed around a 170mm-travel fork.

The new Strive (yellow lines) has higher anti-squat at the sag point, but it drops quickly throughout the stroke to minimize chainline interference with the suspension deeper in the stroke.
Canyon Bikes

Canyon Strive CFR Geometry

The head tube and seat tube angles of the latest Strive have been given a facelift from the outgoing model.

Head tube angles are now 63 degrees or 64.5 degrees, while seat tube angles are 76.5 degrees or 78 degrees depending on the Shapeshifter setting (keep reading for more information on the Shapeshifter system).

However, the bike’s key angles weren’t the only ones that got a complete overhaul. Litter numbers have also seen a growth spurt. The small size now starts at 455mm, rising to 480mm on the medium, 505mm on the large and 530mm on the extra large.

Canyon also managed to lower the standover heights and shorten the seat tube. These range from 400mm to 420mm, 440mm and 460mm from sizes S to XL.

The two elements that remain consistent are the 36mm bottom bracket drop that hugs the ground and the 435mm snappy chainstays used in all sizes.

Some might suggest that short chainstays don’t pair well with long reach. However, Canyon CLLCTV mentor Fabien Barel says the expert riders and racers this bike is designed for should be able to actively weight the front wheel and carve the bike into corners to take advantage of both front- centre-back and centre-back agility.

Changing geometry

Canyon’s Shapeshifter in its ‘shred’ and ‘pedal’ modes. This piston changes the geometry and suspension kinematics of the bike on the fly.
Boris Beyer

The Strive’s Shapeshifter—a tool the race team specifically requested to improve the bike’s versatility—acts like an on-the-fly flip chip and gives the Strive two geometry settings. The air piston developed by Fox changes the geometry and kinematics of the bike’s suspension by increasing anti-squat and reducing leverage.

Now that the Strive is a dedicated enduro bike, Canyon was able to expand the adjustment range of the Shapeshifter.

The two settings are called “shred mode” – which is designed for downhill or rougher riding – and “pedal mode” designed for less extreme riding or climbing.

The Shapshifter lever allows you to change the Strive between its ‘shred’ and ‘pedal’ modes from the handlebars.
Boris Beyer

In the “shred” setting, Canyon cut 2.2 degrees from the head tube angle to a 63-degree clearance. It also dramatically steepened the effective seat tube from 4.3 degrees to 76.5 degrees.

Changing the Shapeshifter to pedal mode makes the Strive a sportier bike. It increases the angles of the head tube and effective seat tube by 1.5 degrees to 64.5 degrees and 78 degrees respectively. It also raises the bottom bracket by 15mm and reduces travel to 140mm while increasing progression.

Reach helmet adjustment cups

Interchangeable headset cups allow you to increase or decrease the reach by 5mm from its standard setting.
Boris Beyer

Another new feature of the Strive is the reach-adjust helmet fit.

With 10mm of adjustment, you can lengthen or shorten the reach and front center by plus or minus 5mm. This should give riders of different sizes on the same size bike the chance to find a more suitable setup. Plus, it allows riders to change their setting based on course profiles to maximize performance.

Canyon says the new sizing structure with the reach-adjustable helmet cups means the sizes cover a wider range of riders. You can easily choose between sizes, especially if you fall between medium and large frames.

Canyon Strive CFR specs, pricing and availability

There are two modes in the new Strive CFR line – the Strive CFR Underdog and the more expensive Strive CFR – with a third bike coming further down the line (we’re expecting something SRAM-based).

Each is spec’d with Fox suspension, Shimano gears and brakes, DT Swiss wheels and Maxxis tires, and a Canyon G5 finishing kit. Both bikes are available in Carbon/Silver and Grey/Orange colorways.

Prices start at £4,849 for the CFR Underdog, and the CFR comes in at £6,099. We will update international prices when we have them. Also check availability online at the Canyon website.

Canyon Strive CFR Underdog

Canyon Strive CFR Underdog.
Boris Beyer

  • Frame: Strive CFR carbon, 160mm travel, 29er wheels
  • Fork: Fox 38 Performance Elite GRIP2, 170mm travel
  • Shock: Fox Float X2 Performance
  • Transmission: Shimano Deore XT (1×12), Shimano SLX cassette (10-51)
  • Brakes: Shimano Deore XT, 203mm rotors
  • Wheels/tyres: DT Swiss EX511 rims, DT Swiss 370 LN hubs, / Maxxis Assegai 3C MaxxGrip EXO+ 29×2.5in WT (f), Maxxis DHR II 3C MaxxTerra EXO+ 29×2.4in WT
  • Bar/stem: Canyon G5 AL, 780 / Canyon G4, 40mm
  • Seat post/saddle: Canyon G5 / Ergon SM10 Enduro Comp
  • Price: £4,849

Canyon Strive CFR

Canyon Strive CFR.
Boris Beyer

  • Frame: Strive CFR carbon, 160mm travel, 29er wheels
  • Fork: Fox 38 Factory GRIP2, 170mm travel
  • Shock: Fox Float X2 Factory
  • Transmission: Shimano Deore XTR (1×12), Shimano XT cassette (10-51), RaceFace Next R canks
  • Brakes: Shimano Deore XTR, 203mm rotors
  • Wheels/tyres: DT Swiss EX511 rims, DT Swiss 350 hubs, / Maxxis Assegai 3C MaxxGrip EXO+ 29×2.5in WT (f), Maxxis DHR II 3C MaxxTerra EXO+ 29×2.4in WT
  • Bar/stem: Canyon G5 AL, 780 / Canyon G4, 40mm
  • Seat post/saddle: Canyon G5 / Ergon SM10 Enduro Comp
  • Price: £6,099

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