If you're all about going fast then this version of the Canyon Lux XC mountain bike packs in the tech and features to help you fly
With the paint barely dry on the brand new Lux World Cup CFR Team, it should come as no surprise that it’s a modern XC race bike packed with all of Canyons latest tech, designed to be one of the best cross country mountain bikes out there.
Need to know:
- Quick Release levers front and rear make wheel swaps or puncture repairs faster
- Full carbon frame with carbon shock extender and rocker link
- Self lubricating Ceramic Speed SLT bearings on all suspension pivots for increased durability
- Tube in tube cable routing offers an elegant, rattle free ride
As the name suggests, the frame uses CFR level carbon, Canyon’s premium weave, to save weight without compromising on stiffness and it’s exclusive to the Team and top-end LTD model at £7,599
How much lighter is the CFR Lux frame than the CF? 390g to be precise. As such, our size L test rig tipped the scales at a scant 10.71kg, set up tubeless with two bottle cages fitted. The bottles and cages are supplied with the bike, and you also get a torque wrench and shock pump so you’ll be off to the races with minimal fuss.
The frame uses a flex stay suspension design to deliver 100mm of travel, as it’s lighter than having additional pivots. Because the shock is mounted under the top tube (actually it sits in a slight recess on the underside of the tube) Canyon has achieved one of the most direct routings for the remote lock out.
Neat as it is, this makes getting at the rebound adjuster really tricky. Canyon seems to have thought of everything though, as the bike has Allen key mounted on the front brake hose for poking the adjuster. Having the shock high in the frame also allows for more space lower in the front triangle, which is key to the Canyon being able to comfortably carry two water bottles.
Other neat features include the steering lock headset, which Canyon has dubbed the Impact Protection Unit 2.0. It’s a great idea as it should prevent the carbon XTR brake levers or shifter pods smashing into the top-tube in the event of a crash. There’s also a mini-chain guide to ensure that the chain doesn’t jump off the 34t Race Face chain ring that’s cinched onto the carbon Next SL chain set.
Yes, the frame uses a Pressfit bottom bracket, but not any old bottom bracket: a Ceramic Speed BB that’s guaranteed to reduce power loss.
At the slender rear dropouts you’ll find a 160mm flat mount for the brake calliper and a SRAM universal derailleur hanger on the drive-side. So whether you’re making up the numbers at a local race or jet setting around the world, you’ll always be able to replace a bent hanger. And while the 2.35in Maxxis Ikon tyres are the fattest in test, the Canyon also has the most generous clearance, so those 29in wheels are much less likely to grind to halt in muddy race conditions.
Canyon Lux World Cup CFR Team suspension
We mentioned earlier that the Lux uses a flex-stay suspension design. What we didn’t say is that the carbon stays are preloaded, and as such act a bit like a stronger negative spring sucking the bike down ever so slightly into its 100mm travel. It’s why our measure geometry is slightly slacker and lower than Canyon’s published numbers.
It also makes removing or installing the shock hardware more difficult than normal. As the suspension cycles through the 100mm travel the flex roll inverts and they add to the overall spring rate to make the bike more progressive; softer off the top, more progression as the end stroke. It sounds great, but the rear suspension on the Lux is not particularly effective at ironing out chatter, to the point where we found ourselves on several occasions double checking that the suspension wasn’t locked out.
So if you like your full suspension XC race bikes firm, the Canyon Lux delivers.
Up front the Fox 32 Step Cast fork looks slender, but it’s remarkably stiff. Guide pressures on the back of the orange lower legs make getting a baseline set-up easy. But we found that running the rebound faster with very little low speed compression gave the best ride characters though, but that could be bike specific.
Canyon Lux World Cup CFR Team components
Canyon’s CP0008 XC Cockpit (yes, that’s not a working title) is a one-piece carbon bar and stem and it is a thing of beauty. It’s light, adds a lot of stiffness and control to the front end and most importantly the 740mm bar has a great profile. The bar is shod with excellent Ergon grips and the matching Ergon saddle give the Canyon the best contact points in this test.
The DT Swiss XRC wheels and Maxxis 3C MaxxSpeed tyres are also excellent. With 36 points of engagement, freehub pickup isn’t lightning fast but it’s still the fastest in the test.
Shimano XTR covers the gears and cassette with the Race Face providing a bit of bling with the Next SL chainset. And if you like to ride and train with a power metre, there’s a Race Face Cinch power metre axle available aftermarket.
And because the Canyon Lux is a race bike, it comes with a bigger 34t chainring, so you’ll need strong legs to power up the climbs, even with the 10-51t Shimano XTR cassette at the rear.
Canyon Lux World Cup CFR Team performance
There’s no denying that the Canyon Lux is a thoroughbred race bike. It’s fast off the line, ruthlessly efficient on the climbs and rewards hard pedalling efforts with no loss of power. So much so that on fatter rolling terrain, there’s probably no faster bike here.
Mix in the kind of roots and rock gardens you typically see on the World Cup XC circuit to spice things up for the viewers however, and the Canyon Lux doesn’t feel quite as confident or as comfortable. Yes, the extra 15mm of reach and 1.5º slacker head angle make the bike feel more stable overall, as does the frame stiffness, but the suspension feels, dare we say it, binary, and lacks some of the sensitivity needed to dance in the spotlight. And that’s with an 80kg rider taking the lead.
It’s probably a good thing then, that the Lux has that mini chain device fitted as standard as it can be a rougher than expected ride at times. And maybe that’s how elite level racers like it; happy to trade some comfort, traction and control for raw speed.
It could also be that the Lux runs what is effectively a 2:1 leverage ratio, 100mm of travel from a 50mm stroke shock, so it could be the shock tune that generates the less compliant ride quality.
With the new Lux, Canyon had made a bike that’s focused on going as fast as humanly possible. And on smooth terrain the Lux World Cup CFR Team delivers. Responsive handling combined with its near instant reaction to pedal inputs make it the perfect marathon XC bike where you tuck in the pack and power down on the 34t chainring.
It’s not quite as adept in more technical terrain however. The more aero riding position and taut suspension can cause you to fumble rather than confidently waltz your way through wet roots or rocks. And with XC racing getting more technical, it’s the only box that Canyon hasn’t ticked on its comprehensive checklist.
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With the new Lux, Canyon had made a bike that’s focused on going as fast as humanly possible. And on smooth terrain the Lux World Cup CFR Team delivers. Its responsive handling combined with its near instant reaction to pedal inputs make it the perfect marathon XC bike where you tuck in the pack and power down on the 34t chainring. It’s not quite as adept in more technical terrain however. The more aero riding position and taut suspension can cause you to fumble rather than confidently waltz your way through wet roots or rocks. And with XC racing getting more technical, it’s the only box that Canyon hasn’t ticked on its comprehensive checklist.