Gear Review – Canyon Inflite 9.0 S

My Current Stable

Up until buying my new Inflite, I had 3 bikes. 1 mountain bike that I recently bought on eBay classifieds for 100€ to use for commuting to work, cycling to swim training and occasionally riding a little loop between Hechtsheim and Bodenheim.

My 2nd bike is a triathlon bike. It’s a Canyon Speedmax Al 8.0. I bought it used from a guy on facebook for 750€ if I remember correctly.  I have upgraded the wheels and now the cockpit and it is a good solid bike. If I can find a good deal on a frame, I might replace it sometime soon, but there’s no rush.

My 3rd bike is a road bike. I bought it at the end of 2012, having snapped the hanger off my old road bike in a crash in Augsburg, and thinking that the frame was snapped.  My old bike was a Canyon Ultimate Al that I had bought on eBay, it was a 60cm frame, but I felt like it was a great fit and I loved riding it.  When I replaced it, I looked for another eBay deal, but could only find a 62cm frame, and a Roadlite Al 5.o, 1 model down from the Ultimate Al and even bigger!

The saddle wasn’t always so silly looking!

Even though it was too big on paper, I really loved that bike!  I rode it in La Marmotte, the Maratona, the Amstel Gold Race and Liege Bastogne Liege this year along with draft legal triathlons and team sprints!  It cost me 430€ (recently sold it for 300€), so it did pretty well for me for 4.5 years!  Recently though I have been having the urge to get a new bike. One that is actually the right size and is a bit newer than my old bike.

A new bike needed

How I work is, I think of what I would like in a bike and make a list. In this case there were only 2 really big things that I wanted – disc brakes and plenty of clearance for wider tyres.  That sounds simple enough. I made a list of the Canyons and Roses that fit the bill and had about 7 bikes on the list. I want to be able to ride on the road most of the time, but have the option to get onto tracks when I fancy it.

In the end, to meet my wide tyres criteria, I needed to get a cyclocross/gravel bike, so the Canyon Inflite 9.0 S won out for me.  The road bikes all allow 28mm tyres, but nothing much above that.  Annoyingly, the Inflite medium frame comes with a 172.5mm crank. I have a crank based powermeter on a 175mm crank arm though!  That was the right size for my other 2 bikes, but would be wrong for my new one 🙁

Welcome to the family – Canyon Inflite 9.0 S

The Inflite has massive tyre clearance, some say enough for 38mm tyres, I can’t see how 45mm tyres wouldn’t fit though, the stock 28mm Conti GP4000sIIs look tiny in the forks! It has Ultegra Hydraulic disc brakes and Ultegra everything else really, with DT Swiss R24 Spine wheels. The bike is no lightweight at 8.7kg, but for what I want it for, that isn’t too important.

Two small issues

Two things that I don’t like much. The hydraulic cabling is external and is just kind of hanging there. It is hella ugly. It runs along the fork and the top tube, I reckon in next year’s model they will hide it in the frame/fork.  The other thing is that it has a quick release for the wheels.  Through Axles seem like they will be the ‘norm’ on disc wheels, I don’t know why Canyon haven’t adopted that here. They have on their road bikes.

First ride experiences

So my first ride was a ‘little’ 170km loop in the hills with the TCEC guys!  This probably isn’t to be recommended, but the bike was great straight out the box.  I usually ride an Adamo saddle, so was a little uncomfortable on the stock saddle, but it was still fine.  The ride was plush on the 28mm Contis at 6 bar. Braking was a bit different, but seemed to get better as the day went on, they should self adjust so maybe they were just a bit loose at the start.

The bike is a bit upright for a fast group ride, I will flip the stem, then decide if I want to send it back to Canyon to get a longer stem (edit: I tried, they said no). It didn’t feel bad yesterday, and I certainly could keep up, but a longer lower position would probably be better for me long term.

5 months later

I have had my Inflite for 4-5 months now. I still really like the bike. it is very comfy and goes off road pretty well, as well as making  riding rough cobbles and/or broken asphalt much easier than a normal road bike.  There’s only been 1 puncture at the front and 1 at the back, but that was after getting lost and riding through some very heavy grass with brambles in them.

I rode in the black forest too. 4000m+ of climbing in a day is a lot for me, but the bike took it well. The worst part was the decent down Kandel. The road was dreadful and I was on the brakes constantly.  I’d read that that can be bad for hydraulic brakes, but I had no issue.  I couldn’t really do a harder test for them than that. I think they’ll be fine.

So the Canyon Inflite 9.0 gets a big thumbs up from me. I guess that the 2018 model will have thru axles and will hide the cables better, but even if not, it’s a great all weather all season bike for the money (1500€ in a sale when I got mine).