Former Giro d'Italia winner Denis Menchov returns to his Russian roots for the 2012 season after just a single year with the ill-fated Geox-TMC squad but he'll do so on bikes from German company Canyon instead of his previous Fuji. Menchov will likely have any number of Canyon's road and time trial bikes at his disposal this year but for now, his primary machine is the Aeroad CF – the same chassis that Philippe Gilbert (Omega Pharma-Lotto) rode to huge successes last season.
Canyon didn't design the Aeroad in the wind tunnel, instead focusing on building the frame with nominally aero tube profiles and minimizing frontal area. As compared to Canyon's more traditional Ultimate CF SLX, the Aeroad isn't as stiff either in torsion or at the drivetrain – particularly with the downsized 1 1/8-to-1 1/4in steerer instead of Canyon's usual OneOneFour fork – but it's still up to the task and clearly didn't seem to slow Gilbert down.
Frame weight is a touch heavier than the Ultimate CF SLX at just over 1,000g for Menchov's medium size – not an especially impressive number as compared to true lightweights but given the realities of the UCI's minimum weight rule, Katusha will still have no problem keeping Menchov's new bike right at that mark. Even with an SRM power meter, an SRM PowerControl 7 computer head, Elite bottle cages, and Mavic Cosmic Carbone SLR training clinchers installed, claimed weight is still just 7.19kg (15.85lb) according to team officials.
Other key components include a Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 group and carbon bodied pedals, a Ritchey WCS aluminum semi-anatomic bar and forged aluminum stem, a Selle Italia Flite Team Edition saddle, an Acros integrated headset, and Canyon's own shock-absorbing VCLS carbon and basalt fiber aero-profile seatpost.
Canyon uses a slightly narrower 1 1/8-to-1 1/4in steerer (relative to the OneOneFour on most other models) to decrease frontal area.
Menchov's biggest result came in 2009 when he won the Giro d'Italia but subsequent years were less satisfying – he wasn't even able to contend last year's Tour de France as Geox-TMC didn't receive a wild card invitation. The Russian has publicly declared the Tour to be his main objective this year, however, so we can expect to see more of this Aeroad – along with Canyon's new time trial bike – later this season.