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All the best bikes, gear and other tech from the Tour de France
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The sleek Canyon Speedmax CF Evo time trial bike of 2009 Giro d'Italia winner Denis Menchov (Katusha).
German stealth fighter for Russian Tour de France contender
This article originally published on BikeRadar
Introduced officially to the media earlier this year, Canyon's new Speedmax CF Evo time trial bike is thoroughly sleek and modern – a major improvement over its predecessor and exactly what the Russian Katusha team asked for. The time trials will play a pivotal role for 2009 Giro d'Italia winner Denis Menchov if he hopes to achieve his goal of Tour de France success this year, and if all goes well, the new Speedmax CF Evo is the machine that will take him there.
Canyon may have been slow to overhaul the original Speedmax CF but the new version looks to have caught back up to the leaders in one big step. The sculpted tubes were wind tunnel-crafted using a clever modular prototype mock-up and all of the now-requisite features are incorporated: well-integrated front and rear linear-pull brakes; an external steerer tube that sits in front of the head tube for better aerodynamics; a proprietary cockpit with internal cable routing; an ultra-aggressive position with a stem that sits in-line with the top tube; and a wide-format bottom bracket shell with press-fit cups designed around Shimano's PF86 standard.
Canyon has also integrated a few interesting frame geometry features into its aero flagship, such as chain stays that are 25-30mm longer than the old bike plus a front-center that's longer, too. According to Canyon road bike product manager Sebastian Jadczak, the intentionally rangy wheelbase that results provides more stable handling – a trait that's often elusive with so much of a rider's weight concentrated on the forearm pads.
Denis Menchov favors a low, aggressive handlebar position
Katusha team equipment manager Michael Rich added that while his riders admittedly didn't log as many hours training in formation as he would have preferred earlier this season, the new Speedmax CF Evo's mellower handling personality still allowed the team to maintain a clean line during the team time trial at this year's Giro.
That extra length is also exemplified by Menchov's personal setup. Despite standing at 1.80m (5' 11"), he rides a medium-sized frame with a medium-sized stem measuring just 85mm center-to-center. Canyon has incorporated its clever adjustable-rake fork tips into the Speedmax CF Evo, too, and Menchov tempers some of the bike's inherent stability by selecting the longer rake option.
Menchov's Shimano Dura-Ace Di2-equipped bike as shown here isn't particular light at 8.54kg (18.83lb) though in fairness, there's a somewhat weighty aluminum-rimmed Mavic rear disc wheel fitted (with grippy Exalith-treated sidewalls) and the matching 80mm-deep Mavic Cosmic CXR 80 front wheel is no featherweight, either. Interestingly, Menchov also chooses to ride a rather mundane, steel-railed Selle Italia saddle that Canyon normally uses as OEM equipment on its cheaper bikes.
In contrast, Joaquin Rodriguez's Speedmax CF Evo was supposedly just 7.4kg (16.31lb) at the Giro d'Italia.
Complete bike specifications
Frame: Canyon Speedmax CF, medium
Fork: Canyon Speedmax CF, long-rake setting
Stem: Canyon Speedmax CF, medium
Handlebars: Canyon Speedmax CF integrated, 42cm (c-c)
Tape/grips: Ritchey Grippy
Front brake: Canyon Speedmax CF integrated
Rear brake: Canyon Speedmax CF integrated
Brake levers: Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 MODEL
Front derailleur: Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 FD-7970
Rear derailleur: Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 RD-7970
Shift levers: Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 MODEL
Cassette: Shimano Dura-Ace CS-7900, 11-23T
Chain: Shimano Dura-Ace CN-7900
Crankset: Shimano Dura-Ace FC-7900, 175mm, 54/44T
Bottom bracket: Shimano Dura-Ace press-fit SM-FC7900P
Pedals: Shimano Dura-Ace SPD-SL PD-7900
Front wheel: Mavic Cosmic CXR 80
Rear wheel: Mavic disc
Front tire: Mavic Yksion Grip Link tubular, 22mm
Rear tire: Mavic Yksion Grip Link tubular, 22mm
Saddle: Selle Italia Race SE
Seat post: Canyon Speedmax CF
Bottle cages: n/a
Rider's height: 1.80m (5ft 11in)
Head tube length: 90mm
Total bicycle weight: 8.54kg (18.83lb)