German direct-to-consumer outfit Canyon will replace its current 160mm-travel Torque ES all-mountain machine with a lighter and more all day-friendly platform called Strive.
Strive will continue on with the same 160mm of rear wheel travel but will switch from the previous Horst Link four-bar suspension design to a linkage-actuated single-pivot setup similar to what we've seen from Focus and Diamondback. Conical half-shafts on the main pivot, an especially chunky chain stay bridge, and 142x12mm thru-axle dropouts should help prevent rear-end twist (a drawback of the other designs mentioned) while a needle bearing-equipped lower shock mount should make for much smoother action than the usual DU bushing setups.
Meanwhile, weight is kept in check with the hydroformed and butted alloy main tubing and chain stays with the new frame configuration also leaving enough room in the main triangle for a traditional water bottle. Upper-end models also get carbon seat stays, tapered head tubes are included throughout, and all but the least expensive Strive have height-adjustable seatposts as standard equipment, too.
The rest of Canyon's off-road range receives mostly minor tweaks but the Projekt 1.442 showpiece provides a glimpse of what's to come – and we like what we see. Rather than use a conventional 3x10 drivetrain, the Project 1.442 mates a 10-speed cassette and rear derailleur with a three-speed internally geared rear hub that offers an even slightly greater spread than a traditional three-ring crank, all supposedly at about the same weight as a Shimano Deore XT drivetrain.
In addition to the claimed improved durability relative to a three-ring, Canyon says its Mach 3 hub requires almost no maintenance, allows for narrower pedal stance widths, and also makes for much better chain retention as a mini-chain guide can then be used full-time up front. Moreover, the system is based on a 32T chainring so as to maintain maximum compatibility with various suspension designs and the requisite 142x12mm rear dropouts also leave enough room to tuck the shift actuation mechanism inside stays for better protection from rock impacts, too.
Canyon hung the drivetrain concept on what looked to be a modified version of its current Grand Canyon CF carbon hardtail frame (though perhaps more likely a development mule for the next-generation hardtail), complete with big chain stays and little seat stays reminiscent of its Ultimate CF SLX road racer, direct-mount front derailleur tabs (used to mount the chain guide in this case), and internally routed cables.
The rear of the kit was suitably lightweight including a DT Swiss fork, Syntace bar and stem, Formula R1 brakes (with a 180mm front rotor!), Schwalbe tires, a Tune front hub, and DT Swiss carbon rims, all topped with Canyon's remarkably cushy VCLS seatpost.
Aside from the introduction of the Aeroad CF aero road bike we showed you back in May, the road range is essentially unchanged but for the addition of a new V-Drome track model. As is usually the case with this genre, stiffness and aerodynamics were the main goals with the use of deep-section aluminum tubing, stout stays , steel-faced rear-entry horizontal dropouts, and the same carbon post used on Canyon's Speedmax time trial bike.
As for the rumors of pending UK and US availability, that's something Canyon says it's still working on but hopes to nail down sometime in 2011. Keep your fingers crossed.