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Pro bike: Alexander Kristoff's Canyon Ultimate CF SLX Paris-Roubaix

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Alexander Kristoff (Katusha) earned himself a top-ten finish at Paris-Roubaix aboard this Canyon Ultimate CF SLX.

Alexander Kristoff (Katusha) earned himself a top-ten finish at Paris-Roubaix aboard this Canyon Ultimate CF SLX.
(Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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Canyon favors rounded shapes and gradual transitions on its flagship Ultimate CF SLX frame.

Canyon favors rounded shapes and gradual transitions on its flagship Ultimate CF SLX frame.
(Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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Canyon's own chain catcher securely attaches to the water bottle bosses on the seat tube, making it unlikely to give way when it's actually needed.

Canyon's own chain catcher securely attaches to the water bottle bosses on the seat tube, making it unlikely to give way when it's actually needed.
(Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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If only the inner ring size has been changed from the usual 39T, then why bother changing the outer one, too? Shimano positions the shift ramp and pin locations for specific ring combinations so matched sets will shift better.

If only the inner ring size has been changed from the usual 39T, then why bother changing the outer one, too? Shimano positions the shift ramp and pin locations for specific ring combinations so matched sets will shift better.
(Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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Cables are internally routed on Canyon's latest Ultimate CF SLX - but unfortunately, the system isn't convertible between mechanical and electronic drivetrains so if Alexander Kristoff (Katusha) decides to switch, he'll need a whole new frame.

Cables are internally routed on Canyon's latest Ultimate CF SLX - but unfortunately, the system isn't convertible between mechanical and electronic drivetrains so if Alexander Kristoff (Katusha) decides to switch, he'll need a whole new frame.
(Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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Unusually long stems are commonplace at this level of the sport.

Unusually long stems are commonplace at this level of the sport.
(Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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Alexander Kristoff (Katusha) uses the cutout version of Selle Italia's SLR Team Edition saddle.

Alexander Kristoff (Katusha) uses the cutout version of Selle Italia's SLR Team Edition saddle.
(Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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The tall collar surrounds the seatpost with more even pressure, which should theoretically provide a firmer hold.

The tall collar surrounds the seatpost with more even pressure, which should theoretically provide a firmer hold.
(Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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The slim seat stays feature a simple, nominally round shape throughout their shape. The previous incarnation of the Ultimate CF SLX proved to be remarkably comfortable and we don't expect Canyon to have taken any steps backwards here.

The slim seat stays feature a simple, nominally round shape throughout their shape. The previous incarnation of the Ultimate CF SLX proved to be remarkably comfortable and we don't expect Canyon to have taken any steps backwards here.
(Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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If you were looking for justification for using a Shimano Ultegra chain instead of a Dura-Ace one, here you go. If it's good enough to be raced at Paris-Roubaix…

If you were looking for justification for using a Shimano Ultegra chain instead of a Dura-Ace one, here you go. If it's good enough to be raced at Paris-Roubaix…
(Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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Katusha team frames' minimal paint leaves the woven surface layers exposed at the bottom bracket shell.

Katusha team frames' minimal paint leaves the woven surface layers exposed at the bottom bracket shell.
(Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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Canyon's sandwich-type replaceable rear derailleur hanger should theoretically yield a stiffer connnection than plates that only bolt on to the dropout from one side.

Canyon's sandwich-type replaceable rear derailleur hanger should theoretically yield a stiffer connnection than plates that only bolt on to the dropout from one side.
(Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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Canyon has long championed its extra-oversized 1 1/4-to-1 1/2" tapered head tube and continues to use it on the latest Ultimate CF SLX, which was introduced last year at the Tour de France.

Canyon has long championed its extra-oversized 1 1/4-to-1 1/2" tapered head tube and continues to use it on the latest Ultimate CF SLX, which was introduced last year at the Tour de France.
(Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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While Alexander Kristoff (Katusha) may not have been at the forefront of many people's minds, those in the know were expecting him to nab a good result at this year's race.

While Alexander Kristoff (Katusha) may not have been at the forefront of many people's minds, those in the know were expecting him to nab a good result at this year's race.
(Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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Shimano Dura-Ace 7900 mechanical levers are mounted high on double-wrapped Ritchey aluiminum handlebars.

Shimano Dura-Ace 7900 mechanical levers are mounted high on double-wrapped Ritchey aluiminum handlebars.
(Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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Ritchey produces stems with 1 1/4" steerer clamp diameters specifically for Canyon.

Ritchey produces stems with 1 1/4" steerer clamp diameters specifically for Canyon.
(Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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Canyon supposedly engineered the revamped Ultimate CF SLX from the outset to be compatible with higher-volume tires. Here, the 27mm-wide tubulars have little room to spare but they still fit.

Canyon supposedly engineered the revamped Ultimate CF SLX from the outset to be compatible with higher-volume tires. Here, the 27mm-wide tubulars have little room to spare but they still fit.
(Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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Katusha's tires were labeled as Mavics but the tread design and casing construction suggests that they're more likely FMB Paris-Roubaixs.

Katusha's tires were labeled as Mavics but the tread design and casing construction suggests that they're more likely FMB Paris-Roubaixs.
(Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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Canyon incorporates basalt fibers into its VCLS carbon fiber seatpost, which supposedly improves flexibility and shock absorption.

Canyon incorporates basalt fibers into its VCLS carbon fiber seatpost, which supposedly improves flexibility and shock absorption.
(Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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Alexander Kristoff (Katusha) used 53/46T chainrings for Paris-Roubaix.

Alexander Kristoff (Katusha) used 53/46T chainrings for Paris-Roubaix.
(Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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As did many Shimano-equipped riders at Paris-Roubaix, Alexander Kristoff (Katusha) passed over the fancier Dura-Ace Di2 group in favor of the previous-generation mechanical version. Several riders have suggested to us that the longer throws are more forgiving on the cobbles and the extreme vibration can sometimes confuse the Di2 brain.

As did many Shimano-equipped riders at Paris-Roubaix, Alexander Kristoff (Katusha) passed over the fancier Dura-Ace Di2 group in favor of the previous-generation mechanical version. Several riders have suggested to us that the longer throws are more forgiving on the cobbles and the extreme vibration can sometimes confuse the Di2 brain.
(Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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Alexander Kristoff's (Katusha) bike was equipped with Mavic's wide-profile M40 carbon tubulars when we caught up with it at the team hotel the day before the race. He ultimately would switch to the Mavic Cosmic Carbone Ultimate with its textured Exalith aluminum sidewalls for better braking, despite the fact that it rides firmer than the M40.

Alexander Kristoff's (Katusha) bike was equipped with Mavic's wide-profile M40 carbon tubulars when we caught up with it at the team hotel the day before the race. He ultimately would switch to the Mavic Cosmic Carbone Ultimate with its textured Exalith aluminum sidewalls for better braking, despite the fact that it rides firmer than the M40.
(Image credit: Jonny Irick)

This article originally published on BikeRadar

The podium of this year's Paris-Roubaix was occupied by so-called 'endurance' bikes. But Katusha's Alexander Kristoff scored a well-earned ninth place aboard the recently redesigned Canyon Ultimate CF SLX road racer, with just a few minor equipment changes to survive the pavé.

Canyon team liaison manager Andreas Walzer said the frameset was designed from the outset to accommodate the higher-volume tires required for Paris-Roubaix's notorious cobbles. Indeed, Kristoff's Mavic-badged FMB Paris-Roubaix tubulars fit through the frame and fork as promised, albeit without much (if any) room to spare.

As an added bonus, the standard head tube length also meant Kristoff didn't have to go to any extreme measures to achieve his desired position, although it's only in these rarified circles that a 140mm-long stem can be considered commonplace.

When we arrived at the team hotel for photographs the day before the race, Kristoff had his tires mounted to Mavic's M40, wide-profile carbon tubular wheels, which won Paris-Roubaix under Johan Vansummeren in 2011.

Kristoff switched to Cosmic Carbone SLR wheels on Sunday, though, sacrificing the supposedly smoother ride and lighter weight of the M40's bulbous all-carbon rims for the surer braking performance of the SLR's textured Exalith aluminum sidewalls.

Additional pavé-induced equipment choices included two layers of Ritchey handlebar tape, flatland-friendly 53/46T matched Shimano Dura-Ace 7900 chainrings, and aluminum Elite Ciussi bottle cages.

Otherwise, Kristoff's machine is essentially the same as when the overhauled Canyon Ultimate CF SLX frame was first presented to the public at the 2012 Tour de France. The latest model retains the predecessor's nominally roundish tube shapes, gradual transitions, and ultra-oversized 1 1/4in to 1 1/2in tapered front end, but with more refinement that brings the claimed weight down to under 800g.

The previous model was remarkably comfortable out back, and judging by appearances we – and surely Kristoff – are hoping Canyon has continued that trend this time around.

Cable routing is newly internal and, like many Shimano-equipped riders at this year's Paris-Roubaix, Kristoff opted for the company's previous-generation Dura-Ace 7900 group.

According to several riders and teams we've spoken to, the shift levers' longer throws are less likely to unintentionally change gears when pinballing across the pavé. Should Kristoff decide to switch to the new Di2 setup, his mechanics will have to build a whole new bike – the routing isn't convertible. We doubt Kristoff troubled himself with such minutiae during Sunday's grueling slog across the cobbled countryside, though.

Total weight as pictured is a light-for-Roubaix 7.25kg (15.98lb).

Katusha team frames' minimal paint leaves the woven surface layers exposed at the bottom bracket shell

Complete bike specifications

Frame: Canyon Ultimate CF SLX, size medium
Fork: Canyon OneOneFour SLX
Headset: Acros integrated, 1 1/4-to-1 1/2" tapered
Stem: Ritchey WCS 4-Axis for Canyon, 140mm x -6°
Handlebars: Ritchey WCS Logic Curve, 42cm (center-to-center)
Tape/grips: Ritchey cork, double wrapped
Front brake: Shimano Dura-Ace BR-7900 w/ SwissStop Yellow King carbon-specific pads for Mavic
Rear brake: Shimano Dura-Ace BR-7900 w/ SwissStop Yellow King carbon-specific pads for Mavic
Brake levers: Shimano Dura-Ace STI Dual Control ST-7900
Front derailleur: Shimano Dura-Ace FD-7900
Rear derailleur: Shimano Dura-Ace RD-7900
Shift levers: Shimano Dura-Ace STI Dual Control ST-7900
Cassette: Shimano Dura-Ace CS-7900, 11-23T
Chain: Shimano Ultegra CN-6701
Crankset: Shimano Dura-Ace FC-7900, 172.5mm, 53/46T
Bottom bracket: Shimano Dura-Ace press-fit
Pedals: Shimano Dura-Ace SPD-SL PD-7900
Wheelset: Mavic M40 tubular (switched to Mavic Cosmic Carbone SLR tubular on race day)
Front tire: FMB Paris-Roubaix tubular, 27mm
Rear tire: FMB Paris-Roubaix tubular, 27mm
Saddle: Selle Italia SLR Trans Am Team Edition
Seat post: Canyon VCLS
Bottle cages: Elite Ciussi (2) (switched to black cages on race day)
Computer: SRM PowerControl 7

Critical measurements

Rider's height: 1.81m (5' 11")
Rider's weight: 78kg (172lb)
Saddle height, from BB (c-t): 790mm
Saddle setback: 80mm
Seat tube length, c-t: 545mm
Seat tube length, c-c: 495mm
Tip of saddle nose to C of bars (next to stem): 600mm
Saddle-to-bar drop (vertical): 115mm
Head tube length: 150mm
Top tube length: 549mm (horizontal)
Total bicycle weight: 7.25kg (15.98lb) as pictured