It appears Mathieu van der Poel (Alpecin-Fenix) has been given a new set of handlebars for the Tour de France, which admittedly would struggle to be considered interesting on any normal day. However, in light of the high-profile handlebar failure the Dutchman suffered earlier this year, it suggests that Canyon is nearing a solution.
Almost four months ago, on March 2, in the final kilometres of the early Belgian classic that is Le Samyn, Van der Poel was left hamstrung when his Canyon Aeroad handlebar disintegrated beneath him. To the surprise of the Dutchman and the horror of Canyon bosses, the right-hand drop portion of the handlebar had snapped clean off near the clamp that holds the shifter in place. Amazingly he remained upright and continued to ride, successfully leading out his teammate Tim Merlier to victory.
This shifter clamp, a proprietary unit designed by Canyon to match the Aeroad-specific handlebar, was widely considered to be the culprit, but among the subsequent furore, Canyon issued a stop-ride notice to all existing Aeroad customers whose bikes featured that handlebar.
A few weeks later, with the solution to the problem identified, Canyon dealt another blow to its customers, pushing the fix back to 'Autumn', attempting to soften the blow with the promise of a credit once the fix had been applied.
In the months since, Van der Poel and his Alpecin-Fenix teammates have been using an 'adapted' version of the top-tier Aeroad CF SLX, which has seen the frame drilled so that the cockpit from the previous Aeroad can be fitted, and the externally routed cables can enter the frame.
Well today, Aeroad customers can rejoice, as it looks as though the solution is near. Over recent days for the training rides that precede the Tour de France, Mathieu Van der Poel has been spotted on a similar Canyon Aeroad CF SLX, but those external cables are nowhere to be seen.
Cyclingnews has reached out to Canyon for confirmation and is awaiting a response, but the obvious explanation here is that Van der Poel is field-testing the solution – a telling sign of his trust in the Canyon engineers. This suggests that Canyon is, at worst, on track to meet that Autumn deadline and potentially ready to roll it out to customers.
Interestingly, however, not all of the Alpecin-Fenix riders have been given the solution.
From the images we've seen so far, the new handlebar is mostly indistinguishable from the CP0015 that failed, the only visible area of change coming with what looks like a slightly more rounded rear of the stem, but this comes as little surprise since the area of attention for Canyon would be the point of failure, hidden beneath the bar tape near the shifters.
Of course, as soon as we hear more from Canyon, we'll be sure to share.
Josh is our Senior Tech Writer meaning he covers everything from buyer's guides and deals to the latest tech news and reviews. He'll spot something new in the pro peloton from a mile off, and is always keen get his hands on the newest tech.
On the bike, Josh has been racing since the age of 13. After racing XC with friends in his teens, he turned to road racing in his early 20s. Pre pandemic, he was racing as a Cat 1 for Team Tor 2000, but for the time being, he's taking shelter in his garage racing on Zwift and RGT. In the real world, he enjoys a good long road race but he's much more at home in a local criterium.
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