Canyon has officially released the highly-anticipated Grail, a second-generation gravel bike that promises to redefine the gravel bike category. It's a bike that has already proved its capabilities at some of the world's toughest gravel races – just last weekend we saw it win at the UCI Gravel World Championships - but now, we've got all the details of the bike. We've also already been riding it a fair bit so if you want to read the full verdict of how the bike rides - head over here.
Canyon Grail - What's new?
2023 Canyon Grail CF SLX 8 Di2-2.jpg, by Suvi loponen
Canyon has focused on improving the performance, aerodynamics, and compliance of its premium gravel bike offering, the Grail, which was introduced in 2018 and has seen little in terms of updates since.
Another reason for Canyon to update the Grail is to make its place in the brand's gravel bike lineup clear. The two gravel bikes in the range – the Grizl and the Grail - have been rather similar in terms of geometry and with the new Grail, Canyon is aiming to widen that gap and dip into what the brand calls "gravel performance". This means that the frame has visually changed, now utilising aeronautic-inspired tube shapes, and integrated cables and the components have been updated to cater for that new market.
Starting with the frame stats, According to Canyon the new CFR frameset is 118g lighter than the outgoing top-tier Grail CF SLX frameset. The frame is also claimed to be 10 per cent stiffer around the bottom bracket and headtube and this is due to multiple factors.
2023 Canyon Grail CF SLX 8 Di2-19.jpg, by Suvi loponen
The fork is said to be 4.5 per cent stiffer and it also now utilises a 1 ⅛ diameter steerer tube which means greater compatibility with aftermarket cockpit systems. Canyon has decided against drilling holes into the fork - instead, you can get something called a "fork sleeve" which allows you to carry more bottles or whatever you wish on the fork legs. There are also mounts for Canyon's own mudguards and three bottles on the frame, in addition to the frame and top-tube mounts.
2023 Canyon Grail CF SLX 8 Di2-18.jpg, by Suvi loponen
Tyre clearances on gravel bikes are slowly creeping closer to those of mountain bikes, and although the Grail is not going for extremes, it has a 42mm tyre clearance (even with mudguards) - which is the same as in the first generation model.
The actual frame geometry has also been changed. Notably, the size range now spans from XXS to XXL, which means that the smallest 3XS has been dropped from the lineup and all sizes now roll on 700c wheels instead of the smallest getting smaller 650b hoops. Canyon said this is because of the demands of gravel racing - 700c arguably rolls better and it's easier to source spares for the 700c size.
2023 Canyon Grail CF SLX 8 Di2-6.jpg, by Suvi loponen
Overall, the Canyon Grail has a 28mm longer wheelbase in size M, and the trail of the bike is 69 mm across the "core sizes" from S to L. The same goes for the head tube angle which is 71.5 degrees across most of the sizes. The bottom bracket drop is now also 75mm for all of the sizes. The bike's top tube is also sloping a little more, meaning the seat tube is shorter.
With the geometry and frame changes Canyon has aimed to achieve: "neutrality and balance to the steering that increases the confidence through fast turns. The rider’s weight is more evenly balanced between front and rear making it much more predictable over loose surfaces – if the front or rear wheels do start to slide, it’s easier to control and bring everything back into line."
Canyon Grail - The new handlebar and seatpost
2023 Canyon Grail CF SLX 8 Di2-21.jpg, by Suvi loponen
Beyond the frame look and storage, the most significant change in the new Grail has taken place in its cockpit. The Double Decker handlebar which has always been a significant part of the Grail's identity has now given way to a "Double Drop" handlebar.
This bar is named for its unique shape that provides multiple hand positions for comfort and control. The bar has a five-degree back sweep on the tops and a subtle drop from the stem, "a position that your hands naturally fall into on the tops reducing pressure on wrist joints and keeping your elbows tighter to the body," Canyon says. There is also a five-degree flare at the hoods widening to 16 degrees at the drops.
2023 Canyon Grail CF SLX 8 Di2-22.jpg, by Suvi loponen
The Double Drop Bar is available in three different models: the CP0039 version on the CFR and SLX platforms also features the "Gear Groove", a subtle drop on the tops with minimum 420–460 mm widths and 60–80 mm stems.
Canyon also developed a narrower, 400mm wide pro version that is available aftermarket. The CP0047 has a more extreme swoop to replicate a negative angled stem with 15 mm more drop than the CP0039, and it's available with longer stem lengths ranging from 80 to 110 mm.
2023 Canyon Grail CF SLX 8 Di2-8.jpg, by Suvi loponen
CP0045 version is found on the base Grail CF SL models and the bar does not have the Gear Groove attachment. The Gear Groove allows riders to customise their setup with a range of accessories, from computer mounts to aero extensions.
2023 Canyon Grail CF SLX 8 Di2-16.jpg, by Suvi loponen
Canyon has also swapped the seatpost on the Grail to a brand new SP0072 Comfortpost. With its D-Shape design, Canyon says this seatpost offers the right amount of flex and it's 42 grams lighter than the old Grail's S15 VCLS 2.0 system.
Canyon Grail - Frame storage
2023 Canyon Grail CF SLX 8 Di2-24.jpg, by Suvi loponen
One of the most interesting updates to the Grail is definitely its integrated down-tube storage and the way the German brand has designed the frame to be faster with a frame bag. The "Aero Load System" basically consists of a frame bag that attaches to the bottom of the top tube with a Fidlock system.
Canyon Grail Quickloader frame bag, by Canyon
Dubbed as the "Quickloader", the frame bag is size specific and according to Canyon will provide a 1.5W faster (at 45kph) than its predecessor.
And on the downtube, the new Grail models – except for the base CF SL model - have the "Load Down Tube Storage" system, which is basically a hatch that hides tools away inside the tube. The hatch itself holds a Topeak Mini Rocket pump and Canyon's six-piece multitool, while the tool pack holds in tyre levers, a CO2 cartridge, a CO2 Inflator and a TPU inner tube. The aim of the storage system is to remove the need for carrying spares or tools in pockets or elsewhere on the bike.
2023 Canyon Grail CF SLX 8 Di2-26.jpg, by Suvi loponen
The new Grails don't come stocked with the tools, but they can be bought separately (check for prizing further down).
Canyon Grail - Models and specifications
There are three tiers of the new Canyon Grail available - Grail CF SL, Grail CF SLX and the new Grail CFR.
Canyon Grail CFR LTD grvl dzzl, by Canyon
Topping the line with the lightest framesets and overall builds, the Grail CFR Di2 will cost £6,699 while the Quarq power meter-equipped Grail CFR SRAM Red AXS retails for £7,649. The Grail CFR is also available in a limited launch edition in the GRVL DZZL design – there are only 70 of these available worldwide – for £9,500
Grail CF SLX
Canyon Grail CF SLX, by Canyon
The Grail CF SLX comes with a lower tier CF SLX R120 frame but still benefits from the Load Down Tube Storage and Gear Groove versatility and is available in 1x and 2x drivetrain options. The GRX Di2-equipped Grail CF SLX 8 Di2 comes in at £4,799 and the SRAM Force AXS and Zipp 303 Firecrest-adorned Grail CF SLX 8 AXS is £5,099.
Grail CF SL
Canyon Grail CF SL etap, by Canyon
The base model Canyon Grail CF SL has a Canyon Grail CF SL R119 frame, and with prices starting from £2,599 (with Shimano GRX 620) the CF SL is a great entry model into the world of performance gravel with incredibly competitive specs at more accessible price points. The Grail CF SL frames do not come complete with Load Down Tube Storage, but they still have the ability to take the Fidlock Quickloader. In addition, the CP0045 Double Drop Bar equipped on the Grail CF SL doesn’t come with the Gear Groove interface. The Grail CF SL 7 with SRAM Rival AXS XPLR retails for £3,349 and the Shimano GRX 800 Di2 model comes in at 2,899.
Canyon GEAR GROOVE CP0047 Gravel Pro Cockpit 379.95 €
Canyon LOAD FidLock QuickLoader 79.95 €
Canyon LOAD Fork Sleeves 59.95 €
Canyon LOAD Fork Cages 24.95 €
Downtube Storage Bundle* 79.75 €
(inc. Canyon LOAD Tool Snake, CO₂ Inflator, CO₂ Cartridges 16 g (four pack), Tire Lever, Tube Schwalbe Aerothan 60 mm
DEFEND Fast Fenders 40 mm 99.95 €
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