Canyon's Strive has built up quite the reputation as one of the quickest bikes on the EWS circuit and has now received a rather long-awaited update. 2022's iteration of the Strive gets a widely updated geometry with refinements to its suspension kinematic.
With the Spectral and the Torque thoroughly blurring the lines between trail, enduro, and bike park riding, the Strive has slipped into the background but Canyon reckons that this has allowed the designers the freedom to make the Strive the enduro race machine it was always meant to be.
First off, the bike's geometry has seen an impressive overhaul. The reach has been stretched significantly to 505mm on a large frame, the head angle has been relaxed to 63° in its slackest setting and the seat tube sits at 78° with the bike in pedal mode. As for the chainstay, that measures in at 435mm on all sizes, and the bike rolls on a pair of 29" wheels. All of that is pretty aggro with some of those angles usually reserved for downhill bikes but read on...
Canyon says that reach is often down to a rider's personal preference and as such, has changed the medium and large sizes to offer the biggest distribution peak (riders around 180cm tall) two sizes. This is to cover shorter and longer reach preferences while improving the brand's offering for taller riders. Speaking of the reach, the Strive comes with an adjustable headset, allowing for 10mm in reach adjustment.
The Strive wouldn't be a Strive without the Shapeshifter, a little lever-operated gadget that finds its home within the bike's linkage. It promises to offer the best of both worlds, allowing for a shift in geometry and suspension travel at the push of a button. In its high setting, it steepens the angles and reduces the rear travel to 140mm, making the bike mega efficient for those pedal smashing efforts and more agile for tight and twisty sections, says the brand. Push the lever, and the angles slacken to those stated above and the Strive is then able to make full use of the 160mm of squish and make the bike more stable while travelling at pace.
As touched on before, the Strive now comes with 160mm of rear travel, 10mm more than before. That extra bit of squish is used at the beginning of the stroke to offer more sensitivity, says the brand, in a bid to boost traction. This bike adopts Canyon's Triple Phase Suspension kinematic, so as the stroke reaches its midpoint, it finds a heap of support and there's a strong ramp up near the end of the stroke to stave off harsh bottom outs.
Anti-squat has then been upped around the sag point (24% in pedal mode) and along with the tweaks to the bike's geometry, that's said to make it a more capable climber. To keep pedal kickback at bay, the anti-squat drops off quickly after the sag point, it's claimed. In shred mode, the anti-squat drops away even further to improve sensitivity and further reduce the dreaded kickback.
Canyon has made a range of tweaks to the Strive's carbon layup, making the front end 25% stiffer, says the brand. In fact, every tube has been tweaked with asymmetric bracing being added around the shock mount. The new design creates more room around the shock to make adjustments and a larger range of shock models. Canyon hasn't gone mad with stiffness, however, as the brand has only added it where it reckons it's needed, aiming to keep the rear end supple enough to retain the traction finding compliance that the older Strives have become known for.
The brand has aimed to keep things simple with the Strive CFR range, offering only two models. The CFR Underdog is designed for the up-and-coming racers who are looking for a no-frills ride, while the full-on CFR is a dream, high-end build. Both benefit from Fox 38 forks, X2 shocks, DT Swiss wheelsets with the CFR Underdog rocking Shimano XT shifting, and the CFR employing a Shimano XTR drivetrain.
Prices for the Canyon Strive CFR start at £4,749 for the Underdog model and go up to £6,000 for the full-fat CFR build.
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