Canyon Endurace AL 6.0 review£999.00

Does a thousand pounds buy you a grand Canyon?

BikeRadar score5/5

German giant Canyon is arguably the best known name in the direct-sales game. With multiple pro teams riding its bikes, Canyon has proven that it’s a serious contender, but is it still competitive at the entry level? We’ve put the Endurace AL 6.0 to good use to find out.

The Endurace AL’s frame is the opposite of complicated, indeed it’s a bit basic looking compared to some of its direct competition. The welds aren’t disguised at all, and the slim, straight head-tube is bordering on old-fashioned in this era of tapered everything and oversized everything else.

Pleasingly however, this houses a full carbon fork and unlike Canyon’s more expensive offerings, the Endurace AL’s steerer measures a standard 1 1/8in in diameter, so it will take any standard stem.

The frame is uncomplicated with welds proudly on show
The frame is uncomplicated with welds proudly on show

The frame is very nicely finished too, with a tough, slightly textured paint job that feels expensive to the touch. The cabling is partly internal and the bottom bracket is a mechanic-friendly threaded unit. There’s no provision for mudguards, but hey, you can’t have everything.

Canyon has always been generous with its specs and this bike is no exception

Achingly modern or otherwise, the key ingredients to make cycling great again are present and correct. You sit atop a decent, branded saddle, mounted on a slim carbon seatpost, and the back end is supported by seatstays that are dainty if not otherwise elaborate in shape.

Although the frame is largely made up of straight lines, a closer look reveals that Canyon has used its trademark ‘Maximus’ seat-tube design, wherein it is skinny for most of its length to aid compliance, but flares at the bottom bracket for a super-stiff junction. In a similar vein, the downtube is pretty chunky, while the chainstays aren’t massive, but do have bit of height to them for torsional stiffness.

The Canyon Endurace AL 6.0 is still exceptional bike for the money
The Canyon Endurace AL 6.0 is still exceptional bike for the money

Canyon has always been generous with its specs and this bike is no exception. Despite a £200 price hike in the last year (that’s 25 percent!) thanks at least in part to a weakened pound, you’re still getting an awful lot of bike for your money. Rather than cutting corners, Canyon gives you the full Shimano 105 groupset — there are no nasty aftermarket brakes — the chain is Shimano’s own, and even the cables are the real McCoy.

Mavic’s Aksium wheelset makes another welcome appearance and it’s fitted with Continental’s superb GP4000S II tyres — these retail for a hundred quid a pair!

The finishing kit is all in-house stuff apart from the saddle, and it’s nice, if unremarkable. I would maybe have preferred a narrower bar than the 42cm one on my medium test bike, but that’s personal.

My medium test bike weighed 8.4kg
My medium test bike weighed 8.4kg

Affordable aluminium frames often trade some comfort for a lively ride, but Canyon seems to have found the cheat code on this one, combining an impressively smooth back end with a springy, smile-inducing responsiveness. There is little to fault with the Endurace’s behaviour on the road.

The relaxed geometry (581mm of stack and 375mm of reach on a medium) means it’s not naturally inclined towards racing, but it is exciting and capable all the same. Generous gearing will get you up the worst climbs and the smooth personality and top-notch brakes make descending a pleasure too.

The Endurace isn’t quite as fantastic a deal as it used to be, but it remains an exceptional bike for the money.

See the Endurace AL in action in our video

This article was originally published in Cycling Plus magazine, available on Apple Newsstand and Zinio.

Matthew Allen

Senior Technical Writer, UK
Former bike mechanic, builder of wheels, hub fetishist and lover of shiny things. Likes climbing a lot, but not as good at it as he looks.
  • Age: 27
  • Height: 174cm / 5'8"
  • Weight: 53kg / 117lb
  • Waist: 71cm / 28in
  • Chest: 84cm / 33in
  • Discipline: Road, with occasional MTB dalliances
  • Preferred Terrain: Long mountain climbs followed by high-speed descents (that he doesn't get to do nearly often enough), plus scaring himself off-road when he outruns his skill set.
  • Current Bikes: Scott Addict R3 2014, Focus Cayo Disc 2015, Niner RLT 9
  • Dream Bike: Something hideously expensive and custom with external cables and a threaded bottom bracket because screw you bike industry.
  • Beer of Choice: Cider, please. Thistly Cross from Scotland
  • Location: Bristol, UK

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