The ordering and payment process is streamlined and smooth. Ordering a bike is as simple as finding the desired range and model, selecting the size and colour before proceeding to payment. You can either pay with credit card or via a payment link once your bike is ready to be shipped. The only difficult part is deciding which bike to go for. I lucked into an Aeroad CF SLX in the women team's colours with my dream specification and decided to go for it after chatting to Canyon online to confirm geometry and component differences over the standard version.
Shipping & Tracking
Canyon Bikes ships to South Africa using UPS. It took a day from placing the order to receiving the confirmation email that it was on its way with the courier. After that, it took 25 hours for my bike to arrive at customs in Johannesburg.
17 May - Order Processed, ready for UPS
17 May - Export Scan
18 May - Kempton Park, South Africa Warehouse Scan
Where my deliver experience did go a bit pear-shaped was at customs in Johannesburg. There was a slight delay with the UPS lady pulling a no-show on a Monday which interrupted the processing of my VAT and duty (15%) payments causing my box to come to a halt.
The UPS tracking read "The shipment is being held. Commodity description information must be validated by the sender". It turns out that this was caused by the "preferred origin" discussion in the Canyon thread which centres around whether we should pay duty on complete bicycles important from the EU.
According to Canyon, they cannot declare their bikes as "of preferred EU origin" and therefore we have to pay duty. They have committed to sorting the required documents in order to avoid future delays at customs. What was positive is by the time I emailed them to let them know of the issue they were already aware of the problem and had sent the required documents through.
Unfortunately, the system at customs work on a queue basis and once documents are required your box goes into a hold and has to queue again once the documents had been received. This delayed delivery to me by a good couple of days.
Once all of the above was sorted, my parcel was on its way again for delivery in Cape Town and arrived at my door 13 days after placing the order.
Unboxing and Building
Canyon ship their bikes with everything needed to assemble it yourself and pack it in such a way that minimal assembly is required. Included in delivery was:
- 2 x Canyon Torque Wrenches ( 1 x 5nm, 1 x 12nm with adapters)
- Frame Protection
- SRAM RED eTap Charger & power adapters
- Canyon Roadbike Manual
- Canyon Organza Bag
- Tool Case
- Carbon Assembly Paste
- Reflector Set
I ordered an extra two bottle cages and a Garmin mount which came neatly packed in their own boxes. Once the accessory boxes are taken out of the bike box, you can lift the whole bike, with the front wheel and everything else tidily strapped to it. This can either be placed on a carpet, table, or on top of the box which it came in - ready for you to start assembly.
In short, everything is already fitted to the bike except for:
- the front wheel is out and securely strapped to the side of the frame. This will have to be slotted in place and the axle wound through and secured
- the handlebar with the stem is lose and will have to be mounted to the fork steerer
- the seat post with saddle fitted is out of the seat tube. After applying some carbon paste to the seat post it can be slipped inside the seat tube and tightened to specification.
First Ride Impressions
I've only done a handful of meaningful rides on the Aeroad, so I won't wager a definitive opinion yet. I can say that all the signs point to a positive experience.
At 7.35kg (including pedals, two bottle cages, Garmin Mount, SWAT saddle bag mount, Garmin speed, and cadence sensor), it is a good 500 grams lighter than the claimed weight of the S-Works Venge Vias that I reviewed earlier this year. Note that that weight was for the bike and one bottle cage only and that the bikes have the same groupsets and similar carbon deep section wheels.
The low weight paired with the aero frame and wheels add up to a rewarding ride. The Zipp 404 wheels spin up fast and do an excellent job of keeping the momentum going. SRAM'S RED eTAP has established itself as my favorite road groupset thanks to its quick and intuitive shifting. On the longer rides I have done to date, it is clear that Canyon has designed a good amount of comfort into this aero minded frame and fork - it is by no means a harsh ride.