For five years in a row it went unbeaten at Kona, carrying Jan Frodeno and Patrick Lange through the bike split in fine fashion on their way to World Championship victory. It featured in a long-distance world record-setting performance, it holds three European titles, and is a two-time 70.3 world champion.
A new benchmark
But how do you make such a successful bike even faster and better? How do you improve on its incredible aerodynamics? How do you take outstanding details like the bike’s integrated storage and nutrition solutions, and raise them to an even higher level?
Thanks to our many years of experience, and the expertise gained through our continuous improvement of the Speedmax CF SLX, we pinpointed early on the key aspects of the bike we needed to optimise.
From the beginning of the development process, one thing was clear: we wanted to make the world’s most successful triathlon bike even better. By providing more configuration options, optimised aerodynamics, even more innovative integration solutions and storage spaces with a more refined design, the bike had to provide the athlete every possible performance advantage imaginable.
To achieve this goal, we collaborated with more performance partners than ever before – all experts in their field. In total, we worked with 11 different organisations, including renowned names such as ergonomics experts Ergon, Swiss Side for aerodynamics, and Hydrapak for the drinks system. We have also worked hand-in-hand with the Artefakt design agency since the development of the first Speedmax in 2010 – and they had an import- ant influence on the design language of the new Speedmax.
The expertise of our partners united with our own years of experience and expertise in carbon engineering and design has resulted in a bike that meets the demands of the most exacting athletes. It has all the attributes required to excel in modern triathlon racing, such as super-efficient aerodynamics, easy adjustability, and a high level of integration.
Speed & Control
Swiss Side is one of the world’s leading authorities in aerodynamics, calling on many years of experience in F1. The Speedmax underwent the most comprehensive aerodynamic development process of any bike ever at Swiss Side’s facilities.
A key challenge is to optimise aerodynamics while also maintaining the bike’s stiffness-to-weight ratio. Thanks to the constant dialogue between Swiss Side and Canyon engineers, these performance factors are balanced on the new bike – achieving the best overall system performance. An example of this was replacing the external nutrition and storage system with a fully integrated solution. In general, the Speedmax disc’s high integration levels create top aerodynamic values, making this bike even faster than its predecessor.
In the wind tunnel, we measured the following watt savings compared to the previous Speedmax:
- For the bike alone: a saving of 8.9 w
- For the bike with ferdi (dummy): a saving of 8.0 w
- With professional athletes, we achieved savings of 9–10 watts
Here at Canyon, we take the time we need to do things properly. When it came to building a disc triathlon bike, we weren’t prepared to make any compromises. Our aim was to create the best triathlon bike of its time. That’s why all our Speedmax platforms feature disc models with the signature Canyon ride feel, and the extra control that only disc brakes can provide.
It’s not that disc brakes give you more braking power. It’s that they provide more control through more precise braking modulation. Equipped with disc brakes, the Speedmax is now at the cutting edge of cycling technology.
Three factors are essential when it comes to creating optimal riding dynamics: a low total weight, the right weight distribution, and minimal sidewind sensitivity. To keep the total weight within an acceptable range despite the additional weight of the disc brakes, we had to make the frameset – including all storage and hydration solutions – lighter.
Achieving optimal weight distribution was even more important than reducing the bike’s total weight. We repositioned the toolkit and water hydration bladder to bring the centre of gravity down much lower, to minimize the torque created by the mass of the bike. This makes the handling more agile.
One challenge we faced when improving the aerodynamics was keeping crosswind sensitivity as low as possible while making the best possible use of the sailing effect. We achieved this by integrating the Bento Box and the hydration system into the frame, reducing the surface area of the handlebars and fork.
We equip all XS size Speedmax bikes with 650B wheels, so smaller riders can also benefit from the bike’s outstanding riding dynamics.
Fit & Comfort
High levels of adjustability
The latest-generation Speedmax takes things to a new level when it comes to the flexibility of its setup options.
Such a wide range of positions has never been possible before.
As body positioning possibilities are limited on triathlon bikes, getting the perfect cockpit setting is crucial.
The Speedmax comes with all the parts riders need to achieve their perfect riding position for maximum efficiency.
The athlete or a bike fitter can dial in the various adjustment options themselves without needing help from a mechanic.
Triathletes often have to stay in the same position on the bike for hours. This means that comfort is crucial and has a direct effect on performance. In cooperation with the ergonomic experts at Ergon, we have considerably improved levels of comfort at all contact points between rider and bike.
A new geometry concept gives all riders – from beginners to pros – a wider range of adjustment, so they can reach their ideal, most comfortable position.
Due to the bike’s high adjustability levels, every rider can find their individual position for an even more comfortable riding experience.
The bike’s armpads and grips, developed together with Ergon, offer top levels of grip and comfort. Combined with the bike’s high degree of adjustability, they guarantee huge comfort over the longest of distances.
For Canyon, the concept of comfort also includes creating the most hassle-free experience possible when living with the bike. Thanks to our many years of experience as a partner of the world’s most successful triathletes, we know that athletes need a bike they can transport easily to races.
Even from the bike’s development phase, we paid to making the bike as easy to transport as possible.
There is also a specially designed bike bag available for the Speedmax, which lets the owner transport the bike easily. This embodies a further aspect of our ‘System Complete’ concept.
The Speedmax is shipped in its own specially developed Bike Guard box, guaranteeing that the bike reaches the buyer safely, and that assembly is as easy as possible.