Canyon’s new Strive CF, featuring “shapeshifter” technology, is hoping to finally achieve the feat, the one bike to truly do it all.

What Fabien wants, Fabien gets. Let’s face it we are all looking for that most illusive of bikes, the one bike to do it all. Canyon’s new Strive CF, featuring “shapeshifter” technology, is hoping to finally achieve the feat. catches up with the folks at Canyon and demos the 27.5 Strive CF:

Canyon’s new split personality bike uses an auxiliary gas spring to move the upper link forward or backward by 15mm. This remotely actuated shift sees a change in travel, geometry and suspension kinematics, moving most notably from 160mm to 130mm travel. The shift in the upper mounting position is the key and this system will work with any shock.

In standard DH mode with 160mm of travel the bottom bracket sits at 345mm, the seat tube at 73.5 degrees and has a head angle of 66 degrees, while switching to XC mode raises the bottom bracket to 365mm, the seat tube returns to a more upright 75 degrees and the head tube is steeper at 67.5 degrees. This positions the rider in a more forward, upright position for climbs and a lower and more stable position for the downs. The difference in suspension leverage in that 15mm of change of the upper shock mount equates to a shift from 25-30% sag at 160mm to 15% sag in 130mm, which would suggest you can forget about additional compression damping.

The new carbon fibre frame gets all the usual goodies with internal cable routing, chainstay and downtube protection and has a claimed weight of just 2400gms, the shapeshifter system is claimed to add a mere 200gms. Two different geometries are offered by Canyon on the Strive CF, regular and race, presumably the race geometry is slackened a little further to achieve extra stability at speed.

Our brief test ride at Eurobike 2014 left us longing for a little more time to appeciate what is a very different suspension system. Quite aside from the technology the Strive is a visually stunning ride, taking styling cues from the aluminium Spectral, the carbon construction adding to its smooth lines.

Being a direct seller means a lot of bang for your buck, with top shelf build kits in 5 options. You wont find this in your local bike shop, but fortunately Canyon is happy to ship to Singapore, with options ranging from US$3239 for frame only to the Strive CF 9.0 SL at US$5579. Big numbers, but the component choices they are able to offer without a distributor or retailer present in the supply chain represent serious value for money.

Y’know, I have been saying for years I need one bike to do it all and this may be it. On the Strive CF I may even start catching Fabien, one of the world’s fastest enduro racers. Yeah, sure!

“I want a bike that rides like a downhill bike on the descents, and climbs like an XC bike. I definitely don’t want the same bike in the downhills as the uphills!” Fabien Barel.