Mathieu van der Poel won Milan-San Remo on new, unreleased Canyon Aeroad
Some things go together like peas in a pod: Cookies and milk, peas and pods (naturally), peanut butter and jam, and Mathieu van der Poel and winning races on prototype bikes. We spotted him aboard a prototype Canyon earlier in the year, but it seems that prototype has now been painted up in team colours and was used to solo to victory at Milan-San Remo recently.
It appears the changes in form to the outgoing Aeroad are subtle, so subtle in fact that you'll forgive us for not even realising when we saw pics of the new model in our Milan-San Remo tech gallery, but you didn't notice either, did you? Be honest.
Let's dig into what we can at least tell about the new machine, now that we've got some clearer pictures.
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New seatclamp design
While bike part recalls are relatively rare, Canyon did make the headlines last year by issuing a stop-ride notice on the current Aeroad following a snapped bar incident for Van der Poel at Le Samyn. While the bars were the main story, there was also an issue with the seatpost and seat clamp design, which seems to have been the main, or at least most obvious change with this new model.
On the current Aeroad, the seatpost is clamped by tightening a bolt situated halfway down the rear of the seat tube. This is no longer evident on this new model, with it instead situated on the top tube just in front of the seat post. It is perhaps a little strange to not locate it under the seat tube/top tube junction as per the new Ultimate.
Same frame shape
If it ain't broke, don't fix it, right? Perhaps not the best idiom given the history of the model, but once the issues were fixed the Canyon Aeroad was, and still is, a very capable bike. It seems that, on the surface at least, very few changes have been made. The tube shapes and angles appear to remain constant, so we expect the main change to be a lower weight, along with perhaps slightly tweaked aero figures thanks to the extra wedge at the junction of the seat tube and top tube.
This mirrors to some extent the theme of the launch of the new Cannondale SuperSix, where the geometry remained unchanged, just other things were improved. Change for the sake of change isn't useful.
Three bikes, two forks, one rider
While the new Inflite that Van der Poel was spotted on at the tail end of the Cyclocross season, a bike which carried him to victory at the world championships, seems to have adopted the same fork as the new Ultimate, the new Aeroad has not. There was speculation as to whether Canyon was developing a fork that was common to all three models, but the fork on the new Aeroad is still noticeably deeper than that of the Ultimate, though the crown shape is very similar now.
As with the new Inflite, these prototypes are the preserve only of Van der Poel. While his Alpecin-Deceuninck team is certainly full of hitters, he is the big star, much like Tadej Pogacar at UAE Team Emirates. Given he is currently the only pro rider able to give feedback to canyon on these prototypes as far as we know, perhaps the brand is currently focussing on tailoring the bike to the exact needs of the team's most prolific winner before gathering any more comments.