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Need perfect conditions for a test? The best conditions are to be found above all on Lake Garda, and if it is possible, one should take part in the enduro ride in Riva del Garda. This was exactly what the editors of Bike magazine thought and quickly organized their starting places for the enduro test 2011.
The testers then put the 8 candidates, among them also the Strive ESX 9.0 SL, through their paces. The route had the lot. There were winding sections, large steps and drops which presented the riders with challenges on the trail down into the valley. It was above all on the tricky technical passages where the Canyon was able to impress. Bike wrote, "Due to the compact position on the bike and the short wheel base the Canyon handles well, is lively and brings plenty of pressure down on the front wheel. This is all ideal for the narrow winding tracks at the start of the enduro ride on Lake Garda".
Canyon thinks ahead because when the going gets just that little bit tougher, riders must be able to rely on their equipment. Therefore Canyon equips all its Strive models with a chain guide. Bike writes, "The chain guide is a major advantage because without this little helper the chains consistently fly off the chain ring after the last drop ahead of the fast left hand bend".
Even in the dry-runs in the test lab the Canyon was able to impress. "The single pivot bike with its relatively light hydroform chassis and top equipment (XTR and carbon crankset), which has been optimized for two chain rings, weighs in at 13.5 kg. That is a difference of almost 2 kg in comparison to the heaviest bike in the test". The Canyon Strive ESX 9.0 SL was able to achieve the best score in the areas of weight and equipment. The weight of 13.5 kg was achieved even though the bike is fitted with a hydraulic Rock Shox Reverb seat post. In the area of handling up and downhill the bike also took a podium place and was therefore the only bike in the test to take top spot in three areas.
Verdict: a superbly equipped lightweight enduro with a great deal of touring potential as well as lively handling.