For the ultimate test of bike handling and the ability to push into the red, few riding formats come close to racing cyclocross. In a sport defined by relentless progression, a setup that delivers what modern riders need can make all the difference. It’s not just fitness that counts. Technically, the courses riders now face have evolved to become more challenging, a development fuelled in turn by the constant progression in rider skills. The all-new Inflite CF SLX is designed and engineered to take on the punishing demands of modern cyclocross. Packed with innovative features that slash seconds off every lap, it enables you to get the gap and maintain it. Take Flite.
Red Dot Design Award: Best of the Best 2017
Whether it’s a series of barriers, a flight of stairs or a slope impossible to ride up, the obstacles riders face on every single lap are what make cross racing unique. Being able to smoothly dismount, shoulder the bike or carry it in hand, and then remount quickly is an essential skillset for every racer. As carrying is one of cyclocross racing’s core elements, cross bikes should allow for extra space in the main triangle to make shouldering easier. Our goal in designing the Inflite CF SLX was to produce more space in the main triangle while simultaneously improving ride quality over rough surfaces for enhanced comfort and control. To achieve this, we had to take a fresh approach. The result is our new, patented carrying concept.
The unique layout of the top tube and seat tube creates an ergonomic platform for the shoulder while the space gained makes it easier to get into position.
The location where the top tube kinks downwards offers a natural handhold at the perfect balance point for seamless barrier hops.
A steeper top tube enables more clearance between the front tyre making it more straightforward to reach through and grab the bars for security while running.
Repeated sharp accelerations and punchy climbs mean a cyclocross race bike naturally has to be as light and as stiff as possible. However, the very nature of tackling rough terrain covered in mud means that if you merely focus on lightness and stiffness, the bike would not even make it to the end of a race. Achieving the perfect balance between lightness, stiffness and durability is one thing, but we went even further during our development to ensure that the Inflite CF SLX ready for any cross course and any cross racer.
As riders and courses become faster and more technical, more focus now lies on how bikes handle. While in the past cross bikes were nothing more than road bikes adapted to go off-road, these days it makes more sense to look towards the world of mountain biking to seek inspiration for the ideal cross racing geometry. On top of this, fit is a factor we will never underestimate at Canyon and we have gone a step further than anyone else to ensure that cross riders of all sizes get the bike that's right for them.
Adding more stability at speed while maintaining agility for when things get technical is always a fine balance to strike. In all mountain biking disciplines, the move towards longer reaches combined with shorter stems and wider bars has been established with great effect to achieve this balance. We've adopted a similar approach to reflect the progression in modern cyclocross. Extending both reach and wheelbase results in extra stability at speed, while handling agility is maintained thanks to longer rake and 72.5° a head angle. Equipping cross-specific cockpits with wider bars and shorter stems further enhances control.
Thanks to our new 3XS frames, we now offer the widest size range on the scene and can accommodate riders from 152 cm and above. Achieving the desired performance from our smallest sizes was a challenge we have overcome by switching to 650B wheels on 2XS and 3XS frames. This creates uniform riding positions and dynamics across the entire size spectrum so that riders of all dimensions benefit from the same handling performance so essential in cross.
The notion that a smaller bike can be more agile is undone when you look at the geometry values you need to make them work. One of the key factors here is trail: the relation between the tyre’s contact patch and head angle. Achieving the desired trail values on any frame size smaller than XS is limited by the fact you need a longer wheelbase and super slack head angle just to accommodate 700C wheels, which inevitably results in more trail and slower handling. Equipping 650B wheels on our two smallest sizes (2XS and 3XS) eradicates sloppy handling thanks to reduced trail and wheelbase, plus a steeper head angle. The rider also gains from a much more balanced position on the bike.
We know that a small detail has the power to make a big difference. Beyond its most striking performance properties, we went the extra mile with the Inflite CF SLX across the board to create the best bike we could for cyclocross through a host of innovative features.
Clearance For Cross
All Inflite CF SLX models come equipped with UCI-compliant 33 mm tubeless-ready Schwalbe X-One tyres . However, anyone wishing to go wider will find that the Inflite CF SLX comfortably accommodates rubber up to 38 mm.
Adapted Rotor Sizing
Whichever frame size you need, you'll always have the right rotor size to deliver optimum control while saving precious grams where possible. The combination of Flat Mount callipers with 12 mm Through Axles has become the accepted standard on the scene.
Integrated Seat Clamp
Already featured on our Ultimate and Endurace lines, our Integrated Seat Clamp has been applied to the Inflite CF SLX to increase the seatpost's bending length, vastly enhancing rear-end compliance. The sealed system is also effective against intrusion from water, mud and grit.
Whether you want to run one-by, two-by, electronic or mechanical, one frame can take them all providing you with flexibility to set up your bike for the challenge ahead. Our Integrated Chain Catcher also adds extra security to one-by systems.
From better carrying to reducing the build-up of mud, all shapes across the Inflite CF SLX were born to serve a distinct purpose. Integration also plays a central role, from the cockpit to the seatpost and multiple details in between, all elements contribute to a clean and reduced appearance. The result is one of the most striking silhouettes we have ever produced, backed up by eye-catching asymmetric artwork to highlight the forms at play. The Inflite CF SLX truly looks like nothing else on the start line.
Red Dot Design Award: Best of the Best 2017