Strive ESX 9.0 SL

Mountainbike 05/11

Is there a bike that does everything? The new enduros are a great deal of fun downhill and make life easier when riding uphill.

Lots of bikers had been waiting a long time for this test because it was to be the battle of the "magic machines" in the enduro category. Twelve bikes in the 3500 Euro price range stepped up to the plate to face the critical scrutiny of the Mountainbike magazine editors. Among the competitors was the Strive ESX 9.0 SL, which was right at the front of the field and demonstrated its superb all-round abilities.

The manufacturers categorize the somewhat loose term enduro as bikes that have suspension travel ranging from 160 to 185mm and build racers weighing up to 14.64 kg. The Canyon Strive ESX 9.0 SL weighs in at just 13.35 kg and is the lightest bike in the test.

The Canyon engineers focused on creating a balanced geometry and a harmonious suspension right from the word go. "However, it's only by puzzling together the multitude of components and finding a balance between them that allows superb overall performance to be achieved. The range of components influences the overall weight and therefore also the power and handling of the bike", explain the editors. "The range of equipment is impressive. XTR drive train, Easton-Haven wheels, bashguard and chainguide as well as the mega light Vario seat post from Rock Shox all combine to guarantee an exclusive enduro ride that's just a pure joy."

In the test lab the initial positive impressions were all confirmed. "In spite of the strikingly flat seat stays the frame still offered sufficient stiffness for demanding trails. The rather long top tube guarantees a lightly outstretched upper-body position which together with the efficient pedaling position and low weight allows for fast sprints both on the flat and on the climbs."

Downhill the sensitive rear triangle guarantees the necessary comfort. Thanks to the short wheelbase the Strive cuts a fine figure in fast alternating bends. The bike is simply a mega fun ride in rough terrain.

The Strive demonstrated that it is a great all-rounder which impresses endurists who are into touring with its low weight and premium parts.