Inflite 8.0 S

Cycling Weekly

It's big, it's robust, and it's built, to laugh in the face of potholes.

The German company has released the Inflite range, a series of three bikes especially for the coldest quarter. Modelled on the utilitarian design of Cyclo-Cross bikes, the triplets comprise two proper race-ready CX bikes and this, specific, purpose-built winter trainer, the Inflite AL 8.0 S.

The 8.0 S, being the predominantly-road offering, has a Shimano 105 Black groupset with a Compact (50/34t) Chainset. There are different options for the size of cassette but, the demo came with a fairly standard 11-28t.

A specification, which runs throughout the range, is 160mm disc brakes. Though they are liable to split opinion, the Shimano BR-CX77 brakes worked in all conditions. The braking is consistent, even in the wet (when road calipers can cause grief).

Aluminium is the chosen material for the Inflite AL 8.0 S frame - hence the ‘AL' in the name and each bike in the range features this frame. The frame Weighs 1,480g, with the full build coming in just; shy of 9.5kg. Internal cable routing, running to the deraileurs, keeps the frame uncluttered and out of the muck.

Up front, the bike has Canyon's new One One Four SL disc-specific Carbon fork with tapered steerer. The fork dampens vibrations from the road, as well as providing assured handling - it looks neat too. The ride isn’t compromised as it can be on some cyclo-cross-cum-road bikes, because the wheelbase hasn't been extended, so the bike still feels excitingly agile.

The seatpost sits above slim VCLS stays; the pairing is devised to work in harmony and results in the back end of the bike feeling secure and comfortable - just the job for a ride of this ilk.Canyon has paired the Mavic CrossOne 29er wheels with heavy-duty 28C Continental Grand Prix 4-Season tyres, for a robust combination.

True to the Canyon road bike range, and its pro team Katusha, all the lnflite models come with a Ritchey cockpit. The 8.0 S has an alloy WCS stem and Ritchey Comp Curve Compact handlebar, and the saddle is a Special-edition Selle Italia XI.

Popularity on the club run has also been taken into account by those clever thinkers at Canyon - by Way of their integrated SKS mudguards, which are an add on and don't come with the bike; for the extra £28.95 for the set, they're well worth the investment.

For the purpose of winter riding, the Inflite AL 8.0 S is in a league all of its own.