If you could take your eyes off Kasia Neiwiadoma’s beaming smile as she crossed the finish line in Veneto, crowning herself the women’s gravel world champion, you might have noticed that her race-winning bike, albeit a bit dusty, was an unreleased Canyon. But those with a keen eye on the gravel scene would have seen this prototype a few times before, again on the top step of the podium, with victories from Carolin Schiff, Tiffany Cromwell, and Petr Vakoc. It is safe to say that this unreleased bike has already proven its ability to win gravel’s biggest races, and now Canyon is giving all cyclists the chance to ride fast with its new generation Grail gravel bike.
Canyon first released its Grail model in 2018, but since then, the world of gravel has evolved, with gravel races becoming key events in the calendar, so updating its Grail range was important for Canyon to keep its bikes front and centre. Pared back and designed for pure speed, Canyon says that the new Grail gravel bike raises the bar for adaptability – making it quick where you want it and rugged when you need it, enabling the rider to perform at their best, whatever their level, whatever the terrain.
The demand for high-performing bikes is growing in the gravel cycling space, especially for those who want to secure victories and break records on the rough stuff. So, Canyon has optimised the aerodynamics of the Grail and is said to save over nine watts on its predecessor. The German brand has also redesigned its double-decker handlebar from the previous model and replaced it with its double drop bar that builds on the double-decker’s ergonomics and control but in a system more compatible with the needs of gravel riders. The fully integrated cockpit also has a subtle drop from the stem, which Canyon says reduces pressure on the wrist joints and allows riders to keep their elbows tighter to their body. The handlebar's drops also flare out, widening to a 16-degree angle.
Making this gravel bike highly customisable was an important aspect for Canyon as it wanted riders to adapt their setups to suit the challenges that lie ahead for each individual rider. As a result, it has introduced its new 'Gear Groove' at the centre of the cockpit that enables riders to add a range of accessories from bike computer mounts to aero extensions and lights.
This customisable setup also continues throughout the mounting options available to riders. The forks feature Canyon’s patented load fork sleeves, which allow for additional bottles or cargo cages and can carry up to 3kg on each side. Standard mounts can also be found on the bike’s top tube and down tube, so there are plenty of storage options available. But a stand-out feature on the new Grail is Canyon’s Aero LOAD System, made up of two elements – LOAD Down Tube Storage, integrated into the bike’s frame, and the LOAD FidLock QuickLoader, which is a frame bag that is rapid to remove and install secured with magnets behind the head tube. According to Canyon, the storage system not only keeps a rider’s valuables safe but also makes the new generation Grail faster, claiming it’s 1.5 watts more efficient at 45kph, thanks to its flush-fitting form.
Canyon also says the bike’s handling and compliance has been improved from its first-generation Grail with a slackened headtube angle and new D-shape seatpost, similar to what can be found on Canyon’s Ultimate road bike. The range’s top-spec model, Grail CFR, made for those who want to go toe-to-toe with the world’s greatest, is also said to be 118g lighter (frameset) than the Grail CF SLX, 10% stiffer at the bottom bracket and head tube, and have 4.5% stiffer forks as well as lateral and frontal stiffness.
Kasia Niewiadoma celebrating her gravel world win with the Canyon Grail CFR in the limited-edition GRVL DZZL design (Image by Thomas Maheux)
To celebrate the launch of its new Grail range, Canyon has also released a one-of-a-kind design, the same design people would have spotted on Niewiadoma, Cromwell, and Schiff’s prototypes. The black bike with the striking metallic orange design, named GRVL DZZL, is Canyon’s logo which has been deconstructed and scattered across the frame for a unique design. But Canyon is only manufacturing 70 of these bikes in the GVRL DZZL design across the world, so stock will be limited.
The new Grail is available in three options: Grail CF SL, Grail SF SLX, and the new Grail CFR. While the SF SLX and CFR come fitted with Canyon’s latest Aero LOAD System and Gear Groove, the CF SL, Grail’s entry point bike, does not come with either of these. Nevertheless, all models allow for up to 42mm tyres, as well as the option to fit a larger 52/36t chainset.
Grail CF SL - €2,699
Grail CF SLX Di2 - €4,999
Grail CF SLX SRAM Force/Zipp 303 Firecrest - €5,299
Grail CFR Di2 - €6,999
Grail CFR AXS - €7,999
Grail CFR GRVL DZZL - €10,000