The 1990s is widely thought of as the heyday of mountain biking. The contrast between the technology used today with disc brakes and dropper seatposts, and the off-road bikes of the 90s with rigid forks, cantilever brakes, wacky paint jobs and so few gears, could not be stronger.
Although times have changed, Canyon has opted to pay homage to what many describe as the ‘golden era of mountain biking’ with a limited-edition Grizl CF SL 7 Throwback. The German company hasn’t gone so far as to use a steel frame or a triple chainring gear setup, but it has encompassed some of the key aesthetic features that make 90s mountain bikes such an integral part of the sport’s history.Canyon explains that it has launched the Grizl CF SL 7 Throwback in response to comments made when the Grizl gravel bike was initially launched back in 2021, with some arguing that gravel riding is just mountain biking from the 90s. Canyon explains it saw these comments as an excuse to “relive those halcyon days”, creating a bike which “combines that iconic 90s MTB look with modern gravel bike design to give riders their old school kicks.”
The bike features an eye-catching paint job from Canyon’s in-house design team, pink anodised stem details, a gleaming chrome bar and brushed special-edition aluminium DT Swiss wheels. Canyon explains that the ethos behind the Grizl is to get maximum enjoyment from mellow trails. Intended for use in a discipline that Canyon describes as “underbiking” the Grizl CF SL 7 Throwback is said to be extremely comfortable on rough gravel, with light trails presenting a respectable challenge which means riders can have fun and push the limits without needing to search for extreme terrain.
While the German brand’s design team has undoubtedly gone all-in on the bike’s aesthetics, it still features modern components that are in line with the usual performance expectations of today’s bike parts. The Grizl CF SL 7 Throwback features Sram Rival AXS XPLR shifting and DT Swiss’ top-line aluminium GR 1600 wheels wrapped in 45 mm G-One Bite gravel tyres from Schwalbe. These all accompany the Grizl CF carbon frame which has Canyon’s signature Gravel Pro geometry. Canyon describes the bike as having “retro design, but modern performance.”
Riders who want to get their hands on a wacky Grizl CF SL 7 Throwback will need to be quick, as Canyon has only created 250 bikes which will be available to purchase at a price of £3649 in a limited edition run.