The new Canyon Grail (Fast)
2023 photos: Canyon
The new Fast
2023 photos: Canyon
The first generation GRAIL launched back in 2018 as Canyon’s debut dedicated gravel bike – and it has become an icon, breaking the mold of drop bar bike design and capability. Not unlike the mythical vessel after which it is named, you could say the GRAIL possesses supernatural properties in how it transitions from rough to smooth and back again, as much at home off-road as it is on it. The time of the first generation may be coming to an end, but a second generation will carry the chalice forward. The gravel scene has evolved greatly since the launch of the first GRAIL back in 2018. Now we can identify two clear strands of gravel market, one catering to more adventure-oriented riders, and one for more performance-oriented. With Canyon’s two- pronged portfolio with the GRAIL and the GRIZL, they are perfectly positioned to cater for both.
The new Fast
Faced with a new world of competition where demands on riders flip from one minute to the next, the goal with the new generation GRAIL was to create a bike that has all bases covered. Quick where you want it, rugged when you need it, adaptability that enables you to get the most out of your ride, the new GRAIL holds the keys to speed across all kinds of terrain thanks to its engaging and inspiring handling, true aero gains, an efficient and compliant chassis and integration that works. Pared back and pure when speed is of the essence or fully loaded for the longest days, it’s all yours.
Whatever performance means to you on your gravel rides, toeing the line at Unbound, flying solo through forests or that one setup to see you through all seasons, the new GRAIL has the answer.
So, what did Canyon do to enhance the aero performance on the new GRAIL?
• Tube shapes taken from the ULTIMATE applied across the frame, including D-shape seatpost.
• The DOUBLE DROP BAR, successor to the DOUBLE DECKER BAR, for reduced frontal surface area.
• Cable semi-integration for a clean front end.
• The AERO LOAD SYSTEM, storage that makes you faster.
• Aftermarket component choice, aero extensions taken from the triathlon marketleading SPEEDMAX or narrower 400mm-width “Pro” options for performance-oriented riders.
When tested back-to-back in the wind tunnel with the first-generation GRAIL, the new generation saves a significant 9.1 watts at 45 kph, tested bike only with identical specs.
Double Drop Bar
The first-generation GRAIL broke the mold with its iconic DOUBLE DECKER BAR. This unique cockpit design did not just boost compliance over rough terrain but offered a range of defined hand positions for great ergonomics, enhancing control and comfort on big days.
With the new GRAIL Canyon wanted to build on the ergonomics and control that made the DOUBLE DECKER BAR great while also creating a system more compatible to performance gravel riders’ needs. Named after its swooping frontal silhouette, the DOUBLE DROP BAR is their answer.
DOUBLE DROP BAR key ergonomic features:
Swoop & Sweep – 5° Backsweep on the tops and a subtle drop from the stem, a position that your hands naturally fall into on the tops reducing pressure on wrist joints and keeping your elbows tighter to the body.
Double Flare – 5° Flare at the hoods widens to 16° at the drops for the right amount of flare in the right position for extra leverage.
Double Hoods – Ergonomic enhancement as the bar reaches forward an extra comfortable hand position in addition to the hoods themselves.
The vision behind the new DOUBLE DROP BAR was to come up with a system to house that adaptation, which they achieve with the GEAR GROOVE.
The GEAR GROOVE is a new interface at the centre of the cockpit that provides a super solid platform for a range of accessories, from computer and phone mounts right up to full on highly adjustable aero bars.
GEAR GROOVE Accessories:
Aero Extensions – Taken over directly from the best-in-class, triathlon world-beating SPEEDMAX CFR, these Aero Extensions set a new benchmark for aero bars on drop bar bikes thanks to the rock-solid GEAR GROOVE interface, 25 mm range of stack, 60 mm reach and grip angle adjustment, and comfortable, sweat-resistant Ergon pads. When big solo efforts are the order of the day as an amateur lining up at Unbound, nothing comes close.
Computer Mounts – Out-front and in your line of site, your navigation and performance metrics aren’t going anywhere.
SP Connect – Afraid of losing your phone when flying across rough terrain? The solid SP Connect interface keeps it locked in where it belongs.
Lights.Camera.Action.–Further options for lighting for our own FLASH systems and and other accessories utilising the GoPro mounting standard will also be available from launch.
Aero Load System
Everything you need whether it’s race day or you’re heading out for an evening blast, tucked away out of the wind, away from the elements, out of sight. The AERO LOAD SYSTEM offers comprehensive storage solutions that don’t hold you back, they actually make the new GRAIL faster.
The AERO LOAD SYSTEM is made up of two core elements:
LOAD DOWN TUBE STORAGE* with Hatch that can store a 6-piece CANYON MINITOOL and Topeak Micro Rocket, plus the LOAD TOOL PACK for additional tyre levers, CO2 cartridge, CO2 Inflator and TPU inner tube.
The LOAD FIDLOCK QUICKLOADER is an innovative frame bag that is rapid to remove and install. No more fumbling around with straps, the QUICKLOADER locks into place behind the head tube thanks to three FidLock magnets.
Storage of tools and spares is essential for any gravel ride or race. The AERO LOAD SYSTEM covers the essential bases and reduces the need to carry parts elsewhere, like in a saddle bag or packed in jersey pockets that can further disrupt airflow.
So, can it make you faster? Canyon tested in the wind tunnel and the answer is yes. The flush-fitting form of the LOAD FIDLOCK QUICKLOADER acts as a faring to smoothen airflow passing the head tube.
With the QUICKLOADER fitted, the new GRAIL is 1.5 watts more efficient at 45 kph than without.
*LOAD DOWN TUBE STORAGE is not a feature on the base GRAIL CF SL platform.
CFR Hits the Dirt
With the new GRAIL Canyon wanted to raise the bar and introduce CFR-LEVEL performance the world of gravel. To do this they adopted the highest grades of carbon and precision manufacturing processes that enable the use of less material while simultaneously making the frame stiffer and stronger for benchmark stiffness to weight. The GRAIL CFR packs the full list of features they developed for the new GRAIL to make it configurable to all performance needs, fully loaded and functional or stripped back and lightweight.
R121 NEW GRAIL CFR vs. R120 NEW GRAIL CF SLX
• 118 g Lighter Frame and Fork
• 10 % Stiffer Frame at Bottom Bracket and Head Tube
• 4.5 % Stiffer Fork, Lateral and Frontal Stiffness
The New Flex
Canyon came up with a new seatpost, based off the same D-Shape mold as for the ULTIMATE, but with an adapted layup for the right amount of flex. The D-Shape design is more aero than the round VCLS too, and the clamping concept inside the main triangle still enables deflection while being more immune to dirt ingress.
The new SP0072 COMFORTPOST equipped across the new GRAIL range offers far more compliant than the road seatpost fitted on the ULTIMATE and is a considerable 42 grams lighter than the S15 VCLS 2.0 system. Riders wanting to tune their ride with a stiffer or lighter setup can also use their standard ULTIMATE SP0055 or superlight 70 g CFR SP0064 seatposts if they wish.
Tyre clearance and Speed
The right amount of clearance is a fine balance between speed, capability and mud-shedding ability between the tyres and components. Just look at Unbound this year, which Caro Schiff won riding the new GRAIL. In-line with what most racers are riding at most events, Canyon built the new GRAIL around a maximum 42 mm measured tyre size.
A 42 mm maximium tyre size also makes it possible to fit larger 52/36t chainrings with enough chainstay clearance for riders requiring that extra high end speed.
Grail CF SL 7
KT GRL CF SL 7 PEP 24
Grail CF SL 7 AXS
KT GRL CF SL 7 eTap PEP 24
Grail CF SL 8
KT GRL CF SL 8 FS PEP 24
Grail CF SLX 8 Di2
KT GRL CF SLX 8 Di PEP 24
Grail CF SLX 8 AXS
KT GRL CF SLX 8 eTap FS PEP 24
Grail CFR Di2
KT GRL CFR Di PEP 24
Grail CFR eTap
KT GRL CFR eTap FS PEP 24
Grail CFR Pro LTD
KT GRL CFR eTap - LTD RAZZLE 24