For a long time, it was a well-hidden secret: what was hiding underneath the cover on the race bikes of Fabien Barel, Ludo May, and Ines Thoma? A few months ago Canyon revealed the secret and presented the well-known Strive model line with a completely new design and Shapeshifter technology.


Canyon doesn’t just offer the Strive in carbon and aluminium versions, but also offers two different geometry types. We received the € 2699 aluminium version in the race geometry. In comparison to the standard version, this offers a longer top tube, and thus longer wheelbase, for increased stability and confidence in rough terrain.


The rider sits centrally and slightly stretched aboard the Strive. After just a few metres the long reach (448mm size medium) is apparent. By activating the Shapeshifter via the bar-mounted adjustment lever and simultaneously shifting weight forwards, the rear shock is moved into the uphill position. In this setting the bike has 1.5° steeper angles, the rear travel is reduced to 130mm, the spring rate of the shock is changed, and the bottom bracket height increased by 19mm. Climbing feels more effective, and one sits very centrally on the bike — even the steepest of gradients become less tortuous. There’s no bob, and we never missed not having adjustable compression damping on the rear shock.


If the Shapeshifter remote is activated again whilst shifting weight backwards, full travel is restored. In the downhill position the Strive is extremely plush. With 30% sag, the rear suspension absorbs even the smallest of impacts and provides full travel when required. Hold on and let it roll!

At the same time, the bike is never ponderous, and with its 423mm chainstays can be precisely manouvered through the tightest trail sections. Whatever the trail has in store, with the Strive you are always prepared.

The spec on the economical race bike is largely made up of SRAM components and feels extremely well thought-out. Whether the X1 drivetrain, Guide R brakes, or the suspension made up of a RockShox Pike fork and Monarch Plus shock, all of the parts impressed us with great functionality.


Well thought-out
The SRAM X1 drivetrain impressed us with precise shifting and low chain clatter. Racers appreciate the chainguide, as it prevents the chain from dropping even in the roughest terrain.


Shape your Ride
With the help of the Shapeshifter, the rider can change the position of the rear shock, and with it both the bike geometry and rear suspension characteristics. This gives the Strive both efficient climbing and fantastic downhill performance.


Beginning this season, Canyon offers its own bars and stems for the first time. The Strive AL’s cockpit, made up of wide (780mm) bars and a short (40mm) stem, really fits the character of the bike.


This tyre combo rocks! The Maxxis High Roller II, in combination with the Maxxis Minion DHR II, offers outstanding grip and traction — the testers were impressed.


What a bike! In spite of the economical price, the Canyon Strive AL 6.0 Race boasts first-class handling and excellent function throughout. Thanks to the Shapeshifter, it manages the balance between good climbing and superior descending exceptionally well.

Price: € 2.699
Weight: 13.80 kg


  • Fork: RockShox Pike RC
  • Shock: RockShox Monarch Plus R
  • Drivetrain: SRAM X1
  • Brakes: SRAM Guide R
  • Handlebars: Canyon H15 Rise AL
  • Stem: Canyon V12
  • Tires: Maxxis Highroller II / Maxxis Minion DHR II
  • Wheels: SRAM Roam 30
  • Seatpost: RockShox Reverb Stealth


Size: XS / S / M(tested) / L / XL | Top Tube:629mm | Seat tube angle: 73,5° + 1,5°| Chainstay:422mm | Head tube angle: 66° + 1,5°| Wheelbase: 1188mm Reach: 448mm | Stack:615mm | Wheelsize: 27.5″

Text & Photos: Christoph Bayer

Did you enjoy this article? If so, we would be stoked if you decide to support us with a monthly contribution. By becoming a supporter of ENDURO, you will help secure a sustainable future for high-quality mountain bike journalism. Click here to learn more.