It’s impossible to overlook the Canyon Strive CF if you’re in the market for an enduro bike. With a sorted spec and adjustable suspension, surely there’s little reason for this bike not to be the ultimate bed partner? Or are we missing something?

For an overview of the test fleet head to the main article: SOOOOO F#%$&NG ENDURO: 11 Enduro Bikes under € 4,000 in Review

Canyon Strive CF 7.0 Race | 160/163 mm (f/r) | 13.42 kg | € 3,799

The Strive is now a modern-day classic amongst enduro bikes – so much so that it’s easy to forget that the Strive’s Shapeshifter concept threw a curveball into the industry when it was launched three years ago. After initial teething problems with inconsistent quality, Canyon have now finely honed the technology and its benefits are manifest. If you’re still unfamiliar with the system, it allows the geometry to be shifted at the touch of a button – and the result is better than EPO on the climbs. The build spec takes all the classic Canyon componentry cues, and there’s no room for complaint. For € 3,799, you not only get your hands on a beautiful carbon frame, but also all manner of top-drawer components.

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“Who needs EPO when you’ve got the Shapeshifter for the climbs?”

The Strive’s long frame (reach 468 mm /size large) and steep 75° seat angle lend the rider a great, slightly stretched-out position between the wheels. There’s a bit of unwanted pedal bob on climbs in the open mode, but engage the Shapeshifter and it climbs with unmatched efficiency. Trust us, even long, grinding climbs won’t feel too grim. On descents the Strive fares superbly with stellar handling at all speeds, no matter how steep the trail gets. The Strive steers well, and the rider is always in control of the bars at high speeds.

Given its ultra-short 423 mm chainstays (the shortest on test!) and long front center, you’ll need some muscle and maneuvering prowess on corners to keep the front wheel weighted. Nail that, however, and you’ll love how the bike drifts. Based on this, less experienced riders torn between two frame sizes would be wise to go for the smaller option. The spec is just as race-tuned as the geometry, with highlights including the highly specific MAXXIS Minion Semi Slick tire at the rear. It may be a few years old now, but the Strive still parties hard: the suspension of the Strive is exceptional, rich in feedback and dishing out just enough travel without sacrificing support.

Helmet Troy Lee A1 | Glasses Oakley Jawbreaker | Shirt 100% Celium | Shorts 100% Celium

The Canyon Strive CF 7.0 Race in detail

Fork RockShox Lyrik RC 160 mm
Shock RockShox Monarch Plus RC3 163 mm
Brakes SRAM Guide RS
Drivetrain SRAM GX
Seatpost RockShox Reverb Stealth 150 mm
Stem Renthal Apex 40 mm
Handlebar Rentahl Fat Bar 780 mm
Tires Maxxis Minion DHR II / Maxxis Minion Semi Slick
Wheel Set DT Swiss E 1650 Spline

The Shapeshifter changes how the rear shock is linked, which alters not only the travel but also steepens the geometry. The downhill missile essentially becomes a mountain goat.
Instead of a press-fit bottom bracket Canyon have wisely chosen a regular threaded version, which will please home mechanics and means you don’t have to own an expensive press to replace it.
Best of the best
Canyon know the score: up front they’ve mounted a grippy 2.40″ MAXXIS Minion DHR II in a 3C MaxxGrip rubber compound on a 30 mm rim!
Well looked-after
The beautiful carbon frame is kept looking fresh with an oversized protector. The chainstays are also well protected so there’s no sign of rattling.

The geometry of the Canyon Strive CF 7.0 Race

Size XS S M L XL
Seat Tube 388 mm 430 mm 430 mm 460 mm 500 mm
Top Tube [A] 576 mm 600 mm 629 mm 648 mm 658 mm
Head Angle [D] 66 ° 66 ° 66 ° 66 ° 66 °
Seat Angle [B] 73.5 ° 73.5 ° 73.5 ° 73.5 ° 73.5 °
Chainstays [C] 423 mm 423 mm 423 mm 423 mm 423 mm
BB Drop [J] 12 mm 12 mm 12 mm 12 mm 12 mm
Wheelbase [E] 1132 mm 1158 mm 1188 mm 1207 mm 1240 mm
Reach [G] 402 mm 422 mm 448 mm 468 mm 487 mm
Stack [H] 592 mm 606 mm 615 mm 627 mm 643 mm
Wheel Size [F] 27.5″ 27.5″ 27.5″ 27.5″


Despite its aging form, the Canyon Strive CF is still in its prime and nowhere near ready for the scrapheap. The aggressive geometry, brilliant suspension, and well thought-out spec transform the Strive into one of the marketplace’s most potent bikes. But be warned: this bike expects to be dominated!


– High-speed ripper
– Shapeshifter gives versatility
– Race-ready spec


– Needs a firm, experienced hand
– Rear tire is very specialized

For more info head to:!

The test fleet

For an overview of the test fleet head to the main article: SOOOOO F#%$&NG ENDURO: 11 Enduro Bikes under € 4,000 in Review

All bikes in test: Bergamont ENCORE 9.0 | Giant Reign 1.5 LTD | Merida ONE-SIXTY 5000 | Propain Tyee CF Free | Radon SWOOP 170 10.0 | Rose UNCLE JIMBO 3 | Specialized Enduro Comp 29 | Trek Remedy 9 Race Shop Limited | VOTEC VE ELITE 2017 | YT CAPRA CF PRO

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