The Canyon Strive has long been one of the most popular Enduro bikes on the market, but as time has passed, it has started to become outdated. Now, there is a new version with 29 “wheels, revised geometry and an improved Shapeshifter – is that enough to position the Strive back at the top?

For an overview of the test fleet head to: The best enduro bike you can buy

Canyon Strive CFR 9.0 Team | 170/150 mm (f/r) | 14.26 kg | € 5,499

At first glance, the new Canyon Strive CFR doesn’t look revolutionary. The frame shape is similar to that of its predecessor and the new Shapeshifter is neatly hidden in the rocker link. But if you look closely, you will recognise that besides the larger 29″ wheels, the geometry has undergone quite a few changes. As we’ve come to expect from Canyon, the Strive’s componentry is top notch. The Team model we tested has 150 mm of travel at the rear and 170 mm in the front. The RockShox suspension consists of a Super Deluxe shock and a Lyrik RC2 fork. Canyon will only be offering carbon fibre frames, but you have a choice between two different fibre grades. There are four models based on the more entry-level CF frame and two specced with a 300g lighter CFR frame. The two CFR models are fitted with 170mm travel forks, while the others have 160 mm travel. Prices for the new Strive starts at € 2,999 – the price of our test bike is € 5,499.

The Canyon Strive CFR 9.0 Team in detail

Fork RockShox Lyrik RC2 170 mm
Shock RockShox Super Deluxe RCT3 150 mm
Brakes SRAM Code RSC
Drivetrain SRAM X01 Eagle
Seatpost RockShox Reverb Stealth 150 mm
Stem Canyon G5 45 mm
Handlebar Canyon G5 CF 780 mm
Wheels Mavic Deemax Pro 29″
Tires MAXXIS Minion DHR 2.4″
Weight 14.26 kg
Price € 5,499

More intuitive
In the past, it took practice and a little skill to switch between modes. With the new Shapeshifter all you’ve got to do is press the respective lever for descending and climbing. The Shapeshifter will automatically switch to the desired mode at the next opportunity.
The in-house Canyon G5 cockpit suits the overall concept of the bike perfectly. The stem is the right length (40 mm) and the width of the handlebar is spot on (780 mm).
Carbon only
The frame of the all-new 2019 Canyon Strive 29 will only be available in carbon, coming in two different fibre grades, and for 29ers only.
Canyon fans have been waiting for 29″ wheels on the Strive for a long time! We also have to praise the brand from Koblenz choosing to spec the extremely grippy MaxxGrip variant for the front tire.

The geometry of the Canyon Strive CFR 9.0

Size S M L XL
Seat tube 400 mm 440 mm 455 mm 500 mm
Top tube 600 mm 627 mm 660 mm 695 mm
Head tube 95 mm 100 mm 110 mm 130 mm
Head angle 66°/67.5° 66°/67.5° 66°/67.5° 66°/67.5°
Seat angle 73.5°/75° 73.5°/75° 73.5°/75° 73.5°/75°
Chainstays 435 mm 435 mm 435 mm 435 mm
BB hight 336 mm 336 mm 336 mm 336 mm
Wheelbase 1169 mm 1196 mm 1230 mm 1268 mm
Reach 415 mm 440 mm 470 mm 500 mm
Stack 626 mm 631 mm 640 mm 658 mm
Helmet Giro Switchblade MIPS | Goggle 100% Accuri | Jersey Troy Lee Designs Sprint Jersey | Short Troy Lee Designs Ruckus

The Canyon Strive CFR 9.0 Team on the trail

In times of increasingly extreme geometries, the brand new Strive could almost be mistaken for old-school. The head angle of 65.5° (with a 170 mm fork) is on the steeper side and the reach of 470 mm (Size L) isn’t particularly long. Striking, however, is the high stack of 640 mm, in part due to the very low BB which has a drop of 36 mm. The new Shapeshifter now has two levers allowing you to activate either climb or descend mode. Once you’ve selected the mode, a check valve ensures the bike automatically changes to that mode at the next available opportunity. In climbing mode, the bottom bracket is raised, the rear travel is reduced to 135 mm and the seat and head tube angles are steepened by 1.5°. Once you’ve adjusted the saddle forward a bit, the climbing position is very balanced, making the Strive climb efficiently. Thanks to short, 165 mm cranks, you’ll be unlikely to clip your pedals on roots or rocks on technical climbs and the reduced travel of the rear suspension remains active on all terrain, generating a lot of traction.

Always in control – the Strive is extremely predictable.

The bike accelerates quickly, allowing you to pop over obstacles easily. Going downhill, you’ll feel nicely integrated with the bike, with enough traction on both wheels without having to shift your weight around too much. That even weight distribution makes it easier to ride open corners, but as the terrain becomes steeper and more challenging, the Strive really comes into its element. It offers plenty of reserves despite the relatively short amount of rear travel, scoring with a high degree of composure as well as agility. If you have to correct your line through a rock garden or spontaneously decide to hit the high line into the next corner, the Canyon responds directly to your steering input without any nervousness. The rear suspension is very effective, willingly soaking up large obstacles. It’s not quite as sensitive as the best in the test field, but it is very poppy, and thanks to the excellently tuned progression in the kinematics, the 150 mm of available travel feels like significantly more.

Tuning tip: Swap the saddle!


The new, 2019 Canyon Strive CFR 9.0 offers the best overall package in this group test. It excels on the descents with very balanced handling and loads of reserves, yet it remains extremely agile and precise. Not only will it instil you with confidence, but it is tons of fun and climbs efficiently to boot. If what you’re looking for is the perfect Enduro bike for every type of track, you will find it here! Best in Test!


  • Convincing performance on every trail
  • Very balanced handling
  • Simultaneously fun and composed
  • Top spec at a fair price


  • Using the Shapeshifter takes some getting used to
  • Seat tube angle could be steeper
  • Uncomfortable and super slippery saddle





Value for money

For more info head to:

For an overview of the test fleet head to: The best enduro bike you can buy

All bikes in test: Bold Unplugged | Commencal META AM 29 SIGNATURE ORANGE | Giant Reign Advanced 0 | Lapierre Spicy Team Ultimate | Nukeproof Mega 275c RS | Orbea Rallon M-LTD I9 | Pivot Firebird 29 Team XX1 | Pole Machine EN | Santa Cruz Nomad CC | Scott Ransom 900 Tuned | Specialized S-Works Enduro 29 | Trek Slash 9.9 | YT Capra 29 CF PRO Race

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