Test Canyon Grizl CF SLX 8 eTap Suspension: With the RockShox suspension fork, the Canyon Grizl should be even more competent off-road; Seating position and steering geometry do not necessarily speak for a thoroughbred trail gravel bike. But the calculation works, which is not least due to the comparatively low weight of the canyon.
Gravel bikes with suspension are still rare. This is not least due to the fact that the bike manufacturers had to take care of suitable forks themselves up to now and went different ways. But as part of the XPLR group, SRAM now also offers Gravel-specific RockShox suspension forks - the Rudy XPLR and Rudy Ultimate XPLR, which are available with 30 or 40 mm travel and different adjustment options. Assuming a frame that is matched to the overall height of the fork, it is no longer a problem to design a suspension graveller. Canyon shows the way with the Grizl: the Koblenz-based company's bike, which is tailored to demanding routes, is available with a carbon rigid fork or with a suspension fork; the RockShox leads to a minimal change in geometry, as it is slightly higher than the rigid fork.
Tight, effective travel
The manufacturer from Koblenz uses the RockShox Rudy Ultimate XPLR with lockout and adjustable rebound damping for the Canyon Grizl CF SLX 8 eTap Suspension, the top model of the series. The fork provides about 25 mm of spring travel (Sram states 30 mm), from which a little negative spring travel has to be deducted, depending on the setup. That sounds modest, but the effect is clearly noticeable on the trail. Especially when the fork is not adjusted too hard, it swallows stones and roots and, together with the 45 mm wide tires, smoothes the ground. However, the air pressure in the fork must not be too low either, otherwise it will be heavily compressed as soon as you step slightly out of the saddle.
The RockShox deflects noticeably when pedaling out of the saddle, but this only has a disruptive effect when sprinting – so you don’t have to use the locking lever all that often. In terms of steering precision and braking behavior, the fork is unproblematic; there are no noticeable differences to the rigid gravel bike. The RockShox fork allows for a noticeably more aggressive riding style, although the gravel bike should of course not be confused with a long-travel MTB. An active driving style is still necessary, which is not difficult with the conspicuously colored wheel. The almost 800 grams more weight compared to the rigid Canyon Grizl does not make the bike noticeably top-heavy.
Still no mountain bike
The Grizl isn't halfway to a mountain bike hardtail anyway, even with a suspension fork. The more than 72° steep steering angle ensures great maneuverability, making the Canyon extremely manoeuvrable off-road. The handlebars are 42cm wide at the top and 46cm at the ends, providing enough leverage to easily keep the bike on course.
Despite the suspension fork, the sporty Graveller weighs well under ten kilos ready to ride, which contributes to its agile character. The stack of the test bike in size L is 605 mm, which, together with the spacers under the stem, leads to a more upright upper body posture. In size M, on the other hand, the stack is a sporty 579 mm and the reach is only 7 mm shorter (402 to 409 mm), which can easily be compensated for with the stem. Here you have the choice between different sitting positions.
The chain stays, which are rather long at 435 mm, are due to the fact that 50 mm wide tires fit into the Grizl - quite a lot even for a gravel bike. Grip and comfort can therefore be increased again compared to the test setup, with the latter given the well-known VCLS seatpost from Canyon is very high anyway. This has a strong vibration to shock absorbing effect without flexing too much; the saddle inclination is adjusted by sliding the two halves of the post towards each other, for which purpose it must be removed.
High quality completion
Canyon uses the tried-and-tested SRAM Force AXS with a 40 chainring and 10-44 twelve-speed ring on the Top-Grizl, giving the bike plenty of reserves for descents and climbs. Despite the tubeless design, the Reynolds wheel set is not particularly light, which is not least due to the wide Schwalbe G-One Bite - a stable tire that rolls off easily despite its bite. Mudguards, two bottle cages (bottles included) and a top tube bag can be attached to the Grizl; you can also mount fork brackets on bikes with rigid forks.
Trail gravel bike with suspension fork
In its present form, the Grizl is primarily a piece of sports equipment for demanding trail riders, for whom the suspension fork makes sense. You shouldn't choose them just for the sake of comfort - you can improve that even further with 50 mm wide tyres. Canyon offers the Grizl in various versions with and without RockShox, whereby the entry-level model with suspension fork, 2×11 GRX and aluminum frame is available for 1.999 euros - only 200 euros more than the identically equipped model with carbon rigid fork. The cheapest carbon model with a rigid fork also costs 1.999 euros (with Shimano GRX 2×10). Plenty of choice, as you are used to from the people of Koblenz.
WEB: canyon. com