Canyon Strive 29 Custom Long Term Test Build


From the ground up, we custom built a bike with a new Canyon Strive 29 frame which had arrived a few weeks ago. The stand out feature of this bike is the Shapeshifter, which is a system that changes the geometry and travel via a bar mounted remote. The Shapeshifter has been completely revised by the German brand, and will be at the heart of the long term test.


The Strive 29 is a size L, for me at 179cm tall with a leg extension (saddle-bottom bracket) of 75cm. The bike (with pedals) built up as seen above weighs 14.45 kg. the frame is completely carbon. I’ve already done two laps and I can say that the size is perfect.

SRAM Eagle X01 transmission with 32 tooth chainring. DUB bottom bracket.

The beauty of the Shapeshifter system is that you can mount any rear shock you want because it connects to the upper (lower?) shock mount. In this case a Fox DPX2 Factory Kashima. The rear travel is 150mm. Those who follow my articles know that I prefer a rear excursion shorter than the front one, in order to have better climbing performance and a more responsive downhill bike. I personally find that the perfect balance, on a 29 inch, is 140mm rear and 160mm in front. The Strive is in that ballpark.

Like several modern 29″ enduro bikes, the Strive also has a down tube that bends, then becomes flat before connecting with the seat tube, in order to create space for the shock absorber and the bottle cage.

Let’s see what is hidden under the lid of the Shapeshifter …

Canyon has partnered with Fox to create a pneumatic system that moves the linkage attached to the shock by moving it forward and backward. This way, the geometry and the travel change (from 150 to about 135mm). In the picture above you see the up position.

This is the compressed position. To switch between them, simply press the handlebar remote, and the system pressure will do the rest automatically using your weight. I entered 130psi, the minimum pressure is 50psi, and the maximum is 200 psi.

The remote control is custom built by Canyon: the first two levers at the top are dedicated to the Shapeshifter. Press the outer one to move to the XC position, the inner one to release it and go to the DH position. The lower lever activates the Fox Transfer 150mm seat post.

Grips: Odi Grips Elite.

MRP 160mm travel Ribbon Coil. It is not mounted wrong, as the crown could suggest. The good thing is that it won’t fill up with mud.

The Ribbon is a coil sprung fork weighing 2,150 grams with low speed compression knob on the right, and one for controlling progressivity at the end of the stroke at the bottom of the left stanchion.

Trickstuff Direttissima brakes, real jems made in Germany. Extremely detailed but above all, ultra-powerful. During my first lap on them, I was struggling to control the rear, then I got used to it. The braking point is “very solid”, in other words, it hits hard. 200mm rotor up front and 180mm out back.

CNC machining and easy assembly thanks to a coupling system that you just need to unscrew in order to pass the hose through the frame. This also simplifies shortening of the hose without needing spare parts. The same system is also present on the caliper side. I didn’t need to do any bleeding after mounting the brakes on the Strive.

I mounted the new Zipp 3Zero Moto wheels, equipped with Quarq TyreWiz pressure gauges. It may sound like a neird’s gadget, but having the tire pressure on the Garmin or on the phone gives you the chance to experiment well and find the right pressures, as well as know if you are losing air.

There is great interest in the new Maxxis Exo + casing. I’ve been using it for about three weeks on the Minion DHF 2.5″. Three days ago I pinched (despite the 3Moto wheels) for the first time, at the rear. 60 grams more than the classic Exo is good, but doesn’t work miracles.

On a completely new bike it is always good to have at least one component that you know well: Crankbrothers Mallet E11 pedals . Perfect operation despite the innumerable beatings taken.

And now, off to the trails!

Previous Story

[Video] #FollowCamFriday – New Bike Day in Grand Junction, CO

Next Story

[Video] Fox Presents: Dialed

Latest from Cover