Si’s Steamboat Gravel Race Canyon Grail


(laser sound effect) – This is the bike that
I’ve just raced, or ridden, you can be the judge of
that, in the inaugural Steamboat Gravel Race. I picked it up yesterday from three of the key event partners
who very kindly supplied it, so Canyon, Mavic, who supplied
the wheels and the tires, and Stages who supplied a power meter, and their brand new Dash L50 head unit. There is a video over on GCN, which tells the story of my race, but in this one we’re going to go through the equipment that I used. Now bear in mind that I
picked it up yesterday. This morning I rode 140.8 miles on it, so it was quite the baptism
of fire for it and me. Now as I said, Canyon
supplied most of the bike. You will know, typically by looking at it, that it is a Canyon Grail. It’s the CF SLX, and
this is the 8.0 Model. Now the reason that I say
that you already know this is because of those very
distinctive handlebars up front. So the idea behind them, is that they actually give
you much more compliance, because where you would normally hold on, and then where it’s attached to the stem, there is no stem so you
get that extra give in it. It’s the first opportunity
I’ve had to spend any real time on them, and in
addition to the compliance, one thing that struck out at me, was actually the alternative
hand positions you get. So whereas I wouldn’t normally advocate resting forearms on a handlebar, with these you can rest
them on the top section and hold on to the bottom
section, which is kind of cool. So you can get a little bit more aero. Now the rest of the bike,
it’s the top-end model, so like I said the CF SLX, which means that the
frame weighs just 865g, which is super light for a road bike, but for a gravel bike, that really, really is quite impressive. The geometry on there, it’s
probably slap bang in the middle of our gravel bike spectrums. So quite racy in terms of
the fact that you’ve got 425mm chainstay so that’s quite short. You’ve also got a nice low bottom bracket, but because of the way
those handlebars sit, you technically have a shorter stem. So the bike itself is a little bit longer. So you get a bit more stability
through the wheel base. Speaking of wheels, as
I said at the beginning, Mavic very kindly supplied a set for us. These are the Allroad Pro Carbon SLs. So they weigh just 1,450g, full carbon rim, 23mm internal rim width so really roomy for running gravel tires. It’s also hook-less as well, so do weigh with that
little lip that you get on the side walls of the rim that’s traditional on
high pressure road tires, but because you’re running
lower pressure gravel tires, you don’t need it. And it makes it easier to seat. It’s uh, the Mavic UST tubeless system, and on it we have, I don’t
honestly know how to pronounce it but I’ll give it a stab,
the Aksium Elite Allroad. So it’s a 35mm option this
one, they do have a 40 as well but a narrower, faster rolling
tire was by common consensus the tire of choice for this
inaugural Steamboat Gravel Race. If I go back to the rims
for a moment though, one thing that is particularly
interesting about them is Mavic was saying that
they’ve been engineered with compliance in mind. So this is something that mountain bikers have been going on about
for a few years now. And so rather than having a
super stiff carbon fiber wheel, they’ve worked out that
actually having a rim that’s laterally stiff, so
you get a good power transfer, and good handling in corners,
but actually gives you vertical compliance. It’s something that we
often talk about with our frames and our handlebars,
but rarely with the wheel. But yet this one takes
technology from mountain bikers, who as I said have worked out that actually a compliant
wheel gives you better handling on bumpy terrain. And Mavic therefore have
worked out that doing the same on bumpy gravel roads would be of benefit. Now as you can see, I’m running this 1-by, it’s a SRAM Force 1-by setup. I’ve got a 42T chainring up front and I’m running a 10T/42T
cassette at the back. There is however, not
a SRAM left-hand crank, ’cause I got a Stages one instead. So this is a Carbon Stages crank, and it’s got their third
generation power meter on there. So it’s the left side only one. It’s accurate to plus or
minus one and a half percent, and it’s also compatible with
Bluetooth and ANT+ devices. And interestingly, it’s assembled by hand, just about three hours away
from here in Boulder, Colorado. Now as I mentioned at the beginning, they were also kind enough to lend me their new Stages Dash L50 head unit. They’ve had a head unit
out for a while now but this is a new larger version of it. So some key features, it’s got a Stages Everbrite
LCD screen on there. It also has 14 hours battery life and most interestingly of all, it runs open street maps on there. So there’s an awful lot of detail, particularly cycling
specific detail on there. Now other contact points, I’ve got Look extract pedals
on there, those are just my own and I’ve also got a Fizik Aliante saddle. Now most of the time I
use a Fizic Arione saddle. I’ll be completely frank, I’m
perfectly comfortable on both. I normally use the Arione on road bikes ’cause I think it looks
better on road bikes. But this I think is
perfect for off-road bikes. The last thing I’ll mention, is that Topeak DynaWedge
All Weather saddlebag. So I didn’t run a Top Tube Bag, I didn’t run a handlebar
bag, I didn’t run a bumbag, I went minimalist, and so I went with a small, neat saddlebag, I
think it’s 0.35L capacity. In there I’ve got two inner
tubes and I’ve also got a Mini 10 Multi-Tool, also from Topeak, and their Super Chain
Tool, so between the two, I get a proper full-size chain tool, and the full spectrum of Allen
keys that I need as well. I haven’t unfortunately got the trusty GCN tech weighing scales
with me, so I can’t give you the official figures
as we stand right here. I can tell you that a standard
Canyon Grail CF SLX 8.0 weighs 7.8kg. This one of course in it’s
current running weight with saddle bag and head
unit and Go-Pro attached will weigh a little bit more. What I can do for you though
is a Freehub sound check because this has the new Mavic Instant 360 Drive Freehub on there and it sounds great. So are you ready for this? (wheels revving) Yeah you do. (wheels revving) We’ll just leave it a little longer. (wheels revving) It also sounds really good
when it’s going slowly as well. (wheels slowing down) See, told ya. Right, I’d better give
this a thorough clean before I begrudgingly
have to hand it back. In the mean time, make
sure you get involved in the comments section if
you’ve got any questions about it, I will do my
best to answer them. If you haven’t seen the
feature over on GCN, “Can I Survive A Proper
All-American Gravel Race?” Then do make sure you check it out now. The video is linked on-screen. Otherwise, give this one a big thumbs up.

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