FIRST LOOK: The 2019 Canyon Strive

Last month the German direct sales brand released the new Strive which has seen a wheelsize change, a revamped shapeshifter and some geometry tweaks.

The bike

The Canyon Strive is a full-suspension, full-carbon 29er built for the world’s toughest trails and Enduro stages.

What’s new?

A handlebar mounted switch activates a gas spring which lets you shift between “pedal” and “shred” modes while riding. This Shapeshifter system is not a new concept, rather a refined version. Canyon worked with the Fox suspension experts to refine the visual and functional attributes of the Shapeshifter seeking all round improvements.

After extensive testing by pro riders Ines Thoma and Dimitri Tordo of the Canyon Factory Enduro team, under the stewardship of team principal Fabien Barel the decision to move to 29″ wheels was made.

Why the changes?

“For some time now, there has been a clear trend towards 29-inch wheels in Enduro racing – but we weren’t interested in just blindly following that trend. We believe trends don’t win races – intensive testing and development does. We know that the 2019 Strive with the new Shapeshifter will be one of the fastest Enduro bikes out there, that was our stated aim when developing the bike. And the vastly more intuitive geometry adjustment system is a big plus for all riders, not only the pros.”

Daniel Oster, Canyon’s Category Manager for Gravity Bikes.

The tech

The 2019 Strive has 150mm of rear travel when in what they are calling, ‘DH’ mode. When flipping the bar mounted lever into what is being called ‘XC’ mode, the rear travel is then reduced to 135mm to improve pedal performance. These changes in travel also impact the head angle and seat angle by 1.5 degrees each. In addition a slight stiffening up of the rear suspension occurs when in ‘XC’ mode, resulting in less suspension movement while pedaling. The ShapeShifter system enables the shock to work with full efficiency without needing to be adjusted directly via any compression levers or internally via the likes of a ‘platform’ tune or system.

Up front, the bikes ship with ‘gnar’ friendly 36mm-stanchion forks. Travel varies from 160mm on the CF models to the big hitting 170mm on the CFR models. The full carbon frame weighs in at 2,700g on CF models and 2,400g on CFR models; that’s for a size medium without shock. Expect Boost hubs, through axles, integrated downtube and chainstay protection, dropper posts and internal cable routing on all models of the new Strive.

Pricing and local availability

The Strive ships in four frame sizes of small, medium, large and XL accommodating riders between 1.58m and 2m tall. There are six models, starting with the Strive CF 5.0 and going up to the flagship Strive CFR 9.0 Ltd. Pricing quoted in US Dollars runs from around $3,000 to $7,000.

In South Africa you would need to add 15% for duties, 15% for VAT and a little extra for shipping to get your landed cost price in ZAR’s. Delivery time varies, but we have heard stories of South African’s receiving their Canyon’s at their front door, inside of 5 days from ordering.

Canyon products are exclusively available online at