Spring cycling with Canyon

7 May 2018 by
First published: 27 April 2018

Last week we popped down to the super-trendy Rapha Cafe, in Spitalfields, for a morning of cycling with Canyon.

There’s no better location than cyclist’s haven Rapha to rejuvenate a love of cycling and, as it turns out, no better bike than the Canyon Roadlite.

I confess, after a cycle-free winter, I was more than a little nervous about hopping on to a bike and pedalling out to East London with the Canyon team. I have never been the most confident person on two wheels and – especially now that I’ve moved out to the countryside – I find the London traffic fairly intimidating.

But, the sun put in a strong appearance and, as we eased through the traffic and out onto smaller roads and pathways towards Victoria Park, I remembered why I love the two-wheeled life. The freedom, the speed and the sheer fun of pedalling along with a group of like-minded fitness folk is nothing short of exhilarating.

And my shiny new steed can take at least half the credit.


Canyon is well-known in the cycling world for its top-end, sought-after bikes and pride themselves on exceptional design and performance. And you would be forgiven for thinking these qualities might be pared back a bit in its fitness and commuter range, but you’d also be very, very wrong. The Roadlite is a standout bike with looks and performance many a top-end bike would envy.

Most importantly, on this occasion, it was a real dream of a ride for the London roads – it’s light, but features sturdy handle bars and a frame that absorbs enough bumps – thanks to the VCLS technology built into the seatstays, fork and seatpost – to make London’s roads feel reasonably smooth. Even the cobbled side streets of East London didn’t slow us down. And, compared to my usual road bike – on which any bumps are basically a no-go if you want to protect your backside – it was an absolute dream.

At home, I ride a drop handle-bar, super-light road bike around the country roads. But, after last week’s ride, I think it might be time to switch it up. I don’t really do enough road or race cycling to warrant the drop handle bars and frankly I don’t really enjoy riding with my hands in that position. The Roadlite was a revelation on that front with a flat handlebar sitting position that provided one of the most comfortable rides I’ve ever enjoyed.


If you’re a commuter, I can’t recommend this bike highly enough, the sitting position gives you a great view of the road – especially compared to drop handlebars – but the bike is also light enough to allow you some decent speed and responsive enough to allow you react quickly to changing situations on the road. And no squeaky brakes either – the flat mount Tektro R510 disc brakes give you effective, but noiseless braking!

What about wheels? Well, again there’s a great marriage of Canyon’s top-end credentials and practicality for the every day user – the DT Swiss E 1800 wheels Canyon describes as ‘race worthy’, but they’re also very durable.

All this, and it looks ridiculously good, too. Canyon is a brand built around great design and these bikes are beautiful. I would happily parade this bike around in the trendiest of cycling haunts – and it makes for some super-stylish pics for ‘the gram’. We stopped for a few pics along the canal and the bikes definitely got some admiring looks from the Hackney hipsters.

From my point of view, most importantly, this bike gave me confidence by the bucketload and, even out on the quieter country roads near home, I would welcome the light, but sturdy and practical, features that contributed to this.


At Victoria Park, we upped the speed with some amateur racing down the wide concrete paths and the Roadlite didn’t disappoint – it boasts fancy Shimano Ultegra components for pro-level performance, after all! I was aboard the Roadlite CF 8.0 WMN, and with its extra light carbon frame, it was super nippy, easy to handle and brilliant fun to ride.

And, I think, that’s the key here – this bike is great fun. Whether you’re commuting, want to get your workout fix on two wheels or just explore the local area with friends, this bike has so much to offer the more relaxed cyclist.

As far as we’re concerned, if you want a bike that will give you year-round enjoyment on two wheels, this is it.

The Roadlite CF 8.0 WMN is £1,799, but the range starts from an incredibly reasonable £699. 

Click here to check it out.

Into cycling? You’ll love these articles: The world’s best cycle citiesMy first ever triathlon and The evolution of spinning