Written by Virginia

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The new year has barely begun, and Canyon is already making a flying start to the 2019 season by announcing the latest generation of its enduro bike Strive. The Strive is the German direct sales brand's most successful and innovative mtb - and the latest iteration, with a totally revamped Shapeshifter system, marks a major step forward in its development. A full-suspension, full-carbon 29er built for the world's toughest Enduro and demanding local trails, this bike delivers maximum efficiency and top performance on the most challenging rides imaginable. Welcome to Shred City!
Using a gas spring, the Shapeshifter system lets the rider adjust the geometry between "the pedal" and " the shred" mode while riding, simply by flicking a handlebar-mounted switch. In the 2019 Strive, the Shapeshifter has been further developed and refined in close cooperation with the suspension experts at Fox, resulting in major visual and functional improvements. But that's not all: the Strive also now rolls on 29'' wheels - a new approach taken after months of testing with pro riders such as Ines Thoma and Dimitri Tordo, who both compete on the Strive for the Canyon Factory Enduro Team, under the stewardship of team principal and former DH World Champion Fabien Barel.

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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" Says Daniel Oster, Canyon's Category Managerfor Gravity Bikes. Trends don't win races - intensive testing and development do. 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."
The 2019 Strive has 150mm of travel in DH mode. In XC mode, this is reduced to 135mm and the steering angle and seat angle are both increased by 1.5 degrees. These changes make the suspension stiffer, resulting in less suspension movement while letting the shock work with full efficiency without needing to be adjusted directly or a platform. On the front, the bikes come with robust 36mm (Fox) respectively 35mm (RockShox) -stanchion forks with 160mm (on CF models) or 170mm (on CFR models) of travel. Further key facts and features: full-carbon frame (approx. 2,700g on CF models and 2,400g on CFR models, size M, without shock), Boost standard on both front and rear, through axles, downtube and chainstay protection, dropper posts on all models, internal cable routing.
The Strive comes in four frame sizes, S to XL, for riders from 1.58m to 2m tall. There are six models, starting with the Strive CF 5.0 at 2,999 Euros, going up to the flagship Strive CFR 9.0 Ltd. for 6,999 Euros.* All 2019 Strive bikes go on sale on Thursday, 17th January 2019.
*for Eurozone countries

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Constant changes in terrain place incredibly diverse demands on a bike – rider weight gets transferred all over the place depending on what you take on. While climbing, the back wheel can bear almost all of the load, but when riding steep descents, all this weight then gets transferred to the front wheel.
So in order to achieve maximum efficiency, under normal circumstances the rider would have to constantly adjust the suspension sag depending on the profile of the trail. However, with its Shapeshifter technology, the Strive successfully combines the climbing performance of an XC bike with the descending abilities of a downhill bike. The Shapeshifter works using a gas spring which we developed together with the suspension specialists at Fox, and lets you alter the geometry and suspension dynamics on the bike at the touch of a button.
The Shapeshifter system was developed from the ground up by the engineers at Canyon and Fox. It consists of an ergonomic handlebar-mounted remote with two levers, a gas spring, and a patented rear shock linkage. By chan- ging the bike’s linkage and with it the kinematics of the rear end, you can switch between two different geomet- ries with different suspension curves and amounts of travel – all without the need for a specially designed rear shock. We have integrated the dropper post remote below the Shapeshifter remote, so you can still lower the saddle with the push of a button. We have also taken things another step forward in terms of durability. Specially developed piston seals reduce friction and are more robust, and we’ve improved the internal cable routing setup to make it tougher. Further- more, the bearings of the new gas spring don’t require an additional screw thread, allowing an integrated design that keeps dirt out.
We’ve taken the Shapeshifter to the next level–Stage 2.0. The new two-way valve makes the Shapeshifter even easier and more intuitive to use. To switch from cross-country mode to downhill mode when you reach the trailhead, just flick the switch on the handlebar. The next time you compress the rear shock, the Shapeshif- ter’s gas spring will automatically compress, changing the bike’s geometry and the kinematics of the rear triangle. In DH mode, it feels more like you are sitting ‘in’ the bike, and you have 150 mm of travel, rather than 135 mm. The bottom bracket height is reduced giving you a lower centre of gravity, you have a flatter steering angle, and the wheelbase is extended for more stability in fast and steep sections–advantages that make all the difference when every second counts.
When you have to climb back up the trail, just go back to XC mode. It’s as easy as flicking the switch again and shifting your weight forward. The gas spring on the suspension linkage then activates and extends, changing the rear shock linkage setup. The suspension gets stiffer with less travel (150 mm to 135 mm), and there is a 1.5° increase in the steering angle (66.0° to 67.5°) and seat angle (73.5° to 75.0°). This gives a more of a feeling of being ‘on’ the bike rather than ‘in’ it, and lets you put all your power through the cranks to ensure efficient climbing. The increased bottom bracket height also gives you more ground clearance for tackling roots and drops, and the suspension remains active at all times for maximum traction on technical climbs. Furthermore, the steeper steering angle improves handling on slow climbs, to get you to the trailhead – and back into downhill mode again–more efficiently.

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The triple phase suspension system was originally developed for the Sender downhill race bike, and delivers top performance on all kinds of terrain. At the start of the stoke, the suspension provides plenty traction, and outstanding small-bump sensitivity. Through the mid-stroke the shock provides a stable platform, letting the rider put maximum power through the pedals, keep their speed up over uneven ground, and accelerate hard out of berms. The end of the stroke ramps up pro- gressively, so you only use all the travel when absolutely required.

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Tested by our Canyon Factory Racing Team riders: the Strive is a no-compromise Enduro racing machine, and is exclusively available with a durable full-carbon frame. Models 5.0 to 8.0 are built around the high-performance CF frame, and the two top-range models–the 9.0 Team and the 9.0 LTD–come with the yet more advanced CFR frame. The difference between the frames is the layup of the carbon fibre: the type of fibre, the way the fibres and resin are combined, and the alignment of the weave. The CFR frame is around 300g lighter than the CF (frame weight CFR: 2400 g w/o rear shock) while being just as stiff.

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The 29-inch wheels really shine on technical terrain, with their larger contact patch and superior tracking making the big difference. The Strive is exclusively avai- lable with 29” wheels.
The tapered steerer tube increases the stiffness of the cockpit for precise, controlled braking in all situations. What’s more, the cables are routed inside the cable for a clean look, silent operation, and protection from the elements.
Boost through axles on the front and rear deliver increa- sed stability and stiffness, and make tool-free wheel removal simpler than ever. The lever of the Canyon- developed rear axle also neatly integrates into the axle itself for a clean look on the trail.
Plastic protection panels shield the chainstays and the underside of the downtube from flying debris and ground impacts.

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