Canyon has just announced the release of its new gravel bike, the Grail.
The Grail features the unmistakable Canyon styling throughout, with the usual angular and minimalist designs that have no doubt helped them take such a huge portion of the direct sales market.
The Grail is only available in 700c, with clearance for 42mm tyres, so Canyon is ignoring the trend for 650b in the gravel market. They’ve also bucked trends by sticking with 2x Shimano setups across the range, but have stayed firmly in fashion by commissioning some purpose-built bikepacking bags from Topeak.
However, it looks like the really divisive part is going to be those handlebars. Rather than adding an upwards bend (like the Specialized Hover), the handlebars have a two-tier look, with the tops built on a level above the stem area. Of course, the execution looks as sleek as we’ve come to expect from Canyon’s in-house cockpits.
The idea here is that the narrow carbon area at the top allows for more flex, while the reinforced drops are stiffer for when you’re pulling on the bars. But how do you get the hoods on?
The handlebar is definitely going to be a matter of personal taste (I don’t hate it…), but to me it looks like there’s a really fun bike there, and it’s always great to see a brand try something new instead of just hitting the ‘lighter, stiffer, faster’ buttons every year.