Wil takes us through his custom-built Canyon Lux World Cup
Earlier this year we reviewed the Canyon Lux World Cup CFR Team. Totally revamped for 2023, the German brand’s flagship XC race bike features an all-new frame with significantly improved geometry. As well as being very light, we were impressed with its powerful pedalling, sharp steering and overall value for money. Indeed with complete bikes starting at $5,099 AUD, the Lux World Cup range offers several appealing and value-packed options for the privateer racer.
It wasn’t perfect though, with the skinny Fox 32 Step-Cast fork and rigid seatpost giving it a slightly old-school feel alongside some of its contemporaries. Given that the frame will accommodate a 110mm travel fork and 2.5in wide tyres, I knew there was more performance to be tapped into.
Canyon was kind enough to let us hold onto the Lux World Cup as a long-term test bike, and the timing lined up perfectly when RockShox got in touch about reviewing its new 2024 SID fork and SIDLuxe shock. Along with the suspension I’ve been testing a whole bunch of other parts, most of which have had a thoroughly positive impact on the overall ride quality.
Before going any further I need to stipulate that this isn’t an article that’s trying to convince you to spend thousands of dollars upgrading what is already a perfectly good race bike, because that would just be ridiculous. Instead, this is intended to give you a closer look at how I’ve currently got my long-term test bike set up, how it’s held up over the past year of riding, and what all these changes have brought to the on-trail experience. Hopefully you find it interesting, and who knows, you may even find some useful info in here about how you can adapt the setup of your own XC bike.
See Wil’s bike check on his custom Canyon Lux:
Canyon Lux World Cup CFR Frame
- Weight: 1,941g (Medium w/Fox Float DPS shock)
Of course the heart of this project is the Canyon Lux World Cup frame itself.
For 2023 there are actually two new frames; CF and CFR. Both are full carbon affairs with the same geometry and suspension design, albeit with a different material layup that results in a 390g weight reduction for the CFR version. Including the Fox Float DPS shock, Canyon claims its Lux World Cup CFR frame weighs 1,894g, making this one of the lightest XC bikes on the market.
During the rebuild process I had the chance to strip our test bike down to the bare frame. I don’t always get the chance to do this, so I leapt at the opportunity to see how different the real-world weight would compare to Canyon’s claim.
On my workshop scales the Lux World Cup CFR frame weighed in at 1,941g including the shock, which is barely 50g heavier than the published figure. Canyon told me was due to the blue and white paint job of the Team bike, compared to the nearly-naked carbon finish of the top-end LTD model.
2024 RockShox SID Ultimate Fork
- Weight: 1,510g
- Price: $1,715 AUD
The component that really spurred on this long-term project was the 2024 RockShox SID. Rebuilt from the inside-out, the latest SID features an all-new chassis, Charger Race Day 2 damper and DebonAir+ spring. RockShox has increased the negative air volume by a whopping 50%, and that’s complemented by a coil top-out spring that replaces the rubber bumper of old. The result is a beautifully smooth fork that delivers incredible off-the-top sensitivity and superb levels of grip.
I’ve currently got the SID set up with 110mm of travel to suit the Canyon Lux World Cup. It’s been a big upgrade, with the added travel slackening the head angle out to 67.8° and the beefy 35mm chassis boosting the steering precision over the skinny Fox 32 SC it replaced.
Thanks to longer stanchions and broader spacing between the bushings, the SID is notably more composed under heavy loads. Big-hit control is genuinely impressive, making the SID feel like a mini-Pike. All of that for a mere 66g weight increase over the 32 SC.
It has taken some time to set up properly, since the recommendations in the RockShox Trailhead app are waaay off. For my 67kg riding weight I’m running 86psi, rather than the 69psi that RockShox suggests. I’ve also added a single Bottomless Token to provide a little more stability through the latter half of the travel. It’s worth noting that the end-stroke is already well supported thanks to a big bottom-out bumper, allowing you to charge bloody hard on what is a very lightweight fork.
To see which is the best XC fork, I’m planning to pitch the latest SID against the current Fox 34 SC for an upcoming head-to-head test. In the meantime, check out our 2024 RockShox SID review for everything you need to know.
2024 RockShox SIDLuxe Ultimate Shock
- Weight: 273g (210x50mm)
- Price: $925 AUD
Out back is the new RockShox SIDLuxe Ultimate shock. This has been a similarly significant upgrade for the Canyon Lux World Cup, offering smoother performance over the stock Fox Float DPS.
Updated for 2024, the SIDLuxe is offered in both Linear (Solo Air) and Progressive (DebonAir) options. It draws on some of the tech debuted in the proprietary WCID shock found on the Specialized Epic World Cup, with the most notable being a new bottom-out bumper that features a taller and tapered profile. This helps to cushion the last part of the travel, which is really beneficial on unexpected drops and hard landings.
Because of the improved end-stroke support, RockShox has developed a new high-speed compression circuit with increased oil flow. This allows the rear wheel to get out of the way quicker when you’re hammering through rock gardens, resulting in more grip and less feedback through your feet.
You also now have the option between a 2P (Open-Lock) or 3P (Open-Pedal-Lock) damper. Serious racers will likely prefer the binary action of the 2P damper option, but I prefer being able to run a slightly softer setup with the 3P shock to provide a plusher ride on the descents, while still having access to the firmer Pedal mode for the climbs and smoother sections of trail.
In the Pedal mode I’ve found that the shock’s compression damping is notably firmer than the fork. This is great for technical climbing as it lifts the ride height at the back of the bike while allowing the fork to remain fairly active for absorbing bumps. It’s very similar to the middle suspension modes on the Scott Spark and Orbea Oiz.
It’s on rowdier descents where the SIDLuxe has impressed me most, with its supple action delivering improved control and comfort to the otherwise firm Lux World Cup. Along with the SID up front, I’ve been able to push it that much harder and with greater confidence.
RockShox TwistLoc Ultimate Remote
- Weight: 79g (remote & inner cables only)
- Price: $175 AUD
To control the cable-activated fork and shock I’ve got the new RockShox TwistLoc Ultimate remote. This gets a fresh design for 2024, featuring a lower profile than previous TwistLoc remotes. The barrel integrates seamlessly with new push-on grips that are available in textured and smooth options. The textured grips are comfortable enough, but they’re a little too squishy for my liking. I’m keen to try out a set of cut-down Ergon GXR grips next.
The TwistLoc is produced in both 2P and 3P versions. The latter utilises a 7mm cable pull ratio that’s compatible with the suspension systems on the Spark and Oiz, meaning you could replace the TwinLoc/Squidlock remote on those bikes. That would allow you to operate the suspension with the TwistLoc, while freeing up some room to run an under-the-bar dropper lever like the Reverb AXS controller I have on the Canyon Lux World Cup.
While it does result in a relatively tidy setup, I think the cable routing could be improved to better integrate with the new SRAM Stealth brake levers. I’ve currently got the angled cable guide fitted to the TwistLoc remote, but even then the cables sit fairly proud of the bars. It’s probably about as good as you can get until we see a wirelessly-activated suspension system.
The throttle motion takes some getting used to, since you need to loosen your hand grip slightly to activate the remote. Otherwise the engagement is pleasingly positive, the indicator makes it easy to see which mode you’re in, and the way the unit clamps to the bar is way sturdier than previous TwistLoc remotes.
Zipp 1Zero HiTop SW Wheelset
- Weight: 1,358g
- Price: $2,950 AUD
Over the past couple of months I’ve also been racking up a load of miles on the new Zipp 1Zero HiTop wheelset.
Unlike the heavy duty 3Zero Moto wheels and their iconic single-wall design, this lightweight XC wheelset features low-profile carbon rims with a more conventional double wall construction. Zipp explained that this produces a significantly lighter rim with better steering precision.
Combined with the minimalist hubs and 24 spoke build, the 1Zero HiTop wheelset is almost 200g lighter than the DT Swiss XRC 1200 wheelset that came stock on the Canyon Lux World Cup CFR Team. That’s brought about a welcome boost in acceleration, though more significant is the improved compliance. The shallow rims do wonders to filter out vibrations on the trail, resulting in one of the smoothest and well-damped carbon wheelsets I’ve tested. They’re quiet too, with no spoke-pinging to speak of.
A 30mm inner rim width matches up well with modern 2.3-2.4in wide XC tyres, while the thick hookless beads are claimed to boost impact strength and lessen the chance of pinch-flats. I’ve subjected these wheels to some solid whacks over the past few months of testing, and I’m yet to encounter any issues. Peace of mind is assured thanks to a generous lifetime warranty that includes crash damage.
There still remains a question mark over the long-term durability of Zipp’s ZM2 SL hubs, which feature a new design with a relatively rapid 6-pawl freehub mechanism. We’ve not had great experiences with the Zipp hubs on the 3Zero Moto hubs, with both the original and redesigned versions suffering from premature bearing wear. These ZM2 SL hubs are easy to open up and clean out though, so I’ll continue to carry out regular maintenance and see how they fare over time.
That aside, I love how smooth and lightweight these wheels are. They aren’t inexpensive, but they do come in quite a bit cheaper than competitors such as the Roval Control SL and Bontrager Kovee RSL. Get all the details in our Zipp 1Zero HiTop review.
Maxxis Rekon Race 29×2.4in MaxxSpeed Tyres
- Weight: 814-827g each
- Price: $104.95 AUD
The Canyon Lux World Cup comes fitted with 2.35in Maxxis Ikon tyres that are lightweight and fast-rolling, but occasionally a little vague on my local hardpack trails. I generally prefer the Rekon Race, which offers a more consistent feel and a nice controllable drift when things get dusty and loose.
While I’ve had good experiences with the cheaper dual compound Maxxis Rekon Race 2.4 WT tyres, lately I’ve been testing out the new MaxxSpeed version. This premium compound is said to feature a silica filler that’s claimed to improve wet weather grip and decrease rolling resistance by 25%.
To help differentiate the new rubber formulation, Maxxis has gotten rid of the ‘3C’ part of the name. Given that, we wouldn’t be surprised if the tyre specialist is working on updated versions of the MaxxTerra and MaxxGrip compounds.
Chemical wizardry aside, I really like the profile these 2.4in WT tyres offer when fitted to a 30mm wide rim. I’ve been able to run them at quite low pressures of 17-18psi on the front and 19-20psi at the rear. There’s great damping from the 120TPI casing, which features EXO reinforcement strips through the sidewalls. I’ve only had two punctures over the last six months, which have been repaired effectively with tubeless plugs. They’ve otherwise proven to be quite durable with decent tread wear.
Indeed for riding and racing on hardpack terrain, I’d struggle to recommend a tyre that’s as predictable and well-damped as the Rekon Race. If you want something faster again, consider the new Aspen MaxxSpeed tyre, which would be a great option on the rear paired to the Rekon Race up front.
CushCore XC Tubeless Inserts
- Weight: 148g
- Price: $145 AUD
A hidden but no less important component on my Canyon Lux World Cup is a CushCore XC tubeless insert.
I’ve been a big fan of using CushCore inserts over the past few years, to the point where I no longer let a test bike roll out of the workshop before fitting one to the rear wheel. While I’m a relatively light and smooth rider, my local trails are notoriously rocky and janky. That leads to a high likelihood of pinch-flatting unless you over-inflate your tyres.
Since converting to CushCore, I’ve drastically cutdown on punctures and rim damage. I’ve also been able to run lower pressures for more grip and comfort, resulting in a substantially improved ride quality. In fact, I was so drawn to the benefits that I recently fitted them to my gravel bike.
The CushCore XC insert shown here is considerably lighter than the Trail or Pro models. The scalloped inner face helps to reduce weight, with each insert coming in at around 150g. To put that into perspective, it’s lighter than a standard inner tube.
I’ve found them to be quite easy to fit and can often install an XC tyre without need for a lever. The insert sits snugly in the rim well and doesn’t loosen up over time like some lighter inserts that are designed to sit higher up in the tyre cavity. As a result the CushCore XC insert is unnoticeable while riding, with no noise or vibration present. Add in the improved damping and traction, and the fact that I’ve not once pinch-flatted once since I started using CushCore XC inserts two years ago, and these get a big tick of approval. For more info see our CushCore XC insert review.
RockShox Reverb AXS Dropper Post
- Weight: 581g (30.9x100mm post) & 64g (controller)
- Price: $1,480 AUD
I’ve been gagging to fit a dropper post to the Canyon Lux World Cup ever since we first got our hands on it. Whereas many brands are starting to spec short-travel droppers to their XC bikes, for some reason Canyon insists on fitting a rigid seatpost.
Lucky for me, RockShox sent out a Reverb AXS dropper along with the new SID fork and shock. I haven’t had a lot of prior experience with the AXS version of the Reverb, but was immediately impressed with its light and fast action. The controller ergonomics are fantastic, and I like that you can easily make micro-adjustments while riding. There’s also a nice top-out clunk to signal when the saddle has reached full height, which is really useful from an XC racing perspective.
The wireless setup is of course a big selling point of the Reverb AXS dropper. It’s particularly appreciated on the Lux, since fitting a cable-operated dropper involves a bit of faff due to the headset routing and the fact that you need to remove the BB cups to get the cable up into the seat tube. With the Reverb AXS, installation took all of about five minutes.
You’ll get around 40-hours of ride time out of the post’s AXS battery, though I’ll typically charge it once a fortnight just to ease my mind. I did have a bit of suspension squish develop after the first month of riding, though following the simple procedure with the Vent Valve restored it back to normal. Otherwise durability has been excellent, and Mick concurs with the post he’s had for years.
The downside of the Reverb AXS is that it is very expensive. And even in this XC-appropriate 100mm travel version, it’s quite heavy at 645g for the post and controller. Compare that to a Fox Transfer SL, which weighs 451g for the post, remote and cable. Not only is it 200g lighter, the Performance Elite version sells for $714 AUD, which is literally half the price of the Reverb AXS dropper.
Indeed if weight is your primary concern, you’ll find it hard to justify the extra cash over a Transfer SL or BikeYoke Divine SL. For others, the effortless action and wireless setup will make the Reverb AXS a luxury worth having.
SRAM XX SL Transmission
- Weight: 348g (cassette), 445g (derailleur), 265g (chain), 541g (crankset w/32T powermeter) & 54g (pod controller)
- Price: $3,780 – $4,639 AUD
Another big change on the Canyon Lux World Cup CFR Team has been the flip from a Shimano XTR groupset to the new SRAM XX SL T-Type Transmission.
We’d previously tested the X0 and XX groupsets in the lead-up to the official launch earlier this year. However, this was the first time I’d get my dirty paws on the XX SL version, which is the lightest and most expensive of the range.
Now I won’t be going into all of the tech specs here. If you’re after all of those juicy details be sure to check out our long-term SRAM XX Transmission review. However, there are still some points I want to touch on here about my experience of testing the XX SL groupset and how it compares to Shimano XTR.
As you’d expect for the price, the components are beautifully finished. The cassette is quite the piece of engineering, and so too is the sleek carbon crankset that features a powermeter built directly into the chainring.
Weight weenies will be interested to know that the XX SL derailleur is kind of heavy at 445g including the AXS battery. That’s a 175g increase over the XTR derailleur and UDH it replaced. Of course the Shimano drivetrain is cable-operated, so you need to add on another 70-80g there, but there’s no denying that the SRAM Transmission leads to more weight hanging off the rear axle.
On the plus side, we love how simple it is to fit and set up the XX SL derailleur. The direct mount design means there’s no derailleur hanger to align, and the lack of any B-tension or limit screws means the whole process is as quick and foolproof as it gets.
Eliminating the derailleur hanger results in a really solid platform for the mech, which helps to deliver crisp and accurate shifting. It actually shifts better under load, making it well-suited to e-MTBs and XC race bikes. Indeed the harder you push, the faster and more positively the chain transitions between cogs.
I will say that Shimano XTR is still very impressive in this regard, and the cable-activation allows you to shift multiple cogs quicker. Some folks will also prefer the more tactile feedback of the XTR paddles, though there is notably less thumb force required to switch gears with the SRAM Pod controller. The new mount offers a load of adjustability, so be sure to play around with the different positions and customisable buttons to get it dialled in. I’ve found a pretty good setup, even though I prefer the ergonomics of the older AXS Rocker controller that I’ve been using on the Cervelo ZFS-5.
Either way, the wireless function works reliably and helps to contribute to a clean and well-managed cockpit. Much like the Reverb AXS dropper, it’s the lack of cables that is a big part of the appeal with a SRAM AXS drivetrain. That’s especially the case on bikes like the Canyon Lux that feature headset cable routing.
Also like the Reverb AXS dropper, the asking price is very high for the SRAM XX SL Transmission. You’ll save two grand by going for a GX Transmission, but it’s still a lot of cash at $1,889 AUD. Given you can get a perfectly good Shimano XT drivetrain for less than $800 AUD, that makes the latest SRAM Transmission a big investment however you look at it.
SRAM Level Ultimate Stealth Brakes
- Weight: 238g (front)
- Price: $516 AUD (per end)
To go along with the XX SL Transmission, I’ve been testing out the new SRAM Level Ultimate brakes.
Designed for XC racing and trail riding, these top-tier disc brakes feature a polished finish, carbon lever blades and a sealed cartridge pivot bearing. They offer a beautifully smooth and light lever feel with great ergonomics, and the MMX mounts see them integrating nicely with the Reverb AXS and Pod controllers.
There is a little more lever free throw than I’d like, which can’t be tuned out since there’s no bite point adjuster. However, the thicker HS2 rotors do help to reduce some of that dead stroke. The HS2 rotors also offer more power, and I love how tough and durable they are.
They aren’t exactly light, coming in at 186g (160mm) & 211g (180mm) for the Centerlock versions I have here. Compare that to 106g & 130g for the XTR Freeza rotors they replaced.
Speaking of weight, the four-piston Level Ultimate came in at 238g for the front brake with the hose trimmed to length. Compare that to 190g for the two-piston XTR brake that came on the bike originally. You do get more power from the Level Ultimate 4P brake, though modulation is still excellent. There’s a load of control around the initial bite point that helps you to feather the brakes around loose, off-camber turns.
Out back you’ll spot a SRAM Red brake calliper. This is because the new Level series is no longer offered in a flat-mount specific version to suit the Canyon Lux World Cup. This two-piston brake also works well, but it really benefitted from switching to the Power pad compound from the stock organic brake pads. These offer a smoother feel than a full metallic brake pad, and they’re also quieter too. Combined with the HS2 rotors, power has been more than adequate. However, it is possible to fit a 180mm rear rotor on the Lux if you were after more oomph.
Canyon Lux World Cup weight
In its current state my Canyon Lux World Cup long-termer weighs in at 10.9kg without pedals. That’s notably heavier than the stock CFR Team build, which weighed 10.22kg with the supplied Tubolito inner tubes.
There are a few reasons behind the weight increase, including the addition of a CushCore insert in the rear wheel. The SRAM XX SL Transmission and Level Ultimate brakes are also a bit heavier than the Shimano XTR groupset that came on the bike.
The biggest change however has been the dropper post. Changing to the Reverb AXS added a whopping 460g over the stock carbon seatpost (645g vs 185g).
Have the upgrades been worth it?
To an extent. The dropper post is easily the best upgrade on this bike, and is something I can highly recommend for any Canyon Lux World Cup owner.
The RockShox suspension has had a positive impact on the overall ride quality, and so too have the lightweight and compliant Zipp wheels. I’m also a big fan of the Maxxis Rekon Race tyres and CushCore XC inserts, all of which have combined to make the Lux World Cup a significantly smoother and more comfortable bike to ride.
It’s less clearcut when it comes to the groupset. As much as I appreciate the ease of setup and wireless function of the SRAM XX SL Transmission, it would be difficult to justify spending the extra cash if you already had a perfectly functioning Shimano XTR drivetrain. Then again, having flawlessly indexed gears all the time and not having to worry about a derailleur hanger or replacing gear cables is a luxury that many riders will no doubt appreciate.
What could be improved?
Having lived with the Canyon Lux World Cup for this length of time, there are a few areas that I think could be improved.
The cable routing for the rear shock is very well hidden, but the tight bend into the top tube makes it tricky to remove and install the shock. Both the Cervelo ZFS-5 and Trek Supercaliber offer a more practical approach in this regard, with the cable port located further along the underside of the top tube.
I still feel icky about the headset cable routing. As mentioned in the original review, it is well executed on the Lux World Cup with a simple design and snug-fitting ports. It’s also less of a deal with the wireless bits on the current build, which means only the shock cable and rear brake hose pass through it. Still, from a maintenance perspective, I would prefer if the cables entered the frame via their own dedicated ports.
Speaking of, it’s worth touching on the fancy CeramicSpeed SLT bearings that are used in the headset and main suspension pivots. Instead of traditional grease, these bearings feature an ‘oil-encapsulated solid plastic polymer’ that the stainless steel balls are embedded within. CeramicSpeed claims they’re self-lubricating, corrosion-resistant and maintenance-free, and they back that with a lifetime guarantee. A year on and all those bearings still feel like they’re brand new. Impressive stuff.
Lastly, while I like the look of the one-piece Canyon cockpit, it isn’t overly light at 328g. I also wouldn’t mind trying out a slightly shorter 60mm stem length, but obviously that would involve changing the whole bar and stem. A two-piece cockpit might not be as sexy, but it would provide the user with more adjustability, which is an important consideration for a bike that’s sold direct-to-consumer.
Canyon Lux World Cup vs Lux Trail
If you’re digging some of the changes I’ve made to my Canyon Lux World Cup, you’ll definitely want to take a look at the new Lux Trail.
For 2024 the Lux Trail has been revamped with an all-new frame that’s purpose built around its 120/115mm travel platform. The geometry is a bit longer and slacker, and that’s complemented by a long-stroke dropper post and a beefier front tyre.
I’ve been riding the Lux Trail over the past couple of months and have found it to be a terrifically fun XC bike. The suspension is quite a bit plusher and deeper than the Lux World Cup, and that gives you more stability on the descents. It still retains much of the crisp steering and peppy pedalling of its racier sibling, and it’s respectably light at 11.28kg for the CFR model that we tested.
Really, unless you were regularly threatening XCO podiums, it’s likely that the Lux Trail would be more than competitive enough on the race track. Switch out the front tyre to something faster rolling and you’d be ready to rip. The bonus being that it’s more practical as a daily driver thanks to its nifty in-frame storage, integrated multi-tool and threaded BB. If I was going to purchase one of the two, I’d probably go for the Lux Trail.
That being said, purist racers will still prefer the razor-sharp handling and stonking efficiency of the Lux World Cup. It slices and dices tight singletrack with ease, and it powers up the climbs like few others can. The fact that the CFR frame is around 400g lighter than the Lux Trail will add further appeal for weight conscious riders. From my perspective, it’s just a dropper post and a 110mm travel fork away from being one of the best XC bikes on the market.
I’ve thoroughly enjoyed riding Canyon Lux World Cup over the past year, both in its stock form and in this customised build.
It’s been interesting trying out different parts and seeing the impact they’ve had on the ride quality, with the RockShox SID suspension, Reverb AXS dropper post, Zipp wheels and Maxxis tyres having the most significant impact. The whole bike is a lot smoother and calmer as a result, with more grip on tap and better control on the descents.
Experimenting with bike setup is something I find genuinely fascinating, and hopefully this article has helped to inspire you on some potential changes you could make to your own bike.
I’ll add that I would love to see Canyon offer a spec option like this. The dropper post feels like a no brainer for the Lux World Cup, and the 110mm travel fork would help to complete the contemporary feel. As mentioned above, if you are thinking along those lines then you’ll probably want to consider the Lux Trail instead. Either way, how good is it to have choices eh?