Road cycling has gained a huge following in recent years. 

It makes sense, being both an exciting spectator sport steeped in history, and an obsessive past time for many.

For those on the bike, the allure of escaping the City, exploring new areas, meeting fresh faces, (and drinking more coffee and having a feasible excuse to 'carb-load') is simply unbeatable.

How about taking things a step further?

Born from the desire to leave the traffic behind entirely, gravel riding has also been steadily growing in popularity. 

Gravel riders set about covering the endless unpaved roads, paths around the globe.

To navigate such adventurous routes, Canyon have engineered their own purpose-built gravel bike. Some typically German innovations help to create the bike, ensuring Canyon's high-performing mantra rings true.

Casting a silhouette like no other bike in its class, the Grail’s unique cockpit turns conventional handlebar design on its head. A full carbon construction with the handlebar braced at either end, rather than in the centre, offers seven times more vertical compliance compared to a conventional handlebar and stem.

The added stiffness at either end increases control and responsiveness while attacking in the drops, but irons out bumps and potholes while ticking off the miles on the tops.

Canyon’s VCLS 2.0 seatpost takes care of comfort at the rear of the bike. A one-of-a-kind split design behaves like a leaf spring, providing 20mm of vertical compliance, without vastly effecting saddle angle as it flexes.

While the handlebar turns heads, the lightweight carbon frame in the centre of the Grail has been engineered just as scrupulously. Available in two levels of performance, and price, it promises to satisfy the most discerning cyclist.

Topping the range is the flagship CF SLX version, which tips the scales at only 830g, while the CF SL option pays a small weight penalty coming in at 210g more. As complete bikes, all the carbon models weigh under 9kg, going as low as 8.2kg on the highest spec offerings. Pricing for the CF options range from £2049.00 to £4549.00.

The Grail range rolls on 42mm wide tubeless compatible tyres, designed for on-road efficiency as well as taking on everything from canal paths to rock strewn fire roads. Practicalities like bespoke fenders and specifically designed bike luggage from Topeak have also been considered.

As you might expect, the geometry of the bike has been given the German road-wear and design treatment. After meticulous testing, Canyon have settled on a long wheelbase featuring the carbon cockpit, a wider bar and short effective stem.

Stability at high speeds and agile, responsive handling at low speeds, this setup aims to provide the best of both worlds.

Is this the Holy Grail of gravel bikes? We'll let you find out... 

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