The All New Canyon Strive CF Shape Shifts Into Enduro Reality

Canyon has literally taken the covers off their newest enduro creation and introduced the new Strive CF. The bike joins along side of the aluminum Strive, but much more than just a carbon version of the same bike, Strive CF introduces a completely new suspension technology to Canyon’s bikes – Shapeshifter.

If you’ve ever wished for two different bikes, one for the climbs and one for the descents, this could be your answer. Shapeshifter is just as it sounds and changes the bike based on your needs. How does it all work? Shift modes after the jump…

The All New Canyon Strive CF Shape Shifts Into Enduro Reality

While we can’t say the idea is completely new, Canyon offers their own take on the similar concept found in the Kona Magic Link. The main difference between the two, is that the Canyon Shapeshifter system is an on/off affair, with the suspension controlled by a remote lever at the handlebar. It also relies on a miniature air shock to actuate the two modes, which is simply an actuator and doesn’t compress with the suspension. Think of it as an air powered switch.

The All New Canyon Strive CF Shape Shifts Into Enduro Reality

The All New Canyon Strive CF Shape Shifts Into Enduro Reality The All New Canyon Strive CF Shape Shifts Into Enduro Reality

With the flick of a switch, you’re not only changing the rear travel of the bike, but also the spring curve and geometry as well. Based on the position of the rear shock, the Strive CF sees a 1.5 degree change in head and seat tube angle (66/67.5 degree and 73.5/75 degree), as well as a 20mm drop in bottom bracket height. In XC mode, the frame is limited to 130mm of travel with 17% sag compared to DH mode with 160mm of travel and 25mm of sag. Better still, all of this is accomplished with standard rear shocks since the Shapeshifter spring is a separate unit.

The All New Canyon Strive CF Shape Shifts Into Enduro Reality

Once packaged into the frame,  you can barely see the Shapeshifter spring as it is hidden under the rear link. Access holes are available for the air valve, as well as an indicator to tell you what mode you are in. Other highlights of the 2400g frame include fully internal cable routing, Canyon’s own 12mm QR rear axle, and a carbon down tube protector.

The All New Canyon Strive CF Shape Shifts Into Enduro Reality

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Canyon bikes still aren’t available in the US, though that might be changing soon. If you happen to live in a country where Canyon will ship with their direct sales model, the Strive CF will eventually be offered in 5 different models, the CF 8.0, CF 8.0 Race, CF 9.0 Race, CF 9.0 Team, and CF 9.0 SL (coming soon).  For full bike specs and detailed geometry head over to



  1. It’s the same idea as Bionicon w/ a slave cylinder to increase/decrease travel and geometry. However this looks like it changes the sag… not sure if Bionicon does that or not. Bionicon uses pneumatic instead of a cable so it’s a very light system. The front and rear suspension also is tied together and change at the same time… looks like the Canyon is rear only which is a “possible” bummer. Would have to ride it to have a real opinion though.

  2. Very interesting. But the Mondraker still has my attention for my next Enduro beast.
    So many of these new CF frames sure look like they all come from some commonly sourced molds with similar visual cues.

  3. I would argue it’s more similar to the Kona coilair system, that had a smaller shock which controlled the position of the lower main shock pivot. Bionicon used a crazy system that let the front and rear air springs communicate so that you could increase the rear rate while decreasing the front, this more or less just gives you a bar remote to the 2 shock pivot locations.

    Neat out of the box thinking. Personally I’ve never felt the need to change travel on a bike, but I guess someone must.
    I’m guessing there is a finite number of times you can change travel before having the recharge the actuator?

  4. Really neat system, i’d like to know more information about how the actuator works. I’ve not ridden either but i think i’d prefer this over Kona’s magic link as the rider is in control of the bike set up, not just orientation of the bike

  5. Really nice design. Ability to run any shock, true Mac Strut 4bar, switchable suspension modes/frame geo ….nice. Now give us a high end fork and dropper post that will work with the rear end with one switch and I’ll be sold. I want to flip that switch and watch my bike slacken out and transform…lol…oh! and its got to make that transformer sound too…

  6. I had a Gary Fisher Sugar back in the day that had a “Sybil link” with two travel settings. In short travel mode, the head angle was slackened substantially. In long travel mode, the head angle got steeper, which was the opposite of what you wanted. If you wanted to ride agressively, you had to settle for 3 inches of travel. It was a flat out stupid design, I don’t know how it made it to production, much less the cover of every mountain bike magazine being touted as the bike you had to buy or else you’d be stuck in the stone age. I always thought someone should come up with a design that gave you two geometry options, and suspension travel settings that properly complemented each, and this seems to be it.

  7. @Ripnshread
    “Mac-strut” style suspensions are actually very different than a 4-Bar suspension.

    This is a 4-Bar.

    The old AMP Research B3 was a Mac. The key to a true strut design is that the shock is a side-load bearing member.

  8. Cannondale knock off and not nearly as race proven or even as nice, at least with the jekyll or trigger you get under 100 m of travel for this type of suspension setup.

What do you think?