It can happen to anyone, right? Things are just starting to heat up. Body is getting nice and warm. Just getting the rhythm down. Then suddenly, it happens again! The rigid thing between your legs just disappeared; hopefully no one got hurt. After all, a bruised ego is the most common cycling injury.
Is flaccid the right term? No…. probably not. But frankly, at this point it’s getting kind of embarrassing for you, Canyon. These constant, um…, performance issues are starting to harm the relationships you’ve spent so long cultivating. We figured out a way to make it work during the Aeroad incident; the money you put on the table definitely helped. This time though, it’s going to be a lot tougher – especially for those who’s seatposts just won’t stay up on their new Canyon Ultimate race bikes.
There have been reports about the issue on Reddit (and other forums) for a few months, but it’s always kind of hard to know how much of that is real, and how much of that is a one-off. I think we’re well past the place where we can comfortably dismiss these as isolated incidents though, and we need to start asking broader questions about Canyon’s engineering and manufacturing capability. How did we get here?
A couple months ago a friend bought a 2023 Canyon Ultimate, and immediately had issues with the seat post slipping; usually after getting a couple miles into a ride. He does the right thing, contacts Canyon, and they send him to a local bike shop (LBS) from triage. All very normal, right?
Absolutely, except they knew that there’s a replacement seat clamp for this bike. They only offered it up, and shipped to him, when the trip to the LBS didn’t do anything. Which it wouldn’t, because they were aware of, and had a redesigned part available to attempt to address the problem.
It’s unclear why they didn’t just send it to him on the first go, but they did eventually. And we can see that the two clamps are obviously very different.
The weight is the same.
And here’s a photo of the part number if anyone is curious.
Unfortunately, the new part was as bad as the old part. And a few miles into each subsequent ride, the Canyon Ultimate would have an “oopsie” and not be able to perform on the road.
To make matters worse, there was a glaring issue with the seat post grommet. Is this sounding familiar?
So, uh, yeah, that’s supposed to be glued in there. You shouldn’t be able to pull that out with your fingers.
He returned the bike.
In isolation, this could easily be written off as a lemon. But clearly, this is not an isolated incident. It’s a problem that Canyon was aware of, designed a new part for, and is still unable to consistently fix.
That is not to say that every 2023 Canyon Ultimate experiences this issue. There clearly are examples of Ultimates that can keep their seat post flying. Although, given some of the advice I’ve seen on Facebook around this issue, some folks might be applying an unsupported amount of torque to hold it there. I wouldn’t recommend doing that.
IMO, it is highly likely that Canyon is writing checks with their engineering that they can’t cash in manufacturing. Whether the root cause is the lack of appropriate tolerance from their engineers during design, or that their manufacturing partners can’t build bikes to an acceptable level of quality, is difficult to speculate about. Ultimately, I’m not sure it matters because the end result is the same. Buying a Canyon is a roll of the dice, and it is extremely risky to attempt to find all of the potential engineering/manufacturing oversights in the 30 days you have with the bike. Personally, I would stay away, and I would counsel others to do the same.