Canyon Updates the Exceed XC Hardtail with a Lighter Frame and Modern Angles

What is "unicorn hair" anyhow?

Designed with input from World Champs like Pauline Ferrand Prevot, the Canyon Exceed XC bike looks to be a true race weapon in every way. The brand has revamped the carbon hardtail frame for 2021, resulting in their lightest mountain frame yet at 835g (size medium). They achieved this flower-petal light weight with something they call “unicorn Hair.”

“The CFR is one of the very few bikes in the world to utilize something we call “unicorn hair” — an uncommon carbon fiber (Toray M40X) that is so cost prohibitive and hard to come by that it’s rarely used in the cycling industry. We also call the stuff unicorn hair because it is both stiff and strong. In the world of carbon fiber, that’s an even rarer thing… and it’s what enabled us to make the CFR so damn light. Generally speaking, particularly strong carbon fibers are not particularly stiff and stiff fibers are not particularly strong. Because unicorn hair is both strong and stiff, we can add fewer reinforcing fibers to the frame and create an astonishingly lightweight bike without sacrificing strength or stiffness. Light plus strong, plus stiff… equals victory.”

Customers in the US can purchase one of four complete Exceed builds: Exceed CF 7 ($1,999), Exceed CF 8 ($3,299), Exceed CF SLX 9 ($4,499), and the Exceed CFR LTD ($6,999). The bike will not be available for purchase as a frameset. Entry-level CF 7 bikes come with a 100mm RockSox SID SL Select, SRAM GX Eagle 10-52t drivetrain, Reynolds TR309/289c wheels, and Level TM brakes. Top CFR LTD builds look similar to most bling bikes these days, with a RockShox SID SL Ultimate fork, SRAM XX1 Eagle eTap AXS (10-52) drivetrain, DT Swiss D232 One dropper post, Reynolds Black Label wheels, and SRAM Level Ultimate FM brakes.

Canyon has developed an integrated protection system similar to Trek’s Knock Block to keep the brake levers from spinning into the top tube.

All of the new bikes are available in sizes XS-XL, rolling on 29″ wheels, and even the XS frames have space for two water bottles.

The XS to medium frames have short 425mm chainstays, while the chainstays on large and extra large bikes are 430mm and 435mm, respectively. Reach measurements are a little shorter than some new XC bikes, with a 435mm stretch on the Medium, offset by 80mm stems on each size. All frame sizes use the same 400mm-long seat tube, allowing buyers to choose the reach they want and swap the stem accordingly. Finally, the new bike’s headtube angle leans back at 69° with a 75° effective seat tube angle.

Head over to the Canyon web site for additional info.