German direct-to-consumer seller Canyon makes virtually every kind of bike, including the fully rigid Dude CF 9.0 Unlimited fat bike. Highlights include a lightweight full carbon frame and fork, DT Swiss BR 2250 wheels, SRAM’s wide range GX Eagle 1×12 drivetrain with 30t chainring, SRAM Guide R brakes, Canyon cockpit components, a Fizik saddle, Ergon grips, and Schwalbe Jumbo Jim 4.0 tires.
Key geometry measures include a 68.5-degree head angle, 74-degree seat tube angle, and 455mm chainstay length (size Large). There’s also a dual-position rear drop-out that allows you to adjust wheelbase and chainstay length (as low as 439mm for a snappier ride). Max tire clearance is 4.8, and Mtbr’s test bike weighed 26.6 pounds with tubes out of the box. And as usual price is a big part of the Canyon story, with this cool Dude coming in at $2799 delivered to your door. (One step down is the CF 8.0 Unlimited for $1999). Build-up is straight forward. Even a beginner mechanic should be able to get out of the garage and onto the snowy trails in under 30 minutes.
Without ever turning a crank, Canyon’s Dude CF 9.0 Unlimited fat bike gets high marks for value. For well under three grand you get a lightweight full carbon frame and fork, and smooth-operating SRAM GX Eagle 1×12 drivetrain. Peruse the web and you’ll quickly discover what a good deal that is. Similar builds from other major manufactures can run upwards of $1000 more.
As with all the Canyon bikes we’ve tested, build-up of the Dude was straight forward and easy. The German bike maker has all but perfected the direct-to-consumer sales model. Their bikes arrive at your house mostly pre-built, and what tasks remain pose minimal hurdle even to a beginner mechanic. All Canyon bikes also include simple-to-follow instructions and all required assembly tools. Plan on 30 minutes of work once you pop open the box, with much of that time spent stripping away packing material.
Once built, Mtbr’s size large test rig weighed 26.6 pounds, and we knocked that number down by almost a pound by converting to tubeless — and adding a dropper post. (The dropper post upgrade actually added 367 grams, but in my mind being able to get the saddle out of the way on steep descents and/or post-hole restarts is well worth it.)
On the trail the bike had a well-balanced feel, its 68.5-degree head angle, 74-degree seat tube angle, and 455mm chainstays delivering a ride that was both uphill competent and downhill capable. With no suspension outside of the 4.0 tires at 5-8psi, this bike will never be confused with an enduro slayer. But on snow you don’t need a Fox 36 to have a good time. And by adding the dropper post, I felt plenty comfortable dropping into steeper terrain.
The Dude also boasts a ton of standover clearance, which make restarts easier, but does limit frame bag options. That might seem like a peculiar niggle, but it’s really nice to be able to carry (or ditch) extra clothing and gloves so you can adjust to changes in temperature or ride pace. There’s also just one bottle mount, but this is only a minimal issue during wintertime rides when liquid consumption is lessened.
Other notable highlights include a handling-friendly 760mm bars/60mm stem combo, DT Swiss wheels that can be converted to tubeless with only minimal headache, and an oversize seatpost QR lever, making it easy to adjust saddle height without taking your gloves off. Tire clearance goes up to 4.8, which is plenty wide for all but the most aggressive powder hounds. And honestly, I had little issue with the stock 4.0 Schwalbe Jumbo Jims, which provided plenty of traction and grip in hardpack and medium-firm snow.
Bottom line, if you’re looking for a dedicated wintertime bike that’s not a pig, but also won’t break your bank, Canyon’s Dude 9.0 Unlimited is a superb option. I just wish they offered it in an XL frame size, as my 6-foot-4 frame had a tough time squeezing into the smallish cockpit of the size large Mtbr tested.
Rating: 4 out of 5
More Info: www.canyon.com