Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Canyon Endurace: Gravel Setup

With all the gravel components installed, it is now time to make sure that everything fits and works well. The critical issue here is to ensure that there is sufficient tire clearance with the Canyon Endurace frame, so that the wheel can spin smoothly.

As previously checked, there is plenty of clearance when using the Continental GP4000 tires, which have an actual width of 32 mm. The area with tightest clearance is in between the chain stays.

These Panaracer GravelKing 700x32C tires have an actual width of 35 mm when mounted on the DT Swiss G 1800 gravel wheels, with an internal rim width of 24 mm. On most other road bike frames, it is impossible to fit a 35 mm wide tire, but this Canyon Endurace is special as it has a rather generous tire clearance, considering that it is not a gravel frame. Let's see how much tire clearance there is when this gravel wheelset is installed!

Barely enough clearance between the 35 mm wide tire and the chain stays. About 2.5 mm of clearance on each side.

Another view of the tire clearance. This is probably the minimum amount that is allowable, in terms of clearance.

Slightly more clearance around the tire circumference. There is a ledge behind the seat tube that tends to collect dirt.

Generous clearance around the seat stays area. A very good reason to use disc brakes instead of caliper brakes.

Still a generous 4-5 mm of clearance around the front tire, which is really nice to see.

With this, we can conclude that there is no issue with tire clearance! It is possible to run 35 mm wide (actual width) gravel tires on the 2017 Canyon Endurace CF SLX frame (Size XS).

Comparing the road front wheel with the gravel front wheel. Wheel diameter is almost the same.

Weight of Reynolds carbon front wheel with RT900 rotor is 1270 grams.

Weight of DT Swiss G 1800 front wheel with MT800 rotor is 1453 grams. Almost 200 grams more.

Comparing the road rear wheel with the gravel rear wheel.

Weight of Reynolds carbon rear wheel with Dura-Ace 11-30T cassette and RT900 rotor is 1595 grams. 

Weight of DT Swiss G 1800 rear wheel with HG800 11-34T cassette and MT800 rotor weighs 1960 grams, 300+ grams heavier than the road rear wheel.

Weight of Road Wheelset: 1270 + 1595 = 2865 grams
Weight of Gravel Wheelset: 1453 + 1960 = 3413 grams

Based on this weight comparison, the gravel wheelset will add about 550 grams to the weight of the bike, compared to the carbon road wheels setup. This is quite normal, but it can actually be reduced if I used a lighter carbon gravel wheelset.

The next item to improve would be the ease of swapping the wheelsets. As mentioned earlier during this gravel bike conversion project, my objective is to enable the bike to be converted between a road bike and a gravel bike, simply by swapping the wheelset. No adjustment would be needed to the GRX rear derailleur or any other component.

The 12 mm E-Thru axles that come with the Canyon Endurace have a detachable lever. There is only one lever which is shared between the front and rear axles. If you really want to save weight, you can detach the lever completely and leave it at home.

In my case, since I want to make it easy to swap the wheelsets, I will need to have a lever on each of the front and rear axles. This will make it much faster to loosen and tighten the axles, as I don't need to move the lever around. The lever also attaches quite tightly to the axles, which makes it difficult to remove easily.

Therefore, the solution is to buy one more lever, so that both the front and rear axles have a lever attached permanently. Based on my comparison, the lever used on the Canyon Endurace is based closely on the DT Swiss design, but with a different appearance. The attachment point has the same 6 mm hexagon head.

Just to confirm this hypothesis, I took the DT Swiss thru axle lever from the Fabike C3, and tried it on the Canyon Endurace thru axle. It fits perfectly!

New DT Swiss lever on top, original Canyon lever at the bottom. Appearance is quite different.

The 6 mm hexagon bit is the same, with a rubber O-ring to keep it snug inside the thru axle.

Design is the same, and is probably licensed from DT Swiss.

The levers work the same way. The angle of the lever can be adjusted by pulling out the lever and setting it on another notch on the splines.

Lever attached to the rear thru axle. Each lever adds about 30 grams of weight, but it is worth it for the time it saves when swapping the wheelsets.

New DT Swiss lever attached to the front thru axle.

With this, the gravel bike project is completed successfully! I can swap the wheelsets in less than 1 minute, taking my time to align them carefully and also making sure that the cassette meshes with the chain properly. No other adjustment is needed, making it really quick and easy to transform the bike for different rides.

Updated bike weight with these modifications. Mainly from addition of thru axle lever, GRX rear derailleur, slightly longer chain. This is for road bike setup. 

This is the additional weight when converting from road to gravel setup. Adds 500+ grams, giving a gravel bike weight of about 7.6 kg without pedals, and almost 8 kg with pedals.

Gravel wheelset installed

All ready for some gravel rides!

Added a frame bag and a water bottle with cap, to complete the gravel setup.


  1. HI,

    Nice article! I have the Canyon Endurace AL Disc 7.0 (2019 Model) [] and was wondering about a similar setup. I was considering a second wheelset for mild gravel using:

    - Hunt 4 Season Gravel Disc Wheelset (25 Wide Ext | 20 Wide Int) []

    - SHIMANO 105 11-Speed 11-34T Road Cassette Sprocket []

    My questions are:

    - Do you think this would work well with the Panaracer GravelKing 700x32C tires? Since rims have small internal size than ones you used would that give even more clearance?

    - Do you think the 11-34T cassette would work fine with the existing Shimano 105 R7000 GS rear derailleur?

    Thanks for the help!

    1. The RD-R7000 GS is rated for 34T so no issue with that.
      With a narrower rim, the 32C tires will not become 35 mm. Maybe true to size at 32 mm.
      However the actual frame clearance is not clear since it is a different bike model.
      I suggest measuring the actual tire clearance on the actual bike.

  2. Hi! Nice job! Would you then recommend an Endurace for someone riding a mix of tarmac (20%), light gravel (60%), rougher gravel (20%)? I am considering whether to buy an Endurace or a Grail, and leaning for the Endurace, as it is lighter and available much sooner at Canyon! Thanks for your help!

    1. I think the Endurace would be a good fit. For the rougher gravel, you might need another bike, as the Endurace can't fit wider tires, nor is it rated for rough off-road.

  3. Great post, thanks! I'm going to put 35mm Pirelli Cinturato Gravel H Classic to my 2020 Endurace 8.0 CF SL disc aero :)

  4. Thank you for the great info! On the bike rack, the 32mm tires seem to have plenty of clearance. In your experience riding gravel now, have there been any issues with the setup under real life conditions?

    I'm debating between getting an 2020 Endurace and doing a very similar setup to yours, or doing the same thing with an Open U.P which I've read handles very well with a road bike setup.

    Any thoughts are welcomed!

    1. I would suggest getting a gravel bike with bigger tire clearance. You can always swap to slim road tires if you wish.
      That's why I got the Cervelo Aspero to replace the Canyon Endurace.

    2. If I do 85% road. Why go gravel bike?

  5. Hey there - this is super helpful. Do you have any idea what the wheel clearance looks like on the newer Endurace models? Currently looking at this model:

    I would be curious to get your thoughts about whether this set up (the Panaracer GravelKing tires & the DT Swiss G 1800 gravel wheels would fit on this model.

    I think Canyon has changed the wheel set to DT Swiss E 1850 (which has a more narrow inner rim) so I'm just curious whether their wheel clearance has also changed.


    1. I believe the frame design should be the same. But can't confirm 100% unless the actual bike is measured.

  6. Thank you very much for that detailed description.

    I would also like to buy a second wheel set to be switched without any changes.

    This is my bike:

    Do you think it is possible to keep the whole Ultegra setup or would you say changing to GRX or comparable is required?

    Best regards

    1. It depends on the cassette that you want to use. If the cassette size is supported by the rear derailleur, you don't need to change it.

    2. Thanks for your quick reply. I would then use the same cassette as on my road wheel. It is the CS-HG800-11. My question referred to your assessment if the Ultegra Setup is OK for gravel riding or will I damage front and rear derailleur and other Ultegra components quickly?

    3. Having a GRX rear derailleur with clutch is much better when riding over rough terrain.
      You will get scuffs at the end of the crank arm as well when riding off road.
      Ultegra is usable but GRX works better.