Inside the home of Canyon Bicycles

Having only officially opened their digital doors to South Africa earlier this year, we more recently had the opportunity to visit Canyon’s real world headquarters in Koblenz, Germany. The town is just an hour and a half’s drive from Frankfurt and is home to close on eight hundred Canyon staff spread between the head office and assembly factory.

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Our visit only left us with enough time to explore the Canyon head office which doubles as their European public showroom. While current and soon-to-be Canyon customers perused the models on display, we took a peek behind some typically closed doors within the building where the development and testing takes place.

 

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Where it all began


Although the first Canyon branded bike arrived in 1996, the company’s roots date back much further. Roman Arnold, Canyon Founder and CEO, began his cycling career racing as a Junior on the road. His father, looking to make better use of his time waiting on the road side while Arnold raced, began importing bike parts from Italy to sell to the public from a trailer.

 

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From the very beginning it was direct-to-consumer for “Radsport Arnold” as Founder and CEO, Roman Arnolds father sold imported cycling gear out of a trailer at races.

 

In the years that followed this became a garage-based business run by Arnold and his brother, later expanding to include mail-order complete bikes under the ‘Radical’ label. Deciding the name wasn’t a fit for all tastes or markets ‘Canyon’ was born and began in earnest in the early 2000’s. Since then the brand has proliferated all corners of the cycling market through their innovative designs and direct-to-consumer model.

 

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Trying new things. An 2006 prototype project dubbed "Projekt 6.8" with dual brake rotors.

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Solving the puzzle... "Projekt Speedmax" from 2013 had a modular prototype allowed engineers to test the aerodynamics of various frame configurations in the wind tunnel.

 

Quality control


In the same building, tucked away from public eyes, the test lab is where Canyon products are put through their paces. A range of nondestructive tests will ensure stiffness and comfort is up to scratch while a set of more destructive test rigs are able to put a bike through a lifetime’s worth of use in as little as one week. This testing will be done on both development bikes and production models.

 

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Simulating the effect of braking force on the frame.
Canyon Bicycles Visit-33.jpgThis frame had earlier been put through some testing in muddy conditions.

 

All forks and cockpits take a trip through this in-house CT scanner to ensure they are defect free before making their way to the hands of a consumer. Five of the same machines are on hand at the Canyon manufacturing facilities in the East to conduct similar checks.

 

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The results of a scan will allow engineers to check for possible issues with wall thicknesses, de-lamination or wrinkles in the carbon which may cause weakness and lead to failure.

 

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A sample piece from an older model fork showing unwanted carbon wrinkles.

 

Over the years Canyon have upped their game when it comes to quality through improvements in the manufacturing and testing processes. Although for any brand it's near impossible to have a zero failure or return rate, Canyon have dramatically reduced return rates from low double digits to a mere 0.3-0.5% range.

 

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Prototype shop


The in-house prototype shop is where the team can whip up anything from custom rockers or mounts for Canyon athletes, custom test rig adaptors, to new components for development and testing.

 

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Anyone for a custom keyring?

 

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A new mega-sized 3D printer had just been offloaded, ready to do duty printing out all kinds of product through development.

 

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Adjacent to the showroom an expansive service centre teaming with technicians seeing to customer bikes coming in for routine tune ups.

 

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A few kilometers outside of Koblenz, the Canyon Factory is where bikes are assembled and tested on the indoor test track, before being boxed ready to ship to your door. Unfortunately a tight time schedule meant we weren't able to squeeze in a visit to what sounds like an impressive facility. The folks at Canyon did supply us with a few pics to tide us over until our next visit....

 

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22 Comments

DjCyclist, Sep 11 2018 07:15

Going to be interesting day today 🤔

LeoKnight, Sep 11 2018 07:48

Going to be interesting day today

 

And here I thought I was going to be the first one to bring the popcorn to see who is going to first make a comment about where they should do some stress testing...

RocknRolla, Sep 11 2018 07:52

Their nice facilities cracks the nod..

AJoub, Sep 11 2018 08:00

lolsies

Jensie, Sep 11 2018 08:38

It is going to be a cracking day....

letsride, Sep 11 2018 09:00

No, you are not allowed to sit there...

Hilton., Sep 11 2018 09:13

As my scientist wife says, the plural of anecdote is not data. One loud experience isn't representative of the majority.

 

Now, what an exciting company. Typically neat and precise. Cracking bikes .. 

AJoub, Sep 11 2018 09:18

It is going to be a cracking day....

this cracks me up...

fanievb, Sep 11 2018 09:49

anigif_sub-buzz-21975-1487713463-2.gif

Guy with the Ritchey, Sep 11 2018 10:01

Can you sit on the roof or is that outside of normal use of the building?

DjCyclist, Sep 11 2018 10:05

Lmao good one guys 😂😂😂😂

eddy, Sep 11 2018 10:26

And they do a cracking lunch as well.

 

One piece of advice if you ever visit them in Koblenz: ensure that they cockup a small part of your order. 

 

Limbo dancers cannot bend over backwards as much as they do to ensure that they make it up to you. I later got embarrassed and said, "enough" after they lent me an Di2 equipped Ultimate to go for a ride while they fixed my order.

 

ps. second piece of advice is to go and drink beer in the Alt Stadt

Monark, Sep 11 2018 11:27

Eddy please look after my bike! :)

 

I cannot wait for my Lux to arrive.... woot woot... is November here yet???

GrahamS2, Sep 11 2018 11:39

All that technology and they never thought to test the top tube?

button, Sep 11 2018 12:36

nice factory 

Capcha, Sep 11 2018 01:49

Aaah Matt, you guys missed the best part!

Pure Savage, Sep 11 2018 01:58

I wonder how long admin has been waiting to post the article after the top tube hoo haa of 2 weeks ago to blow over...

Headshot, Sep 11 2018 02:38

I'm sure there's a guy in supertuck in a wind tunnel in the background of one of those pics...

DjCyclist, Sep 11 2018 03:36

I wonder how long admin has been waiting to post the article after the top tube hoo haa of 2 weeks ago to blow over...


Was thinking the exact thing.

'Dale, Sep 11 2018 08:19

That Ultimate with the Mielie-Steins 🌽

💋💋💋

Mongoose!, Sep 12 2018 05:06

No thanks, will pass this brand...lol

kammerweg, Sep 14 2018 12:15

Hey, does anyone know, When you view the website from SA, do the prices include VAT? Also, how much do you need to add onto the price for SA VAT and import duty?