Vuelta a España pro bike: Kaden Groves’ Canyon Aeroad CFR

Australian sprinter won stage 4 atop Canyon’s aero road bike

Clock22:00, Tuesday 29th August 2023


It’s difficult to spot sprinters at this year’s Vuelta a España. Most have skipped the race due to the gruelling route, but a handful have braved the vicious Spanish climbs for the rare sprint opportunities at the race.

One of those is Kaden Groves (Alpecin-Deceuninck), and it’s already proved to be a fruitful decision for the Australian who powered to victory on stage 4. He took that win atop the Canyon Aeroad CFR, and we managed to get our hands on his bike earlier in the race. Here is the breakdown:

Canyon’s lightweight aero bike

Unveiled at the end of 2020, the CFR is Canyon’s lightest ever aero road bike. It’ll be familiar to many having been ridden to plenty of success this season by Alpecin-Deceuninck, most notably Mathieu van der Poel and Jasper Philipsen. In 2023, together with the team, the bike has won two Monuments - Milan-San Remo and Paris-Roubaix - one stage of the Giro d’Italia (through Groves), four stages of the Tour de France, plus the men’s road race at the World Championships. Courtesy of Groves’ victory on stage 4 of the Vuelta, it now boasts a Grand Tour clean sweep this season.

Canyon says that the bike was “developed for WorldTour wins” and that’s certainly proved to be the case this season. As is to be expected with an aero race bike, much of the performance is driven by its aerodynamic design. Developed in collaboration with aerodynamic experts Swiss Side, the German brand says that every tube and component has been optimised to reduce drag. We can’t put that to the test, but it definitely looks fast – especially at the hands of Groves.

As is becoming common as the lines between bike categories blur, the Aeroad CFR is also light - the lightest it’s ever been - saving over 200g over the previous flagship model, the CF SLX.

Alpecin-Deceuninck colourway

As a part of its collaboration with the team, Canyon has released multiple special-edition colourways of the Aeroad CFR this year, both ridden by and centred around Mathieu van der Poel. The first celebrated his spring classics success, before a Tour de France-edition was released in July.

None of those designs are on show at the Vuelta a España, with Groves and his teammates riding bikes with standard team-issue colours. The stylish design merges shades of blue and purple, closely resembling the team’s kit. It’s a great design, although it was only a blur as Groves sprinted to victory.

Shimano groupset and wheels

We encountered Groves’ bike ahead of stage 3, the day before he took his victory. That was a mountain stage, so we can be fairly certain that some elements of his bike build will have changed.

More specifically, the 11-34t Shimano cassette he used was probably swapped out for a more compact option, with something a little smaller than a 34t largest cog. That cassette was paired with a 54/40 Shimano Dura-Ace chainset, a common size in the pro peloton.

For the high mountains, Groves used the Shimano Dura-Ace C50 wheels. Their 50mm rims are fairly deep, although the Australian may have swapped them for the C60s for his sprint victory.

Those wheels were paired with Vittoria Corsa Pro TLR in a 28mm width, the most popular size from what we’ve seen at the race - they also have tan sidewalls which is always a winner with us.

Finishing components include Canyon’s integrated bar and stem, an area of the bike the brand put a particular focus on when developing the bike.

Selle Italia’s Pro Team saddle sits atop Canyon’s aero seatpost, while the team also uses Elite bottle cages.

Discover more bikes from the Vuelta a España in our pro bike section, linked here.

Bike Specification
  • model

    Aeroad CFR

  • Manufacturer


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