Not that the wife has agreed to n+1, but an interesting discussion nonetheless, if only theoretical for the moment. So, which would you choose - Specialized Tarmac SL7 or Canyon Aeroad - and why? I would be coming from a 2010 Motobecane Immortal Pro with Ultegra mechanical groupset and basic wheels. The Motobecane has been great for me as my first road bike and I’m primarily interested in longer rides like Fondos and Centuries. Budget would be $5k (at most).
I think it’s hard to beat the value of the Canyon especially the Aeroad CF SLX 8 Disc Di2 level. I have an Endurace…obviously a very different bike, but it’s a fantastic bike and my experience with Canyon has been great.
Maybe I’m off topic, but personally I would wait for Shimano to release their 12-speed groupset or buy a bike with the SRAM Force 12-speed.
Even one more gear makes a lot of difference in Fondos (climbing ones at least) and it would definitely be more “future proof”.
Then, regarding your original question, I would go with the new Canyon since it has a better price to performance (or it’s an higher range bike for that price let’s say) than the Specialized one. Also, I’ve had a great experience with Canyon too, I’ve never tried a Specialized bike though.
I love my SL7, the fact that the Canyon’s come with better wheels is a nice perk though, I think you have to go up to $7k on the SL7 to get the Roval wheels. I’m sure you could get the SL7 and a decent wheelset for $1000 to bring you up to that SLX8 Di2 price though. Di2 is definitely worth it in my opinion no matter which option you choose. I bought a bike with Di2 for the first time in 2017 and I wouldn’t buy another road bike without it, it’s just so smooth and consistent plus if you get the D-Fly wireless module you can send your gearing to your head unit and control the pages on your head unit with the buttons on the hoods, start your lap timer, control Garmin lights, all of which can be super handy.
I’ve been thinking over the same question for myself.
I lean canyon even though it would be aight unseen.
The canyon wheels are better. Even if you step up a level on the sl7, they aren’t tubeless ready which is a deal breaker for me. I know other’s will have a different opinion, but I like tubeless. That said, I’m not a big fan of the smaller canyon wheel on front.
It may not be worth much in the end, but I really like canyons approach to the handlebar width. I’ve often wanted to adjust this mid-season, but I’m not buying new bars just to do it.
the aeroad with di2 is an incredible deal. Those specs with another brand would be 8-$10k. Although its hard to say whether one bike is more comfortable than the other in terms of long rides, I can tell you from my own personal experience that a good set of aero wheels is a HUGE perk and makes a world of difference.
If you can wait / if it’s important to you: The German ‘Tour Magazine’ will release a test in their latest issue (available also online, 21st October) in which they put those two bikes against each other. Normally they make very diligent independent test and measure stiffness and put both bikes in the wind tunnel. So it’s a little bit more objective than some other comparisons / reviews online. Usually you can also buy the individual tests / part of the magazine for sth like 99c online: https://www.tour-magazin.de/magazin/aktuelles_heft.html
Having said that, being a German magazine and having a lot of Canyon advertisement in the magazine… you know you don’t bite the hand that feeds you.