All About Zwift’s New Canyon Aeroad 2021 Bike Frame

All About Zwift’s New Canyon Aeroad 2021 Bike Frame

UPDATE (Oct 23, 2020): Zwift added a bit of weight to the Aeroad 2021, so it’s no longer the top climber in game. Still a great all-arounder, but the info below isn’t quite accurate anymore. Best to look at the updated top performer scatter plots for current numbers.

One Easter egg included in Zwift’s most recent update is a new bike frame: the Canyon Aeroad 2021. No mention of the new frame was made in the release notes, but Zwifters quickly noticed the frame’s availability in the Drop Shop:

Canyon’s 2021 Aeroad has been seen IRL at various pro races, including stage 3 of the Tour de France with Team Movistar. It’s not yet listed on Canyon’s website for sale, but our guess is we’ll be seeing it there soon. It probably showed up in-game yesterday because it’s related to the final unlock for 2020 Zwift Academy Road (we’re not sure if you unlock the frame or just a custom paint scheme like years past).

The original Aeroad was rated 3 stars for aero, and 3 for weight. It made our list of fastest Zwift bikes (ranking in the 88th percentile), but its climbing performance was quite weak (31st percentile).

Note: the original Canyon Aeroad is no longer listed for sale in the Drop Shop, although it will still show up in your garage if you purchased it previously.

Let’s get to the big question: how does the new Aeroad perform?

A Slippery Climber

The 2021 Aeroad is rated 3 stars for aero, but 4 for weight, meaning it is lighter than the previous Aeroad. Our initial tests have shown that the new Aeroad maintains the same speedy performance of the original Aeroad on flat/rolling roads, but turns in an amazingly fast climb time. In fact, it’s now the best climbing frame in our tests up Alpe du Zwift!

Yes, you read that right. Canyon’s 2021 Aeroad in Zwift is the new best climber and all-arounder, turning in a flat course performance just 3-4 seconds slower than the fastest rigs over ~50 minutes, while it turns in an Alpe climb performance 13 seconds faster than those zippy aero frames over ~50 minutes. Losing 3-4 seconds on the flats to gain 13 seconds is a trade many riders will happily make.

Since it only requires level 23+ and is priced at 532,500 Drops (same as the old Aeroad), this bike is a steal.

Comparing it to the Tron bike (because that’s what racers love to do), we see that the 2021 Aeroad with the new DT Swiss wheels (a nice all-around choice) is 18 seconds slower over a ~50 minute flat, but 12 seconds faster up a ~50 minute Alpe du Zwift climb.

Conclusion: if you’re looking for a non-Tron frame that will serve you well on climbs while sacrificing very little on the flats, the Canyon Aeroad 2021 is your best choice. It’s not quite the most aero, and not quite the lightest – but it’s very close to the best in both of these categories, making it the best all-arounder currently available.

Route Choice

While pan-flat routes are still better suited to the most aero bikes (S-Works Venge, Felt AR, etc), the new Aeroad is the perfect choice for routes with decisive climbs including:

  • London’s Box/Fox and Leith/Keith hills
  • Innsbruck’s KOM
  • Watopia’s Epic KOM, Alpe du Zwift, NYC’s KOMs
  • Bologna
  • France’s Ven-Top

The frame should also prove useful on courses with punchy decisive climbs such as Yorkshire, Richmond UCI, and Innsbruckring with its Leg Snapper. (In fact, I used the new Aeroad in a race today on Yorkshire’s Royal Pump Room 8 and turned in my best performance yet on that challenging route!)

Coming Up

Once we’ve finished our test runs we’ll update various posts on this site to reflect the new Aeroad’s status. Those posts include our Zwift Shopping Guide, the lists of fastest climbing and aero frames, and charts such as our frame performance charts and Tron-comparison scatter plot.

Questions or Comments?

Share below!

About The Author

Eric Schlange

Eric runs Zwift Insider in his spare time when he isn't on the bike or managing various business interests. He lives in Northern California with his beautiful wife, two kids and dog. Follow on Strava

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Neil Owens
Neil Owens
5 months ago

Thanks Eric, great work. What about a rolling course, something like Watopia Hilly. Taking it the Tron, Venge with 858 disc is still the way to go?

Helpful McHelpface
Helpful McHelpface
5 months ago

Just to save everyone doing what I just did, which is loading the game to take a look.

Its a level 23 unlock for 532,500 drops.

Joel
Joel
5 months ago

Thanks!

Turn the Damn Cranks
Turn the Damn Cranks
5 months ago

Eric — Thanks, as always for this excellent info. I’m a bit confused, though. You say above that over about 50 minutes on a flat course the Canyon is 18 seconds slower than the Tron, but also that the Canyon is only 3-4 seconds slower than the fastest bikes over about 50 minutes on a flat course. This seems inconsistent. Would you be so kind as to clarify?

Andres
Andres
5 months ago

I understood 3-4 seconds slower than the non-tron fastest bikes.

Chris Ovenden
Chris Ovenden (@cdovenden)
5 months ago

It’s dependent on the wheels: If you put the same wheels on the Venge and the new Aeroad, the Venge will be 3-4 seconds quicker (for every wheelset). The Aeroad is 18 seconds slower than the Tron on the flat with the DT Swiss, which by my calculation means it would be about the same speed as the Tron on the flat using the 858 Supers (but 5 seconds slower uphill). If you are on a dead flat course you are still better with the Tron or Venge and 585/s if you have it. But on acourse with any appreciable… Read more »

Mike
Mike
5 months ago
Reply to  Chris Ovenden

Thanks. This is very helpful. Any reason you didn’t include the Zipp 454s on your list? Best I can tell from ZI’s analysis, they are basically a wash with the DT Swiss.

Chris Ovenden
Chris Ovenden (@cdovenden)
5 months ago
Reply to  Mike

no reason other than the DT Swiss were mentioned and you can pick them up earlier than the 454s (I think) 😀

Greg Hilton
Greg Hilton (@ghilton)
5 months ago
Reply to  Chris Ovenden

So you reckon this would be better than Tron on a mixed course with some climbs Chris??

Chris Ovenden
Chris Ovenden (@cdovenden)
5 months ago
Reply to  Greg Hilton

I’d go for this + DT Swiss or similar on anything with a medium-long climb, or a course with several shorter but decisive climbs. It will depend on your ride style to some extent: I’m a light rider. I can usually hang in the draft of the stronger riders on the flat and I couldn’t do much good on the front of a group even if I got there. So this looks like a great option for me across a whole range or races, because I’ll tend to want to sit in with the front group then attack on climbs… Read more »

Benjamin
Benjamin (@benjamin_pitt)
5 months ago

You can still grab this in the drop shop on Apple tv. I just grabbed it right now before it gets removed.

anderfo
anderfo
5 months ago
Reply to  Benjamin

It’s the old Aeroad that gets removed. The new one is there on every platform now.

Benjamin
Benjamin (@benjamin_pitt)
5 months ago
Reply to  anderfo

Ah, cheers, didn’t see that.

Craig Wiley
Craig Wiley
5 months ago

I may have missed it, but I didn’t see if you mentioned whether it is level blocked in the drop shop?

Matthias
Matthias
5 months ago
Reply to  Craig Wiley

He didn’t mention it (probably at level 50 he just doesn’t see it), but someone above wrote it is level 23.

Enzo
Enzo
5 months ago

Hey Eric,
I updated my Zwift yesterday but I still can’t see the new frame in the Drop Shop

jim Sanders
jim Sanders
5 months ago

I opened my drop shop and saw the Canyon but it didn’t say 2021. I exited and updated the zwift app on my iPhone (I usually use the apple tv for zwift). This time the 2021 was there and the old one was gone. FYI to those looking at this.

rdcyclist
Member
rdcyclist (@rdcyclist)
5 months ago

It was available just now, 9/30, 8am California time so I bought it. I’m Level 29 and it only cost 532k drops. Such a deal!

nott
nott
5 months ago

can you change colour of the frame?

Fabio Bertoldi
Fabio Bertoldi
5 months ago
Reply to  nott

yes, there’s the usual slider

David
David
5 months ago
Reply to  Fabio Bertoldi

Yes, but only the accent colours change. The bulk of the frame is the light grey seen above.

Turn The Damn Cranks
Turn The Damn Cranks
5 months ago

Does anyone have a good feel for where flat ends and “mixed” begins? Look at Volcano Flat, for example. It’s got 50 meters of climbing per lap. Does that call for the fastest frame you’ve got with the most aero wheels you’ve got or does it call for this setup with the DT Swiss or something similar?

Mirco
Mirco
5 months ago
Reply to  Eric Schlange

Could be amazing to evaluate every route in some way

Turn The Damn Cranks
Turn The Damn Cranks
5 months ago
Reply to  Eric Schlange

Thanks. So if I’m reading your overall frame and wheel charts properly, for folks below level 33 who don’t have a Tron, Volcano Flat calls for a Madone with 808s or 8.9s?

Ward
Ward
5 months ago

S5 is faster than madone

MHolden
MHolden (@holdenadventures)
5 months ago

New BIKE DAY!
I just bought it 🙂
Looking forward to testing it today

James
James
5 months ago

I just received it in my garage on loading Zwift along with other Zwift academy unlocks. I had completed the first Zwift academy workout earlier today.

Tim
Tim (@tasmobile)
5 months ago
Reply to  James

You received it in your garage after completing a ZA workout? Or you have it available in the drop shop? I thought it was the final reward for completing ZA?

DMITRY PERCHANOV
Member
DMITRY PERCHANOV (@dmitry-perchanov)
5 months ago
Reply to  Tim

I finished a first workout and got it for free.

DMITRY PERCHANOV
Member
DMITRY PERCHANOV (@dmitry-perchanov)
5 months ago
Reply to  James

Same one. Confirm.

anonymous
anonymous
5 months ago

Dang it! Just bought the bike! Did it come with the zwift academy paint job? Or just the standard one?

anonymous
anonymous
5 months ago
Reply to  anonymous

Just did workout 1, didn’t get it, are you sure that you got the bike?

DMITRY PERCHANOV
Member
DMITRY PERCHANOV (@dmitry-perchanov)
5 months ago
Reply to  anonymous

all stars?

anonymous
anonymous
5 months ago

Yep!

DMITRY PERCHANOV
Member
DMITRY PERCHANOV (@dmitry-perchanov)
5 months ago
Reply to  anonymous

you can paint it as zwift’s bikes

anonymous
anonymous
5 months ago

did you get the zwift academy paint job too?

Jeremie
Jeremie
5 months ago
Reply to  James

Same, I did workout 1, got the bike, got the ZA paint job, got the kit.

Tim Schneider
Tim Schneider (@tasmobile)
5 months ago
Reply to  James

Didn’t get the bike after either WO1 or group ride. Must have been a bug that they corrected. I guess I’ll have to get it the old fashioned way…earn it or buy it with drops!

Pete
Pete
4 months ago
Reply to  James

Same for me, unlocked ZA kit, socks, bike and everything after WO1. However next log in all but bike and paint job had gone, despite all being equipped.
I’m keeping my fingers crossed it stays in the garage, lol.

David
David
5 months ago

Hilarious that Canyon have been beaten to the release of their own bike by Zwift. There must have been some serious problems with the IRL version to delay release for so long.

Mick Such
Mick Such
5 months ago

Brought the new bike and equipped with the DT Swiss wheels which I already had.
Did 4 laps of the London loop with Box Hill climb ang and got faster each lap.
Nice rolling setup n climbed Nice as well. 😊
At 58 I’m not a pro racer but train hard to keep the weight off and a bit of help here n there helps.
Thanks Zwift for another great setup.

Phil Parkes
Phil Parkes
5 months ago

So does it look that this is the Canyon bike unlocked on completion of the Zwift Academy, that some lucky folk have already unlocked due to a bug?? If so, for anyone doing the ZA it isn’t worth purchasing, right??

Jeremie
Jeremie
5 months ago
Reply to  Phil Parkes

Looks like very probable that you will unlock the bike by completing the ZA yes

Phil Parkes
Phil Parkes
5 months ago
Reply to  Jeremie

Thanks Jeremie, that’s what I suspected. I think I’ll save my drops for now…

Ryan
Ryan
5 months ago
Reply to  Phil Parkes

Anecdotal evidence: I did my first ZA Road group workout yesterday OCT01 and did NOT get the Canyon unlock (or the ZA kit, so maybe there’s a bigger issue). Will be looking for both again after this afternoon’s ZA group ride.

The bike looks like a solid “buy” in any case, but I would happily save my drops with a bonus unlock.

Phil Parkes
Phil Parkes
5 months ago
Reply to  Ryan

I’ve done the first ZA workout and group ride now and nothing unlocked either. I think, however, that the four ZA unlocks (cap, socks, jersey, bike…??) happen every 25% of completion and I am at 16% after my two events, so everything actually looks as it should right now. Definitely I’ll get the Aeroad one way or another but will probably wait it out until after I have completed the ZA. No big drama either way!

Ross
Ross (@arkeele)
5 months ago
Reply to  Phil Parkes

This is a good question. Has anyone confirmed yet that the bike which is currently available for 500K+ drops, will just be given away to 2020 Academy completer’s? I am wondering if it’s not a similar scheme to the 2019 Giro de Rigo, whereby you earned the unlock of an exclusive paint scheme, but had to buy the fame with drops to use the paint. Thoughts?

Phil Parkes
Phil Parkes
5 months ago
Reply to  Ross

I agree that it perhaps does seem a bit of a generous giveaway, but then completing the ZA is no mean feat either so who knows! Unfortunately, I always over-analyse everything and anything anyway, but perhaps an exclusive paint scheme will be the unlock, yes. I’m going to “enjoy” getting through the ZA and it will be a surprise as to what happens. 🙂

DBF
DBF
4 months ago
Reply to  Ross

in a previous Zwift Academy I think there might have been a colour scheme unlock for a bike on completion, not
an actual giveaway of the bike itself.

Ridi
5 months ago

So up the Alp what s the fastest Wheelset with this Frame, the lightweight wheel?

Thorben
Thorben
5 months ago

Hey Eric,
which bike is the best for a 80km Whole Lotta Lava tour with KISS? The Tron-Bike or the Canyon / Venge?

Matt
Matt
4 months ago

I’m a little confused – you say that the Canyon Aeroad is now the fastest climber on the charts, but then you also say it is “just two seconds slower than the best climbing frame (Specialized Tarmac Pro) – up Alpe du Zwift!” so which is it – Is the Aeroad 2021 the best and fastest climber on AdZ / Ventoux or is it still the Tarmac Pro?

jordan fowler
jordan fowler (@jfowler)
4 months ago

I wonder how much the manufacturers have to pay to get their CDA and climbing performance improved in Zwift? Is it purely Zwift’s testing of the frame? Probably not, right?

Iván
Iván
4 months ago

Hello,
I am level 21 and the Canyon Aeroroad 2021 was unlocked in my shop, and I was able to buy it.
How is possible?

Iván
Iván
4 months ago
Reply to  Iván

I check it in another zwift-profile; this profile is level 8 and the Canyon Aeroroad 2021 appears as “Locked” until level 10 with 568.000drops

ShakeNBakeUK
ShakeNBakeUK (@bakeuk_2)
4 months ago

ok,so now it’s been nerfed, can we get a refund on our drops? ^_^

Peter Stanner
Peter Stanner
4 months ago

Odd, i am only L21 and was looking forward to leaving up and getting this frame, but now see that it’s already available, only three stars for weight and cheep price … did they change something with the recent update. Are ur comparisons still valid?

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