The Trek Checkpoint ALR 5 is Trek’s best-valued gravel bike in the various Checkpoint model lineup. For the price, it’s a high-quality build that holds up for long, rugged miles on roads, dirt, and even the most treacherous gravel. A gravel bike built for adventure.

With its rugged design and versatile capabilities, the Canyon Grizl has quickly become a favorite among adventure cyclists. In this article, we will take a closer look at this bike, including its design and build quality, performance on various terrains, and value for money. Whether you’re a seasoned adventure cyclist or just starting out, this article will give you a comprehensive understanding of the Canyon Grizl and help you determine if it’s the right bike for you.

The Grizl comes in a plethora of build choices, including; Grizl 7 SuspensionGrizl CF SL 6Grizl CF SLX 8 1byGrizl CF SLX 8 eTap SuspensionGrizl CF SL 7Grizl 7Grizl CF SL 7 eTapGrizl CF SL 8 Suspension 1byGrizl CF SLX 8 Di2Grizl CF SL 8. And more options coming soon. With women’s gravel bike models starting from XXS size.

Without getting into the minute details that differentiate all these build options we are going to take a closer look at the most common steed of choice amongst the gravel bikepackers of the world.

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Grizl CF SL 8

We will take a look at the all-new Canyon Grizl CF SL 8 model. An adventure-ready, carbon frame gravel bike with high-end components and hydraulic disc brakes. & NRL TippingStart your footy tipping comp today with ESPNfootytipsSPONSORED BY ESPNLEARN MORE

The bike is powered by a 2 x 11 GRX 800 groupset. This means a Shimano RX810, Gravel-specific crankset (48/31T) with gear ratios selected to preserve riding rhythm over rough surfaces with wider tires. With a Shimano Ultegra HG800 11-34 cassette. Combined with the DT Swiss G1800 Spline rims and Maxxis Rambler 700c x 45 mm tires. The bike achieves a 25.51″ climbing gear and 122.22″ largest gear. That’s a 0.91 to 4.36 gear ratio.

Just quick for those of you who don’t know much about gear inches. They typically range from 18 (very low gearing) to 70 (medium gearing) to 125 (very high gearing). So low gearing is for going up hills and high gearing is for going fast.

Taking a look at this 25.51″ low gearing on the Grizl it is rather below average for a ‘bikepacking bike’ this bike will in theory struggle to ride steeper trail sections, especially when loaded with bike bags and all your gear. Ideally, you want something around 20″ or lower for bikepacking.

Canyon claims that the Grizl has stable handling and long-distance comfort to take you further across any surface. Ready to go on your next micro-adventure?

More tire clearance for a more comfortable ride, All Grizl models come equipped with wide 45 mm rubber with clearance to take up to 50 mm for extra squish to dampen road chatter. Available in 700c or 650b options

Offering you all the mounting eyelets you could need to turn your bike into a versatile adventure machine.

Geometry and Comfort

The Grizl hits the sweet spot giving you the best of both worlds, thanks to the extended wheelbase Gravel Pro Geometry. Allowing it to handle the rough stuff on some trails, to racing down fast road descents, or exploring the gravel roads less traveled.

Although this bike looks fast and progressive, it hasn’t sacrificed comfort. designed to stay planted in the saddle over rough terrain. Combining the integrated seatpost clamp twinned with flexible 27.2 mm carbon VCLS seatposts to provide rear comfort when you need it most. Their most progressive gravel bikes yet feature front suspension forks for that extra travel and comfort (more below).

Taking a closer look at the 1.44 stack/reach ratio (medium) I was surprised that it was so aggressive for an adventure bike. For longer days in the saddle, this might be too low and could cause back pain and unnecessary fatigue. Especially if you plan to take this bike on a long-distance multi-week long trip. A general rule of thumb is 1.5 and more upright is ideal for adventure bikes. But having that said this specification makes me believe that this bike would be better suited for endurance events/races, where you want a bike that is designed for adventure but you might want to ride fast. However, the weight might hold you back in this department.

We compared the stack/reach ratio to other bikes that have similar applications and still found it was the most aggressive out of them all. Even a large-size frame offers a 1.48 stack/reach ratio.

the chainstay is mid-range at 435 mm and the wheelbase of 1,037 mm which was the shortest compared to all the bikes we looked at in this above example. And the trail was around 67 mm which means mid-range. Making it a wheel-balanced geometry overall. Unlike the cutthroat for example which has a 79 mm trail making it more on the higher end meaning slower responsiveness when cornering but making it easier when you are carrying a front load.

Canyon Grizl Suspension

Canyon has released some fresh suspension gravel bikes to add that extra cosh on the rougher roads. Allowing you to explore further without losing out on comfort. Let’s be honest I love riding my Kona Sutra on some gnarly trails combined with the 2.3″ MTB tires it shreds. But after an hour or so of riding, I wish I had some vibration-dampening at the front. This is where the Grizl Suspension comes in.

Featuring the RockShox Rudy fork, which is specifically designed for gravel, with 30 mm of travel in a lightweight chassis, and still offering the Grizl-standard 50 mm tire clearance. 30 mm travel is enough to absorb the high-frequency hits that wear you down as the ride goes on. Save yourself a beating and stay fresher, for longer. The fork is built with a gravel-tuned RockShox Charger Race Day damper and a highly responsive Solo Air spring. They combine to keep your front tire glued to the ground over rough surfaces and loose corners. Keeping you in control.

Canyon Grizl Bikepacking

the Grizl is said to be the bikepackers gravel bike or a bikepacking gravel bike. Making it ideal for mostly gravel road bikepacking adventures with some light/easy trails. You get the option to buy the Apidura collab bike bags for your next adventure. Taking a look at these bags we can say that this bike is intended for lighter-weight bikepacking trips, overnighters, and nothing too long-term.

Still makes it a great gravel bikepacking option, but going back to the stack/reach ratios and overall geometry it’s not quite built for epic off-road adventures. With limited 50 mm tire clearance and shorter chainstay and wheelbase when compared to other off-road drop bar bikes.

But if mostly gravel grinding is in your future for your next adventure this is still a great choice. preferably without anything with really strenuous climbs as I feel this bike with the OEM gearing setup might struggle.

Canyon Grizl vs Grail

The Canyon Grail was built to be a bike that maintains similar performance and speed to a road bike on asphalt while also offering the comfort and control, a road bike may lack, on gravel.

While the Canyon Grizl is 300 grams heavier and more focused on adventure geometry which is more comfortable the longer you stay in the saddle. Offering more mounting options to carry all the necessary gear you may need for a bikepacking trip.

When it comes to tire clearance the Grail can fit up to 42 mm while the Grizl fits 50mm. Both are practically identical when it comes to gearing and brakes. Different tires with Grizl running Maxxis Rambler 45 mm and Grail on Schwalbe G-One R 40mm.

The main difference is in the bike’s geometries. With the Grail with a more aggressive stack/reach ratio (1.27 vs 1.44), the chainstay is 10 mm longer on the Grizl and Wheelbase is 8 mm longer too. Again making for a more planted feel when under a load. The trail has a slight 1 mm difference between the two and the standover height is around 18 mm lower on the Grizl. However the same BB Drop and BB Heights. This data is for both medium-sized bikes. Read the full comparison.

Is Canyon Grizl slow?

The Grizl is heavier than some other gravel bikes and most road bikes at around 9.3kg definitely not as light as this gravel bike. The stack/reach ratio is upright but still rather aggressive but not as aggressive as road bikes, with the Schwalbe G-One Bite 45mm tires. You can expect this bike not to be as quick as something like this. As aerodynamics is not a main priority for this bike. Putting all this info together e can conclude that the Grizl is not the fastest gravel bike on the block. But thanks to full carbon builds and a mid-focused adventure geometry it makes for a decent-paced bikepacking gravel bike. In the world of bikepacking it definitely isn’t slow.

Is Grizl good on road?

The bike is said to respond well to a broad style of riding styles. The stiffness and handling will make the racers feel at home, while the adventurous types will enjoy the right amount of gear-carrying capabilities, along with technology for comfort on those long days in the saddle.

Canyon Grizl Pros and Cons


  • Visually appealing build
  • Well thought-out geometry
  • Impressively smooth thanks to high-quality carbon and seatpost
  • Available in gravel suspension options
  • Womens gravel bike options and huge size range XXS to XXL
  • Apidura collab bags are cool though
  • Mounting points galore
  • Widest range of applications


  • Stack/reach seems to aggressive for an adventure bike
  • Mudguard mounts are Canyon-specific
  • Gearing not great for loaded climbs
  • Weight is on the heavier side
  • Oem Handlebars have minimal flare (8°)

Is Canyon Grizl worth it?

Overall I believe it’s a decent bike to consider, especially if you want a bike that can mix adventure riding with potential road riding without the gear. It has some limits on either end of the spectrum which is why it makes for a good all-rounder gravel bike. That seems more equipped for adventure than most “all-rounder” gravel bikes these days.

Its limited gearing, geometry, and tire clearance turns me away from purchasing if I was looking for something that is solely built for off-road drop bar adventures. As there are some other options worth checking out for that.

But overall once again it makes for a nice all-rounder gravel bike that’s slightly more equipped for adventure. Making a perfect bike for those looking to get into their first gravel bikepacking adventures or even potentially to use as an endurance bikepacking bike.

About The Author



Codey Orgill, a seasoned bicycle adventurer, has been exploring the world on two wheels for over 10 years. Since embarking on his initial cycling journey, Codey Orgill has traversed numerous countries, experiencing a series of epic adventures.