Canyon Dude CF 9.0 Unlimited Fat Bike Review

Reasonably priced lightweight full carbon snow trail tamer

26er Fat Bike
Canyon Dude CF 9.0 Unlimited Fat Bike Review

Say what you will about fat biking, but it’s a heck of a lot better than riding the trainer inside. Photo by Neil Beltchenko

What is it

German direct-to-consumer seller Canyon makes virtually every kind of bike, including the fully rigid Dude CF 9.0 Unlimited fat bike. Highlights include a lightweight full carbon frame and fork, DT Swiss BR 2250 wheels, SRAM’s wide range GX Eagle 1×12 drivetrain with 30t chainring, SRAM Guide R brakes, Canyon cockpit components, a Fizik saddle, Ergon grips, and Schwalbe Jumbo Jim 4.0 tires.

Canyon Dude CF 9.0 Unlimited Fat Bike Review

The matte black carbon frame cuts an attractive profile among the aspen trees.

Key geometry measures include a 68.5-degree head angle, 74-degree seat tube angle, and 455mm chainstay length (size Large). There’s also a dual-position rear drop-out that allows you to adjust wheelbase and chainstay length (as low as 439mm for a snappier ride). Max tire clearance is 4.8, and Mtbr’s test bike weighed 26.6 pounds with tubes out of the box. And as usual price is a big part of the Canyon story, with this cool Dude coming in at $2799 delivered to your door. (One step down is the CF 8.0 Unlimited for $1999). Build-up is straight forward. Even a beginner mechanic should be able to get out of the garage and onto the snowy trails in under 30 minutes.

Canyon Dude CF 9.0 Unlimited Fat Bike Review

SRAM’s 10-50 GX Eagle cassette means you’ll almost never run out of gears on either end.

  • Low price
  • Low frame weight – 1550g claimed
  • Easy to assemble
  • Shifting/braking perfectly dialed right out of box
  • Ample standover clearance
  • Oversized seatpost QR
  • Wheels can be converted to tubeless
  • Wide 1×12 gear range
  • Routing for dropper post
  • Stock 760mm bars/60mm stem
  • Balanced geometry
  • Sloping top tube reduces frame bag space
  • Only one bottle cage mount
  • Lack of front suspension
  • 4.8 is max tire clearance
  • Stock 4.0 tires will be too narrow for some
  • Only S, M, L — no XL frame size available
  • Tight cockpit space for taller riders
  • Must build it up yourself
  • Not always in stock
Canyon Dude CF 9.0 Unlimited Fat Bike Review

The Dude got put to the test at Crested Butte, Colorado’s annual Fat Bike World Championships.

Mtbr’s Take

Without ever turning a crank, Canyon’s Dude CF 9.0 Unlimited fat bike gets high marks for value. For well under three grand you get a lightweight full carbon frame and fork, and smooth-operating SRAM GX Eagle 1×12 drivetrain. Peruse the web and you’ll quickly discover what a good deal that is. Similar builds from other major manufactures can run upwards of $1000 more.

Canyon Dude CF 9.0 Unlimited Fat Bike Review

Max tire clearance is 4.8, but these 4.0 Schwalbe Jumbo Jims provided more than enough float in most conditions.

As with all the Canyon bikes we’ve tested, build-up of the Dude was straight forward and easy. The German bike maker has all but perfected the direct-to-consumer sales model. Their bikes arrive at your house mostly pre-built, and what tasks remain pose minimal hurdle even to a beginner mechanic. All Canyon bikes also include simple-to-follow instructions and all required assembly tools. Plan on 30 minutes of work once you pop open the box, with much of that time spent stripping away packing material.

Canyon Dude CF 9.0 Unlimited Fat Bike Review

The Dude frame is equipped with a dual-position rear drop-out that allows you to adjust wheelbase and chainstay length (as low as 439mm for a snappier ride).

Once built, Mtbr’s size large test rig weighed 26.6 pounds, and we knocked that number down by almost a pound by converting to tubeless — and adding a dropper post. (The dropper post upgrade actually added 367 grams, but in my mind being able to get the saddle out of the way on steep descents and/or post-hole restarts is well worth it.)

Canyon Dude CF 9.0 Unlimited Fat Bike Review

Routing the dropper post meant tracing the external path of the rear brake housing and then ducking into the seat tube above the bottom bracket.

On the trail the bike had a well-balanced feel, its 68.5-degree head angle, 74-degree seat tube angle, and 455mm chainstays delivering a ride that was both uphill competent and downhill capable. With no suspension outside of the 4.0 tires at 5-8psi, this bike will never be confused with an enduro slayer. But on snow you don’t need a Fox 36 to have a good time. And by adding the dropper post, I felt plenty comfortable dropping into steeper terrain.

Canyon Dude CF 9.0 Unlimited Fat Bike Review

The size L frame was a tad tight for our 6-foot-4 frame, and unfortunately Canyon doesn’t sell and XL Dude.

The Dude also boasts a ton of standover clearance, which make restarts easier, but does limit frame bag options. That might seem like a peculiar niggle, but it’s really nice to be able to carry (or ditch) extra clothing and gloves so you can adjust to changes in temperature or ride pace. There’s also just one bottle mount, but this is only a minimal issue during wintertime rides when liquid consumption is lessened.

Canyon Dude CF 9.0 Unlimited Fat Bike Review

Stem and bars are Canyon house brand.

Other notable highlights include a handling-friendly 760mm bars/60mm stem combo, DT Swiss wheels that can be converted to tubeless with only minimal headache, and an oversize seatpost QR lever, making it easy to adjust saddle height without taking your gloves off. Tire clearance goes up to 4.8, which is plenty wide for all but the most aggressive powder hounds. And honestly, I had little issue with the stock 4.0 Schwalbe Jumbo Jims, which provided plenty of traction and grip in hardpack and medium-firm snow.

Canyon Dude CF 9.0 Unlimited Fat Bike Review

The DT Swiss wheel-Schwalbe tire combo was (relatively) easy to convert to tubeless, and performed admirably on medium and hard pack snow conditions.

Bottom line, if you’re looking for a dedicated wintertime bike that’s not a pig, but also won’t break your bank, Canyon’s Dude 9.0 Unlimited is a superb option. I just wish they offered it in an XL frame size, as my 6-foot-4 frame had a tough time squeezing into the smallish cockpit of the size large Mtbr tested.

Rating: 4 out of 5 4 Flamin' Chili Peppers
Price: $2799
More Info:

About the author: Jason Sumner

An avid cyclist, Jason Sumner has been writing about two-wheeled pursuits of all kinds since 1999. He’s covered the Olympics, Tour de France, MTB world champs, and dozens of other international cycling events. He also likes to throw himself into the fray, penning first-person accounts of cycling adventures all over the globe. Sumner has also done extensive gear testing and is the author of the cycling guide book "75 Classic Rides: Colorado." When not writing or riding, the native Coloradoan can be found enjoying life with his wife Lisa and kids Cora and Tommy in and around their home in the MTB Mecca of Crested Butte.

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  • ryon says:

    Is this a 27.5 wheel or a 26?

  • Zoso says:

    A sloped top tube is a GOOD thing, not a CON. Don’t think you’ll care about limited frame bag options on this bike when you rack your nards on the top tube. Any fat bike that has a high top tube like a road bike doesn’t have a clue what snow is all about.

  • Bucktooth says:

    Zoso nailed it! Post hole off of a packed trail and tell me again that you wish your TT had less slope

  • firevsh2o says:

    Yes a XL is needed. I am 6’3″ and I have a large Dude since about three years but I really wish for a XL size! Otherwise it is a really good – and cheap for what it is – bike.

  • Wayno says:

    Would be nice if they offered a front suspension. Don’t need it for winter riding but I like riding my fatbike on singletrack in the summer also.

  • zuuds says:

    Con: Canyon is completely sold out of these. I emailed them and they won’t be back in stock until the 2019 models come out this fall. Hopefully the 2019 model will be in BFat / 27.5″ and a 177mm rear end.

  • Dickachu says:

    Hey, halo its available since 2015 and just now someone wake up?
    Waiting for 3×9 and disc brake reviews

  • Cyclotoine says:

    Read this review thinking “Hey, this might be the upgrade that finally gets my to sell my 2014 Mukluk!”… Then I got to the bottom and saw no XL 🙁

  • Will Urich says:

    Can’t wait to be a working stiff so I can afford another bike….

  • This bike rips. I have to also mention the customer service was great from the Cali based US office – questioned answered, fast shipping, easy to put together. I picked up one of the last 9.0s here in the US.

    I had two issues with the bike: the JJim 4.0 tires, which I find almost useless in any snow. I put on some 45nrth Beists and it’s working great, though much heavier. The JJims are ideal for dirt however. I’d rather the bike shipped with fattystripper system for tubless instead of tubes. And, there is no frame access small panel at the base of frame, to easily run a dropper post. Not a big issue as plenty of people still figure out how to run the internal cable. My Pivot I have is super easy with this access.

    After comparing a few options to upgrade from an Al Farley, the geo numbers were spot-on: longish reach, not too slack. The wheels are stellar and a great value. Still getting used to Eagle but that won’t be a negative after more miles. (singlespeed only mtber) . At 5’10” I’m on a medium and swapped the stock 60mm stem for a 70. Canyon is going to sell a lot of these.

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