It’s hard to fit the Canyon Roadlite 5 and Roadlite 5 WMN into any bike category. I guess it’s most like a road bike, but it has the gearing and handlebar of a mountain bike, and the riding stance of a touring bike. Canyon calls it a fitness bike, and that’s probably the best description, though aren’t all bikes fitness bikes?
In my experience, I would say no; not all bikes make good fitness bikes. Bikes that are heavy, clunky, geared poorly, or ride like a jarring buckboard don’t make good fitness bikes, or good bikes in general. Why? Because nobody in their right mind would ride them often enough to achieve any level of fitness.
A bike that causes you to struggle too much will soon be collecting dust in your garage. Yep, that clunky bike, those old paint cans, and that broken lamp in your garage will get to know each other very well.
So, that’s exactly the reason why I chose the Canyon Roadlite 5. It’s a bike that is practical and enjoyable to ride, even on hills, and even if you’re out of shape. It’s available in a women’s frame or a unisex frame. The Roadlite 5 WMN has a shorter stand-over height, shorter reach, and other dimensions that are more ideal for smaller riders. Both bikes have the same exact components, otherwise.
The Roadlite 5 and 5 WMN has an aluminum frame and carbon fork. You’re getting a lightweight 11-speed bike with Shimano flat mount hydraulic brakes, 700 c Schwalbe G-One Speed 30 mm wide tires, locking ergonomic grips, lightweight and strong iridium seat post, Canyon sport saddle, and the Shimano Deore 5100 rear derailleur with a massive 11-51 tooth cassette for excellent hill climbing ability.
The Shimano Deore 5100 and the 11-51 tooth cassette are normally only found on mountain bikes, so they’re meant for serious hill climbing.
It’s hills that kept me off of standard bikes for years. Sure, nearly any bike and any rider does fine on flat ground, but toss in some hills, or a headwind and well, that’s where the magic usually ends, and that’s where an ebike becomes your friend.
I have ebikes, and I love them, but I still wanted a standard bike that would provide a great workout, but not leave me panting along the side of a hill, with the veins in my forehead about to burst. I think I found that bike.
During my first test ride, I discovered the bike is comfortable, and fits me well. I chose the extra-small frame, since I’m 5’1″ with a 28″ inseam, and it’s like the frame was built for me. What a difference that makes. And what a difference those gears make!
The number one selling point of the Roadlite 5 is the gears. Canyon chose very wisely. Finally, a bike company that gets it. They didn’t just slap on any ol’ derailleur and cassette on the bike and take my money. It seems like somebody knew how to build a bike right for its intended purpose.
I guess I shouldn’t be so surprised since Canyon is best known for their performance bikes. They know how to build bikes for speed and optimal performance, and that’s evident even in the Roadlite 5, one of their cheapest models.
So far, I’m very impressed with the bike. There are a few nitpicks I have. The pedals are pretty darn cheap, and it sure would have been nice to have a couple of mounts on the front fork for bike touring, and maybe another bottle cage mount, but considering the price, Canyon put the money into the most important aspects of the bike.
Assembly was very straightforward, though I will be taking it to a bike shop for a professional mechanic to fine tune everything. The shifting is a little off, and I might be able to fix it myself, but it’s always a good idea to make sure everything is dialed in as it should be. Parts will last longer, and the performance will be much better.
The ride quality and comfort is very good thanks to the carbon fork and frame geometry. The welds on the frame look clean. All of Canyon’s frames are made in Taiwan, which is where most of the best bike frames in the world are built. This isn’t a cheap Walmart bike. It’s been thoughtfully designed and manufactured by some of the best in the business.
If you’re wondering what the Monticello Peach frame color on the Roadlite 5 WMN looks like in person, it’s more orange than pink. It sure pops in the sunlight! I love a bright bike for the safety aspect. It’s a matte finish with minimal branding for a clean look.
I will be writing up a full review once I’ve put plenty of miles on the bike, but so far, I’m very happy with the Roadlite 5 WMN. I wanted a hill climbing fitness bike, and I got one!