It’s not too often that I come across a bicycle that blows me away by the value it offers. In fact, I had to look twice, maybe three times, to make sure that the price for the Canyon Roadlite 5 WMH was true. There had to be some catch. Well, there’s no catch. This is a bike that offers tremendous value.

For $899 I’d expect cheaper components, or at least some aspect of the bike in which compromises were made to cut costs, like cheaper tires, so-so gearing, a cheaper fork, or subpar brakes. That isn’t the case with this bike.

So, what features does the Roadlite 5 WMN have that make it such a good value for the price?

  • Carbon Fork
  • Quality Tires
  • Above Average Performance
  • Above Average Gearing
  • Purpose-Built Lightweight Frame
  • Hydraulic Brakes
  • Sold By a Reputable Bike Company
  • 6-Year Warranty

The other thing that surprised me about the Roadlite 5 WMN were the smart choices that were made for the bike’s components, especially the derailleur and wide range of gears of the cassette. So many bikes fall flat in these areas. I don’t know how many bikes I’ve looked at and thought, “If they just made this one change, the bike would be so much better.” I’m not saying that about this bike.

It’s built well for the price and just as importantly, it’s built right for its intended use. That’s actually kind of rare.

Who Is This Bike For?

Canyon markets the bike as a fitness/touring bike, and I think that’s accurate. It’s built well for satisfying workouts. A satisfying workout isn’t riding a clunky bike that is cumbersome and grueling. That’s a workout nobody would want to do very often, and that’s a bike that will likely become a dust collector in the garage. Fitness bikes should be enjoyable, and yes, a little challenging, but mostly enjoyable.

The Roadlite 5 WMH is a bike that is built to be easy to pedal, and quick. It’s sporty, but also practical. It’s light enough to easily lift onto a rack or carry upstairs.

This is an ideal bike for paved bike trails. Almost every weekend I’m on my local path, enjoying the scenery, and getting some exercise, but it’s hilly in some areas, and it requires a bike with good gearing to manage the hills. Almost any bike will do fine on flat pavement, but if you’re going to be encountering hills, you need a bike that is geared right, or you’re just going to struggle.

The 11-speed 11-51 tooth cassette is the most surprising aspect of the bike. It’s exactly what I would want to see on such a bicycle, but wouldn’t expect to see at this price. The large 51-tooth cog means it’s going to be able to go up just about any hill. The smallest 11-tooth cog means you’ll be able to power along at a higher speed. All the gears in between mean that you’re likely to find the right gear for your preferred pedaling cadence and speed.

If you would like to ride gravel trails, the 30 mm wide tires might need to be swapped out to 32 mm or 35 mm width, and it looks like there’s enough clearance on the frame to do that.

Built for Women

And obviously, the Roadlite 5 WMN, in which WMN stands for women, means that the bike is built specifically for women. The frame geometry is better suited for women, with a lower height top tube, shorter reach, and other differences in frame geometry that are more ideal for women’s measurements.

There is also the Roadlite 6 WMN that offers slightly better components for just $100 more. For men out there, there is the Roadlite 5 and Roadlite 6 that offer the same value and components with a more masculine frame style.

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Comparing Against the Trek FX 3

For comparison, a similar bike is the Trek FX 3 Disc that retails for $1,049. It has similar components, and is another great choice for an affordable fitness bike. The Roadlite has the edge on price, weight, and slightly better components. On the scale, the FX 3 weighs in at approximately 25 pounds, while the Roadlite is about 23.5 pounds. On road bikes, every pound counts.

The Shimano Deore M5100 derailleur of the Roadlite generally performs better than the Shimano Deore M4100 of the FX 3. It holds the chain a little stiffer and is smoother when changing gears. Both are good choices, but the M5100 has the edge in performance and durability.

The Schwalbe G-One Speed tires on the Roadlite also receives high marks for its performance and reliability. These alone generally retail for $80/piece. Canyon could have gone with something cheaper to cut costs, but offered tires that are suitable for the job.

I would expect an aluminum fork on a $899 bike, but the carbon fork of the Roadlite 5, is a welcome surprise. It’s lighter than aluminum or steel and creates a much more comfortable ride. The FX 3 Disc also has a carbon fork, which is a great value at $1,049.

Overall, the Roadlite 5 is a better value in terms of components, weight, and price over the Trek FX 3. Trek has the advantage of local dealers.

Canyon is able to offer the bike at such a competitive price because the company only sells direct to consumers. Canyon is a German brand that specializes in carbon frames, and other high-end performance bicycles. Currently, only a limited amount of their models are sold in the United States, with the various Roadlite builds being a few of them. In Europe, Canyon is a well-known and reputable brand.

Quick Specs:

  • List Price: $899
  • Bike Weight: 10.66 kg (23.6 lbs)
  • Payload Capacity: 120 kg (264.5 lbs)
  • Frame Sizes: XS, S, M, L
  • Frame Geometry Designed for Women
  • Available in One Color: Monticello Peach
  • 6-Year Warranty
  • Shimano Deore M5100 1x 11s Derailleur
  • 11-Speed
  • 11-51 Cassette
  • 46 T Chain ring
  • Shimano MT200 Hydraulic Disc Brakes
  • Schwalbe G-One Speed 30 mm Width Tires
  • Carbon Fork FK0049 CF Disc
  • Ergon GA3 Ergonomic Rubber Grips
  • Iridium Flatbar Handlebars
  • Iridium Seat Post

Pros:

  • Price
  • Lightweight for the Price
  • Good Hill Climber
  • Hydraulic Brakes for Fewer Adjustments, Better Stopping Power
  • Carbon Fork for Better Comfort and Light Weight
  • 30 mm High-Quality Tires for Speed and Efficiency
  • 6-Year Warranty
  • Mounting Points for Fenders/Racks, Bottlecage

Cons:

  • Only One Bottle-Cage Mount, No Mounts on Fork
  • No Local Dealers
  • Only One Color Option

Conclusion

Overall, the Roadlite 5 WMN offers an incredible value. This bike is for someone on a budget who wants a bike with quality, name brand components that performs well. It’s a great bike for fitness or exploring the many paved bike paths across the country. You can also add racks and/or fenders to make it a capable touring or commuter bike.

Probably the best feature of the bike is its drivetrain. The 11-51 cassette makes the bike capable on hills, and able to reach and maintain higher speeds. The Shimano Deore derailleur offers smooth and reliable shifting. It’s always been one of my favorites that doesn’t break the bank.

Categorized in:

Bike of the Week,

Last Update: August 13, 2023