Get a Load of Canyon's Most Affordable Bike: Roadlite 4 Is Racing-Infused Goodness

While everyone is out there looking for the most powerful e-bikes around, myself included, I still love a solid burn, and Canyon's Roadlite 4 is currently the cheapest hunk of aluminum you can get your hands on from this crew.
Roadlite 4 8 photos
Photo: Canyon Bicycles USA
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Folks, $700 is all the cash you need to go onto Canyon's website and order yourself the road-oriented Roadlite 4, a bicycle that is currently part of a range of machines that can fetch as high as €3,500 or more, depending on where you are in the world.

Now, I don't know about you, but it's not often that I find myself with a surplus of $4,000 just hanging around in my pockets, let alone spend it on a bike, and that's really the driving factor behind why I brought the Roadlite 4 to your attention; it's dirt cheap, but infused with some rather decent gear and abilities, and all that starts off with nothing more than an aluminum backbone or frame.

This is where I started to notice some of these bike's capabilities and why it might be a good idea to consider it if you're looking for a budget-friendly road machine. First off, the frame does include internal cable routing, so it's nice and fresh and looks clean, but it's also built around 30 mm tires, so there's plenty of contact patch from your tires, but not too much as to slow you down.

Yet, somehow, someway, Canyon managed to throw a carbon fiber fork into the 4's mix, and this isn't something you see every day on a $700 bike. Sure, it's not going to be crafted from the best stuff out there, but I would have been just as happy with a steel or aluminum fork, too.

Roadlite CF 9 LTD
Photo: Canyon Bicycles USA
Oh, and the budget goodness doesn't stop there, either. As I continued to explore this funky two-wheeler, I noticed that Canyon has decided to go with Shimano on this one and is supplying us with the fresh CUES groupset tuned to ten speeds. Braking is also handled by Shimano, with an MT200 setup clamping down on 160 mm (6.3 in) rotors.

But what's all that going to feel like in the real world? Well, it may be rather difficult to figure that out from your chair, couch, or porcelain throne, so the best way to do so is to head down to a local dealership and take one out for a spin.

But, if you can't allow me to throw some numbers at you so you can have something to compare it against, like other budget road bikes on the market. Overall, the head tube is sitting at a tad over 72 degrees, so it's not going to be as twitchy on turns as a racing bike; it's a bit more relaxed.

Roadlite 4
Photo: Canyon Bicycles USA
The seat tube, on the other hand, places you closer to the cockpit and is found at 73.5 degrees, so it's a bit in tune with racing bike geometry and possibly borrowed from its more expensive brethren. Chainstays are set at 415 mm, so have fun sending all your energy into the rear wheel.

Guess what? That's not the end of this bike's story, either. As we dive even further into this bag of pennies, I realize something: the frame is tattered with mounts. Even the fork appears to be suitable for at least a fender, if not a pannier rack, and this is also true for the rear wheel.

What does this mean for folks like you and me? First, it means that we can use the Roadlite 4 to chase the proverbial burn, but it can also be used to carry you and your laptop to work and back home again; why not pick up some groceries on the way? The straight bar design is sure to bring a tad of comfort, too.

Roadlite 4
Photo: Canyon Bicycles USA
But this bike's cargo-carrying abilities also unlock another side of cycling that's growing in popularity: bike-packing. And while this one forces you to stick to the smoothest of surfaces, you can still use the Roadlite 4 for unedited day trips to the edge of town, maybe even camping out overnight. Again, pretty damn good for $700, if you ask me.

Overall, this is a Category 1 bike, meaning you'll have to stick to the tarmac and other hard surfaces and always keep both tires on the ground at all times. No bunny hopping around on dirt roads with this one, even if your friends egg you on; it's a safety thing.

Yeah, it's a road bike, but one that can carry some of your cargo. It comes across with a decently race-infused geometry but is aimed at the new or budget-inclined rider. But, above all, it brings decent components, some seen on bikes three to four times the 4's price, to the masses. Even if the frame gives out, if you end up outgrowing it, take off the groupset and possibly that carbon fiber fork and use them in the next stage of your cycling evolution. Until then, you can start off with Canyon's Roadlite 4.
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Editor's note: Images in the gallery also include the Roadlite CF 9 LTD.

About the author: Cristian Curmei
Cristian Curmei profile photo

A bit of a nomad at heart (being born in Europe and raised in several places in the USA), Cristian is enamored with travel trailers, campers and bikes. He also tests and writes about urban means of transportation like scooters, mopeds and e-bikes (when he's not busy hosting our video stories and guides).
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