What rim brake frame?

Canyon Ultimate.
Unfortunately the frameset now is available only on top of range CFR series, with disc brakes only.
But you can get a lower spec Ultimate CF SL for 1699€ for the complete bike with Shimano 105, then you can strip the groupset and wheels, and sell the groupset on Ebay for 500€, keep the wheels for winter training, and mount the frameset with the top notch components you prefer (for example Dura Ace/Red/Record, and carbon wheels…).

I agree with you: it’s better to buy a new carbon wheelset.

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Any feedback on the proprietary cockpit on the Ultimate? It looks like such a fantastic bike for the price, and if (like me) you ride in the hills, a 7kg bike for £2,250 (w/ Ultegra)is so impressive compared to the standard £3k Ultegra disc bike at circa 8kg that a lot of brands are putting out. But I get nervous about non-standard components…

I have 2 canyon bicycles.
The first one is a Ultimate CF SL 2010.
The second one a Ultimate CF SLX 2015.
Both had the old Acros press-fit headset without the expander, and with a compression ring underneath the stem.
A bit more complicated for the pre-load regulation and it needs the bearing extractor for bearing change… all bike shops have it, and I just changed both my headset bearings (due to normal wear) buying some third party high quality bearings from an UK producer.

If I’m not wrong, now the new ones use a standard system with expander and top cap, just “oversized”, because the stem and the fork tube is 1" 1/4 instead of 1" 1/8, so there should be no problem at all for setting the pre-load. As regards the spare bearings, they are also available from Airvelo Bearings.

There are some brands that produce 1" 1/4 stems, Ritchey for example. I bought 2 years ago a Ritchey WCS stem (and handlebar) to save weight on my CF SLX bike.

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Ultimate is very near the top of my list. I dont have a budget, but a full ultegra specced bike with ok wheels (i have other wheels i am going to use) for less than some other brands frame only offering attracts me. It is also ticking my other boxes; great ride quality and 28mm tire clearance.

Yes, the Ultimate CF SL 8.0.
Mechanical Ultegra for the win!
You can add a second pair of wheels, such as Fulcrum Racing Speed carbon tubeless (or tubular) for LESS than 4000€ for the bike with the original set of aluminium + the carbon wheels!
And it will defintely weigh less than 7,5kg with pedals, a weight only few new “top bikes” with disc brakes and electric shifting reach within a cost below 8000€.

Your only problem will be actually getting one…

Also, Moots Vamoots RSL.