Thanks for all your help. There's no kinks on my hoses either (they're still taped in the same place).
No idea how this stuff really works but I wonder if pulling at the hose outwards of the shifter causes some kind of vacuum in there that pulls the 'cover' between the reservoir and the master cylinder shut? In my head this cover springs back against the shifter when it's released so when it's permanently pulled by the vacuum, the lever has nothing to push against at first creating the play in it. That would also explain why we couldn't push fluid into the reservoir.
Get in touch with Canyon.
I'll say that probably the position of the levers on the bars is applying pressure on the hose or the levers have been over tightened.
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