2018 Canyon Spectral - First Ride

Dec 11, 2017
by Mike Kazimer  



Imagine you were tasked with designing the ideal trail bike, a bike that was able to handle everything from long XC laps to the occasional enduro race. What would it look like? What size wheels would it have? How much travel?

Canyon's engineers found themselves facing those very same questions when it came time to revamp the Spectral, and the result is a bike with 27.5” wheels, 140mm of rear travel paired with a 150mm fork up front, and a very clean, modern look that was inspired by the Sender, Canyon's DH rig.
Canyon Spectral Details

• Intended use: trail / all-mountain
• Wheel size: 27.5"
• Rear wheel travel: 140mm
• 66º head angle
• Aluminum and carbon frame options
• Boost hub spacing
• Size: XS (alloy only) - XL
• Price: $2499 - $6999 USD
www.canyon.com


Canyon Spectral
The Spectral CF 9.0 SL is priced at $5,999 USD.


Riders who were familiar with the previous Spectral will immediately notice the new shock position – it's now oriented horizontally, running directly from the seatstays to the downtube. According to Canyon, this change was inspired by the lessons they'd learned during the development of the Sender. The goal of the revision was to improve the feel of the suspension at the beginning of its stroke, while still maintaining the ideal level of anti-squat to create an efficient pedaling bike. The Spectral has a progressive suspension curve that's designed to work well with air shocks, but the amount of ramp up at the end of the stroke isn't overly drastic, which allows rides to add or subtract volume spacers as they see fit.

The rearmost pivots are still located on the chainstay, but they're positioned above, rather than below the rear axle, a layout that's reminiscent of Rocky Mountain's Smoothlink design. Altering the shock position also allowed for a lower top-tube height, and makes it possible to run 150mm dropper posts.


Canyon Spectral
A plastic cover snugs the housing up against the underside of the frame.
Canyon Spectral
Canyon took measures to prevent water from getting into the frame bearings, adding a cover and another seal to keep moisture out.


Frame Details

Semi-internal cable routing: At first glance it looks like the Spectral's housing is routed inside the frame, but it's actually sandwiched between the downtube and plastic “cable channel.” Found on both the carbon and aluminum frames, the plastic cover can easily be removed for maintenance, and also adds an element of frame protection.

Integrated seat post clamp: Most seatpost clamps only concentrate their clamping force onto a centimeter or so of post, which is why in some cases it's possible to tighten them down enough to affect the performance of a dropper post. Canyon's integrated clamp uses a plastic sleeve that's designed to help spread out that force.


Canyon Spectral
The seatmast has a similar shape to what was first seen on the Sender.
Canyon Spectral
The thru-axle tucks out of the way when it's not in use, which keeps it from getting hung up on rocks and other bike-grabbing obstacles.


Impact Protection Unit: In order to keep brake levers from smashing into the top tube during a crash the carbon-framed Spectral's are equipped with Canyon's Impact Protection Unit (IPU), which uses a custom headset spacer and a bump stop that's attached to the top tube. That bump stop is attached by hollow screws that are designed to break away, sacrificing themselves in order to save the top tube.

Lunch box: Canyon even came up with a frame case that can be attached inside the front triangle, with enough room for tools, a CO2, and some snacks.

Double bottle holder: Small riders get thirsty too, but it's often difficult to fit a full size bottle on smaller frame sizes. The Eject System is Canyon's solution to that problem, a bottle holder that holds two 400ml bottles side-by-side.



Canyon Spectral
The carbon frames have a bump stop to keep the brake levers from contacting the top tube.

Canyon Spectral
Canyon Spectral

Canyon Spectral
The aluminum framed Spectral AL 6.0 will retail for $2,499 USD...
Canyon Spectral
...And the carbon / aluminum Spectral CF 9.0 Pro will go for $4,499 USD.


Frame Options / Build Kits

There are three different frame options for the Spectral; riders will be able to choose from an all-aluminum frame, a frame with a carbon front triangle and aluminum swingarm, or a full carbon option. It's worth mentioning that Canyon now designates the Spectral as a Category 4 on their rating system, the same designation given to the longer travel Strive. In other words, the frame should be stronger than before, and able to handle even more aggressive riding. Prices range from 2199 EUR all the way up to the 6999 EUR for the full-carbon, XX1 and ENVE wheel equipped model.

All of the bikes are spec'd with wide tires, typically a 2.6" Minion DHF up front and a 2.6" Rekon in the back.


Geometry

Creating a playful, fun bike was the overarching goal behind the Spectral's redesign, and the geometry numbers reflect those intentions. This isn't a super-slack, stretched out limousine, but with a reach of 460mm on a size large, 430mm chainstays and a 66-degree head angle, the numbers are right in line with what you'd expect to see on a modern trail bike.

The geometry is slightly different on the small and extra-small sizes - Canyon equips those with a shorter shock, which results in a lower bottom bracket and lower standover height. The travel amount remains the same, but changing the shock size is said to alter the suspension curve so that it's even more supple in the first part of the travel, a benefit for lighter riders.
Canyon Spectral






Winter is in full swing where I live in the Pacific Northwest, so when the opportunity arose to head over to Madeira, Portugal, to check out the new Spectral I jumped at the chance. A cursory Google search made it looked like a rugged island with plenty of sunshine – not a bad place to spend a few days. After nearly 24-hours of travel I stepped off the plane into spring-like temperatures and clear skies – things were off to a promising start.

However, Mother Nature had other plans, and by the time it was time to ride the weather had taken a turn for the worse – heavy fog had rolled in, accompanied by a steady, soaking rain. What followed were some of the wettest rides I've ever been on, and I'm no stranger to soggy pedaling. At times it was a struggle to see more than a few feet ahead, and the wet rocks and slimy turns made staying upright and in control a challenge. In other words, tricky conditions for riding unknown trails on an unfamiliar bike.
mud
I'm having a good time in this photo, I swear.

Luckily I'm not made of sugar, and neither is the Spectral, and I was able to get in two full days of riding aboard the bike. Much of the riding on Madeira is done with the help of a shuttle vehicle, but there were a few extended sections of climbing that allowed me to get an initial feel for the bike's ascending capabilities. It's a snappy climber, even with the shock in the fully open position, and unless you try to pedal squares instead of circles there's minimal pedaling-induced suspension movement. Most of the climbs were fairly straightforward, free of any really tight, technical sections – sussing out the Spectral's performance in those situations will have to wait for a long term review.


Canyon Spectral

On the descents, I'd say that Canyon have achieved their goal of creating a fun, playful bike – the Spectral lives for cornering, and felt right at home on Madeira's twistier trails. Rather than being a ultra-plush, plow-through-everything type of bike, the Spectral is on the sportier side, ideal for popping from feature to feature, even when shod with 2.6” rubber. It's a quick and precise handling machine, but there's still plenty of stability to take on rougher, higher speed trails, with just enough travel to take the edge off of those sneaky rocks that seem to jump out from nowhere.

As for the not-quite-plus-sized tires, the 2.6” Minion DHF / 2.6” Rekon combo worked well, despite the challenging conditions, although if it were my bike I'd probably swap out the Rekon for something slightly narrower with a more aggressive tread pattern. The same goes for the Fox 34 – I can envision some riders swapping that out for something like a 36 in order to gain a little extra front end stiffness, and to push the bike even further into the all-mountain realm.

Overall, Spectral hits the mark, slotting comfortably into the do-it-all category, a bike that should be able to handle just about everything short of super-technical DH trails. I did find myself wondering what a 29” wheeled version of the Spectral would be like, but we'll just have to wait and see if Canyon decide to go down that route in the future.









276 Comments

  • + 319
 The new Canyon Jeffsy
  • + 9
 lets see how the carbon chainstays hold up Wink
  • + 77
 @NotNamed: Don't worry chainstays are easily replaced - you only have to buy a new frame from Canyon. And on top you won't have the hassle of installing them yourself - just send them your bike and wait a few weeks/months ...
  • + 38
 @Gamsjaga: years...
  • - 13
flag novas752 (Dec 11, 2017 at 3:49) (Below Threshold)
 But not as beautifull as Jeffsy, at least AL version is horrible - look at that welded triangle ahead of the seat tube.
  • + 34
 @novas752: I wouldn't exactly call the Jeffsy beautiful
  • + 18
 @Medacus: I would. I couldn't call my bike ugly! Big Grin
  • + 8
 @novas752: I think it looks good. funky and modern, not too boring. A Jeffsy looks like a 10 year old Specialized.
  • + 6
 I don't why all the brands are adopting this suspension design (YT, Commencal, Spe, Polygon, Canyon). The yoke create lots of side load on the shocks. But the Sender-ish look is pretty cool; it won't please everyone though.
  • + 2
 First Polygon, now Canyon following suit...
  • + 10
 @Whipperman: It is also interesting that Devinici went exacly the opposite way with the new Spartan, claiming increased stiffness. I personally like the looks of the old Spectral better...
  • + 2
 @Gamsjaga: That sounds easy! I thought I need to fly to Taiwan by myself und get them there.
  • + 10
 "Looks like a Jeffsy" has to be a thing by now huh
  • + 6
 I realize this is unpopular, but I always thought the Canyon bikes with the Kona-style rocker were ugly. This bike, and the Sender, are both some of the best looking rigs out there.
  • + 2
 @Whipperman: Simples. The patent on it that Specialized held has now expired so anyone can use it.
  • + 5
 @chrismac70: I believe Specialized's patent was on the (US usage) Horst link, not on the shock's configuration within the frame.
  • + 5
 @chrismac70: That suspension wouldn't have violated the Specialized patent even before it was up. The Horst link patent specifically says the pivot on the chain stay is below the wheel axle. This bikes chain stay pivot is above the wheel axle, like on the Rocky Mountain 'Smooth Link' bikes like the Thunderbolt, and most of their other models before they were recently updated to use actual Horst links. I feel like Smooth Link was patented by Rocky Mountain; wonder if that patent has expired? I'm guessing no one, including Rocky Mountain, cares at this point.
  • + 3
 @shawndashf1: not that it would of mattered, seeing as Canyon and European, and the FSR patent only counted in north America.
  • + 6
 @santoman: Agree. I think that the old Spectral was one of the best looking bikes on the market
  • + 5
 This new trend on A LOT of rigs with the downtube making that horizontal turn just before the bb.... not digging it.
  • + 1
 WELCOME TO GOOD TIMES !!
  • + 1
 @santoman: ya man.. Was thinking the same thing!
  • + 2
 @jzPV: I own a Jeffsy, looks good rides better. Want a strange look ? Buy Polygon's Square One EX9 ^^
  • + 2
 @wolf-amongst-lambs: yeah, but it lets you get a bottle in there...
  • + 6
 @hamncheez for the first time in a long time I wholeheartedly agree with you
  • + 3
 @jzPV: Nah mate, this is what a ten year old specialised looks like: www.bicyclebluebook.com/searchlistingdetail.aspx?id=3029544
  • + 2
 @NotNamed: Buy the Al frame and don't worry about it. LOL
  • - 1
 Mike Kazimer = Sugar Baby
  • + 2
 @deli-hustler: doesn't matter if you're European, if you want to sell in the US it cannot violate US patents. But all that is old news, the patent expired.
  • + 1
 @Hockerz: wigs that's fugly
  • + 85
 Big fan of that cable routing!
  • + 78
 Canyon why?!?! You took a review winnig sexy looking playful bike and made a fugly Canyon Jeffsy. Why?
Why changing suspension platform? Oh I can have two water bottles you say? Oh they are special 400ml that I cant buy anywhere? Nice. Lunch box? What you wanna be Specialized now? Thats only for true endurists... I have ductape.
Only difference in geo is that the new model is 2 cm longer. Wow such engineering.
With the previous model you really got the bang for the buck - for 2k5€ on EX version you got 11s speeced fully sram/RS equipped machine with weight of 12.8kg!!!! out of the box. Now - 14.7kg for the same money. Talking about upgrades.
Thanks but no thanks... Very disappointed.
  • + 5
 Gah, stupid system, if you click on a props, it's done. I missed the upvote and mistakenly downvoted Frown
  • + 7
 @Primoz: I gotchu bro... Just upvoted for you Smile
  • + 2
 That's a fail if the top version of cf framed trail bike is 13.1 kg w/o pedals. Tank like orbea rallon al frame that my friend owns was weighing 13.75kg with 160mm susspension. What's the point of releasing new frame in cf if it weighs more than previous aluminum frame. Same applies to 2017 and 2018 spec enduro. 2016 was much lighter although with enduro you can argue that the fork is now 200g heavier due to longer travel. Bit with trail bike making it heavier by 1.5kg than last year? Quo vadis bike designers?
  • + 2
 @Primoz: no worries mate!
  • + 2
 Well, they did put it in the same bike category as Strive. So, that added weight should allow you to take harder hits.
I upgraded from previous version of Spectral EX to Jeffsy 27 and I can tell you that Jeffsy feels like a bigger bike with more travel.
Also, when talking about bike weight, consider that 12.8 kg Spectral had lighter wheels and lighter tires while the new model rolls on DT Swiss M1900 with 2.6" tires.
And believe me, if you are going downhill, the added weight won't get in your way. Smile
  • + 1
 @marincelo: Just take a look at frame weight: old spectral CF was 1.95kg, new spectral CF is 3.8kg! That is alot!
And by my experience low weight adds a lot to how playful a bike feels.
  • + 2
 @nekislav: yep, it's a burlier frame, or it should be. I think the more progressive back end will make up for most of that weight penalty in terms of playfulness. Just my 2 cents...
  • + 54
 Really missed the opportunity to bring a mid travel 29er into the mix
  • - 27
flag jclnv (Dec 11, 2017 at 7:25) (Below Threshold)
 Yep. A 140mm 650b is pointless.
  • + 10
 @jclnv: Not pointless, my 140mm spitfire was the funnest bike I have ever owned, but maybe a slight update on the geometry of the current spectral and bring in a new 29er trail bike would have been a better move
  • - 29
flag jclnv (Dec 11, 2017 at 7:49) (Below Threshold)
 @Roguee: I would never buy a sub 150mm 650b.
  • - 16
flag MrDiamondDave (Dec 11, 2017 at 7:55) (Below Threshold)
 @jclnv: I was starting to read the article and stopped after I saw 140mm with 650b....... wtf
  • - 5
flag jclnv (Dec 11, 2017 at 8:04) (Below Threshold)
 @MrDiamondDave: Bizarre isn't it?

A slackish 120mm 29" would destroy this bike everywhere.
  • + 7
 For smaller riders, 650b makes a lot of sense. This would be a great option for me or my wife.
  • + 0
 @sixstringsteve: That's fair enough but in that case why not 29" from medium up?
  • + 5
 @jclnv: ummm no. A good slackish 150-160 29er with quality suspension would destroy this bike everywhere. And not only this bike. Almost every single one if you'd be willing to swap tyres between fights with a particular genre. Put same tyres and suspension products on Evil The Following and the Wreckoning and come back to me with i prefer less travel despite more travel climbing just as well on fireroad and better on a rocky singletrack. Or get Camber 29 against Enduro 29. 140 genre is there to die. A remnant of the past where suspension was bobby and the more travel you had the harder it was to pedal. Unno got it right. Get a capable XC bike or a 160 bike, both are highly tunable through tyre and components choice to suit all sorts of riding. the trends should simply shift towards shorter 27,5" bikes with less travel and 29" bulldozers. You say you like to jump a lot and be creative with line choices - get a short reach 27,5 with air suspension, you say you love speed and confidence, get a long 29" ding dong and chase DH bikes.
  • + 24
 @WAKIdesigns: The spokesperson, the heart, the mind, the soul of an entire generation. Truth Wacky, the truth.
  • + 13
 I honestly can't work out what you're saying there Waki.
  • + 3
 @jclnv: Enjoyed a 134mm and 140mm trail bike! Enjoy the 27.5" hardtails I've ridden. On to 150mm next but I can see why people do enjoy it. I'm also tall, and still prefer 27.5 for trails full stop. Done all the sizes.
  • + 4
 @WAKIdesigns: let me guess, another one of your trollbait replies?
  • + 6
 @jclnv: Suit yourself but imho you are missing out on some of the best times you can have on a bike. Having owned a Banshee Spitfire and currently rinding an Orange 5, 140 mm are my sweetspot for all kinds of shenanigans. Even the EWS trails in Finale Ligure never had me wishing for more.
  • - 14
flag deli-hustler (Dec 11, 2017 at 9:54) (Below Threshold)
 But 29ers and shit no matter the travel. To be honest 650b is pointless, and modern bikes are too long.
  • + 4
 @MrDiamondDave: I have no idea what you’re talking about? I mean, the Santa Cruz 5010 does not really seem that pointless?
  • - 1
 @WAKIdesigns: I totally agree, you are right as always
  • - 4
flag jclnv (Dec 11, 2017 at 10:27) (Below Threshold)
 Most people on here haven't even ridden a good short travel 29" so it's just the usual downvotes by the clueless.

Go ride something like a Trek Fuel EX with a decent fork and front tire then go ride a 5010. It'll feel like a kids bike.
  • + 1
 @jclnv: I rode a Canfield Riot, then got back on my Yeti asr7. Yeti is just a better bike. So much faster on all but the steep climb I did.
  • + 18
 @jclnv: "It'll feel like a kids bike" is a good thing for me. Also, who cares what wheel size you run. As long as you're happy......... but I doubt you ever are.
  • - 4
flag jclnv (Dec 11, 2017 at 11:34) (Below Threshold)
 @jiminthestix: Welcome to Pinkbike.
  • + 7
 @jclnv: Troy doesn't feel like a kids bike, neither do most of the newer mid travel bikes. The 5010 was indeed a shortbus bike, but they have changed sizing. An XL was small for me and I'm only 6'1". I think the entire thing is down to preference, as some fast riders clearly prefer the smaller wheelsize, others the larger. I'm glad there's mid travel 27.5" offerings, 29" long travel offerings, etc. Much rather this choice than several BB and headset choices.
  • + 0
 @WAKIdesigns: not sure,it’s like buying yer mam crotch less pants for Xmas.
  • + 3
 @jclnv: It's a heavily recycled rant about putting 2.1" tires on your Enduro 29 to transform it into an XC bike. Also helpful to remove the Eagle drivetrain and follow his gym regimen. If I hadn't ridden a Pivot 5.5 in two sizes the other day I'd be as unconvinced as ever. That bike is XC-worthy even with a 2.6" DHF, though it's only 140mm rear and 650b. Superbly pointless!
  • + 5
 @jclnv: Rude raced a 5 inch 27.5 bike in the first 2 stops of the Ews last season...he wasn't good in the slop, but slayed in the dry conditions. If your trails aren't super chunky and you run a proper susp Setup 140mm is more then capable. Most riders just want a dozer these days tho. Takes a lot less skill.
  • + 2
 @Mtb4joe: when you are 35+ you may want error margin... and Cesar Rojo claims on vital inside line that a modern Enduro bike has better geo for climbing than modern XC bikes.
  • + 1
 @WAKIdesigns: Wow, that's a strong statement. I will have to check it out. I haven't been on an xc bike in years so I can't really agree or disagree with that. Enduro bikes are nothing short of amazing these days tho!
  • + 3
 @jclnv: joe Barnes had a big hand in designing it and it would probably destroy any 29’er on the insane trails he builds so it’s all relative.
  • + 4
 Does fun even matter anymore? I rode a proper 29er for years then switched to a 27.5 bike and realised what I've been missing on the big wheeler: just having fun and getting it sideways both in the air and on the ground.

I fully agree that a 29er will be faster on most trails, especially in the slop but I just can't get along with the detached feeling they tend to have when trying to move it around. Really feels like having to fight the gyroscoping forces. I must add that I rode bmx and 24/26" dirtjump bikes for most of my riding life so I'm probably biased towards more lively feeling bikes.
  • - 3
 @bonkywonky: mistake no1 attributing “fun factor” to a wheel size. I swapped my 275 Carbon Jack with my friends Enduro 29. I experienced E29 as more fun. Mistake no2 - what does the word fun mean to you? For me on that day it was how stable I felt on E29 which enabled me to be more confident to throw the bike around, hop from one side of the trail to another, attempt jumping over a big carpet of roots, purposefully jumping into a berm in order to jump out of it, all finished by a whip on a little jump.

Carbon Jack felt less fun on that particular trail. That experience was 8 on my fun meter. 3 months later I was riding in a train following closest bike friends and it was fun no10. I could not give much fk what bike I was one. Inwas just watching their bums ahead of me.
  • + 35
 Ugly as. The previous verions were so much nicer...
  • + 10
 Just like at Sender, the seat tube shape kills the aesthetics. Canyon, please forget it.
  • + 0
 Yeah I'm not liking the two tone paint jobs either.
  • + 5
 Really? Smile I think this version is way more exiting.
  • + 25
 That semi-external cable routing is awesome. Clever way to clean up the cabling with an internal look but more service friendly removal cover that doubles as extra frame protection. Well done
  • + 4
 I bet it collects mud that slides down the side of the downtube in wet conditions.
  • + 2
 @jclnv: just what i thought! Like SWAT turning into swamp.
  • + 19
 I loved the frame and look of the Spectral. Where I like the bulky seat tube on the Sender, I quite dislike it on this model. It's less elegant looking than the 2016/2017 model imo.
  • + 2
 This seems a bit like change before the sake of change (visually). I hope it's still as good otherwise!
  • + 16
 At last! I've been waiting for the new yt forever.
  • + 14
 Canyons customer service is so bad i wouldn't touch there bikes. If it goes wrong it might never get fixed?

Shame, would have one if these and a stitched pro too
  • + 7
 I have good experience with customer service, it probably depends on the quality of your local service center
  • + 55
 @TheHill: Local Service centre? In this country what happens is a nice man from DHL comes to take your bike back to Germany and then you never see it again.
  • + 12
 @Fix-the-Spade: Comment of the day :')
  • + 5
 I have nothing but great experience. And I live all the way in Singapore.
  • + 12
 @Fix-the-Spade: in my case the DHL man wasn’t even nice.
  • + 11
 @MTB-Colada: Weird how you spell Canada!
  • + 2
 @colincolin: Global citizen, what can I say.
  • + 9
 @MTB-Colada: Greetings earthling!
  • + 2
 The lads in australia have always been helpful when I've had issues and any parts that needed changing (eg. after I snapped a shape shifter lever) were delivered with overnight postage.

The only downside is DHL delivering my bike and then dropping it on the front door step with no signature in plain sight for everyone............
  • + 1
 @muggers:
Wow serious?
  • + 15
 When your Aero road bike fucks your mountain bike when you werent looking.
  • + 9
 A lot of meaningless marketing guff from the press release about tweaking the frame geo to accept longer droppers. All they have done is dropped the line of the top tube a little. This has zero effect on the ability to run long dropper posts. SHORTEN THE SEAT TUBE FFS. The XL bike STILL has a pointless 520mm ST and a 170mm HT, and will STILL be borderline-unusably massive for 'normal' tall riders around the 188-194cm mark.
  • - 1
 What? I rode 429 Trail with 520mm ST and it was perfectly fine with 150mm dropper post. I had the post extended by about 5cm, could theoretically run 200mm dropper and I'm not that tall - around 188-189cm with average proportions.
  • + 1
 @msusic: Okay - you're clearly fine for your saddle to stay fairly high, even when dropped as far as it will go. I'm not. It would suit the nature of the bike to snip off 30mm from the ST (at least of the XL) and spec a properly long dropper. Plenty of other brands are doing it.
And a 170mm HT means the front end is crazy high, especially with a 150mm fork and 2.6 tyres. There's no reason for it to be more than 140. Just spec a bar with 30-40mm rise, leave 2-3" of steerer uncut, and then we have options.
  • + 2
 @msusic: so you're comfortable with your dropper slammed, and it's collar being 57cm from the bb, at 189cm?
I guess we're​ all different...

@franziskaner yep L spectral has 145mm, 20mm riser bar and 0 spacers good for bikepark and I'm 190cm. I agree that 170 just seems to take options out
  • + 2
 I hope your listening YT, don’t f*k u the New capra with a long ST on the XL!!!!!
500mm max
  • + 2
 Yes, 170mm head tube is stupid. It makes the setup a bit difficult to make steering of the bike good enough. I own the previous spectral in size XL. But having some basic experience in strength of materials and designing a frame I think they had to make it this tall in order to make it stiff enough, especially when dealing with lateral loads. It's some sort of compromise or to call it the other way - an engineering shortcut Big Grin I was aware of this when buying, the bike still was a bang for buck in overall Smile
  • + 1
 I am only around 5’10 but never drop my seatpost more than an inch below handle bar height. Why the need for such a low seat height?
  • + 2
 @harrybrottman: Try dropping it more then - more space for body movement. Too low is not so good as well. Still it's better when you can drop it lower even if don't need to than when you can't and need it Smile
  • + 10
 "The thru-axle tucks out of the way when it's not in use, which keeps it from getting hung up on rocks and other bike-grabbing obstacles."
Which thru-axle doesn't?!
  • + 12
 seattube mast looks hideous and pf bb...so thanks no canyon
  • + 2
 Fwiw : 2015 Spectral owner, pf BB has never creaked, and I've never changed jt (it was my only bike during 2 years out of 3).
  • + 1
 @Uuno: Anecdote≠Evidence
  • + 4
 @Uuno: You've done well. Mine creeks, goes stiff then loosen back up. Bring back threaded BB's
  • + 1
 @colincolin: Same could be said for people who say their press fit bottom bracket creaks but never had problems with threaded. I've had the opposite. It is all anecdotal.
  • + 6
 Compared to the previous year's model, the seat tube length has remained the same for M, L, and XL (440, 480, 520mm) and has gotten longer for XS and S. They seem to spec 150mm droppers instead of 125mm now. I already had trouble with 125mm droppers because of my short legs (couldn't get them low enough), but the changes seem like this would be a bigger problem for people with short legs like me. How do these changes allow for longer droppers? Seems to me like they should have shortened the seat tubes.
  • + 5
 My buddy has a spectral and it's a sick bike. This new version looks really good too. I particularly like all the plastic guards and routing bits. So many people buy a bike and then spend loads on invisiframe and protectors. Nice that they've built a lot of it in. One petty thing for me is I dislike when a company tries to make the aluminium bike look like the carbon version - following the same oversized forms and geometries and stuff. I only say that because to me it feels like the bike isn't that shape because that's what's optimal engineering wise for the material, it's just following the form of the carbon bike in a cheaper material. Still looks sick I'm just being petty.
  • + 7
 It's about time bike companies included a limited edition lunch box with their bike purchase. Sweet mounting spot for it too!
  • + 5
 Getting one.....it's got somewhere to keep my sammich.
  • + 1
 Is there a full pic of it? You can see a little of it in some of those pics, cant find a full photo though?
  • + 6
 @watchmen: Club sandwich owners everywhere rejoice. I order it all the time, and i'm not even a member. I don't know how i get away with it.
  • + 3
 @watchmen: i almost choked on my pizza lol'ing at this.
  • + 5
 I might be in the majority here, but I wish bike companies would still spec XT 1x11.... GX Eagle builds are below-budget and are hardly worth the trouble or weight. I know it's all about "perceived value", but come on.
  • + 4
 Exactly. I have zero interest in 12 speed. 11 is already too redundant and 42t is the biggest cog I'll ever need.
  • + 4
 @casman86: and the cassettes are 100g lighter (12sp xx1 vs 11sp xx1)
  • + 3
 Hidden seatpost clamp
Hidden cable routing with plastic cover on the downtube

This bike is the hardcore version of my stock Giant Toughroad SLR 2016 (ok, the Giant seatpost is D-shaped, but the clamping is the same)
Even the paintwork on the toptube is very similar.

www.giant-bicycles.com/us/toughroad-slr-2-2016
  • + 5
 these paintjob looks ''a bit'' like this (and btw: ugly frame)
d2hl4mfiesch9e.cloudfront.net/dirtde/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/20140825_1280.jpg
  • + 8
 the nespresso edition
  • + 0
 It's like a Canyon full of gold nuggets. They should have make a short Western movie for this press release.
  • + 0
 @WAKIdesigns: Damnit Waki, you're on a roll today!
  • + 1
 @WAKIdesigns: theme for this movie would be Pat Boone singing the song of speedy spectralez
  • + 2
 "Imagine you were tasked with designing the ideal trail bike, a bike that was able to handle everything from long XC laps to the occasional enduro race. What would it look like?" - Like the current Canyon Spectral, surely!? I have a 2017 Spectral and it is perfect! All reviews I read in preparation for gaining wife approval also suggested it was perfect. Why change something that ain't broke?
  • + 6
 Because business? ????
  • + 3
 Although the variable personal opinion, it is clear the path of Research and Develevopment always followed by Canyon. Small details and customizations with no new standards (see thru-axis?). Great for overcoming the sport.
  • + 2
 this looks like it has some really nice features, i especially like the semi internal cable routing as the internal routing on my alloy jeffsy rattles around and does my head in. I know this is not the same on all internal frames but this has to be the best of both worlds surely.
  • + 3
 $4500 USD for the 9.0 Pro seems steep. I thought this was a budget-ish brand? US Buyers are taking risks with the customer support being on the other side of the ocean and the price doesn't seem to reflect that.
  • + 4
 No it's not a budget brand; It cut costs by removing the middle man. But it's really on par with any classic brands like Giant or Trek. 4500$ for a full carbon bike with nice spec seems ok to me; the same spec at Intense or SC is at least 1000$ more
  • + 3
 Given the complaints regarding European service issues I'd give it a miss
  • + 2
 @Whipperman: not since Intense retails directly to the customer
  • + 2
 USA gets full US support from Southern California. Nothing needs to go back to Germany.
  • - 7
flag lccomz (Dec 11, 2017 at 11:19) (Below Threshold)
 @Whipperman:
Nope. $4600 from Santa Cruz gets you a full carbon frame with a lifetime warranty. Not a half carbon, half aluminum bike. This Canyon is for someone who wants something different simply for the sake of being different.
  • + 3
 @lccomz: what??
mate, $7k will get you full carbon, Enve rims on Chris King hubs, full XX1 eagle, and top of the line everything in general. The bike's geo and intended use is 100% comparable to a Bronson, but a similar build Bronson is $9.5K
  • + 3
 @lccomz: maybe if santa Cruz is the local brand for you, then canyon is the rare bird... Here it's seen as the brand who makes decent priced work horses. German style, problem solving machines.
  • - 2
 @Uuno: I’m not looking for a “problem solving machine.” I’m looking for a great bike that is fun to ride with good dealer support.
  • - 1
 @ismasan: sorry my best mate in the world, you can get an XO1 Eagle Bronson with a CC level frame and Reserve wheels for about the same money. The comment I was originally responding to was regarding the Spectral 9.0 Pro, the $4600 bike with a half carbon, half aluminum frame. For that money you can do much better with several other brands and have a network of dealer support. Like I said, if you want something different for the sake of being different, Canyon may work for you. Sounds like you are enjoying yours.
  • + 2
 @lccomz: you didn't get my comment I think. I meant : in Europe you'd spend the extra cash on SC rather than canyon if you want that "extra cool bike" whatever, or less money on the equivalent canyon.

I was referring to canyon's "we make race winning bikes" marketing strategy, opposed to santa Cruz image (cf 50/01 etc). Obviously, both will be as fun to ride, minor personal preferences aside...
  • + 2
 @lccomz: NO. Nowhere close to that. CC frame Bronson on X01, etc, is more than $8k, still it has Fox performance suspension and house brand bars and bits. Maybe you talk about Jenson sale or something.
The bang for buck battle will be won by Canyon all the times.
For the sake of being different? You make it sound like wearing a blue wig, when is clearly not.
  • + 2
 @lccomz: around here Canyon is like the furthest away from 'different for the sake of different' as you can get.
  • + 1
 @lccomz: It may depend on the continent youre living on, but here on a 4400€ SC 5010 carbon build you get Sram NX and Fox Rhythm. (compared to Spectral CF Pro 9.0 @4000€: Pike RTC3, X01 Eagle)

The upper next 5010 for 4900€ has 34 Performance and GX Eagle. Spectral CF 9.0 SL: 5k€, 34 Factory, X01 Eagle, DT Swiss Carbon Wheels.

I know I didnt compare every single component, LBS support well does not exist on Canyons side, and "maybe" Santa Cruz carbon is better than Canyon carbon, maybe the geo or the suspension design is better, etc etc thousand other variables which may still make the more expensive bike the better option. But atleast without considering dealership margins the pricing is not even close to be on the same level.
  • + 2
 At first I really really disliked the design, but it kind of grew on me. Also really like the geo and of course price/components. This one will sell, really makes sense and is so well thought out. Gz canyon from me, now I cant wait for the new Torque
  • + 2
 Info about the new torque? I'd love to see canyon's next mini DH... Be it a 180mm park machine or a 170mm 29" racer...
  • + 2
 @Uuno: www.mtb-news.de/news/2017/10/31/prototyp-canyon-torque got it from here, just some spyshots. My guess would be its going to be a 180ish 27,5" freerider, but who knows..
  • + 4
 damn, my next ride was going to be a Jefsy, most likely; now I'll have to think a bit
  • + 5
 knock off Knock Block???
  • + 2
 I was going to hold of and buy the new Spectral as I really liked my old one, in the end I chose not to wait and instead bought a Transition Scout. From looking at this, I really don't think that I will regret that decision
  • + 2
 I have a 2016 Scout and am drooling over the 2018 2.0, have fun!
  • + 4
 That cable trick it’s well tough,congrats, and it looks very nice ,but yes a 36 on the front.
  • + 1
 Its one that grows on you, all those little features are wining it for me, anybody who lives in a wet environment can understand the beauty of beating covers. I do wonder how long some of the cover will last though, 3yrs down the line will plates still be available to order from them, I doubt it. Just need it to make next years a tad longer in reach and I'll be interested.
  • + 5
 7000€ for the flagship version with Enve, Take that Intense !
  • + 0
 Precisely. Full carbon ENVE on Chris Kings and Sram XX1 EAGLE. £10,000 If intense. Margin.
  • + 2
 Bargain ????
  • + 1
 Naw, the 'flagship' Tracer w/ Enve(DTS 240s), Fox THIRTY-SIX FACTORY/X2 FACTORY, Eagle XX1/X01(basically nothing to upgrade on this bike) and a whopping 28lbs is no longer $10k. It's now only $7.9k
They went the factory-direct route a couple weeks ago and slashed their prices
  • + 1
 Can anyone give me a good reason to go with the CF 8 over the Al 6 beside the ugly welds? Seems like the components are pretty much the same. Don't see how they justify over $1k more for the CF 8.

I don't buy their published weights as I personally put a CF8 on the scale at it was right at 13.7kg which is where Outdoorgearlab supposedly measured the Al 6 for their review. Tubes vs tubeless can't account for that much difference. Both medium bikes.
  • + 5
 I was waiting for a 29/27,5+ version but no love from Canyon...
  • + 1
 Anyone taken a look at Spectral AL 7 vs Strive AL 6... the strive is 600g heavier, 100euros more expensive and comes with RC3 and RCT3 and GX eagle... while the Spectral comes with RC RT and XT 2by... now I understand the idea of slightly more playful geometry and lower travel, but the geo isn't far off the strive, and the value doesn't seem to really be there (compared to anything else in the canyon range) on anything under the 3.5k euro carbon. Can't see the appeal of this bike except the looks. Probably better off getting a strive or wait and see how YT spec their jeffsies for 2018.
  • + 4
 Meh. Love my 2016 Spectral though.
  • + 1
 When is Canyon coming to the US? Their website still doesn't list US as one of their countries, unless you find this buried page that lists a few outdated 2017 Spectral models: www.canyon.com/en-us
  • + 3
 That seat tube near the top.... ????

Went from one of the best looking to one of the worst.
  • + 1
 Spend a fortune on a plastic bike....Get it fitted with bump stops so your metal brake levers don't damage the frame in case of a Whoops moment...No-one else see a problem with this emerging trend?
  • + 2
 Kinematics analysis of the new Canyon Spectral 2018:

mrblackmorescorner.blogspot.com.es/2017/12/canyon-spectral-2018.html
  • + 0
 Just my opinion, but it’s definitely not as good looking as the older models. The older models where clean and simple. This looks like they tried too hard to make the sender into a trail bike, while at the same time, make it more futuristic, and came out looking really weird. Definitely not a fan of the two tone paint jobs either. This is the first ugly bike that canyon has produced in the past few years.
  • + 0
 I think that the frame itself looks gorgeous, but the paint job and the added weight just ruin the whole thing. I was looking to buy a 2017 because they are the lightest bikes of their class at a lower price point, but now they hardly have anything.
  • + 1
 Requesting a 29er version is not enough. Must also specify a FOX 36 (ok if Performance ELITE version), 150 -160 front travel, 140-150 rear travel, and a Shimano component option. Make me not buy a Transition Sentinel.
  • + 2
 the pec is good and the numbers and geo seem solid but the suspention isn't very origional and the previous version was better.
  • + 5
 No 29er option?
  • + 1
 I can't help but wonder if they plan on bringing a revamped Neuron to our side of the pond. That'd cover 29er AND people who like the old *lightweight* trailbike.
  • + 1
 "the new shock position – it's now oriented vertically, running directly from the seatstays to the downtube."
It's closer to horizontally than vertically.
  • + 16
 I thought the same thing. But if the marketing department says that is vertical, then it is vertical.
  • + 2
 @onemind123: Another website review calls it horizontal......sure looks that way to me!
  • + 1
 Gotta be a typo!
  • + 6
 Nothing gets past you guys - that’s been corrected.
  • - 9
flag onemind123 (Dec 11, 2017 at 6:41) (Below Threshold)
 @mikekazimer: kinda sad the proof reading didnt even make it past the first two (small) paragraphs.

And Merry Xmas

Bah Humbug
  • + 4
 @mikekazimer: You must have developed a skin of iron over the years.
  • + 1
 The shock is mounted vertically. The bike is intended to be ridden only in a manual or wheelie, riding without keeping the shock vertical will invalidate your warranty.
  • + 1
 I really like those bearing covers and the integrated seat pist clamp. I'm not sure how I feel about having bumpers on my bars. I feel like I'd break them if I wrecked.
  • + 1
 Now that this weird looking thing is out, I really hope I could get on of the old ones for a steal. It looks like a MTB on a Halloween party, dressed as an E-MTB.
  • + 3
 Looks like a Ses.. oh wait no a Jeffsey
  • + 0
 Choice for pictures and settings appear pretty similar to what the people from Enduro-mtb.com/en did: enduro-mtb.com/en/first-ride-review-canyon-spectral-2018/3

Just wondering @mikekazimer , who was first?
  • + 1
 I love it. The cf9 looks amazing. Just how the customer service gets better in the next year is so. This could be my next rig Smile !
  • + 1
 Whyte killed it with the 130 2018 in black and gold and so did these guys....personally the YT's look very 'flat' and 'drab' to me.
  • + 1
 The black and white Jeffsy doesn’t look drab in person at all
  • + 1
 Is it just me or are these online bikes getting worse and more expensive? Much better bikes in this category from brands at your LBS at a similar price points.
  • + 1
 I thought it was an ebike for a moment with all those things attached inside the frame triangle. Why would you want a pretend ebike?!

Other then that.. beauty of a bike.
  • - 1
 Interesting that it's spec'd with a Fox 34. 140/150 with 66* HA, 460 reach and 1200+ wheelbase? It seems to be aimed at a semi-gravity oriented crowd. I guess if you were going to enduroize it you'd throw a 36 on there as he mentioned in the article. I bet if Canyon later releases some huck videos you'll rarely find a rider with a 34.
  • + 16
 It wasn't long ago that "All mountain bikes" came with Fox 32 forks and people were praising it and riding them super hard. Sure for the most gnarliest of riders they would feel flex so Fox introduced the Fox 34. A Fox 34 is more than capable for almost all riders and I don't think some people give the 34 the credit it deserves.

Also, this bike is a cross between both worlds of XC and All mountain so I think they did an excellent job on paper.
  • + 1
 @LiquidSpin: I hear ya, I just don't see a big downside to the 36 especially with the same travel and those aggressive geo numbers. I own bikes with both the 34 and 36 and the plushness of the 36 is quite noticeable. For me, I will only put 34's on my gram counting bikes going forward, or something where I want less than 140mm of fork travel. Heck I recently saw a Ripley LS running a 36! Either way....options are always good.
  • + 2
 You also might be able to run a longer shock, like on the Jeffsy pro. I'd totally put a piggyback shock or maybe a coil
  • + 3
 mentions trick dual waterbottle cage, doesn't include any pictures...
  • - 1
 No need, it's as ugly as it is dumb.
  • + 1
 What a tease...
  • + 3
 @OceanPhil: Wouldn't you rub those while pedalling?
  • + 3
 What no 29.... 650b is soooo 2016.
  • + 1
 They switched to a single-pivot suspension? Is there any reason to do that other than production cost?
  • + 1
 It is not single pivot. It is true 4-bar like the Rocky Mountain smooth-link on the Thunderbolt. The pivot is still on the chain stay, but it is above the rear axle instead of below it like for Horst link bikes.
  • + 1
 @shawndashf1: Oh, got it. Not familiar with that setup--I guess I need to look up the graphs for a smooth-link bike. Word.
  • + 1
 A proprietary water bottle?! Aw HELL no! Didn't they read the backlash on the Jeffsy, sheesh.
  • + 2
 Just on the small and XS sizes - the larger frames fit a "regular" water bottle without any trouble.
  • + 1
 @mikekazimer: Thanks for the clarification Mike! It wasn't clear, and I supposed you could also put the proprietary bottle on the larger frames if you wanted.

I personally find the backlash over bike specific water bottles sort of amusing, my bike fits a full size waterbottle so I also don't have the problem, but having to spend $30ish on a water bottle isn't going to make or break a $7k bike for me personally.
  • + 2
 AHHHH! Give me back the triangle linkage!!!!!
  • + 1
 I wonder how it compares with Giant Trance equipped with carbon frame and wheels, and similar suspension travels.
  • + 1
 If we go from stock bikes alone, the Spectral is much better only because it doesn’t come with a mid 2000’s stem length.
  • + 1
 Was hoping they’d go away from the 19” seattube on the large, too bad...
  • + 1
 What's the point of the knock block-like thing? I've never heard of brake levers hitting the top tube.
  • + 1
 It definitely happens. I can show you the scratches on my (aluminum) top tube.
  • + 2
 Jeez this is kinda ugly, 2017 model was far better
  • + 2
 Daaamn!!! black with gold stripes is GODDAMN SEXY!!!
  • + 3
 Lotus f1...great colors!
  • + 1
 Wrong geo chart @mikekazimer ? The stats there look better than the other version I've seen though
  • + 2
 Pictures of the nrat accesories please
  • + 1
 I think it looks like an e-bike.
  • + 1
 That black and gold paint job almost gave me a hard on...
  • + 1
 sorry. but really ugly frame design.
  • + 1
 I'm really desapointed about the weather in Portugal during this test.
  • + 1
 Polygon Siskiu with bottle cage hhhh
  • + 1
 WEIGHT¿? those 2.6 wheels weight too much¿?
  • + 1
 December 24th Advent Giveaway - Canyon Spectral 2018? =)
  • + 1
 Went from looking like a Slash to looking like a Jeffsy
  • + 1
 Looks just like the Intense Primer!
  • + 1
 The Matt black and gold looks ab
  • + 0
 It looks like they tried to make a Jeffsy and then ran it over with a steam roller.
  • + 1
 is it boost hubs??no mention at all..
  • + 1
 Lunch box......Double bottle holder.....???
Are you f***ing kidding me?
  • + 2
 Too bad it's not a 29er
  • + 1
 Tell me more about the double water bottle holster.
  • + 1
 i want a 29er version, but damn it looks great.
  • + 1
 Sooooo... What does this bring to the table that the Jefsy doesn't?
  • + 1
 Any idea what the new Torque is going to be?
  • + 1
 Knock block JR???????
  • + 0
 Sam Hill never drinks water.
  • + 1
 Pretty bike!
  • + 0
 Looks like a . . . Jeffsy?
  • + 1
 Looks like an old camber
  • + 1
 Looks like an E-bike.
  • + 3
 Came in to post this.
  • + 1
 Looks like a smartphone. I need more plastic screwed into my plastic. Can't argue with their business model though, if they're flying reviewers to Portugal in order to confirm that Spectral is not made of sugar.
  • + 1
 How much!!??
  • - 1
 Another frame without personnality or soul. Check what RM did and try some of that ;-)
  • + 1
 Frames either all have personality and soul or none of them do. Maybe you should go back to reviewing wine, art, and whatever other things people review when they spew incoherent bullshit from their cake hole, while failing to understand what they are even attempting to say / mean.
  • + 0
 looks like siskiu T series? Smile Smile Smile
  • + 1
 Weights?
  • + 2
 adds on around a whopping 4lbs or so from the lighter original version by the looks of it . More is more.
  • + 7
 @GravesendGrunt: I know that weight isn't everything, but I'm surprised at the weight gain as well. For example, the 2017 6.0 EX model is 12.7kg while the 2018 6.0 is 14.7kg. That's a 4.4 lbs difference. Wow!
  • - 1
 The orange/grey paint reminds me of Specialized colorways from 2011 or 2012. Looking pretty dull IMO.
  • + 0
 So many Specialized wanabes
  • + 0
 looks wrong
  • + 0
 what a waste
Below threshold threads are hidden

Post a Comment



Copyright © 2000 - 2018. Pinkbike.com. All rights reserved.
dv65 0.134512
Mobile Version of Website