PINKBIKE FIELD TRIP
CANYON STOIC 3
(AKA Stoic 2 in other markets)
All you need to have fun
Words by Sarah Moore, Photography by Tom Richards
The first bike in our Field Trip value bike review series
is the Canyon Stoic 3, a 29er hardtail with a 140mm fork that'll cost you $1,200 USD to get your hands on. The German mail-order brand describes as being a "phenomenal trail bike with no added squishy bits.’’
At this pricepoint, you won't find a dropper post, but you will find an SR Suntour XCR 34 fork with 140mm of travel with a lockout lever and adjustable rebound, internal routing for both the dropper post and rear shift lines, Shimano’s Deore 10-speed drivetrain with an 11-42 cassette, and Schwalbe tires mounted to 30mm wide Alex rims.
Canyon Stoic 3 Details
Fork travel: 140mm
Wheel size: 29"
Frame construction: Aluminum
Head angle: 65-degrees
Chainstay length: 428mm
Reach: 455mm (medium)
Sizes: 2XS - XL
Weight: 32.2 lbs / 14.6 kg
Price: $1,199 USD
More info: www.canyon.com
As for numbers, the Stoic comes with a 65-degree head tube angle and and 75-degree seat tube angle. There are slacker hardtails and steeper hardtails, but Canyon wanted this to be a good all-rounder. Reach numbers start as low as 380mm for the double-extra-small size and top out at 505mm for the extra-large. Our medium test bike sits at 455mm, and that reach is paired with a 428mm rear end, which is the same as the rear end on the large and extra-large sizes. The three smallest sizes are on 27.5” wheels and the chainstays on those sit at a stubby 418mm. One last thing: the seat tube lengths on all of them are short, with the medium sitting at 430mm. Climbing
The first half of our test lap on the Sunshine Coast was a rooty, slick singletrack climb that then transitioned into a wider, smoother gravel section. How did the Canyon Stoic do on the climbs? Well, it's no secret that hardtails are pretty darn efficient on the climbs. That being said, the Stoic doesn't feel like a cross-country race bike just because it's a hardtail. Canyon hits a good middle ground with the geometry, which means that while it isn't the snappiest of climbers, it will still get you to the top of the mountain with energy left in the tank for the descent.
There are a couple of things you could change if your goal was to improve the Stoic's climbing prowess. The meaty tires definitely don't make the Stoic a fast rolling bike. Mike Levy may even have likened the feeling of riding them uphill to "rolling through molasses." If your local trails are hard packed and dry, you might want to ditch the grippy Magic Mary up front for something a bit quicker. The other thing that holds the Stoic back on the descents is the 11-42 tooth cassette that it comes with. It's a bit of a narrow range for our liking and you'll likely want to factor in the cost of a new cassette to the price of the bike if you have steep climbs where you live, especially if you're a newer rider.Descending
Was I just moaning about slow-rolling tires? On the descents, especially on the wet trails we encountered on the Sunshine Coast, having wide, grippy rubber on a hardtail is essential for maximum fun. They really help with confidence and it's a blast to corner on the Stoic and to pump through rolling terrain, essential skills for any new rider. Smooth trails are really where the Stoic shines and it was a really fun bike to carve through the trees on our test lap.
The fork may not be as smooth and active as more expensive forks out there, but it actually works really well. However, when things get fast and rough, the Stoic can feel a bit nervous when the impacts are coming fast and hard, killer tires or not. There's also not a dropper post, which is definitely something you'll want to change when possible in order to make the descents and rolling terrain more enjoyable. It's no easy task being the product manager on an $1,199 USD bike, and at that price point it's easy to see why a dropper post didn't make the spec list.
It’d be easy to complain about the the narrow range of gearing, lack of a dropper, and the fact that the Stoic doesn’t use a raked-out head angle that would let it feel more at home in the rough or rowdy stuff… But that’s not what the Stoic is all about. Yeah, there’s room for upgrading, but what did you expect? It’s meant to be a little fun machine that gets you out there, and that’s what it’ll do. There are things to upgrade, but you can do that when you discover how much fun this sport is and keep wanting to do it.
The entire bike probably costs less than what Mike Levy spends at Tim Hortons in a month, but it’s way healthier and a whole lot more fun. Canyon bills it as a bike that can go for a trail ride, head to the jumps, or spend an afternoon at the pumptrack. I’d agree that it’s capable of all that, in moderation.
Shines on smooth trails+
Great price point+
Geometry hits a good middle ground
Not ideal on rougher descents-
No dropper post -
Note: The model is called the Stoic 2 in all markets outside the USA. Canyon released it as the Stoic 3 in America, however, in a week’s time Canyon USA will also adopt the “Stoic 2”, so that the names are the same in all markets.
The 2021 Pinkbike Field Test was made possible with support from Toyota.
Video: Jason Lucas, Max Barron
Editing: Devan Francis