Review: Canyon's New 2021 Spectral 29 CF 8.0

Dec 1, 2020
by Mike Kazimer  
After a 3+ year hiatus, Canyon has rolled out a 29” version of the Spectral for 2021. According to Canyon, the bike was designed to be a highly capable and versatile trail bike, even though on paper the 150mm of rear wheel travel and updated geometry numbers are encroaching on the territory currently held by the enduro-race focused Strive.

Canyon says the Strive will continue to see action on the EWS circuit and is better suited for racing due to its 'ground-hugging' feel, although I'd imagine there will be some anglesets and geometry tweaking involved. As it is, the new Spectral's 64-degree head angle is two degrees slacker, and the 485mm reach of a size large is 15mm longer than the Strive.
Spectral 29 Details

• Wheel size: 29"
• Carbon frame
• Travel: 150mm (r) / 160mm fork
• 64-degree head angle
• 437mm chainstays
• Weight: 31 pounds / 14.1 kg (size L)
• Sizes: S-XL
• Price: $4,699 USD
canyon.com


Along with getting bigger wheels and updated geometry, the Spectral's carbon frame also shed some weight, checking in at 2598 grams for a size medium frame. At the moment, there aren't any aluminum frame options offered – all models, from the $3,699 Spectral CF 7 to the $5,699 Spectral CF 9 use the same full carbon frame.

It's the Spectral CF 8 29 that's reviewed here, which is priced at $4,699. Build kit highlights include a 160mm Fox 36 Performance Elite fork and DPX2 shock, Shimano XT M8100 12-speed drivetrain and brakes, DT Swiss XM1700 wheels, and a Maxxis Minion DHF / DHR II tire combo. All of that adds up to a weight of 31 pounds without pedals for a size large. It's worth noting that the flouro-green paint job won't be available in the US - black will be the only frame color option for the CF 8.

The Spectral will be offered in other markets with a more trail-oriented build that has a 150mm fork and an inline shock, but all of the US options come with what Canyon call their "Shred Spec." That means a 160mm fork, in this case either a Fox 36 or RockShox Lyrik, and a piggyback shock, either a Fox DPX2 or RockShox Super Deluxe.



bigquotesThe 150mm of rear travel is well managed, with enough support to keep the bike from feeling mushy or lethargic when pumping the backside of a roller or pushing into a turn, and the ability to take the edge off bumps without completely muting the trail. Mike Kazimer




Canyon Spectral 29 2021
Construction and Features

At a glance the Spectral 29 may look similar to its 27.5” sibling, but take a closer look and the differences become clear. The shape of the seat tube mast has been changed, there's now internal cable routing with internal plastic tubes to guide the housing to its destination, and the rear pivot position has been altered as part of the changes to the bike's kinematics.

Hamfisted mechanics will be glad to see that almost all of the threaded inserts on the frame are replaceable. That means if you somehow managed to cross-thread or strip something you'd be able to replace an insert, rather than mangling the frame. First developed for the Sender downhill bike, those threaded inserts are held in place by a small screw, eliminating any need to go groveling around on your shop floor looking for dropped parts.


Canyon Spectral 29 2021
The rear axle has a lever that slides out for wheel removal, then tucks away when not in use.
Canyon Spectral 29 2021
A ribbed chainstay protector helps keep the noise down. The lower portion is starting to come unglued, but the upper portion is securely in place.

There's room for a 600mL water bottle inside the front triangle, but any bigger than that any you'll start running into clearance issues. Some water is better than none, but I wouldn't mind the ability to carry an even bigger bottle for longer rides. Maybe Canyon will come up with a tiny flask that can attach to the one bolt on the underside of the top tube... In the meantime, that bolt is used to secure a bracket that can hold a tube or a small pouch for trailside fixes.

Other details include a threaded bottom bracket, and molded chainstay, seatstay, and down tube protection. An integrated upper guide adds a little extra security against dropped chains, and while there aren't any ISCG tabs to be seen Canyon does offer a removable mount that can be purchased separately.


Canyon Spectral 29 2021
Some water is better than none, but I'd still like the option to hold an even bigger bottle.
Canyon Spectral 29 2021
A flip chip on the seatstays allows for .5-degrees of head angle adjustment.


Canyon Spectral 29 2021

Geometry & Sizing

Canyon gave the Spectral a solid dose of the long and slack treatment, and the results are a bike with a 64-degree head angle in the low setting, a 485mm reach for a size large, and a 437mm chainstay length for all sizes. Flipping the chips on the seatstays will steepen the head and seat tube angles by .5-degrees and raise the bottom bracket height by 8mm.

The seat tube lengths have been shortened to allow for longer travel dropper posts, although some riders still may run into some issues if they want to run a 200mm post or longer. As it is, the large frame has a 460mm seat tube and comes with a 170mm post.

Canyon Spectral 29 2021

Suspension Design

The shape of the Spectral 29's leverage curve is similar to that of the 27.5” version, but the amount of progression has been increased, as has the amount of anti-squat at the sag point – it now sits around 95%.

There's a 29.5% change in the leverage ratio, a number that should allow the bike to work well with a coil shock, although Canyon says that the bike was designed to work best with an air shock. Plus, the larger dimensions of some coil shocks could eat into some of that valuable water bottle room.



Specifications
Price $4699
Travel 150
Rear Shock Fox Float DPX2 230 x 60mm
Fork Fox 36 Performance Elite Grip2 160mm
Cassette Shimano XT 12-speed
Crankarms Shimano XT, 32-tooth chainring
Rear Derailleur Shimano XT 12-speed
Shifter Pods Shimano XT 12-speed
Handlebar Canyon G5
Stem Canyon G5 50mm
Grips Canyon G5
Brakes Shimano XT M8120
Wheelset DT Swiss XM1700
Tires Maxxis DHF / DHR II
Seat Ergon SM10 Enduro Comp
Seatpost Canyon Iridium


Canyon Spectral 29 2021








Test Bike Setup

Before going into my suspension setup numbers, it's worth taking a moment to praise Canyon for their excellent bike packaging. As a consumer direct brand, that's how most riders will receive their bikes, so it's nice to see that there's minimal excess plastic or bubble wrap, and everything is organized neatly in the box.

Once I had a few shakedown rides under my belt I ended up with 82 psi in the Fox 36 fork with one volume spacer. 220psi in the DPX2 shock put me at 27% sag, which gave me a good balance of support and suppleness.

I should also mention that the tires the bike came on weren't exactly how it's specced – I ended up with an EXO casing, MaxxGrip DHR II tire rather than the EXO+ MaxxTerra that it was supposed to have due to some availability issues. Not the end of the world, and it's good to know that the actual spec will be with a slightly thicker casing.


Me.
Mike Kazimer
Location: Bellingham, WA, USA
Age: 38
Height: 5'11" / 180cm
Inseam: 33" / 84cm
Weight: 160 lbs / 72.6 kg
Industry affiliations / sponsors: None
Instagram: @mikekazimer

Testing took place in and around Bellingham, Washington, during the transition from fall to winter, which meant conditions ranged from tacky perfection to sloppy with a few inches of snow thrown in for good measure.


Canyon Spectral 29 2021

Climbing

There's been a resurgence of all-mountain bikes over the last year or so, the category where bikes like the Norco Sight, Transition Sentinel, Specialized Stumpjumper EVO, and now the Canyon Spectral reside. All of those models have 29” wheels, 150mm of travel paired with a 160mm fork, and sit in that nebulous area between trail bikes and beefed up enduro bikes. They also all happen to rely on a Horst Link suspension layout, but they each have their own distinct handling characteristics out on the trail.

With the Spectral, its climbing manners are closer to what you'd expect from something with a little less travel. Even though it's significantly longer and slacker than the 27.5” version, it still has a decent amount of peppiness - stomp on the pedals and it accelerates quickly, free from nearly any unwanted bobbing from the DPX2 shock. On the vast majority of my rides I was perfectly content to leave the compression lever alone, due to the fact that the shock seemed unfussed by my position on the bike – the amount of motion remained fairly constant no matter if I was seated or standing. If you do want to firm things up it's easy to reach, something that can't really be said for the water bottle, at least unless you have extra long arms.

That snappy climbing is tempered to some extent by the Spectral's increased length. It was manageable on technical climbs, but it does have a little more subdued nature to its handling compared to the previous version. I've been riding lots of bikes with similarly slack geometry numbers so I felt right at home, but it might take a little getting used to for riders who are coming off of shorter, steeper machines.

Compared to the quartet of bikes I mentioned earlier, I'd put the Spectral at the front when it comes to pedaling efficiency, although the Stumpjumper EVO would get the nod for best all-round climber. The geometry differences aren't drastic, but the Stumpjumper EVO's slightly longer chainstays and shorter front center did seem to help make it easier to snake through tight trees, or keep maintain traction when faced with a multi-tiered mess of slippery roots.


Canyon Spectral 29 2021
Descending

One of my favorite trails to test bikes on here in Bellingham is called Dad Bod, a descent full of quick dips and dives, with plenty of sideways roots and off-camber bits to keep you on your toes. It's not the absolute steepest trail, but it's a great way to see how well a bike maintains speed and responds to quick direction changes. The Spectral felt right at home in this setting - the 150mm of rear travel is well managed, with enough support to keep the bike from feeling mushy or lethargic when pumping the backside of a roller or pushing into a turn, and the ability to take the edge off bumps without completely muting the trail.

Frame stiffness is always a tricky thing to judge, but I'd put the Spectral towards the stiffer end of the spectrum. It has a more taut, almost 'pingy' feel, for lack of a better term, compared to the Transition Sentinel, which has a slightly softer, more compliant feel.

Canyon Spectral 29 2021

On rougher, steeper trails the Spectral still maintained its composure, but it doesn't really encourage the same level of reckless abandon as a bike like the new Commencal Meta TR. The Meta, even with less rear travel, has a more planted, plow-through-everything nature. If the Meta is an aluminum meat tenderizer, hell-bent on smashing the trail into submission, then the Spectral is a finely honed chef's knife, precisely slicing its way down the fall line.

The Spectral's limits feel a little more defined – it does exactly what it's designed to do, but I also never found myself wondering about how it would handle with something like a 170mm Zeb up front and a coil shock in the back. The precise, agile nature of the bike makes it seem like trying to beef if up would be a step in the wrong direction. As an aggressive trail / all-mountain bike it hits the mark, but it's not quite the gravity fiend that enduro racers may be looking for.


Canyon Spectral 29 2021
Canyon Spectral
Stumpy Evo
Specialized Stumpjumper EVO

How does it compare?

Let's dig in a little deeper into how the Spectral stacks up against the Stumpjumper EVO. The travel amounts are the same, and both bikes come in at very reasonable weights, although the Stumpjumper EVO frame is lighter – Specialized says it's 2750 grams with shock, while the Spectral is 2598 grams without a shock.

On the trail, the Spectral's the snappier pedaler, with a slightly firmer platform at the beginning of its travel, a trait that will appeal to riders who don't want to feel like any of their input is going to waste. The Stumpjumper has a more active feel that might not be quite as efficient, but it does deliver plenty of traction. The Stumpjumper feels a little more compact on the descents due to the shorter reach, which makes it slightly more maneuverable in tighter terrain, but the Spectral isn't exactly a cumbersome sled - it just takes a teeny bit more effort to get it to bob and weave through really tight stuff.

The Stumpjumper EVO pulls ahead when it comes to frame features. Those include the ability to set up the bike in one of six possible geometry configurations, which put the head angle at anywhere from 63- to 65.5-degrees. And don't forget about that SWAT storage compartment in the downtube, which now comes holds a bladder for even more water carrying capacity.

What about price? Well, there's no frame-only option for the Spectral, but it's possible to compare the $4,900 Stumpjumper EVO Expert to the $4,699 Spectral CF 8. Both models have full carbon frames and the same Fox Performance Elite suspension package. The Stumpjumper gets a SRAM X01 derailleur and shifter, along with Code RS brakes, while the Spectral has a Shimano XT drivetrain and brakes. Both companies use house brand components for the cockpit, and it's really only at the wheel level where the Spectral has the edge – the DT Swiss M1700 wheelset is nicer than than Specialized Roval Traverse wheels. Canyon's consumer-direct model does allow them to offer a lower price, but in this case the difference isn't nearly as dramatic as I'd expected.

Canyon Spectral 29 2021
Canyon Spectral 29 2021

Technical Report

DT Swiss XM1700 wheels: DT's M1700 wheels are always a welcome sight – it's basically the pre-built version of what I would build up from scratch if I was looking for a set of durable, reliable wheels. The 350 hub laced up to DT's XM481 rims is an excellent combo, and I didn't have any issues at all during testing.

Shimano XT 4-piston brakes: I'll keep the griping to a minimum this time around, but Shimano's XT brakes still don't have a consistent feel at the lever, especially in steep terrain where repeated hard braking is required. I have had sets come through that worked just fine, but the rear brake on the Spectral was finicky, even after a thorough bleed.

Dropper post: I did find myself wishing for a longer travel dropper post on a few occasions. The 170mm Canyon Iridium post worked just fine, but once you've grown accustomed to running a 200 or 210mm post its hard to go back to anything less. The Spectral's seat tube length is a little longer than what's starting to become the norm, at 460mm for a size large, which could be a limiting factor for some riders who want the most drop possible.

Fox 36 Performance Elite fork: It sort of feels like the new 36 fork has been flying under the radar, overshadowed by the burlier 38. Realistically, the 36 is going to be the way to go for most riders, and the level of controlled traction is very impressive. Plus it's really fun to push the little air bleed valves and hear a little 'pssst' of air come out.

Canyon Spectral 29 2021


Pros

+ Very well spec'd for the price
+ Snappy pedaling performance
+ Reasonable weight makes it suitable for bigger days of riding


Cons

- There's only room for a smaller water bottle.
- Longer seat tube may prevent running longer dropper posts
- Not the bike to pick if you have a smash-through-everything riding style



Pinkbike's Take

bigquotesThe return of the 29" Spectral is a welcome one, and it fits right in with the latest crop of ultra-capable all-mountain bikes. Yes, that category name may have fallen out of favor, but I'm bringing it back, since it seems like the ideal way to describe a bike like this, one that's able to tackle a huge range of terrain without making too many compromises on the climbs or the descents. Mike Kazimer



269 Comments

  • 168 0
 "Spectrals are taking our jobs!!" - Strives
  • 13 0
 Has to be an update coming.
  • 5 1
 Don't get me wrong, I love my Strive that I got last April. But the only thing keeping me from considering the Spectral was the 27.5" wheels. If I had to do it over again though, I may have gone with a 29" Spectral over the Strive.
  • 2 0
 @YesHaveSome: that's exactly what I thought. I bought a (then new) 2017 Strive CF7 Race, then demo'd a Spectral and thought " if only this had bigger wheels?"
  • 16 1
 "Dey took err jerbs!!"
  • 4 0
 ermahgerd!!
  • 1 0
 @wowbagger: I've missed that word. Thank you.
  • 135 6
 With mail order bikes from the likes of Canyon now costing the same as the big brands from your LBS why would anyone opt for bikes you can't test or take back to the shop if there's a problem?
  • 23 3
 Very fair point in normal circumstances, but given the current bike shortage and inability to test a lot of bikes the LBS and DTC companies are pretty much on even ground.
  • 50 1
 This. My last bike purchase was direct, but Specialized now has prices that are within a couple hundred dollars of direct bikes for comparable spec. If this keeps up I'll be walking into my LBS to purchase my next bike.
  • 6 0
 @mtmc99: I asked in several LBCs about time needed for replacing a broken frame (Spec, Ibis, Pivot) and the answer was always between 2 and 7 days. (Ok, that was before COVID, but nonetheless)

I ride Vitus and I would buy it again only if it would save me some serious money (looking at the new Sommet prices, it would) or to have some kind of a dream bike (like it would be for me a new Raaw). Otherwise, what is the point?
  • 41 2
 What other bike company is giving you full XT, performance elite, and decent wheels for $4700?
  • 14 0
 I mean, you're not getting a lot of LBS brands with full carbon frame, XT groupset and performance elite forks for $4700 USD. And those that do exist (Stumpy Evo is the only one that comes to mind) are loooong sold out.
  • 13 0
 @withdignityifnotalacrity: The spectral is not in stock either
  • 7 0
 @Murchman: Lol, what....was the point of all this then?
  • 4 0
 @withdignityifnotalacrity: I thought the same thing when the Stumpy was announced, what is the point if you can't buy the damn thing for 4-6 months?
  • 4 4
 The Santa Cruz Hightower C XT with the same specs costs just 400 (+/-) USD more if you ask your LBS for a discount.
  • 7 1
 Where I live there are zero decent bike shops around me. I don't trust shops to work on my bikes either other than certain suspension stuff (and I send the forks and shocks out anyways). So in that regard bike shop brands and direct to consumers are the same for me, I have to order both online anyways.
I usually order both components and bikes online from other countries as well, since the prices and stock is better.
  • 5 0
 @rustiegrizwold: I was thinking the comp SLX EVO. It's $100/$200ish more than most comparable DTC bikes but you get SWAT, the massively adjustable geo, and get to buy a bike from a local shop.
  • 3 0
 @styleguide: You can also get 5% discount on Canyon if you are with NICA. I would also think the carbon on the Canyon is the same as the CC and not C of Santa Cruz?
  • 5 4
 @Murchman: with "plastic tubes" guiding the hoses internally? sound more like a ghetto version of C, nevermind CC
  • 6 2
 @styleguide: can you point me towards that shop? i was putting a build together for an alloy hightower (frame discounted to 1800€) earlier this year and even with an SLX build, Hunt wheels and a used Lyrik for 600, the build would have been around 4k. again, the alloy model, the carbon one would be at least 1k more and built like for like (Fox, XT, DTSwiss) it would probably be well over 6k.
  • 13 3
 Well, It´s very easy. The closest specialized bikeshop is about. 1,5hour drive (oneway - 3hour total). When I buy the bike there, I dont expect to return, 3 hour in modern man live is eternity, thats 2 bike rides for me. When I need to do service, I should do it in authorised specialized shop, or bye bye warranty. The specialized shop are UNBELIAVABLE overpriced, for last time I went there I left there so much money it would be enough for half of new Vitus Sommet. The best thing - the bike was behaving oddly and worse than before the repair - another 3 hour drive (and to pick it up another 3) - the guy proudly said that they will fix it for free Big Grin D yes and who gives me my 6 hour back?. It was just so much easier to buy the commencal meta, about 10 mins on internet and it´s done. I just dont care for the option of testing the bike before I buy it, I dont think I know better than commencal development team and testing riders - I just trust them and internet reviews - method that never let me down. Than you wait for the bike - you know when you wait for the bike to arrive - in the meantime you can normaly be productive, you are NOT sitting in the car, so it doesnt hurt me a bit to wait for something to arrive - to send it back - in total it wastes much less of my productive time. And secondly, the DTC companies are producing one hell of bikes (the new 2021 Vituses, Commencals? wow), the price doesnt matter, If I count all burnt time cause my Specialized Enduro and count how much money I could in that time make working - the bike itself was at the end the cheapest part of this whole episode...
  • 6 0
 Honestly shortages are hitting DTC companies just like they're hitting big brands. A lot of bikes I've looked at online are just out of stock and order dates are way out. I stalked the Spec website for a couple weeks when the new Evo was announced, until I finally found a shop in town that got the new Evo in my size, the next day I was walking out of the LBS with a new bike. Yes, shortages suck, but sitting around waiting for a bike to ship/watching the tracking info for a few weeks is the same as waiting for a LBS to get one. This Canyon is spec'd almost the same, but my new bike came with a full year of free service from my LBS and I can get warranty service much easier.
  • 2 0
 @wowbagger: check your inbox
  • 4 0
 @rickybobby18: Yea the Stumpy EVO might be the best value from any LBS brand. I used to think Giant had the best "value" but even a Trance X is close a grand more then a comparable EVO.
  • 5 0
 In Germany the Spectral is still €1.700 cheaper than the Specialized (at €4.000 vs €5.700k)
  • 1 0
 @Murchman: they are available even now if you are willing to drive or know someone you trust in another area. it is a hassle for sure, but every company is impacted by the supply chain and demand issues right now.
  • 2 1
 @salespunk: The closest one to my zip code 30114 is 1,573 miles away, not willing drive to UT for a bike.
  • 3 0
 @f00bar: what would the internal cable guides have to do with the carbon layup?
  • 13 0
 Stumpy EVO in NZ is $10400 NZD...the 8.0 with the near same spec is $6949 NZD - yes, we get very ripped off with Specialized bikes....sure as hell isn't $200 USD difference in these here parts.

And Canyon showing in stock for NZ too... Smile
  • 1 0
 @handynzl: Same price differences here in Tassie. And yes, Canyon is showing in stock or 2 week delay.
  • 1 1
 @pargolf8: if someone okays this, how demanding will they be in terms of carbon layup quality?
Again, given their track record, I don't think their carbon comes anywhere close to SC.
  • 3 3
 @f00bar: isn't SC pretty much the overall class leader when it comes to carbon?
  • 3 0
 @wowbagger: Talk about lighting the blue touchpaper, that's a bold statement.
In technical terms, Scott or Spesh might be argued to be the class-leaders.
Not sure how much of the real carbon magic makes it to these kind of bikes though, I get the impression it's more fancy road and XC bikes that benefit from the ultra hi-mod lightweight treatment.
  • 6 0
 @chakaping: yeah, tbh i was just parroting stuff i have heard at some point. if anything it was an honest question because i simply don't know. so, If this is where WW3 starts and Austria starts it yet again, you can't say you haven't been warned by history Big Grin
  • 1 0
 @wowbagger: If I may suggest that you try with Sachertorte this time
  • 2 0
 @Murchman: Haha. We're neighbors apparently. See you down at blankets creek.
  • 2 0
 @Stoaks: Heading that way in about 20 min
  • 1 0
 @styleguide: With bikes in such shortage you'll be paying list price for sure. Hard to negotiate when demand exceeds supply. That being said, my LBS did throw me some serious discounts on extra's when I bought my Orbea Rallon a few months ago and I have free life time tuneups.
  • 64 1
 Here’s the customer service complaint comment you were looking for.
  • 40 14
 funny they compared the stumpy to it 'cause i can tell servicewise Specialized isn't better than Canyon. Damaged my seatstay in September (Stumpy '20) and am still waiting for the new one ... oh did I mension that the new seatstay doesn't even have the same paintjob my bike has?
  • 38 60
flag m1dg3t (Dec 1, 2020 at 3:20) (Below Threshold)
 @sr-34: You do realize we're in the middle of a global pandemic and that there are shortages everywhere, right? Be happy they had something to send you in the 1st place.
  • 117 5
 @m1dg3t: yeah god damn those seatstay panic buyers
  • 13 146
flag m1dg3t (Dec 1, 2020 at 3:33) (Below Threshold)
 @DannyOC: You know what's funny? I go to the store and see people buying as much toilet paper as they can fit in their vehicles, and I just stand there with a grin holding several boxes of ammunition. Priorities, right? /rolleyes
  • 11 2
 I owned both Canyon and Specialized MTBs in the past, and I was pleased with customer service with both brands. Canyon carbon frame bottom bracket bearing shells broke after 6 years (of partially unintended use), couldn't be fixed but received 600 EUR compensation (the bike was mostly ruined anyways). On my specialized bikes I broke a number of shocks and those were replaced with no questions asked even after the warranty period. Of couse it's nice to have a dealer close by that can take of repairs and stuff, but I have to say that whenever I had issues with canyon bikes, customer service was helpful and quick.
  • 45 4
 I'll complain about the price.
There were times when a Spectral kit, that competed with a $4700 Stumpjumper, would cost $3000. That time is long gone now. So if both bikes cost the same and the only difference is maybe $200 for flashier wheels, it's a no-brainer. Especially when you compare Canyon's history of cracking frames/chainstays to the lifetime warranty from Specialized.
  • 14 1
 Sick bike, but the cost difference is very small vs regular brand. Commencal has more cost saving/performance option I think, even if they are aluminum frames.
  • 13 0
 @f00bar: Second that.
I was beginning to notice that those direct-sales brands have become increasingly more expensive over the last few years.
Brands like Canyon and YT, purely based on price, are still a good deal compared to non direct-sales brands, but no longer the no-brainer from let's say 5 or 10 years ago.
  • 6 0
 @Soucy: and Propain has even more
  • 26 0
 @m1dg3t: linked ammo belts for toilet paper? Sounds painful and messy.
  • 28 1
 @m1dg3t: r/iamverybadass
  • 7 5
 @NinetySixBikes: @f00bar: Someone has to pay for all the marketing & shredits.
  • 9 41
flag m1dg3t (Dec 1, 2020 at 5:43) (Below Threshold)
 @pbuser2299: @RonSauce: My facetious comment seemed to ruffle some snowflakes LoL
  • 4 0
 @loamylaps: @loamylaps: I owned the old Spectral (201Cool and dealt with Canyons service twice. The first time my chainstay cracked and I had a response from them within the day and a new chainstay in two weeks. I would say this was an overall good experience.

The second time, I once again cracked a chainstay probably a month and half into the Covid madness. Despite my numerous attempts to contact them, I didnt get a response from the service department until late August and at one point got an email (in July) saying dont contact us we will reach out when we have time. Once I was speaking to an actual person they were able to get me sorted out pretty quickly.

I have no way to know how much this second experience was affected by Covid (I suspect heavily) but this was a pretty bad experience. It is pretty frustrating to not even hear from anyone for months. Even if the outcome would be on the same timeline knowing would be better.

All that being said, I wouldn't tell someone not to buy a Canyon and depending on your local bike shop your warranty experience could be better or worse with a bike purchased from them.
  • 7 0
 @NinetySixBikes: someone else made the comment the other day that it seems like when new Direct to consumer companies pop up they have really great pricing and then slowly start to drift towards being priced the same as nonDTC options. It seems like they use really agressive pricing to get their foot in the door but in the end even by eliminating the middle man the sustainable price ends up being pretty close to the same.
  • 3 0
 @mtmc99: Not really. On average if you are a LBS you should have 20-30% maybe even more of the MSRP (it varies between brands) then you give a discount, size depends if it's a regular customer etc and with such margins you can function normaly as a shop. Now the difference between LBS brands and DTC is much lower than 30% and you can see that they take quite a lot more for themselves. Also you have to pay extra for shipping and at least in EU that fee isn't that big but elsewhere it can get to 100, 150€/$.
  • 2 0
 @f00bar: Agreed. I bought a canyon road bike 4 years ago. The same model with same group set is now almost 25% more expensive.
  • 13 0
 @m1dg3t: I wipe my arse with the corpses of panic buyers. /s
  • 1 0
 @NinetySixBikes: True - and when they leave out the middle man - look at the profits they must be raking in now. I have a Capra now, not sure I could afford a newer one.
  • 3 0
 @f00bar: The Canyons in your country must have an insane markup if the Spectral costs about the same as a similar specced Stumpy.

Hard to get a good comparison between the two since they are not specced the same but:

www.specialized.com/se/sv/stumpjumper-expert-carbon-29/p/170571?color=262612-170571&searchText=93320-3302

vs

www.canyon.com/sv-se/mountain-bikes/trail-bikes/spectral/spectral-29-ltd/2682.html?dwvar_2682_pv_rahmenfarbe=BK%2FBK#!accordions=1_0

Same price, but Fox36 on Canyon compared to 34 & you get GX components on the stumpy (seriously, GX on a bike that cost 6-7k?), so same price but i would say the Spectral is better specced, just compare the drivetrain, GX vs XTR

Or:

The Spectral i would go for:

www.canyon.com/sv-se/mountain-bikes/trail-bikes/spectral/spectral-29-cf-9/2689.html?dwvar_2689_pv_rahmenfarbe=BK%2FBK

If i want a Stumpy with that drivetrain i need to pay about 800 dollar more & getting alu wheels instead: www.specialized.com/se/sv/stumpjumper-expert/p/175250?color=281584-175250&searchText=93321-3001

So, still, price difference is over 1-1.5k if one would consider the price difference between alu & carbon wheels, even more if the carbon cockpit is valueable to the buyer, then the price difference to the Spectral is even bigger. So 1-1.5k difference here still between Canyon & Specialized, much more than the 200 where you live

Then we have the slightly cheaper Stumpy, 400USD cheaper than the Spectral i would go for but in that case the Stumpy is equipped with crappy NX drivetrain: www.specialized.com/se/sv/stumpjumper-comp-carbon-29/p/170573?color=281261-170573&searchText=93319-5702

Yes, Canyon have become more expensive than they used to be but still, atleast where i live, i would still get a much better equipped bike for my money going with Canyon compared to Specialized.

I wish i lived where all of you that says that Canyon & Specialized cost the same because i am looking to get an Epic Evo Wink
  • 40 0
 Spesh and Canyon are doing something weird with their paint schemes just as we were running out of conspiracy theories.
  • 42 0
 Both design teams sponsored by After Eight?
  • 6 0
 @Ttimer: A hint that Nestle bought Canyon mybe
  • 6 0
 Full black only for the US market... Has spesh patented mint green/black paint?
  • 2 0
 The Great (rear-triangle) Replacement?
  • 5 0
 @BenPea: Maybe Norco bought both companies and use last years left over Optic paint.
  • 2 0
 @Konda: You'll be hearing from the lawyers about that comment.
  • 30 0
 Finally we can now welcome Canyon to the modern world where the reach is longer than the seat tube. Now its time to update the rest of the line.
  • 12 1
 For shorter legged dudes, their seat tubes are still stoopid long. I thought they'd do better. If you are in between sizes, specifically the M and L, that 460 length on the L is a deal breaker for sure.
  • 2 4
 @Chuch: I am 182 cm tall with 86 cm inseam. Had Meta AM 4.2 27.5 which had 490 mm or so long seattube and with 150 mm dropper I had around 2 cm of the seatpost exposed. You want to run 250 mm dropper or what?! Or you are 175 cm and stupidly going up a size instead of going with another frame?
  • 3 0
 @TheJD: i'm 5'10 with a 81 inseam and i wouldn't be able to run a 150 dropper on the L frame. On bikes like the Jeffsy i'd be able to run a 170 dropper on their L and not be stuck with 140 at best (also limiting the choice of droppers considerably). To me 30mm more room to move is enough of a difference to decide for the other bike.
  • 2 1
 @Chuch: Same here, and it's common among German brands. I assume their designers are blessed with superior genes.
  • 2 3
 @wowbagger: That's M size frame territory. They clearly state that L is for 183 cm and taller people. Go with another frame, the Jeffsy for example. I.e. their sizing is correct for the people of intended dimensions. For people your size they have the M size.
  • 4 1
 @Chuch: If you are inbetween sizes and cry that the larger size has the seattube too long for you then you clearly have to go with the smaller size or a different frame. Have you considered, that someone taller than you with longer than usual legs might find the seattube too short even with a longer dropper?
  • 2 0
 @TheJD: Incidentally, I did have the medium frame Spectral Smile however, I see myself as somewhat of an outlier here because I like to run shorter frames than most people, who (for my size - ) would probably be looking for frames with somewhere between 470 and 500 reach. Like Levy does for example.
there's no right or wrong frame size other than what feels right, but there is a difference whether or not people (like me, with shorter legs) can upsize and still run a long dropper post. I just don't see a reason, why you'd do it this way and drive away potential buyers over the length of a seat tube.
  • 3 1
 @wowbagger: You said it yourself. There will be people who are 2 meters tall and don't like the current trend of long bikes, who will rather ride L sized frame, but will need sufficiently long seat tube.
When you are an outlier you cannot expect that a every product made for the masses with sizing made to fit the masses will also fit you, an outlier. Just choose another frame or go custom.
  • 2 0
 @TheJD: "When you are an outlier you cannot expect that a every product made for the masses with sizing made to fit the masses will also fit you" you are right.
Isn't it however quite easy nowadays to fit stuff for longer-legged people, what with 200+ dropper posts? Do we still need long seat tubes?
  • 2 0
 @TheJD:

If the seat tube is to short, fit a longer post. If the seat tube is to long, buy another brand.
  • 3 0
 @TheJD, at 460mm the Spectral's seattube is on the longer side compared to recently released bikes of the same size.

For comparison: Kona Process X: 420mm. Stumpjumper EVO S4: 425mm. Norco Sight: 435mm. Transition Sentinel: 430mm.
  • 26 5
 How long do you guys ride these for long when reviewing? Did you guys have any issues with the rear axle working loose after every descent no matter how tight you dared putting the skinny qr lever? Did the pivot bearings last more than 3 - 4 months in winter conditions? These are issues i experienced with my canyon. Great spec on paper but let down by the poor frame.
  • 5 1
 I had the 2019 Spectral for a bit and the rear axle did work itself loose every now and again (not every descent though).
The rear triangle seems to be an issue though, i know people who had several breaks and also the alignment on this replacement (not mine btw www.reddit.com/r/CanyonBikes/comments/k1hac8/the_canyon_send_new_frame_under_warranty/?utm_source=share&utm_medium=ios_app&utm_name=iossmf) leads me to think that something about those rear ends is fundamentally off.
For what it's worth, when they do work the performance of the rear end is second to none.
  • 3 1
 Based on my Canyon road bike's axles (self loosening) and seat post clamp (my seat has dropped several inches mid ride multiple times), my first thought was that that rear QR stands no chance. Great bike otherwise, but their little finishing bits are pretty awful.
  • 3 0
 That sucks man. I had a 2018 Spectral, which was just sold a couple of months ago. Bearings changed once. It was absolutely flawless the whole time. Took three months to arrive though!
  • 22 0
 I like the idea of bringing the "all mountain" category back. It's descriptive, unlike trail and enduro. This helps people getting into the sport to understand what the category is without having to consult with a mtb geek.
  • 7 0
 all mountain is a way friendlier term.
  • 4 0
 I agree, I still use that when talking about bikes like the Ripmo and the EVO. Great all-arounder with a little more travel than a trail bike but not quite as big or as racy as a full on Enduro.
  • 3 3
 "Downcountry" was the term I liked most Smile
  • 6 0
 Enduro never made sense to me as a bike category. Enduro is a race format, but those races occur on all sort of terrain. I race the California Enduro series which goes from Northstar where you want the biggest bike possible to Ashland which was won on a downcountry bike. There is even Grinduro on gravel bikes. All mountain makes a lot more sense
  • 25 2
 Spectralcular bike!
  • 25 1
 Canyonot come up with something more refined?
  • 22 0
 Gotta keep striving for that perfect pun.
  • 7 1
 you guys are exceeding the limits.
  • 3 0
 It's one of the funnier bikes Aeroad
  • 6 0
 You just have to tighten that real axle with enough Torque.
  • 3 0
 Dude, Ultimate pun.
  • 3 0
 It really lux like you won't ever run out of options...
  • 5 0
 @colincolin: oh get off your high Horst
  • 15 0
 I know we like to make fun of comments like this around here, but this really does look a lot like a Jeffsy with slightly tidier details.
  • 6 0
 Giving the people another option when they check and see that Jeffsy is out of stock Wink
  • 11 0
 In Europe, the price difference between the Spectral and the Stumpy is far more drastic. E.g. in Austria, I can get the Spectral CF8 for € 3.999,--, while the Stumpy Evo Expert has a list price of € 5.699,--.
  • 3 0
 Was going to make exactly the same comment... the difference is due to the 20% VAT tax in EU
  • 11 0
 Let me see the aluminum frame and we'll see about picking this one up instead of Ripmo AF.
  • 13 0
 Looks like a Jeffsy
  • 1 0
 Was my first impression too :O
  • 1 2
 @themountain: Geo (on the XXL vs XL model at least) is within a few mm on every measurement, with a bit slacker HA on the spectral. And same single sided bolts for the pivots. And exactly the same frame shape, minus the seat tube bridge on the Jeffsy. Honestly, the similarities are a little flattering to YT. Only the YT frame is now close to 2 years old... Welcome to 2019, 2021 Canyon! Big Grin
  • 1 1
 @tallpaul-s: does not mean they ride anywhere close, even if they look similar
  • 6 0
 "And don't forget about that SWAT storage compartment"

You really can't forget about SWAT once you have it. Combined with room for a large bottle, a multi-tool on the cage or in the headtube, it's like they were made for the "no packs" contingent. I recently switched to a Tubolito tube for even more room and ease of loading, but even with a full-sized tube, you can fit a tube, patch kit, tire boots, CO2 inflator and a couple few cartridges, bacon strip kit, and even an emergency light, a small pump or shock pump, and/or snacks.

Add in a soft bottle and a collapsible dog bowl in your back pocket (a soft bottle amazingly stays put very well in all my shorts, and by halfway through the ride it's empty and collapsed) and you can even bring trail pups without worrying about the choice of hydrating them or you.

I used to always wear a small to medium pack, now I only bring my little USWE pack when I might need to fully shed or add a layer, or want to bring trail beers; though I'm thinking getting one of those bottle-belts just for the trail beers situation ;-)
  • 2 0
 There's no reason to get a bike without SWAT when you can get a bike with SWAT.
  • 7 0
 So canyon ditched to idea of frame protection that doubles as cable routing and went back to full internal.
  • 10 0
 Yeah but they now have a chainstay protector that is ribbed, for pleasure.
  • 4 4
 @Mr-Horse: Yeah, but who's pleasure? Yours? Mine? His? Hers? Or is it all inclusive?
  • 1 0
 Not sure why aren't doing the external channels like gt and others...super clean, ez maintenance, no rattle.
  • 1 0
 @TheJD: that's a sad change. I loved their cable routing before. Not at all a fan of internal.
  • 8 0
 Can't wait to experience the extra speed from those aero headset spacers.
  • 4 0
 i heard they're 5% faster. but I'm having trouble believing that because they a'rent red.
  • 4 0
 Maybe it's just my experience but I have a 2019 Aluminum Spectral 27.5 that has done its fair share of BP laps as well as countless trail rides and I have yet to have an issue with the bike. Normal stuff - check all fasteners regularly and like any bike occasionally something works a little loose (never an axle). But overall it's a whip
  • 6 2
 Don't know why you would choose the Strive over this now. Same wheel size, same amount of travel, but this has a 2 degree slacker head angle than the Strive in the slack setting, and a 1 degree steeper seat angle than the Strive in the steep setting. Plus this is 20MM longer in the reach across all sizes, putting a medium at 460mm which is about right I think. Either they are about to drop a new Strive for 2021 with updated geometry or this will be the enduro bike to go for out of Canyon's catalogue IMO.
  • 2 1
 Because the Strive is actually in stock?
  • 2 1
 @hamncheez: Yeah probably because the Geometry is seriously dated, and most trail bikes are more capable. Point proven with this new Spectral.
  • 3 0
 And yet when Enduro MTB recently did timed testing with 10 Enduro bikes (set up when possible like they were raced in the EWS last season) on a segment of a former EWS stage, they had their second quickest times on the Strive under riders with a variety of skill levels.

They didn't love the slack seat angle, but it's relatively short measurements worked very well to go fast on natural (not heavily bermed) trails.
  • 3 0
 Just saw that Enduro MTB delves into this exact question in a Spectral review. They say they generally prefer the Spectral for its better pedaling position and it's more confidence inspiring geometry, but the Strive handles more directly and has better traction, so it can be ridden more quickly if you have the skill/strength.

So I'd definitely be going for the Spectral, but Jack Moir might stick to the Strive. ha
  • 3 0
 " The Meta, even with less rear travel, has a more planted, plow-through-everything nature. If the Meta is an aluminum meat tenderizer, hell-bent on smashing the trail into submission, then the Spectral is a finely honed chef's knife, precisely slicing its way down the fall line."

This statement is interesting, but I do not understand the reason behind why the bikes handles differently. I would imagine that the reduced weight(compared to the Meta) contributes somewhat to this feeling. I would be happy if anyone could elaborate a little as to why this frame feels a little light on its toes when speed goes up. As far as I can tell geometry seems on point for Enduro-duties. Components(Shock/Fork)? Differences in Frame Stiffness? Suspension Curve?
  • 5 0
 I understood it's mostly due to the suspension kinematics
  • 1 0
 I have a spectral cf9.0 from 2018 and this feeling is coming from the triple phase suspension. The suspension ramp up is to harsh and on big repetitive hits the bike is overwhelmed. I ve put a dvo topaz with a min bladder pressure and a sag of 30 - 35% and it is better but climbing is affected. Hard to find the good compromise.
  • 1 0
 Colorful metaphors are cool. Would you rather ride a meat tenderizer or a chef's knife? Sounds like @Thib67 knows what's what.
  • 3 0
 @mikekazimer for your height (which is similar to mine) canyon website recommends size "M". Would that make sense having shorter seat tube and shorter reach? I think that would be too short. Or size "L" would be better overall at 181cm height-relatively long arms and legs? thanks
  • 3 1
 @klake, I think a medium would have felt a little small for me, and for you at 181cm I'd say the large will be the way to go.
  • 7 4
 Don't listen to him :p. These guys go way overboard on the sizing and the manufacturers size charts don't support it. I'm the same size as yall and love my modern medium bikes. Especially if you're coming from a less modern bike a large is going to be ridiculous.
If you live somewhere with gnarly terrain and wide open trails AND you're ok riding while doing a pushup on the bars that is the only scenario where a large is going to work out better provided you can get the seated top tube length to work for you.
  • 3 0
 @lefthandohvhater: I currently am 5'10 and ride a large with a 475 reach. It is great for plowing down rough terrain. I also have a hardtail (same brand size L as well) with a 450 reach. I think I want something shorter for my next bike, like 460, to handle pulling around corners better.

Enduro magazine from Germany had a few articles in the summer about testing bikes and found that on a timed track a slightly shorter (medium) bike was typically faster than a larger bike since they could get around corners faster.

I'm glad to have the 475 since I think it helped me get more confident on fast rough sections. I also used to go over the bars a lot, and longer reach and slacker head angle stopped that. Now with the benefit of more experience, I think I would be better with a bike that cornered faster and gave up a little on the chunky straights.
  • 1 1
 A Large Spectral 29 is only 12mm shorter in wheelbase than a Large V10 27.5. It's longer than V10 by a few cm if extra wheel/tire diameter is included. Spectral has almost 11cm less combined travel. This shows Kazimer's unbelievable skill in being able to pilot such a long bike with so much less travel.

Average 183cm fellows such as myself who'd like to have the saddle more over the pedals and flatter at full extension--to share weight-bearing with hands--which allows a lower stack height--would go for a Medium Spectral 29. It's 3cm longer than my current Medium, not including wheel length. Same travel.

Only two weeks ago a Large Spectral had a wheelbase of 1204mm. Now a Medium is 1224, not including wheel length. Does it seem like Canyon is certain about sizing?
  • 1 0
 @mikekazimer: thanks! i guess you meant "medium little small for me" Smile
  • 1 0
 @lefthandohvhater: i have currently a rocky mountain altitude 2019 (so previous generation) in Large, with 460 reach, etc. It feels compact for me, I feel I could have something roomier, not for stability or anything (I don t really care about speed) but for comfort. But mostly I'm annoyed with the the seat being too much in the back and combined with the short chainstays it s not that planted on the steep climbs. I usually sprint up because the bike is so light-efficient and I can do that but I'm wondering if newer bikes with longer chainstays, 29er wheels and steeper seat tubes could be better.But yeah it has longer wheelbase plus the bigger wheels so it might add up to something too long. Should try before buying if I ever get to that...
  • 1 0
 @klake, oops, yes, you're right - a medium would likely have felt small.
  • 1 0
 Correction: seated position over pedals is dictated strictly by seat tube angle, which changes with saddle height. Are you where you want to be at full seatpost extension, given horizontal adjustability of saddle? If not, stop--frame does not fit. Does not apply to DH, BMX, obv.

Presuming all Spectral sizes have the same actual seat tube angle, any size can be used to make this determination--seatpost being an extension of the seat tube configuration--though it's difficult in practice, since one might like to put one's hands somewhere.
  • 1 0
 @ceecee: Stem length, saddle type, and saddle setback can provide at least 7cm of adjustment which is a ton! Obviously there will be side effects and tradeoffs of making changes to the most extreme ends of these adjustments.
  • 1 0
 @lefthandohvhater: as Enduro approaches Triathlon--Cycling Tips!--I'm not too worried over setback droppers, except maybe for short people. Also, kinked seat tube. Any brand that tells us we can just choose a size on a pedally bike that has same STA for every size severely exaggerates this choice. Yes, this is not Canyon.
  • 6 3
 Thanks for ruining I've of the greatest things about the Spectral. Stack height.

Now an XL stack is only 637?? Down from 655??

XL's are for tall people. Now we have to use ugly spacers, ugly attend, or 50-60mm bars.

I'm out.
  • 7 4
 Modern bikes require lower front ends to keep weight on the front wheel. Your riding style needs to change to take advantage of these bikes. Otherwise stick to your old bike and save your $$$. Seems like a win/win.
  • 3 0
 @lefthandohvhater: Pick on someone your own size
  • 1 1
 @lefthandohvhater: except 'modern' bikes are increasing chainstay length, steepening seat angles, and reducing fork offset - so literally the opposite of what you said is true.
  • 2 0
 @Linc: Yes chainstays are growing. This spectral has 437mm chainstays which aren't going to change this dramatically. Also steeper seat tube angles certainly help when climbing but don't have any effect on descending which is what I was referring to.
  • 3 0
 Looks like a great bike. Now if they could make a 27.5 version in extra small. Looks like petite riders like my wife are not gonna be able to buy a modern aggressive bike anytime soon. She's stuck using an old school geo trail bike on terrain that would be better suited for a much slacker bike with more travel. Anything more than 390 reach is way too long for my wife. 29 inch wheels are definitely a no-go. Her 27.5 rear wheel already hits her saddle every time she hits a drop, and that's with 3 tokens and only 20% sag. How about some love for the shorties out there? Stop making separate bikes for 12 year old kids and women, and just make extra small models marketed to smaller riders in general. Wouldn't that be easier for everybody?
  • 2 0
 Seems like there are others? The Ripmo on DW Link comes to mind....

Kazimer: "There's been a resurgence of all-mountain bikes over the last year or so, the category where bikes like the Norco Sight, Transition Sentinel, Specialized Stumpjumper EVO, and now the Canyon Spectral reside. All of those models have 29” wheels, 150mm of travel paired with a 160mm fork, and sit in that nebulous area between trail bikes and beefed up enduro bikes. They also all happen to rely on a Horst Link suspension layout, but they each have their own distinct handling characteristics out on the trail."
  • 1 0
 Yep, the Ripmo V2 fits right into that category as well.
  • 1 0
 @mikekazimer: not v1?
  • 2 0
 It would be interesting to ride both the Strive and Spectral back-to-back to really see what differentiates them since they have the same specs (29" wheels, 150mm R, 160mm F). Canyon says that the Strive is the enduro-smasher and the Spectral is the more nimble all-round trail bike. I want to demo them.
  • 2 1
 66 degree head tube angle? Enduro Smasher? i dont think so...
  • 1 0
 @Narro2: That is how Canyon advertises the Strive. They describe the Strive being more of point and shoot, plush, ground hugging machine, but yeah the geo is not as aggressive as the Spectral. On paper, the Spectral is lighter, more aggressive geo, and suspension sounds more fitted toward climbing and all mountain riding. Different bikes, but similar. That is why demoing them side-by-side would be interesting.
  • 1 0
 @tacklingdummy: ok, yeah you are right, my bad...have you checked the Commencal or YT options? In my opinion they have more modern geometries and prices are more forgiving.
It just baffles me that the Strive keeps having that old XC Geometry, sorry
  • 2 0
 @Narro2: The Strive is due for a new model and geo update. I'm guessing the next iteration will have more aggressive geometry and more travel (170mm/160mm).

Yes, I look at all the bikes. Lol. YT and Canyon are not easy to get even if you want one.
  • 2 0
 I bought a 2018 Canyon Spectral CF 8.0 a couple years ago for $3500. At the time, it was about 1k less than other brands with similar specs. Now the CF 8.0 is $4600, so the consumer direct option is just as expensive as LBS bikes. Without that advantage, there's basically no reason for people to choose consumer direct bikes anymore.
  • 2 0
 The bike racing nerd in me wants to know two things (1) are the Canyon enduro racers going to race on this bike? And (2) if they do, what size will Jack Moir ride? He currently rides a large Strive, but the large Strive is closer to a medium in the Spectral. A 6 foot 4 rider on a medium would be wild...
  • 2 0
 According to Canyon, their EWS racers are going to stick with the Strive. We'll see if that's the case when racing starts up again.
  • 4 1
 Love it, but.....the price. That price kind of takes away the reason you go to "consumer direct" brands. Where is the AL version?
  • 1 0
 So is every new bike released just called a trail bike now? This is longer lower and slacker them the strive model and has the same amount of travel. Hell this has the same amount of travel and is slacker then my norco range and that is far from a trail bike. This is a killer bike, but it's far from what I would consider a trail bike. but seems like the trail bike category is flooded with every new bike that comes out regardless of travel and obvious intended use. And unless they are working on am updated strive I guarantee we will see the canyon team racing on this next year and not the strive ????
  • 1 0
 There's no lack of Trail bike options, it's only the availability. If MFG's were able to crank out large volumes, the prices probably could come down. I understand Canyon is coming to Canada in 2021 too. Let's hope that happens.
  • 1 0
 82 psi in the Fox 36 for 160lb rider...this illustrates how terrain specific reviews are. If you tried that in SoCal garbage dirt you'd never find any traction. These kind of settings work in the PNW where small bump compliance is secondary, you're always chasing support and there's infinite traction available. In our crap anti-grip it's a constant hunt for compliance and traction - pressures for that weight rider would be 10 psi lower.
  • 1 0
 I've been waiting for years for this bike to come out and they ruined it with the small water bottle. Ever ridden in Australian summer heat? The YT Jeffsy has been on my no-buy list because of the tiny drink bottle and the previous Yetis with no drink bottles are there too. I'm really disappointed.
  • 9 9
 Why do supplied tires even factor in a review? Most people are going to own a bike for a number of years, tires are a consumable that can be worn out and replaced within a few months. I can't think I would ever not go for the bike I wanted because it came out of the box rolling on the 'wrong' rubber.
  • 25 1
 If I'm gonna drop several $k on a bike I don't want to have to swap parts right off the bat. Especially with what bike tires cost these days.
  • 12 0
 Because if the tyres are shit, then you need to spend £100+ replacing them for good rubber. Not a huge factor, and wouldn't stop me buying a bike, but just an extra cost on top, that wouldn't be needed if decent tyres were speced in the first place.
  • 4 1
 @melonhead1145: On my side of the pond tires are ~$100ea sometimes more depending on size, casing, compounds, etc... It's stupid. I just put new snow tires (205/50 r16) on my car for $110ea installed & balanced.
  • 4 0
 YES they did it! Finally a Spectral with big wheels.
  • 4 1
 MTB companies be releasing 2021 models knowing full well this ain't gonna be in stock until 2023.
  • 2 1
 These bike reviews are lovely but when's the EXT fork review coming? Every time I see a bike review I get concerned that the time spent writting it wasn't spent writting the fork review
  • 4 1
 Canyon and unnecessarily long seat tube length, name a more iconic combination!
  • 1 0
 So we all no by now that looking at the numbers of this new spectral that a new Strive is in the works. Otherwise why would any one need a Strive, when this spectral is a lot more modern in terms of geometry
  • 3 0
 I wonder if you remove the Spectral decal does it still say Jeffsy underneath?
  • 1 0
 Just about to ask, looks like Canyon will be available in Canada in spring 2021. Will there be stocks is the question I guess coz everyone will be raring to go out again while this pandemic is still on.
  • 1 0
 CANYON; All right, all right, we get it steep seat angles are the new trend you guys are pushing, hows 77 degrees?

PINKBIKE; F%%K YOU (jams seat ALL the way forward on the rails) we make the rules!!
  • 1 1
 The 150/160mm fork 'option' makes no sense – in Europe, the front travel flip flops with the model/price point so your choice is restricted. I'd think the majority of people set their budget first, so they'll be stuck with whichever travel option Canyon have decided for them, or they'll have to downgrade on spec to upgrade on travel. Or take the Rockshox that fits your budget and forever wonder if 160mm would be better. Bonkers. You'd think the bike was optimised for one OR they'd offer each option at each price point. When we know that whichever it was really 'optimised' for means the other has a mildly compromised seat/head angle. It may not be a massive difference and they no doubt both ride fine, but still a bizarre speccing decision.
  • 4 0
 Oh yes, because fitting longer airshaft that costs like 30bucks is completely impossible.
  • 4 1
 Still have to receive my 27.5 spectral. Ouch!
  • 2 0
 You can still cancel if you want to.
  • 3 1
 Must be a new strive in the works with the geometry of this making it look far more capable
  • 2 0
 And it has a GRIP2 in the fork where the equivalent Strive has a Fit4...
  • 4 1
 That rear axle should come standard on every bike, just saying.
  • 4 0
 4000 € in europe.
  • 1 0
 I think they made a mistake ditching the cable management compartment beneath the downtube. Was both smart and simple. Waiting to see what the aluminium models have to offer.
  • 2 1
 Given there wasnt alu strive either im not sure there will be new aluminum spectral either
  • 3 0
 Spectral Canyon wrote a book "How I killed my bigger brother, Strive".
  • 1 2
 "The precise, agile nature of the bike makes it seem like trying to beef if up would be a step in the wrong direction."

Now, a decent amount of people would see that as a sign that it's ready to be beefed up. You don't want to go from a Pike to Zeb or 36 to 38 on a bike that is already a bit of a slug. But if you start with something poppy and pingy like this, then discover you love the jank, and pushing the bike, and nasty trails that most people are afraid of, then this bike is a good choice to drop in a big ol' enduro fork, beefy tires, and a coil shock, because it won't become a plowy super slug, just a bit less pingy and a bit more forgiving.
  • 1 0
 @mikekazimer I saw in a different first look that the head tube isnt tapered. Is this actually the case? If so, what are your feelings on that?
  • 1 0
 Funny, the color ways are flipped on their website. The Green/Black is only offered on the entry level CF7 and then the CF8 is only offered in black...
  • 1 1
 I wanted evo but there is shortage, so I bought enduro, not much difference in travel, you can do same things on both bikes. If I want to pedal lot I am on my xc or gravel bike.
  • 1 0
 2 things. On canyons website the CF 8 is black. And also the CF 7 (green) comes with a rock shox fork. But in every review, it comes with a fox fork?
  • 2 0
 They listen to my prays for last 7 years !
  • 2 1
 Why is Canyon so determined to have ridiculous long seat tubes? is it some sort of weird cultish thing?
  • 1 0
 I agree. 430mm on a size M is still way too long for me. :-(
  • 1 0
 @johnnyo5: Now I understand on that on the bigger sizes they are quite big, but really 430 is not that much, may I ask how tall are you?
  • 1 0
 @Jaib06: I'm 5'7" with a long torso and short legs. I have the 2016 Spectral and its seat tube is 440mm. It came with a 125mm dropper post but I had to replace it with a 100mm one. I love everything about my Spectral except for the long seat tube, and this new one's 430mm won't get me into a longer post. As a comparison, here are other seat tube lengths from other brands for size medium: Transition Sentinel (390), Norco Sight (395), Stumpjumper 29 EVO (405), Ibis Ripmo AF (380). Canyon's seems unnecessarily long and it's a shame, as it looks like a nice bike otherwise.
  • 1 0
 @johnnyo5: Ok, I do see where your coming from, I just googled my Specialized and its a 430 on a medium as well, but I think there is definitely an aspect of adjusting your riding style to suit it, maybe not hanging off the back as much? But I do thing your right btw, its probably too long for a 2021 bike.
  • 1 0
 @Jaib06: Not sure I need to adjust my riding style. Between a 150mm dropper post on a Transition Sentinel and a 100mm dropper post on a Canyon Spectral, I'll choose the Transition. :-)
  • 8 10
 Please, pinkbike, stop with the "seat tube too long". XL has 490 mm seat tube length. I am 6'7" and would be just a couple of mm above minimum insertion with my OneUp 210mm dropper. I am not extremely tall, but still wouldn't be able to ride even the largest new Stumpy or Process because of their ST length. These sizes should be called Short-medium, medium, long-medium, or something like that Frown
  • 7 1
 At 6'7" you definitely are extremely tall. More than 99 % of guys are shorter than you. I get that it sucks for you, but the seat tube being too long is definitely the more common problem.
  • 2 1
 @samimerilohi: Well, okay, i get that. But its funny, that it wasnt a problem five years ago and now it is. So average height guys can now choose from three or four sizes and the rest can suck it Smile
  • 3 4
 @kisab: Freaks of nature hadnt it easy either 5 years ago Wink
  • 1 0
 @kisab: Five years ago we also had steeper headtube angles, short reach and slacker seat tubes. Smile It's evolution, and needed because many people want to run a longer dropper.

I would guess that the amount of people who find a modern XL frame too small is very limited. But luckily a couple of manufacturers make an XXL, at least Santa Cruz comes to mind.
  • 1 0
 Why are you running a oneup dropper? It has the shortest length on the market so it can fit as far into frames as possible but makes some pretty significant compromises to achieve that. At your height you can use longer and more reliable posts. The new 200mm Fox transfer or even longer Vecnum 212mm come to mind.
  • 1 0
 @PortTownsendTrailsFTW: At the time of purchase it was a post with the longest travel. And price is still a factor, not gonna lie. And it fits my current frame... only just, but still Smile
  • 1 0
 I am a big fan of canyon bikes. I've bought two before and this will probably be my third. Or maybe a scott genius.
  • 1 0
 @mikekazimer would you choose the Spectral or Stumpy Evo if you had to do some enduro racing on it?
  • 1 0
 Really nice review, @mikekazimer. I enjoyed you putting in all the comparison points.
  • 1 0
 This rig looks sick! Currently looking for this bike or a sc megatower in sale
  • 1 0
 That valve alignment makes me quite happy. Thank you to whomever was responsible for that.
  • 2 0
 Looks like an updated Jeffsy
  • 1 0
 In Germany it compares to the Stumpy EVO comp that costs 5699€
Spectral 8.0 costs 3990€
  • 1 0
 You lost me at.......'Not the bike to pick if you have a smash-through-everything riding style'.....
  • 3 2
 Definitely a bike striving for success
  • 3 0
 Its "exceeding" our expectations
  • 8 10
 Don't quite see the point in the 29 version, as it has very similar numbers to the Strive, anyone who actaully wants a monster truck will just buy a strive and those who want a jib/fun bike will buy a 27.5 spectral
  • 5 1
 I think jib/fun is much more down to geometry than wheel size. I'm lucky enough to currently have a bike of either wheel size - Nukeproof Mega 27.5 (for sale soon) and a Cube Stereo c68 150 29er (just purchased). If I'd somehow been able to jump on each bike without knowing the wheel size I'd have said the Cube was the 27.5 as it's way more playful/agile - everything you're told a 29er isn't - compared to the 27.5 Mega.
  • 17 1
 strive is quiet outdated at this point
  • 4 0
 Expect a pedalable dh bike for enduro race duties to follow
  • 11 2
 @bikefuturist: it was outdated since the day it appeared.
  • 1 0
 @Noeserd: No click clack any more? I wonder if they're ditching the torque and putting the Strive in its place.
  • 6 2
 No one wants that shape shifter crap on the back...even Canyon knows its a flop.
  • 1 0
 @Noeserd: source? Couldn't find anything on the net, but that looks pretty much like a finished product
  • 5 0
 @bikefuturist: I disagree, if you read reviews it is still one the most versatile enduro bikes out there. Although its not as fast as say, the specialized enduro, its not slow, just look at florian last ews.
  • 1 0
 @eugenux: I disagree, if you read reviews it is still one the most versatile enduro bikes out there. Although its not as fast as say, the specialized enduro, its not slow, just look at florian last ews.
  • 3 1
 @shr3d: I really hope its not, the horst link works so well on the strive and it looks so much better then the ugly torque
  • 2 0
 @Chuch: I really like it, the new version it fantastic
  • 1 0
 @Ajorda: No, I hope not, they have completely different uses.
  • 2 0
 @Noeserd: That just looks fake, just a rebranded torque
  • 4 0
 @Jaib06: Not a torque for sure, look at the bottle cage. From the picture it could be a the same frame a spectral, but thats definetly a zeb up front. I do own the current strive, it's definetly a fun playful trail bike. For the purpose I use it, it works well, for everything else i am using my dh bike. Not a fan of long bikes anyways, if you can't pop a quick manual on the trail with it, it aint for me
  • 1 0
 @shr3d: Completely agree, we often get caught up on having the fastest bike that realistically we aren't going to use to the fullest extent anyway. Having a fun bike is much more important. And lets be real here, nowadays there are hardly any "bad" bikes, their all amazing.
  • 3 1
 @Jaib06:
That is why I have sold my big enduro bike and currently riding a befeed up trail bike with enduro-ish geometry which, by the way, I think it is more progressive than the one of your Strive.
As for what X or Y paid professional athleets ride...I couldn't give a shite ...as all my set-up chsracteristics, skill-sets, etc differ to such an extent it made the bike irrelevant. He could ride a pink unicorn with wings or Stormtrooper's speeder for all I care.

Having said that, that Strive was still born old/outdated.
  • 3 0
 @Noeserd: www.instagram.com/p/CID73GNHFxk/?igshid=1dowbat56ul2f

We all got trolled. It's braydons old spectral...
  • 1 0
 @shr3d: bahahahahh didn't expected that!
  • 3 2
 @Chuch: shapeshifter on current model strive is awesome, have you tried it?
  • 1 2
 @dsut4392: are you for real?, ahahahahahaha
  • 1 0
 @eugenux: It is good though, legitimately useful?
  • 1 2
 @Jaib06: every bike is legitimately useful.
  • 1 0
 @mikekazimer how does it compare to the new Transition Sentinel please?
  • 1 1
 Not too short chainstays and flipchip, good on you Canyon, should work well as a Mullet !
  • 2 0
 bb would be crazy low even in the high setting (28mm offset)
  • 1 1
 @arek-hs: not really, it would be slightly lower than in the low/29 setup but how is that really a problem ? Lower CG is great for conering and stability so I don't really see any drawback. Climbing isn't really a concern of mine I don't ride to pedal, I pedal to ride and push I needed.
  • 3 4
 Now imagine how good this bike would climb with a normal rear tyre! Running MAXXGRIP out back is a surefire way for sapping tons of energy on the climbs.
  • 1 1
 $4,700CAD and I'd be interested. That said, still decent VFD compared to other modern options.
  • 7 0
 IMHO there's a mistake in price in article.
Does Spectral 29 CF 8 price $4,699 include import taxes to US? I don't think so.

In the same way Stumpjumper EVO Expert in Europe costs waaaay more than Spectral CF8.

SJ EVO Expert 5499 EUR
Spectral CF8 3999 EUR

No way to compare these bikes by price.
  • 2 1
 @Demiourgos: Valid points. I should say then that for my locale their VFD is on par with other current products. At least they didn't skrimp on the wheelset...
  • 1 0
 @Demiourgos: This. But to be fair, a lot of US bikes are really expensive here in Europe.
  • 1 0
 @Demiourgos: canyon has a headquarters in California so no import tax in there bikes for us here.
  • 1 0
 @cmoney23: interesting. So 4699 is all you have to pay including everything?
Specialized also has HQ in Europe but the bikes are still imported and we get huge higher prices to pay vs US.
  • 1 0
 @Demiourgos: yup that is
it. I bought a canyon strive last year and there was no tax or import. The only extra I had to pay was $80 for shipping and handling.
  • 1 0
 Geez... Spell check, me. Sorry.
  • 1 0
 It seems like this is the 29er Trek Remedy some people have been wanting.
  • 2 3
 Here's to a whole new group of overbiked riders who eventually switch to ebikes because their 32lb boat anchor sucked on their XC trails.
  • 1 0
 Nice paint job on that Jeffsy
  • 1 0
 Just signed with the canyondale collective for next season...????
  • 1 0
 Was set on an Occam with 160mm fork, but this has got me thinking!
  • 1 0
 Brilliant job done here mike k.!
  • 1 1
 Looks like an optic
  • 2 4
 Don't you talk about XTs that way. You're braking too early.
  • 1 3
 Fluorescent mint green?
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