Review: 2023 Canyon Neuron CF 9

May 12, 2023 at 10:03
by Henry Quinney  
Canyon is a big company, and seemingly getting bigger. While they've been on the radar of many mountain bikers, particularly European ones, for many years, it feels like they're now hellbent on world domination. At times it can feel like they're just about wherever you look, with multiple World Cup teams in both XC and downhill, multiple world tour road cycling teams, a handful of prominent YouTubers, and one or two freeride phenoms.

In some ways, though, it feels like the big news out of the last few years isn't how commonplace their bikes are with your favorite pros, but just how much their bikes have progressed.

Canyon Neuron CF 9 SL
• Wheel size: 29"
• Travel: 130 frame / 140mm fork
• Carbon frame
• 66-degree head tube angle
• 437 mm chainstays
• Sizes: XS - XL
• 13.4 kg / 29.5 lb
• Complete bike: $5,499 USD
canyon.com

The Neuron typifies that, as well as it should. As Canyon's best-selling bike there is a lot riding on it being a success, and being representative of what a modern trail bike can be. It certainly looks the part, with smooth clean lines, a crisp colorway, a wide variance in sizing, and plenty of options both in alloy and carbon. As you'd expect with Canyon, the spec is also very good for the price.

Our first look video of the Neuron, as well as some singing


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I love the mix of gloss and matte paint.

Frame Details

The Neuron frame is a very good looking bike, and there's plenty of tech in there too. Let's take a rundown of the features.

Firstly, this is a 29" wheel bike in most sizes, however, there are options for 27.5 in both the extra small and the small. The bike also has a junior platform.

The bike has a lot of sensible touches. Completely guided cabling means you should be able to just push your brake hose or shift cable from the back of the bike and it will be guided all the way through to the front of the bike. The bike does use an internally routed headset, but it should be said that even riding over a very wet winter in BC it never developed any creaks or cracks from the front of the bike through dirt or moisture ingestion. The same, sadly, can't be said for the linkage, which developed a creak early on in the test period.

The integrated chainstay protection is comprehensive and even helps to prevent chainsuck, the downtube guard is clean and the chain guide is minimalist yet effective. There is also the option for a little kit that nestles under your top tube to include the bare essentials. There is also a thread bottom bracket and very deep insertion lengths for the 200mm as-standard adjustable seatpost that came on my size large test bike. There are three bolts available for water bottle cages, so if you don't run a piggyback shock you have more options for placement, and if you do you can still get your bottle to fit. Canyon has made all the spare parts and bearings available to order via their website. All great features.

One thing that may split the crowd is the rotation-limiting headset. Some will like it, and the way it protects the frame from the bars wrapping around, and others might find it irritating. I don't mind it, and I think Canyon's execution is one of the better ones. That said, it does make getting the bike to lay flat in the back of a car impossible - which is a small issue but a frustrating one when trying to get as many bikes in as possible.

photo

Geometry

The geometry of the Neuron has seen a leap forward compared to its predecessor, while also leaving enough in there for its tried-and-true core audience. It has grown bigger in terms of reach and has healthy 440mm chainstays. The bike also has a relatively high stack value across all sizes. Whereas the 76-degree seat tube angle might seem a little on the slack side for some, I found it to be right on the money. It's a very well-balanced bike when pedaling, and thanks to its high front it also offers a lot of comfort.

It's not the slackest 130 mm trail bike (think Forbidden Druid or Transition Smuggler), but I actually enjoyed the slightly faster-paced handling. The 66-degree head angle is slack enough, and will give the right feeling for people who probably have a more classic version of trail biking in mind, rather than riding more extreme trails on a lighter bike. It's heavy-duty-XC not enduro-light, and I'm all here for it.

photo
It's a good job those plastic covers are there because the scratching isn't a great look. However, I do wonder what the opposing but hidden face looks like. The closer you look at the linkage, the more complicated it seems to get.

Suspension Design

Canyon refers to the suspension on the Neuron as their Triple Phase Suspension. While I eventually got it into a good place, I wouldn't say that in its stock guise it lives up to the talk of "superb small bump response" or delivers the amount of necessary progression.

It's essentially a four-bar system. It's compact, it looks neat and it leaves lots of space inside the rear triangle. It uses a 50 mm stroke on the 29" model but, interestingly enough, it uses a 45 mm stroke shock on the smaller sizes. They all still deliver 130 mm of travel regardless. The bike is compatible with piggyback shocks, and honestly, I'm a little surprised to not see a Neuron option with one. Quite frankly, its geometry merits a bigger, slighter heavier shock.

The bearings are all double-sealed, and feature a mixture of standard and special bearings, although you should be able to get them all easily enough through Canyon. At the rear of the bike, the stays have plenty of clearance and can take up to a 2.4" tire.






Test Bike Setup

Setting up the Canyon was relatively simple. Bolted on the front was the excellent Fox 34, a fork that I really tend to enjoy riding. Both it and the RockShox Pike are basically just mini-enduro forks, and they can drag any bike, even ones with flatly bad geometry, kicking and screaming into 2023. That said, the Neuron is befitted with very good geometry and I would have loved a GRIP2 damper on this bike. It deserves it. I conducted some back-to-back testing on a GRIP2 equipped 34 and it felt far more settled.

I have a good raft of settings from previous bikes. I have found that for FIT4-equipped forks I tend to run a little higher pressure as I just find it preserves geometry a little more. The latest version of the FIT4 is an improvement from the previous, but it still doesn't offer the same level of composure as the GRIP2, and for that, I'm happy to remedy it with a higher spring rate. I ran 115 PSI.

Cannondale Habit LT review
Henry Quinney
Location: Squamish
Age: 31
Height: 183 cm / 6'
Inseam: 82 cm / 32.5"
Weight: 81 kg / 178 lbs
Industry affiliations / sponsors: None

I eventually got the Fox Float DPS Factory shock into a good place, but it took some fettling. With its stock red volume spacer installed from stock, it just gave nearly no bottom-out resistance. To remedy this I tried going to higher and higher pressures. I eventually got to around 250 PSI, and 24% sag before I found there was anything like the consistency and bottom-out resistance at the end of the stroke that I wanted.

However, with those settings you can wave goodbye to pretty much any-and-all tracking. I subsequently installed the largest volume spacer Fox has available for the DPS and went down to around 230 PSI. It dramatically increased performance and opened up the whole bike's capabilities while increasing grip massively. Still, for my money, I think this bike should come with more damping just to take the edge off the shaft speed - the shock tune didn't seem to match the bike's manners.

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photo
Fox make great suspension, and it's not a case of bad parts - but rather inappropriate choices.

I found myself gelling with everything else on the bike seamlessly. After my first initial ride, I thought, quite frankly, this bike deserves a bigger rotor on the front, but actually, I learned to love the 180 mm. The rest of the bike is well-specced and very suitable. I personally prefer narrower bars and I felt right at home on that 760 mm width and 20 mm rise Race Face Next Bars and 60 mm stem.

photo

Climbing


Once the suspension was set up it vastly improved slow speed tracking and the Neuron really began to deliver on the climbs. The weight bias is far further forward than a lot of other 130 mm trail bikes. and Canyon has done a great job of positioning this bike as a true all-rounder. Has it got a 90-degree seat tube angle and the ability to climb walls? No. Is that what a trail bike should have? Well, some may disagree but I would argue that the slightly slacker, but still steep enough, 76-degree seat tube angle gives this bike the ability to take trails at a canter in a way that steeper seat-tubed bikes simply don't. For undulating and flowing singletrack, which is what trail riding is to me, this bike has a superb balance.

photo
The forward weight bias ensures a planted front end on tight switchbacks.

The higher-than-most stack height also plays into this. With the shock happy in its work, it became a very comfortable place to be. It's civilized, it's fast and it's got an intuitive, lively feel on the climbs that a lot of trail bikes could only dream of having. If it sounds like I'm gushing, it's because I am - I really liked how this bike climbed.

I left the shock in the open mode for a mixture of grip and simplicity. If I'm going on a trail ride I want to be riding things that need my suspension to be open and working. It's firm underfoot and punchy when it needs to be. The three-phase system doesn't feel all too sophisticated, and I would say that in my mind it might have slightly too much anti-squat, but a lot of people will like it for that. It's smooth and comfortable enough, definitely, but it could break into its stroke a little easier when trying to scramble up climbs.

On steeper terrain, that high stack really puts your bars in range and you can preload the front very effectively. Plus that 66-degree head tube angle, steep by some standards, feels right at home and aids this further. On flatter terrain, its position also keeps your weight through your hips and is markedly more comfortable on your wrists than some other bikes I've ridden in a similar travel bracket.

photo
The high stack really opens up this bike's capabilities.

Descending


Riding the Neuron can sometimes be a case of biting off more than you can chew - and then just trying to savor the taste. Simply put, it isn't the most capable trail bike - not by a long shot - but it does have an incredible balance that makes it feel so alive. It's genuinely one of the most fun bikes I've ridden in a very long time. It's raw, it's fast, it's sometimes slightly terrifying, but I really like it for these characteristics. You're not separated from the trail, and to get the most out of it you have to be very much in tune with it.

How much of this is down to the geometry and how much down to the setup of the suspension? Well, I'd say it was a fifty-fifty split. While going back-to-back with a GRIP2 34 it's clear how much this bike gets pushed around by the trail. When it gets rough it's quite simply bullied by fast-paced and high-frequency hits. It puts up a fight, but ultimately it's just a bit of a lightweight, which is something that funnily enough had me hooked. I actually spent a decent amount of time on this bike without any information on it other than the sticker on the downtube. I had a fun exercise where I wrote my guessed measurements down, and I was actually quite pleased with myself for how close I was. However, the one dimension I was furthest out from was travel - I thought this bike had 120 mm tops, paired with a 130 mm fork.

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The singletrack of Squamish was the perfect testing ground for a bike like this.

This does come back to you with dividends if you're a rider that enjoys pumping both obstacles and turns for speed. The Neuron is so responsive to rider inputs and manages to accelerate out of rough sections or downslopes in a sheer, grin-inducing way that is impossible not to find satisfying.

Don't compare this bike to a 130 mm bike like the Smuggler (although that's exactly what I'm going to do in the next section) but rather see it as a downcountry bike with a bit more security. It's slightly heavier, but rides light, and is more capable and comfortable than a lot of those offerings. If I compared this to some genuinely fantastic bikes like the 120 mm Trek Top Fuel or Rocky Mountain Element, this is a more surefooted descender, it also fits me better for climbs. It just so happens it's not quite as light and perhaps not quite as efficient, but when we approach the compromise that way it makes far more sense than trying to make this bike hang with the new idler-equipped Druid. Simply, in its stock setup, it won't, and you shouldn't expect it to.

Braking on the Neuron is neutral, and it doesn't seem to sink or squat. I think this characteristic blends in best with bikes that have a high front end as you can really brace against it. It was admirable on the brakes, and that stack height did a great job of also giving your body position a helping hand and keeping your heels dipped and eyes up. In fact, when things did get rowdy on this bike and I found myself trying to hit-and-hope my way out of trouble, the ability to really push off the bars and get into a strong, stable, and resistant position was a benefit.



photo
Canyon Neuron
photo
Transition Smuggler

How Does It Compare?


If you can ignore the numbers, the Smuggler and Neuron feel like completely different bikes. The Smuggler is living off hand-me-downs from enduro geometry and the Neuron is off to the side, doing its own thing.

Where the Smuggler pads, the Neuron prangs. Where the Smuggler labors, the Neuron excels. There can be no comparison in terms of descending capabilities - the Smuggler is so far ahead both in terms of the confidence it gives you as well as the far more muted, stable sensation you will feel when you ride it. You can ride the Smuggler down almost anything, calm in the assurance that the bike is just so capable. The Neuron isn't that bike, and I'm not sure it's trying to be.

The Neuron is pure, unadulterated cycling fun. Not downhill runs or smashing through rocks. It wants to be ridden on flowing singletrack or dank wet forest, and keep you thoroughly engaged the whole while. I really learned to love it, in its own way.

If I had an enduro bike, and wanted a fun bike on the side for big days pedalling, it would be the Neuron. If I had one bike, or wanted to know I could ride whatever is around the corner with confidence, it would be the Smuggler.

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Prices in Euros.

Which Model is the Best Value?


Not all of these bikes are being brought into North America. In fact only a relatively small selection are. For that reason, I thought it could be more helpful to talk about the wider range. The consequence of this is that these prices will be in Euros.

The Neuron CF8 would be my pick of the bunch. It still gets the clean-looking carbon frame, but does away with the wireless gears, and several thousand of whatever your currency is. The bike comes with an SLX drivetrain and brakes, which is great for me, and suspension from Fox and wheels from DT Swiss. Plus, many of the other key parts are the same dimensions, just made of alloy. In fact, the GRIP damper in those Performance forks, while lacking some of the adjustment of the GRIP2 works in a very similar way, and I'd be curious to benchmark the performance against the FIT4.

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This bike isn't just its suspension - what else caught my eye?

Technical Report


Fox 34 FIT4: The Fox 34 is a magnificent fork. In fact, we awarded it the suspension product of the year in 2021. However, that was in its GRIP2 guise. The FIT4 is simpler to use (potentially) and more ready to go between preset compression settings. But for all-out performance, the GRIP2 damper is the one to get, and I believe it would be right at home on the Neuron.

Race Face Cockpit: A 760 mm wide bar and 60 mm stem, what is this 2013? Well, no. Not really. This bike isn't a brute, and its cockpit falls in line with that feel. They're comfortable, and keep the weight distribution where you want it, while also giving many of the benefits of more progressive setups. Longer stems can sometimes make the front wheel feel calmer and, quite frankly, it was lively enough as it is.

SRAM CODE RSC Brakes: There is a SRAM product manager somewhere about to be sick in their porridge but I'm going to say it - this bike is the type of bike the Codes really excel on. Yes, they work on enduro bikes, and I've always enjoyed using them, but shorter travel packages don't miss the power that they don't have, while also giving the adjustment that riders need.

DT Swiss XMC 1501 Wheels: Forgive me Father, for I have sinned. I smashed these poor wheels into so many rocks. I wrote so, so many cheques that I regretted instantly, but these carbon wheels from DT not only managed to stand the abuse but always kept me out of the red. There were some horrible noises, and lots of wincing on my behalf but they just kept on trucking. That, and they're wonderfully responsive to ride, too.




Pros

+ Fast, efficient climber with sharp handling
+ Good value, with plenty of spec options in Europe
+ Has a lot of balance for true trail riding
+ Some great frame features
+ Like a very, very capable XC bike

Cons

- Suspension choices don't match up to the geometry
- Not as capable as other trail bikes of the same travel
- Developed creaks early on in the test period



Pinkbike's Take

bigquotesThis bike has a lot of balance, even if it doesn't couple that with a lot of stability, but I would rather have it this way. Sometimes it feels quite delicately poised, but I would rather that than dull or lifeless. The bike melds conservative numbers such as the head and seat tube angle with progressive outliers wonderfully to give a bike that will be one for the connoisseurs, as well as covering that large customer base of people who may or may not ride lots of XC while wanting a bit more security and comfort.

It's light and fast for a 130 mm travel bike and is genuinely thrilling to ride. That said, a more appropriate shock tune and potentially a different damper in the fork could add a touch of composure to a bike that oftentimes feels like a spoonful of wasabi.
Henry Quinney


Author Info:
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Member since Jun 3, 2014
336 articles

128 Comments
  • 51 5
 How does it compare? Well not at all
  • 39 3
 Downhill capability isn't as important in the real world as most reviews would have you believe. If someone already has an enduro bike, this would make a better trail bike than a 'super capable' trail bike that weighs more. And if your really that hellbent on rallying a smaller bike on the downhills, all you have to do is add 10mm travel to the fork.
  • 8 5
 Yeah that’s a head scratcher of a comparo.
  • 3 1
 @Glory831Guy: you’re on to something here.
  • 51 0
 I think the comparison is interesting and fairly spot on.

Both bikes are "trail" designated with 140F/130R travel, reach figures are within 5mm, stack within 10mm, chainstays within 3mm, and total wheelbase within 16mm. On the geo front, 1 degree difference in HTA is the biggest difference.

Both bikes are 4-bar, with similar shock stroke - and both come equipped with Fox 34 upfront. Weights are separated by about 0.9 lbs between similarly spec'd bikes.

On paper, how much more similar would you like the bikes to be before they can be compared? The very purpose of the comparison is to highlight that either bike will get it done, but 1 is more of a "quiver killer" whereas the other is for folks defaulting to the XC side of things. Pretty interesting to see what 1 degree and a different suspension ethos can deliver in nearly identical packages.
  • 15 0
 I thought it was an excellent comparison. “compare: to estimate, measure, or note the similarity or dissimilarity between.”
  • 4 1
 @Glory831Guy: but this is a less capable trail bike that weighs almost 30 lbs. Seems like it doesn’t fit into any category, instead of blurring the lines between them.
  • 4 0
 @Glory831Guy: Picking a regular trail bike and upfork it? Nothing new but Pinkbike likes to give it names. We'll call it... downtrail.
  • 6 1
 @stevemokan: under 30 pounds is light for a trail bike these days, and Henry did mention it pedals well. It's firmly in the trail category IMO. It's just not a quiver killer 'mini enduro' bike like so many others are trying to be these days.

To me, bikes like the Smuggler don't fit into any category because they don't have THAT much travel to get you out of trouble, and the slack head angle doesn't do you any favors climbing.
  • 4 4
 @Glory831Guy: What makes people think slack head tube angles make it hard to climb? Is it because people feel it is hard to weight the front wheel (causing it to wander)? I think it shouldn't be down to one single number, it is the complete picture. You can shift enough weight over the front as long as reach is long enough so that you can shift your weight to the front (provided you stand when you climb). And it also depends on the length of the fork (axle to crown plus head tube length). The bigger it is, the more the front wheel moves to the front (with respect to your hands) for the same head tube angle. And obviously a longer rear center will also shift more weight over the front wheel.

My current bike has a 63deg HA, the previous one was more like 69deg or so. Reach was so small that I couldn't shift my weight forwards enough on climbs as my kneepads would hit my handlebars. So my front wheel would wander on steep climbs. On my current bike, I've got more room to shift my weight forwards and I have no issues loading the front. I think reach is the main thing (as the body is heaviest of everything on the bike). Rear center actually is shorter on my current bike (415mm vs 420mm on the old bike).
  • 5 5
 @vinay: because it does, lol. I have two bikes with the same reach and the slacker bike is more floppy on climbs, and doesn't handle steep switchbacks as well either.

The tables are turned on the way back down, which just goes to show that everything geo related is a compromise and there is no perfect setup for every type of riding.
  • 5 0
 @Glory831Guy: reach is only half the story. Seat tube angle has to be steep to get your weight forward enough. My current 64 hta bike climbs better than my old 65 hta bike did just because I’m not fighting to stop pulling wheelies on the steep bits.
  • 3 5
 @kipvr: yes, but throw -1 or -2 Angle set on your 64* bike and it will handle worse on the climbs. Why? Because the front wheel is now further in front of you than it was before.

All things being similar you really can say one bike is slacker it'll descend better. One bike is steeper it'll climb better. Literally the two bikes compared in the review prove this.
  • 1 0
 @kipvr: There's also a tipping point where a fork is going to react less effectively on level ground because of increased friction caused by slacker and slacker head angles. The tradeoff going downhill is worth it otherwise nobody would run 63, 62* head angles, but this is part of the reason slacker bikes feel floppy on climbs, and has nothing to do with weight distribution.
  • 1 0
 @stevemokan: Down XC Trail Country
  • 2 0
 How does it compare? NOT WELL at all
  • 3 1
 @KJP1230: The stumpjumper would be a better comparison. And obviously canyon was going for an SJ copy.
  • 1 0
 @Glory831Guy: I think we disagree, but that's ok. Cheers!
  • 3 0
 @vinay: your current bike is a 26" dropperless hardtail and you're in NL. Stem and fork offset have more effect on front weighting than reach. I bet the forks on your two samples are also improperly comparable
  • 1 1
 @ceecee: Both forks were 5" travel forks and I transferred handlebar and stem from one bike to the other. How is the dropper relevant?
  • 1 0
 How about half the price!
  • 38 3
 16 comments and not one about "Cable tourism"? PBers are getting slack these days!
  • 4 0
 Grumble, grumble, cable tourism! Grumble, grumble!

Does the help the cause? Smile
  • 34 2
 How does this compare to the Norco Shore?
  • 1 0
 thats what im saying!!!
  • 7 0
 This bike intentions fit into the Shore intentions bottlecage.
  • 8 0
 Basically the same bike.
  • 1 0
 Also not well at all
  • 1 0
 Biggest differences, The chain stays on the the pivots don't back out 3-4 times a ride.
  • 1 0
 @spinzillathespacelizard: The shore is so overbuilt it has chain stays on the pivots.
  • 30 1
 I'd rather have a non-Kashima, Elite fork with Grip2 over a Fit4 Kashima fork.
  • 6 0
 Me too.
  • 1 0
 yep, and I do. Internals matter so much more than a marginal friction gain that is eliminated by dust.
  • 17 0
 The cons of this are downright brutal.
  • 27 0
 The creaks alone would make me steer clear of this bike. I cannot stand a creaky bike. Drives me crazy.
  • 1 0
 Extra con: souless bike
  • 1 0
 @boopiejones: I’ve gotten to the point where I can silence any creak. I’ll go so far to say that any “high end” bike can be silenced
  • 14 1
 Wish there were a better comparison than to the smuggler, anyone could have guessed that. The first comparison I thought of, and one I'm personally interested in hearing about since they both have XXL sizes, is to the Specialized Stumpjumper (regular, not EVO). Could anyone who has ridden both comment?
  • 2 0
 ^Bump! For those of us who already have an Enduro bike to smash, a "fast & light" 130-140mm trailbike makes for a wicked second arrow in the quiver. I've avoided Canyon MTBs in the past due to arcane frame angles, but it appears their designers have finally woken up & smelled the coffee of modern geo. Have ridden both 130mm Stumpjumper & YT Izzo, & they stand at top of my "fast & light" short list. Any head to head comparison notes w/ these bikes & the Neuron?
  • 8 0
 That's fair. Whilst I would love to compare this to a whole host of bikes - I am limited to bikes that I know well and have also swung a leg over. I felt that within that the Smuggler was a good fit. Great shout on the Stumpy though.
  • 2 4
 Here's the comparison...the SJ (not evo) came out a few years ago and is lighter and better than this Neuron that was just released. But neither of which are as awesome as the Nukeproof Reactor which also was released about 3 years ago. Canyon is way late to the awesome trail bike game. Even YT came out with the Izzo long ago. I'll be passing every Canyon on the trail on my NP Reactor! (:
  • 2 0
 @powturn: oh man can you pls give a quick blurb on how u felt stumpy compared to izzo? Stumpy would probably fit me a little better but both are close enough.
  • 1 0
 @foggnm: great info. Maybe one day they will make reactor in XXL. But probably not…
  • 3 0
 @bigbrett: TLDR: Izzo better climber, Stumpy better descender. Nitty gritty: Izzo STA & HTA are 1-1.5deg steeper, which is a plus for tight, tech climbing, but twitchier than I prefer descending. Izzo I rode was also config w/ lockout remotes + 130mm Fox 34 Fit damper (not a fan of either). Stumpy had a Pike Ult 140 and plusher tune on Float out back, both of which were much more to my liking of suspension dialed for max grip. Fact that I can't get the Izzo simply as a frameset strongly tilts my decision towards the S-Works Stumpy. Stumpy is still a great climber, just has bit less antisquat than the Izzo (& far less than my current 5010 trailbike).
  • 4 0
 @foggnm: As for Nukeproof, it's a shame they are nowhere to be found in US for testrides. The Reactor Carbon is also 32lbs in top trim w/ pedals, whereas both YT & Stumpy can easily be built sub-28lbs. Given that my S-Works Enduro is a sub-32lb 170mm bike, I don't have much interest in building a 2 bike quiver with a trailbike in the same weight class, but YMMV and all that.
  • 2 0
 @henryquinney: it would be interesting to make comparisons against a "standard bike" in every category, like the SJ for trail, Enduro field test winner, etc. I say this because how many of us own or have demoed a Smuggler? Of course, trails, conditions, perceptions change things also, but this would help us have more of an absolute benchmark on how a bike rides. Either way, good review; always enjoy your descriptions!
  • 13 0
 This seems way too downcountry for Levy to not be here. I'm scared.
  • 1 0
 (User name)

@TimnberG: CBSA--extended stay unit
  • 8 0
 I commend Canyon for building a trail bike for trail riding. It sounds lively and fun, but also comfy to ride. Definitely a dad bike. And as a dad, I'm into it. Now where did I put my pipe and slippers?
  • 2 0
 I'm a relatively new dad as well - but I'm not giving up the dream. Current "trail" bike is my longest travel bike yet (170/170)! Despite 17 years of riding, I'm still setting downhill PR's.

If I keep improving at this rate I figure I could be an EWS contender around 45 years old Wink
  • 2 0
 @KJP1230: I’m in my 40s, have four kids, ride a 170mm bike and I’m still hitting new PRs and new features. Not sure what this “dad bike” business is about! Although I am more wary of crashing then ever (the recovery is not so quick anymore) you can still shred hard without excessive risk.
  • 5 0
 It's a Dadcountry bike.
  • 8 1
 North America gets shafted with only the base models and the top of the range. Totally not worth it to go with Canyon when there are so many other brands offering multiple levels in NA.
  • 7 1
 When I ride an XC bike I want between 100-120mm of rear travel and I want it to weigh less than 25 pounds and ideally closer to 23. With light wheels my 150mm rear/160mm front travel bike weighs about the same as this bike and it is going to be a lot more comfortable. I would really like to see a 130mm rear/140mm front travel bike in the 26 pound range that I could use to split the difference between going up hill in a hurry and having a cushy ride back down.
  • 1 2
 You got road tires and a traditional seatpost on those things?
  • 5 0
 I want this to. 140/130 at 26ish pounds is a unicorn bike and a king's ransom.
  • 2 0
 @Dopepedaler: People do some pretty light builds on the normal stumpjumper. Of course it’ll be a compromise on the tires but you can get them below 26lb no problem
  • 1 1
 @StewP: Transfer SL dropper and 29x2.35 tires on my 120mm XC bike gets it under 24. Light 29x2.4 tires, carbon wheels,180mm dropper gets the 150mm bike under 30. I don't shuttle and like to do long rides with a lot of vertical. I find heavy bikes are not very fun when you have to pedal them up hill a lot. I don't do jumps and am old with a BMI in the normal range so I'm not that hard on wheels.
  • 1 0
 @Chondog94: For sure. I took the original sentiment in the "stock/out-of-the-box" context.
  • 2 0
 @Dopepedaler: Ah gotcha. I'm using an Epic Evo as my "trail bike" and it's a little below 25lb. Not quite the same as a 130/140 but I can ride it on the same trails. I really enjoy it as a compliment to a bigger bike, it's a dramatically different feel and a super fun change of pace.
  • 2 0
 @Chondog94: I moved from a 120/100 to a 130/120. One was "XC/short-travel" in 2016. The other is "XC/short-travel" now.
  • 5 1
 I just hope that they have fixed the snapping issue. I have seen a incredibly large amount of Neurons from 2018 to 2022 up for sale with brand new frames because the old one snapped. Though I do find this bike to be a odd bike, the geo and kinematics are very XC leaning, but the travel suggests something more aggressive and capable. Kinda the trail bike for the old XC rider who wants something more comfortable.
  • 5 0
 I feel seen
  • 3 0
 The CF8 version for $2999 USD seems like a very decent price and I'm tempted. I'm pretty much in the target market - trail rider coming at it from more the XC side who wants just a little more bike than my current Anthem. After so many $10k bikes, $3k for a carbon bike with decent spec seems like a return to sanity?
  • 2 0
 hmmm...if you want a lively, somewhat-sketchy, fun bike for flowy, not ultra-hardcore trails...don't buy one with a dang wheelbase close to that of most Enduro bikes. There is a case for longer rides for gnarly trails where stability is paramount, but clearly that isn't what this bike is good for, at all. Seems like they just said "well...make it really long I guess?"
  • 4 2
 Ok Henry. Great review, but you allude that this bike is in bt a pure downcountry monster like the smuggler and a lighter downcountry xc bike. How does it compare to an epic evo or the new blurr?
  • 8 0
 Or the Spur?
  • 6 0
 I mean he makes a comparison to the Element and new Top Fuel:

"If I compared this to some genuinely fantastic bikes like the 120 mm Trek Top Fuel or Rocky Mountain Element, this is a more surefooted descender, it also fits me better for climbs. It just so happens it's not quite as light and perhaps not quite as efficient, but when we approach the compromise that way it makes far more sense than trying to make this bike hang with the new idler-equipped Druid."
  • 5 0
 Rocky Mountain Element says hold my beer
  • 4 0
 FFS, take pictures of the bike in a well lit room and not a black bike with black background.
  • 3 2
 Not sure I follow the CODE comment - "but shorter travel packages don't miss the power that they don't have, while also giving the adjustment that riders need." I have CODE RSC's on my downcountry bike - a few grams for all that power!

DT Swiss 1501's?? not 1051s

Ok proof reading aside - totally agree on the FIT 4 versus GRIP2 - I have a FIT 4 on my down country bike because I use the lock out BUT cannot compare to the GRIP2 when pointed down.
  • 3 0
 I think (!) what I wrote makes sense. I don't think they're the most powerful brake. I really enjoy them on lots of bikes - but their lack of power isn't an issue on shorter travel bikes - but their other great features (modulation and adjustment) are still to be enjoyed.

Thanks for the heads up for the typo.
  • 2 0
 @henryquinney: it makes sense, it's just a weird way to say "Codes lack power, but they have enough for a short travel bikes like this." Smile
  • 1 0
 @henryquinney: Still weird that Sram's DH brakes are only ok for 130mm trail bikes and are outgunnned for anything rougher. Makes me wonder what the Guide and Level are for.
  • 1 0
 @henryquinney: Fair enough Henry. I went from guide rsc's to code rsc's on trail bikes and do not do enduro or downhill so I cannot comment -they had plenty of power for me.

MAYBE -the next podcast or video you do you could disucss PB Staff preferences for brakes and rotors.

Thanks for replying - and keep up the great work and having an opinion!
  • 1 0
 @BiNARYBiKE: but if he'd have said it like that I might have fallen asleep

For me, I appreciate the way Henry said it, as it made me note the comment rather than gloss over it.
  • 4 0
 No clear photos of the through headset cable routing. Is Henry trying to hide something here?
  • 4 0
 Maybe the plastic headset?
  • 1 0
 You should try pushing a cable through the internal cable housing from the back. You can see the cable housing between the two triangles. It is essentially a plastic straw. The straw also doesn't extend past the middle of the seattube so you cannot feed a cable from the top. No idea where it starts in the chainstay, but you cannot get past the first bend in the chainstay for the derailleur cable at least (I tried). A mention of the difficulties of running cables through the headset for anyone wanting to maintain their bike would be good to see. IMO, the cheap cable internal cable routing and the headset cabling are very irritating design flaws. A good example of fixing something that wasn't broke.
  • 1 0
 middle of the downtube that is.
  • 4 0
 sounds a lot like an izzo but with a rear kinematic that needs more help
  • 4 0
 Judging by the numbers, it looks like a perfect trail bike.
  • 2 0
 Please register the first Pinkbike use of the term “comma tourism.” Outside’s copy editor must be part of the writers guild.
  • 1 0
 Great review Mr Quinney and it has assisted greatly with my next bike purchase. However, I was saddened to hit Ctr-F, type "I would contend", and get nothing. Very disappointed.
  • 3 0
 09:24 Is this why you stopped working at Global Mountain Bike Network?
  • 2 0
 m8 its a joke
  • 1 0
 I can't seem to find the fork offset on Canyon's website. How did the 60mm stem feel on what I presume was a 44 OS on this bike?
  • 3 0
 Auto play videos are just as unforgivable as headset cable tourism.
  • 2 0
 Seems like a good one-bike quiver killer for someone who doesn't have gnarly trails around them they will hit consistently.
  • 2 0
 Canyon still make the Spectral 125 if you really want a short travel downhill rig
  • 2 0
 It seems that the Spectral 125 might be a better comparison to the Smuggler...
  • 1 0
 At long last, I can sing something nearly as well as the original at karaoke happy hour. This should do wonders for my popularity. Smile
  • 2 0
 "It's heavy-duty-XC"

If only we had another word to describe this genre of bike.
  • 1 0
 Another bike I'd never own because of the integrated headset cable. Another thing nobody wanted yet the industry is trying to shove it down our throats.
  • 2 0
 Is Levy starting PinkF1.com?
  • 1 0
 Specifications section is missing and the link in the table of contents goes nowhere
  • 2 0
 Reminds me of a longer travel Spur.
  • 1 0
 How has no one commented on Henry singing? I can only assume this was in the thick of wicked, winter cabin fever.
  • 2 0
 As far as Henry's singing, I think it needs more finger snaps... As someone with similar singing abilities, don't quit your day job...
  • 4 6
 No review of Canyon products are complete without an honest and transparent discussion of what it is like to get product support from the company, and an explanation for their failures in this regard in the past. Remember, you're not buying a bike...you're buying a box of part that you hope can be turned into a bike, and the people calling the shots are 8000km away from caring.
  • 3 0
 You gonna demand answers from Specialized in the next Stumpjumper review one why the Enduro cracked too?

As someone who has a Canyon I'd say this. If you have a question on their service, call or email them. Ask a Customer Service agent. Frankly I trust them to know more about their products than about half of bike shop employees. Oh, and I don't have to put on pants and leave home to have that conversation.
  • 1 0
 @blazersdad89: Similar considerations apply to Specialized. Although, at least Specialized is on the continent. You may have missed that part. Of course Canyon knows their products....they just don't maintain any capacity to service them or provide timely access to replacement parts, nor do they have any accountability as a storefront you can walk up to. The bikes-in-boxes model does no favors to people that ride bikes. It strictly serves corporate interests to keep more money for themselves. And for the record, none of us care that you cannot afford pants.
  • 3 1
 I read all that but all I remember is that it creeks.
  • 1 1
 And what about seat tube length and dropper travel?
I'm 183/83, for this Canyon recommends a medium size, same way for Henry's measurements but a size L was tested...
  • 6 6
 My take on the review, of this nice looking bike is, if Henry did not like it-it probably is a very good bike.
  • 1 0
 Haha! I mean, you fall short in... that I did like it. So does that mean it's bad?
  • 1 0
 How did you like the nobby nic and wicked will combo?
  • 5 0
 They're pretty fast! To be honest, they are pretty decent but definitely focus on roll speed rather than all out traction. Could feel like they scraped the top surface a lot without ever really getting deep into the trail for traction.
  • 1 0
 @henryquinney: Thanks for the reply!
  • 1 0
 @henryquinney: I reckon a switch to Hans Dampf Soft compound F&R would do the trick!
  • 1 0
 Canyon doesn't use enough grease when they put bikes together
  • 2 2
 66°hta really? Take that down to 65° and throw a Pike Ultimate on it for a much better ride up and down!
  • 2 1
 Still has a really long seat tube
  • 2 0
 It amazes me that canyon still gets this so wrong. They really are obsessed with long seat tubes for some oddball reason. The Norco Fluid FS in size L has a seat tube 50mm shorter than this Canyon !!!!
  • 1 0
 I loved the video once again! Thanks Henry!
  • 2 4
 Size S is up to 175 cm and they can fit only "small" wheels? German engineering at its finest.
  • 2 3
 Available next week at your local Walmart
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