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Spotted: Canyon's High-Pivot Carbon Sender - Fort William DH World Cup 2024

May 2, 2024 at 10:49
by Matt Beer  

Developing a new bike under wraps is a tricky endeavor for companies to navigate; it will need to be tested and therefore ridden at high-level events, but on the other hand, the brand doesn’t want to undermine the sales of its current bikes as people lust over the latest and greatest.

Canyon is the latest brand semi-secretly developing a new version of their Sender downhill bike, which looks to be near its final stages with an angular carbon chassis, finely finished aluminum hardware, and neatly secured cables.

Canyon prototype at Fort William World Cup, 2024. This frame in particular belongs to Tahnee Seagrave and is built with a 27.5 inch rear wheel, including a fresh tire tread from Schwalbe.
Kaos Seagrave rode the current production Canyon Sender at Red Bull Hardline, 2023.

The major difference between the current Sender and this prototype is the high-pivot suspension design, which isn’t too different from Norco’s prototype downhill bike. In the Pinkbike Tech Editor 2024 Predictions, I mentioned how downhill bikes might become more specific to racing and that would involve complex suspension linkages. That’s exactly what is going on here, although the carbon frame could mean it's slated for production.

New Canyon Sender linkage
There's a lot of bearings and bolts packed into this design. A small guard protects the lower link.

Playing the "Skeleton Dance" song helps to understand the linkage.

The main portion of the swing arm (yellow, upper) that dictates the rear axle path is the seat stay which rotates in a fixed, rearward arc. Attached to the concentric rear axle pivot is the floating chainstay that pulls on the triangular link (blue) that rotates concentrically around the bottom bracket.

From there, an arm (purple) on the upper most portion of that triangular link pushes on the swing link (red) to compress the shock. The forward shock mount is removable which may allow for various geometry or rear wheel sizes to be used, but due to the particular nature of the pivot placements in such a complex system, I’d wager it’s a shock rate adjustment that can suit either a coil shock, or the Fox Float X2, seen here.

We'll report back if Canyon lets out anymore information on the new bike at Fort William.

Crafty cuts in the carbon seat tube bridge look to allow for the pivot bolts to be checked without removing any other components.

Author Info:
mattbeer avatar

Member since Mar 16, 2001
378 articles

  • 44 3
 Tahnee World Champ incoming
  • 8 2
 It’s her time for sure
  • 7 2
 She's going to have a hard time beating Vali...
  • 39 1
 looks like a nightmare to work on
  • 18 1
 First Saracen, now Canyon. The era of six bar single pivots is upon us. It is like they are trying to create a rude goldberg machine to drive the shock....
  • 7 3
 Six bar high pivots*
  • 3 1
 Was thinking the same thing. Wonder if they are having to get creative to get around current patents
  • 7 2
 It's not that complex is it? It's just upside down split pivot/Trek ABP
  • 7 1
 @mountainsofsussex: Correct. It's a an indirect drive (AKA "high pivot") swingarm (AKA "single-pivot") with a whole lotta links to drive the shock. There's even a clevis attached to the shock, which Matt didn't mention. Canyon's supplier must've had a sale on bearings.

Note that it's a swingarm design because the brake is mounted on the swingarm. If the brake was mounted on a floating element, it would be easiest to think of it as a four-bar with one pivot that happens to have zero offset from the rear wheel. Such a design - which, again, this is not - could also be thought of as a swingarm design with a floating rear brake, in which the floating brake mechanism is also part of the shock actuation linkage. Both are equivalent when the rearmost pivot is concentric with the hub axle; I prefer to use the former terminology because it's more straightforward.
  • 1 0
 @R-M-R: oh yeah, hadn't noticed which link the brake was mounted on. This means it will probably have a whole lot of brake jack. But I guess they know what they're doing...
  • 3 0
 @mountainsofsussex: Do they? Does anyone, when it comes to brake squat?

We have the Cube adding a floating brake to the Two15 to reduce brake squat from 105% to 18%, Saracen reducing theirs from about 100% to about 70%, typical Horst and Split Pivot designs in the 35% to 80% range, SS (short & short) linkage designs all over the map, every single-pivot and faux-bar design claiming they prefer their 100%+ brake squat, and Matt Beer telling us a few days ago that he rather liked the 160%+ brake squat on the new Zerode. So, who do we believe?

Brake squat values are messy as pedaling anti-squat values were a quarter-century ago. Anti-squat values still cover quite a range, but at least the compromises are well understood, with some brands choosing low values for pedaling traction and smoothness, and leaving low-speed compression switches to manage chassis stability; other designers know perfectly well their extremely crisp pedaling properties will sacrifice some pedaling traction and introduce occasional jerkiness in the pedaling. To this point, brake squat has not received the same amount of consideration and is not as well understood. Thankfully, this is changing on the DH side, where the relative importance of braking properties and pedaling properties places more emphasis on braking, compared to disciplines with more pedaling.
  • 3 0
 @R-M-R: I don't think any of this is news to you, but I think the main reason is that with brake squat figures, you have a rotational and a translational component of it, and you can have different rotational vs translational components for the same nominal value of squat/anti-rise/whatever you want to call it, and they actually give pretty different results, in part because they imply different axle paths which can have significantly different effects under braking.

By contrast, while it also has both the tractive and the chainline elements that can vary, anti-squat has less variation in what works because you're usually not pedaling over massive high frequency bumps and your options/tradeoffs are as you say better understood and more obvious. And if you have an unaltered chainline, you've realistically got the same axle path for any given amount of anti-squat (for any given gear ratio and point in the travel), so then it really is same same for the sake of comparison.
  • 11 0
 Antidote was so a head of their time in 2016, that EVERYONE is copying their homework now. All I see is another Darkmatter, the kinematics of the 27.5 version.
  • 3 1
 Yeah, it´s basically a mix of a Darkmatter and Devinci Wilson.
That said, the Wilson is pretty much the perfect dh bike imho. A high pivot version should be interesting, even if just for the idler, because pedal kickback is about the only fault i can find on that bike.
  • 5 0
 Brooklyn Machine Works were ahead of everyone 20 odd years ago.
  • 2 0
 @Loki87: there was a HP Wilson prototyp. really sad it never went into production. Divinci wilson 29 also had 460mm chainstay in 2019. truly ahead of its time.
  • 1 0
 @erborow: yeah, the HP Wilson was a great concept. This new Canyon seems too good to be true. If the numbers check out, it's surely my next bike.
  • 10 2
 I've been seeing Luca Shaw at Rock Creek (Zirconia NC) w/ the cover on this winter / early spring and while we've jokingly attempted to snatch the cover off - never would - but I'm not shocked. We all figured it had to be hype pivot. What I am shocked about is that kinked seat tube angle... never ever gonna be able to tackle those technical uphills now so I def'ly can't buy one Wink
  • 12 1
 But will it take a 200mm dropper post?
  • 6 6
 Love the hype pivot pick
  • 1 0
 @j-t-g: Def-ly not. Maybe 170...
  • 2 0
 @bok-CZ: And granted I'm joking about hype...I'm sure its banger, just fun play on words.
  • 2 0
 @Mtn-Goat-13: sure, it was a good one Smile
  • 1 0
 @j-t-g: and a water bottle?
  • 10 0
 Is that plate for grinding?
  • 5 0
 * Dylan Stark switching to Canyon *
  • 5 0
 Is that brake attached to the chainstay or seatstay? looks like it's on the seatstay but why would you add all that 6 bar complexity and then not put the brake on the floating arm? the whole point in 6 bar is seperating out the braking and suspension to tune them seperatly.
  • 2 0
 Looks like a DARKMATTER Big Grin

Seriously, now even big companies make bikes like Antidote did in 2016.
Previosly it was smaller brand Forbiden that made a bike like Darkmatter.

  • 3 0
 Any news on that rear tire? Looks a bit like Hans Dampf but with better side knobs.
  • 3 1
 Bike looks sick IMO...but what I find most interesting is that the two most successful brands in DH the last 10(20?) years, Big S and Santa Cruz are not on the HP train.
  • 2 0
 That’s a bold strategy Cotton, let’s see if it pays off for ‘em.

  • 4 0
 I mean Commencal has been pretty successful with the previous Supreme

And its about instant centre, and virtual pivots with both the VPP, and Spesh suspension designs (all horst link bikes), which (if i remember correctly) is actually "high" on both those bikes that have been so successful....
  • 4 0
 Both are not necessarily into downhill as a way of making money though.
Both of them use downhill racing as a vehicle to push their other products. It is no coincidence both of these brand´s enduros heavily resemble their flagship downhill bikes.
And both of those brands are very mainstream, meaning that they require their bike to fit a wide range of riders. Some enthusiasts may be willing to live with the drawbacks of HP on dh bikes, some even on enduros and trailbikes, but i´d wager the average rider will get annoyed rather quickly by the quirks of these systems while they´ll have a hard time appreciating their benefits. Hence why they do stick with a proven concept. I predict we won´t be seeing the the short travel HP designs from Norco and some others for too long before they inevitably make way for more conventional designs again. For them it´s a great way to generate a buzz and sway the enthusiast community to jump ship from their old brand.
So in essence, these two brands wanna push the mini versions of their flagship dh bikes and with the accolades of said flagships. They need to be similar in order for the customer to associate their trail bike with downhill bike performance.
Basically the same reason why touring- and rally car series do exist. F1 may be the pinnacle of the sport, but the customer wants to know their Fiesta or 911 is capable of winning a rally stage or dominate the Nordschleife. It doesn´t really matter that they get a different size motor, transmission and gearing, as long as it looks like the racing version.
As the old saying goes, win on Sunday, sell on monday.
  • 3 1
 Another german online brand DH bike on the same day... One is super straightforward, the other so complicated! This looks sick but I'll stick with YT for peace of mind
  • 3 0
 “Playing the skeleton dance song helps to understand the linkage”

Absolutely brilliant!
  • 1 0
 I think its really interesting how bikes are aless and less made of tubes... like no more top tube, seat tube, etc... Now it's just some mad carbon work and engineering. And i LOVE it !
  • 2 0
 Sheet, I've woken up colourblind. That white upper sure does look yellow to me...
  • 5 4
 Seems like it's the same layout as the Norco prototype which I thought was patented? Those carbon moulds look pretty finished too.
  • 4 2
 patents aren't international.
  • 3 1
 @novajustin: also norco uses 2 links to control the axle path, while canyon here is using single pivot, with cocentric chainstays to control the anti rise. So simmilar but probably different enough to not infringe on a patent.
  • 2 0
 I think it is different in a few ways. The main difference is the canyon is essentially a linkage driven single pivot. The axle path is controlled only by the seat stay. The Norco has a pivot on the seat stay before the axle, which kind of makes it an upside down FSR.
  • 3 0
 Patents are why Canyon and others couldn't sell bikes in the US when the FSR patent was active. They may not plan to sell this one here if it infringes on a Norco patent, or maybe it's just a different enough layout.
  • 1 0
 @GTscoob: well norco is based in canada so one would assume they filed in canada. however, i've looked at both bikes and while they do indeed look similar, i see enough differences. and yes, FSR bikes are a prime example of patent laws. we couldn't get any other bikes using FSR in america other than specialized while the rest of the world got to enjoy FSR bikes built by other companies.
  • 5 1
 Nearly the same. Contrary to everyone saying its a single pivot it would be closer to Horst. The primary difference between a Horst Link and faux bar single pivot is the link the brake attaches to. While the axle path difference is minimal the impact on anti-rise is large.

I would be VERY surprised if Canyon didn't attach the brake to the floating link (Making it basically a Norco Range/Antidote Darkmatter layout with an additional linkage driving the shock).

The difference between this and the Norco DH prototype is the red link. On the Norco the frame pivot sits above the pink link and the shock pivot below (basically mirrored about the pink link.

If there is any patent infringement will come down to some very specific details in the patent language. Often these things are settled by wording such as "the shock must sit forward[or behind] a line drawn through an axis from... etc". Based on the timing its likely this is case of two companies arriving at similar solution rather than a case of one imitating another.
  • 4 2
 @RoboDuck: wtf are you on about? It is a split pivot. The definition of split pivot is single pivot, with another pivot concentric to the rear axle to control anti rise and usually leverage rate. The axle path is defined by only one pivot point, which limits options of tuning antisquat. Calling this simmilar to horst is like calling treks abp simmiliar to horst.
And on the talk of patents, the reason why split pivot was created was to get around patents for horst link. And this si probably done for simmilar reasons. Anyway in my opinion it does not make it any less stupid. It is getting obvious that tech is plateauing and brands are looking at every possible option to gain that hundreth of a second. Which is probably not good for end consumer because the market will be flooded with overcomplicated bikes, that don't add any benefit to average joe riding it.
  • 3 0
 @malca: Heavens to Mergatroyd!
Competing at the highest level in any given sport is all about marginal gains (for the time), it always has been, always will be.....and thats amazing, and beneficial to all of us in one way or another. Whether this, or any other wild embodiment of innovation and tech makes it to the consumer level is anyones guess really. Whether you or I "need" it is debatable, but who cares.

Go fast, send everything, have fun
  • 3 2
 @onawalk: There are two main reasons why chasing such marginal gains is kinda pointless
Firstly the limit is the rider not the bike. Put anyone from top 5 last season on almost any other bike and the results probably won't change much if at all. Like last year races were also won on simple bikes like yt tues and santa cruz in mens, Vali crushing on Trek... Jordan even managed to win on previous gen demo.
Secondly track varriance from run to run plays way bigger role, and in the end the one who best adapts to it is the one who wins .

If you wanna chase any sort of gains I would look in to suspension, tires and chassis stiffnes. Rear linkage designs are all converging to simmilar numbers on most of bikes. Have a bike with progression somewhere between 25-30%, around 110% antisquat and around 70% antirise and you have a winning formula. High pivot is optional and is not really proving to be a complete game changer..
  • 5 0
 @malca: Who decides its "kinda pointless" you?
heavens, how could you possibly care, or have an informed opinion about what another comapny/group of companies finds important?
I am bewildered by this kind of thinking. If its important for these companies, theyll spend time, money and resources on it, full stop. Obviously the companies that are doing so believe its not "kinda pointless".

Better get on the phone and let them know YOU know the real way forward, and you'll happily run thir R&D program for them.

Honestly, some peoples kids man
  • 1 0
 It looks like one of the old GT I-drives on Steroids...
  • 2 2
 @onawalk: I am just saying the focus is on the wrong thing. I am all in for innovation, but I just don't see how this is one. You can fix kinda crap kinematics with good tuned suspension, but you can't do the opposite.
Is this bike better than the previous one, on some tracks probably yes and on some probably not, but we really can't know. It is game of compromises, you can make bike work verry well in chunk, but then it will usually suck on more bike parky stuff and so on.
I am just dissapointed that shock and damper technology kinda stopped developing lately. And I believe it is far from where we could be if there was any actual push from big two. Electronics are a step in right direction for racing, but I hope we will see some big changes on the damping side too.
  • 5 0
 @malca: YOU have no idea if this is better, worse, the same, anything. You know nothing about it other than the same pics we are all looking at (unless you actually work for these companies on the design team, in which case this is all a bit weird)
Youre making all sorts of broad assumptions, and statement of fact, with no actual information.
How do you feel so confident declaring that someone elses focus "is on the wrong thing"?

There is literally a new air shock from Formula on the home page. The Vivid air is essentially brand new, with obviously a coil version on the way, not to mention DH oriented FA. Push just put out a new rear shock, along with a new inverted fork, Intend a new inverted fork, upcoming new RS damper Charger 3, and a new rear shock coming from Vorsprung. Ohlins has something special on the BigS bikes, and new dampers across the board on Fox stuff. Holy Shit, exactly how much more "new" do you want in suspension?

Bewildered isnt strong enough of a word....You have to be trolling me, and im the idiot in this conversation!
  • 3 0
 2024 and we are still using ZipTies for Fenders.
  • 2 0
 Is that complicated linkage really better or faster than a simple horst link?
  • 1 0
 Releases with a 2-year warranty that's voided if used as DH bike or with any fork over 120mm of travel.
  • 1 0
 Last week I said Ancillotti speshalized .... this week .. look up GT rst1...... nothing new here ..but still cool
  • 1 0
 that rear triangle / swingarm / chainline giving off corsair maelstrom vibes
  • 2 1
 i dig the black and gold color scheme. looks very shreddy!
  • 3 0
 Yeah agree. That is a good looking bike.
  • 1 0
 Is Marshy working in the FMD pits this season.
  • 1 0
 He´s wrenching for Mille Jonset afaik.
  • 1 0
 the swingarm is like an bashguard too
  • 1 0
 Looks like speed and probably goes like hell too. Love it.
  • 1 1
 Please !
Somebody to make an Alu/carbon Pédalier Mount to use ebikes in summer or when motor's break..
  • 1 0
 id Want To Bet that schwalbe tread must be a real Boss on the Trail
  • 1 0
 New Schwalbe tire looks sick
  • 1 0
 and what about the schwalbe assegai tires?
  • 1 0
 this shite makes me want an Orange
  • 1 0
 the literal copy of the antidote darkmatter 29
  • 1 0
 Split pivot...
  • 1 0
 More Frameworks!!!
  • 1 0
 Mavic wheels!?
  • 1 0
 Looks like a YT Tues

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