2017 Canyon Spectral CF 9.0 EX
Size Tested: Large
· Brakes: SRAM Guide RSC
· Fork: Rockshox Pike RCT3
· Rear Shock: Rockshox Monarch RT3
Travel: 140 mm rear / 150 mm front
Blister’s Measured Weight: 27.8 lbs./12.61 kg (without pedals)
Reviewer: 5’10”, 143 lbs.
Test Location: Moab, UT
MSRP: €4299 (US consumer direct price TBA)
We swung through Outerbike in Moab a few weeks ago to hang out, ride some bikes, and partake in the good times that happen when bike people gather together in the desert.
If you don’t already know about Outerbike, you should; it’s a great opportunity to demo new bikes on some great trails. There are three Outerbike events throughout the year — Moab in the spring; Crested Butte in the summer; and Moab again in the fall. Each event lasts 3-4 days, and you can get more information at outerbike.com.
So we had three days to ride some of this year’s new bikes on a smattering of Moab’s best trails. And while it was a great opportunity to learn a good bit about a number of new bikes (including the one reviewed here), we only rode these bikes for a few hours each, so keep in mind that this isn’t our regular, full-scale review.
This summer, Canyon is making its debut in the US via the increasingly popular consumer-direct approach. Although the brand is already popular in Europe and is known for supporting a few big names in DH and enduro, most Americans haven’t actually yet seen any Canyon bikes in person.
I spent some time on Canyon’s Spectral trail bike, and with 140 mm of travel, the Spectral slots into Canyon’s lineup between the XC/Trail-oriented Neuron, and the Strive, Canyon’s 163 mm travel enduro race bike.
The Spectral I rode was basically the CF 9.0 EX build, which is the second most expensive of Canyon’s carbon builds. Canyon also offers a number of aluminum builds at a lower price point.
Additionally, they sell a few women’s builds, which are priced the same as their unisex equivalents, but feature different suspension tunes and cockpit components.
The CF 9.0 EX build is handled primarily by SRAM, with a Rockshox Pike RCT3 fork, Monarch RT3 shock, Guide RSC brakes, and Reverb dropper post. The bike typically comes with a SRAM Eagle drivetrain, although the bike I rode featured SRAM’s GX 1×11 instead.
The build is rounded out with a DT Swiss 1501 Spline wheelset and a great tire combination — a Maxxis Highroller II up front paired with a fast rolling Minion SS on the rear. These crucial details make for a really solid package.
Fit and Geometry
I’m 5’10” and have pretty long legs, and the size Large Spectral fit nicely. The bike’s 455 mm reach makes for a balanced and neutral descending position, and a reasonably steep 74.5-degree seat tube keeps the bike from feeling too long when seated.
In contrast with its decently long reach, the rear end of the Spectral feels compact, which is no doubt due to its short, 425 mm chain stays. This makes the rear wheel feel like it’s right under the rider, and the bike’s 67-degree head angle prevents the vague, wandering climbing feel often found on slacker bikes.
NEXT: The Ride, Comparisons, Etc.