Another weekend of World Cup cross-country mountain bike racing is here, and with it more new bikes & tech come to light. Yesterday Shimano unveiled a new 1x XTR revamp. Now a prototype carbon Canyon full-suspension XC race bike ridden by Mathieu van der Poel is one of just three to sport the new drivetrain.

Prototype Canyon full-suspension XC mountain bike

The ex-CX World Champ turned XC racer is doing well on the cross-country bike this season, as ready sitting second in the World Cup standings going into the round 3 Nové Město World Cup. And he gets a new weapon in this, as yet unannounced Canyon full-suspension bike.

For the most part the new bike looks distinct from any of Canyon’s other full-suspension designs.

Looking like a bike to replace the current Lux, the new prototype likely gets the same 100mm of rear wheel travel. That is paired to a 100mm Fox 32 Step Cast fork here, rolling on 29″ French carbon Duke Racing wheels and 2.2″ Maxxis Ikon tires for the dry & Dusty  Nové Město short track course.

It gets a new short carbon link directly driving the Fox Float rear shock located under the toptube.

It uses a 90° rotated lower shock mounting position. That curiously eliminates the ability of the shock to pivot around that lower bushing, which would seem to be needed as the rocker moves through its travel. OK, a closer look shows that the tiny link is indeed two separately rotating elements, hence the shock orientation actually reulsts in ideal isolation of the shock from linkage forces. The frame also mounts the Float’s adjuster dials up tight against the toptube, which allows for clean & direct internal routing of the shock’s cable-actuated lockout.

The prototype does retain the same effectively single pivot design, relying on carbon flex in the stays that Canyon calls Flex Pivot. It also features Canyon’s toptube protecting Impact Protection Unit that combines a limit-stopped headset and breakaway bolted bumper.

Van der Poel is one of only two elite men to be racing on the new XTR M9100 mechanical groupset. Here he is running the 1×12 configuration with a 38T direct mount ring and the widely spaced 10-51 cassette.

Interestingly, even as we saw Shimano push their direct mount derailleur hanger concept, they said that with the development of the new XTR derailleur geometry they needed to move back to the conventional mounting location.

The bike doesn’t use one of the new chain retention devices that are included in the new XTR group, as the Canyon frame looks to incorporate one of its own, directly attached to the main pivot.

And yes, it does look like this new Canyon XC bike will be 1x specific. There appears to be no accommodation for any front derailleur mounting or routing.

No word yet as to when Canyon plans to introduce this new full-suspension XC bike. Van der Poel’s team was very tight-lipped, keeping the bike under tight wraps once it left the race course.


  1. You missed the fact that the upper section of the suspension includes 3 separate components.

    Look closely at the shot from the rear 3/4 angle from drive side (pic 6). Look at the left side of the upper suspension assembly to see the parts more easily. From left to right:

    1) the shock yoke is the outer part.
    2) the seat stay is the middle part.
    3) the upper pivot link is the inner part.

    They all share the pivot location and apparent carbon material, so it’s easy to see them as somehow combined until you look close. But they are distinct parts and not using a pivotless flex system (like the seat stay to chainstay joint).

    This is just like every other basic link upper shock mount design, and uses a normal yoke support for the rear shock mount.

  2. “. That curiously eliminates the ability of the shock to pivot around that lower bushing, which would seem to be needed as the rocker moves through its travel. ”
    Third pic down clearly shows that the shock is bolted to a pivoting yoke. Pivots are just hidden from the outside for aesthetics.

  3. I saw it in real life at USAC marathon nationals under one of the Canyon Topeak guys, and it really is a beauty. They could fit two bottles, and pretty big ones, too!

  4. This canyon full-suspension xc design is really awesome. I defiantly recommend someone who want to check new bike.

  5. Its an Orbea Oiz with an upside down top rocker. Same idea though. Forces are aligned with shock at first and then leverage builds as the rocker rotates. Regressive suspension makes for a nice platform during pedaling and then opens up on a big hit.

    • no 2x option is a deal breaker for me…I tried 1x setups but I find the chainline is often suboptimal and the steps with a wide range cassette are too big for my liking. when riding it it feels like watts are leaking away due to inefficiency. Not every new trend is progression….. I like the option of using a 11/28 cassette for narrow steps and a 2x for range, but each his own.

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