The Canyon Neuron AL has received a thorough makeover for 2020, now built in the image of the Neuron CF frame, with new linkage design and immeasurably cleaner lines. Its geometry mirrors that of the CF, right across the 2XS-XL size range. The 2XS is the Youth version of the Neuron, the Canyon Neuron AL Young Hero, aimed at riders aged 8 and upwards. Starting from just $1799, this mid-travel trail bike is a very affordable option, thus deserving of a closer look.
2020 Neuron AL
The 2020 Canyon Neuron AL is a 29″ wheeled trail bike, designed around 130mm of capable rear-wheel travel serviced by a new four bar linkage platform. I generalise a little there; the 2XS, XS and S frame sizes are actually built around 27.5″ wheels, but they are still endowed with a 130mm travel 29″ fork. Canyon wanted to to avoid having big differences in handling behaviour across different sizes, hence the big fork on small wheels. It does mean you could convert it to a mullet with ease, if you’re experimental that way.
Canyon describe the Neuron as the “ultimate do-it-all trail bike, blending punchy acceleration with outstanding control. It’s a truly versatile machine that’s as happy rocketing up steep climbs as it is navigating technical descents.” With respect to Canyon’s MTB offering, it sits between the shorter 100/110mm cross-country Lux and longer 140/150mm all-mountain trail Spectral.
The 2020 Neuron aluminium frame weighs a claimed 3130g in medium, approximately 750g heavier than the CF. Comparing the AL with its 2019 iteration, the most obvious change is the location of the shock. It was previously mounted vertically. In the 2020 Neuron AL, you’ll find the shock mounted horizontally underneath the top tube. The top tube itself is also markedly different, losing the unsightly arch, making for a super clean line from the rear axle right up to the headtube. A welcome update is the bridged chainstay, which should help the rear end distribute loads evenly when the bike is under a lot of lateral stress in hard corners.
The 2020 Neuron AL has undergone more fundamental changes than the aesthetic points mentioned above. Its suspension platform, as seen on the 2019 Neuron CF, is now a four bar linkage, said to have increased sensitivity, traction, and control in all conditions. The Neuron’s suspension can now be described by Canyon’s Triple Phase Suspension kinematic.
Phase 1, the first third of the travel, is said to provide outstanding sensitivity and responsiveness. The shock compresses in an almost-straight line, continuing directly forward from the seatstays. Phase 2; Through the mid-stroke, at around the sag point, the shock provides a stable platform, letting you put maximum power through the pedals, and exit corners with more speed – without unnecessarily sinking into the suspension travel. Phase 3; The end of the stroke ramps up progressively, so you only use all 130mm of travel when the trail demands it.
The new linkage design is said to have improved small-bump compliance and enhance its manoeuvrability. It features a higher level of anti-squat, making the 2020 Neuron AL a more efficient climber. Canyon also say the new linkage reduces wear on the bearings, increasing their lifespan. It leaves ample space in the front triangle for a decent sized water bottle mounted to the downtube. Also new for 2020 is the full internal routing of cabling; both the shifter and brake cables. This gives the bike a much cleaner look, at the expense of more fiddly maintenance for your mechanic.
2020 Neuron AL Geometry
Geometrically, the 2020 Neuron AL is identical to the Neuron CF of 2019. But how does it differ to the 2019 AL? Reach is 2mm shorter across the frame sizes, now sitting at 453mm in large. The head angle slackens out .5 degrees, as does the seat tube angle, now at 67.5° and 74.5°, respectively. This is true for sizes M-XL. The smaller frames have a slightly slacker head angle of 67°, while the seat angle remains at 74.5°. The chainstay length remains unchanged at 440mm in M-XL. It grows by just 2mm for the smaller frame sizes, bringing it to 430mm.
It’s worth noting that Canyon spec the M-XL bikes with 760mm bars, which will likely be too narrow for some, given that the XL is meant to cater for riders of at least 6ft 4″. They also get 175mm cranks while the XS-S frame sizes get 740mm bars and 170mm cranks. All get a 50mm stem.
Canyon Neuron Young Hero
The 2XS frame size is dubbed the “Young Hero”, made for riders aged 8 and upwards. Specifically, those from 1.40 meters (4’7”) to 1.65 meters (5’5”). Canyon didn’t take any shortcuts with this kids’ full suspension bike. It is geometrically the same as the XS and S frame sizes, with a reach of 378mm and a seat tube length of 400mm. It features the same Rockshox fork and shock, too. Canyon have tried to keep weight to a minimum; the Neuron Young Hero weighs a claimed 13.6kg.
It’s not super common to see 27.5″ wheels on children’s bikes, but Canyon say it allows them access to better spec options; specifically grippy tires and a lightweight wheelset. The Neuron Young Hero rolls on Schwalbe’s fast rolling Nobby Nic and Rocket Ron tires. These are fitted to 25mm internal width Race Face rims, laced to Shimano’s MT400 TA hubs. To cater for shorter legs, the Young Hero gets 165mm cranks, driving a big range SRAM 12 speed SX Eagle drivetrain.
Pricing & Availability
The 2020 Canyon Neuron AL is available from today for most markets, but US riders will have to wait until June. It is offered in two unisex models (the AL 6.0 and AL 7.0) and two women’s-specific models (the WMN AL 6.0 and AL 7.0), in no fewer than six colorways. The only difference between the unisex and women’s bikes is the Iridium women’s specific saddle.
The 2020 Neuron AL 6.0 gets a Rockshox Judy 130mm travel fork and Deluxe Select+ shock, a Shimano 12 speed drivetrain and MT200 hydraulic disc brakes, Race Face/Shimano wheelset and Continental Mountain King III 2.3″ wide tires. The AL 6.0 and AL WMN 6.0 are priced at €1799.
The Neuron AL 7.0, priced at €2199, gets the following upgrades: Fox 34 Float Rythm forks, Fox Float Performance DPS shock, SRAM 12 speed drivetrain, full Shimano wheelset and Shimano’s MT 420 hydraulic disc brakes. The Neuron AL WMN is also priced at €2199, but it has the same Rockshox Deluxe Select+ shock at the 6.0, and a Pike Select fork. In the U.S., the Neuron AL 7.0 and WMN AL 7.0 will sell for $2,399.