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Canyon Spectral CF SLX shreds trail as all-new, more aggressive mountain bike

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We got a sneak peek at the all-new Canyon’s Spectral trail bike a few weeks back by way of the vague No Routine teaser. Now the details are in. The new, more capable Spectral gets longer travel, more tire clearance & three different frame options.

Canyon Spectral 140/150mm trail all-mountain bike

As suspected, the new Spectral is a carbon evolution of Canyon’s 4-bar trail bike, now with a new linkage inspired by the long travel Sender DH bike. That gives the bike a horizontally oriented shock with concealed suspension pivots. Canyon says it improves both traction & shock sensitivity, while delivering improved anti-squat & anti-rise performance.

Canyon says the new design also allowed them to redesign suspension kinematics, so the travel starts out plush & sensitive, before transitioning to stable, supportive mid stroke, and ending with a progressive ramp for a bottomless feel. While frame travel remains the same at 140mm, the bikes get more modern & aggressive trail bike geometry and are paired with 150mm forks.

Some readers noted that one of the bikes we saw last month was an existing Dudes of Hazzard version of the Spectral. Together with the Canyon Development Team, that’s where Canyon’s mountain bike engineering team took their inspiration for the new bike – building a more capable & playful trail shredder.

Tech details

The new bike beefs up tire clearance, sticking with 27.5″ wheels for their agility, but now opting for either 2.4″ or 2.6″ rubber to get the most grip on technical singletrack & loose trails. While most of the complete bike builds opt for 1x setups, the Spectral still retains front derailleur compatibility with a low mount on the main pivot.

The new shock layout also gives the new trail bike more standover clearance, which Canyon has used to spec 150mm droppers on all but the smaller bikes.

The bike tucks cable internally, but actually does so under an integrated plastic bashguard under the downtube. So you get internal routing looks, with the ease of servicing of external routing. Plus the benefit of extra frame protection. The Spectral also includes Canyon’s IPU headset+toptube bumper that prevents the bar from hitting the toptube in regular use, but can break away in nasty crashes, protecting the frame.

In a nod to improved durability, the new Spectral gets a revised sealed bearing setup, with double driveside main pivot bearings, and a new integrated seatpost clamp. While that clamp might have been a pain on mountain bikes of old, now with droppers on everything, you’ll likely only set it once and then the new cap with keep the elements out of your seattube. The trail bike also gets boosted from a category 3 to category 4 bike, meaning it has been tested to survive more aggressive enduro style riding, as well.

Looking to riders who don’t always want to haul a backpack, the Spectrals have two new bottle cage systems that work with the revised shock layout.

The bike allows the use of a gear storage box attached to the frame too.

Frame options

The new Spectral is available in three different framesets, and a whole host of build options for all budgets. The premium CF SLX bikes feature a full carbon frame, while the CF versions use the carbon front triangle mated to a 6066 aluminum rear end.

Then the Spectral AL sticks with fully alloy construction to keep costs down. The carbon bikes in a four size range (S-XL), while the aluminum bikes add a fifth XS option for smaller riders.

Complete bike builds

Canyon Spectral CF 9.0 EX LTD

That top-level 12.4kg Spectral CF 9.0 EX LTD will set you back $7000/7000€ with the full carbon frameset Fox Factory suspension, a complete SRAM XX1 Eagle 12 speed drivetrain, and ENVE M60 carbon wheels.

Canyon Spectral CF 9.0 SL

Next comes the slightly more affordable $6000/5000€ Spectral CF 9.0 SL, still with the full carbon SLX frame, built up with the same Fox Factory suspension, an X01 Eagle group, and DT Swiss XMC1200 carbon wheels at 12.5kg.

Canyon Spectral CF 9.0 Pro

At $4500/4000€ & 13.1kg, the Spectral CF 9.0 Pro uses the carbon front/alloy rear to again bring the price down with a RockShox Pike RCT3/Deluxe RT3 setup and X01 Eagle build with alloy Mavic wheels.

Canyon Spectral CF 8.0

The $3500/3000€ Spectral CF 8.0 steps down to GX1 Eagle, a Pike RC/Deluxe RT build, and DT M1700 wheels at 13.3kg, with all of these carbon bikes getting RockShox Reverb dropper posts.

Canyon Spectral AL 6.0

At $2500€ the all aluminum Spectral AL 6.0 offers the same ride as the carbon bikes at a much more attainable pricepoint, and a still solid GX1 Eagle group, with DT M1900 wheels and  KS Lev dropper, and still at just 14.7kg complete. A couple of other Shimano builds will be offered in Europe down to 2200€ for an alloy bike with an SLX/XT mix.

All of the new Spectrals are up on Canyon’s website now, and will see availability in Europe and the US from the start of 2018.




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Frank Weber
Frank Weber
6 years ago

Looks a surprising amount like an Epic or a Stumpjumper from a few years ago.

6 years ago
Reply to  Frank Weber

The outgoing model looked a lot like a 2008 Stumpjumper FSR, this one looks a bit like a Stumpy and quite a lot like a Jeffsy. With the majority of production shared between a few companies in Taiwan and the overall refinement of bike design there is a lot more homogeny in bikes available compared to ten years ago.

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