Canyon's brand new Spectral 125 takes its inspiration from the very well-received Spectral platform but drops the travel figures while retaining a similar geometry. The result is said to be a full aggro, all-rounder ripper thanks to some weight savings, adjustments to the bike's suspension kinematics, and a revised frame.
The Spectral 125 is designed to be the rowdy one in Canyon's range. It's said that it'll be just as capable on the descents but it'll offer a much more lively experience. While it looks like a Spectral and gets a very similar geometry, the brand hasn't simply bunged a shorter shock in the frame. Instead, there has been a range of tweaks to the Spectral 125's frame in order to make it lighter, stiff in the right places, and to make the most of its little travel.
In fact, the only thing that the Spectral 125 keeps from the original Spectral is its main pivot. All of the tubes have been slimmed down, shedding a claimed 100g off of the original bike's weight and the reach figure has been stretched by 6mm on all sizes in a bit to boost stability. Then, there's a new two-bolt accessory mount under the top tube. The frame also meets the brand's Category 4 strength tests, meaning that it's just as ready to take on an EWS stage as the full-on enduro Strive.
Canyon has fallen right into the 'long, slack and low' cliche with the new bike but here, it's definitely justified. Making this short travel 29er look properly aggressive is a 64° head tube angle, a 486mm reach on a large and a 76° seat tube angle. Then, the chainstay measures in at a rather short 437mm.
If you're sitting in the middle of two sizes, the bike's come with the brand's recent travel adjustable G5 dropper post. So, if you're after a more stable ride you can restrict the travel of the dropper so you can fit comfortably over the bike.
As expected from a Canyon offering, the Spectral 125 benefits from the Triple Phase Suspension kinematic which is designed to be smooth and compliant in the beginning of its travel, supportive in the mid-stroke with plenty of progression towards the end of the stroke to stave off harsh bottom outs. However, as with the rest of the bike, the brand has fettled with the kinematic, steepening the gradient of the bike's leverage curve, which should result in a poppier ride.
While Canyon wanted to make the bike a total weapon down a hill, the designers knew to refrain, giving the bike high anti-squat early in its travel and around the sag point. This is with the aim of making it quicker on the pedals while avoiding tonnes of pedal kickback.
The Spectral 125 gets two frames, a CF that gets the usual replaceable thread inserts fully guided internal cable routing and a flip-chip, which tweaks the angles by half a degree and the bottom bracket by 8mm. However, like the existing Canyon and Torque ranges, there are also a couple of alloy framed bikes on offer. This frame is said to weigh in at 3kg and meets the same Category 4 strength tests but it loses the replaceable thread inserts (in favour of strong steel threads) and the flip-chip.
But instead of the flip-chip, Canyon has shaped the AL Spectral 125s by combining the best of the CF's HI and LO positions. So it gets the steeper seat tube of the CF frame in the HI position, but gets all of the slack and low stuff from the CF bike in the LO position. The alloy models also benefit from internal cable routing, however, the routing around the chainstay is external with cable guides forged into the bottom bracket and chainstay.
Although, unlike the current Spectral and Torque offerings, the Spectral 125 is only available with 29" wheels. This is because the brand really wanted to make the most of the big wheel's known rollover for the bike to be fast and efficient.
Altogether, the Spectral 125 range is made up of five builds, two of them rocking alloy frames and three on carbon. At the base end, the Spectral 125 AL offers a RockShox 35 Gold fork, a RockShox Deluxe Select+ shock, and a Shimano Deore drivetrain. It rolls on a pair of Raceface AR30 rims laced to Shimano MT400/410 hubs and those are wrapped with a Maxxis Minion DHR II at the front, and a Maxxis Dissector both in 2.4" widths and MaxxTerra compounds.
Heading to the pricier end of the range, the Spectral 125 CF9 comes with a Fox 36 Factory GRIP2 fork with a Fox Float X Factory shock. The drivetrain on this one comes from SRAM with the wireless GX AXS shifting and there's a pair of DT Swiss XMC1501 wheels.
Four sizes are on offer from S up to XL, all on 29" wheels, and prices start at £2,450, then top out at £5,650.
We've managed to bag one of these for testing and we've already managed to take it for a spin so be sure to head over to our First Ride to see our initial thoughts on the new bike.
You might also like: