Massively overhauled for 2021, the Canyon Spectral is an exciting trail bike that now comes in a 29er wheel size too. We are pretty keen to get aboard this new and more progressive bike, here are six new features you’ll find on all the bikes 2021 Canyon Spectral range.
We brought you news of the additional 29er to the Spectral range back in December of last year, the big update was welcomed, bringing this trail bike up to date and in line with its many competitors. Here are the things that have changed this year...
1. It's slacker and longer
First up, this bike has a slacker head angle, getting the longer, lower, slacker treatment with Canyon giving this bike a 64.5-degree headtube angle. A good deal more relaxed than its predecessor, last years Spectral which sported a 66 degree headangle.
From the looks of the slacker head angle and the longer chainstays and the longer wheelbase that that gives it, the Spectral looks set to be a much more planted trail and enduro machine. To add to this, if you want to give it more travel you can buy a Fox build that comes with a 160mm fork, this one is called the ‘SHRED SPEC’, it's the spec we have here too.
In terms of length, our medium bike gets a reach of 460mm, that’s 20mm up on last years bike. Lastly – there is a flip chip so you can alter the bike’s geometry by 0.5 degrees between the two different positions, high and low, slack and less slack.
2. The seat angle is steeper
There are more geometry changes too, the effective seat tube angle is steeper than last year's bike at 76 degrees. Canyon have steepened the seat angle to make seated climbing more efficient, but it also has the effect of helping the rider feel less folded over when seated. Had the front centre just got longer without a steeper seat tube angle the seated climbing position would have felt quite different.
3. New suspension kinematics
The Spectral gets the brands' Triple Phase suspension system as seen on the Sender, their downhill bike. That means this Spectral gets increased anti-squat early in the travel and around the sag point which the brand says should improve pedalling performance.
They also say that the suspension is more progressive at end of stroke, something they did to help make the bike more controllable on really rough trails.
4. Frame has features to make ‘mechanic life’ easier
Firstly there is a replaceable thread insert for the main pivot, meaning that if you wreck a thread you can replace the insert instead of part of your carbon bike. The bike also gets internal cable guide routing throughout the frame. The cables also transition seamlessly thought the bottom of the front triangle into the chainstay,
5. You can get it in both 29er and 27.5
Or can you? Don’t be fooled, the new geometry is for the 29er bike only! So whilst you can get a Spectral in either 27.5 or 29er it’s the new 29er which got the makeover. The 27.5" bike is essentially last years geometry. The purpose here, aside from offering two wheel sizes seems to be to keep the alloy bikes in the frame for a while longer and hit the lower price points along the way. You can still get the 27.5 inch bike with an aluminium frame for £2,499 whereas the 29ers are carbon only and start at £3,599.
6. The finer details
There is also a rather deep chainstay for added stiffness. The size and shape of it means that you can only run a 30-34T chainring otherwise risk rubbing the chain or the ring on the frame. Down at this end there is also one of those chain slap protectors on the top of the chainstay to keep things nice and quiet.
You’ll be glad to hear you can fit a water bottle under the shock and there is a mount under the top tube to attach a tube, tools or a tool bag. Lastly, there is a threaded bottom bracket and Canyons' neat thru-axle with folding, extending handle
Our test bike
The bike we have on test is the Spectral 29 CF 8, which costs £4,349. There is one cheaper bike in the range, the GX Eagle Spectral 29 CF 7 at £3,599. Then bikes prices top out with the Spectral 29 LTD at £6,499, complete with Shimano XTR and Fox 36 Factory fork.
Our test bikes gets a Fox Performance Elite Grip 2 fork with 160mm of travel, a Fox DPX2 Performance Elite shock and full Shimano XT groupset. That’s 4 pot brakes and a 12 speed drivetrain.
The bike gets DT Swiss XM1700 wheels with a 30mm interanal width and Maxxis tyres, there’s a 2.5” Minion DHF at the front and a 2.4” DHR at the rear. Elsewhere there is a range of Canyon G5 components, including this rather funky looking stem, an Ergon Saddle and an own brand Iridium Dropper Post, ours is 150mm long.
We will crack on and get some rides in and will be back shortly with a full review.
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