First Look: Canyon Neuron AL 9.9

by
August 15, 2017

Slotting in between scary-fast short travel race bikes, and heavier duty long travel all mountain rigs, you’ll find the hazy world of the modern trail bike. Promising to deliver that idyllic balance of lightweight, pedal efficiency, comfort and descending prowess, a trail bike offers versatility in spades.

But while every brand offers one that fits somewhere in this grey area, almost everyone has a different idea of what a trail bike is. Should it be a comfortable XC bike that’s built a little more practically than a carbon fibre racer? Or should it be a slacker, plusher and more downhill-focussed machine?

Sitting in between the 100mm travel full suspension Lux race bike, and the 160mm travel Strive enduro bike, Canyon actually has two trail bikes. There’s the 140mm travel, 27.5in-wheeled Spectral, which we’ve tested and reviewed here. Then there’s the shorter travel Neuron.

canyon neuron 29er full suspension
This is the 29er version of the Canyon Neuron. It’s also available with 27.5in wheels.

Formally known as the Nerve, the Neuron is a short-travel trail bike that’s offered in both 29in and 27.5in specific versions. Antony tested and reviewed the 27.5in Canyon Nerve last year, and to compare that with its bigger-wheeled sibling, we’ve got a brand new 29er Neuron in for testing.

Whereas the 27.5in model gets 130/120mm of travel, the 29er Neuron runs 10mm less at either end, with a 120mm travel fork and 110mm of rear travel courtesy of a four-bar suspension linkage. Sitting two rungs down from the top 9.9 LTD model, the Neuron AL 9.9 comes spec’d with a Fox Performance Elite suspension package, a DT Swiss wheelset, and Shimano Deore XT groupset. However, it’s worth noting that the entire Neuron range is built around the same hydroformed alloy frame that we’re going to give you a closer look at here.

canyon neuron 29er
The Neuron AL 9.9 sits two rungs from the top-model, but still comes with a Fox suspension package, DT Swiss wheels and a Shimano Deore XT groupset.

Canyon Neuron Features

  • Hydroformed & welded alloy frame
  • 29in wheels
  • 110mm travel
  • Four-bar suspension design w/Horst Link pivot
  • 120mm travel fork
  • 69.3° head angle
  • 73.8° seat angle
  • 445mm chainstay length
  • Syntace X-12 142x12mm rear thru-axle
  • Press-fit BB92 bottom bracket shell
  • Side Swing mount front derailleur
  • Stealth dropper post cable routing
  • External gear and brake cable routing
  • Sizes: Medium, Large, X-Large
  • RRP: £2649
canyon neuron 29er full suspension
Whereas the 27.5in version sports 120mm of rear travel and 130mm of fork travel, the 29er model shrinks that number down by 10mm at each end.
canyon neuron 29er full suspension
Four-bar suspension linkage delivers 110mm of rear wheel travel.
canyon neuron 29er full suspension
A PF92 bottom bracket meets a chunky forged block of alloy that houses the main pivot.
canyon neuron 29er full suspension
Neat junction for the upper rocker link comes loaded with sealed ball bearing pivots.
canyon neuron 29er full suspension
Bolt-on chain slap guard.
canyon neuron 29er full suspension
Angular 142x12mm dropouts meet a Syntace X-12 thru-axle.
canyon neuron 29er full suspension
Canyon has picked a Shimano Deore XT 2×11 groupset for the Neuron AL 9.9
canyon neuron 29er full suspension
Double chainsets are becoming less common, but not on a German full-suspension XC/trail bike like this.
canyon neuron 29er full suspension
The Neuron sticks with external routing for the rear brake hose and derailleur cable.
canyon neuron 29er full suspension
With a 2×11 groupset and a dropper post, there’s a few cables about the front of the Neuron. Thankfully there are no remote lockouts…
canyon neuron 29er full suspension
740mm wide low-rise handlebars with a 70mm long stem makes up the Neuron 29er cockpit.
canyon neuron 29er full suspension
Because of the 2x drivetrain, the Neuron AL 9.9 runs the Reverb dropper remote on the right side of the bars.
canyon neuron 29er full suspension
Dropper hose runs inside the frame behind the tapered head tube.
canyon neuron 29er full suspension
125mm of travel via the new generation Reverb dropper post from RockShox.
canyon neuron 29er full suspension
To balance out the back end, Canyon has spec’d the bike with a capable Fox 34 Float fork with 120mm of travel.
canyon neuron 29er full suspension
The 34 features Boost hub spacing to provide huge tyre clearance. Of note is that the rear hub is of the non-Boost variety.
canyon neuron 29er full suspension dt swiss
Nicely finished alloy hoops from DT Swiss in the form of Spline One XM 1501 wheels.
canyon neuron 29er full suspension
2.4in wide tyres front and rear, with a more aggressive Mountain King tread on the front…
canyon neuron 29er full suspension
…and a faster rolling X-King tyre on the rear.
Frame geometry on the Canyon Neuron 29er.

Geometry wise, the Neuron 29er is a little more traditional in its numbers than compared to some other short travel 29er trail bikes like the Orange Segment. As to how those numbers play out on the trail, well, we’re very interested to find out!

For further information on the 16-strong Neuron bike range, head to the Canyon website.

canyon neuron 29er full suspension
How different is the 29er Neuron from the 27.5in version? Stay tuned to find out!

Canyon Neuron AL 9.9 Specifications

  • Frame // Hydroformed Alloy Tubing, 110mm Travel
  • Fork // Fox 34 Float Performance Elite, 120mm Travel
  • Shock // Fox Float DPS Performance Elite
  • Hubs // DT Swiss Spline XM 1501, 110x15mm Front & 142x12mm Rear
  • Rims // DT Swiss Spline XM 1501, 25mm Internal Width, Tubeless Compatible
  • Tyres // Continental Mountain King II Racesport 2.4in Front & X-King Racesport 2.4in Rear
  • Chainset // Shimano Deore XT, 36/26t
  • Front Mech // Shimano Deore XT, Side Swing
  • Rear Mech // Shimano Deore XT, 11-Speed
  • Shifters // Shimano Deore XT, 11-Speed
  • Cassette // Shimano SLX, 11-42t
  • Brakes // Shimano Deore XT, 180mm Front & Rear
  • Stem // Canyon V14, 70mm Long
  • Bars // Canyon H13 Flat AL, 740mm Wide, 5mm Rise
  • Grips // Ergon GA30 Lock-On
  • Seatpost // RockShox Reverb Stealth, 125mm Travel
  • Saddle // Fizik Tundra 2
  • Size Tested // Medium
  • Sizes available // Medium, Large, X-Large
  • Actual weight // 12.9 kg (28.38 lbs)

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