Now there’s a Canyon Spectral for all the family!

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27.5, 29, alloy, mullet and even kids bikes are all covered in the new and improved 2022 Canyon Spectral range.

We are family. Photo credit: Roo Fowler

One Family, Any Trail

In December last year, Canyon filled a sizable hole in their trail bike line up with the Spectral 29. The new wheel size brought with it a completely redesigned frameset, more travel, and updated suspension kinematics. Read all about that bike here and what Andi thought of it here. With all the attention and improvements being focussed solely on the Spectral CF 29, shorter riders, or those looking for a more playful bike, and riders on a budget (there was no aluminium option of the Spectral 29), understandably felt a bit left out. 

That has now been rectified, and the same updates Canyon brought to the CF 29 have been applied to the 27.5 CF frame, and also the new Spectral CLLCTV mullet. There’s a new and improved wallet-friendly aluminium frame in both 27.5 and 29 wheel sizes, and sitting pretty at the top of the pile is a no holds barred CFR (Canyon Factory Racing) Frame. Last but not least, there’s a youth-specific Spectral Young Hero in 2XS with specially tuned kinematics to help shocks work properly with lighter riders.

Let’s talk wheel size

The new Canyon Spectral family, now available in all the wheel sizes. Photo: Roo Fowler

The key point with the new Spectral family is that all-wheel sizes are catered for. Canyon looked at dropping some sizes in order to simplify things, but found somewhat unsurprisingly, that everyone rides differently and likes different things. Even when faced with the same trail, some riders will look for maximum speed and efficiency, while others will be looking to turn the slightest trail feature into a boostable lip. And somewhere in the middle are those who want the fast-rolling of a 29er, but without losing the sharper handling of the smaller wheels.

Aside from the mullet and CFR versions, all bikes in the Spectral family are available with either 27.5 or 29” wheels depending on frame size. Naturally, 27.5 wheels are available on XS – L sizes, while the 29” wheels are available on S – XL sizes. Due to the speedier intentions of the CFR frame and build kit, this is limited to 29″ wheels only, sizes S – XL

Canyon Spectral CF

We first saw the CF frame when it was launched last year on the Spectral CF 29 and there are no changes to the frame, other than the introduction of 27.5 and mullet versions. 

Cables are all fully internally routed – just feed the outer in at the headtube, and it should just pop out at the relevant place further down the frame. 

Fully routed internal cables on the CF frames. Photo credit: Roo Fowler

You’ve still got easily replaceable threaded inserts on all pivot hardware, all bearings (apart from the drive side chainstay pivot) are accessible from the non-drive side for ease of maintenance and the flip-chip adjustable geometry is still present. Talking of which, the head angle on the CF frame is still 64°, while the seat tube angle is still 76°. The flip-chip adds 0.5° to both of these when put into the high position, and raises the bottom bracket by 8mm too.

The CF range starts with the Spectral CF 7 (£3,399), which comes with a Fox 36 Rhythm fork, Fox Float X Performance shock, Shimano SLX drivetrain and brakes, DT Swiss XM1900 wheels, and Maxxis Minion DHF/DHR 2 tyres. 

Spectral CF 8 CLLCTV, photo credit: Roo Fowler

The Spectral CF 8 CLLCTV (£3,899) is the mullet version and comes with Fox 36 Performance Elite Grip2 forks, Fox DHX Performance Elite coil shock, Shimano XT brakes, and a mix of SLX and XT groupset. It gets an upgraded Maxxis Assegai upfront, and you can read a more detailed look at this bike and a first ride review, here

Canyon is offering a coil shock for the first time. Photo credit: Roo Fowler

The Spectral CF 8 (£4,399) has the same fork as the mullet but switches out the coil for a Fox Float X Performance Elite, and you get a full XT drivetrain and brakes. The wheels see a slight upgrade to DT Swiss XM1700, and you get a carbon bar instead of the alloy version.

Canyon Spectral CF 8. Photo credit: Roo Fowler

Lastly, the Spectral CF 9 has a RockShox Lyrik Ultimate fork and RockShox Super Deluxe Ultimate shock. SRAM Code RSC’s provide the stopping power, while the drivetrain is SRAM GX AXS. Wheels are fancy carbon DT Swiss XMC1501.

Canyon Spectral AL

Rather than just developing an aluminium frame to look identical to the carbon frame, Canyon has lavished a whole lot more care and attention on the alloy version. The priority here was to make the AL frame handle and perform as close as possible to the CF frame, regardless of how it looks. The tube profiles on the AL are significantly different, and the overall form is a little less organic than the CF. The engineers at Canyon have really embraced and celebrated aluminium with this frame too – the finish is partly raw, and the welds are unashamedly chunky and left unsmoothed. When we queried why the response was that it doesn’t improve the ride, so why would you? Well quite.

Raw finish shows off the welds on the AL frame. Photo credit: Roo Fowler

It’s slightly more stripped back than the CF frame, reflecting its more wallet-friendly nature. The flip chips of the CF frame are gone, instead, the geometry is a mashup of all the best bits of the CF frame – the low position bottom bracket and head tube angle of 64° is paired with the high position seat tube angle of 76.5°.

No adjustable geometry on the AL frame for maximum value. Photo credit: Roo Fowler

In spite of this simplicity, durability hasn’t been sacrificed on the AL frame. Instead of the threaded inserts of the CF frame, you’ll find steel helicoils throughout. These are almost indestructible, and are replaceable should you really mess things up. 

Half internal, half external cable routing on the AL frame. Photo credit: Roo Fowler

There are 2 Spectral AL models. The Spectral 5 (£2,449) comes with a Fox 36 Rhythm fork, Fox Float X Performance shock, Shimano Deore groupset and Maxxis Minion DHF/DHR 2 tyres.

Canyon Spectral AL 5 27.5. Photo credit: Roo Fowler

The Spectral 6 (£2,999) has a Rockshox Lyrik Select+ fork, Rockshox Super Deluxe Select+ shock, SRAM Code R brakes and SRAM GX groupset. 

Canyon Spectral CFR

Canyon Spectral CFR. Photo credit: Roo Fowler

At the opposite end of the scale, Canyon let their engineers run wild with the development of the Canyon Factory Racing (CFR) frame. Removing any cost limitations, this is the pinnacle of what they can achieve, and the weight of the frame drops by 300g without sacrificing stiffness. The flagship Spectral CFR build kit reflects this, and you’re looking at £6,499 for a Shimano XTR groupset, one piece carbon bar and stem, Fox Factory suspension and DT Swiss carbon wheels.

What about the kids?

Doing it for the kids! Photo credit: Roo Fowler

But wait, that’s not all! There’s also a Spectral AL Young Hero (£1,849) in 2XS sizing, specially developed for young rippers. Specifically, the kinematics have been tuned to allow a full sized shock to work properly with lighter weight riders. This features a Rockshox Recon fork, SRAM Deluxe Select+ shock, SRAM Guide T brakes and a SRAM SX drivetrain. They haven’t scrimped on tyres either, with a Maxxis Minion DHF up front and a Maxxis Aggressor at the back.

Canyon Spectral Young Hero, Photo credit: Roo Fowler

Canyon Spectral Geometry

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Having ridden bikes for as long as he can remember, James takes a certain twisted pleasure in carrying his bike to the most inaccessible locations he can find, before attempting to ride back down again, preferably with both feet on the pedals. After seeing the light on a recent road trip to Austria, James walked away from the stresses of running a design agency, picked up a camera and is several years deep into a mid life crisis that shows no sign of abating. As a photographer, he enjoys nothing more than climbing trees and asking others to follow his sketchy lines while expecting them to make it look as natural and stylish as possible. He has come to realise this is infinitely more fun than being tied to a desk, and is in no hurry to go back.

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