Canyon Spectral 125

Canyon Spectral 125 CF 8: first ride review

by 42

Canyon has hacked some travel from the Spectral but kept all of the other numbers the same. Is it still a trail bike? Is it a Downcountry wannabe? Or is it A Mountain Bike?

  • Brand: Canyon
  • Product: Spectral 125 CF 8
  • From:
  • Price: £4,399
  • Tested by: Benji for 1 week
Canyon Spectral 125
Canyon Spectral 125 CF 8 sheltering from the rain

Three things I liked

  • Huge standover
  • Great geometry
  • Nice contact points

Three things I’d change

  • Dissector rear tyre lacks bite
  • 180mm rear rotor (I like big brakes and I cannot lie)
  • Not coil shock friendly (I like coil for grip in winter)

Around about a year Canyon gave its regular Spectral a makeover. It gave the 150/160mm all of the wheel size options and some other tweaks. It remains in its place as the general do-it-all trail bike. The new Spectral 125 has pretty much the exact same geometry as the regular Spectral – it’s actually a few mm longer reach – but it’s had some travel hacked off it.

Er. What’s the point of that then?

There is some minimal weight saving (around 100g) so that’s kinda irrelevant. The Spectral 125 is all about how the suspension behaves.

It’s still Triple Phase Suspension but with more anti-squat and steeper leverage curve gradient

Essentially, as well as there just being less of it, the suspension on the Spectral 125 has more anti-squat around sag zone as well as having a steeper leverage curve gradient. Canyon are still calling the layout ‘Triple Phase Suspension’ (ie. soft start, supportive middle, controlled ramp up finale) but with the Spectral 125 the start and middles are firmer than the regular Spectral.

That’s the theory anyway.

Yep, it’s not a flexy frame

Regardless, seeing as the new Spectral 125 is a progressive geometry 29er with not-loads-of-travel it’s going to inevitably bring the dirty word ‘Downcountry’ into the conversation.

Let’s get this dealt with nice and early. While I have no problem with Downcountry as a term (I think it’s quite a useful classification, however jokingly it was coined), the Canyon Spectral comes with a 140mm fork. It’s not Downcountry. I’d even come out and say that anything over 120mm – front or rear travel – is not downcountry.

It’s a trail bike. Sure, it’s not like a trail bike that we’ve become used to. It doesn’t have 150mm of travel. There’s no fitted wardrobe in the down tube. There’s no large-range geometry adjustment flipping-chipping (yes, it does have a flipchip but… more on that later).

XT, DT, Maxxis, stick. Nice bits.

It can’t be a coincidence that when I first heard about the Spectral 125 it made me think of the YT Izzo. Well, it may partly be because we have a YT Izzo on test for the next issue of the magazine at the moment. But still, the headline description of the Canyon Spectral 125 made me instantly think Izzo.

As it turns out, the Spectral 125 is quite a different bike to the Izzo. I’ll get into that in my first thoughts below.

Canyon, perhaps being rather afraid that the target market for the Spectral 125 may be a bit niche, do try and claim that the bike has two demographics in mind. Firstly, experienced riders who just prefer snappier handling bikes combined with capable geometry. Secondly, riders who don’t live in terrain that needs more suspension travel.

Neatly done

I can understand Canyon wanting to maximise their potential punter base, but the Spectral 125 is clearly better suited to the first demographic. Riders who ride mild trails will just get the Neuron, if they want a Canyon. Or the Lux Trail if they own a Heart Rate Monitor but don’t own a peaked helmet.

As a 40-odd (very odd) year old, greying ATBer from the 90s, I am squarely in Canyon’s crosshairs with the Spectral 125. And I’m fine with it. I love that bike brands are making mountain bikes for folk like me.

I like to feel the terrain under my wheels. I don’t like to feel the terrain as it scrapes my palm skin or cuts into my chin. I want to know what the bike’s doing. I don’t want to be worrying what it’s going to do next.

Storage bag mounts to bolted bracket under top tube

140mm front/125mm rear mountain bikes offer a nice combination of capability and control. Kudos to Canyon for the seemingly simple solution of just aping the geometry of their longer travel bikes. It must have been tempting to massage the numbers a bit to make it look like they’ve done loads of R&D etc. In the end though Canyon, like the whole MTB world, is possibly slowly realising that hey, there may well be just one set of geometry numbers that work for mountain bikes. Regardless of travel.

What geometry numbers are these? 64° head angle, 76° seat angle, 486mm reach (Large) and whatever the biggest dropper post you can possibly squeeze in there please (200mm in the case of L/XL Spectral 125 models). Remember these numbers, you’ll be seeing them on XC bikes within five years.

Down tube protection

As mentioned, it’s how the suspension behaves that is going to be defining factor in differentiating mountain bikes from here on in. A fundamental part of that is how much travel the bike has to control but amount-of-travel is no longer the be-all and end-all. There can be stiff 160mm ‘rally car’ bikes and soggy 100mm ‘comfy’ bikes.

In this regard, the new Spectral 125 is not more efficient because it has less travel, it’s more efficient because it has more anti-squat and a firmer mid-stroke. Okay, so the firmer mid-stroke is influenced by the less amount of travel, but it’s not the whole shebang.

There will no doubt be armchair commenters who will struggle to see the point of the Spectral 125. After all, it is essentially the same weight as the 150/160mm Spectral. So what’s the point? I’d be repeating myself if I went into the answer again.

Four-pot but 180mm (rear)

Another question might be, why not make the regular Spectral have more anti-squat and increased gradient leverage curve? In other words, why not make the normal Spectral more ‘poppy and playful’? (Canyon’s phrase)

The answer is that a lot – most? – riders wouldn’t want it. Most riders want loads of traction, a bit of ‘get out of jail free’ easy-moving mid-stroke for rough stuff, and they don’t want to feel like they’ve been beaten to death after a day’s riding. They want maximum velocity. Minimum risk. Most riders should get the normal Spectral. Move along. Nothing to see here.

The Spectral 125 appeals to the rider who prizes sensation over velocity. Someone who rides the same stupid stuff as the Super Enduro Brigade but appears at the bottom a couple of minutes later, having worked harder and consequently had a more rewarding experience, arguably.

125! More red than alive!

Talking about doing the same stuff as Enduro Bros, one of the reasons the Spectral 125 isn’t sigificantly lighter than the regular Spectral is that it’s still made to Canyon’s Category 4 strength rating. This is the same rating as their EWS-tastic Strive bikes. You don’t have to worry about hustling the Spectral 125 down any of the same daft stuff as your maximally travelled mates.

The chainstay lengths are also big clues as to the general velocity vs playtime quotient of the Spectral 125. At 437mm they aren’t drastically (over-)short but they sure aren’t the lengthy speed-plow numbers you can find on all-out enduro bikes. The stays offer a decent amount of just-because fun and frolic potential if you want it.

Intriguingly, the Spectral 125’s impressive standover numbers kinda reverse the oft-stated mantra of upsizing (opting to get a bigger frame size than is your normal). The seat-tube agnostic sizing also opens up the potential for seasoned/bored enduro riders downsizing to get a bike that is less planted at speed but more pick-up and play-able at slow and middling speeds. I’m kinda perennially between L and XL sizes and tested a L here, for what it’s worth.

Loved the grips and dropper remote

To talk construction, the Spectral 125 uses double-sealed bearings on the carbon and the aluminium versions. The carbon models get replaceable alloy thread inserts at all pivots. The alloy bikes get non-replaceable but steel inserts. The carbons get guided full internal cable routing. The alloys get internal front-triangle, external swingarm routing.

The carbon Spectral 125 bikes come with a flip chip (+/- 0.5° pointlessness, +/-8mm of arguably useful BB height adjustment). The alloy Spectral 125 bikes ditch the flip-chip and, interestingly, come with geometry that is impossible to achieve with the carbon bikes; LO front end (slackest head angle and lowest BB) with HI back end (steepest seat angle).

I also notice that the stroke lengths of the shocks are different on the carbon vs alloy Spectral 125. 210x50mm vs 210×47.5mm respectively. I’d certainly like a go on an alloy Spectral 125 to see if it rides significantly differently to this carbon CF model here.

This goes to 11

The alloy Spectral 125 frame weighs in at a claimed 3,000g. The carbon Spectral 125 frame is a claimed 2,500g (the regular Spectral is 2,600g). The alloy Spectral 125 also sports Canyon’s Cateogry 4 strength rating, by the way.

First ride thoughts

As is frequently the case with modern trail bikes, I spend the first few minutes on the initial test ride moaning. I’m not moaning about the bike. Far from it. Quite the reverse.

I’m moaning because I’m really freaking annoyed that we could have had bikes like this 10 years ago. Aside from maybe the huge 200mm dropper post, we could have all been riding good geometry 29ers back when the bike industry went insane and made 27.5in the Next Big Thing back in 2013(?)

What a colossal and cowardly waste of time.

Anyway. Moaning (almost) out of my system. How did the Canyon Spectral 25 ride?

Say hello to me lil blue fren’ (or should that be goodbye?)

It will come as no surprise to anyone that it was good. How could it not be really? It’s a Spectral with a sportier feel that doesn’t need to be going over 20mph down between race tapes.

I felt instantly at home on the Spectral 125. Partially because it shares a general stance and attitude of my own bike (Cotic FlareMAX), but mainly because everything is where it should be. Namely, where your feet and hands are in relation to where the wheel axles are. The input and output points.

It all just feels… right.

This flip-chip will never be flipped

Despite the fact that Canyon have upped the anti-squat on the 125mm travel Spectral, it’s not a stiff experience. As mentioned, compared to the ostensibly similar YT Izzo, the Spectral 125 is a different feeling bike. The Izzo likes to stomp around forested flow trails. It’s not best at home on rocks and rough stuff where it can come unstuck, deflect and remind you very much that it’s only got a modest amount of travel to offer.

Depending on your terrain/mood/fitness, you may opt to flick the climb switch on the Spectral 125. The back end does move about a bit under pedalling. I’m personally something of a fan of climb switches but I only used the little blue lever on this bikes shock when it came to riding home along tarmac at the end of the ride (I live halfway up a hill). The rest of the time I really didn’t think it was worth using the climb switch. The kind of bike the Spectral 125 is really benefits from a set-and-forget just-ride vibe.

G5 stuff works nicely

Part of the cause of my abandonment of my little blue friend (the climb switch) is no doubt due to the firmer riding middle and end parts of the rear travel. I don’t mind the bike hovering a few mm either side of sag when climbing. What I don’t like is when the back end of a bike quickly swallows down a couple of cm on climbs whenever I sink into a dip or adjust my body position. The Spectral 125 doesn’t swallow, it spits your efforts into forward momentum.

Geometry-wise, I think Canyon have pretty much nailed it. You could say they’ve been canny and just bided their time to see what others came out with. I don’t care really. Good geometry is good geometry and I’m just glad it exists on bikes with modest travel.

As mentioned, I really think downsizing (or at least NOT upsizing) is a key thing with the Spectral 125. It simply doesn’t have the suspension travel to hurtle at high speeds down proper mountain bike terrain that super-long wheelbase bikes are fun on.

If you’re embracing modest millimetres of suspension you should be accepting of similarly modest millimetres of wheelbase. Being able to get your bike off the ground instantly will very likely save your neck (and rims) on numerous occasions.

Not to mention, it’s just fun.

New era 36s are fab aren’t they?

A word about having loads of standover. And a big travel dropper post. They are both brilliant. I’d go as far to say that having more standover is way, way more important than having loads of suspension travel, if you had to choose. I might even be as insane as to say that standover may even be more important than head angle. Nah. Probably not.

My point being, the as-much-as-possible dropper and standover combo on the Canyon Spectral 125 is a great thing.

Here it is before I got it wet


The Canyon Spectral 125 doesn’t have short travel, it has enough travel. It has the geometry to get down – and up, and along – anything you care to show it. It may well leave you feeling a bit more worked-over after a big day out in big terrain but… how often do you actually do those days? If your riding is technically demanding but more in an intense rather than an extended way, you’ll like what the Spectral 125 offers.

Any questions?

Please comment below!

Canyon Spectral 125 CF 8 spec and geometry

  • Frame: Canyon Spectral 125 CF
  • Shock: Fox Float X Performance, 210x50mm
  • Fork: Fox 36 Performance Elite Grip2, 140mm
  • Wheels: DT Swiss XM1700
  • Front tyre: Maxxis Minion DHR II MaxxTerra EXO 29×2.4
  • Rear tyre: Maxxis Disssecotr MaxxTerra EXO 29×2.4
  • Chainset: Shimano XT
  • Drivetrain: Shimano XT
  • Brakes: Shimano XT M8120, 203/180mm rotors
  • Stem: G5
  • Bars: G5 AL
  • Grips: Ergon
  • Seatpost: G5 Dropper 200mm
  • Saddle: Ergon SM10 Enduro Comp
  • Bottom Bracket: Shimano
  • Size tested: L
  • Sizes available: S, M, L, XL
  • Weight: 14.33kg
  • Head angle: 64.08°
  • Effective seat angle: 76°
  • Seat tube length: 435mm
  • Head tube length: 130mm
  • Chainstay: 437mm
  • Wheelbase: 1,259mm
  • Effective top tube: 636mm
  • BB drop: 35mm
  • Reach: 486mm

While you’re here…

Review Info

Brand: Canyon
Product: Spectral 125 CF 8
Price: £4,399
Tested: by Benji for 1 week

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Orange Switch 6er. Stif Squatcher. Schwalbe Magic Mary Purple Addix front. Maxxis DHR II 3C MaxxTerra rear. Coil fan. Ebikes are not evil. I have been a writer for nigh on 20 years, a photographer for 25 years and a mountain biker for 30 years. I have written countless magazine and website features and route guides for the UK mountain bike press, most notably for the esteemed and highly regarded Singletrackworld. Although I am a Lancastrian, I freely admit that West Yorkshire is my favourite place to ride. Rarely a week goes by without me riding and exploring the South Pennines.

More posts from Ben

Viewing 40 posts - 1 through 40 (of 42 total)
  • Canyon Spectral 125 CF 8: first ride review
  • donncha
    Full Member

    I found this review a little confusing. Additionally, what I really would like to know is how it compares to the Spectral 150; the reviewer seems to hint at this without giving a direct comparison.

    Full Member

    This is the kind of bike I like and was after before going slightly longer travel due to stock / seeing a frame I really liked the look of and impulse buying it.

    Along the lines of a Norco Optic / Bird Aether 9 / Cotic Flaremax / Nukeproof Reactor etc.

    I think the geometry makes sense – if it’s a bit more nimble and pedals better than the longer travel version but retains the geometry for steep tech stuff it’s perfect for a lot of UK riding.

    My Sentinel is 150m travel at both ends with a circa 64 degree head angle and it’s way poppier than I thought it would be and quite playful. This Spectral is most likely lighter but similar geometry with a bit less bounce.

    Maybe they’ve missed a trick not making the suspension curve work for coil shocks though. Something like a Cane Creek db coil il is pretty light and would suit an aggressive trail bike.

    Free Member

    Great review Benji.

    I currently own the Spectral 150. There’s a lot too like about the bike. Sizing, fit, geometry, feel (especially now I’ve got it dialled in after 10 rides).

    Yet I can’t help be drawn to sporty, snappy short travel trail bikes with sorted geo as firstly, historically that’s what I’ve preferred and owned and secondly, they suit how I ride and predominately where I ride at least 80% of the time. For that other 20%, you rein it in.

    The Spectral 125 certainly appeals and perhaps addresses some of the minor gripes about the Spectral 150. Shorter seat tube, longer dropper, internal cable routing.

    It’s just a shame Canyon don’t do frame only.

    Full Member

    Woohoo Canyon have finally made a bike that’s worth looking at! Not quite sure what’s confusing about this review as per the comment above, seems pretty straightforward to me, although I really think we need someone with some authority to define ‘downcountry’. Last I heard Pinkbike were talking about the Lux Trail as a downcountry bike, and yet this is too even though it’s radically different?

    Full Member

    I think canyon have missed a trick with this bike. Could they have not gone 130mm front with a 34 fork and less burly wheels to make it more different from the standard Spectral and more into the modern Down country as the Lux trail is a bit of a half hearted effort at this category

    Full Member

    I really think we need someone with some authority to define ‘downcountry’. Last I heard Pinkbike were talking about the Lux Trail as a downcountry bike, and yet this is too even though it’s radically different?

    I’m with chrismac on this.  The Lux Trail is a half arsed attempt to make an XC bike more ‘down country’ and this has maybe gone to the other end of the scale with 36s etc.  I don’t think we need an authority to define any category though, just pick a bike you like

    Free Member

    Brilliant, bike companies are finally making the bikes we all wanted 10 years ago when the best we could do was struggle on a tiny overforked 4X bike or kill an XC bike (with offset shock bushings and slacksets)by thrashing it well beyond it’s limits.

    Full Member

    It may well be a good fit for me … I don’t do big stuff
    I can’t help wondering how long it will be before you can actually buy one 🙄

    I had been looking at getting a Neuron 6 AL which also seems to fit my riding and budget but eta of those just keeps being put back,

    Free Member

    Not sure how much they’ll be in the UK but the price on the Canyon Spain website is showing as €4499.

    That is insanely cheap considering that you get Fox Performance Elite suspension, full XT 12 speed groupset and brakes, high end Ergon finishing kit, and DT Swiss’s top level aluminium wheels.

    Well done Canyon for reintroducing sensible pricing back to mountain biking.

    As above though, I’m not sure a bike with a 140mm Fox 36 fork and piggy pack shock qualifies for the ‘Downcountry’ club.

    I can’t help wondering how long it will be before you can actually buy one 🙄

    Showing in stock for me right now (at least in M – XL sizes).

    Free Member

    @joebristol – maybe they tried it and something about it’s design kept wrecking the coil shocks. I know there have been a few bikes in recent years where ‘optimised for air shocks’ really meant ‘it snaps coil shocks for fun’.

    Full Member

    @zerocool – that’s a good point. Normally the ones that snap coil shocks have a yoke between the linkage and the shock – effectively increasing the eye to eye length of the shock massively. Think Specialized / Ripmo etc.

    Looking at this one there isn’t a yoke – but it looks like the seat stays are joined to the linkage and then extend out to the shock after that – so maybe this setup could also have the same effect on a coil shock.

    Free Member

    Not sure where to start with this review.

    You said ‘this is a bike for people who want to chuck it around and care less about rear end grip’, spoke patronisigly of people who like well tracking rear ends then criticised it for not being able to fit a coil shock so the rear end tracks better.

    You criticised a bike you described as downcountry for having a dissector rear tyre for not being grippy enough – people race dissectors in the ews; it’s one of the grippiest hard conditions tyres around. Did you run it at 50psi?

    The frame is 3kg plus shock – you can get super Enduro frames lighter than that.

    You’ve asked for more than 180mm rotors on dual pot brakes on what you call a downcountry bike?

    Full Member

    Looks great in that colour combination.

    Free Member

    and yet this is too even though it’s radically different?

    You’ve asked for more than 180mm rotors on dual pot brakes on what you call a downcountry bike?

    Have you two read a different review to me? He quite categorically does not say the 125 is a downcountry bike.

    Full Member

    I think canyon have missed a trick with this bike. Could they have not gone 130mm front with a 34 fork and less burly wheels to make it more different from the standard Spectral and more into the modern Down country as the Lux trail is a bit of a half hearted effort at this category

    They already have a bike like that, it’s called the Neuron and I have one. If I put a -2 degree headset on it I get very close to what this new bike is and it’s something I was thinking of doing anyway. I rode it at Windhill a few months ago and it was a lot of fun so I can see the idea they had with this new bike, they even do a 140mm forked Neuron that’s more of a Downcountry bike than this Spectral!

    Full Member

    How tall are you Benji, I quite like the look of this bike and tend to ride large frames but the canyon calculator puts me at a medium?

    Thank you

    Free Member

    As a owner of a Santa Cruz Tallboy 4. I totally get this bike. Great fun and very capable trail bikes. The whole idea of these bikes is they have the the geometry to handle the steep and tech trails without too much suspension to make them hard work on the flat, climbs and flow trails. To me they are the perfect UK trail bike. My only issue with the Spectral 125 is the over long seat tubes. Like all Canyon mountain bikes. No option to size up. This is the reason I got a Tall boy. I was able to size up from my small Spectral 27.50 to a Medium 29er. My tallboy like all Santa Cruz full suspension bikes only has a 405mm seat tube which still allows me to tun a 150mm dropper.

    Full Member

    @AndrewL 185cm

    Full Member

    Thank you that’s helpful, it does look like a nice bike, have also been looking at the orange stage evo and flaremax, nice to have more choices

    Full Member

    @AndrewL Canyon size guide seems pretty good to me – I’m 6′ so was really surprised for the recommended size to be medium! However it fits perfectly (Lux Trail not a Spectral).
    In fact one of the poorer reviews of the Lux Trail (5′ 11″ rider) complained about the large being too big (because of seat post ‘mast’) for the dropper to fit properly…

    Free Member

    I find myself in quite a pickle! Have a Spectral 29 AL 6.0 on back order. Then got my eyes turned by a Ripmo AF, and now my head has been turned once again with this 125!!


    Full Member

    It’s been a long while since I bought my old Canyon but do exercise caution with the sizing calculator. I followed it religiously and at 5′ 11″ was recommended a Medium that was too small for me. After playing with the calculator by slightly upping my measurements it jumped straight to Large.

    Free Member

    I fell foul of the canyon size calculator years ago when I didn’t really understand frame geo and measurements etc. I’m 185 and it put me on a medium 🤦

    Thankfully it fitted my dad so it wasn’t a total disaster.

    I’d recommend looking on geometrygeeks and comparing with your current bike rather than trusting the canyon tool.

    Free Member

    I echo what others have said about the sizing calculator. I’m 183 and own a large Spectral 29. Canyon’s recommendation for my height and inseam was a medium. It would have been too small. The large fits me perfectly. Check the geo as always for ETT, reach, etc. as a better comparison.

    Free Member

    Yea, it’s quite the minefield. My 2016 is pretty conservative compared to the latest modest geo. I’m 186cm with a 92cm inseam and long arms, Canyon puts me on a large for all models.

    Full Member

    Thank you all, I will get out excel and a tape measure!

    Full Member

    Great review and a fabulous looking bike. I’m not about to go changing my Ripmo anytime soon (somehow manages to do plush, playful and poppy, and I love it dearly), but if I was buying that bike again I’d certainly have this on my shortlist.
    Makes a lot of sense to me.

    Free Member

    I rode last years’ version and really liked it. It made for a really good all round mountain bike.

    The Strive is for my money perhaps even better. The shapeshifter adjustment means it felt really good on XC rides while being big mountain capable.

    Both were sponsored pieces but I would happily buy either of the bikes with my own money. Not often that I will say that!



    Free Member

    As the owner of a smuggler I really like aggressive short travel full sussers. I think this looks great and reasonable value for money to boot.

    Full Member

    isn’t down country a term for a cross country bike that has been beefed up?

    this is a trail bike that has had its travel reduced to make it more twitchy/interactive. that needs a whole new classification.

    Full Member

    Orange already call reduced travel, and slacker option an Evo.

    Full Member

    Yea, it’s quite the minefield. My 2016 is pretty conservative compared to the latest modest geo. I’m 186cm with a 92cm inseam and long arms, Canyon puts me on a large for all models.

    Canyon’s size calculator really cares about inseam. At 5’10 with short legs it puts me on a small. As I have a long torso and arms I’d want the reach and ETT of the large to not feel cramped, but would need to swap the dropper post to a shorter one.

    Free Member

    Hi Benji. Great review! Sounds like a cool bike. I’m roughly your height at 185cm, and Canyon recommends a size L although an M would fit me as well, at least according to their online tool. When you mention it’s crucial not to upsize with the Spectral 125, would you go as far as getting an M in my case (meaning 460mm reach vs 486mm on L)?

    Full Member

    I contacted them using the form on the website about sizing. They were helpful, but I am still dithering. One thing is to make sure it is your inner leg measurement rather than your inseam you are entering into the calculator.

    Free Member

    I’m a short arse rider. I have come to the conclusion that standover height is not a key measurement for shorter riders. I ride bikes where my crotch hits the top tube, but I am never in that position, that far forward on the bike ever. When stationary, I drop the saddle and rest on one foot. When riding down steep trails, my arse is over the back wheel. If I lose balance, I topple sideways. If I go OTB, standover does not come into it.

    Free Member

    Just arrived today. CF-8 spec, size M. Green looks great in daylight.

    I’m 5’10 ish. Hopefully first ride tomorrow if my Invisiframe doesn’t drop off overnight.

    Canyon Spectral 125

    Free Member

    @geolog – that looks awesome. Very similar to my Norco Optic, which is an absolute riot to ride.

    will be interested to hear some feedback on it.


    Full Member

    Looks fab, do report back after riding it.

    Canyon seem to have killed it with this bike.

    Free Member

    Did 25km tonight with a mix of trail centre red and off piste stuff. First impressions are it’s going to get me in to trouble (the good kind), it’s fast and fun! It pedals very well.

    Coming from a Slash as my other bike:
    •I’ve got an ML Slash – M feels spot on with the 125. Noticeably quicker handling in the turns on the downs
    •Feels rapid on flowy singletrack (natural or trail centre)
    •Feels very playful in this size, glad I didn’t size up. I had a large Bronson previously and this feels very similar reach wise, and it’s no less energetic.
    •Sketchier across faster rough sections as you’d expect, but that’s where the fun is right? Rear feels very stiff (shock needs dialling in), haven’t checked the tyre valves yet but feared they might have tubes so I ran a couple of psi more than normal which made it worse.
    •Feels roughly as fast (and controlled) as the Slash across faster smoother stuff, or slower moderate trails. Haven’t tried it on anything super tech yet, but I think it will handle well. Was within a second or two on a number of downhill trails of 50-90s
    •Didn’t think twice about jumps, drops, gaps etc that I am used to on bigger bikes – it took it all in its stride
    •As above, shock feels skittish in the rough but that’s due to the suspension set up on my part – I need to spend some time playing with the pressure and compression/rebound dials. Set it at 25% sag for now but think my “that looks about right” eyeing in maybe wasn’t accurate (I just wanted to get out and ride). Felt sluggish in a couple of compressions but that was my fault.

    Looks good against logs.


    Full Member

    Nice one.

    Looks great in the wild.

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