Canyon Neuron First Look: A Very Rejigged Trail Bike

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What sort of bike is the new Canyon Neuron? The simple answer is: it’s a mountain bike. The more specific answer is: it’s a trail bike. A trail bike with 29in wheels with 140mm travel front and 130mm rear.

We say “29in wheel” but the very smallest adult size (and the Young Hero Neuron for kids) actually come with 27.5in wheels. But for the Medium, Larger and Extra Large adult Neurons, it’s 29 all the way baby.

It’s a mountain bike

Described variously as “the ultimate all-rounder” and Canyon’s “most versatile bike to date”. It’s designed as a bike for what Canyon calls the “99 percent of riders who just want one great, do-it-all bike.”

And it’s also meant to be for folk who only want to own one mountain bike (we know! Can you imagine?)

Those of us with far too many bikes taking up space in our brains, who have been riding for a long enough period of time, may remember the Canyon Nerve that came out in 2002. Essentially the new Canyon Neuron is that bike’s 20-years-later descendant.

Canyon Nerve: top left 2002 bike. New Canyon Neuron: bottom right 2023 bike.

The new Neuron still sticks to ye olde Nerve’s vibe of “forget the frills – focus on what matters out on the trail”.

The Neuron look like it’ll be a decently lightweight-yet-capable bike. And kudos to Canyon for smoothing the aesthetic. It really does tick the ‘functional simplicity’ box. Aesthetic shouldn’t matter, but we all know they do. And Canyon have finally made the Neuron into a good looking trail bike (it was always a bit marathon-XC gawky before to some eyes).

To briefly contrast and compare the Neurons to its similarly suspended siblings, the Canyon Lux Trail is the XC racer, the Canyon Spectral 125 is the downcountry steed for progressive riders.

Comfort

The real strength of the Neuron is aiming to lie more in comfort than in speed or tech. It is intended to be a bike for all-day rides. Efficient propulsion. Solid traction. Ample comfort. That sort of thing.

In terms of sizing, there’s a lot. The Neuron is available in five different frame sizes for adults and there’s also the Young Hero models for young people, available in XXS and XS frame sizes.

Sometimes when a so-called “new” bike comes out, it’s little more than some componentry changes and a bit of BNG (Bold New Graphics). But the all-new Neuron really is all-new.

Admittedly, in terms of suspension travel there’s not much changed. It’s still a trail bike after all. The fork is 140mm still but the rear travel is 130mm.

140mm travel fork

Visually, the down tube has been slimmed down compared to the outgoing Neuron. The overall result is a more elegant looking bike.

Slimmer down tube

Important numbers

Geometry then. This is where the most significant changes have been made to the outgoing Neuron design. 

Canyon Neuron geometry chart

It’s longer. The reach has grown. A lot. We have a Large size Canyon Neuron on test and it comes with a healthy 480mm reach, compared to the 453mm of the previous Neuron. That’s 27mm longer reach, maths fans.

The head angle has slackened 1.5° and now sits at 66°. This should give it a bit more confidence on steep stuff and stability at higher speeds.

Neuron AL = NOT thru-headset cabling

The seat angle has steepened 1.5° to 76°. This places the seating position more centrally in the bike. Which is both an ergonomic pedal power advantage as well as a blessing on climbs generally. It increases comfort, control and efficiency.

The seat tube has had 20mm hacked off it. Our Large frame’s seat tube is 460mm long now, compared to 480mm previously. Better standover is the obvious benefit but a shorter seat tube also means you can run a generous dropper seatpost that gets your saddle even more out of the way on tricky trails. This bike comes with a 170mm travel dropper, for example.

170mm dropper

All four of these key geometry changes should result in better balance and overall bike handling. Kudos (again) to Canyon for almost forgoing a stop-gap make-do-and-mend generation of Neuron. Instead Canyon has come straight out with a decently modern geometry trail bike and finally cutting the Neuron’s XC-race apron strings.

Triple Phasing

In terms of the rear suspension design, those of you familiar with Canyon will be pleasantly unsurprised to see the utilisation of their tried-and-true Triple Phase Suspension ethos making its way on to the new Neuron. 

Triple Phase Suspension

Broadly speaking, the rear suspension travel is split into three sections: beginning, middle, end. The beginning is supple and sensitive. The middle is supportive with plenty of feedback to the rider as to what’s happening down there. The end ramps up to prevent harsh bottoming-out. It’s a tale almost as old as time, but Canyon tend to execute it very well in our experience.

Nuts

On to the nuts and bolts. Or the suspension hardware, in other words.

There are reinforced bolts, newly designed axles and improved pivot seals all over the new Neuron. The widened main bearing stiffens up the rear end’s rigidity. This is especially true of the pivot hardware used at the Horst Link on the chainstay. It’s had a real makeover/gym session.

Wider main pivot
Thru-axle and Horst-Link

The improved bearing seals should result in longer lasting, more supple suspension action. As well as sporting double-lip seals and being filled with a particularly stable, high-performance grease, the bearings themselves have more actual ball bearings in them compared to those found in other bikes.

Improved pivot bearings

What else? Threaded bottom bracket shell. Universal Derailleur Hanger, which helps future proof against any changes to drivetrain tech over the next few years. There’s no downtube storage. There are bottle bosses.

Threaded BB
Bottle bosses

Yes, there’s a Canyon Neuron CF

Canyon Neuron CF 9 SL

Oh, there’s also a carbon fibre Neuron. Called the Canyon Neuron CF.

Ultimately, the carbon Neuron CF is the same as the aluminium Neuron AL in terms of geometry and suspension kinematic.

The main differences found on the Neuron CF:

  • Fully integrated and sealed cable routing (yep, through the headset)
  • Straight seat tube (for even more dropper insertion potential)
  • Bolt-on chain guide
  • Screwed-down chainstay protector
  • 2,400g (Medium frame) versus 3,100g (Medium frame aluminium)
Canyon Neuron frame weights

Anyways, we think affordability is way up there when it comes to the target market of Neuron, so we’ve got the £2,249 Canyon Neuron AL 6 in for test. Yes, that’s £2,249.

Canyon Neuron models, spec, pricing

Canyon Neuron CF LTD

  • 2,440 gram carbon frame (size medium)
  • FOX 34 Float Factory 140 mm fork
  • FOX Float DPS Factory shock, 130 mm rear susepnsion
  • SRAM X01 AXS 12S drivetrain
  • DT Swiss XMC 1200, (30 mm) wheels (27,5” for XS–S, 29er M–XL)
  • RockShox Reverb AXS 150 mm dropper post (XS 125 mm, S 150 mm, M–XL 170 mm)
  • RaceFace Next 35 carbon bars, 760 MM (M–XL), 740 mm (XS–S)
  • Colours ROW: Valley Purple
  • Sizes: XS–XL
  • SRP: £5,749

Canyon Neuron CF 9 SL

Canyon Neuron CF 9 SL
  • 2,440 gram carbon frame (size medium)
  • FOX 34 Float Factory 140 mm fork
  • FOX Float DPS Factory shock, 130 mm rear suspension
  • SRAM GX AXS 12s drivetrain
  • DT Swiss XMC 1501 (30 mm) wheels (27,5” for XS–S, 29er M–XL)
  • Iridium SP60 dropper post (XS 150 mm, S–M 170 mm, L–XL 200 mm)
  • RaceFace Next 35 carbon bars, 760 MM (M–XL), 740 mm (XS–S)
  • Colours ROW: Moss Green
  • Sizes: XS–XL
  • SRP £4,799

Canyon Neuron CF 9

  • 2,440 gram carbon frame (size medium)
  • FOX 34 Float Performance Elite 140 mm fork
  • FOX Float DPS Performance shock, 130 mm rear suspension
  • Shimano XT 12s drivetrain
  • DT Swiss XMC 1700 (30 mm) wheels (27,5” for XS–S, 29er M–XL)
  • Iridium SP60 dropper post (XS 150 mm, S–M 170 mm, L–XL 200 mm)
  • RaceFace Next 35 carbon bars, 760 mm (M–XL), 740 mm (XS–S)
  • Colors ROW: Summit Silver, Lake Blue
  • Sizes: XS–XL
  • SRP £3,849

Neuron CF 8 / CF 8 WMN

  • 2,440 gram carbon frame (size medium)
  • FOX 34 Float Performance 140 mm fork
  • FOX Float DPS Performance shock, 130 mm rear suspension
  • Shimano SLX 12s drivetrain
  • DT Swiss XM 1700 (30 mm) wheels (27,5” for XS–S, 29er M–XL)
  • Iridium SP60 dropper post (X–XL)
  • RaceFace Next 35 carbon bars, 760 mm (M–XL), 740 mm (XS–S, M on WMN)
  • Colours ROW: Summit Silver, Rock Red, Glacier Grey (WMN)
  • Sizes: XS–XL
  • Sizes WMN: XS–M
  • SRP £2,899

Neuron AL 7 / AL 7 WMN

Canyon Neuron AL 7 WMN
  • 3,100 gram alloy frame
  • FOX 34 Float Performance 140 mm fork
  • FOX Float DPS Performance shock, 130 mm rear suspension
  • Shimano SLX 12s drivetrain
  • DT Swiss XM 1700 (30 mm) wheels (27,5” for XS–S, 29er M–XL)
  • Iridium SP63 dropper post (XS 150 mm, S–M 170 mm, L–XL 200 mm)
  • Iridium bars, 760 mm (M–XL), 740 mm (XS–S, M on WMN)
  • Colours ROW: Stealth, Forest Green, Peak Blues (WMN)
  • SIZES: XS–XL
  • SIZES WMN: XS–M
  • SRP £2,599

Neuron AL 6 / AL 6 WMN

Canyon Neuron AL 6
  • 3,100 gram alloy frame
  • FOX 34 Float Rhythm 140 mm fork
  • FOX Float DPS Performance shock, 130 mm rear suspension
  • Shimano SLX 12s drivetrain
  • DT Swiss LN AM (30/25 mm) wheels (27,5” for XS–S, 29er M–XL)
  • Iridium SP63 dropper post (XS 150 mm, S–M 170 mm, L–XL 200 mm)
  • Iridium bars, 760 mm (M–XL), 740 mm (XS–S, M on WMN)
  • Colours ROW: Peak Blues, Alps White, Fog Grey (WMN)
  • Sizes: XS–XL
  • Sizes WMN: XS–M
  • SRP £2,249

Canyon Neuron AL 5

  • 3,100 gram alloy frame
  • Rock Shox Recon Silver 140 mm fork
  • Rock Shox Deluxe Select+ shock, 130 mm rear suspension
  • Shimano Deore 12s drivetrain
  • Iridium | Shimano MT400 / MT410 (30/25 mm) wheels (27,5” for XS–S, 29er M–XL)
  • Iridium SP63 dropper post
  • Iridium bars, 760 mm (M–XL), 740 mm (XS–S)
  • Colours ROW: Soil Red, Alps White
  • Sizes: XS–XL
  • SRP £1,849

Canyon Neuron Young Hero

Canyon Neuron Young Hero
  • 3,100 gram alloy frame
  • Manitou Machete Comp 130 mm fork
  • Manitou Mara IL shock, 130 mm rear suspension
  • Shimano Deore 12s drivetrain
  • Iridium Young Hero 152 mm cranks
  • Tektro Kids brakes with 180 mm Hayes brake rotors
  • Shimano MT400 650B wheelset
  • Iridium rigid seatpost
  • Iridium 700 mm bars
  • Colours ROW: Shockwave
  • Sizes: 2XS, XS
  • SRP £1,499

So, there you go. The new Canyon Neuron. What do you reckon? Decent revamp from Canyon? What else would you have liked to have seen?

Keep an eye out for a full review once we’ve had the bike for a bit longer!

canyon.com

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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 18 posts - 1 through 18 (of 18 total)
  • Canyon Neuron First Look: A Very Rejigged Trail Bike
  • onewheelgood
    Full Member

    Striking similarities to the original 2016 Jeffsy. And the spec on the top model is fantastic for the price – a £2100 wheelset and a £1900 groupset. When you add up the component prices you’re basically getting the frame for nothing.

    jimthesaint
    Full Member

    It’s probably a typo but on the spec list it lists the rear suspension as 130mm

    honourablegeorge
    Full Member

    Shame they seem to have put hard compound tanwall tyres across the whole range, looks a really nice bike otherwise.

    thegeneralist
    Free Member

    DAAAAAHHHH!

    Everything about that bike looks fabulous …..

    Until I read that all the top end models come with electric stuff… WTAF. Why can’t manufacturers realise that a significant portion of riders do not want anything electrical on the bike apart from GPS and lights.

    Give us an XT version with posh forks and XMC wheels for god’ sake.

    seriousrikk
    Full Member

    Looks like the Neuron I wish I had. Cracking bike spec and knowing how the current one rides it has potential to be the perfect bike for most of the UK.

    Sadly it landed a few weeks too late for me, but still.

    Ben_Haworth
    Full Member

    Oops! It’s 130mm at the rear. Story amended now. Thanks for the spot!

    chakaping
    Free Member

    Integrated headset on the aluminum model?

    Or could you pop a -2deg slackset in it and create a real short-travel shred sled?

    thepurist
    Full Member

    Why can’t manufacturers realise that a significant portion of riders do not want anything electrical on the bike apart from GPS and lights.

    Luddites can surely whip off the foul elektrickery and sell it to (more than) pay for their trusty mechanical gears.

    desperatebicycle
    Full Member

    Ooh, I’ve got a 130mm rear 140mm front carbon framed all-rounder 29er from 2015! I didn’t realise that was still the sweet spot. I might keep it a bit longer 🙂
    Neuron does look nice.

    thegeneralist
    Free Member

    Luddites can surely whip off the foul elektrickery and sell it to (more than) pay for their trusty mechanical gears.

    But, but But…. I might electrocute myself 🙂

    tomparkin
    Full Member

    Surprising how much of a visual difference the straight v.s. curved seat tube makes.

    The AL version I really don’t like the look of, whereas the CF one looks great (or would do with the aforementioned -2 degree slackset).

    minus
    Free Member

    Why can’t manufacturers realise that a significant portion of riders do not want anything electrical on the bike apart from GPS and lights.

    They have the data on what sells, so I expect they assess that it’s not worth the extra SKUs to serve that market.

    thegeneralist
    Free Member

    They have the data on what sells, so I expect they assess that it’s not worth the extra SKUs to serve that market.

    Yeah, you’re right. I’m sure they do think that, but I’m only 70% in agreement with them. If they don’t sell the option they can’t have any data on how well it sells. Obviously they extrapolate from other data points, but I’m not sure how accurate they are.

    Eg, if I took thepurists [ eminently reasonable] suggestion above, it would just incorrectly reinforce their view that everyone wants electric at the top end.

    Or Snowbizz’s view that everyone that wants their holidays is happy to fly from down south.

    Based on the Spec’s in our household, Spec’ would assume we love that godawful action man toolcase and Avid brakes. We don’t, but you can’t buy Spec’ bikes these days without the damn things.

    Kryton57
    Full Member

    Looks like Canyon made an Canyon Occam to me – same idea, similar HA, steeper SA, very similar suspension design.

    thegeneralist
    Free Member

    How you liking your Occam Kryt?

    Mine still brings a smile every time I wheel it out of yhe bike room. Love it.

    The weird thing is that the handlebar position and front geometry reminds me so much of my first ever MTB, a 1987 Raleigh Maverick.

    Luckily it rides nothing like the Maverick 🙂

    Kryton57
    Full Member

    How you liking your Occam Kryt?

    Mine still brings a smile every time I wheel it out of yhe bike room. Love it.

    Same, its a great bike although I still can’t work out how its so comfortable without feeling the suspension move. I can’t wait for the trails to dry so I can push it harder!

    vicksplace
    Full Member

    In contrast, I prefer the aluminum frame to look at. In fact I liked the look of the aluminum women’s 7 so much I bought one!

    fazzini
    Full Member

    @vicksplace how are you getting on with the Neuron overall? I’m currently torn between the CF8 and the AL7!

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