Handguards are a brilliant invention and I'm never going through a summer without them. These particular…
If you just want a no-nonsense mountain bike at an attractive price point, the Canyon Neuron AL 6 is a very good answer.
- Brand: Canyon
- Product: Neuron AL 6
- From: canyon.com
- Price: £2,249
- Tested: by Aran Francis for 3 months
- A capable first full susser
- Great spec
- Looks good
- Tyres are not exactly UK all-year
- A slacker head angle wouldn’t be a bad thing
When I picked this bike up for the test Benji told me, “it’s just a regular bike really”. This to me says it all for the Canyon Neuron AL. It is a bike that is just that, a very decent all-rounder for those that just want an easily understandable modern mountain bike.
With a price tag of £2,249 it sits firmly in the entry level end of full suspension mountain bikes. For many this will be their first full suspension experience. The Neuron would be well suited for a first time full squisher. 140mm of travel up front and 130 mm of rear travel, which is enough travel to give you that confidence which comes naturally with full suspension but not enough to overwhelm a dyed in the wool hardtail veteran or something coming over from the Dark Side (road cycling).
On the other side of things, as someone who’s been full-sussing for as long as I can remember, for me the Neuron was a nice change from riding my long travel enduro bike. The reduced travel and the firmer feel generally meant this was a really fun play bike, as well as being a noticeably more pleasant ride on longer adventures.
Spoeaking of which, when it comes to pedalling I was impressed by the suspension platform, not feeling the need to use the lockout feature on the rear shock as there wasn’t much pedal bob from the rear of the bike even on more intense climbs, especially compared the very active enduro bike I’m accustomed to.
Does the suspension setup and geometry of this bike still place this bike in the trail bike category of mountain bikes? The Neuron is a great candidate for what a bike should be at the more XC end of the (very broad) trail bike spectrum. It’s somewhat akin to the Specialised Stumpjumpers of old (pre Evo era).
The Neuron is a nice light-feeling ride that can allow you to take on big pedals whilst still providing a confident and fun ride down the hill. This 130mm rear travel did tend to get eaten up pretty quickly and I would in response recommend running the shock with a larger volume spacer if you’re riding rough stuff regularly.
On the rougher, rockier and chunkier trails It did provide a pretty white-knuckle ride. When attempting to ride the Neuron like an enduro bike, I did find I was getting myself into trouble on rougher trails. However, this is kind of expected of a bike like this and the Neuron did excel in what it was designed for: more tame and flowy tracks.
I found the Neuron to be great fun on fast, flowy singletrack. It was great to pump up and down little compressions and flick around corners. I even found it was a fun bike to jump, being nice and predictable off lips and light enough to throw about in the air.
t also handled steep trails pretty well all things considered, it managed all the steep corners that my longer travel, slacker enduro bike does. The SRAM DB8 brakes also provided ample power on these steep sections meaning I never really felt out of control – no more than usual anyway!
The overall list of bugbears for the Neuron is fairly short. Firstly there are some simple component issues. The stock grips are abrasive and likely to wear you down (unless you are a leather handed rock climber in your spare time). Obviously, this isn’t a huge issue and can quickly be solved with your favourite pair of grips you already know and love.
Slightly more noticeable would be the stock tyre choice on the Neuron. Whilst the tan walls on the Schwalbe tyres do definitely look the part, the Wicked Will rear tyre did prove slightly problematic. With low grip in the wet and a puncture in the bead after the first ride on it, this tyre was something I initially considered swapping. In the dry, the tyres were excellent. Rolling well and providing just enough grip to hang on to some ambitious leans into corners whilst at the same time not being so tacky that it felt reluctant up climbs.
As for the rest of the spec, the Neuron 6 is fairly well equipped especially when considering its affordability. The Fox 34 Rhythm fork and Float DPS Performance rear shock provide a decent suspension platform, capable and adjustable for what this bike is expected to have thrown its way.
The brakes are the newish SRAM DB8 system which, unlike the SRAM of old, use mineral oil which means lower maintenance regime compared to DOT fluid systems. The drivetrain was relatively problem-free as expected from a Shimano SLX range and the DT Swiss aluminium wheels were a nice touch of quality for this entry level build.
The Neuron is also a comfortable bike to ride on bigger rides, something that Canyon clearly promote in the marketing of this bike. It pedals smoothly and has good traction. I will happily admit I’m not a keen pedaller, much preferring the downs, however with the Neuron I really began to tolerate climbs and – even more unthinkably – enjoy them!
The seat angle is now at a steeper at 76° providing a more comfortable and efficient position for the climbs. There was plenty of weight going down to the back wheel allowing really good traction on steep climbs but still maintaining good control over the front wheel.
Canyon have designed this bike as a do it all mountain bike and I would say they have hit the nail on the head. It got me down every trail I took it down, which is no small feat as I got more ambitious at seeing what it would handle. Whilst on the flipside it got me up every climb and left me at the top for once not in a sweaty heap. If you just want a no-nonsense mountain bike, the Canyon Neuron AL 6 is a very good answer.
Canyon Neuron AL 6 Specification
- Frame // Alloy, 130mm
- Fork // Fox 34 Rhythm, 140mm
- Shock // Fox Float DPS Performance
- Wheels // DT Swiss AM LN 370
- Front tyre // Schwalbe Nobby Nic 29 x 2.4in
- Rear tyre // Schwalbe Wicked Will 29 x 2.4in
- Chainset // Miranda Delta
- Drivetrain // Shimano SLX M7100, 12 Speed
- Brakes // SRAM DB8, 180/180mm
- Stem // Iridium, 31.8m
- Bars // Iridium, 31.8mm
- Grips // Canyon Lock-On
- Seatpost // Iridium Dropper, 30.9mm
- Saddle // Selle Italia X3
- Bottom Bracket // Race Face BSA Cinch
- Size tested // L
- Sizes available // XS, S, M, L, XL
- Weight // 15kg
- Head angle // 66°
- Effective seat angle // 76°
- Seat tube length // 460mm
- Head tube length // 125mm
- Chainstay // 440mm
- Wheelbase // 1,234mm
- Effective top tube // 639mm
- BB height // 38mm BB drop
- Reach // 480mm
|Product:||Neuron AL 6|
|Tested:||by Aran Francis for 3 months|