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The Spectral is the new full suspension trail bike Canyon. Although not out of place on an all-day epic, the emphasis of the Spectral lies on having fun on the descents. Available with both 27.5” and 29” wheel sizes, we got our hands on the 29er model, complete with 140 mm travel up front and 130 mm at the rear, and took it for a spin.
[…] The Spectral AL 9.9 EX is the flagship of the range with components to match. When comparing it to prices of similar models available from your local bike dealer, the numbers don’t seem to add up. With the Renthal cockpit, 1x11 Sram drivetrain, Maxxis Ardent tyres, Reverb seatpost remote tucked neatly under the bars, a beefy Float X shock to provide “just” 130 mm of travel, a €967 Sram wheelset, Fox 34 FIT forks, the list goes on… In short, it only comes with the best. Even the small details, like placing the normally right-side mounted Reverb remote under the bars on the left show that the developers have really thought everything through. Their efforts have paid off – despite the long travel and chain guide, the Spectral tips the scales at just 12.9 kg, meaning you can attack the climbs as well as the descents.
[…] Straight away the effect of 29er wheels are clear, their fast rolling characteristics not only help on the rough stuff but help keep the tempo high on smooth trails too. The same counts for the 32 T Sram X01 chainring, which when combined with bigger wheels allow you to spin the legs with ease when rolling along at 40 kph. When tackling on easier, flatter terrain, it’s hard not to ride full gas the whole time.
At this pace, we quickly reach the first climb, which gets steeper and steeper and has roots everywhere. With the suspension open, it’s impressive how comfortably the Spectral is on the climbs. […] There’s barely any pedal bob, which is precisely as it should be on bikes like this.
[…]Does the same apply downhill? The first section is fast and flowing and the bike is fairly easy to drift - amazing considering the length of the 445 mm chainstays. […] We then come to a section with tight and flat corners, which are dispatched with speed and agility despite the larger wheels. Then the trail gets really steep and rolling smoothness becomes a bigger factor than agility. […] Thanks to the 29” wheels and a rear triangle with plenty of travel, you don’t have to rub your behind on the back tyre just to get down. The brakes also stand out with their easy modulation and powerful bite, they’re a great choice.
Before we’re out of the woods, there are a couple of “craters” to contend with, big compressions that can either dropped off or rolled down. The bike employs every millimetre of travel but doesn’t blow right through it. The progression at the end of the stroke on the rear shock in particular is perfect. […]
All in all, this is a very well thought out, high-end machine for a great price. […] The components on the 9.9 EX are second-to-none.