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Spectral AL 9.0 SL
The Canyon Spectral AL is a new trail/ all-mountain bike with 140mm travel and the increasingly popular mid-size 650b wheels. A key objective in the Spectral design process was to keep things simple and lightweight, and this is reflected in the extremely clean, smooth lines of the aluminum chassis. I rode the most expensive bike in a six-bike 650b line-up at the Roc d’Azur, but the other options (including one female-specific) start at £1,699 plus postage. The 9.0 SL is pretty understated but carries stacks of bling too, so it’s refreshing that it comes in at under £3,000 (including a super-light DT Swiss wheelset, Kashima-coated Fox suspension and carbon cranks and brakes), when we’re getting used to regularly seeing £5k price tags on high-end machines. SL presumably means ‘super light’, and the 9.0 Spectral pays close attention to trail-riding efficiency in climbing and descending, with light wheels and a 2x10 speed drivetrain. Another stand-out model in the Spectral range, the EX, looks like it has been built for the cool kids. It shares the same chassis, but in a similar vein to what Specialized does with its EVO series, rocks a more aggro build and enduro race-ready RockShox Monarch Plus rear shock with a larger oil volume, a 150mm-travel Revelation fork, fatter Conti tyres, a 1x11-speed SRAM X01 drivetrain and stubby Renthal Duo stem and FatBar combo as standard.
I really rated the new Spectral and it’s definitely my favourite Canyon of the ones I’ve ridden so far.