ENDURO Long-term Test 2014: The Canyon Spectral AL 9.0 SL
After we presented you with the Trek Slash 9 long-term testbike of Editor and Portal Manager Aaron, now we introduce you to the Canyon Spectral AL 9.0 SL of Christoph, editor and photographer at ENDURO. With this bike he will collect lot’s of trail miles, testing it for you thoroughly.
Canyon Spectral AL 9.0 SL, 12,8 kg, 3.499 Euro
The heart of the bike is the Enduro World Series proven, light, elegant and black anodized aluminum frame. Together with the 27.5 inch wheels, 140 Millimeter of travel and a brilliant list of parts the Spectral is for me my do-it-all bike for the 2014 season. As I am 180 centimeters tall, I chose the Spectral in frame size Large.
The suspension of the 3499 Euro “cheap”, top-equipped Canyon Spectral AL 9.0 SL consists of a Fox 32 Talas FIT Kashima Factory CTD fork and a Kashima coated Fox Float CTD shock. Both suspension parts offer 140 Millimeter of travel on the Spectral.
Being critical, I worry about the slim Fox 32 fork, with the Canyon factory team and other team riders, riding a Fox 34 or other similarly large fork on the Spectral. So I’m excited to see how the slim Fox 32 will perform in the long-term test.
At the rear of a Spectral – with a 190mm eye to eye, sits a very short Fox Float CTD damper, providing 140mm of very linear travel.
For shifting you will find a very high performance SRAM XO 2×10 groupset on the Spectral. The standard long-cage rear derailleur had to be replaced after a wheel failure on the first tour. I then chose a mid cage model.
The Spectral comes with Avid Elixir X0 Trail brakes. A large 200 mm disc at the front provides consistent performance even on long descents.
The saddle must easily fit to the rider, unfortunately my buttocks do not fit perfectly with the Ergon SM30, this is why I will be replace it soon.
A variable seatpost is mandatory. Canyon trust on the RockShox Reverb Stealth as a carefree product.
Speaking of carefree, on the pedals I decided on solid Shimano technology and therefore I use XT Trail pedals.
With the Spectral I primarily go on maximum two hours long rides on my home trails. Thanks to the Specialized SWAT bottle cage I always have all essential tools on board and can leave the backpack behind.
The cockpit consists of a Race Face Turbine stem (70mm) and handlebar (740mm).
Thanks to the Matchmaker-System, order prevails in the cockpit. This allows mounting of the shifter – and brake levers and the RockShox Reverb remote with only one clamp on the handlebar.
The Canyon built Wheels unfortunately got destroyed on the first tour already. They were replaced with the DT-Swiss Spline XM 1501.
At the moment Continental Mountain King II tires are mounted, on the front and on the rear, but these will be replaced during the duration of the test time with other models.
Grab it and love it! The Ergon grips already convinced during their first test with good ergonomics and super grip on the handlebars
Granted, during the test period on a long-term test bike, parts should be replaced as infrequently as possible. Nevertheless, the performance of a bike can be optimized with several small changes pretty easy. Here it depends mainly on personal preferences. For the following reason, I will do some minor changes on my long-term test bike. There will be more information about that in the first riding article, which will be published here soon.
This year, my focus is mainly on trips to the alpine trails right outside my front door and some STRAVA battles against friends and acquaintances. If I have the opportunity I will also participate once on an enduro race with the Spectral.