Same soup, just warmed back up, or a whole new story? With the new Spectral 2024, Canyon haven’t reinvented the wheel, but rather reinterpreted a classic. The latest descendant of the Canyon Spectral dynasty retains the same familiar frame silhouette as its predecessor but has undergone some major changes, rolling into the new season with less travel and, most importantly, with a very different character. We’ll tell you what’s different and what has remained the same.

Canyon Spectral CF LTD 2024 | 150/140 mm (f/r) | 14,6 kg in size M | € 6,999 | Manufacturer’s website

After four years of successful deployment, the Canyon Spectral was ready for an update. However, the latest iteration of Canyon’s trail evergreen isn’t a radical restyle, and has retained both the essence and look of its predecessor, with most of the innovations hiding in the small details. The aim of Canyon’s developers was to create a go-to trail bike that’s both simple and practical. Generating 150/140 mm of travel, the new 2024 Canyon Spectral has lost a little travel along the way, which is meant to redefine the bike’s range of applications and distinguish it more clearly from Canyon’s potent enduro rig, the Strive. The second big innovation is the K.I.S. steering stabilisation system, which Canyon developed in close collaboration with Syntace, and comes standard with all new Spectral models. Moreover, the system is now integrated even more seamlessly into the frame and relies on a weaker spring. Our Canyon Spectral CF LTD test bike tips the scales at 14.6 kg in size M and retails at € 6,999. All spec variants of the new Spectral are available now from Canyon’s website. The previous Canyon Spectral has already enjoyed great popularity in the past and also secured victory in our big 2021 comparison test. Needless to say, we were incredibly curious to see whether the new 2024 Canyon Spectral can prove to be a worthy successor to a true classic.

The new 2024 Canyon Spectral 2024 in detail

The most eye-catching change is the flatter top tube, which ensures a modern, fast look. The seat and chainstays are slightly narrower too, which is meant to make some extra room around your ankles. The new shock link, which connects the seat tube to the swingarm, is now made of one solid piece, which should reduce the lateral forces acting on the shock.

The new Canyon Spectral is only available with the CF carbon frame – the CFR version is now history!
The shock link of the new 2024 Canyon Spectral 2024 is made from a single piece.

As far as the frame goes, the biggest change might not be visible at first glance but cost Canyon’s engineers plenty of time and effort: the new carbon layup. In a nutshell, they tuned the stiffness ratio of the main frame and swingarm independently to ensure a stiff, more direct front-end for improved handling and a more compliant rear-end. Accordingly, all new 2024 Canyon Spectral models rely on the same carbon frame – the “top-tier” CFR frame construction of the previous model has been sent into retirement.

The old Canyon Spectral…
… and the new Canyon Spectral 2024

Speaking of carbon, that’s the only frame material on offer with the new 2024 Canyon Spectral. However, hardcore alloy devotees can still order the current AL5 and AL6 aluminium models from Canyon’s web store. As befits a modern trail bike, the new Spectral comes standard with a storage compartment in the down tube – the aptly named Load System is accessible through a cover under the bottle cage. The cover is secured to the frame with a tab mechanism, which is a little fiddly to use and not exactly the most elegant solution out there. That said, the mechanism works flawlessly even with a full water bottle in the cage, while the big handle is easy to operate even with gloves. While the opening in the frame is relatively small, the compartment itself is big enough to stow away all your trail essentials. Plus, there are no sharp edges around the opening, meaning that you can easily stuff clothing items into the compartment without ripping them. The compartment comes standard with a fabric pouch that prevents harder items – like a mini tool or CO2 cartridge – from rattling against the frame. Conveniently, Canyon also have a foldable rain jacket in their accessory range, which can be packed down to a compact size and stowed away in the compartment. There are three mounting points on the top tube, one of which accommodates Canyon’s optional in-house mini tool, while the other two can be used to attach a spare inner tube, pump or other parts. With all this storage room, the new Canyon Spectral allows you to leave your hip pack at home and enjoy the trails without having to carry a ton of crap in your pockets – we love it!

The Load System storage compartment can be opened via the big handle on the side.
Two additional mounts behind the mini tool allow you to secure other items directly to the frame, like a spare inner tube, a pump, etc.

The cables are routed internally and disappear into the frame through conventional cable ports on the head tube. Canyon deliberately decided against a fancy headset routing system as it doesn’t suit the minimalist concept of the bike, which is based on sheer practicality. However, the cable ports were redesigned to have a cleaner look, and ensure that the cables are held firmly in place – very nice! While they were at it, Canyon’s developers also revised the old chainstay protector, which now extends over the entire length of the Spectral’s chainstay, ensuring a super quiet ride on the trail. In addition, a small mudguard above the main pivot point shields the frame against stray rocks and prevents dirt from accumulating. For long, hot summer rides, Canyon throw in the option of a triangular 800 ml water bottle, which was designed specifically for the Spectral and attaches to the frame via a magnetic Fidlock mount.

The new chainstay protector stretches over the entire length of the rear end, ensuring a quiet ride on the trail.
The cable ports have been repositioned and redesigned to look even more discreet. However, they’re still very secure, preventing the cables from rattling against the frame.

Spec variants of the new 2024 Canyon Spectral

The Canyon Spectral 2024 is available in four spec variants. The gateway to the Spectral dimension is the CF7 entry-level model, which retails at € 3,399 and comes equipped with FOX Performance suspension and a Shimano SLX groupset (drivetrain and brakes). However, our hot price/performance tip is the CF8 CLLCTV, which costs € 3,999 and is trimmed uncompromisingly towards trail performance without unnecessary bling. It features a FOX Performance Elite fork and FOX DHX Performance shock, which makes it the only coil model in the entire Spectral range – remember to check your spring rate carefully before ordering! The CF9 variant, which sets you back € 4,999, is the only model to rely on RockShox Ultimate suspension, which is paired with a SRAM GX Transmission drivetrain – top-shelf parts for very decent money! The CF LTD flagship model we tested retails at € 6,999 and employs bling FOX Factory suspension, SRAM XX Transmission drivetrain and a DT Swiss carbon wheelset. Each model has its own, dedicated paint finish, except for the CF7 and CF9, which are also available in a sleek black colour.

Canyon Spectral CF 7 | € 3,399
Canyon Spectral CF 8 CLLCTV | € 3,999
Canyon Spectral CF 9 | € 4,999

The spec of our 2024 Canyon Spectral CF LTD test bike

As the flagship model in the new 2024 Canyon Spectral range, the CF LTD comes equipped with the finest components available on the market. The FOX suspension consists of a 36 Factory GRIP2 fork and matching FOX FLOAT X Factory shock. Canyon’s in-house G5 dropper post might seem an old acquaintance, but it has been revised from the ground up too. The updated version is now beefier (34.9 mm) and offers a whopping 200 mm of travel. Despite its generous travel, it can be inserted all the way into the frame, ensuring excellent freedom of movement on the bike. Moreover, like its predecessor, it allows you to reduce the travel by up to 25 mm without the need for tools, meaning that both long and short-legged riders will get their money’s worth – excellent! Canyon also redesigned their in-house G5 stem with a sleek, rounded design and clever clamp system that allows you to easily clamp the 780 mm Canyon G5 alloy handlebars from above. The smallest frame sizes (XS and S) come with narrower 760 mm handlebars to ensure better ergonomics for smaller riders. Canyon have also designed a multi-tool holder, but there’s a catch: the German manufacturer doesn’t sell it on their web store, but provides you with the data needed to print it out using a 3D printer.

The new Canyon G5 stem is now much more rounded.
Beefier and longer: Canyon’s new G5 dropper post has grown in all dimensions.

SRAM CODE RSC brakes with 200 mm rotors front and rear provide reliable and powerful deceleration. The American component colossus also supplies the SRAM Transmission drivetrain, which relies on a hangerless rear derailleur. This is bolted directly to the frame and forgoes conventional adjustment screws, delivering butter-smooth gear shifts even under load. However, the top-tier XX derailleur is paired with a more affordable GX cassette, which is slightly heavier but doesn’t affect the shifting performance in any way. Our test bike rolls on a lightweight DT Swiss XMC 1200 carbon wheelset and MAXXIS DHR II tires in the hard MaxxTerra rubber compound both front and rear. The front tire comes in the paper-thin EXO casing, while the rear tire features the slightly tougher EXO+ casing. Heavy, aggressive riders should upgrade to more robust tires with EXO+ casing at the front and Doubledown at the rear. We also recommend changing to the softer MaxxGrip rubber compound at the front for more traction.

A special feature of the Canyon Spectral’s spec is the K.I.S. steering stabilisation system.
K.I.S. – an acronym for Keep It Stable – was developed in close collaboration with Syntace and marketed by Canyon for the first-time last year. Simply put, the adjustable mechanism consists of a spring that’s connected to a cam ring on the fork’s steerer tube and an anchor point in the top tube. As you turn the bars away from the centre, the spring is tensioned, pulling the handlebars back into their original position. This is supposed to improve the overall stability of the bike, both when riding in a straight line and when cornering, while at the same time mitigating understeer. However, when testing the system, we found that it has more than just positive effects on the bike’s steering behaviour. If you prefer to ride the 2024 Canyon Spectral without the K.I.S., you can remove the mechanism fairly easily – Canyon even included a cover for the resulting hole in the top tube.

The 200 mm brake rear brake rotor packs a punch, providing powerful, reliable deceleration even on long descents.
The updated K.I.S. system is integrated into the bike even more seamlessly than its predecessor.

Canyon Spectral CF LTD 2024

€ 6,999


Fork FOX 36 Factory GRIP2 150 mm
Rear Shock FOX FLOAT X Factory 140 mm
Seatpost Canyon G5 Dropper 200 mm
Brakes SRAM CODE RSC 200/200 mm
Drivetrain SRAM XX Eagle Transmission 1x12
Stem Canyon G5 40 mm
Handlebar Canyon G5 Alu 780 mm
Wheelset DT Swiss XMC1200 Carbon 29"
Tires MAXXIS Minion DHR II MaxxTerra EXO/Minion DHR II MaxxTerra EXO+ 2,4"/2,4"

Technical Data

Size XS S M L XL

Specific Features

Flip Chips

Tuning tips:
– Front tire with softer rubber compound
– More robust tires with tougher casing for heavy riders and rowdy shredders

The geometry of the new 2024 Canyon Spectral

The geometry of the 2024 Canyon Spectral has remained largely unchanged from its predecessor. Despite allowing you to insert the dropper all the way into the frame, the seat tube is now shorter, which also matches the bike’s visual updates perfectly. One issue we mentioned in all reviews of the previous Spectral model was the long seat tube, which restricted freedom of movement on the trail. It’s all the more exciting to see that Canyon addressed the problem and actually shortened the seat tube considerably while still allowing you to slam the 200 mm dropper all the way into the frame – even on a frame size M! Like all Canyon bikes, however, the Spectral follows slightly unusual sizing, meaning that size M bike is aimed at riders around 180 cm tall. Accordingly, reach values have shifted slightly across the board. The Canyon Spectral is available in 5 sizes, XS to XL, whereby the smallest XS frame relies on a mullet wheel setup with a big 29″ wheel at the front and smaller 27.5″ wheel at the rear. With all other sizes, you can choose your favourite wheel configuration, though a full 27.5″ bike is no longer part of the Spectral lineup. In our “Which wheel size is best” article you can find out how the different wheel concepts influence the bike’s riding behaviour. A flip-chip in the chainstay allows you to adapt the geometry of the bike to the respective wheel size by changing the chainstay length and bottom bracket drop. This means that you can still convert your bike to a different wheel setup in the future. A second flip chip in the shock mount changes the 76.5° seat tube and 64° head tube angle by half a degree and at the same time raises the bottom bracket by an additional 8 mm. For the sake of simplicity, Canyon deliberately forgo headset cups on the new Spectral, preventing the use of angled cups to change the head tube angle. Chainstay length is 437 mm across the board with the flip chip in the 29” wheel setting, and it doesn’t change with the frame size.

Size XS S M L XL
Top tube 572 mm 599 mm 626 mm 653 mm 680 mm
Seat tube 375 mm 400 mm 415 mm 445 mm 455 mm
Head tube 100 mm 110 mm 120 mm 130 mm 140 mm
Head angle 64° 64° 64° 64° 64°
Seat angle 76.5° 76.5° 76.5° 76.5° 76.5°
Chainstay 429 mm 429/437 mm 429/437 mm 429/437 mm 429/437 mm
BB Height 340 mm 340 mm 340 mm 340 mm 340 mm
Wheelbase 1,184 mm 1,213/1221 mm 1,243/1251 mm 1,272/1280 mm 1,301/1309 mm
Reach 425 mm 450 mm 475 mm 500 mm 525 mm
Stack 612 mm 621 mm 630 mm 639 mm 648 mm
Helmet Giro Merit Spherical | Glasses 100% Glendale | Jacket Velocio Recon Vest | Shirt Velocio Delta Trail Longsleeve | Bib Velocio Trail Access Pant | Shoes Shimano GE900

The new 2024 Canyon Spectral CF LTD on the trail

Given that the new 2024 Canyon Spectral 2024 has inherited countless key features from its predecessor, it comes as no surprise that it also retained many of its positive character traits. Riding uphill, the Spectral places you in a comfortable, slightly front-heavy pedalling position, which is refreshingly sporty and doesn’t put too much pressure on your hands, proving perfectly suitable for long days in the saddle. Although Canyon added a little more anti-squat to minimise pedal kickback while descending, the rear suspension of the new Spectral is pleasantly pedal neutral on climbs and doesn’t bob even when pedalling out of the saddle. As a result, the Canyon Spectral is a very lively climber, encouraging you to pedal a little harder on your way to the trailhead.

When gravity takes over, the Spectral’s compact riding position makes you feel at ease from the get-go with its intuitive, predictable handling. Since the K.I.S. steering spring is considerably weaker than its predecessor, it’s only barely noticeable on the trail in the lowest setting, with only a slight resistance manifesting itself in tight, slow corners. Overall, the Canyon Spectral is a nimble trail companion that likes to be thrown from one corner into the next, which is partly due to the reduced suspension travel. The firm, poppy rear suspension emphasises the bike’s lively character, encouraging you to spontaneously change your line and to spend more time with the tires in the air than on the ground. At the same time, the suspension generates good traction and provides enough support for the odd huck to flat. The new Spectral was designed to be a trusty, fun companion for your favourite home trails, and that’s exactly what it is! Despite having less travel than its predecessor, it doesn’t shy away from rowdier enduro trails either, and even looks forward to the occasional bike park session.

Who should take a closer look at the new 2024 Canyon Spectral CF LTD?

The Canyon Spectral CF LTD 2024 is a capable all-rounder but is particularly suitable for epic home trail sessions. Whether you’re a beginner or seasoned trail hero, the new Spectral is tons of fun, with the extra size providing a suitable option even for short riders!

Our conclusions about the 2024 Canyon Spectral CF LTD

With the new 2024 Canyon Spectral CF LTD, the German direct-to-consumer brand chose evolution over revolution. The latest iteration of Canyon’s trail classic retains the same excellent all-round characteristics as its predecessor and combines them with countless useful details, like the storage compartment in the down tube. And while the K.I.S. system is now part of the standard equipment, you can remove it if it’s not your cup of tea! With lively handling and shorter travel, the 2024 Canyon Spectral is a fun, reliable companion that delivers a harmonious overall package for riders of all levels!


  • Excellent allrounder
  • Playful, nimble character
  • Intuitive handling makes it suitable for riders of all levels
  • Countless useful frame details


  • K.I.S. comes as standard, whether you like it or not!

For more info, visit Canyon’s website!

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Words: Simon Kohler Photos: Simon Kohler, Boris Beyer/Canyon

About the author

Simon Kohler

​​Simon loves speed. He has many years of racing experience as a longboard downhill skater, blasting down alpine passes on his board. In the meantime, he’s swapped four wheels for two, charging down trails and bike park lines aboard his mountain bike instead. He’s savoured some of Europe’s finest trails on various road trips through the Alps. Having lived in Austria for some time, he knows the local Austrian bike parks like the back of his hand. He’s a tech nerd through and through, using the skills and know-how from his engineering degree and his attention to detail to put the latest bikes and components through their paces for our reviews. As an early riser and self-declared muesli connoisseur, he lives his life powered by oats and the strength of his legs.