What else is there to say about the Canyon Spectral AL 6.0 EX? For years it has enjoyed clean sweeps in our group tests, defining the definitive trail-bike. From the mellowest trail to the toughest EWS, it has always been the one bike to rule them all. It’s certainly the godfather of trail, but is the Spectral starting to show its age?

Canyon Spectral AL 6.0 EX | 150/140 mm (v/r) | 12.80 kg | € 2,599

For an overview of the test fleet head to the group test: Seven trail bikes around 3.000 € in review

Often recommended to friends, race-proven and championing fun over travel, the 27.5”-wheeled 150 mm travel Spectral has frequently embarrassed bikes costing far more. The €2599 AL 6.0 EX certainly looks ready to rock and roll; with its loud Rebel Red paint job and black RockShox suspension, it looks dangerous. Looking at the build kit, it’s no surprise to see an impressive inventory – for the money it’s damn near miraculous. It’s not often on a €2599 bike that you will find a 150 mm RockShox Pike RC suspension fork, RockShox Monarch RT shock, RockShox Reverb dropper seatpost, SRAM Guide R brakes, DT SWISS M1700 Spline Two rims, a full SRAM GX drivetrain with Race Face Turbine cranks, and 760 mm Race Face Aeffect Cockpit! There really is nothing to complain about. Damn, even the Maxxis Highroller II / Minion SS tyres are badass, if a little advanced for less experienced riders.

So how does it ride? Well, like a Spectral – and that’s great. As soon as you throw a leg over the bike, that unique character hits you. The long 145 mm head tube gives a stack measurement that’s higher than many 29ers, and combined with the low and tight rear quarter you really feel like you are sitting inside the bike, hidden safely behind the fork. The well-proven geometry encourages a ride that thrives on playful handling, with a comfortable reach of 455 mm in large and a 66.4° head angle. No matter if it’s a slow cruise around a trail centre or a white-knuckle sketchfest, the Canyon Spectral AL 6.0 EX will have your back.

It’s hard to find fault, especially when considering the bargain-basement price. On many trails the Spectral AL 6.0 EX would embarrass bikes costing far more. It is starting to show its age a little, however – it’s by no means flawed, but lacking in a couple of modern advances. When climbing the seat angle feels a little lazier than the numbers would suggest, and the steep and high front end does rob it of stability at high speed. We are pleased to see the DT SWISS M1700 wheelset has been updated from 22.5 mm to 30 mm inner width, and the amazing Maxxis tyres are a real plus at this price point.

Helmet Endura MT500 | Shorts Void Orbit LS | Jersey Void Orbit Shorts

The Canyon Spectral AL 6.0 EX

Fork RockShox Pike RC 150 mm
Rear shock RockShox Monarch RT 140 mm
Brakes SRAM Guide R
Drivetrain SRAM GX
Seatpost RockShox Reverb Stealth
Stem Race Face Aeffect
Handlebar Race Face Aeffect
Tires Maxxis Highroller II / Maxxis Minion SS
Wheelset DT Swiss M1700 Spline Two
Price € 2,599

Standing Tall
The 145 mm head tube of the Canyon keeps the bike tall at the front, giving you a really immersed feeling.
Explosive Fun
The compact rear of the Canyon positively encourages hooliganism, as this is a bike that loves back wheel.
Fast Rolling
The Maxxis Minion SS rear tyre is certainly fast and advanced riders will find grip when it’s laid onto an edge, but braking traction is poor and a grippier tyre would suit more riders.

The geometry of the Canyon Spectral AL 6.0 EX

Size XS S M L XL
Seat tube 365 mm 395 mm 440 mm 480 mm 520 mm
Top tube 538 mm 566 mm 596 mm 627 mm 659 mm
Head angle 66.4° 66.4° 66.4° 66.4° 66.4°
Seat angle 74.5° 74.5° 74.5° 74.5° 74.5°
Chainstays 430 mm 430 mm 430 mm 430 mm 430 mm
BB Drop 33.5 mm 33.5 mm 33.5 mm 33.5 mm 33.5 mm
Wheelbase 1089 mm 1120 mm 1153 mm 1188 mm 1222 mm
Reach 380 mm 405 mm 430 mm 455 mm 480 mm
Stack 570 mm 580 mm 598 mm 621 mm 644 mm
Wheelsize 27.5″ 27.5″ 27.5″ 27.5″ 27.5″
The high front end and compact rear allows you to ride like a hooligan, ripping into corners and wagging its tail with a flick of your heels.


The Canyon Spectral AL 6.0 EX deserves its reputation; however, it’s slack seat tube and high front end now feel a little behind the times and due an update. Nimble, assertive, and damn good fun, the Spectral packs a punch that defies its budget price tag.


– Super-fun handling
– Versatile all-rounder


– Slack seat angle and steep head angle feel dated
– Narrow rims rob traction

For more info head to canyon.com

The test fleet

For an overview head to the main article: Seven trail bikes around 3.000 € in review

All bikes in test: Canyon Spectral AL 6.0 EX | Marin Rift Zone 3 | MERIDA ONE-TWENTY 7.800 | ROSE Granite Chief 2 | Vitus ESCARPE 29 VRX | Whyte T-130 S | YT JEFFSY AL ONE 27

Did you enjoy this article? If so, we would be stoked if you decide to support us with a monthly contribution. By becoming a supporter of ENDURO, you will help secure a sustainable future for high-quality mountain bike journalism. Click here to learn more.

Words & Photos: