For many female riders, the Canyon Spectral WMN AL 5.0 could be the golden ticket to a whole new world. For beginners who are just starting out on their mountain biking journey, Canyon’s women-specific trail-bike will be a loyal and steadfast companion – but there’s also a little drawback!

Canyon Spectral WMN AL 5.0 | € 2,099 | 150/140 mm (f/r) | 14.02 kg | 27.5″

With the Spectral WMN, Canyon didn’t just dip their unisex trail bike in pink glitter, but designed and specced frame and components to suit the specific needs of female riders. So what does that mean? Relying on the huge amount of data collected through their online size calculator, the engineers at Canyon examined and analysed the height, leg length and torso length of their female customers and compared the numbers against the proportions of male riders. The findings of this analysis helped them develop the new bikes, which, as a result, feature a slightly shorter reach and a specially tuned suspension platform. In addition, the sizing for the Spectral WMN starts at 2XS, which makes the bike suitable for women 1.48 m tall and upwards – genius!

The Spectral WMN is the perfect companion for women who want to get started with mountain biking.

Helmet MET Roam | Glasses Oakley Jawbreaker | Backpack EVOC STAGE 12l | Jersey iXS VIBE 8.2 | Shorts ION Scrub Bikeshort | Shoes Five Ten Freerider Pro

The Canyon Spectral WMN AL 5.0 in detail

Fork FOX 34 Rhythm 150 mm
Shock FOX FLOAT DPS Performance 140 mm
Brakes SRAM Guide R 200/180 mm
Drivetrain SRAM NX Eagle
Seatpost Iridium Dropper 150 mm
Stem Race Face Aeffect R 55 mm
Handlebar Race Face Aeffect 740 mm
Wheels Sun Ringle Duroc
Tires MAXXIS Minion DHR II / Forekaster 2.35″

Solid
The FOX 34 can’t keep up with the best forks on the market but overall performs very well considering the price of the bike.
Specially tuned
Originally designed to meet the needs of lighter riders, the rear end responds very sensitively. In this test, we’ve increased the progression by using volume spacers to improve composure on hard hits.
Confidence inspiring
The low top tube offers great freedom of movement and inspires tons of confidence. The seat clamp, which was specially developed by Canyon, also helps protect the dropper from excessive clamping forces.
Uncomfortable
Not every saddle fits every woman, even if it is women’s specific. In our experience, the SDG ALLURE on our test bike was very uncomfortable.
Strained
The MAXXIS Forecaster rolls very well, but reaches its limits on the trail – we recommend replacing it with a Minion DHR2.
Well hidden

The Canyon Quixle thru axle lets thelever be pushed all the way inside the axle, protecting it against impacts from rocks and roots.
Size 2XS XS S M
Seat tube 385 mm 385 mm 425 mm 440 mm
Top tube 532 mm 552 mm 569 mm 597 mm
Head tube 85 mm 85 mm 84 mm 109 mm
Head angle 65.9° 65.9° 65.9° 65.9°
Seat angle 69.5° 68.9° 69.4° 70.2°
Chainstays 430 mm 430 mm 430 mm 430 mm
BB–Offset 23 mm 22 mm 23 mm 19 mm
Wheelbase 1,090 mm 1,101 mm 1,122 mm 1,160 mm
Reach 368 mm 375 mm 396 mm 425 mm
Stack 573 mm 581 mm 581 mm 600 mm

If we were to follow Canyon’s size chart, our 160 cm test rider Antonia should have ordered an XS Spectral WMN AL 5.0. However, based on previous experiences, she chose to go one size larger, which turned out to be a good move, as the Spectral WMN is definitely on the compact side. According to Antonia, even on the bigger S size, the riding position is still pleasantly upright, nicely centred and very comfortable. With a leg length of 75.5 cm, the 125 mm dropper doesn’t feel too long, even when fully extended.

The Canyon Spectral WMN AL 5.0 in review

The Canyon Spectral WMN is very comfortable from the get-go. The riding position is well judged and well suited for long distances. Weighing in at 14.02 kg, our test-bike might not be the lightest option out there, but it’s still a very reasonable weight even for longer rides. However whilst accelerating the Spectral doesn’t feel hugely nimble, which we ascribe this to the relatively heavy wheels. If you spend lots of time climbing steep hills, we recommend locking out the shock to prevent the sensitive rear end from bobbing. On the other hand, on technical trails, the plush rear-end provides good traction.

Tuning tip: You may want to consider sizing up | Wider bars and chunkier rear-tire

Once you turn its nose downhill, the Spectral WMN shines with a very playful character and becomes a true fun machine. The low top tube inspires tons of confidence and provides lots of room for movement. In corners, the bike follows steering inputs accurately and directly. Thanks to the short frame, even narrow trail sections are a piece of cake. The suspension works sensitively and filters out small bumps effectively. The suspension is designed specifically for women and provides a generous, cleverly-tuned adjustment range. However, both the fork and the shock reach their limits on extremely fast and hard impacts on very rough terrain. Annoyingly, on our bike the loose adjustment lever on the shock jumped from the open to the trail setting several times during testing. However, FOX confirmed to us that they would repair any such issue for free if a customer experienced this problem. At high speeds and on very demanding trails, the Spectral WMN lacks a sense of stability, where it feels more nervous and a bit less capable.

Flowy trails and fast turns are lots of fun with the Spectral WMN!

Conclusion

The Canyon Spectral WMN AL 5.0 is the perfect companion for female riders who value agile, well mannered yet playful handling. It’s intuitive, fun and offers an impressive overall package with a great spec and top price-performance ratio. Very experienced riders who love pushing their limits, however, might find the Spectral a little restrictive.

For more info head to: canyon.de

Tops

  • Good-natured, intuitive handling
  • Good price-performance ratio
  • Low top tube inspires tons of confidence

Flops

  • Rear tire is lacking grip
  • Narrow handlebars
  • Nervous at high speeds

Riding Characteristics

12

Uphill

1
  1. sluggish
  2. efficient

Agility

2
  1. cumbersome
  2. playful

Stability

3
  1. nervous
  2. confident

Handling

4
  1. unbalanced
  2. balanced

Suspension

5
  1. harsh
  2. plush

Fun Factor

6
  1. planted
  2. poppy

Value for money

7
  1. terrible
  2. very good

Technical Data

Canyon
Spectral WMN AL 5.0

Size: 2XS XS S M
Weight: 14,02 kg
Travel (f/r): 150/140 mm
Wheel Size: 27,5"
Price: € 2,099

Intended Use

XC 8
Trail 9
Enduro 10
Downhill 11

This article is from ENDURO issue #039

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