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!
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.
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″
|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|
|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.
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!
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
- Good-natured, intuitive handling
- Good price-performance ratio
- Low top tube inspires tons of confidence
- Rear tire is lacking grip
- Narrow handlebars
- Nervous at high speeds
This article is from ENDURO issue #039
This scale indicates how efficiently the bike climbs. It refers to both simple and technical climbs. Along with the suspension, the riding position and the weight of the bike all play a crucial role.↩
How does the bike ride and descend? How spritely is the bike, how agile is it through corners, how much fun is it in tight sections and how quickly can it change direction?↩
Is the bike stable at high speeds? Is it easy to stay in control in demanding terrain? How composed is it on rough trails? Stability is a combination of balanced geometry, good suspension and the right spec.↩
This is all about how balanced the bike is and particularly about how well it corners. Balanced bikes require little physical effort from the rider and are very predictable. If a bike is unbalanced, the rider has to work hard to weight the front wheel to generate enough grip. However, experienced riders can have a lot of fun even with unbalanced bikes.↩
How sensitive is the suspension over small bumps? Can it absorb hard impacts and does it soak up repeated hits? Plush suspension not only provides comfort and makes a bike more capable, but it also generates traction. The rating includes the fork and the rear suspension.↩
This aspect mainly comes down to the suspension. How much pop does it have, does it suck up the rider’s input or is it supportive, and how agile and direct is the bike?↩
We don’t calculate value for money in an excel spreadsheet or based on how high-end a bike is specced. We are more concerned with how a bike performs on the trail and how the bike benefits the rider. What good are the best components if the bike doesn’t perform well on the trail? Expensive bikes with a lower-end spec can offer very good value for money – provided they excel where it matters. Just as supposedly cheap bikes with good components can get a bad rating if they don’t deliver on the trail.↩
No, it’s not about racing, it’s about efficiency. Fast, fleet-footed and efficient – those who want to speed along flowy singletrack and gravel roads need a defined and spritely bike that accelerates with ease and efficiency. Nevertheless, reliable components are important too. We interpret XC more like the Americans do: big back-country rides instead of a marathon or XC World Cup with the ultimate in lightweight construction! Uphill-downhill ratio: 80:30 (not everything has to be 100%!)↩
...also known as mountain biking. Classic singletrack with roots, rocks and ledges – sometimes flowy, sometimes rough. For this, you need a bike with good all-round qualities, whether climbing or descending. Uphill-downhill ratio: 50:50↩
Even more extreme and challenging compared to Trail riding, riddled with every kind of obstacle: jumps, gaps, nasty rock gardens, ruts and roots. For this, you need (race)proven equipment that forgives mistakes and wouldn’t look out of place on a stage of the Enduro World Series. Climbing is just a means to an end. Uphill-downhill ratio: 30:70↩
Strictly speaking, a 200 mm travel downhill bike is the best choice for merciless tracks with big jumps, drops and the roughest terrain. Those would be the black or double-black-diamond tracks in a bike park. But as some of the EWS pros (including Sam Hill) have proven, it’s the riding skills and not the bike that define what you can ride with it. Climbing? On foot or with a shuttle, please! Uphill-downhill ratio: 10:90↩