Canyon’s new and refined Torque freeride bike promises to be the perfect weapon for the bike park faction, with a choice of 29″, 27.5″ or mullet wheels at an affordable price. Read our review to find out what differentiates the various wheel size options and how the mullet setup of the 2022 Canyon Torque CF 8 performs on the trail.
On Canyon’s website, the Torque is listed in two categories: downhill and enduro. By doing so, it’s clear that Canyon are addressing the bike park shredders amongst us with this bike. We tested the mullet setup of the 2022 Canyon Torque CF 8 for you, rolling on a 29″ wheel up front and a 27.5″ wheel on the rear. Like the new Spectral, the new Torque will also be available as a full 29er, a mullet setup or with 27.5″ wheels front and rear as before. We found out which kind of riding the mullet setup is best suited for in our first ride review.
The Canyon Torque
The Canyon Torque is available in lots of different configurations and builds. There are 2 aluminium and 2 carbon versions, each with 27.5″ or 29″ wheels, along with 2 carbon fibre mullet builds. In addition to the Torque CF 8 on test, the Fabio Wibmer edition is the only other model that comes with mixed wheel sizes, which is limited to 250 pieces. The 27.5″ configurations offer 180 mm travel up front and 175 mm at the rear, whereas the bigger-wheeled 29″ versions provide 170 mm travel front and rear. Accordingly, the mullet offers 170 mm travel up front, like the 29er, and 175 mm travel at back, like the 27.5″ model, resulting in slightly more travel at the rear than at the front. In total, you get 10 different builds in at least 3 different frame sizes. If you want to find out which wheel size is right for you, you’ll find an overview of their respective pros and cons in our wheel size article!
Integration and frame details of the new Canyon Torque
The Canyon Torque features flexible mounting options and stylish frame details. In contrast to last year’s model, there’s room for a water bottle on the down tube and a strap can be attached to the top tube. On the aluminium model, the mounting point on the top tube relies on 2 standard bosses – excellent! Not so on the carbon model: here, all you get is one threaded hole in the top tube. To make use of this, you’ll have to add Canyon’s CF specific LOAD top tube bag to your order, which was designed to work with just one bolt. Both the aluminium and carbon versions feature internal cable routing with clamps at the cable ports to keep them in place. However, the aluminium model uses a foam casing for the cables inside the frame. In contrast, the carbon version relies on internal cable guides, which allow you to push the cables through the frame without having to fiddle around with wires and magnets, which makes maintaining the bike a whole lot easier.
The seat and chainstay protector is made of soft material and generously sized. Together with the clamped down cables, background noise is kept to a minimum. That is unless you’re winching yourself up a steep climb in first gear, in which case the chain rubs on the integrated chain guide. For the new Torque, Canyon have opted for industrial style lettering on the frame. You’ll find information about the bike’s frame size, wheel size and intended use on the top tube, in case you forget. The frame of the mullet configuration even comes adorned with the silhouette of a mullet haircut.
The Canyon Torque models and builds
The Canyon Torque 5 is the entry-level model, priced at € 2699, while the range-topping, € 5799 Torque CF 9 is more than twice as expensive. All, except for the most affordable model, come equipped with aluminium wheels from DT Swiss. As for the tires, you get a MAXXIS ASSEGAI up front and a DHR II at the rear, across the board. The front tire features the super-grippy MaxxGrip compound with an EXO+ casing whereas the rear tire relies on the robust Doubledown casing – an excellent tire choice! Particularly heavy and fast riders might want to swap the front tire for a Doubledown version as well. The limited Fabio Wibmer Signature edition is the most expensive Torque model available and must be viewed separately as it comes equipped with components from the Canyon pro’s sponsors. Apart from the Fabio Wibmer edition, it’s clear that function took priority over bling for all Torque builds, which we like very much!
Our recommended model
If you’re looking for the best value for money in the Torque range, you’re likely to find what you’re looking for amongst the aluminium builds, at least in terms of componentry. The FOX 38 fork relies on the simple yet very supple GRIP damper, paired with a FOX FLOAT X2 shock on the rear. For the drivetrain and breaks, you get components from Shimano’s SLX range. Priced at € 3000, you get a well-specced bike, offering good performance and functionality minus the bling.
The Canyon Torque CF 8 on test
The Canyon Torque CF 8 on test comes as a mullet build. It relies on a FOX 38 Performance Elite fork featuring the same GRIP2 damper as the FOX Factory models, eschewing only the gold Kashima coating of the flagship range. The difference is so slight, it isn’t noticeable on the trail. For the rear suspension, the CF 8 on test uses a FOX DHX 2 coil shock. Depending on the size of the frame, the Torque comes with three different coil weights, so you can adjust the suspension to suit different rider weights. Unfortunately, due to the very wide shock bushings, changing the coil isn’t as easy as we’d hoped. The bushings must be removed first and then pressed in again after you’ve swapped the coil, which requires special tools. Unfortunately, Canyon rely on a 170 mm G5 dropper post despite the short seat tube and ample high insertion depth. The 200 mm version fit easily on our test bike, so the 170 mm dropper restricts your freedom of movement unnecessarily. The travel offered by dropper posts in the carbon models can be shortened by up to 25 mm in 5 mm increments, which is a very useful feature for fine-tuning the fit.
Canyon Torque CF 8
Fork FOX 38 Performance Elite GRIP2 170 mm
Rear Shock FOX DHX2 Factory 175 mm
Seatpost Canyon G5 200 mm
Brakes Shimano XT 200/200 mm
Drivetrain Shimano XT 1x12
Stem Canyon G5 40 mm
Handlebar Canyon G5 800 mm
Wheelset DT Swiss FR560 29/27.5
Tires MAXXIS ASSEGAI, 3C, MaxxGrip, EXO+/MAXXIS Minion DHR II, 3C, MaxxTerra, DD 2.5/2.4
Size M L XL
Weight 15.86 kg
The geometry of the 2022 Canyon Torque
The geometry of the Canyon Torque differs depending on the wheel size and frame material. While many other brands rely on special flip chips when implementing different wheel size options, Canyon have chosen to make three frames specific to each wheel size configuration instead. As such, the wheel size you choose is the wheel size you’ll have to stick with. The biggest difference between the frames is the 435 mm chainstay length of the mullet and 27.5″ bikes, growing to 440 mm on the dedicated 29er frames. In size L, the Torque has a long reach of 490 mm and a short seat tube of just 445 mm.
The carbon models have an integrated flip chip on the rocker arm, allowing you to adjust the head and seat tube angles by half a degree. On the aluminium models, Canyon have done away with the flip chip, settling on a geometry that combines the slacker head angle and steeper seat tube angle from the Lo and Hi position on the carbon frame. The Torque will be available in sizes S–XL, though small riders are barred from riding the mullet and 29er configurations. These are reserved for sizes M and up. In size S, the handlebar and cranks are each 20 and 5 mm shorter, respectively, which is very useful for riders shorter than 170 cm.
All geometry specs of the CF 8 mullet bike
First ride review of the 2022 Canyon Torque CF 8
The Canyon Torque prefers taking it easy on the climbs. The rear end tends to bob while pedalling, so we recommend activating the climb switch on long uphill sections. That said, the riding position is comfortable and those who aren’t in a hurry will reach the top in a relaxed manner. Still, the bike can’t quite hide the fact that it was designed to be used in a bike park with a chairlift.
On the descents, your riding position on the bike is low and central, which, together with the large front wheel and composed handling, is sure to instil you with confidence. Thanks to the small 27.5″ wheel on the rear of the mullet configuration, your freedom of movement is unrestricted to the rear, allowing you to blast down steep chutes without worry. However, there’s a noticeable imbalance between the front and rear when going through corners and riding on less steep terrain. The short rear end releases its travel generously and, as a result, the front centre feels even longer, making the front wheel more likely to understeer through corners. In that case, the rider must actively weight the front wheel to generate grip. Conversely, all the bike park shredders amongst you will have a lot of fun since the Torque loves fast inside lines and flicking the rear end out through berms despite everything. For that kind of riding, the mullet setup is what you want!
Our conclusion on the 2022 Canyon Torque
The Canyon Torque has finally been updated and is now available with 29″ wheels. However, those who prefer can still opt for the 27.5″ variant. There’s a wide range of builds to choose from with an equally wide price range. Everyone from beginners and Fabio Wibmer fans to those who like nerding out about the components will find a model to their liking, ranging from € 2,699 to € 5,799. The Torque CF 8 Mullet loves steep terrain, fast jump lines or flicking its rear wheel through berms, sure to prove popular with park rats.
We’re curious to see whether the 29″ model and a different build will make it a better all-rounder.
- confidence inspiring
- frame details like the protectors and cableports
- demanding handling
- the rear suspension lacks support
For more information about the Canyon Torque visit: canyon.com
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Words: Julian Schwede Photos: Peter Walker