First impressions

We have already had a test day on the new Canyon Spectral 2018, putting it to task on some uncararacteristcally wet madeiran trails. While certainly not long enough to give a full review, first impressions are very good. The familiar geometry of the new Spectral instantly feels comfortable and easy to ride, a little roomier, while staying true to the versatile original. The slightly reworked geometry feels more confident without feeling lazy and the handling retains the sharp and precise feel that has always defined the Spectral family.

With a 66° head angle, the Canyon Spectral 2018 is precise and darts from line to line intuitively.

The new suspension fits in well with the bikes target audience, it’s just plain fun. Running at the sweet spot of 30% the bike sits well into its SAG delivering silky small bump absorption, while still lashing out more feedback from the trail without any sag or wallow through the middle. Thump your weight down and the bike loads up and pops into the air with ease, it’s no ‘close your eyes and death grip’ slayer, it’s a mountain hare, darting from line to line and we found it felt most at home pumping through flowing trails and cutting neat high lines over rock gardens.

While more testing on familiar trails will be needed to comment properly on the performance on the new bearings and specifications, we can conclude that the new integrated cable channel is a work of genius, the bike is totally silent without a hint of rattle. It feels as though the Spectral has grown up, it has gained a little more feedback and stability at speed, without loosing too much of its brutish, low-rear high-front agility that brought it so many fans.

The Canyon Spectral 2018 is a very important bike for the brand, and we will bring a full review very soon, but first impressions suggest that the Spectral has matured into a brilliant bike. We look forward to pushing one harder.

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