Efficient, versatile and fun; they’re the culmination of these terms. Even once you think they’re at their limit in terms of capabilities; they’ve got more in reserve. So why are they still overshadowed by enduro bikes? We’re talking trail bikes, the true workhorses of the mountain bike world. Whether it’s for a quick blast after work or back-to-back hard days crossing the Alps, the spectrum for these bikes is huge and that’s exactly why they’re often to go-to bike for people looking for the perfect all-rounder. We took eight of the most exciting trail bikes for 2015 to France and put them through their paces under the beating hot sun. While you’ve got to wait until issue #016 of ENDURO Mountainbike Magazine for the results, here’s a sneak preview of our trip, the tests and the first impressions of the Canyon Spectral CF 9.0 EX.

Robin im Tiefflug über die rote Erde der Provence.
Robin flying low above Provence’s red soil.
Einfach nur schön: Canyon Spectral CF 9.0 EX.
Simply beautiful: Canyon Spectral CF 9.0 EX.

Black, long, aggressive: Even on display the super rigid Canyon Spectral CF 9.0 EX in the Stealth look reminds you of a fighter jet in a counter strike. Compared to its predecessor, the 140 mm frame, which is now available in a carbon version, is significantly longer. Despite the 627 mm effective top tube and 455 mm reach for the large size, the chainstay, measuring 425 mm is the shortest out of all the test bikes. Together with the long wheelbase of 1,193 mm and the flat 66.4° head angle, the Spectral possess unabashed race geometry if the look is anything to go by. It’s not surprising that Joe Barnes can’t put this bike down. Given its downhill-style setup, how’s the Canyon going to perform as an all-rounder trail bike? All will be revealed in issue #016.

Die robustere EX-Ausstattung ist genauso High-End wie die Optik: Renthal Carbon-Cockpit, 150 mm Pike-Gabel und ...
The robust EX-spec is just as high-end as the aesthetics: Renthal carbon cockpit, 150 mm Pike forks and …
… Cane Creek DB inline CS-Dämpfer, der aufgrund der Vielzahl an Möglichkeiten allerdings nicht einfach einzustellen ist. Ob sich da der Aufwand lohnt und wie er mit dem Heck harmoniert erfahrt ihr in der nächsten Ausgabe.
… Cane Creek DB inline CS shock, which is actually pretty complicated to set-up given the multitude of options available. Find out in the next issue if it’s worth the effort and how it harmonizes with the rear.

Komplettiert wird die edle Ausstattung mit Mavic Crossmax XL-Laufrädern, RockShox Reverb Stealth, X01-Antrieb mit Carbonkurbel und E*thirteen-Kettenführung. Maxxis Highroller II halten hinten und vorn den Bodenkontakt.
The brilliant spec is rounded off with Mavic Crossmax XL wheels, RockShox Reverb Stealth, X01-group set with carbon cranks and an E*thirteen chain guide. Maxxis Highroller II maintain front and rear traction.
Sehr schön: Details wie der Lenkanschlag zeigen die Sorgfalt mit der das Bike entwickelt wurde.
Very nice: The steering stop is a good testament to the eye for detail that’s gone into this bike.


Price: € 3,999 | Weight: 12.15 kg | Wheel size: 27.5” | Frame size: L
Travel front/rear: 150/140 mm | Top tube horizontal: 627 mm | Wheelbase: 1,193 mm
Head tube angle: 66.4° | Seat tube angle: 73.9° | Reach: 455 mm | Stack: 631 mm

For more information visit www.canyon.com

The Test

These are exactly the sorts of bikes we’ve tested in this group test. And just like the previous group test, we chose not to order specific bikes from the manufacturers. Instead, we gave them the test criteria and left the decision up to them.

“In this group test we want get to grips with the real workhorses of the riding world. The bike should be as versatile as possible, guaranteeing a fun ride on virtually any type of trail, whether it’s the post-work blast or a multi-day Alpine ride,” was the message given in the briefing.

Die Bikes sind bereit für den Test.
The Bikes ready for testing.

For the travel, we settled on between 120 and 150 mm, and we opted for a price range of

€ 3,500–4,500. To improve their bike’s performance, companies had the freedom to alter the spec – this was restricted to small(ish) details that any dealer could adjust for the customer before they buy the bike. This included, but wasn’t limited to: the cockpit, the wheels and the option of a dropper seatpost.

The Bikes:

Cannondale Trigger Carbon 2 | Canyon Spectral CF 9.0 EX | CUBE Stereo 140 Super HPC Race | GIANT Trance Advanced 1 | Scott Genius 710 | Specialized Stumpjumper FSR Comp Carbon | Rose Root Miller 3 | Rotwild R.Q1 FS

As we mentioned earlier, we’d chosen bikes that were all-rounders, ones that would be regularly confronted with diverse terrain on which it would have to continuously prove its worth. These eight candidates accompanied us to Provence, France. It wasn’t just long rides on the agenda either – we’d also scouted out a secret spot with some pretty demanding jumps. This is where their limits would be pushed. But, it should be mentioned that not every bike is primed for such tasks – if in doubt, check the manufacturer’s authorisation.

Over the coming weeks we’ll introduce you in more detail to the individual bikes on our website. However, the results will only be revealed in issue #016 of ENDURO Mountainbike Magazine. Until then, have fun reading the current issue. As always, it’s available digitally at no cost for tablets, iPhones and on our online viewer.

Words: Christoph Bayer, Andreas Maschke Photos: Christoph Bayer

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