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Endless options: Canyon expands Spectral line to 27.5″ and aluminum

Plus a CFR edition, kids bike, and a coil shock and mixed wheel "mullet" bike

Photo by: Roo Fowler

When Canyon re-launched a completely redesigned Spectral model last year it was a 29″ and carbon fibre only trail bike. Now, the German brand is adding more options. So many more options. There’s now a choice between 27.5″ and 29″ wheels in carbon fiber and, also new, in aluminum frames. There’s even a bougie CFR version, a coil shock and mixed-wheel “Mullet” option and a completely new “young hero” kids bike.

All in, there are 13 different Spectral models to choose from, up from the four CF 29s that were offered up to now. Why? Wheel size has such a big impact on the feel of a bike that Canyon didn’t want to cut out any riders or tell anyone how to ride their bike. After a huge test session, the feedback from riders was that there was a good case for all three wheel size options. That means a lot of change for a bike that was already in Canyon’s line. We’ll break down what’s new below.

We’ve been playing around on the all-new mixed 27.5″/29″ wheel Spectral CF 8 CLLCTV. You can see more detailed first impressions of that bike over here.

Canyon Spectral 5
Spectral AL 5. Photo: Roo Fowler

Speed metal: Canyon adds aluminum option

The playful all-rounder 150-mm travel new-look 2021 Spectral was very well received at the time of release, with efficient suspension, a stiff chassis and very dialed geometry. But it only came in carbon fibre. Canyon continued to offer the old, significantly different Spectral in aluminum, until now. For 2022, the aluminum spectral gets all the geometry updates that made the Spectral 29 so special. The metal frame comes in two builds, each of which are available in 27.5″ or 29″ wheel diameters. Like the CF models, it uses a 160-mm fork and 150-mm rear wheel travel.

Canyon designed the Spectral aluminum frame to feel as close as possible to the carbon fibre version on the trails. As a result, the aluminum frame looks slightly different, with straighter tubes and fewer shapes. To keep it simple, Canyon also dropped the replaceable thread inserts and adjustable Hi/Low geometry flip chip from the carbon fibre model. The aluminum frame is set in what would be the “Low” geo setting.

Canyon Spectral 5
A simplified frame ditches the Hi/Low geo chip found on the CF model. Photo: Roo Fowler

Spectral 5 and 6 are the two adult-sized build kits available, with 27.5″ or 29″ wheels. Adult sized? Yes, because now Canyon’s also introducing a youth version of the aluminum bike.

Canyon starts the line with the $3,400 Spectral 5. It features Fox’s 36 Rhythm fork and Float X performance shock, Shimano Deore 12-speed drivetrain and brakes, Race Face AR30 rims and, like the rest of the line, Canyon’s own G5 cockpit and dropper post. The Spectral 6 steps up to RockShox Lyric Select+ fork, Super Delux Select+ shock, SRAM Code R brakes and GX drivetrain with DT Swiss MTB LN wheels. It retails for $4,500.

The aluminum frames are available in sizes XS, M, and L with 27.5″ wheels and M, L and XL in 29″. That’s slightly different than the carbon fibre line.

Age is no obstacle: Spectral AL Young Hero

Also new for 2022 is a youth-sized Spectral Young Hero. It only comes in an aluminum frame and a single, XXS size. Canyon says the Young Hero is suitable for riders in the 145-160cm height range. It uses slightly less travel, with a 150mm fork and 140mm rear travel. Canyon designed a different suspension kinematic for the Young Hero, using a higher leverage ratio to suit lighter riders.

Rockshox Recon Silver 150-mm fork and 140mm rear wheel travel via RockShox Deluxe Select+ shock. SRAM SX gives full 12-speed Eagle shifting, with SRAM Guide T brakes and a Canyon Iridium 125mm dropper seat post. The Young Hero goes for $2,500.

Spectral CF line expands

The Spectral 29 CF may have launched the re-designed trail bike, but Canyon wasn’t done quite yet. For 2022, there’s a new 27.5″ wheel option and a top-end, lighter CFR frame option. There’s also a mixed-wheel “mullet” with coil shock and burlier parts kit. With all the new options, there are some departures, too. All Spectral CF models now come with 160-mm forks and 150-mm rear travel, meaning the balanced 150mm/150mm “All-Rounder” spec is off the books.

The Spectral CF 29 frame remains unchanged. There’s now a parallel CF 27.5 frame that gets all the same features as that bike in the different wheel size. The carbon fibre frame also gets a wider size run than the aluminum Spectral. 27.5″ frames come in sizes XS-L while the 29″ wheels are available in S-XL.

Three models, the CF7, CF8 and CF9 are each available in 27.5″ or 29″ wheels.

The 2022 Spectral CF 7 starts the line at $4,700 with Fox 36 Rhythm forks, Flox X Performance shock, Shimano SLX 12-speed drivetrain and brakes and DT Swiss XM 1900 wheels. The CF8 moves to Fox’s 36 Performance Elite fork and Float X Performance Elite shock, DT Swiss XM1700 wheels and Shimano XT 12-speed drivetrain and brakes for $5,850. Finally, the $7,250 CF9 switches to RockShox Lyric Ultimate fork and Super Deluxe Ultimate shock, SRAM Code RSC brakes and a SRAM drivetrain of X1 carbon fibre cranks and GX AXS Eagle wireless 12-speed drivetrain with DT Swiss XMC 1501 carbon fibre wheels.

A new top end: Spectral CFR

For 2022, Canyon gives the Spectral frame the CFR treatment. The fully cost-is-no-object frame cuts an impressive 300 grams off of the already-light CF frame, with Canyon claiming there’s no drop-off in stiffness or strength. That brings the CFR frame down to 2,300g (medium), pushing the Spectral CFR solidly into sub-30lbs (13.3kg) territory for a 150/160mm travel trail bike.

Since the CFR label stands for “Canyon Factory Racing,” the Spectral CFR is only available with 29″ wheels. The top-end build  boasts a Fox 36 Factory fork, Float X Factory Shock, Shimano XTR brakes and 12-speed drivetrain (with an XT cassette) and Race Face Next SL carbon fibre cranks and DT Swiss XMC 1200 carbon fibre wheels. Canyon adds its own CP009 integrated one-piece carbon fibre cockpit (40mm length, 76-mm width for the Small, 780mm width for M-XL). All this will set you back $8,500.

Canyon Spectral CF 8 Cllctv mullet
Canyon Spectral CF 8 Cllctv mullet bike. Photo: Roo Fowler
Party mode: Spectral CF 8 CLLCTV

While the CFR is Canyon’s race focused build, there’s also the party-minded Spectral CF8 CLLCTV. It uses a 27.5″ rear wheel and 29″ front wheel, or “mullet” build that’s gaining popularity among riders and racers alike. The CF8 CLLCTV uses a slightly burlier parts build, swapping out the air shock for a Fox DHX Performance Elite coil shock and a Maxxis Assegai 2.5″ front tire instead of the Minion DHR 2.4″ tire that comes on all the other Spectral models.

The Spectral CF8 mullet build rounds out with a Fox 36 Performance Elite fork, Shimano XT brakes and rear derailleur with SLX cassette and cranks. It rolls on DT Swiss EX511 rims and 370 hubs with the Maxxis Assegai 2.5″ / Minion DHR 2.4″ tire combo. This party starts for $5,300.

All 2022 Spectral models, in both frame materials and all three wheel sizes, are available now through Canyon’s Canadian webstore.

Will all the different Spectral options available, and after being impressed by the CF LTD and CF7 29 already, we’re testing the one that’s a bit of everything: the CF8 mullet build. Head over to see our first impressions of this mixed-wheel shredder.