Canyon Sender CF 9.0

Srsly Sxy

Words by Drew Rohde // Photos by Michael Darter & Drew Rohde

If Batman was a German downhiller, there’s no doubt the Canyon Sender CF would be slaying Gothamberg’s most sinister tracks. Canyon is among the latest consumer-direct bikes storming the US bike world. Straight out of the box the Sender is ready to rip with a bad ass spec and insane geometry. Once I wiped the drool off the top tube I slapped her on the ass and held on.

The Lab

A sleek front triangle attaches to an aluminum rear triangle via Canyon’s MX Link driven four-bar suspension design. Polymer bearings in the MX Link to offer some float within the main link help reduce the energy transferred latterly into the shock while improving durability. The main pivots are oversized industrial bearings that are easily accessed with a cassette/freehub tool. A very useful and sleek fender helps keep the rear of your bike clean. Cable cushions inside the frame help your bike ride as stealthily as it looks. Spec on our top of the line model was impressive with full Fox Factory suspension and a SRAM X01 7-speed DH drivetrain. Our only complaint was the SRAM Guide brakes as they didn’t quite offer the power or consistency we’d like when hauling ass down extended descents where heavy braking is required.

Geometry

One of the best features, yet one we hardly used was the ability to significantly adjust the geometry. The bike comes with cups to take the head tube angle from 62- to 64 degrees and the chainstay length can be tweaked from 16.93- to 17.56 inches. Canyon has the suspension game dialed and we absolutely loved how comfortable the bike was out of the box. Tall riders are in luck as their XL is the largest production DH bike available. The reach on our large frame was 18.11 inches and the stretch limo XL is 18.89 inches long!

Suspension

The Sender’s four-bar suspension design differs from some others available thanks to Canyon’s MX Link and their TPS (Triple Phase Suspension) philosophy. Sensitivity, Stability and Progressivity are the three stages Canyon designed into the kinematics of the Sender. Canyon’s engineers claim that the MX Link allows them to tune the shock’s leverage ratio independently of anti-squat, pedal kickback or anti-rise values that can be inherent with most four-bar designs or air sprung bikes.

The Dirt

I assembled the Sender and headed north to Whistler Bike Park for a week of testing and riding. Right out of the box the bike felt insanely comfortable, super confident and stiff! The 35-pound weight made it a treat on the jump lines and in the tight twisty woods of the lower mountain. One thing that didn’t feel great right out of the box was the Fox Float X2 shock. The shock felt fine on big hits and landing jumps or drops in the park but was lacking a bit of sensitivity on slower, flatter trails where small to medium sized roots crossed the trail. After some tweaking, adding a volume spacer and adjusting air pressure and compression accordingly I was able to improve the bike’s feel a bit more. While I’m confident a coil would have improved the sensitivity even more, Canyon engineers assert that the bike is designed to perform best around the progressivity of an air can.

The Sender is an incredibly adaptable frame and the changes available to the rider are quite drastic. Even with the great range of adjustability, I felt most comfortable with the bike in the stock position. Canyon nailed the geometry on the Sender and I believe it’s one of the most comfortable, balanced and best handling DH bikes I’ve ridden. It is a bike that likes to be pushed and pulled and responds well to active rider input. If you’re looking for a bike that takes direction well, this is it.

If Batman was a German downhiller, there’s no doubt the Canyon Sender CF would be slaying Gothamberg’s most sinister tracks.

The Wolf’s Last Word

The Sender CF 9.0 is one of my favorite DH bikes to date. From looks to performance this is a very well rounded machine. It shows up at your door with some neat tools, a nicely put together owner’s manual and assembly instructions. With a price tag of roughly $5,499 it’s also a screaming deal. The Sender pulled the gloves off when stepping into the cage in a market full of ten thousand dollar rigs. Much like the YT Tues, the Sender CF 9.0 is designed and spec’d as good as anything out there but leaves you with enough funds to take an epic road trip with your new toy. Riders who love commanding their bike and telling it what to do will enjoy the Sender most. It is a bike that urges you to pump, pop and flick it around with ultimate precision. Take the time to get your suspension dialed in and the bike will reward you.

Price: Estimated $5,499

Weight: 35.61 lbs

Sizes: S, M, L (tested), XL 

Country of Origin: Asia 

Website: canyon.com

Specs

CHASSIS

Frame: Carbon; 200mm
Fork: Fox Factory 40; 208mm
Shock: Fox Factory Float X2

COCKPIT

Brakes: SRAM Guide RSC
Handlebar: Renthal Fat Bar
Headset: ACROS
Saddle: SDG I-Fly
Seatpost: SDG Micro I-Beam
Shifter: SRAM X01 DH; 7s
Stem: Renthal Integra

WHEELS

Hubs: DT Swiss FR 1950
Rims: DT Swiss FR 1950
Tires: Maxxis Minion DHR 2

DRIVETRAIN

Bottom Bracket: SRAM GXP
Cassette: SRAM XG-795
Cranks: Race Face SixC
Derailleur: SRAM X01 DH; 7s

We Dig

Looks

Lively Feel

Maneuverability

Price

We Don’t

Air Shock Sensitivity

Brake Consistency