CANYON SENDER CFR LONG-TERM REVIEW
BEATEN AND BASHED X2
Words by Drew Rohde | Photos by Dusten Ryen
Despite its relatively short history on the race circuit, the Canyon Sender downhill bike has amassed an impressive number of medals and titles. Just one look at the new Canyon Sender CFR and the race pedigree is plain to see. The CFR acronym denotes Canyon Bike’s design and ethos around building and designing that model bike with their top-tier athletes, mechanics and engineers to create a product ready to take on the clock when seconds matter most. Although our crew have recently been swept off our feet by the latest crop of eMTBs, our truest passion lies in these high-performance DH bikes. Nothing rides like a downhill bike and there is nothing better than the feeling of letting a DH bike attack the steepest, fastest, and roughest terrain on the mountain, and the new Canyon Sender CFR does it with ease. Even though it has been a few months since our last bike park visit, this bike still gets us giddy thinking about the lines we pulled and the speeds we reached during last year’s Bike Park Review Tour.
When examining the new Canyon Sender CFR there are a few notable changes that translated to big gains on the trail. First up is the reevaluation of weight distribution, resulting in a lower shock mount, lower center of gravity, less pedal kickback and a stiffer overall frame. Similarly, geometry evolved to match modern expectations as the size large comes with a 485mm reach, with the headset cups in the center position. Riders have the ability to run the +/- 8mm cup to change front end length depending on tracks and their body type. Also adjustable is the chainstay length, which further allows riders to tune the Sender to their terrain or riding preference.
Roughly 600 grams lighter, and much of that came from the shock mounting and placement. Old frame required a complex and heavier shock mount support under top tube. 300 grams were taken off the main frame, 200 grams from rear stays and Canyon dropped another 100 grams by refining the MX link, making smaller dropouts and the bridge between seat stays to make it a total loss of nearly 600g.
Now weighs 3,200grams
Moved the main pivot lower and closer to chainline. The Sender still has a rearward axle path but slightly less than its predecessor.
Slightly more progressive leverage curve so that coil and air can be run. Customers wanted more flexibility to run both shocks and Canyon listened.
Four-bar system with the MX-Link that is independent and can be tuned. Before different riders had different MX links on the Factory Team to give them slightly different ride traits, and now the two mounting holes give different feels for riders wanting more progression or a more linear feel.
Yes, it has 27.5 and 29”, but you should not modify your bike. Canyon uses the same link on Small and Medium bikes as their Large and XL bikes. You can use the different holes to change the progression, leverage and yes, travel slightly, but Canyon does not condone or even suggest that you’ll make the bike better by running a 27.5 on the back of your Large or XL bike. Listen to the engineers on this one, we guarantee their costly computer programs and hours of testing are slightly ahead of message board bro theories.
Canyon offers their Sender DH bike in a few price points, all of which are stellar values. Depending on what your budget is you will be able to get into an alloy Sender 6 for $3,399 but you will not benefit from the new Sender tech until you move up to the CFR FMD model at $4,799. If you’re an aspiring racer or just want to have the best bike possible, spring for the top-of-the-line Sender CFR we tested here for $5,799.