CANFIELD BIKES ONE.2 REVIEW
Review by Rob Dunnet
The Canfield Bikes brand started with a sketch of a downhill bike on a piece of paper back in the late 90’s. Lance Canfield’s dream bike would become a reality several years later and earned the name Big Fat Fatty Fat. Lance would go on to compete in Red Bull Rampage on the BF3 and his brother Chris traveled the world chasing World Cup podiums. The Big Fat Fatty Fat was ahead of its time way back in 1999 with 12” of travel built around Lance’s parallel link platform. Back in the 90’s there were a dozen small brands like Barracuda, ChumbaWumba and Cortina, but few have lasted the test of time like Canfield has.
Twenty years later Canfield Bikes is still making bikes that Lance wants to go big on and Chris; although he is not part of the company anymore, is still winning DH races aboard. Canfield’s newest DH bike the One.2 has taken the spirit of what they were trying to accomplish with the Big Fat Fatty Fat and mixes it with 20 years of mountain bike industry experience to create a bike that is once again ahead of the current trends. To say I was excited to be able to ride this bike is an understatement.
Canfield’s One.2 is one of the few downhill bikes on the market that is still covered by a patent. While many of the DH bikes available today use slightly modified suspension platforms whose patents have become free domain, think Horst Link/ FSR, etc., the Canfield Balance Formula is still covered under patent law.
The Canfield One.2 is available as a frame, frame, and fork or as a complete bike. The complete bike we received is built around Spank Vibrocore 29” wheels and Ohlins suspension giving the bike a 63-degree head angle, 17.3-inch chain stays and 8 inches of travel. The One.2 is available in three sizes and like other brands, Canfield has moved away from the traditional small, medium, and large frame sizes. They have gone with S1, S2 and S3. Geometry numbers are available on their website and after comparing the geometry of the One.2 with other bikes that I have ridden I ended up choosing the S3.
The component spec on the One.2 is impressive for the $5,299.99 price tag. As mentioned above the complete build comes with an Ohlins TTX22 coil shock in the rear and the Ohlins DH38 race fork up front. The 29” Spank wheels come stock with Maxxis Assegai 2.5 tires front and rear and sealant and tire valves are included to make them tubeless. The seven-speed drive train consists of a SRAM GX1 derailleur, SRAM X01 shifter, SRAM chain and cassette and Canfield’s own 165mm cranks with direct mount 34 tooth chain ring. Handlebars, stem, and grips are all the Spank Spike family while braking duties are handled by SRAM Code R brakes with 200mm rotors.
Canfield also boasts that with a shorter stroke shock, a 180mm fork and wide range cassette, that the One.2 is a pedal friendly freeride bike or maybe even a pedal friendly long travel enduro bike if you are willing and able.
Like most things in the world right now COVID slowed down the arrival of the One.2 test bike and instead of testing this bike in the perfect late summer and fall riding weather I found myself riding it a lot in the dark, in the rain and in snow. To be honest I had given up hope on the bike ever arriving but sometime in late fall two boxes showed up at my front door. Customers who are expecting to pull a complete bike out of a box are out of luck with how these bikes are shipped, be prepared for some assembly time. The One.2 was completely disassembled, headset cups were not pressed in, the bottom bracket was not threaded into the frame and internal brake lines were not fished through. To complete assembly at home a large number of tools and a high level of mechanical aptitude is necessary. It appears the savings you get on this bike are made up for in sweat equity, which many riders may enjoy. For others, it could add a couple hundred bucks to the bill after hiring a mechanic to complete the build.
While assembling the Canfield One.2 I had a good amount of time to appreciate the fabrication quality and aesthetics of the frame. Canfield Bikes has always been known for their attention to detail and that has not changed with the One.2. That attention to detail has carried over to finding a build kit that is the best bang for your hard-earned buck. Spank continues to provide quality well-built components that stand up to a good beating. In the standard parking lot flex test the huge 29” wheels have some flex to them, but it isn’t something that I ever noticed on the trail. And to be honest when Spank released their Vibrocore line of components I thought it was marketing hype. I will be eating my humble pie as the bar on the One.2 build is one of the most comfortable bars I can remember riding.
Within an hour or two of getting the bike out of the box I was shuttling the local downhill trail in a classic PNW fall downpour. My hands were frozen half-way through the second or third lap but the One.2 had me wanting more. Riding a true DH bike really inspires a sense of indestructibility. Casing jumps, choosing bad lines, and generally riding like a hack are all erased by big wheels, long travel and four piston brakes.
That said, I have ridden wagon wheel (29” wheels) DH bikes in the past and did not feel as confident on them as I do the One.2. I really seemed to gel with the suspension platform, frame dimensions, build kit and found myself pushing boundaries that I had set up to ensure longevity. I found myself hiking jump lines trying to piece together a line that I have ridden around a couple of times. A jump line that I have said “I would have ridden that 10 years ago” in conversation with younger riders. I guess the One.2 has made me ten years younger because it gave me the confidence to ride that jump line. Sure, I cased the first couple of jumps a bunch of times before I had them figured out but I was confident enough to try until I got it right. After the first day of jumping with the One.2 I was at a place where I was able to ride into bigger gap jumps without really thinking about it. I went from riding around stunts that I thought were a bit iffy to flowing through jump lines.
We are starting to see more brands go away from exclusively using Fox and RockShox suspension on all their bike builds. We have also seen more boutique brands like Canfield offer Ohlins and DVO on their build kits and after riding the Ohlins suspension on the One.2 I feel that it is a move in the right direction. The only complaint that I have about the TTX22 and the DH38 is that installation of the rear spring on the TTX22 is a bit more difficult than RockShox or Fox. The Ohlins suspension on this build is quite possibly the best DH suspension I have ridden. Paired with the Canfield Balance Formula, the Canfield One.2 made it possible to carry more speed through rough trail sections and made up for bad line choice. The One.2 almost makes even the worst lines work and saved me more than a couple of times.
I found that even the slightest adjustment on the rear shock and fork would translate on the trail. Instead of clicking through the adjusters without a major difference in performance, I found that with each click the suspension changes were noticeable. Ohlins has a great reputation in the moto world and with brands like Canfield using them on their stock builds, we believe that their reputation in the mountain bike world will continue to grow.
Regarding Canfield’s claims that this bike is more than just a downhill bike, I can believe it. The One.2 pedals quite efficiently for such a long travel sled and with a different drivetrain, a dropper post, and a long travel single crown fork, this could easily be the one bike in your garage…If long travel is what you need. I get the whole 7 speed drivetrain option for downhill riders but time after time I found myself wishing that 7 speeds would magically turn into 12, or even 10-speeds as I found myself pedaling farther and farther on transitions and fire roads towards my favorite downhills.
The Wolf’s Last Word
Is the Canfield One.2 the fountain of youth? Probably not for everyone, but it gave me back some youthful spirit. The One.2 made it easier for me to look past the what ifs. What if my speed is bad? What if I do not jump far enough? What if my 140mm travel trail bike cannot handle a harsh landing? Instead, the what ifs became, it has 29-inch wheels and 8” of travel, it’ll buff out and I’ll be fine.
The added shot of courage opened-up a couple of trails that I was avoiding because of larger gaps and wooden drops. That courage also helped me find some speed that I had lost as I have gotten older or gotten smarter. That courage had me thinking about hiking jump lines again.
It is obvious that Canfield has thought about everything they could with the One.2 They have put the time in to build a visually stunning bike that is a blast to ride. They have spent even more time picking the parts they feel work best with the frame in both a functional and financial way. It really shows that Canfield is a rider owned and operated company who after all these years, are still making bikes that they want to ride. And it turns out that the bikes they want to ride are bikes that I want to ride.
My only complaint about the One.2 is that it arrived after the Whistler Bike Park was closed. I had not missed riding bike park until the One.2 showed up in my life and if Canfield is willing to let me keep it for a few more months, I think I would make it the one and only.
Frame: 7005 aluminum with CNC links | 203mm
Fork: Öhlins DH – 29er, Boost | 200mm
Shock: Öhlins TTX22 Coil
Brakes: SRAM Code R | 200mm
Shifter: SRAM XO1 DH 7spd
Handlebar: Spank Spike Vibrocore 800mm, 15mm rise
Stem: Spank DM 40 Limited Edition
Saddle: Custom Canfield SDG Radar MTN
Seatpost: Spank Custom
Wheels: Spank Vibrocore 350 front / 359 rear
Tires: Maxxis Assegai 29×2.5 WT
Bottom Bracket: Canfield Bikes
Cassette: SRAM PG720 DH 11-25
Cranks: Canfield 165mm w/ 34T ring
Derailleur: SRAM GX1 DH 7spd
Had to build it
7 Speed Drive Train
Lack of Colors (I liked the White, some might want more)
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