Canyon Bicycles offer the Spectral 125 in either carbon fiber or aluminum options that match the Category 4 “enduro” strength rating of its bigger brother. Both materials are designed to offer the same ride feel, with a 500g weight penalty for the cheaper aluminum frame.
The 125mm of travel out back are provided by the classic Canyon Triple Phase Horst Link platform, but they’ve tweaked the kinematics to better handle the rigors of hardcore riding on the short travel platform. The leverage curve ramps quickly to give support in the mid stroke and generate play-friendly levels of pop, whilst avoiding harshness at the bottom of the travel. Anti-squat has been increased to increase pedal-friendliness in the first third of the travel and drops off deeper into the stroke to minimize pedal kickback.
Frame details include double sealed bearings, replaceable pivot hardware, internally housed cable management, down tube and chainstay protectors, and a stunning matte/gloss paint job. A small frame mounted bag and water bottle with cage are included in every build, which makes this bike ready to go out of the box.
Canyon’s Spectral 125 geometry takes a lead from the enduro bike world, with some progressive numbers for its travel class that support the “ripper” attitude on the trail. The carbon fiber frame benefits from a flip chip to modify ride height by 8mm and alter the angles by half a degree. The aluminum frame loses the flip chip and blends the low mode’s slacker head angle and lower BB with the steeper seat angle. The large size sports a stretched 486mm reach with 25mm gaps between each size in the range. The head angle is 64.1 degrees in the low mode, with a 35mm BB drop and 76-degree seat angle. The stack is 632mm, and the 437mm chainstay produces a wheelbase of 1259mm – certainly not a short bike for its minimal travel.
The Spectral 125 is being offered in three carbon builds and two aluminum builds to suit a wide range of budgets from $2,899 to $6,299. We tested the Canyon Spectral 125 CF 8, the second-from-top tier build that is what we’d consider the most “shredder” spec on the carbon fiber frame. Build highlights include a Shimano XT 12spd drivetrain and 4-pot brakes, paired with Fox Performance suspension in the form of a 140mm travel 36 up front and Float X out back. The balance of value and performance is maintained by the use of several Canyon in-house G5 components, including the stem, bars, and dropper. Ergon touch-points give a touch of class with their SM10 Enduro Comp saddle and grips. Rounded out with a DT Swiss XM1700 wheelset and Maxxis rubber, the CF8 weighs in at 30.4lbs (13.8kg) and offers about the best bang-for-your-buck build we could imagine at $5,199.