Canyon Spectral 140 / Spectral 160 / Strive 160 - what to buy?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    New question here. Canyon Spectral 140 / Spectral 160 / Strive 160 - what to buy?

    Hi,

    I'm deciding about a new bike. Can you help me decide y'all?

    What I ride

    I'm 190 cm / 80 kg and I ride 7 yrs old 100f/115r travel Canyon Nerve XC bike with 26" wheels here in smaller mountains in the Czech Republic. My ambitions have grown to something like all mountain or enduro. Sometimes I give my bike hard time when I'm trying to catch up with mates on 150 mm travel bikes during a trail descends But I don't plan to go to bikeparks and make big jumps. I want a higher travel stiff bike that would ride fluently, predictably and securely when I let it down a rocky trail. But I don't get on the top of the mountain by a cablecar, I want to ride all up! So climbing abilities are important as well. But only approx half of my riding are on trails. The rest is gravel/paved roads with a bit of inevitable tarmac.

    As I love Canyon, so my choice is:

    Spectral AL 5.0 / 140 mm travel

    https://www.canyon.com/en/mtb/spectr...al-al-5-0.html
    2000 EUR

    Love the specs and price. Just like if I would pick it to the last chainring. I think 300 EUR more expensive Spectral 6.0 with just 200g lighter wheels and SLX crankset, brakes and front derailleur istead of Deore are just minor improvements that are not worth 300 EUR. Or give me an argument that I'm wrong

    + Great bike for great money
    - Is 140 front travel enough for rocky trails?
    - Is the frame durable? I mean it looks as light as Canyon Nerve AL's frame which is not an all mountain bike. Like my brother broke his 5 years old Canyon Nerve frame. He didn't ride extremes or jump and rode just 1500 km per year. So I'm kinda suspicious.

    Spectral AL 5.0 / 160 front travel

    Sooo I got an idea. Joe Barnes and before even Fabien Barel rode a Spectral with 160 mm fork even Enduro series. I read that I can upgrade Fox Float 34 from 140 mm to 160 mm. It should be like 50 EUR for a new air shaft + work. That would change geometry and make climbing a bit worse I think. Sooo I read I can turn the stem upside down to get handlebars lower. Good or bad idea?

    Strive AL 6.0 / 160 mm travel

    Pure enduro bike with shapeshifter technology (change geometry from enduro to XC) for 2600 EUR
    https://www.canyon.com/en/mtb/strive...ve-al-6-0.html

    I fell in love with the shapeshifter tech when I first saw it but maybe I wouldn't use it that often.

    + durable
    + shapesifter. I read in one review that Strive in XC mode climbs to a steep hill better than any other all mountain bike
    - 1 kg heavier
    - less effective pedalling than Spectral I think
    - more expensive
    - the shapeshifter should have a service in Canyon every 200 hours or so

    Sooo what are your suggestions? Thanks!

  2. #2
    WillWorkForTrail
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    I'm going to make the obvious suggestion:

    I'd ride those bikes before I decided which to buy. Personally, if you're riding up mountains, yes, I think you'll see a difference between 140mm and 160mm, but if your mates are on 150+ maybe that's the way to go?

  3. #3
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    My 2 cents, the money for those upgrade wheels n cranks is the correct choice. Do it!
    Last year I bought 140mm and am very happy with the improvement. Our old 100 XC bikes just don't keep up once the mates start pulling away. If your mates are 150+ than you may want to do that too. Longer travel will change the bikes' trail manners, which is why you should ride both first. Does Canyon ever offer trail-days? It would be worth a road trip to Germany if you get to compare. I love the Kona I bought, but watching Barel and Barnes racing this year has me stoked about those bikes!
    oops I wasn't clipped in

  4. #4
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    I fell in love with the shapeshifter tech when I first saw it but maybe I wouldn't use it that often.
    I've got strive and i can tell you one thing.Shapeshifter is not for everyone.Some people hate it and some love it.I personaly love it but it takes some time to get used to it and have perfect air pressure in it (lower=easier to get to dh mode).I know that some people have problems with shapeshifter.My friend had one too but i think that this was her fault because it is writed that if you don't use bike keep it in XC mode.Personaly i had problems with my shapeshifter only once when this green indicator was dirty and for some reason it had problems to get back to XC mode.Other then that i had problems with fiting in my hand Ergon grips and my Debon air was way too soft and pike too stiff (no matter how much i tried to change setup in them) but after going to Punta Ala and beating crap out of them they are working fine.

    As for riding bike.It's damn nice to have XC angles for trail or going uphill.I suck at going uphill and this bike helped me alot.On DH mode bike is fast,nimble and stable had a chance to ride with friend that was on his DH bike (Evil Undead) and i just left him behind.As for flying i dunno i don't find this bike good for jumps.Don't get me wrong it's not like this bike jumps bad but i find other bikes do it better.This bike is just great and staying on ground and hammering it.

    Bike setup is damn nice.Pike is good and plush for and you can add tokes to it (but i think that Fox 36 is better),Debonair is also sexy shock that is picking up leaves.Frame is stiff and light (my bike weights ~13kg with CB mallets) and both blue and team bike looks good (wanted to buy blue one but team was available earlier ) 2016 frame have inner couble routing for shock remote (just look at Fab bike check).Guide breaks have alot of power and good modulation so i can't complain about them (and i used to ride Magura breaks).All race bikes have SRAM 1x11 setup and i find 34T perfect for me not too much and not too low but in France i wanted to chop of my legs on long climbs but i never bothered to change rings i just added weights on gym.SRAM wheels are nice but mine got trashed in Punta Ala but it was SRAM fault (the broken where they were connected) and there was no problem with replacing them well at least i had chance to ride Mavic Enduro wheelset.Tire choice was fine (HR2 and DHF) but on new strive semislick minion might be fine but since autumn is coming i woudl roll some more gripy tire.

    As for shapeshifter i was damn stroked about it (i love all new tech) and when i got my strive i played with it alot.But after some time i started to use it less and less untill i got better at handling bike and now i just go with it on some longer/gnarly stuff when i need DH mode and XC for all those climbs and fire roads.After riding it for few months i can tell without looking at indicator in what mode i am just based how bike is handling,pedaling or just when i look at fork or just sit on saddle.Main problem that i find with SS is:

    1)It can simply **** up.
    Not much to say you will get stuck in one of modes and...
    2)In DH mode...
    It climbs "ok" (more like average) compared to bikes like Reign it's not crazy just fine and that's it.
    3)In XC mode...
    It descends "ok" too (not average but ok if you ever rode HD you will know this feeling).
    4)Too low BB?
    Maybe it's bike or maybe those are my mallets but damn they are so beat up because i hit random stuff on my bike.It might be mallets problem not bike.
    5)It get quite a time to get used to swap from DH to XC mode (like i said based how much air you pump to SS) during ride without slowing down (i personaly ride with high pressure) but when you do it's great.
    6)Personaly i feel that hammering down on this bike is better on DH mode and then again my ex-boss says that it feels better for him in XC (maybe because he have regular geometry not race like me).
    7)Rided both Race and Regular geometry.So if you are going for more trips than races go with regular bike.I bought mine for racing and it did well.On longer trips regular just beats race geometry because you fight less with bike.
    8)Had some problems (and i still have but i'm practicing) doing manual and whelee.It's like relearning again i have BMX/4X/DS background so i can do those but this bike is kinda opposite to that, he's just like:"lol dude no those chocks won't lok at you".

  5. #5
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    Cool-blue Rhythm

    Ryltar: Haha, thanks for your experience with Strive! I'm a wekaer biker than you in DH, I have no experience with BMX/4X and 70 % of my riding is comfortable even on XC bike. For the rest "harder trail" stuff, I want something more comfortable, durable and dependable.

    If I went for Strive, I'd pick normal geometry but XL size (I'm 190 cm, longish legs and arms).

    So what about Spectral durability? Did some of you heard that Spectral broke after hard riding? I plan to ride this bike for at least 8 years so I want it to last. On the other hand, my current Nerve XC with an old school frame had withstand quite a beating for past 7 years. Canyon Spectral 140 / Spectral 160 / Strive 160 - what to buy?-dsc_4490-small.jpg
    My brother's 1 year newer Nerve with a more sexy frame (halfway to the current frame style) broke last summer underneath the saddle.

    Canyon factory is 7 hours drive from my town so I'd go there if I were really hesitant.

    Thanks so far to all of you!

  6. #6
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    Ryltar: Haha, thanks for your experience with Strive! I'm a wekaer biker than you in DH, I have no experience with BMX/4X and 70 % of my riding is comfortable even on XC bike. For the rest "harder trail" stuff, I want something more comfortable, durable and dependable.

    If I went for Strive, I'd pick normal geometry but XL size (I'm 190 cm, longish legs and arms). And I guess I'd be in XC mode for 80-95 % the time. But I think I won't have problems learning how to change Shapeshifter mode.

    Do you send your SS to Canyon? What if it stops working properly, will it drop to DH mode or can you manually take it to XC mode? Every year I spend 1 week crossing Alps or some mountains with a backpack (Transalp) so if it breaks, I'd like to manually fix it in some position.

    So what about Spectral durability? Did some of you heard that Spectral broke after hard riding? I plan to ride this bike for 8+ years so I want it to last. On the other hand, my old Canyon Nerve XC with an oldschool frame geometry had withstand quite a beating.
    Canyon Spectral 140 / Spectral 160 / Strive 160 - what to buy?-dsc_4490-small.jpg
    But my brother's 1 year newer Nerve with more contemporary frame broke last summer in the vertical saddle tube. Fortunately, it was still under 6 yrs warranty so he got it replaced.

    Cuz I plan to ride my bike for at least 8 years, ideally like 12 years

    I'd go to Canyon Factory only if I were really hesitating, it's quite a long way there.

    Thanks so far to all!

  7. #7
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    Do you send your SS to Canyon?
    Never send mine.Works fine outside being dirty and my experiments with air.

    What if it stops working properly, will it drop to DH mode or can you manually take it to XC mode?
    You will get stuck in your current mode.I'm not sure if you can swap it manualy to other mode.Main problem with SS was that that air can and oil can didn't had good seal and it leaked between them.They said (canyon) that it was kid age problem.Maybe you can change modes with your hand manualy if it don't have air in it.

    Now like i said i pick up Strive for pure racing (gonna start next season since i'm after rehab and i'm still getting back to shape) but if i were you i woudl go for Spectral.I live in Poland so i some what know what terrain you ride.20 mm of travel won't do much (but still i bottom out my strive) since you mainly will go for longer rides so this bike will do fine and you will still be able to go for dh (i was able to rip some DH on Nerve so you will do fine.You won't spit your lungs on uphill because you can't swap fron chainring and no worry if Shapeshifter will break.

    So go go for Spectral!

  8. #8
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    Dzekuji bardzo!

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