Testing Canyon's gravity all-rounder!
Words: Nick Waygood Photos: Nick Waygood/Ryan Walsch
Canyon quickly made their presence known via direct to consumer sales, allowing customers to buy a bike across all genres of cycling, including a wide range of mountain bikes. Canyon started delivering to Australia direct from Germany at the start of 2016, and their presence on the trails have continued to grow. You might have already read our review of the 130mm-travel Canyon Neuron, so we’re no stranger to the bikes that Canyon build and their precision builds and delivery times. With a reputation for bang-for-buck quality mountain bikes, we ordered in a Canyon Torque to test during our visit to Thredbo’s Cannonball Festival in early December.
In the Torque range, the CF 8.0 sits just below the top, with a total of 5 models available, as well as the frame set. Canyon has 3 carbon fibre Torques, each with carbon in the front triangle and aluminium in the rear. The remainder 2 models are both aluminium, offering a wide range to select from when choosing what to buy on a lazy Sunday morning, or midnight online shopping frenzy.
By Canyon’s personal definition, this 180mm-travel beast of a bike is the perfect all rounder. With slack angles like a downhill bike, enough suspension for a Redbull Rampage run, a dropper and a SRAM Eagle and CODE combination, this bike certainly has everything you’d ever need to wake up in the morning with a run down the Thredbo Valley Trail, followed by bombing runs of the Cannonball Downhill all afternoon.
In the current market, brands are coming back into the long-travel enduro/downhill bikes capable of climbing as quickly as they descend, with 65 degree head-angles and up to 170mm of travel between both 27 and 29 inch wheel sizes. Bikes like Rocky Mountain’s Slayer, or Specialized’s new Enduro springs to mind as bikes capable of taking on anything you feel confident throwing yourself down, and more.
Out of the box, the Canyon Torque is built up with a carbon fibre front half and alloy rear for the benefits of rigidity. The carbon front triangle helps save on weight whilst adding to the aesthetic look of the bike, with the aluminum rear triangle is stiff in the back and keeps the overall cost of the bike in check.
Tester: Nick Waygood
Riding Experience: Full time photographer, part time mountain-biker.
Generally Rides: 2019 YT Jeffsy 27
Bike Test Track: Thredbo
Canyon's paint job on the Torque sees a metallic dark-red that fades into a mix of exposed black carbon fibre and gloss black through the entirety of the frame. The aesthetics continue with the long-travel suspension, 780mm wide handlebars, and huge brake rotors to give the bike a look of pure descending luxury.
The clean look is continued with Canyon’s cable-routing system, with the dropper, rear brake, and rear derailleur cables all being routed underneath a plastic bash-plate on the bike’s downtube. The carbon is very clean and smooth, allowing easy access to properly clean the bike after a day in the hills. It’s also nice to see Canyon setting up tubeless straight from the factory.
With the bike almost assembled straight out of the box, all that’s required when building the Torque up is to remove the packaging, slide in the front wheel, dropper post, and handlebars, before some standard bike setup like air pressures and cockpit setup.
Before we hit the trails, a quick check-over revealed the chain was only one link too long. With a quick-link already installed, it was easy to break one link out of the chain, re-attach, and tune the derailleur to suit the huge Eagle 50-tooth rear cog.
With the confirmed weight of 14.90kg with pedals, I had minor concerns of how the bike would climb with such slack angles and long-travel suspension, seeing Canyon claims the Torque can be an all-rounder. Eagle definitely made pinch climbs a little easier.