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Canyon launches an all-new 125mm Spectral but this is no downcountry bike

Canyon Spectral 125 CF 9
(Image credit: Canyon )

Canyon has updated its trail bike offering with an all-new short travel Spectral, available in both carbon and alloy versions. It might only have 125mm at the rear but the 140mm travel fork and slack geometry show its rowdy intentions that's more enduro than downcountry.

Canyon has a few short-travel mountain bikes although they all target different niches. The existing 130mm Canyon Neuron is a trail cruiser, rather than a shredder, and while the Canyon Lux Trail was released as a downcountry bike, it's still a very XC-orientated bike.

When we reviewed the Lux Trail we found that the Lux format really lacked a lot of the capability and dynamics that we are seeing from many of the very sorted downcountry bikes that are being released. It looks like Canyon has answered our prayers and then some, slimming its super-capable trail/enduro-lite Canyon Spectral to create a short-travel bike that can be ridden hard.

Canyon Spectral 125 CF 9

(Image credit: Canyon )

Enduro-country

Canyon's goal was to retain all the descending qualities of the Spectral whilst reducing weight, improving climbing efficiency and boosting playfulness.

Canyon's Spectral trail bike has already proven itself as a bike capable of enduro riding and considering Canyon has kept the geometry nearly identical to the longer travel version. There are a few tweaks to account for the shorter travel, but these have been made with the goal of keeping the ride quality as similar as possible.

The 64-degree head angle, 76-degree seat angle and 486 mm reach (size large) is right on the money for proper descending capability and makes the Spectral 125 more progressive than downcountry bikes with similar travel. Stand over is low as well so riders will have some wiggle room if they prefer a longer bike and want to size up.

Both the CF and alloy version use the same geometry too although the CF version has a couple of extra frame details that aren't included with the more affordable alloy version.

The carbon model gets a flip-chip that offers 0.5-degree adjustment and raises the bottom bracket by 8mm (the bike was designed to be run in the low setting) and it gets double sealed bearing rather than single sealed units for longer service intervals.

Canyon has managed to shave some weight off the Spectral 125, dropping a claimed 222g from the overall carbon fiber frame weight. Canyon states the carbon version weighs in at 2,500g for the frameset while the alloy model is 500g heavier. Both versions of the Spectral are rated to the same Category 4 strength and impact testing as the brand's EWS-winning Strive race bike. 

Canyon Spectral 125 CF 9

(Image credit: Canyon / Austin White )

Short travel Sender suspension

The Spectral 125 uses Canyon's Triple-Phase suspension that was originally developed for the German brand's Sender downhill bike.

The ideal is to create a suspension platform that is progressive, offering small bump sensitivity at the beginning of the stroke and ramping up to offer more support on big impacts. The Spectral 125 ramps up a little faster than its long-travel sibling which Canyon says gives it a poppier ride.

Canyon isn't claiming that the Spectral 125 will be setting any XC courses ablaze, that's what the Lux and Lux Trail are for, but a relatively high anti-squat should keep pedaling efficiently when getting back to the top of the hill.

While you can't fit a coil shock to the Spectral 125, Canyon does say that there is enough space to fit a piggyback air shock if need be. 

Canyon Spectral 125 AL 6

(Image credit: Canyon / Austin White )

Canyon Spectral 125 range and specs

Canyon will have two alloy models and three carbon fiber builds available from launch, Canyon says that a significant segment of the 2022 Spectral 125 line-up will be available outside the USA on the 17th of February. 

US-based customers should see Spectral 125 CF's becoming available in early Spring of 2022.

Bikes will be available to order from Canyon.com.

Canyon Spectral 125 AL 5

(Image credit: Canyon)

Canyon Spectral 125 AL 5

  • Frame - Canyon Spectral 125 AL
  • Fork - RockShox 35 Gold
  • Shock - RockShox Deluxe Select+
  • Groupset - Shimano Deore (10-51T)
  • Cranks - Shimano MT512 (32T)
  • Brakes - Shimano Deore (203/180 mm)
  • Wheelset - Raceface AR30, Shimano MT400 | MT410
  • Tires - F: Maxxis Minion DHR II 2.4 Maxxterra, EXO R: Maxxis Dissector 2.4 Maxxterra, EXO
  • Handlebar - G5 AL
  • Stem - G5
  • Seatpost - Iridium Dropper Post
  • Saddle - Selle Italia X3
  • Weight - 15,7 kg
  • Price - $2,899 / £2,449

Canyon Spectral 125 AL 6

(Image credit: Canyon)

Canyon Spectral 125 AL 6

  • Frame - Canyon Spectral 125 AL
  • Fork - Fox 36 Rhythm
  • Shock - Fox Float X Performance
  • Groupset - Shimano SLX (10-51T)
  • Cranks - Shimano SLX (32T)
  • Brakes - Shimano SLX (203/180 mm)
  • Wheelset - DT Swiss LN All Mountain
  • Tires - F: Maxxis Minion DHR II 2.4 Maxxterra, EXO R: Maxxis Dissector 2.4 Maxxterra, EXO
  • Handlebar - G5 AL
  • Stem - G5
  • Seatpost - Iridium Dropper Post
  • Saddle - Ergon SM10 Enduro
  • Weight - 15,4 kg
  • Price - $3,499 / £2,949

Canyon Spectral 125 CF 7

(Image credit: Canyon)

Canyon Spectral 125 CF 7

  • Frame - Canyon Spectral 125 CF
  • Fork - RockShox PIKE Select+
  • Shock - RockShox Deluxe Select+
  • Groupset - Sram GX (10-52T)
  • Cranks - Sram Stylo 6k (32T)
  • Brakes - Sram Code RS (200/180 mm)
  • Wheelset - DT Swiss M1900
  • Tires - F: Maxxis Minion DHR II 2.4 Maxxterra, EXO R: Maxxis Dissector 2.4 Maxxterra, EXO
  • Handlebar - G5 AL
  • Stem - G5
  • Seatpost - G5 Dropper Post
  • Saddle - Ergon SM10 Enduro
  • Weight - 13,9 kg
  • Price - $4,199 / £3,399

Canyon Spectral 125 CF 8

(Image credit: Canyon)

Canyon Spectral 125 CF 8

  • Frame - Canyon Spectral 125 CF
  • Fork - Fox 36 Performance Elite Grip2
  • Shock - Fox Float X Performance
  • Groupset - Shimano XT (10-51T)
  • Cranks - Shimano XT (32T)
  • Brakes - Shimano XT (203/180 mm)
  • Wheelset - DT Swiss XM1700
  • Tires - F: Maxxis Minion DHR II 2.4 Maxxterra, EXO R: Maxxis Dissector 2.4 Maxxterra, EXO
  • Handlebar - G5 AL
  • Stem - G5
  • Seatpost - G5 Dropper Post
  • Saddle - Ergon SM10 Enduro Comp
  • Weight - 13,8 kg
  • Price - $5,199 / £4,399

Canyon Spectral 125 CF 9

(Image credit: Canyon)

Canyon Spectral 125 CF 9

  • Frame - Canyon Spectral 125 CF
  • Fork - Fox 36 Factory Grip2
  • Shock - Fox Float X Factory
  • Groupset - Sram GX AXS (10-52T)
  • Cranks - Sram X1 Carbon (32T)
  • Brakes - Sram Code RSC (200/180 mm)
  • Wheelset - DT Swiss XMC1501
  • Tires - F: Maxxis Minion DHR II 2.4 Maxxterra, EXO R: Maxxis Dissector 2.4 Maxxterra, EXO
  • Handlebar - G5 CF
  • Stem - G5
  • Seatpost - G5 Dropper Post
  • Saddle - Ergon SM10 Enduro Comp
  • Weight - 13,8 kg
  • Price - $6,299 / £5,649

Graham is all about riding bikes off-road. Based in Edinburgh he has some of the best mountain biking and gravel riding in the UK right on his doorstep. With almost 20 years of riding experience, he has dabbled in downhill, enduro and, most recently, gravel racing. Not afraid of a challenge, Graham has embraced bikepacking over the last few years and likes nothing more than strapping some bags to his bike and covering big miles to explore Scotlands wildernesses. When he isn’t shredding the gnar in the Tweed Valley, sleeping in bushes or tinkering with bikes, he is writing tech reviews for Bike Perfect and the muckier side of Cyclingnews 


Rides: Canyon Strive, 24 Bicycles Le Toy 3, Surly Steamroller

Height: 177cm

Weight: 71kg