The refreshed Canyon Spectral is now a 29er

Canyon Spectral 29
(Image credit: Canyon)

Canyon has launched a redesigned version of its Spectral trail bike. 

With a 150mm full-carbon frame, the Spectral has always appeal to those riders given to getting their rush on the descents.

The big news for this 2021 model year Spectral, is its change in wheel size configuration. Canyon’s marketing and product people have decided to upsize the Spectral’s 27.5-inch wheels to 29-inch to make its best trail mountain bike even more capable.

Having made the appropriate geometry and frame design changes, the new 150mm Spectral 29er sits at a very slack 64-degree head angle when paired with a 160mm fork. Thanks to a simple flip-chip system, it can be slackened to 63.5-degrees if you are going to be using the Spectral 29 for bike park descents or heavy-duty enduro trails.

Canyon Spectral

(Image credit: Canyon)

Longer reach for greater stability 

To account for its larger wheels, Canyon has updated the Spectral’s front and rear triangle sizes. Reach has increased to 485mm on a size large, with the chainstays at 437mm. Those numbers should make these new Canyon 29er more stable at speed.

As one would expect from a German frame, there are a host of clever details. The chainstay protector is a ridged rubber molding, sure to keep your rides quieter, even when blasting through the wordiest of rock gardens.

Canyon’s industrial designers have also managed to leave enough room for a small water bottle below the shock mount, in the Spectral’s front triangle. It must be noted that you’ll struggle to get a full-sized hydration bottle to fit.

With a reputation that has been built on offering performance geometry and well-considered spec sheets, at very keen pricing, the Spectral remains true to Canyon’s established brand values.

Canyon offers two differing build styles, a 'shred spec' that uses a Fox suspension and Shimano drivetrain and an 'all-rounder spec' which has Rockshox and SRAM components. What makes the 'shred spec' shreddier is the beefier 160mm fork and piggyback shock over the 150mm Rockshox Pikes and lighter inline shocks. All the bikes run 1x12 drivetrains and are equipped with four-piston calipers. 

Unquestionably the best buy in Canyon’s new Spectral range is the $4,699 CF8. The Spectral CF8 uses a Fox 36 Performance Elite fork with the Grip2 damper inside, whilst at the rear Canyon has fitted a brand matching Float DPX2 shock. Using a Shimano XT groupset, it also rolls DT Swiss XM1700 wheels shod with Maxxis DHF tires. This specific model retails for $4,049.

Pricing starts at $3,699 and tops out at $6,099 for the XTR equipped Spectral 29 LTD. Canyon is a direct-to-consumer brand so all its bikes are only available from

Lance Branquinho
Freelance writer

Lance Branquinho is a Namibian-born journalist who graduated to mountain biking after injuries curtailed his trail running. He has a weakness for British steel hardtails, especially those which only run a single gear. As well as Bike Perfect, Lance has written for, and Cycling News.