Canyon are doubling down on their cross-country chops; the new Exceed hardtails and Lux full suspension models are very much in the traditional short-travel and steep head angle bracket. Is this approach 'tried and true' or 'retro and wrong'?
Canyon may not have got the result they wanted at the Olympics this year – due to Tom Pidcock and a disappearing ramp – but they can still boast an awful lot of success on the XC race scene. In many ways, Canyon are cross-country through and through. Unashamedly so. Whereas their key rival, YT Industries, have their roots in the rowdy gravity side of mountain biking with the Tues downhill and Capra enduro bikes, Canyon are not afraid of Lycra and flat bars.
Take a look at their roster of racers and it’s a pretty good roll call of the best cross-country mountain bike racers on the planet: Emily Batty, Martin Stosek, Andreas Seewald, Ceylin del Carmen Alvarado and, of course, a certain Mathieu van der Poel. There are a whole bunch of World Cups, European Championships and World’s rainbow stripes racing on top of a Canyon mountain bike.
Canyon’s new 2022 Lux and Exceed models are ironically striking in their conservative nature. There is zero concession to the down-country bandwagon. Nor is there seemingly any nod towards the supposed increasing technical nature of World Cup XC courses. When you first glance at the new Lux and Exceed, it’s almost like the past few years haven’t happened. 100mm forks. Steep head angles. No dropper posts to be seen (well, apart from a dinky 60mm dropper on certain top end models). And a whole lot of people (mostly mainland Europeans) are going to love Canyon for this.
2022 Canyon Lux
Canyon: “The 2022 Lux is built around the existing frame platform first released in 2019: a full-suspension race weapon with a proven track record at world level. Designed to deliver maximum control and speed on demanding, technical modern XC courses, it’s packed with performance features – including ultra-efficient kinematics, superlight chain catchers, and a weight-saving rear suspension flex pivot design. And for 2022, the Lux has updated component sets focusing on all-out performance. First, all models have 100mm forks for the most aggressive setup – steeper angles, lighter parts, faster handling. Plus, all bikes have rigid seatposts to maximise stiffness and minimise weight. Finally, all Lux CF SLX models now have handlebar-mounted lockouts, for even greater efficiency.”
The Lux range starts with the Lux CF 6 with 1×12 Shimano SLX shifting, FOX SC Performance suspension, and DT Swiss XR1900 wheels. Topping things off is the Lux CF SLX LTD, with a 1,662g CF SLX frame, SID SL Ultimate fork and SID Deluxe Ultimate shock, and SRAM XX1 Eagle AXS wireless groupset.
2022 Canyon Exceed
A strong, superlight, and super-stiff XC 29er race hardtail, the 2022 Exceed is also back – with a new range of builds in three grades of carbon, and three models with a new Canyon MTB Racing Team replica artwork, as showcased at world level by Emily Batty and teammates.
The entry-level carbon platform is the Exceed CF 6, at an impressive €2,299 price point: FOX 32 Rhythm fork, 1×12 Shimano SLX, DT Swiss XR1700 wheels. The top Exceed is the CFR LTD, built around the 835g Exceed CFR frame and featuring RockShox SID SL Ultimate fork, SRAM XX1 Eagle AXS groupset, Reynolds Black Label wheels and DT Swiss D232 One 60mm dropper post.