Canyon's long-in-the-tooth trail bike has been brought in-line with the latest revamp
Canyon Neuron is a 130mm travel trail bike. Aimed at riders who want to enjoy the climbs as much as the descents. Prices range from £2,449 to £5,099.
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See also: Canyon Neuron.
Canyon Neuron need to know
- 130mm travel trail bike
- All models come with full carbon frames (main triangle, chainstays and seatstays)
- Size specific design, geometry and suspension kinematics
- Redesigned shock position and kinematics mirror the Canyon Spectral, Canyon Torque and Canyon Sender
- 29in fork used in all frame sizes (regardless of wheel size).
- Sealed bearings and protective caps throughout
- Five models plus two female specific models will be available in the Neuron CF range.
- Pricing range from £2,449 – £5,099.
The shorter travel trail oriented Neuron has always been a staple of the Canyon range but in recent years its cross-country slant and general appeal has wavered. It’s looked a little bit out of place in comparison with its racier or more enduro-friendly stablemates and was desperately due a complete overhaul.
Canyon has thrown a slight curveball with the new Neuron. At a time when most brands are making their short/mid travel bikes burlier and slacker and basically way more capable. Canyon has rigidly stuck to the Neuron’s raison d’etre and kept it firmly at a design and geometry level that is aimed at riders wanting to not only blast down the hills but also take pleasure in getting to the top in the first place. It’s still firmly at the cross country end of the trail bike spectrum.
To further complicate matters during its unveiling at the Portuguese town of Sintra, the designers were quick to explain that this is a bike aimed not just at experienced riders but it’s general demeanour was designed to encourage new riders and provide a ride quality without any surprises.
How do you make a bike that is supposed to climb as well as it descends and that appeals equally to riders new to our sport as it does to riders who want to wring the bike’s neck at any given opportunity? And more importantly, is it possible? After all, pulling off this feat would make the bike the equivalent of a unicorn, effectively make all other bikes null and void.
If you are Canyon’s designers it’s apparently all about giving it a longer, more stable wheelbase involving longer than usual chainstays – 440mm in M-XL and 430mm in XS and S. Angles are typically conservative, with the 130mm travel 29er utilising a 67.5° head angle and 74.5° seat angle. Curiously, line-up the new Neuron against the old Neuron and they share almost every measurement.
From a geometry perspective this update looks to be more of a face-lift than revamp. Where the real change has happened is in the suspension. Now the Neuron shares not only the same silhouette as its stablemates but also the sorted suspension kinematic first seen with the Sender DH bike and lately the Canyon Torque, Canyon Spectral and Canyon Lux models.
One look at the newly redesigned Neuron and the family resemblances are pretty significant. The familiar lines of the top tube and extended seat tube combine with the same shock position as the Lux and Spectral. It basically is the bastard hybrid of the two platforms. But it has it’s own unique features as well. Top of the list being the neat composite linkage/shock yoke that ties the two ends neatly together and gives an almost seamless aesthetic to the entire frame.
Canyon has also taken some of the better features of its others models and improved them on the Neuron. Take the bearings for example; all frame bearings are now fully sealed and all benefit from protective caps to prevent mud and water ingress. And finally Canyon has listened and ditched the press-fit BB! There’s a good old BSA threaded shell in the Neuron, so that should please many riders.
Riding the Canyon Neuron CF
In keeping with Canyon’s mantra of being a bike for all riders and for the climbs as well as the fun bits we spent a good part of the launch ride on non-technical climbing. What this did highlight is the fact that the Neuron is a pleasantly neutral bike for the climbs. It’s not a fleet footed XC whippet but neither is it a sit and winch behemoth; it just gets on with the job without fuss and keeps you in a comfortable and efficient riding position. Perfect for multi-hour Alpine climbs.
Testament to the pretty sorted suspension kinematics, I rarely felt that I needed to use the shock lockout, even on the smooth fire road climbs used to access the tender trails of Sintra.
When we were finally unleashed on the sumptuous singletrack that litters the hillsides of Sintra, the Neuron proved to be a little more capable than expected. It channels some of the same superb riding characteristics as the longer travel Spectral, itself one of mbr’s favourite trail bikes.
But there’s no getting away with the fact that it lacks the more progressive geometry of most of its rivals, leaving you feeling more than at times like it was going to pitch you over the bars. The 450mm reach on the large frame size felt a little cramped for my riding style and made me have to adapt to keep my weight far enough back. The bottom bracket also felt a touch too tall for really giving it beans on the steeps and in the corners.
hat’s not to say the Neuron is an incapable bike, it handled the steep Sintra singletrack well thanks to the sorted suspension. It handles out of the saddle efforts with aplomb but push it too fast into the tight twisty stuff and the Neuron stutters. At times feels like an old school 29er, with the front end almost refusing to go round corners without being manhandled with vigour.
The Neuron had the possibility to become almost the perfect UK trail bike. As it is it’s almost there but the conservative geometry and resulting strangled ride quality just push it wide of the mark. As a bike for the masses it will no doubt have huge appeal and the spec levels on all machines are highly competitive. The suspension performance is very good and the bike can still handle most of what will be thrown at it.