This race-ready downhill bike from the German direct-sales giant is both lightning-fast and super fun to ride.

Product Overview

Overall rating:

Score 10

Canyon Sender CFR 29


  • • Fast, precise handling
  • • Practical, usable geometry adjustments
  • • Race-ready specification
  • • Great size range
  • • Easy to work on


  • • Rock-hard Canyon G5 grips


Looking for the fastest direct-sales downhill bike? The Canyon Sender CFR 29 would be my first choice if I was going racing again


Price as reviewed:


With the CLLCTV Factory race team, CLLCTV FMD and CLLCTV Pirelli teams all racing the Sender, Canyon’s commitment to DH racing at the very highest level is second to none. And that level of commitment to going as fast as humanly possible is also matched by the product development team at Canyon. One look at the top-end Sender CFR 29 and it’s clearly a bike born from racing. It uses higher modulus carbon to save precious grams without compromising stiffness or strength. Massive pivots and bearings improve reliability and carefully considered hardware makes it easy to work on the bikes, without damaging the full carbon frame. Even the frame protection is strategically placed to guarantee a whisper silent ride.

Canyon Sender CFR 29

Fast, functional and futuristic, the Canyon Sender CFR 29 is a thing of beauty

The CFR 29 gets Fox Factory suspension but if you prefer RockShox, there’s the Sender CFR LTD that costs £200 more. Both are clearly top-end bikes, and both are also available in MX options. In order to find the best direct-sales downhill bike, we pitched the Sender against the YT Tues and Propain Rage in a German internet shoot-down.

Canyon Sender CFR 29 need to know

  • Full carbon Sender frame has 200mm travel
  • High Modulus CFR carbon saves weight
  • Adjustable reach and chainstay length
  • MX or full 29in options
  • Fox Factory suspension
  • LTD version gets RockShox suspension
  • SRAM X0 DH 7-speed drivetrain
  • Three sizes: M, L, XL (29) S, M, L (MX)
  • Entry-level Sender CFR Underdog £4,799

Frame and geometry

With reach, chainstay length and progression rate adjustments, the Canyon Sender is by far the most adaptable bike in this group test. So let’s break those adjustments down one by one.

Canyon Sender CFR 29

Asymmetric headset cups give +/-8mm of reach adjustment

Starting at the head tube, the Sender CFR comes with a second set of headset cups. These interchangeable cups are asymmetric and offer +/- 8mm of reach adjustment on the Fox build, but clearance limits it to 0 or +8mm on the RockShox bike.  With the standard cups, we measured the reach on the size medium Sender 29 at 457mm. That’s only 1mm shorter than the size Regular YT Tues that’s also in this test, and 13mm shorter than a size L Propain Rage. What is most interesting is that if you’re under 185cm tall, Canyon recommends the size M, probably because you can grow the reach to 465mm.

Canyon Sender CFR 29

With 10mm of chainstay length adjustment, you can tweak the weight distribution and handling

At the opposite end of the full carbon frame, flip-chips in the rear dropouts offer two distinct chain-stay lengths. The bike ships in the short 446mm setting, but after a couple of days in Morzine, we switched to the longer 456mm setting for increased stability at speed and never switched back. It’s cool too, that the rear brake adapter accommodates both positions, so if you ever want to switch back again, you do not have to remember where the hell you put the corresponding brake mount. Also the chainstay growth isn’t so pronounced that you need to move the derailleur hanger, like on the Propain.


Most brands state in their marking blurb that their suspension design is optimised for air and coil-sprung shocks, normally because they are offering different shocks on the same bike. But the plain truth is that both spring mediums have different spring curves, so you can NOT optimise for both. So rather than compromise, Canyon has two mounting positions for the shock in its moto-inspired suspension link.

Canyon Sender CFR 29

Coil or air? Why choose? With two progression rates, the Sender is compatible with both

This means you can increase the progression rate for coil shocks, or decrease it for air shocks. This simple feature is also handy if you switch shock brands, as not all shocks, even ones with the same spring type, offer the same progression characteristics.

Canyon Sender CFR 29

The Fox DHX2 shock has all of the damping adjustments you need

With the Fox DHX Factory shock the Canyon has 4-way adjustable damping, just like on the Fox 40 fork, to fine tune and balance the ride dynamics. The size M Sender ships with a 400lb spring fitted, and while that put me – an 80kg rider – in the ballpark for sag, within a couple of runs I could feel the rear suspension running too deep in the travel during high g-force berms, which, in turn, caused the front end to unweight and understeer. Swapping to the 450lb that comes supplied with the bike instantly restored balance, without robbing the Sender of its pitter-patter suspension response. The carefully considered shock tune also meant that I never found myself at the end range of any of the damping adjustments, which is exactly how it should be for a rider of average weight.

Canyon Sender CFR 29

Integrated bump stops help protect the Fox 40 fork and the sleek CFR frame

Up front, all three of the bikes in this test came equipped with 203mm travel Factory level Fox 40 forks. And it was an intentional decision on our part to choose bikes with the same fork, as we wanted the test to be more about the frame, and not a suspension shootout. What’s really interesting with the latest Fox 40 is the distinct lack of stiction. It’s super responsive and no point did the oversized 40mm chassis feel overly stiff. Yes, Fox has worked to tune the flex, but it’s the improvements in friction reduction that make the latest version by far the best to date.


Canyon has pretty much nailed the build kit on the Sender CFR. As such, you could pick your preferred wheel size, full 29 or MX, and have this bike delivered to your door on Saturday, slap a number board on and go race it with complete confidence on Sunday morning. All you’d have to do is fit your preferred pedals to the SRAM X0 DH carbon chainset and swap out the overly hard Canyon G5 grips.

Canyon Sender CFR 29

The Canyon Sender CFR 29 gets Maxx Grip Minion DHR II’s tyres front and rear

There’s no need for extra zip ties to secure the cables or 3M rubber tape to reduce chain noise or prevent cable rub, because Canyon has already solved all of the little niggles that are all too common on DH bikes. Even removing the shock to swap the spring was easy, so it’s clear that Canyon’s race mechanics also have a voice in the engineering department. Even the rear fender on the Sender is cool.

Canyon Sender CFR 29

Only 7 gears? You bet. The SRAM X0 DH cassette also offers a narrower 10-24t range for DH

The full SRAM X0 DH drivetrain never skipped a beat, and while a 7-speed cassette on a standard freehub body clearly isn’t the optimum use of space on the 157mm rear hub, after two weeks pounding out laps in Morzine, and couple of days casing jumps at Dyfi Bike Park, the DT Swiss wheels were ding-free and 100% straight.

Canyon Sender CFR 29

Married to the SRAM Code RSC brake levers, are 220mm rotors for maximum stopping power

With top-of-the-line SRAM Code RSC brakes we got the lever blade and bite point just so. But even with the 220mm rotors, there were times when the SRAM brakes didn’t feel as dependable as the Magura MT7s on the Propain Rage.

Canyon Sender CFR 29

The Ergon saddle has round edges for comfort and control

And while you don’t sit down much on a DH bike, the Ergon saddle deserves a special mention. With no sharp edges and just the right amount of padding you can grip it with your legs when needed and the round edges mean it won’t stab you if you get balled up in the bike in a crash. Best of all, it’s a pretty comfortable perch when rolling back down the road to the lift station.


Adjustability can often be a double edged sword. It can also indicate that a brand lacks conviction, so instead of doing the research to find out what the fastest setup is for racing, some bikes simply offer lots of adjustability, then leave it up to the rider to figure it out themselves.

Canyon Sender CFR 29

Full factory. The Canyon Sender CFR 29 is race ready

That’s clearly not what Canyon has done with the Sender. This bike is an out-and-out race machine. The window of adjustability is just enough to let riders adapt the bike to different tracks, their unique riding styles, or even their preferred shock choice. Everything operates within a very usable adjustment range, so even the most inexperienced tweaker can’t get lost in the weeds.

Canyon Sender CFR 29

Keep in trucking. The 29in wheels really help the Canyon Sender CFR 29 carry speed

If you’re just cruising laps in the bike park, the Sender can feel less playful and less forgiving than the YT Tues, at least with the set up we settled on. Turn up the heat however, and the Sender’s laser focus allows you to push that little bit harder when you’re riding on the very edge. We chalked this up to the extra stiffness in the frame, which gives you more direct feedback as to what’s going on at the tyres, which in turn gives you more time to react.

Canyon Sender CFR 29

With reactive suspension the Sender CFR 29 is as agile as it is fast

The rear suspension has ample support, but it’s not so racer firm that you can’t also relax and have fun. Preloading the suspension to go light over roots or to switch lines is also very easy, where the front and rear suspension have synchronicity to their movements, so the bike always feels balanced and composed. Point the Canyon down anything really steep, like the Morzine steeps, and it has so much poise under braking that it can lull you into a false sense of security, and false sense of your own riding ability. And that comes down to always feeling centred on the bike, which all of the adjustments allow you to achieve with minimal fuss.

Canyon Sender CFR 29

The 2024 Canyon’s Sender CFR 29 in all its glory


If you want a race-ready DH bike, the Canyon Sender CFR 29 has to be the one. With full Fox Factory suspension and a SRAM DH X0 drivetrain, it’s every bit as competitive on price as it is on the race circuit. In fact, no stone has been left unturned in the search for speed, and with all of the neat frame features the Sender CFR is still super easy for the privateer racer to work on. Best of all, you can get it set up just so. With reach-adjust headset cups, adjustable chainstay length and suspension progression, the Canyon Sender CFR 29 can be tuned to match any track, any rider, on any day. All you need to do, is bring your A game. 


Frame :Canyon CFR carbon
Frame travel:200mm
Shock  :Fox DHX2 Factory (250x75mm)
Fork :Fox 40 Factory Grip 2
Fork travel :203mm (52mm offset)
Hubs :110/157mm DT Swiss
Rims :DT Swiss FR 560
Front tyre :Maxxis Minion DHR II 3C Maxx Grip DH 29x2.4in
Rear tyre :Maxxis Minion DHR II 3C Maxx Grip DH 29x2.4in
Chainset :SRAM X01 DH34t, 165mm
Shifter :SRAM X01 DH 7-speed
Derailleur :SRAM X01 DH
Cassette :SRAM XG-795 DH 10-24t
Chain guide:E13 Vario
Brakes :SRAM Code RSC
Rotor sizes :220/220mm
Handlebar :Canyon G5 alloy 800mm
Stem :Canyon G5 DM 45mm
Seat post :Canyon G5 alloy
Saddle :Ergon SMD20
Weight :16.89kg (37.24lb)
Sizes:M, L, XL
Size ridden :M
Rider height :180cm
Head angle :62.2º
Seat angle :60º
Effective SA :77.2º
Head tube :100mm
BB height :351mm
Chainstay (L) :456mm
Front centre :833mm
Down tube :742mm
Seat tube :410mm
Top tube :600mm
Reach :457mm