The overall ride quality of the Torque CF 8.0 is superior
Given how much travel is at your disposal, the Torque offers a remarkably nimble ride. As such, it is every bit as comfortable sending jumps and railing berms in bike parks as it is working its way through a minefield of roots and rocks. In a word, the Canyon Torque is fast.
Both bikes have carbon front ends and get Canyon’s new suspension layout that uses an extender yoke to position the shock under the top tube. It’s still a classis four-bar design with a chain stay pivot at the rear dropout, but the revised configuration lets Canyon implement its three-stage suspension progression, first introduced on the Sender DH bike. The concept is simple: supple in the beginning-stroke for grip, good support in the mid-stoke and ample resistance at bottom out.
Canyon Torque CF 8.0 review
Travel on the Torque is 175mm on the rear, but we measured it closer to 170mm, probably because we’re calculating vertical wheel travel instead of along the axle path. Either way, it’s a boatload of suspension, but Canyon had done a great job in preventing the Torque from handling like a barge.
As such, it’s remarkably quick to react when you stomp on the pedals and the low BB height means it slices though corners. Thanks to the slack head angle it’s got good length in the front centre too, so even though it is not super long in the reach measurement it’s still stable at speed.
With so much suspension muscle, the RockShox Super Deluxe shock on the Torque can be run with more sag for Bike Park shredding, or firmer for extra pedal clearance on bigger rides. The threshold lever on the shock comes in handy here too, not that the Torque pedals poorly, it just helps raise the BB height a touch to reduce pedal strikes on rocky, technical climbs.
As with most Super Deluxe shocks, we ran the rebound damping in the full-open position; fine for an 80kg rider but lighter riders may struggle to get the rebound fast enough.
Where the Canyon has a real advantage though, is with the 180mm travel RockShok Lyrik fork. And not because it has 10mm more travel, though that’s a bonus. It’s the Charger II RCT3 damper that really gives it an edge, or maybe that should be take the edge off. It’s the best fork here by quite some margin.
Launched in conjunction with the Torque, Canyon’s new G5 component range is gravity focused. The stout, two-piece 50mm stem resembles the Renthal Duo, and the 780mm riser bar has a great profile. The handlebar is size specific too, the size L and XL bikes coming with 30mm rise, 10mm more than the S and M. The finishing touch to the cockpit are the G5 lock-on grips with moto-style flanges.
Being the entry-level bike of three in the Torque CF range, the 8.0 gets an 11-speed SRAM GX drivetrain with XD driver body and 10-42t cassette. It doesn’t offer the same gear range as SRAM Eagle, but it’s comparable to Shimano SLX kit. Also, if you’re going to compromise in one area, the drivetrain is the place to do it, as it will be the first thing to wear out.
Given how capable the new Torque is, it would probably benefit from the thicker Double Down casing Maxxis DHR II rear tyre for extra puncture protection. And even with that one small change, it would still be the lightest bike in test.
Fast. It’s the best way to describe the Torque CF 8.0. And we’re not just talking pure downhill speed either. This bike pedals and climbs remarkably well given the amount of travel is at its disposal. It’s agile too, so you can snap in and or turns in the blink of an eye or change lines to find the fastest route to the bottom of any trail or race track.
There’s nothing quirky about the riding position or suspension that you need to adapt to, or ride around, so it flatters rather than exposing a rider’s weakness. That alone is enough to make it a test winning bike, but factor in the standout build kit and we’re left with no choice other than to award Canyon a perfect 10 rating.
What’s new for 2019?
“This year’s Torque retains the same fun, playful frame platform as the 2018 bike, but it gets some updates to the specification and the structure of the range. To help make climbing back to the top even easier, all CF models now feature 12-speed Eagle groupsets. The make the bike more accessible, the Torque CF 7.0 is available for £2,999.” Moritz Stroer, Engineer, Canyon Bicycles.
With the new Torque, Canyon has turned the stoke dial up to eleven. Not only does this bike have the most travel on test, it’s also the lightest bike here. It one-ups its rivals in all of the key areas that matter too. Gripper Maxxis tyres, better damping with the superior RockShox Lyrik fork and more drop with the 170mm Reverb. In fact, it’s only the 11-speed drivetrain that loses ground to the wider range 12-speed Eagle kit fitted to other bikes. Canyon hasn’t simply out specced the competition though, the overall ride quality of the Torque CF 8.0 is superior too.