Canyon already has an enduro race bike (the Strive), a downhill bike (the Sender) and a playful trail bike with enduro angles (the Spectral), so where does the 170mm travel Torque fit into the range? Is it a pure bike park shredder, or does it have a side hustle outside swoopy berms and jumps?

Product Overview

Overall rating:

Score 8

Canyon Torque CF8


  • Solid and confidence inspiring, smooth in the rough and playful on flow trails, low standover and mullet set-up gives great agility.


  • Coil shock can take a bit longer to get the perfect set-up. Maxx Grip front tyre might be a bit slow on mellow jump trails.  


Canyon Torque CF8 review


Price as reviewed:


The Canyon Torque has morphed into a bike park bike over the years, but can this redesign make it a more versatile proposition, that can challenge the best enduro mountain bikes on the market?

Need to know

  • Latest iteration of Canyon’s park bike comes with either 29in, 27.5in or mullet wheels
  • Carbon and alloy chassis options, both completely redesigned with new kinematics and geometry
  • Now comes with room for a water bottle within the front triangle
  • Travel is 170mm front and 175mm rear
  • CF8 model dressed with Fox 38 Performance Elite fork and a coil shock
Canyon Torque CF8 Mullet

Canyon Torque CF8 Mullet in all its glory

The previous generation Torque was one of the best 27.5in bike park slayers. But times change and Canyon has moved with them, substantially reworking the Torque platform to offer 27.5in, 29in or Mullet versions of its big hitter.

In common with other new Canyons, the Torque frame cuts some pretty slick lines and is now even better finished. The smooth muscular shape stems in part from thicker frame members to achieve a Category 5 DH rating, which sees a beefy head tube able to cope with the extra loads of dual-crown forks; just in case you were harbouring any secret cliff-dropping tendencies.

Canyon Torque CF8

Category 5 rated haircut

Full carbon, the chassis looks (and feels) seriously robust with a compact, low-slung front triangle, huge rear stays, pivots and a smooth-edged rocker wrapping an overbuilt seat tube/BB assembly. Lengthways, the front end on the Torque has also grown significantly; so much in fact, we dropped down from the now 30mm longer large to a medium just to keep the reach measurements in line with the Vitus Sommet 297 AMP and YT Capra Core 3 MX it was being tested against.

Canyon Torque CF8

Instead of a shock yoke, the stays extend right to the shock, which puts less leverage on the shaft.

Rather than having a shock yoke, the extended rear seat stays on the CF8 now bolts directly to the Fox DHX2 shock, that’s coil rather than air-sprung. The mount uses an asymmetric flip chip to tweak the bike’s angles and raise the super-low BB by 8mm.

Canyon Torque CF8

Room for a bottle cage: We’ll drink to that!

The revised frame layout also tips the shock up slightly and combined with the swoopier downtube, Canyon’s new chassis finally makes room for a water bottle inside the front triangle.


Testing the older Torque, we raved about its ground-hugging rear suspension and the way it trounced through rougher trails. This Mullet now comes with a top-end Fox coil shock, so sensitivity and tracking should be ramped up even further, right?

Well, to test this theory, spring rates need accurately tuning to rider weight, so it’s great that Canyon includes three different spring options(350/400/450lb) with the bike at no extra cost. After settling on a 400lb spring, any extra sensitivity isn’t as obvious as expected. Yes, the 175mm rear travel is still super smooth off-the-top, but, even with a potentially smoother rolling 29in front wheel, the new chassis feels a smidge less silky, bottomless and isolating than before, whatever knobs are twiddled on the DHX2’s four-way adjustable damper.

Canyon Torque CF8

Grip2 damper offers loads of support and full adjustability

Quite why isn’t crystal clear, but the sensation could be related to the absolutely bombproof frame transmitting more feedback through your hands and feet. At the other end, the Fox 38 Performance Elite 170mm fork does a good job compensating, thanks to the high-end GRIP2 4-way adjustable damping, with ample stiffness to match the solid frame and tons of support and grip.


There’s little to complain about with Canyon’s dialled parts package; the only obvious cash saving is an own brand bar, stem and grips. Even then, they’re perfectly finished to match the sleek frame lines and have a good shape in your hands.

Burly boost DT Swiss FR wheels are pretty much ideal too, as they don’t flinch when absolutely slapped into big bike park berms. They also come shod with an ideal Maxxis tyre combo: a 3C Maxx Grip Assegai paired with a thicker, longer-lasting Double Down Minion DHR II on the rear to give you all the traction and security you need and is the exact setup we’d choose ourselves.

Canyon Torque CF8

Rippled chainstay protector is effective

Shimano’s XT drivetrain is equally sorted with 12 smooth shifts,  and even jumps at the top of the 51-tooth cassette, making it ideal for grinding to the top of the best trails. Shimano’s four-piston XT brakes also pack plenty of fingertip power to milk the way a 27.5in rear tyre bites in a bit harder to stop in a hurry, and exhibited none of the variable bite-point issues we’ve experienced in the past.

Canyon Torque CF8

Canyon’s G5 in-house components are pretty cool, particularly this Renthal-style stem

One niggle for some will be the minimal, rock-hard, Fizik DH saddle designed to not get up your bum crack when flinging shapes. Unfortunately, that’s exactly where it ends up after a lot of climbing without the luxury of a bike park uplift.

Canyon Torque CF8

The Canyon G5 dropper post travel can be adjusted in 5mm increments. This size large comes with a 200mm dropper


Whether entirely intended or not, the new Torque MX comes across like a downhill bike from about fifteen years ago. That isn’t some kind of insult, just that Canyon has captured a sense or a rock-solid yet slightly skittish, chuckable machine that turns on a dime, amplifies any action and feels tough enough to chuck about without squirming if your privateer skills fire slightly off target or get too ambitious.

Canyon Torque CF8 Mullet

Canyon’s Torque CF8 in its element

In the low setting, your feet practically scrape on ruts in the trail sides, which sounds sketchy, but also makes the Torque something of a cornering demon. Subtle weight shifts cause it to turn manically, and if you add leaning on the bars into the equation, it’ll pretty much perform one of those ‘cutties’ you’ve seen in all the cool videos without you even trying.

Canyon Torque CF8 Mullet

The mullet wheels help the Torque flip-flop between turns

Key to the liveliness is likely how rock solid the Torque chassis is; lean over and it’s so taut front to rear, the shortish chainstays pitch and smaller rear wheel pitch the bike into such sudden lean angles you better be ready to change direction. And it’s not even worth considering which other bike on test comes second in any ‘easy to manual’ competition; the Torque is simply in another galaxy.

Canyon Torque CF8 Mullet

Sideways is always forwards on the Torque CF8 Mullet

The drawbacks to having so much fizz is that it can easily bubble over. With this medium size Torque feeling way smaller than Canyon’s advertised reach numbers.  Combined with the low bottom bracket, the combination ramps up corner cutting to such an extent that sometimes it loses the back end over angled roots (or even Dyfi’s polished berm faces) as it flicks out too far, too fast. We scared ourselves a couple of times like this, almost firing right out of turns and also bottoming pedals at the foot of a steep rutted chute, while every other bike smashed right through.

This isn’t some wannabee enduro race bike then, that’ll save your ass when you’re knackered, but to be fair, Canyon has a Strive model targeting more stability and an easier-to-ride bike. Plus the handling was also less hectic with the 490mm reach on the large size we tried earlier in the year. As a high-octane play bike that can deliver maximum thrills to riders with sharp focus and skill sets, this nimble medium-sized Torque sure can be a ton of fun though.


Rock-solid and bombproof, the Torque Mullet CF 8.0 lives up to Canyon’s billing as a bike park slayer. It rides like a DH bike from an era before a total focus on speed took away some of the fun, and it’s the only rig here itching to continually lap up anywhere you hitch a lift to the top. The flickable, agile feel delivers on the playfulness claims made of MX bikes by serving up cornering G-Forces like few others. It’s not quite as smooth across the ground as its 27.5in predecessor though, and a little too hectic for everyday enduro riders after comfort and maximum assurance on the steepest descents.


Frame:Torque CF carbon, 175mm travel
Shock:Fox DHX2 Performance Elite (250x70mm stroke)
Fork:Fox 38 Float Performance Elite Grip2, 170mm travel (44mm offset)
Wheels:DT Swiss FR560/350, Maxxis Assegai/Minion DHR II 29x2.5/27.5x2.4in tyres
Drivetrain:Shimano XT crank, 32t, 170mm, Shimano XT 12-speed shifter and r-mech
Brakes:Shimano XT, four-piston, 203/203mm
Components:Canyon G5 stem 40mm, G5 riser bar 780mm, G5 dropper post 170mm, Ergon SM10 Enduro Comp saddle
Weight:15.8kg (34.8lb)
Sizes:S, M, L, XL
Size ridden:L
Rider height:5ft 10in
Head angle:62.9º (slack setting)
Seat angle:70.1º
Effective seat angle:78.5º
BB height:338mm
Front Centre:840mm
Top tube:615mm
Down tube:764mm