Monday, 25 April 2011

Canyon Nerve XC - its arrived

My previous bike a Santa Cruz Heckler was nicked, rather than just replace it I thought I would use the opportunity to try something a little different. My 6" Heckler was around 30lb and probably a bit too much bike for most of my general trail riding duties so I thought I would go with something a little more svelte.

After weighing up the options I had pretty much settled on a Specialized Camber - good looking, reasonable weight and the price was in the ball park. Despite wrestling with some figures and finding some good deals on groupsets I couldn't make the numbers add up for a custom bike that was near the money wanted to spend. Then at the last minute I was referred by a friend to the Canyon Bikes website. Not the prettiest frames but not bad and the angles looked right and the spec was insane for the money. Canyon are a german brand who sell direct - hence no one can touch them on the spec. What MTB confirmed that the bike was indeed a steal and awarded it trail bike of the year. A few clicks later and a two week wait it arrived.

Cool box, very light, I opened it in front of the UPS man just to make sure they hadn't sent me a road bike.

The bike was very carefully packaged and very well protected. Traditionally the customer never sees the bike in its boxed state but as a direct seller the un-boxing and assembly is an integral part of the Canyon Bikes customer experience, and one they have considered carefully. Impressed so far.

Wheels - Mavic Crossmax ST's, very nice, complete with hideous black spoke protector behind the cassette. Despite the risk to the expensive and cool looking spokes I think this will have to go.

This is the biggest bag of manuals etc I have ever seen, the bag includes a cool plastic torque wrench for attaching the bars and a shock pump, one more for the shock pump collection then.

Just incase you forgot Canyon are a german brand. The label says 'Attention' then some other stuff I can't translate, looks important.

This is the bike fully assembled Achtung! labels removed.

Its very black. Welds look very neat and the anodised black looks stealthy and cool. The internal cabling gives the bike a clean look and a possible tricky maintenance issue later on but generally I think it looks pretty sweet, the tapered headtube is a nice future proof addition.

Given the spec for the money, the frame pretty much comes for free!

The highlight of the kit list that comes with the bike is probably the XO group. Im really stoked they put the black logo stuff on it. On the website it comes with blue logos.

I took a short lap of the local trails to check it out before it got dark. First impressions are good, the bike is really light - It weighs around 25 / 26lb so pretty good for a 120mm trail bike, staggering for a £2200 trail bike really. The bike feels eager up the hills, the XO shifting is great, the range on the 10 speed rear cassette is noticeably better than 9 more so than I expected, I hardly used the front mech, which is a bit of a waste as the front shifting is the best I have ever experienced, SRAM have done some great things with the front rings and shifting ramps, very impressive.

I can't really comment on the suspension yet, both are top end fox units but they need some bedding in, and I need to read the manuals. 

First big outing next weekend so Ill write a proper review then.. rather than just what it looks like.


  1. Hey great review and information. I'm on the verge of putting in an order over the next few weeks. Looking at the 9.0 model. Can you advise your height and size choice? Also can you keep putting in a few updates on the ride please. Thanks again.

  2. Im just about 6ft and the medium Canyon is an 18.5 and the top tube length is 23.5 I think. It was the same as a large santa cruz heckler or blur if you know someone who has one of those bikes to get a feel for sizes. Ideal for my size not to stretched out or too upright either. Ill write a full review tomorrow, just got back from scotland so its had a tough weekend.