Living in the Netherlands, where we don’t have real mountains to speak of, we need to make the most of what vertical meters we can find. The trails that have been developed near where I live, on National Park “De Utrechtse Heuvelrug” are long and wind over and around the small hills of the Park. Short turns, sharp climbs, tree roots, and sand. A challenging terrain to really keep up your speed.
Normally I ride here with all-mountain and enduro full-suspension bikes. Not because they are optimally suited for this kind of trails, but more because I mainly want to ride bikes that will do well across the border, when I head to the Ardennes, Alps or Pyrenees. And after having ridden with hardtails on my home trails, I always find my back longing for rear-suspension.
But that also means that I am nowhere near the faster riders on Strava (not that that is my goal). It’s just not easy to really come up to speed and I notice that on a long-travel full suspension you really have to power through the trails every time, even with both front and rear suspensions locked out.
So a rear suspension on an XC bike is always a good idea. Also motivated by the fact that on the UCI XCO Mountainbike Tour with regularly very technical routes are available where suspension on the back of the bike allows higher speeds. The more your tires have contact with the ground, the more control, so the more speed.
A good XC bike is light, sends tight through curves, is a nimble and fast climber and ensures that the energy from every pedal stroke is transferred efficiently through your crank, chain, frame the frame all the way to the tires. Although we have not yet tried out the bike (so can’t share our personal experience on how it feels) you can deduce the specs. We’re going to look at a few.
The total weight of the bike is strongly related to which version from the “range” of the LUX you choose. The top end LUX CLF SLX 9.0 Race Team (€ 5999), the bike that Mathieu van der Poel will also ride on this year, is very light at 9.9 kilos.
If you go to the LUX CF SL 6.0 Pro Race (€ 2599) then the scale bounces to a weight of 11.8 kilos. Not very light for an XC bike. In both cases, the frames are made of Carbon Frames (CF) where the high-end SLX has a different carbon lay-up than the SL frames.
Canyon has tackled the weight reduction in various ways, for example by using less heavy metal parts such as the 8.2g weighing chainstay protector and 4.6g weighing chain guide. All in all Canyon has achieved 58% weight savings on metal parts.
A head tube angle of 70 degrees, a chainstay at 435 mm a top tube 622.8 mm and a wheelbase of 1150,7 (Bike sie L) creates a picture of a bike with a rather aggressive forward-facing compact seating position. A fairly short chainstay offers a more playful and sharp steering bike, and the wheelbase will give a bit of stability of the bike. It is a fairly familiar XC geometry that can also be found on models from other brands.
The first thing we noticed compared to the previous Lux, is that the rear suspension has now been placed horizontally on the new Lux. The travel on both the front and rear suspension is 100mm. Exactly right for XC trails, certainly more technical rocky ones over rougher terrain. Besides the behavior of the dampers themselves (Fox Factory on the High-End), the way the suspension is mounted and the total moving mechanism of the rear stays also affects what you can feel of the suspension itself.
The Triple Phase suspension kinematics, coming from the development of their Sender Downhill bike, should ensure that the suspension is quickly and effectively engaged on smaller bumps and thumps, when it gets rougher and faster more stability and support are provided, and if you really tear up the terrain, the suspension is fully progressive, reacting to impact with full use of the total travel on suspension without causing it to bottom out.
Because of this system, any pedal bob is kept well under control. The Triple Phase Suspension kinematic can also be found on the Canyon Spectral (enduro bike) which we quite recently hit the bike park in Winterberg with and also some of the XC trails I mentioned before. I was really impressed by the suspension in both cases.
A Quick axle. Actually, a quick release that you always see on front forks, but now also on your rear wheel. The handle of the axle can be stored away seamlessly in the rear axle when you are riding. Very handy for a quick tire change.
The kit itself and quality of the components naturally differs along the range of bicycles and also partly determines the end prices of the bikes. The most “basic” CF SL 6.0 Pro Race is equipped with the SRAM NX Eagle and RockShox Reba RL front fork where the top-end Lux CF SLX 9.0 Race Team is equipped with the Shimano 1×12 XTR group and Fox Factory suspension.
In short, a lot to look forward to, and with a price of € 5999 for the top end is not the most expensive bike you can come across. We hope to be able to ride a few kilometers on the Lux!