Canyon adds spice to the Spectral lineup with the new Spectral 125

Last year Canyon unveiled what we thought would be its complete lineup of Spectrals with eight models covering a ‘uge range of price points. Covered everything from alloy and CFR models, 27.5in, 29in and even a mullet specific option, each bike was based around 150mm of rear travel and a 160mm fork. So many Spectrals!

2022 canyon spectral 125 cf 9
Keeping up with the times, Canyon’s new aggressive trail bike is very on-trend.

Well, it seems the German outfit still had something in the works, and today we have yet another new addition to the Spectral lineup. This time, however, Canyon has cut the rear suspension down to 125mm, to create what the brand is calling ‘the rowdy one.’

Rowdy trail bike geometry

The idea of a rowdy trail bike continues to gain steam. Whether it be the Norco Optic, Marin Rift Zone, Mondraker Raze or the new Canyon 125, these slacked-out short travel trail bikes are designed to be lively and engaging, but still capable of keeping the rubber side down when the trails get aggressively steep and deep.

Numbers that speak to the rowdier segment of trail riders.
2022 canyon spectral 125
Up front is a 140mm travel fork with a 64° head angle.

With 125mm of rear travel, paired to a 140mm fork, the Spectral 125’s geometry chart is almost a mirror image of its longer travel sibling. Both have 64° head angles, 76° seat angles and 437mm chainstays. With that said, they aren’t totally identical; the BB drop and reach differ by 1mm in size large, and the 125’s frame stack is 3mm higher.

While most bike brands have general sizing recommendations, Canyon includes a minimum and maximum ‘body height’ on the geometry chart, and even includes the effective seat tube angle at the min and max saddle heights and at stack. At the same time, in the launch materials, Canyon notes that it opted for a low standover to accommodate long droppers and encourage folks to choose a frame by length (i.e. reach).

2022 canyon spectral 125 cf9
The Spectral 125 features a unique frame, linkage and a shorter shock to deliver 125mm of rear wheel travel. The kinematics are different to the 150mm travel Spectral 125 too.

Suspension designed for pop

Canyon originally debuted its Triple Phase Suspension on the Sender DH bike. The idea is to be ultra-smooth through the early part of the travel to eat up the chatter and trail noise, while also providing support through the mid-stroke and end of stroke progression, so you’re not blowing through that last bit of travel.

The Spectral 125 shares the same fundamental suspension design as the longer travel version, but Canyon says it steepened the gradient of the leverage curve to provide a quicker ramp so the rear end feels poppy without also feeling harsh.

While the Spectral 125 definitely has more of a gravity focus than the Neuron, despite the overlap in travel, the person who is in the market for a bike like this is still going to do some pedalling.

With that, Canyon says it kept the anti-squat relatively high up to the to sag point, to provide a crisp pedalling platform without resulting in too much pedal kickback as the rear wheel moves through its travel.

Carbon and alloy

Canyon will be offering the new Spectral 125 in both carbon and alloy builds.

Both the front and rear triangle of the plastic fantastic Spectral 125 are made from composite, and the frame is claimed to weigh 2,500g. Accordion to Canyon, it’s built to the same Category 4 strength and impact standard as the Strive.

The frame bearings are double sealed to maximise their lifespan, and each pivot has a replaceable threaded insert to lessen the consequence of home mechanics making a ham-fisted mistake. All the cable routing is tube-in-tube, so it won’t require an animal sacrifice to the Hephaestus to get a brake hose or cable housing to its destination on the other end of the frame.

The carbon frame will also feature a flip-chip in the shock mount that will raise the BB by 8mm and the seat and headtube angles by half a degree.

2022 canyon spectral 125 cf 9
The carbon models feature a Hi/Lo geometry flip chip at the lower shock mount.

On the other hand, the alloy frame gains 500g and is tested to the same Category 4 strength and impact standard. The bike does not get a flip-chip, but the geometry is set to what would be the low setting, which is how the Spectral 125 CF is shipped from the factory. Also absent is the tube-in-tube cable routing, instead utilising foam tubing to prevent rattles through the front triangle. At the BB, everything exits the frame, with cables guides forged into the BB and chainstays.

The alloy frame also doesn’t get the user-replaceable pivot bolt threads, instead opting for steel inserts that a mechanic can replace if you make a terrible mistake in your garage.

Frame features

Canyon still hasn’t jumped on the integrated storage train, but they do claim that a 600ml bottle will fit inside the front triangle. Between the stays, there is room for a 2.5in tyre, and the frame can accept up to a 34t chainring.

The Spectral 125 features a threaded bottom bracket, and while the frame doesn’t come with ISCG tabs, there is a removable mount available for purchase.

Models and pricing

Canyon will be offering the Spectral 125 in five builds, with two alloy models and three carbon builds.

Pricing starts at Canyon $3,899 AUD for the base aluminium build that features RockShox suspension and a Shimano Deore drivetrain, the flagship carbon model pairs a SRAM GX AXS groupset with Fox Factory suspension. Each model will feature Canyon’s own branded cockpits and dropper pots, with Maxxis Minion/Dissector tyre combos.

The entry-level Spectral 125 hits an appealing sub-$4K price point.

Canyon Spectral 125 AL 5

The higher-spec alloy frame version with Fox Suspension, a Shimano SLX drivetrain and brakes

Canyon Spectral 125 AL 6

Full-carbon frame, DT Swiss wheels and SRAM Code brakes for $5349 is quite attractive

Canyon Spectral 125 CF 7

Jumping up Performance Elite suspension from Fox and Shimano XT parts, this one could be the pick from the range

Canyon Spectral 125 CF 8

The chart-topping model is dripping in the good stuff

Canyon Spectral 125 CF 9

2022 canyon spectral 125 cf 9
Stay tuned for our full review of the new Spectral 125, coming soon!

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