Flow's First Bite: Canyon Spectral AL 7.0 EX

The not-so-minor details


Canyon Spectral AL 7.0 EX








Killer spec.
Gorgeous frame finish.


27.5" wheels only.

We have the Spectral on review, we’ve tested one before, but this time it’s their mid-level aluminium frame version. For $4799 this is a pretty impressive bike already, let’s have a closer look at it before we put it to work.

The distinct kinked top tube found on many Canyons.
The distinct kinked top tube found on many Canyons.

We love the way the shapes in the frame all seem to line up.
We love the way the shapes in the frame all seem to line up.


What is it?
The Spectral is Canyon’s long travel all-mountain bike, with 140mm travel out back and 150mm up front and 27.5″ wheels. The little brother of Canyon’s burly enduro race bike the Strive – which we’ve spent a lot of time on – the Spectral aims to provide better all-round performance with a less aggressive shape and feel.
The Spectral range is quite extensive, with many price point options including a few women’s specific versions too. Check out the Canyon site for the full range including pricing.Canyon Spectral-4913
We spent a few weeks on the higher end Spectral CF 9 with its superb spec and flashy carbon frame. It’s another insanely good looking bike too, have a look at that review here!

Aluminium frame, but with high-level parts spec, what’s going on here?
Aluminium frames are obviously cheaper than carbon, for comparison’s sake take a look on the Canyon website with all the pricing for your local region you’ll see this Spectral AL 7.0 EX sitting roughly in between the carbon framed Spectral CF 9.0 and CF8.0 regarding component spec. These two carbon bikes are which are $6199 and $5199 respectively while the aluminium Spectral we have here is $4799, we’ll let you do the math.

140mm of four-bar suspension, smooth stuff.
140mm of four-bar suspension, smooth stuff.

There are no doubt mountain bikers who are fans of aluminium over carbon for the age-old reasons that may or may not be true in this modern age, but there’s still no debating that we’d much rather have an aluminium framed bike landing on a rock than a carbon one.
So this brings us to the topic of carbon versus aluminium. Would we choose a higher spec aluminium frame over a lower spec carbon one? We’ll certainly have a lot to say on that in our upcoming review.

The parts look pretty good, huh!
Standing out to us in the spec is the SRAM Eagle drivetrain, Mavic wheels, Maxxis tyres, Renthal cockpit and a RockShox Pike fork. This is seriously good stuff!

Great aluminium cockpit from Renthal.
Great aluminium cockpit from Renthal.

SRAM Eagle, winner!
SRAM Eagle, winner!

Ride time!

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