Long gone are the days when you bought a Canyon as a kit donor to another frame. These days the Germany based direct-sale mega-brand is churning out class winners all over the place. The 650b wheeled Spectral is a capable all-rounder trail bike with modern geometry and sorted suspension.

Frame and equipment: slackened angles and superb kit

That diminutive ‘EX’ on the end of the name signals a small but significant deviation from the standard 140/140mm travel balance Spectral AL 8.0 in Canyon’s line-up, namely adding an extra 10mm on the fork. That not only adds a touch of rock, root and drop eating ability, but also slackens angles, subtly changing the bike’s character to something slightly harder edged when the going gets really rough.

As the ‘AL’ suggests, this is from the cheaper line of alloy bikes, rather than the spendier carbons. It shares the frame with the non-EX

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