Backing up last weeks Spectral release Canyon rolled out another fully re-designed bike today – The Torque.
The Torque has moved away from its DH roots into the fast resurgant category of freeride bikes, the 175mm travel, single crown, trail eating monster is a throw back to the pre-enduro freeride era, when bikes were designed to take on the gnarliest terrain out there. The big difference with these modern incarnations is they actually pedal uphill remarkably well.
Canyon’s target market for the Torque is the hard charging, descent focused rider who favours the burliest trails, doesn’t mind pedalling and mixes in a good amount of bike park laps too. With its 175mm’s of rear travel and 180mm fork the Torque bridges the gap between the big end Enduro bikes and DH rigs perfectly.
Much like the Spectral, the Torque inherits it’s DNA from the Sender DH bike. There are a few tweaks that allow for long travel dropper posts (170mm on L & XL) and better stand over height but overall the 3 phase kinematics of the suspension platform are shared across the whole family of bikes.
As well as the suspension a few of our favourite traits of the new Spectral are carried over into the Torque as well – the cable channel, sealed bearings and pull out thru axle, all add finesse to the build quality.
The Torque is available in Carbon CF version (Carbon front, AL rear triangle) and the full Aluminium model (Including a women’s option) – all specs and build options below.
Our test day on the Torque in Madeira is one that will live long in my memory, and although it was one of the wettest days i’ve ever had on a bike looking back at it now from the dry, safety of home it was actually an incredibly fun day out. Survival riding down some of Madeira’s coolest trails with a bunch of rad guys who weren’t deterred by the wild conditions, finishing with a well earned glass of Poncha at the end.
The Torque team was led by the one and only Fabien Barel who as well as been heavily involved in the design process of the bike had hand selected a few of Madeira’s rowdier trails that he thought would let us realise the true potential of the Torque.
As we dropped into our first trail of the day “Ratboy” (built for Josh’s Madeira Dreaming movie) the heavens opened and quickly the Madeiran loam turned to slick mud, testing our riding skills to the max.
The pick of the trails was the local DH track, which while slippery than a butcher’s knife provided the perfect mix of fast open riding, rock gardens and steep, rough sections for us to get a feel for the bike on. After a few runs through the track my confidence grew enough to really let the Torque go and I was amazed at how supple and smooth the bike was on the rough terrain. The short back end gave it a playful feel and the suspension felt supportive yet bottomless throughout, making for a very forgiving bike (a blessing for me in the monsoon conditions). I thought the reach felt a little longer than the stated 440mm but I am a fan of shorter bikes and most of the other testers enjoyed the roomier cockpit. The only disappointing thing on the CF 9.0 Pro that we tested was Canyon’s choice to spec their top end model with Mavic tyres versus ever other model which utilise Minion 2.4’s, while this might not be an issue in the dry it provided some added stress in the wet. But overall the Torque performed flawlessly and did everything it said on the box during our limited time on it.
We didn’t have a lot of climbing to do on our shuttle day but the Torque felt as solid as a 175mm bike could under pedal stroke. With the suspension lock out and Eagle chainring getting a lot of use the bike seemed very capable on the ups, although final judgement will be reserved once we’ve had a bit more time on the Torque.
The Torque is available already on Canyon’s site and the NZ pricing is as sharp as you’ll get especially in the AL models. We can’t wait to get our hands on a long term test rig as we have a feeling that the Torque could be the perfect Queenstown bike, burley enough for anything lift accessed yet enough pedal-abilty to get up those steep climbs – Watch this space…