Jamie spent the day at the Surrey Hills with Canyon and the brand new, updated-for-2018 Spectral.

After a lap of Peaslake we grabbed Canyon’s Product Manager Daniel Oster for a quick chat about the bike.

The 2018 Canyon Spectral is a fast, fun 140mm bike that’s available in carbon or alloy versions. It’s designed to be fun rather than to win races and, we reckon, will be a really strong choice for UK trails.

Daniel Oster is riding in the images below in the black jacket. We were stoked to see he was a great rider and fun to ride with. He definitely can practice what he preaches!

Here’s our interviewee, Daniel Oster on our ride and showing he can do more than just talk bikes!

Hey Daniel. How’s it going? How are things?

Thanks for the good day on the trails, it was a lot of fun. Those trails are exactly what the bikes are made for.

Can you tell us a bit about what this bike is all about?

So the goal was to make a playful, fast bike you can take out for your daily ride and have fun on your daily ride. On your local trails.

The important thing was to make this bike as playful as possible and the main thing was the whole geometry concept.

We tried to keep the good things from the old Spectral. We slackened the head angle slightly by 1 degree to 66°.

The old bike had a more linear suspension. The new one gives you more platform in the middle and is a little more sensitive in the beginning. The sensitivity helps in the corners and off camber sections especially. The platform mates the bike more playful and more dynamic. It also gives more anti-squat which means the bike accelerates better out of corners.

The old Spectral really surprised me. It wasn’t a big, long and slack bike but it was really, really fun to ride. How important is fun in designing bikes?

For most customers, looking for seconds isn’t the most important thing. The most important thing is to go out with your friends and play on the trail and have good times together. This was the goal for this bike. That doesn’t mean you can’t go fast but the goal was that you could take off from every root.

Did you feel under pressure to make a bike that was longer and slacker to keep up with industry trends?

We didn’t want to go to any extremes. It’s not a short bike and it’s not steep angles and we didn’t want to go too extreme on the size. It’s not a full on race machine, it’s a bike to throw around turns.

We also wanted to make the whole concept quite durable and we put in a lot of effort to make this bike stronger.

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At Canyon we have different testing categories. Road bikes are category 1 and downhill bikes are category 5. Each category has a different rider scenario behind it. The old Spectral was a category 3, as most of our mountain bikes are. The new one is category 4 which is our enduro category and is the same as the Canyon Strive. It’s much more durable.

Can you talk us through the bike from front to back?

There are a lot of details on the bike.

One detail when we talk about durability is whole new bearing concept. All the bearing points have new extra sealed bearings. They are especially for conditions like today where it’s a bit muddy and you’re working with high pressure washer afterwards, and, don’t have to worry about the worn out bearings.

And another thing is to make it easier to service for you. We wanted integrated cable guiding, but the question was how can we make it easier for the customer. We needed to work on this so we introduced this additional cable channel. It’s integrated because it has the same shape at the downtube. You can open it and work on the cables and change something. Another positive is that we can protect the downtube and when it’s damaged we can just replace it.

We also now have an internal seat clamp as we have on all of our road bikes. So you don’t need an additional clamp and it is better sealed so that no water can get in to the tube. It also means there’s no gusset from the seat tube to the top tube which people prefer.

And how about the very basics of the bike?

It has 140mm on the back and 150mm fork. 760mm handlebars and a 50mm stem. Yeah and all the new boost and metric standards.

Maybe one  of the most important things is the wheel/tire concept. Most of our bikes now come with 30mm rims and 2.6″ tyres. We figured out the bigger volume tyres are spot on for traction and the feel of the bike.

And what about the neat storage solution that you guys have designed?

We were thinking about storage solutions and we’ll offer a little box that sits here between the top tube and the down tube. A lot of guys are now riding without backpacks and putting their tubes somewhere with tape so we thought “OK, there’s a nicer solution to this”. We’ll offer a box that’s integrated into the design that can hold a tube and a cartridge. It was one of the hardest design features of the whole project!

Thanks to the Canyon Bike’s UK team for having us and to Daniel for the interview. Canyon covered the cost of our accommodation for the launch event.