We sling a leg over three of the lat­est bikes that have caught our eye – Canyon’s Lux CF XC racer, GT’s Zaskar Car­bon high-speed hard­tail and the top­value Pin­na­cle Ka­pur 3


Mountain Biking UK - - CONTENTS -

£5,046.98 (shipped) All-new plat­form for marathon and XC rac­ers

We’ve al­ready seen the new Lux in ac­tion be­tween the legs of marathon XC world cham­pion Al­ban Lakata and all-round MTB badass Mathieu van der Poel, and now it’s avail­able to us lesser mor­tals too. Canyon claim it’s lighter, more e cient and more re­spon­sive than the pre­vi­ous ver­sion, while still re­tain­ing its race-fo­cused DNA. We hit the trails to find out if its ap­peal ex­tends beyond the race course.

The frame

The CF SLX frame is claimed to tip the scales at just 1,662g (medium, with­out shock), which is a com­pet­i­tive weight for a 100mm full-sus. In ac­cor­dance with cur­rent XC trends, the reach has been length­ened by 20mm (it’s 450mm on the large size) and matched with 15mm shorter chain­stays than on the out­go­ing model (now 435mm). All sizes are specced with 80mm stems, and the head and seat an­gles come in at 70 de­grees and 74.5 de­grees re­spec­tively. We’d class the ge­om­e­try as ‘con­ser­va­tively pro­gres­sive’ – a theme that runs through­out most of Canyon’s moun­tain bike range.

The kit

At this price you’d ex­pect a se­ri­ously high-end com­po­nent pack­age and Canyon – who’ve be­come a by­word for kit value thanks to their online-only ‘di­rect sales’ model – don’t dis­ap­point. The snap­pily-ti­tled CF SLX 9.0 Pro Race comes with SRAM’s top-spec XX1 Ea­gle 12-speed trans­mis­sion, com­plete with car­bon cranks. Th­ese are fit­ted with a meaty 34t chain­ring. While fine for world-class rid­ers like ‘The Al­bana­tor’, we found this a bit big for our puny hu­manoid legs and think a 32t ring would be more suit­able for ev­ery­day rid­ers. That said, Canyon have op­ti­mised the sus­pen­sion’s anti-squat per­for­mance around a 34-38t ring, so chang­ing it could ad­versely a ect per­for­mance.

Else­where, you have a Who’s Who of high-end parts, in­clud­ing a Rock­Shox SID World Cup fork, SRAM Level Ul­ti­mate brakes and Reynolds Black­la­bel car­bon wheels – which would cost you over £3,000 if you bought them all af­ter­mar­ket. Fi­nally, the Lux comes with a drop­per post – a short-travel KS


LEV Si, which adds wel­come ex­tra control on de­scents and un­du­lat­ing trails. It’s a great ad­di­tion to an al­ready sorted spec.

The ride From the first pedal on the Lux, there’s no doubt you’re on an outand-out speed ma­chine. Sti ness is hard to mea­sure out­side of a lab, but there’s cer­tainly no lack of it on the Canyon. You pedal hard and it re­sponds, sim­ple as that. On rocky climbs, the sus­pen­sion feels nicely sup­ple and ac­tive over small bumps, thanks to the long-for-XC 55mm stroke of the Rock­Shox Deluxe shock. Its hor­i­zon­tal po­si­tion­ing means you can fit two bot­tles within the frame – use­ful if you’re a keen marathon racer. Tear­ing through the sin­gle­track, the Lux feels rapid. Its feath­ery weight and ag­gres­sive ride po­si­tion mean you’ll have no ex­cuses for poor per­for­mance come race day.

We tried our hard­est to like the GripShift shifter, but just couldn’t get along with it. When sprint­ing hard or climb­ing out of the sad­dle, chang­ing gears just wasn’t as easy as with a reg­u­lar trig­ger shifter. The 720mm bar is a pretty mod­est width by mod­ern stan­dards too. Many XC pros use bars that are even nar­rower, but we’re not World Cup rac­ers, so we’d have pre­ferred some­thing wider, for more control.

There’s no doubt that the Canyon is a well-de­signed and com­pet­i­tively priced XC race bike. But, de­spite the wel­come in­clu­sion of a drop­per post, it lacks the race/ trail crossover X fac­tor achieved by other brands, such as Can­non­dale, with the Scalpel. The rel­a­tively con­ser­va­tive ge­om­e­try, nar­row bar and GripShift shift­ing aren’t what all XC rid­ers will be look­ing for in 2018. Per­haps that’s miss­ing the point of whom this bike is aimed at though. Yes, there are a few strange spec choices and the ride isn’t the most ex­cit­ing, but the Lux seems to be a solid, light­weight bike that won’t throw up any sur­prises dur­ing a com­plete sea­son of train­ing and rac­ing. JOE NORLEDGE www.canyon.com

Hard­core marathon/XC race bike that’s rel­a­tively good value con­sid­er­ing the kit you get

SPECFrame Car­bon fi­bre, 100mm (3.9in) travel Fork Rock­Shox SID World Cup, 100mm (3.9in) travelShock Rock­Shox Deluxe RLR Driv­e­train SRAM XX1 Ea­gle (1x12) Wheelset Reynolds Black­la­bel XC 259 wheels, Maxxis Ikon 3C MaxxSpeed TR 29x2.2in tyres Brakes SRAM Level Ul­ti­mate, 180/160mm ro­torsBar/stemCanyon, 720mm/Canyon, 80mm Seat­post/sad­dle KS LEV Si 100mm drop­per/Selle Italia SLR LiteWeight 10.4kg (22.93lb), large size with­out ped­als

The Lux’s ag­gres­sive pos­ture marks it out as a pure­bred racer and so does its weight, thanks to its car­bon frame, rims and cranks Blis­ter­ingly fast and com­pet­i­tively priced pack­age that’ll suit a ded­i­cated racer Rel­a­tively con­ser­va­tive ge­om­e­try for a mod­ern XC bikeSome cu­ri­ous com­po­nent choices

An ‘Im­pact Pro­tec­tion Unit’ in the top tube stops the fork spin­ning and dam­ag­ing the frame if you crash

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