Downhill Bikes

Canyon Sender AL


Threes company. The third in the new lineup of world beaters from Canyon. Christmas really is shaping up.

With the Canyon Sender being one of my top picks for a downhill bike (and a stalwart in the 100s) this aluminium version is one to look out for. Especially looking at the success of the aluminium version of the Specialized Demo.

Much like that Demo, the Canyon Sender AL boasts a very similar look to the carbon stable mate but with some subtle differences for example, the addition of the new cable guide running along the down tube, similar to the new Torque and Spectral.  The size chart is the same as the Sender CF with small through to XL sizing and with two build kits available and stealth black or space blue options in both it’s a great start.

This a is a great addition to the fleet and, with so many people having to consider costing when racing, the price starting at €2,499 (£2,200) gives a lot of bang for your buck.

Suspension and chassis

The Sender has always stood out for me predominantly thanks to the Mx link suspension system that impresses driving a variety of dampers. This aluminium bike no longer has this. Instead the shock is directly mounted to the upper stay. The engineers at Canyon say that this makes very little difference to the overall performance to the bike and will not affect the entry level racer.

The MX link system was used to iron out the kinematic of the carbon bike to make the suspension dynamic perfect for the World Cup race bike. This by no means takes away the overall performance from the alloy version of this bike. But I will have to wait to get one to confirm.

Damping for the Sender AL comes in the way of a RockShox BoXXer fork with the RC model on the lower specification and the Team on the better model. The rear damper will be a coil unit for both models coming in the way of a RockShox Super Deluxe. With a RockShox Super Deluxe Coil R on the lower and a RockShox Super Deluxe Coil RC World Cup for the higher model.


The two builds on offer from Canyon with only minor changes coming in the way of dampers as mentioned above. The stoppers also differ from the two builds. The lower with an Avid Guide RE as opposed to an Avid CODE R on the higher model. The last large difference comes in the way of the wheelset. The cheaper option has a Sun Ringle ADD Comp wheelset where in comparison a DT Swiss F2020 Classic is specified to the better build.

As builds go there is nothing to complain about with SRAM GX 7 speed gearing and Descendant crank. RaceFace give a Chester cockpit with a great feel to the shape. SDG I-Beam seat and post with some rubber from Maxxis rounding things off.

These setups both weigh in around the same at 12.5KG. Not bad for an alloy DH bike.

To be continued

This is a bike high on the list for tests in the up and coming months where it will be put head to head against the carbon model for feel and shape to see what the differences in the suspension design has made. Expect timed runs and some serious insight into how this bike performs.

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