Fast Bikes - 2018 Canyon Torque - Dirt

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Trail and Enduro Bikes

Fast Bikes – 2018 Canyon Torque

180mm park lapper

Canyon have come out fighting for 2018 with the two bikes being launched in December. These bikes follow on from the Sender with a new look and style to have the same feel.

Words: Ieuan Williams
Images: (Mad Dog) Boris and Ieuan Williams

This new version of the Canyon Torque has slotted into this longer travel 180mm, big-hitting park or freeride bike that I have really been interested in here at Dirt for the past few months. This bike fits into the whole rebirth of this type of bike especially in the UK.

German engineering has most definitely come into its own here too. With some super smooth design that not only improves the look but the ease in which things can be done. For example the removable cable guide that runs the full length of the down tube. This means that a brake can be changed without the need of a brake bleed. It acts as extra protection also.

Suspension and chassis

All the models of the Torque are being specified with a Fox Float X2 damper. This was due to the performance given after the testing. This unit came out on top due to the large ports for the oil to flow through giving a better feel to the damping.

With Fox Factory fork on the high specification bikes and a Fox performance on the Lower models this 180mm bike had the fire power needed for sure. We have in the past always preferred coil shocks on 180mm bikes and on the Canyon Sender this frame is based on though so it will be interesting to see how the bike performs with both when I get one in long term.

There’s also a totally new bearing design for these new age Canyons. With a secondary seal and a bolt on cap to make sure no mud, grit or water can get in and damage them. There is no reason that the Torque can’t withstand a Welsh winter bearing assault.

Specification

With three different frame options (a fully aluminium chassis, a carbon front triangle and aluminium rear stay model and the full guns blazing all carbon bike) that all come in different build specifications, prices range from a brilliant €2100 (£1850) all the way up to €5000 (£4,410).

The build that was being ridden over in Madeira was full carbon chassis bike (the alloy bike is pictured as this was the only option for the shots). With the gears being handled by SRAM with a 1×12 Eagle X01 setup and then the SRAM Code RSC stoppers keeping the theme going. Mavic hoop and tyre combo seemed to hold up to the abuse well and keep the weight and flexibility balanced. Canyon’s newly released G5 cockpit finished off the build with a clean and purposeful feel.

Shape and fit

For this test the XL bike was used. With the great feel similar to the Sender the Torque is sized well. The new in-house cockpits that are used also have a very inviting feel with similar shape to a Renthal setup.

With the 65 degree head angle and low bottom bracket matched up with a short rear stay, this bike will corner. The balanced front centre measurement will help keep things on track also.

Feeling

This bike really is the Sender’s little brother. There was no need to get used to the ride as it was just so inviting. Canyon have totally nailed the stiffness/flex balance here. There is enough give that you don’t get pinged about when smashing through a rooty line, while keeping the stiffness there when charging on the pedals for a precise drive.

The Canyon Torque is like Ronseal it does exactly what it says on the tin! Super fun, limitless suspension feel and stability when needed. It has seriously impressed me with how it handled getting out of hand and wild here in Madeira. It certainly didn’t slow the progress when getting buck wild with Fabien.

Limitations

There are a few things to mention when it comes to limitations on the Torque. The rear stay bolts did come loose on me after a few runs, let’s hope they were just insufficiently torqued up.

There was some chain noise too. This was one thing that bugged me slightly. I think there could have been some tension lacking where the chain length was concerned. Finally, the lack of the bottle cage option on the Torque would be something to frustrate also. No one really wants to carry a bag if you decide to use this anywhere other than a bike park.

Verdict

Canyon have really done a fantastic job here creating what is possibly the best long travel “freeride” pedalling bike currently out there. With such a range of build kits and frame materials they have totally nailed this opening out the market reach. I guarantee that you will see this bike lapping Whistler this coming summer it’s a total no brainer in my eyes. I am totally looking forward to getting my hands on one of these as soon as possible to get some laps on the jumps at Windhill bike park for sure.

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