deniz merdano wallace canyon torque mullet cover
First Impressions Review

2022 Canyon Torque CF8 First Impressions

Words Mike Wallace
Photos Deniz Merdano
Date May 4, 2022
Reading time

Canyon just keeps on delivering. The latest generation of Canyon trail and enduro bikes are handsome. The lines are aggressive and the pivots,  paint and decal schemes are very sharp and clean looking. Their Trail and Enduro bike line ups are very impressive with the Spectral, Strive and Torque all available in multiple models including 27.5”, 29” and mullet versions at extremely competitive prices. The Spectral and the Torque have recently been updated while the Strive, which could be described as their dedicated Enduro race machine, has been updated for 2023.

Currently I am reviewing the Canyon Spectral CF8 CLLCTV and the Canyon Torque CF8. They are both mixed wheel bikes, or as Canyon and many others say, they are mullets. In this first look article I will focus on the longer travel Torque CF8. I reviewed the 2019 Canyon Strive here.

Component Overview

The Canyon Torque Mullet CF 8 really does come out of the box ready to rip. Considering the relatively decent price for this bike, the build is quite impressive. The carbon frame is ‘extra-robust’ as Canyon says and was ridden by Thomas Genon with a dual crown fork at the 2021 Redbull Rampage.

Unlike the Spectral mullet, which comes with the Fox DHX Factory trail rear shock, the Torque comes with the full DH-intended Fox DHX2 Factory shock.  Both, however come with the two position open/firm lever which is excellent. Rear travel is 175mm. The fork on the Torque is a 170mm Fox 38 Performance Elite which means you get the mighty Grip2 damper, which you want if you like to push hard on the bike.

deniz merdano wallace canyon torque mullet 18

This dial combo means you are aboard the mighty Grip2 damper.

deniz merdano wallace canyon torque mullet 31

Nothing Trail about this shock…

Drivetrain and cranks are the fancy workhorse Shimano XT.  Brakes are also Shimano XT.  Power is adequate but as per usual I will say that right away I had wandering bite point issues on the rear brake.  Maybe Shimano should only make front brakes and we can buy our rear brakes elsewhere.

Wheels are DT Swiss which is always a good thing and very nice to see at this price.  Rims are the very strong aluminum FR 560’s and hubs are the DT 350’s. Tires are perfect in my opinion with a Maxxis Assegai 3C MaxxGrip EXO+ up front and a Maxxis DHR 2 MaxxTerra DD out back. No need to immediately do the tire insert grumble and dance with that combo.

deniz merdano wallace canyon torque mullet 7

Maxxis has a lot to say...

deniz merdano wallace canyon torque mullet 8

But they have earned it.

The seatpost is a Canyon G5 which although not too exciting is fine.  What is great about the Torque size L seat post though is that it is 200mm while the Spectral size L comes with a 170mm post. At exactly 6 ft tall I am much happier on a 200mm dropper. Getting your seat further out of the way has an effect on your confidence and speed that cannot be overstated. Well maybe it can be overstated, but I loved going from the 170mm to the 200mm seatpost.

The Angles and Lengths

Below is a comparison chart with few other bikes. It's quite clear the Torque fits well in the ‘I want to pound the mountain into submission’ category. The front center is nicely on the long side but the rear center is on the shorter side and as a result there are several bikes with a longer wheelbase. The Torque defintely wins the rear travel contest amongst this list but that isnt necessarily a good thing when you still have to pedal.

torque geo chart comparison

Set-up 

After 3 rides on the Torque my set up is; bars at 775mm, fork at 91 psi with 2 tokens, 450 lb rear spring with both the high and slow rebounds set at 2 clicks faster than recommended on the Fox website. My weight without riding gear is 174 lbs. I also ditched the usual Shimano XT trail pedals and put on a pair of Saint DH. If you run clips I think these pedals really make sense. On a bike like this the extra support whilst smashing is noticeable.

Initial Impressions and Thoughts vs Spectral

As mentioned I have also been spending time on the 2022 Canyon Spectral CF8 CLLCTV.  This Spectral is an aggressive trail bike with 150mm rear travel and 160mm front. The bikes look identical from a distance.

canyon spectral canyon
canyon torque mullet

The difference in the ride and how you need to pilot them is massive however, and really interesting to anyone who is a big enough bike nerd to read this article. The Spectral is a very supportive, agile bike that can be ridden fast on even harsh terrain if you are willing to hang it out there but for more average terrain and trails the ride is exactly where you want it to be.

deniz merdano wallace canyon torque mullet 29

The Torque on the other hand is a full-on, head-down, charger. The bike always wants to take the shortest distance or most direct route from A to B. I joked with Deniz that one of our favourite trails somehow became shorter and seemed to be over much sooner.  Even at a good pace, the Torque makes almost everything feel easier. Pushing through rocky gullies on Cypress Mountain or coming off an awkward launch on Seymour, the Torque feels planted and stable. It did take a while to set up the rear shock. I was getting some harsh feedback on medium size hits until I sped up the rebound. So far I havent seen any negatives with the quicker rebound settings but it is early days. 

In the low setting, the Torque is a pedal smasher.  I have hit my pedals several times now not only while climbing and decending. So much so that at first it was a bit unnerving. Although I have now gotten used to the low pedals, I will try the Flip Chip and the 8mm higher bottom bracket setting soon. This would have been a good bike to ship with 165mm cranks.

Stay tuned for the full review.

2022 Canyon Torque CF8

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Comments

Jotegir
Lu Kz
4 months, 3 weeks ago
+6 Mike Wallace Pete Roggeman roil Niels van Kampenhout Timer BenHD

>and really interesting to anyone who is a big enough bike nerd to read this article. 

Damn, got us.

Reply

supercollider
supercollider
4 months, 3 weeks ago
+1 Mike Wallace

Yep, I bought some 165 cranks for my torque mullet almost immediately.  Also riding in the high position, and smacking pedals isn't such a problem now.

Reply

Brigham_Rupp
Brigham_Rupp
4 months, 3 weeks ago
+1 Ren-o-

How do you feel about that shorter rear end, vs. something on the other extreme like the Spire?

Reply

mike-wallace
Mike Wallace
4 months, 3 weeks ago
+2 Pete Roggeman Deniz Merdano

To me the shorter rear ends are better for a huge percentage of our riding.   It’s a similar argument to the mullet itself.   They both make cornering easier and less demanding.   However when it comes to laying down $7k+ for a bike I will always buy the ‘fastest’ bike.   Meaning I want max high speed stability and rollover in the rough stuff.  So this means that personally I would buy a full 29er combined with a longer rear end. Unless you are talking DH bike then I would buy mullet to give myself more space with all that travel.   Scared myself too many times with the hard tire to the ass in the middle of a steep/techy/fast drop.

Reply

Brigham_Rupp
Brigham_Rupp
4 months, 3 weeks ago
0

I make the same choice personally; faster bike even if it is a bit less agile in tighter corners. I have really long legs and see no reason for the mullet setup but I can see how it would make sense for a lot of riders.

Reply

agleck7
Agleck7
4 months, 3 weeks ago
0

Depending how one thinks about rear end balance, for example looking at CS:wheelbase the Spire and Torque aren't that different

Reply

Tadpoledancer
Tadpoledancer
4 months, 3 weeks ago
0

I’m kinda curious about that as well? Will a 13 mm difference in length in the chain stay actually make a significant difference in the front/rear balance of the bike. Anyone with experience from bikes with flip-chips on the chainstay?

Reply

Vikb
Vik Banerjee
4 months, 3 weeks ago
+2 Brigham_Rupp Lynx .

I worry about +/-5mm of CS length so to me 13mm is huge.

Reply

Lynx
Lynx .
4 months, 3 weeks ago
0

Don't know that I'd worry so much about 5mm, but you can definitely feel it if you're that sort of person, so 13mm is quite huge. The difference on my Surly Karate Monkey with and without the Monkey Nuts is unreal and they're 14mm, bike goes from a serious. pivot off the rear only sort of feel, to, (for me) a much more balanced, steer from the hips and a bit of the hands.

Reply

Brigham_Rupp
Brigham_Rupp
4 months, 3 weeks ago
0

I haven’t had adjustable chainstay length since my TR250 years ago but I could tell a difference and I want to say it was only 5mm. Longer for more straight line stability and shorter for more ease in cornering. After riding an XL Sentinel for a long time, I tried a L Spire which has a slightly shorter reach, chainstay, and wheelbase than the XL Sentinel and I actually felt a bit unbalanced, like I was hanging off the back of the bike a bit more than on the Sentinel. I could corner a touch easier but missed the feeling of being more centered (probably mostly due to the fact that I should be on an XL at my height).

Reply

Lynx
Lynx .
4 months, 3 weeks ago
+1 Timer

Is this really such a good thing, doesn't it take away the challenge that makes MTBing so much fun? I'm honestly curious.

> "The bike always wants to take the shortest distance or most direct route from A to B. I joked with Deniz that one of our favourite trails somehow became shorter and seemed to be over much sooner. Even at a good pace, the Torque makes almost everything feel easier.
>
> Mike Wallace"

Reply

Brigham_Rupp
Brigham_Rupp
4 months, 3 weeks ago
+2 Niels van Kampenhout Pete Roggeman

I think it could be true for some riders and on some trails and is a very personal judgment call. I’ve definitely purchased bikes in the past that were too much for the bulk of my local riding and they were “dulling” at best and cumbersome at worst. On the other hand if the trails and riding style merit the bike, you may find you can just go faster and bigger on more bike. Is this a good thing? I think I t’s fun but it may not be the safest option! My riding involves long fire-road climbs followed by a consistent downhills. I almost always try to ride the downhill as fast as I can and because I find that the most fun I like a bike that comes alive when it is being pushed hard. Could I ride a less aggressive shorter travel bike? Yes. And I would probably be just a bit slower. A lot of my riding buddies are less worried about riding all-out on the way down and they are all on more moderate bikes. I think it’s more about priorities and trade offs then it is about what’s “good” or “bad.”

Reply

HollyBoni
HollyBoni
4 months, 3 weeks ago
+1 Niels van Kampenhout

I also think that's very personal. I'm overbiked a lot of the time and I enjoy it. I just like bigger bikes, and I like feeling the bike doing the work under me. I don't find already meh terrain even more boring when i'm overbiked. Also when i'm out riding I don't always want to challenge myself, I don't need to challenge myself to have fun. (I still challenge myself often tho, but mainly in terms of distance and elevation)
But again, that's just me. There are plenty of other people who are the opposite and like to be underbiked, nothing wrong with that either.

Reply

otagoboy
otagoboy
4 months, 3 weeks ago
+1 Dogl0rd

I have gradually tended to being overbiked as I have aged, as the extra stability/security means I can stay decently fast despite being a bit more fragile and risk averse. And the increased travel soaks up impacts better for all my aches and pains

Reply

BenHD
BenHD
4 months, 3 weeks ago
0

Nice write-up Mike!

Reply

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