2018 Canyon Torque CF 7.0 Bike

Vital Rating: (Outstanding)
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The Canyon Torque Saved Us $1500 So We Went On a Road Trip

Rating: Vital Review

It's a good time to be a bike rider. Bikes of every level have never been better, and top tier performance never more affordable.

When direct-to-consumer (D2C) brand Canyon launched the Torque in late 2017, the bike left us equal parts excited as it did scratching our heads. Where does a 175mm-travel bike belong? Is it an enduro bike? A freeride bike (whatever that means these days)? A superenduro bike (again, we’re lost)? A downhilll bike you can pedal? Do these classifications even matter?

We wanted to suss out where this bike is most at home, how easy it is to put together, and just how far the cost savings could really take us.

Canyon sent us the bike in early July and we spent little time getting it together. Unboxing was simple; we won’t even call it a “bike build” as to say so would

It's a good time to be a bike rider. Bikes of every level have never been better, and top tier performance never more affordable.

When direct-to-consumer (D2C) brand Canyon launched the Torque in late 2017, the bike left us equal parts excited as it did scratching our heads. Where does a 175mm-travel bike belong? Is it an enduro bike? A freeride bike (whatever that means these days)? A superenduro bike (again, we’re lost)? A downhilll bike you can pedal? Do these classifications even matter?

We wanted to suss out where this bike is most at home, how easy it is to put together, and just how far the cost savings could really take us.

Canyon sent us the bike in early July and we spent little time getting it together. Unboxing was simple; we won’t even call it a “bike build” as to say so would be offensive to any real bike mechanic who reads this. To put the bike together one needs to:

  • Take packaging off bike
  • Install handlebar
  • Insert seatpost into frame (don’t forget included grease!)
  • Install dropper lever on handlebar
  • Install front wheel
  • Set suspension to desired air pressure
  • Air up tires (and convert to tubeless if so inclined...and inclined you should be)
  • RIDE!

The bike comes fully adjusted, there is no bleeding, no fiddling, no nothing...nothing. Think of this as an extensive pre-ride check, and that’s about the amount of work required. Total time? If going fast 15 minutes. If taking your time, using the included tools and a novice, maybe an hour tops.

Bike Spec

Note that on the U.S. version of the Canyon website this Torque is listed as the 7.0. The European version calls it the 8.0. It's the same bike and we're calling it the 7.0 today. For $4,000 the Canyon 7.0 CF is a killer deal. Carbon fiber front triangle, RockShox Super Deluxe rear shock, DT Swiss wheels, SRAM CODE brakes - the list goes on. You, the consumer, is getting dang near wholesale pricing on a kick-butt build. While we’d like to see the new RockShox Reverb lever, the updated Lyrik and maybe some Double Down tires considering the travel of this bike, overall, the spec leaves us with little to be desired, even if this is not Canyon's top-tier build.

Let us emphasize this. At $4,000, you’d have to go to a competitor D2C brand or work as an employee in a bike shop to get this much bike at that price. Worth noting, Canyon offers an aluminum Torque model under $3,000 (the AL 5.0). We actually asked to test that bike but for one reason or another they sent the 7.0 instead. We feel the 7.0 may be the diamond in the rough, as they say, but being we did not test the AL 5.0, so we can't say for certain.

Back to the bike in our hands. When compared to bike shop bikes, the most obvious comparison (when travel and other factors are considered) is the Santa Cruz Nomad. The comparable SCB build comes in at $5,299. To the U.S., the Canyon purchase via the internet, cost us $90 in shipping and we wer not subjected to sales tax. The Santa Cruz on the other hand isn’t subject to shipping, but is subject to tax you pay at your LBS. This brings the overall cost savings to something around $1,500 “out the door.” - a hefty chunk of change, and an important part of this piece.

The Challenge

As opposed to a normal bike test, we elected to see how far this $1,500 in savings could go, and what it could do for us in terms of having fun. So, we packed up the car (and later truck) and hit the road. Our seat-of-the-pants itinerary included Big Sky, Montana, back to Big Sky for a Montana Enduro Race, then Aspen, Colorado for the BME in early August. To be fair, this wasn’t the original plan. We figured we’d go on one trip to Big Sky, blow as much money as we could and call it good. Turns out the bike was so much fun our plans changed and our money went further than we though.

Notes from the Road

A normal bike review would talk about climbing, then descending, then we'd put in the normal “it really was like a downhill bike you can pedal” summary. Instead here are some notes from Jeff's 4-week test in no particular order:

  • WOW this thing is fun.
  • The Torque pedals just fine. In stock trim its around 32 pounds, the suspension moves a little under power but the compression switch works awesome to keep things quiet for extended pedaling efforts. Our biggest day of climbing was just shy of 5,000 feet. We had plenty of days over 3,000. Complaining about the uphill part was no more than any other bike we've recently ridden.
  • Geometry while ascending was great. Cranks were short, this was the biggest hindrance to long rides.
  • I was about 1 minute slower for every hour of climbing compared to my personal enduro bike (which has 30mm less travel).
  • No water bottle cage was a bit of a bummer. However, we fab'd one up using the downtube protector as a bolt on point coupled with a strap. It even held while racing with the bottle intact.
  • The Torque can ride smooth singletrack, even if it is a bit boring at times. Upside being you can try gaps you’d never otherwise try and it corners awesome.
  • Adding a few volume spacers to the shock helps more aggressive riders get more out of the rear end.
  • In rough, rugged, downhill terrain this bike rides incredibly quiet and predictably. This is where this bike is most home. In a word, poised.
  • Very balanced bike while jumping, with large margin for error.
  • The Torque feels like there is more in the tank, per say, compared to other pedal-able bikes. This meant I wasn’t always on the edge of what the bike was capable of in demanding terrain, which made things more fun at the end of a bike park day or bottom of a big enduro stage.
  • 27.5” wheels are still fast. (why did I give all my 27.5” stuff away?!)
  • Adding Cushcore was a great upgrade and made the EXO tires more tolerable. We’d still like to see DD tires.
  • This bike is built for the modern bike park. Ride lifts until they close. Pedal after they do.
  • Great one bike quiver for the ultimate road trip. A rider could literally do any kind of mountain biking on this thing. (well, maybe not trials or XC racing, but I digress)
  • The bike is very quiet.
  • Forgiving enduro race bike. Saves your butt! With the direction of enduro, many amateurs would be smart to consider something longer travel like this. Drop the heels, head up, smash down the course.
  • Not the best pedal-er out of a corner. Not awful, but you know, it has 175mm of travel!
  • Parts spec left little to be desired. Except...
  • This generation Lyrik is a little less active compared to the updated Lyrik or comparable FOX product and upgrade that Reverb lever!
  • RockShox SuperDeluxe is an incredibly good air shock! Great feel, no fade, very tunable.
  • If I’m really picky I’d like slightly longer chainstays and a reduced offset fork. Especially in the larger sizes.
  • Burritos are incredibly good. If I could only eat one food the rest of my life, it’d be burritos.
  • I am faster as a result of this $1500 challenge. There is nothing I could have bought, outside a trip like this, that would have positively impacted my riding to the degree it has been impacted. Riding new places, racing new places, with people better than you will always yield better bike handling than any part you could buy. Food for thought...
  • The bike is like a downhill bike you can pedal (I had to)

Is the Direct-to-Consumer model for you?

If you don’t know a box wrench from a Torx wrench, if you have never setup your suspension, if the idea of putting a front wheel on scares you, you are much more well suited to buying a bike from your local shop.

However, if you frequently order your own parts online, aren’t scared to do your own fiddling, its hard to argue with the savings, and performance brands like Canyon are putting out there. The bike is a no-fuss, well-engineered beast of a machine. Once set up, even a tinkerer like myself didn’t have a whole lot of “well I could...” moments. Which left me standing in my garage, drinking beer, just staring at the dang thing. In fact, total time wrenching on this thing, be it chasing down creaks or doing maintenance of some sort was the lowest of any bike I’ve tested in the last few years. The only thing that required a tear down was the Lyrik, and that will be remedied in future models.

We aren’t trying to say the bike shop is dead, but the disruption of D2C is on the horizon. Brands like this will be a boon for mobile bike shops, that are 100% service-based. That said, this bike or business model will not be for everyone. Buying a bike sight-unseen is a pretty tall order, and there will always be those who want the full-service feeling a bike shop brings to the table. For the DIYers however, take a hard look.

Bottom Line

Versatility is in the eye of the beholder. For the average Vital reader, the Torque may slot in as one of the most versatile, and affordable top-performing bikes around. One could throw this thing in the back of the truck and hit the road, never saying “I can’t go with you guys because my bike is...” - it's a freedom machine.  DH laps to high alpine fun-having, jump lines to bone-crushing rock gardens between the tape, this thing can really do it all. Plus, who knows, you might discover a month of chasing the dream yields more bike rider growth than any upgrade ever could have. Spend that money on riding, not a garage ornament!

We're giving the Canyon Torque CF 7.0 4.5 stars. If the Reverb lever was updated and the fork had a reduced offset, it would have been a 5-star rating. Well done, Canyon.

About The Reviewer

Jeff Brines - Age: 32 // Years Riding MTB: 18 // Height: 6'2" (1.88m) // Weight: 200-pounds (90.7kg)

Jeff didn't go on a real date until he was nearly 20 years old, largely as a result of his borderline unhealthy obsession with bicycles. Although his infatuation with two wheels may have lead to stuttering and sweatiness around the opposite sex, it did provide for an ideal environment to quickly progress through the ranks of both gravity and cross-country racing. These days, Jeff races enduro at the pro level, rides upward of 150 days a year while logging over 325k of human powered ascending/descending on his bike. Bred as a racer, Jeff is more likely to look for the fastest way through a section as opposed to the most playful. He lives in the shadow of the Tetons in Jackson, Wyoming.

Specifications

Product Canyon Torque CF 7.0 Bike
Model Year 2018
Riding Type Trail
Rider Unisex
Sizes and Geometry
S, M, L, XL View Geometry
Size S M L XL
Top Tube Length 597mm 620mm 642mm 665mm
Head Tube Angle 65.3° 65.3° 65.3° 65.3°
Head Tube Length 115mm 125mm 135mm 145mm
Seat Tube Angle 74° 74° 74° 74°
Seat Tube Length 400mm 440mm 455mm 500mm
Bottom Bracket Height 15mm drop 15mm drop 15mm drop 15mm drop
Chainstay Length 428mm 428mm 428mm 428mm
Wheelbase 1170.9mm 1195.1mm 1219.3mm 1243.4mm
Standover 751mm 756mm 760mm 765mm
Reach 420mm 440mm 460mm 480mm
Stack 618mm 627mm 636mm 645mm
Wheel Size 27.5" (650b)
Frame Material Carbon Fiber
Frame Material Details
Rear Travel 175mm
Rear Shock RockShox Super Deluxe RCT, 250mm length
Fork RockShox Lyrik RCT3, Charger damper, Maxle Ultimate, Boost axle
Fork Travel 180mm
Head Tube Diameter Tapered, 1.125" top, 1.5" bottom
Headset Acros The Clamp
Handlebar Canyon G5, 780mm width, 20mm rise (S, M), 30mm rise (L, XL), 5 degrees upsweep, 8 degrees backsweep, 7005 aluminum
Stem Canyon ST0025-01, 40mm length
Grips Canyon G5
Brakes SRAM Code R
Brake Levers SRAM Code R
Drivetrain 1x
Shifters SRAM GX Eagle Trigger, 12-speed
Front Derailleur N/A
Rear Derailleur SRAM GX Eagle, 12-speed
ISCG Tabs
Chainguide e*thirteen TRS+
Cranks SRAM Descendant 7k, 165mm length
Chainrings SRAM Descendant, 32 tooth
Bottom Bracket SRAM GXP
Pedals N/A
Chain SRAM GX Eagle, 12-speed
Cassette SRAM XG-1275 Eagle, 12-speed
Rims DT Swiss E1700, 30mm width
Hubs DT Swiss Spline
Spokes DT Swiss
Tires Maxxis Minion DHR II, 3C Maxx Grip DW, TR, EXO, 60 tpi, 27.5" x 2.4"
Saddle SDG Circuit Mtn, cromo rails
Seatpost RockShox Reverb Stealth B1 dropper, 150mm travel (S, M), 170mm travel (L, XL)
Seatpost Diameter 30.9mm
Seatpost Clamp Canyon SL
Rear Dropout / Hub Dimensions
Max. Tire Size
Bottle Cage Mounts No
Colors Blue Fade
Warranty Six years frames, bearings, and shocks; two years components
Weight 31 lb 15.5 oz (14,500 g)
Miscellaneous Includes torque wrench and shock pump
Price $4,000
More Info

canyon.com