2022 Canyon Torque Mullet CF 8 Bike

Vital Rating:
Related:
Where To Buy
Free shipping on orders over $50 (continental U.S. only).
International shipping available. Some exclusions apply.
Free shipping on orders over $50 (continental U.S. only).
International shipping available. Some exclusions apply.
Free U.S. shipping on orders over $45.
International shipping available. Some exclusions apply.
Freeride Fun: 2022 Canyon Torque Long-Term Review
A single-minded beast of a bike that is made for those who like to go big.
Rating:
Vital Review
s1600_torqueA_545212.jpg?VersionId=jN7GUIUoJV_Zdp5Bh2j27lNdW9wVMQgD

We test a lot of bikes here at Vital, and if there is one trend that really sticks out, it’s the fact that bikes are pretty damn good these days. So good, that we sometimes struggle to figure out how best to describe them. No such worries with the all-new for 2022 Canyon Torque – it’s a single-minded beast of a bike that doesn’t try too hard to be something that it is not. If you’re looking for a do-it-all enduro bike that is at home on a wide variety of trails and that can be pressed into duty from the race track to the alpine adventure – look elsewhere. The Torque was made for riders who like to go big, so if that description does not define you, you can probably click on the “back” button just about now. For all you park rats, freeriders, and big mountain specialists however, this review is on your required reading list - or required viewing list maybe, since if you prefer your reviews in video format, you'll find it right here:

Strengths

Weaknesses

  • Very confidence inspiring
  • Stable at speed
  • Comfortable in the rough
  • Solid build, quiet on the trail
  • Good value
  • Mullet set-up ideal for the intended use of the bike
  • 2 additional spring weights included
  • Tubeless out of the box
  • Steep seat tube makes for a good climbing position
  • Not very “poppy”
  • Slow on mellow trails
  • Proprietary, oval headset spacers are a little awkward and can collect dirt in an unnecessary place

2022 Canyon Torque Mullet CF8 Highlights

  • CF carbon frame construction
  • 29/27.5 mullet configuration
  • Coil shock
  • 175 mm rear travel
  • 170 mm fork, short offset
  • Flip Chip geo adjustment
  • Double sealed frame bearings
  • Replaceable thread inserts
  • Threaded BB
  • Fully guided internal cable routing
  • SRAM Universal Derailleur Hanger (UDH)
  • Water bottle compatible
  • Additional two-bolt storage mount under top tube
  • Molded rubber frame protection in critical areas
  • MSRP: $5399 USD // €4799 EUR

Initial Impressions

The 2022 version of the Torque was redesigned from the ground up, and it’s a better bike for it. The lines are sleeker, the geometry is updated, and the yoke-equipped shock linkage is gone. There’s even room for a water bottle too! Of course, the bike is now both longer and slacker, but the numbers are not out of control although if you want the shortest bike possible you’ll have to opt for the full 27.5-inch version, as the mullet and the 29er are only available in size M and up. 

The head angle sits at 63.5 degrees in the stock setting, which is really not far off many DH bikes – flipping a chip in the seat stays raises the BB slightly and puts the head angle at 64 degrees. The seat tube clocks in at 77.5 degrees (or 78 degrees with the flip chip in the steeper setting). Our size Large test bike serves up a generous reach measurement of 490 mm, and the 1277 mm wheelbase will look familiar to those who would habitually spend time poring over aforementioned DH bike numbers. The seat stays sit at 435 mm for all sizes of the mullet bike, but the handlebars are wider on the two bigger sizes and the house brand G5 dropper post features a whopping 200 mms of drop already on the size L build. If this sounds like a lot, worry not – the seat tube is very short, and the dropper travel can be reduced in 5-millimeter increments down to 180.  The crank arms are slightly shorter than usual at 170 mms, another nod to the intended use of this bike.

The Torque CF8 Mullet pumps out 175 mm of rear wheel travel via a 250x70mm coil shock, and there are two extra springs of different spring weight included in the box (for a total of three). We applaud this move as dialing in your spring weight is usually a bit hit and miss, and since Canyon sells direct their customers won’t have the opportunity to get the shop to swap out springs for example. One of the major changes made to the 2022 Torque was reshaping the anti-squat curve, to provide much more pedaling support before and at the sag point, while dropping off significantly deeper into the travel to avoid too much pedal kickback on larger hits.

The frame construction of the new Torque meets Canyon’s Category 5 classification requirements, which is unsurprisingly their most stringent classification. These frames were built to take freeride and bike park abuse, and the bike definitely gives off that overbuilt vibe right from the first encounter. It’s heavy without being overweight, and the imposing tube profiles give the bike a very purposeful stance in real life. Cable routing is internal and fully guided, to keep cable rattle noise to a minimum and make replacing cables easier. Double sealed bearings help keep dirt and moisture at bay, and generous amounts of frame protection will keep the carbon out of harm’s way in critical areas. Replaceable thread inserts will further help increase the frame’s life expectancy. 

Build Kit

Our CF8 bike comes specced with a FOX 38 Performance Elite fork, a DHX2 Factory shock, a Shimano XT 12-speed drivetrain and XT brakes, with DT Swiss FR560 wheels and Maxxis Assegai/DHR II tires for the rolling stock. Canyon’s own G5 range of components is present in the cockpit, and the dropper post is Canyon’s own as well.

As most direct-to-consumer brands do, Canyon ships the bike almost fully assembled, all you need to take care of is install the wheels and handlebars and set up your suspension components to your liking. The brakes should already be aligned, and the rear derailleur should be adjusted and ready to roll. As previously mentioned, there are two extra springs for the rear shock included in the box (in addition to the one already on the bike), so you’ll be able to fine tune the spring rate to your weight and riding requirements. Canyon includes a toolbox with each bike, which contains all the essential tools needed to complete the required assembly, including a torque wrench (no excuses if you strip a bolt!).

Riding the 2022 Canyon Torque CF8 Mullet

The new Torque feels like a big bike when you first swing a leg over it. This tester is 1m84 (6’0”), and the 490 reach is at the upper limit if where he is most comfortable. The short seat stays coupled with a tall front end give the feeling that there is a lot more bike in front of you than behind you. We dropped one spacer from under the stem to get closer to our usual sweet spot, but that initial feeling would remain throughout the test. Moving out on flatter terrain revealed surprisingly good pedaling characteristics however, no doubt aided by the steep seat tube and the generous amount of anti-squat present around the sag point. Playing with the flip chip makes a small difference, but we felt like the slacker setting made the most sense for this kind of bike anyway. Dealing with longer or steeper climbs aboard the new Torque is a matter of picking the right gear and grinding it out. The bike actually doesn’t feel very sluggish, but the long travel and meaty tires do their bit to keep you from achieving any real climbing speed. The DHX2 features a low-speed compression lever that can be used to firm up the rear suspension for climbing. It doesn’t lock the shock out but it keeps bobbing in check and helps avoid having the rear sag too much on steeper climbs.

Once the trail points in the right direction again, things get more exciting – on the right kind of trail, that is. On mellow sections, the Torque remains fairly muted, quite immune to any pumping efforts and unwilling to take flight on those smaller bumps and lumps you might want to play with. As we pointed out in the intro, this bike has a singular purpose and it will not compensate you until you point it at some serious terrain.

Once things get rowdier, the Torque comes into its own. It remains unfazed by all but the roughest trails, happy to plow or pump its way through rocks, roots, and turns. The bike remains calm even under duress, and it didn’t take long for us to feel our confidence grow. That tall front end we mentioned just previously? A boon when things get steeper! While the bike isn’t the best at using the terrain to generate momentum, it is nearly unlimited in its capacity to deal with the kind of speed that’s purely fed by gravity. The big front wheel rolls over stuff with ease, while the smaller 27.5 rear wheel can be tucked away during your more acrobatic exertions. 

All in all, the bike delivers exactly the kind of experience we’d hope for in a long travel bike made for burly trails and fun days in the bike park.

When the speed picks up, so the Torque becomes an increasingly willing air time partner. As we already alluded to, it’s not the poppiest bike we’ve ever ridden – we certainly wouldn’t sign it up for any bunny hopping contests. Consequently, it’s also not very playful on smaller lips. However, aim for some more consequential ramps and it shows off impressive poise and balance in the air. We found ourselves backing off the rebound and pushing it harder and harder into the take off, without ever feeling like we were about to get bucked. Needless to say, the bike also shrugs off bigger landings like it was nothing, even with the more linear coil shock.

With that tall front and calm composure, the Torque will reward you for moving your weight forward and going for it. Once you find you balance in the middle of the bike, it will take a lot to unsettle you. Pulling that long front center up will take some getting used to, but the short stays do help in this regard. All in all, the bike delivers exactly the kind of experience we’d hope for in a long travel bike made for burly trails and fun days in the bike park. Could it be pressed into duty as an enduro race bike? Maybe for the steepest, roughest venues out there, but other than that it won’t squeeze enough speed out of a trail to be considered relevant in an enduro racing scenario.

Kit Report

A few notes on how the components of our Torque CF8 performed during this test:

Suspension

The FOX 38 Performance Elite is a very stiff and plush fork, incredibly well suited to aggressive riding in heavy terrain. It’s both supportive and forgiving, not all that far off the performance of a true DH fork without feeling sluggish. It won’t give up full travel all that easily, but that doesn’t mean it feels harsh. The DHX2 Factory out back is a great match for this fork when it comes to dealing with rough terrain and bigger jumps. Both components have remained solid for the 4 months we have been riding this bike, although the DHX2 is starting to feel a little clunky when topping out in some scenarios (something we’ve observed with several units of this shock on different bikes by now). Also, we imagine the bike would gain a little pop with an air shock, so consider that if you’re after a slightly more playful ride.

Shifting

Shimano’s latest 12-speed groups are firm favorites of ours, and the XT transmission specced on our text bike has been flawless for 4 months. Crisp shifts even under load, nary a dropped gear and the ability to shift multiple gears in both directions as the cherry on the cake.

Braking

We love Shimano’s XT/XTR brakes almost as much as we love their 12-speed transmissions. Powerful yet very easy to modulate, they offer dependable stopping power in every situation and a very intuitive feel at the levers. The only fly in the ointment is the wandering bite point issue – an unfortunate tendency to have the bite point change position after rattling through a rockgarden or pushing hard through a turn. The issue is never really detrimental to performance, it can just be a bit unsettling until you get used to it. The rear brake seems more prone to exhibiting this behavior, we think it has something to do with the rear brake rotor pushing against the pads when the rear triangle flexes in turns or under other heavy loads, abruptly changing the position of the pistons which takes another pump or two of the lever to reset. Maybe the longer rear hose further exacerbates the issue. In any case, we bled the brakes 2 times to find a remedy but the issue is still there – as has been our experience with nearly every other pair of XT brakes we have tested. Not enough to put us off these excellent brakes, just enough to be annoying sometimes.

Tires and Wheels

DT Swiss FR560 wheels are pretty much bombproof, and we’ve not had to touch them for the duration of this test. No dents, no loose spokes, the same solid performance today as they served up on day one. As is often the case with DT Swiss hubs, they shipped out with the somewhat underwhelming 36T star ratchet option which always leaves us feeling a bit let down in the engagement department, but they have definitely been solid (and a 54T ratchet upgrade is only $70 USD away). We love that Canyon ships the bike with the wheels already set up tubeless, a nice touch. As for the tires, a tried and true Assegai/DHR II combo gets the job done in all kinds of conditions. Canyon went with a 3C Maxxgrip version up front which provides great grip at a reasonable weight, while the Maxxterra DoubleDown version out back will stand up to more abuse. A congruent spec given the intended use case of the bike, although really heavy hitters might want to consider true DH casings if an abundance of jagged rock is on the menu.

Finishing Kit

Canyon makes its own range of cockpit parts and dropper posts under the “G5” name (which is a reference to Canyon’s internal testing regimen, the toughest of which is the Category 5 which certifies the parts as suitable for freeride and DH use). We were pleased with the angles and the performance of the cockpit – the grips might not suit you if you have bigger hands but that’s nothing that 30 bucks won’t fix. The 200 mm dropper has been solid, with good ergonomics and dependable performance so far. The return speed is fast, and there’s an audible “thunk” to let you know you’ve reached the end of the travel. Canyon paired it with Shimano’s 1x dropper lever that attaches straight to the brake mount for a clean look – the lever sits in a natural position and works well with the dropper. We’re not huge fans of Canyon’s oval stem spacers, they look sleek enough when the handlebar is straight but they stick out to the side of the top tube when turning, which just seems like an unnecessary potential complication waiting to happen if a bit of mud gets stuck in there or whatever (not to mention replacing with off-the-shelf aftermarket stuff becomes an issue too). A word on the saddle: it’s a pretty hard and compact little number from Fi’zi:k that is more suited to days in the bike park than to long hours in the saddle…take that into account if you intend to earn your turns with this bike.

Long Term Durability

We’ve had our test bike rolling for 4 months, and it has shrugged it all off without breaking stride. A creak in the headset was remedied with a little grease, but other than that, it’s been plain sailing. Muddy rides were no problem, the bike is easy to clean without too many nooks and crannies to hide dirt in. As mentioned in the Kit Report section above, the suspension components have been essentially trouble free, although the DHX2 shock is starting to feel a little clunky when topping out in some scenarios (something we’ve observed on several samples of this shock by now).

What’s The Bottom Line?

It’s sometimes hard to figure out what a bike is, but that’s not the case with the new Torque. Not a long-travel enduro bike, but rather a dedicated park and freeride rig that feels right at home on rougher trails and wherever smiles have little to do with miles but happiness is measured by the amount of high fives exchanged in the lift line after each run. If big air and big terrain is the name of your game, you’ll find a willing and confidence-inspiring partner in the new Torque as you set out together to enjoy what gravity has to offer – you can even run a dual crown fork if you so wish. If carrying speed on mellower trails is also important to you, look elsewhere.

For more information, head on over to www.canyon.com.


About The Reviewer

Johan Hjord - Age: 49 // Years Riding MTB: 17 // Weight: 190-pounds (87-kg) // Height: 6'0" (1.84m)

Johan loves bikes, which strangely doesn’t make him any better at riding them. After many years spent practicing falling off cliffs with his snowboard, he took up mountain biking in 2005. Ever since, he’s mostly been riding bikes with too much suspension travel to cover up his many flaws as a rider. His 200-pound body weight coupled with unique skill for poor line choice and clumsy landings make him an expert on durability - if parts survive Johan, they’re pretty much okay for anybody. Johan rides flat pedals with a riding style that he describes as "none" (when in actuality he rips!). Having found most trail features to be not to his liking, Johan uses much of his spare time building his own. Johan’s other accomplishments include surviving this far and helping keep the Vital Media Machine’s stoke dial firmly on 11.

Photos by Johan Hjord and Tal Rozow

7 comments

Post a reply to: Freeride Fun: 2022 Canyon Torque Long-Term Review

In reply to by t00b

Specifications

Product
Canyon Torque Mullet CF 8 Bike
Model Year
2022
Riding Type
Freeride / Bike Park
Enduro / All-Mountain
Rider
Unisex
Sizes and Geometry
MD (LO, HI)
LG (LO, HI)
XL (LO, HI)
Wheel Size
27.5" (650b)
29"
Other: Mullet
Frame Material
Carbon Fiber
Frame Material Details
Carbon front and rear triangles, molded chainstay, seatstay, and down tube protection
Rear Travel
175mm
Rear Shock
FOX DHX2 Factory, 250mm x 70mm
Fork
FOX FLOAT 38 Performance Elite
Fork Travel
170mm
Handlebar
Canyon G5 Riser
Width: 780mm (MD), 800mm (LG/XL)
Stem
Canyon G5, 40mm length
Grips
Canyon G5, lock-on
Brakes
Shimano Deore XT M8120, 4-piston, Shimano RT86 203mm rotors
Brake Levers
Shimano Deore XT M8120
Drivetrain
1x
Shifters
Shimano Deore XT M8100, 12-speed
Front Derailleur
None
Rear Derailleur
Shimano Deore XT M8100, 12-speed
ISCG Tabs
Replaceable ISCG05 mount plate
Chainguide
Canyon upper slider
Cranks
Shimano Deore XT M8120, 170mm length
Chainrings
Shimano Deore XT M8120, 32 tooth
Bottom Bracket
Shimano MT800, HOLLOWTECH II, English/BSA threaded
Pedals
None
Chain
Shimano Deore M6100, 12-speed
Cassette
Shimano Deore XT M8100, 12-speed, 10-51 tooth
Rims
DT Swiss FR 560 wheelset
Hubs
DT Swiss 350, 15x110mm Boost front, 12x148mm Boost rear with Ratchet System freehub and MICRO SPLINE driver
Spokes
DT Swiss FR 560 wheelset
Tires
Front: Maxxis Assegai, 3C MaxxGrip
Rear: Maxxis Minion DHR II, 3C MaxxTerra
Saddle
fi'zi:k Gravita Alpaca X5
Seatpost
Canyon G5 dropper, travel adjustable (5mm increments, up to 25mm adjustment)
Drop: 170mm (MD), 200mm (LG/XL)
Seatpost Diameter
30.9mm
Seatpost Clamp
Single bolt
Rear Dropout / Hub Dimensions
12x148mm Boost
Bottle Cage Mounts
One inside front triangle, plus accessory mount under top tube
Colors
Big Bamboo
Warranty
6 years frame and Canyon components
Weight
34 lb 14.0 oz (15,820 g)
Miscellaneous
• Four-bar rear suspension design
• Geometry adjustable via flip chip at rear shock mount
• Internal cable routing with internal plastic channels
• Industrial-grade double-sealed pivot bearings
• Frame weight: 2652g
• Includes tool case, torque wrench set, shock pump, and assembly paste
• UK price: 4399 GBP
Price
$5,399.00
What do you think?
Where To Buy
Free shipping on orders over $50 (continental U.S. only).
International shipping available. Some exclusions apply.
Free shipping on orders over $50 (continental U.S. only).
International shipping available. Some exclusions apply.
Free U.S. shipping on orders over $45.
International shipping available. Some exclusions apply.
Bikes

More Products

The Latest

The Latest