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Review | 2013 Canyon Nerve 9.0


Let's take a brief look at the build specification of this 120mm travel bike - for £2,100 it's pretty special!

  • Fox 32 Float CTD FIT Factory Front Forks
  • Fox Float CTD Performance BV Rear Shock
  • Mavic Crosstrail wheelset
  • SRAM XO 10-speed Chainset
  • SRAM XO Long Cage 10s Type 2 Rear Mech
  • SRAM XO Bottom Bracket
  • Shimano XT Rear Cluster
  • AVID Elixir XO brakes
  • Iridium SLR Seatpost
  • Selle Italia Race SE Saddle
  • Ritchey WCS Low Riser Bars
  • Ritchey WCS 4-axis Stem
  • Schwalbe Nobby Nic Tyres 2.25 Evolution Line


We fitted our own DMR V8 pedals for this test as we remain a fan of flatties for the general trail riding we intended to do and changed the saddle to a broader WTB one, which was a little kinder on our sensitive parts! If we were keeping the bike we would also change the grips, as those supplied we're a little too thin for our preference, although they were perfectly adequate in general use.

The Schwalbe Nobby Nics are great in the hardpacked trails we've been riding recently, but Devon has been blessed with a particularly long dry-spell - sadly we don't think this will last! Certainly when things go back to normal and we head towards Autumn and Winter we'd change these to something more akin to the conditions and save the Nobby's for next summer.

This really is a case of getting the frame and build for free - the wheels alone have an RRP of £400 and the front forks are over £500. With a rear mech which has an RRP of £199.00 and a chaninset which is North of £300.00 well, you get the general idea! Whilst this won't please your LBS (local bike shop) Canyon are making a strong case for themselves here in the UK.

Initial Ride

At 6'2 (but with short legs!) I'm borderline on requiring a medium or large frame. Generally, I've always preferred an 18" - 18.5" hardtail for the added manoeuvrability and stand-over height this provides. Whilst it may not seem like the obvious choice (not that we were given one!), the medium fitted satisfactorily, although if it was a keeper, I'd make a few subtle changes to the cockpit to provide a slightly longer reach.

The Nerve AL frame is hydroformed with asymmetric seat stays to help with rigidity and offset rectangular chainstays to assist with clearance. The frame features a conventional bottle holder and cable guides, ready for routing a dropper seatpost, if required in the future.

Locking out the front and rear shocks provides a surprisingly good level of acceleration and it climbs very well. With a stiff frame, excellent and perfectly matched Fox suspension and an outstanding level of kit for the price, the Nerve 9.0 makes a great trail companion on everything we threw at it.

Modest, fast downhills, strewn with shale and loose rocks are handled supremely well and confidently, with the light frame and balanced suspension reacting well to the rapid changes in terrain.

Next | Long term impressions >

2013 Canyon Nerve 9.0 2013 Canyon Nerve 9.0

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