Hot or not?

Hot or not? The Canyon Lux Trail Review

The new Canyon Lux Trail for 2024 stops downcountry compromises, because the full- sus touring bike for sporty riders is not based on a racing frame. Does the completely independent frame construction make sense with 120 millimeters of travel, or is Canyon losing itself too much in the details with the new Lux Trail?

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Downcountry bikes are the product of megalomania, engineering prowess, and a hint of embarrassment. For sporty touring riders, the industry simply equipped their lightweight racefully frames with 120mm forks and dropper posts. Technical-oriented companies like Canyon or Specialized even added their own rear suspension to the main racefully frame, with a little more travel. The product managers wanted to combine the themes of lightweight construction and off-road capability. And they succeeded.

Canyon Lux Trail test
Mountain biking includes uphill riding. With a lightweight 11.4 kilograms without pedals, the new Canyon Lux Trail really shines in comparison to heavy trail bikes or all mountains.

Downcountry bikes ride well and are among the audience favorites among tour riders. This is all the more astonishing when you consider that the downcountry category emerged out of embarrassment. The obsession to make bikes more and more focused on downhill riding has made all bikes with 130 millimeters of suspension travel and more increasingly heavy over the past 15 years.

An astonishing Weight development lately
The reason why Downcountry Bikes are hyped is simple: They are light! We have made the effort to check how the weights of full suspension bikes with more than 130 mm of travel have developed since 2019. With 11.4 kilograms, the new Canyon Lux Trail CFR remains a lightweight contrast to the rest of the market.

Modern all-mountain or trail bikes now often weigh 14 kilograms or more. The graphic above clearly confirms this development. This means that full suspension touring bikes for alpine crossings or sporty tours have often become too heavy. Our Canyon Neuron test has also shown that these bikes perform incredibly well downhill, but they may also need to be pedaled uphill for up to 2000 meters in order to reach their full potential.

There are many sporty mountain bikers who enjoy covering kilometers quickly and effortlessly. And because most of them do not want to be limited by a race bike when choosing their routes, Canyon has developed its new Lux Trail – with its own frame – 100% tailored to the needs of touring riders.

Canyon Lux Trail CFR 2024
We had the honour of testing the Canyon Lux Trail CFR. Price: 6499 € Weight: 11.4 kilos Travel: 120/115 mm
Frame weight Canyon Lux Trail CFR
To check the frame weight and maintenance friendliness, we also dismantled the bike in the workshop.
Canyon Lux Trail Experience
Of course, we also let the bike's tires roll over the finest trails.

Canyon Lux Trail CF 2024 Fact Check

Before we take a detailed look at the Canyon Lux Trail, we have summarised the most important facts about the bike for you at a glance. Of course, we have also reviewed all models of the Canyon Lux Trail individually for you.

  • Versions & Prices: 6 models from 3,299 € to 8,499 €
  • Front suspension travel: 120 millimeters
  • Rear travel: 115 millimeters
  • Weight: 11.4 kilograms (CFR version) to 13.1 kilograms (CF 6 version)
  • Frame weight: 2113 grams (CFR frame in size L; re-weighed)
  • Frame: Solely carbon - top models even in a lightweight CFR version
  • Rear axle: Single-arm suspension with flexible struts
  • Bottom bracket: BSA (screwed)
  • Bottle holder: Two pieces in a frame
  • Special feature: Independent frame platform, large storage compartment in the down tube, mini tool on the top tube
  • Target audience: Sporty touring cyclists, endurance enthusiasts, marathon racers

The Downcountry competition is revitalising the business

The Canyon Lux Trail stands out when looking at the competition. Scott, Mondraker, and Orbea recently removed their purebred race fully bikes with 100 millimeters of travel from their catalogs. The Scott Spark RC, the Mondraker F-Podium, and the Orbea Oiz are exclusively available with 120 millimeters of travel.

However, in order to offer an attractive race bike for their racing teams as well as hobby racers, these platforms have been unconditionally tailored to racing. The result: Sporty riding positions, suspension optimised for efficiency, and absolute minimalism that sport tourers need to live with.

Canyon Downcountry Bike
Downcountry Bikes aim to inspire athletic riders with lots of riding fun and low weight.

Companies like Cube, Specialized or Cannondale continue to try to kill two birds with one stone by offering their Downcountry bike based on a racefully frame. Canyon has also made this balancing act with its own rear suspension for its racefully until 2023. With the relaunch of the Lux Trails, the direct seller now aims to end the compromises in the Downcountry sector. The Koblenz-based company clearly distinguishes the new Lux Trail with its own frame from the Lux Worldcup, which will still be available. The question, of course, remains: What is the advantage of the independent construction?

The Lux Trail has exciting features for touring cyclists

The Canyon Lux Trail is primarily a tour bike. This clear distinction from racefullys gives the engineers more leeway in terms of weight, but also kinematics. The integrated storage compartment in the down tube, the steering stop limiter in the headset, or the BSA bottom bracket thread integrated in the carbon frame ensure minimal additional weight compared to classic racefullys. But all of these features also provide a real added value compared to the puristic race machines from the World Cup. In addition, the kinematics can be tuned for more riding enjoyment on the singletrack.

Canyon Lux Trail storage compartment in down tube
There is room for an air pump, spare tube, and a lightweight wind vest in the down tube. The mini tool is always within reach at the bottom of the top tube.

Storage compartment in the down tube and then some

Canyon complements the storage compartment with an additional mini tool that is always within reach and mounted under the top tube. In combination with the two bottle holders in size L, the Shamurai Tireplug Tool in the handlebar, you no longer need to rely on an additional backpack – even on long tours. The storage compartment not only fits a spare tube and an air pump, but also a light wind vest or a few small snacks.

Steering stop limiter Canyon Lux Trail
In the upper control bearing assembly, a steering stop limiter is integrated to protect the frame in case of a fall.

Steering stop limiter for frame protection

Especially when the handlebars are mounted low for sporty riding, a handlebar limiter is useful. In off-road crashes, the front wheel often washes out. If the shift or brake levers then hit the carbon top tube with great force, a frame can get damaged or at least cause some annoying scratches.

The handlebar limiter stops the handlebar’s steering angle slightly to prevent this from happening, which is not covered by any warranty, by the way. This increases the lifespan of the frame. The integration of this feature into the upper headset bearing seems well-executed and is visually much more discreet than in the predecessor. (We will address the BSA bottom bracket maintenance further down.)

Rear Suspension Kinematics
The new Canyon Lux Trail features a single-pivot rear suspension with flexing seatstays.

Special rear suspension kinematics for more driving pleasure

The rear suspension kinematics of racefullys are primarily tuned for efficiency and also to filter out rough impacts, so that the upper body is less fatigued on long distances. On the Lux Worldcup (the racefully by Canyon), the engineers have achieved this goal perfectly with the pivot points on the frame, as well as with the flexing seat stays. The downside: when it comes to rough terrain, the limited 100 millimeters of travel on this bike quickly reach their limit.

Rear suspension kinematics Canyon Lux Trail.
If you remove the damper and compress the rear suspension, the necessary force increases with the travel due to the flexing seat stays.
Rear suspension kinematics Canyon Lux Worldcup.
If the same test is conducted with the Canyon Lux Worldcup (with 100 mm of suspension travel), there is a tipping point where the flexing seatstays compress the frame.

The Canyon Lux Trail not only has its own independent rear suspension, but also its own unique rear suspension character. This sensitively responds more than that of the race full suspension. Above all, it has more reserves towards the end of the travel. If the trail becomes rougher or there are some small jumps, the Lux Trail’s rear suspension can absorb it without reaching its limit (bottom-out).

In our video about the bike, we demonstrated the effect that the flexing seatstays have on the rear suspension, both on the Lux Trail and the Lux Worldcup. This clearly shows that the Lux Trail has been optimized for different goals. Despite having the same name (Lux), the bikes have nothing more in common technically. And that brings us to the practical test.

Canyon Lux trail experience
Riding ´till the cows come home or trail shreddage - how does the Lux Trail perform out and about?

Canyon Lux Trail Test: Mileage ripper or trail machine?

We not only put the Canyon Lux Trail CFR for €6499 through its paces on long tours, but also deliberately took it on rougher trails. After all, we wanted to know how far this bike can go. Our test bike weighed 11.4 kilograms in size L without pedals. The low overall weight and light wheels make the acceleration wonderfully light-footed. The sensation of acceleration from a standstill, during a change of pace, or even coming out of a curve greatly strokes one’s confidence and proves: Canyon knows what sporty bikers love.

Wheel Weight
We always weigh the wheels with tires, brake discs, and cassette for all bikes. Separately. A weight of 4.3 kilos is really low for a touring bike.
Commencing on the Canyon Lux Trail
The low rotating mass makes the start on the trail wonderfully light-footed.

All Lux Trail models come with a two-stage handlebar lockout. With the thumb, you can not only completely lock the very sensitive rear suspension while climbing, but also slightly calm it down. So even in the ascent, the traction and comfort advantages of the full suspension are maintained, without having to be afraid of efficiency losses.

Lockout lever on the Lux Trail.
The linked lockout for the shock and fork also has a pedal platform that can be engaged with your thumb.
Seating position Canyon Lux Trail
The seating position remains sporty despite the 50mm stem. The Lux Trail remains aggressive.

Speaking of efficiency: Despite a short 50mm stem, the seating position remains very sporty. When sitting in the saddle, there is noticeably more pressure on the wrists than with All-Mountains, like the Neuron. With a 480mm reach, the main frame is long. However, the short stem and, above all, the not too flat steering angle of 67 degrees ensure a very direct handling with a secure feeling at high speeds.

The sensitive suspension cleanly filters out even the smallest irregularities, providing constant grip. The pleasant progression also allows you jib here and there without the rear suspension sinking into its travel. And even when landing or compressing, you never feel that the rear suspension is rushing through the travel or bottoming out.

Bischofsmais jumps
Small jumps are no problem for the Canyon Lux Trail. Bigger jumps or gnarly, rugged alpine terrain are not the comfort zone of a Downcountry bike.
Shimano XTR Flatmount Brake
The power of the Shimano XTR Flatmount brake is lower than that of the Postmount version. The reason is that the pad surface is significantly smaller.

If you deviate from the intended area of use onto significantly rougher trails, the slender rear tire primarily limits the maximum speed. The Racing Ralph tire rolls like hell, but decelerates significantly worse when braking compared to a Nobby Nic or Wicked Will. When it comes to puncture protection, compromises have to be made with the Racing Ralph as well. The Shimano Flatmount brake had weaker deceleration than the Postmount version, as the material on the brake pad is noticeably smaller. Let’s be honest: In alpine terrain or on rocky trails, the riding style has to be adjusted much more with the Lux Trail than with bikes with more suspension travel.

Canyon Lux Worldcup
We also compared the bike with the Canyon Lux Worldcup. The differences are noticeable in off-road terrain. Subscribe to the newsletter in the footer for the full Lux Trail test.
Rigid carbon support
The razor-sharp race bike comes with a rigid seatpost, demanding good downhill skills.
The cockpit of the Canyon Lux Worldcup
The front extension is also longer and the handlebars narrower. The Canyon Lux Worldcup belongs on the racetrack, the Lux Trail belongs in the garage of touring cyclists.

The workshop check - how to maintain the new Lux Trail

When it comes to bikes from direct distributors, such as Canyon, Radon, or YT, the issue of user-friendliness for maintenance plays a crucial role. In case of defects or wear, one has to do the repairs themselves. Particularly commendable is the screwed BSA bottom bracket, which can be easily installed and removed multiple times, in contrast to a pressfit bearing.

BSA Bottom Bracket Canyon Tux Trail
The threaded BSA bottom bracket will please mechanics.
Integrated cable routing
If you want to change the upper bearing, you have to cut all the lines once.

The lower steering bearing, which wears out most frequently, can also be replaced without tools, because most bearings are not pressed tightly into the carbon frame. However, you have to open all the cables and brake lines once through the inner cable routing in order to replace the bearing. It’s not rocket science, but it’s a significant additional effort that mechanics have to deal with in the rare case of a worn out upper steering bearing.

Rear suspension linkages
The rear suspension bolts on the Lux Trail cannot be seen visually. Some of them are also difficult to reach for tightening, which is only achievable with some tricks.

Also a bit of skill is required when trying to reach all the rear suspension fastenings. While this is no problem with the main one, you have to approach the linkage lever, to which the damper is attached, with some skilled know-how. Because, in order to reach the fastening of the lever with the seat stay, you have to either compress the rear suspension or preferably disconnect it at the upper support of the main frame. Its a step that is necessary for many full-suspension bikes. However, the connection between the seat stays and the upper linkage lever can also be tightened in the installed state. All bearings and fastenings are protected from dirt on the inside of the seat stay.

Routing
The cables are led inside the frame using cable tubes.
Canyon Lux Trail Line Management
The Canyon Lux Trail CFR has a mechanical gearshifter, telescopic seatpost, and damper lockout. This means that the maximum number of 4 cables must pass through the headset.

The internal cable routing is often criticized, but primarily Canyon deserves a pat on the back here. Because with guided tubes that are integrated inside the frame, changing the cables is really easy, until you reach the headset. If you still have a shift cable and no electronic shifting, simply push it into the corresponding opening in the rear frame and wait until it comes out at the headset again. The guiding through the headset works even without prior knowledge, but requires some skill. In our test bike, the maximum number of cables (4 pieces – brake, shift, seatpost, lockout) had to be processed through the headset. That requires some patience.

Canyon spacer
The cables do not run through the spacers or the handlebars, which allows for easy height adjustment.
Canyon Lux Trail stem cap
If the small noses of the plastic cover of the front panel and the spacer do not align 100% during assembly, there is an unsightly gap. This is not a problem with correct installation.

Good thing about Canyon’s inner cable routing is that the cables don’t go through the stem/handlebar or the spacers. So, you can adjust or replace the stem height without having to deal with the cables. This is not a given with all manufacturers. The cap on the stem and spacers are made of plastic and have small tabs for a secure installation. Care must be taken during assembly.

It is commendable that the threads of the rear brake are located in the brake caliper, not in the frame. This reduces the risk of frame defects caused by broken threads (and also allows for better flexing of the frame for rear suspension function). With the UDH derailleur hanger, the frame also accommodates the mount of Sram´s transmission system. In addition, the rebound adjustment of the shock absorber can be easily reached, unlike the Lux Worldcup.

All current Canyon Lux Trail models at a glance including prices and availability:

As usual, we not only provide profound insights into the details. Unlike any other media, our innovative and absolutely objective testing system allows us to provide you with information about the complete model family. Here you can find all the information about the right Lux Trail according to your budget.
By the way, we also have a comprehensive purchase guide for downcountry bikes.

All current Canyon Lux Trail models at a glance

Conclusion regarding the new Canyon Lux Trail

Canyon uses its independent Downcountry platform not only to stand out from the crowd, but also to uncompromisingly address the needs of touring riders. With successful geometry and a rear suspension that clearly distinguishes itself from race bikes, Canyon hits the nail on the head. With a weight of 11.4 kilos, our test bike’s weight is on point. And the maintenance friendliness is also not a dealbreaker. Guided cables inside the frame, the threaded BSA bottom bracket, and the headset can also be handled by hobby mechanics without expensive special tools. Granted that some manual skill is required.

About the author

Ludwig

... has spent more than 100,000 kilometers in the saddle of over 1000 different mountain bikes. The essence of many hours on the trail: Mountain bikes are awesome when they match your personal preferences! With this realization, he founded bike-test.com to assist cyclists in finding their very own dream bike.

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