Canyon Torque 29 AL 6 review – Full-Suspension – Mountain Bikes

Canyon’s previous-generation Torque was one of a dying breed of long-travel 650b-wheeled bikes.

It’s been reworked substantially this year, with new frame details, revised geometry and bigger 29in wheels at each end.

Canyon Torque 29 AL 6 frame and suspension

Canyon relies on its familiar four-bar suspension design on the new Torque.
Mick Kirkman / Our Media

In common with other new Canyons, the Torque’s low-slung frame has good standover clearance, rocks some pretty slick lines and is better finished than ever.

Out back, there’s the tried-and-tested four-bar suspension design we’ve come to expect from the German brand, plus a SRAM universal derailleur hanger, which will be easier to replace if you damage it hucking off cliffs away from home.

The new Torque is also available in carbon fibre, with adjustable geometry (via a flip chip at the tip of the seatstays, which isn’t on the alloy version) and 29in, 650b or mixed (MX) wheel sizes.

Cables are routed into the chunky aluminium frame.
Mick Kirkman / Our Media

This, however, is the seriously robust-looking aluminium chassis, with big, beaded welds on the compact front triangle.

The old shock yoke is gone, with the air-sprung Fox Float X2 damper now attaching directly to the seatstay tip, and the smooth-edged rocker link wrapping around the curved seat tube to meet the stays further down.

There’s (finally) room for a water bottle on the curvy down tube. The pivot hardware uses steel inserts for durability, but the frame is still said to be 200g lighter than the previous generation.

Canyon Torque 29 AL 6 geometry

Geometry is pretty standard for a bike of this type, with the effective seat tube angle 78 degrees.
Mick Kirkman / Our Media

This aluminium Torque lacks the geometry-adjust feature found on the carbon version.

Instead, Canyon has split the difference, giving the AL version the head angle from the slack setting (63.5 degrees) and the effective seat tube angle of the steeper setting (78 degrees) as found on the carbon frame, along with the 30mm bottom bracket (BB) drop.

These angles are pretty normal for a ‘bike park’ machine nowadays, and Canyon has stretched the latest Torque’s (carbon and aluminium frames) sizing so it’s in line with many contemporaries.

The large frame tested here has a 485mm reach (the key indicator of distance from hands to feet). While this sounds roomy, it’s actually 5mm shorter than the reach on the carbon 29er and doesn’t leave the frame feeling massive.

This is something to be aware of, because loads of rival mountain bikes with marginally shorter claimed reaches on paper feel bigger than this.

Canyon Torque 29 AL 6 specifications

Fizik’s Gravita Alpaca X5 sits on an own-brand dropper post.
Mick Kirkman / Our Media

It’ll be no surprise to hear that Canyon has nailed the component choices.

As one of the biggest brands, it’s at the front of the line for the best parts in times of supply issues, and by selling direct to the customer and delivering in a cardboard box, its prices are roughly 25 per cent better value than shop-bought rivals.

Highlights include stiff and strong DT Swiss freeride FR 2070 wheels with 30mm-wide (internal) FR 560 rims that are hard to dent and damage. These are shod with arguably the best Maxxis tyre combination – a 3C MaxxGrip-compound Assegai up front and faster-rolling MaxxTerra Minion DHR II at the rear, with EXO+ and DD casings, respectively.

The choice of Maxxis front and rear tyres is spot-on.
Mick Kirkman / Our Media

The trade-off for the strong wheels is more weight to lug uphill, and the workhorse drivetrain and brakes weigh marginally more than pricier kit, too.

However, Shimano’s SLX kit is perfectly sorted and reliable, providing wide-range gearing to winch up the steeps and powerful enough four-piston calipers and Ice-Tech brake pads that really bite on fast descents.

While the Performance-level Fox 38 fork and Float X2 shock have reduced adjustment and a slightly less refined ride quality than the brand’s priciest Elite and Factory kit, you can still add low-speed rebound and compression damping at both ends, via countable-click dials and a sweeping compression knob on top of the oversized fork leg.

Canyon’s own bar, stem and dropper seatpost are well-finished, a sensible shape and function well, plus the bike comes with a bottle cage installed to save you some money.

Canyon Torque 29 AL 6 ride impressions.

Climbing performance

This is not a bike designed primarily for climbing.
Mick Kirkman / Our Media

With a frame construction rated ‘Cat 5’ by Canyon, the Torque shares the same bombproof build quality as the Sender DH rig raced at World Cups, which gives you a clue as to the major intentions here. Basically, this thing isn’t designed to win any climbing competitions.

That said, it pedals fine, with minimal bob (no matter which sprocket you’re in on the cassette), smooth turnover and a good seated position, which places your hips over the cranks and never tips your weight too far back, even on the steepest pitches.

Being built like a DH tank, the limiting factor to climbing speed is the Torque AL’s weight. At over 16.5kg, it’s a noticeable chunk of bike to lug uphill for extended periods.

Add to this the designed-to-last wheels being heavy and the sticky/grippy front tyre being painfully slow-rolling on tarmac and smooth fireroads, and climbing can be a bit of a drag. Don’t expect to get anywhere particularly fast uphill or over undulating ground.

This is all typical for the category, although there are a few bikes – such as Propain’s Spindrift – that defy expectations of how sprightly and frisky a super-long-travel enduro mountain bike can pedal and climb. Those bikes are way faster under power and quicker to accelerate than the new Torque.

Descending performance

Point the Torque 29 AL 6 downhill and it really comes into its own.
Mick Kirkman / Our Media

With 29in wheels and 170mm of travel, you’d expect Canyon’s rig to thrive downhill with minimal drama and maximum speed, and it doesn’t disappoint.

Pretty much nothing unsettles the wheels on the ground or scrubs the edge off its pace, and the suspension at both ends feels deep and fluid enough to iron out creases on seriously rocky and rooty terrain.

The large size has stacks of stability and a calm ride. It trucks on down everything from raw, loamy enduro tracks littered with natural obstructions and blown-out holes, to faster baked-hard, big-bermed DH or bike-park style terrain.

The suspension is well tuned and not so numbing or isolating that you can’t get a sense of the terrain under the wheels, but if you want to turn off your brain, stand tall, look ahead and let the Torque do its thing, you’ll fire out the exit of tracks of practically any steepness and severity unfazed.

One area where this 29er seriously differs from its predecessor (and, to an extent, from the MX CF Torque) is that it’s definitely not as manoeuvrable or as responsive to sudden inputs of body language – for example, when initiating a lean angle to cut through turns.

It also feels as though the suspension sweet spot keeps your centre of gravity marginally higher than on the old 650b-wheeled Torque.

Both these factors mean it sits marginally higher through turns and flat corners, and it isn’t as easy to load the chassis in the mid-stroke to switch direction, pump hollows or bounce back off the rear end for extra acceleration in the apex of turns.

Smooth arcs, rather than acute angles, are the way to maintain speed, then, and the whole bike feels soft, forgiving and smooth rather than taut and springy.

Testing the latest carbon Torque earlier in the year, the frame felt absolutely bombproof, but transmitted a lot of terrain feedback through hands and feet. This isn’t the case here.

This may be a consequence of the alloy frame being better-damped, the bigger rear wheel, or the different shock and fork feeling slightly less supportive – it’s hard to say.

The Fox Float X2 damper now attaches directly to the seatstay tip.
Mick Kirkman / Our Media

What is clear, though, is that there’s less of the harshness and sense of a slightly fatiguing, rattly, vibration-laden ride apparent on the beefier carbon chassis.

Instead, the AL rides silently, even through the roughest sections and with puncture-defying higher tyre pressures, despite its lower-tier suspension.

This might make it the better latest-generation Torque to take somewhere such as the Alps or your local bike park for non-stop, hand-wrecking, arm pump-inducing uplift laps.

How does the Canyon Torque 29 AL 6 compare to rivals?

Canyon is right on the money with the new Torque when it comes to pricing and spec.
Mick Kirkman / Our Media

As a 650b-wheeled bike-park rig, Canyon’s previous-generation Torque had a unique, distinct set of attributes that saw it rule on jumps and man-made features, fizzing over with energy and tautness.

This new model is totally sorted, but being smooth and composed, rather than super-agile, it fails to transcend the crowded marketplace of similarly capable long-travel enduro rigs.

It’s still a sorted package, though, and you can’t argue with the price or spec here.

It’s unlike two long-travel chameleons in this category that balance super-enduro capability with a taut, responsive ride quality; Propain’s Spindrift and the Evil Wreckoning – the German bike blending high-speed enduro smoothness with corner-slicing attitude, and the latter popping and hopping off every trail feature more like the previous-generation Torque.

Canyon Torque 29 Al 6 bottom line

Solid is very much the defining word for the Torque 29 AL 6.
Mick Kirkman / Our Media

A solid package in every sense of the word, Canyon’s Torque AL 6 has got your back in the gnarliest terrain, pedals well and has great kit.

It’s a tad heavy and doesn’t quite have the taut, responsive attitude of the MX CF version, though, or that bike’s ability to encourage flicking off every little rise, lip and berm.

Source link

Beyond big bikes: How Coco Martin keeps his motorcycle collection in tip-top shape

MANILA: Thanks to his marketable appeal, talent, and heart, Coco Martin is now one of the most sought-after actors in the entertainment industry. Beyond acting, however, much can be said about his passion for the big bikes and the open road. Did you know that he personally maintains and cleans all his big bikes and ensures that they are in immaculate condition?

Just because he can’t take his big  bikes out on the open road as much due to the pandemic, that doesn’t mean he doesn’t baby them.

Coco Martin Shell on Bike

Coco Martin recalls how his passion for bikes started at a young age: “My passion for big bikes began during my younger years. I was a teen when I learned how to drive using our family’s tricycle. Since I did not come from a well-off family, I would earn my allowance by driving our tricycle to fetch and drop passengers to their destinations,” he said in Filipino.

The 39-year-old actor attributes his interest in motorcycles, engines, and maintenance to his elders. His grandfather supported their family financially by driving jeepneys, which he passed down to his father. Martin’s grandmother, whom he credits with raising him, owned the tricycle he rode. Martin observed his elders being meticulous in cleaning the vehicle’s engine as well as the entire jeep. He inherited that trait from them and has since become extremely picky when it comes to using engine oils for his impressive collection of motorcycles — and he only uses Shell Advance.

Coco Martin adds: “There are beautiful places in the Philippines that we must be immensely proud of. What I frequently visit when I just have a short amount of travel time is the Treasure Mountain in Tanay, Rizal. It is surrounded by high mountains and you would think that the clouds are right beside you due to the high elevation.” In the North, he used to ride out with his friends to Bulacan as well as long bike rides to Balete, Batangas, or to the Quezon province.

Long rides like these can quickly wear out a motorcycle’s engine because it is exposed to high temperatures, causing oil levels to drop. Oil loss is critical because it can lead to lubrication failure, which leads to engine failure. Coco Martin uses Shell Advance Long Ride, a fully synthetic engine oil that helps maintain effective lubrication performance for long rides of up to 6,000 kilometers, to address this concern. A trip from Batanes to Jolo can be completed six times using Shell Advance Long Ride without damaging the motorcycle engine.

Martin is also a fan of retro-styled motorcycles. His vintage two-wheelers have lasted the years because he ensures that they are maintained solely by Shell Advance Power. He participated in a recent virtual event with Pilipinas Shell’s Technical Advisor Bobby Capistrano. It was revealed that motorcycle degeneration occurs when users do not use high quality oil; oxidation and deposit formation inside the engine are unavoidable. Shell Advance Power counteracts this process in order to keep the bike’s superior performance. Previous field tests have shown that the engine remains strong with no power loss even after 20,000 kilometers.

Shell Motor Oils

The actor adds more points on the importance of good and proper care of his motorcycles: “Some people do not understand the high we guys get from bike-riding. You feel this wonderful indescribable feeling of freedom. You feel the wind hitting on your body, and when you hear the natural sound of the environment. Your own eyes see the destination spots up close and personal,” shared Martin.

While some riders ride simply for the enjoyment of it, others rely heavily on motorcycles for a living. Martin has empathy for those who are working hard during the pandemic and understands that people’s budgets are tight during these difficult times. With this in mind, according to Capistrano, some riders prioritize fuel economy over power and motorcycle endurance. “These are the riders who use their bikes going to work or the office everyday. Shell Advance Fuel Save is perfect for them. They would enjoy lower running costs and would run longer without having the need to refuel.”

Shell Advance Fuel Save is made up of uniformly sized molecules that flow smoothly inside the engine, resulting in less friction and smoother movement of engine components. According to Coco Martin, when this is used, engine durability is unaffected, and the loaded fuel provides an additional five kilometers over the standard  This was demonstrated during a field test of a fleet of bikes that ran for 12,000 kilometers.

Martin reminded his fellow riders that, regardless of their preferences — whether for long rides, power, or fuel economy—choosing high-quality motorcycle oil is an important step toward being a safe and responsible rider. “As a responsible driver, you should always check the condition of the bike’s brakes and wheels to ensure your safety. We should always show respect to our neighbors on the road and put safety first.”, Martin said.

Photos from Pilipinas Shell

Also read: Pilipinas Shell, Grab PH present initiatives for Cebu drivers and delivery partners

Source link


Re-Cycle: Bikes to Africa, a charity that takes unwanted bicycles from Britain and ships them to Africa, need a new home on the Isle of Wight.

The late Tony Harding began collecting bikes and taking them on a regular basis to the charity’s headquarters in Colchester. Since 2014, local volunteer Sue Bailey has coordinated the collection and the bikes have been stored, free of charge, in InnerSpaces in Cowes.

However, a new home is now being sought to enable the charity to keep collecting unwanted bikes across the Island.

Article continues below this advertisement

Sue said:

“We would like to continue to support this charity and in so doing help Islanders declutter their garages and sheds. Currently, we cannot accept bike donations because we don’t have anywhere to keep them.

“Due to increased business, Innerspaces no longer has the storage capacity to store bikes. It’s good for them, but not for us! We are looking for somewhere secure and dry to keep up to 150 bikes. If you know of somewhere that we could store the bikes, do get in touch”.

Over 1,500 bikes have been saved from going to the tip on the Island since Sue took over the reins from Tony.

Across the UK, thousands of bikes are thrown away or lie unused in sheds and garages, whilst many people in Africa have no access to transport of any kind. For some people living in parts of rural Africa, the average time spent walking to school, work, or collecting water can be 4 hours a day.

Article continues below this advertisement

A bicycle lightens this burden and cuts travel time to a fraction, which dramatically improves an individual’s health and wellbeing as well as work and education opportunities, helping to bring social change. It can be used to carry passengers and heavy loads. Bikes give families the extra time to earn, learn and enjoy life.

You can contact Sue on [email protected] if you have any suggestions.

Source link