Canyon Spectral CF 9 (Current) vs Santa Cruz Hightower Carbon CC XO1 (2021)

Forums Mountain Bike Forum Canyon Spectral CF 9 (Current) vs Santa Cruz Hightower Carbon CC XO1 (2021)

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    • #512143

      Hi folks,

      First time poster (and previously lurker) here.

      I’m very fortunate to be in a position to buy one of two carbon-framed “all-rounder” mountain bikes I have my eye on.

      One is a 27.5″ bike. The other is a 29er.

      I wonder if anyone has any views on the one to go for.

      They are:


      (1) Canyon Spectral CF 9 (Current) (27.5″) (Black/Stealth, Large)

      Direct to consumer listing at (UK site): £4250




      Canyon Spectral Carbon Frame.
      Fork: Rock Shox Pike Ultimate
      Rear Shock: Rock Shox Deluxe Ultimate


      Rear Derailleur: SRAM X01 Eagle 12s
      Shift Lever: SRAM X01 Eagle, 12-speed
      Cassette: SRAM XG Eagle 10-52
      Crank: Truvativ Descendant Carbon DUB 32T
      Bottom bracket: SRAM Pressfit DUB


      Front+Rear Disc Brakes: SRAM G2 RSC
      Front+Rear Brake Rotors: SRAM Centerline Rounded Edges; Centerlock Disc Mount

      Wheels: (Carbon)

      Front Wheel: DT Swiss XMC 1501 XD
      Rear Wheel: DT Swiss XMC 1501
      Front Tyre: MAXXIS Minion DHR II 2.4”, Exo Casing, 3C Maxx Terra Compound, Tubeless ready
      Rear Tyre: MAXXIS Dissector 2.4″
      Thru Axle: Canyon Quixle


      Stem: Canyon G5
      Handlebar: Canyon G5 Carbon
      Grips: Canyon G5 Grips


      Saddle: Ergon SM10 Enduro Comp
      Seatpost: OneUp Components V2

      Attractive points:

      * Build/componentry versus price point.
      * In stock now and ready to ship to my address!

      Potentially negative points:

      * Dealing with a “direct to consumer” brand if something goes wrong.
      * Dealing with a “direct to consumer” brand if I have a frame-damage type incident.


      (2) Santa Cruz Hightower Carbon CC XO1 Build (2021) (29er) (Grey, Large)

      Example listing from (UK): £6600 (This is the standard retail price in the UK, and all other vendors I have found are also selling at this price-point for this build.)




      Santa Cruz CC (full carbon) frame).
      Fork: FOX 36 Float Factory, 150mm, 29″
      Rear Shock: RockShox Super Deluxe Ultimate


      Rear Derailleur: SRAM XO1 Eagle, 12spd
      Shifter: SRAM XO1 Eagle, 12spd
      Crankset: SRAM X1 Eagle Carbon 148 DUB, 30t
      Cassette: SRAM XG1295 Eagle, 12spd, 10-52t
      Chain: SRAM XO1 Eagle, 12spd


      Brakes: SRAM Code RSC
      Rotors: Avid Centerline 200mm Front / 180mm Rear

      Wheels: (Aluminium)

      Front Tyre: Maxxis Minion DHR II 29×2.4, 3C,, MaxxGRIP, EXO, TR
      Rear Tyre: Maxxis Minion DHR II 29×2.4, EXO, TR
      Front Hub: DT Swiss 350, 15×110, 28h
      Rear Hub: DT Swiss 350, 12×148, XD, 28h
      Rims: RaceFace ARC Offset 30 29″ (Aluminium)
      Spokes: Sapim Race


      Handlebars: Santa Cruz Bicycles Carbon Riser
      Stem: Burgtec Enduro MK3
      Grips: Santa Cruz Palmdale
      Headset: Hope 7/J Integrated Headset


      Seatpost: KS LEV Integra w/Southpaw or Rockshox Reverb
      Saddle: WTB Silverado Team

      Attractive points:

      * Santa Cruz, in my view, has a very good/strong customer service reputation in the event of something going wrong or an unfortunate incident (crash, frame damage, etc).
      * LBS relationship. (The LBS in question is one that I trust.)

      Potentially negative points:

      * Wait time — have been told at least late December 2020 and potentially January 2021 (with the possibility of the time-frame slipping further if there are supply problems.)
      * High price-point.


      General Comments

      I feel that the componentry is impressive on each.

      I also feel that both bikes are pleasing on the eye.

      Overall, I’m leaning a little towards waiting on the Santa Cruz Hightower Carbon CC XO1 build. My reasoning is that:

      (1) I’m slightly more interested in a 29er.
      (2) I want to avoid potentially damaging very expensive carbon wheels (the SC Hightower I have my eye on comes with Aluminium wheels).
      (3) Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, I feel that I would be “taken care of” if anything went wrong, or if I had any unfortunate incidents (e.g., frame damage) with the bike. In my opinion, Santa Cruz have a good/strong customer service reputation. That, in my view, is worth paying extra for.


      A little about me

      40 years old. 6ft / 6ft 1″ or thereabouts (and feel that a Large is the best size for me). Physically active/fit.

      Usage will be mixed/varied trail riding all around Scotland.

      I’m looking for an “all-rounder” trail bike, and for me, the two bikes above are the ones that excite me at this time. (I have already ruled-out many other options.)



      Thanks for reading and I look forwards to any replies, especially replies with contrary views!


    • #512250

      If I were buying a medium travel Trailbike. Here are the things I would be looking for.

      —Get about 140mm rear and 160mm front travel. For 99% of trail riders that’s about as much travel as you’ll ever need. If most of your riding is winching yourself to the top of the mountain just so you can hammer down the rough and steep, then you might need more travel. I also think it makes sense to have 20mm of difference between front and rear. Shorter travel on the back will help a bike climb and pedal better. Longer travel on the front makes a bike more capable without adding much weight.

      —Get 29er wheels and especially so if you’re a taller person. 29ers roll over rough rocky ground better than 27.5 wheels. 29ers just feel proportionally right for taller riders. For smooth trails and smaller riders, 27.5 is probably better. Isn’t Scotland pretty rocky and you’re fairly tall?

      —Ideal geometry is about 66 HTA, 76 STA, 475mm reach size large. Not too XC and not too Enduro! A longer slacker bike will certainly descend better but will also be much less fun on the flats, twisty sections, and climbs.

      —Choose a bike that has a reputation for being a good climber. Some bikes definitely climb better than others. You spend much more time climbing than descending.

      —Try to pick a bike that is as light as possible. You will definitely feel the difference between a 29 pound bike and a 33 pound bike.

      My two favorite mid-travel Trailbikes are the Pivot Switchblade and the Ibis Ripmo. Mostly because they are known for being excellent climbers but also because they follow most of the guidelines I outlined above.

      I wouldn’t sweat about every little detail of the build. Get the wheel size, travel, geometry, and climbing performance right and whether you get Rock Shox or Fox, Shimano or Sram, budget or halo build, just doesn’t matter that much. Of your two bikes, the Hightower would be my first choice just because it has 29er wheels. I think the Switchblade and Ripmo are better bikes. However, you certainly wouldn’t go wrong getting the Hightower.

    • #512619

      Thanks so much for your very detailed response Bike Nerd.

      I appreciate the time you have taken to outline those thoughts very much.

      The Ibis Ripmo certainly seems like a nice bike.  I’ll add that to my considerations.

      I’m testing out a Hightower in L and XL in about a week or so at the local bike shop, and will likely make a decision after that.

      All the best.

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