Mountain Bike RiderJune 2020

The latest Neuron AL plays it safe, but delivers on value
Danny Milner
Positioning a trail bike to hit the right consumer is a delicate business. The term ‘trail bike’ covers such a sweep of travel, geometry, wheel size, terrain and riding style that even the most sophisticated dating app would struggle to find the perfect match between rider and machine. Throw in the subtleties of international markets and you have an even trickier proposition. Do you turn your back on more traditional regions such as Germany, Spain and Italy or try to ensnare the more progressive customers in places like North America and the UK?

It’s clear that the new Neuron AL aims directly at the former, with geometry, sizing and spec that’s better suited to exploring gentle trails and getting your heart pumping through exercise than your pulse racing from excitement.

The Neuron AL range consists of just two models – the AL 6.0 at £1,699 and the AL 7.0 at £2,049. There are also women-specific versions of each model as well as a kid’s option – the YoungHero at £1,399. Across both models, larger frame sizes run 29in wheels, while smaller ones get 27.5in wheels.

To try and keep the handling consistent, there are slightly different head angles, top tube lengths and chainstay measurements, depending on the wheel size fitted. Specifically, the 27.5in bikes get 0.5°-slacker head angles and 5mm-shorter chainstays than the 29in versions.

Just like its composite cousin that was launched last year, the Neuron AL boasts a pin-sharp frame design with attractive detailing and an overall proportion that looks just right in profile. The hi-tech construction and refined features ensures this is an affordable bike that cuts no corners – with internal cable routing, integrated frame protection, retractable ‘Quixle’ quickrelease and highly sealed bearings, Canyon hasn’t skimped on any aspect of the chassis design.

The shock is driven by the seatstays via an extender yoke, which has the advantage of minimising stiction (shock rotation is handled by the seatstay pivot bearings) and maximising standover height as well as increasing space within the front triangle to accommodate a bottle cage. Out back, there’s a pivot on the chainstay in front of the dropouts, making the Neuron a true four-bar design.


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June 2020