Tim Bardsley-Smith

Get to know: Canyon’s new DH bike, The Sender

Not content with the status quo would be an apt way to describe Canyon. Their direct to the consumer business model has shaken up the industry as we know it, bringing well designed, manufactured and exceptionally priced bikes to the rider.

Bringing Fabien Barel onboard to push their enduro aimed Strive platform, Canyon achieved more than just a new bike, they proved it to be a race winning ride with some revolutionary ideas from the multi WC winning rider. With Fabien’s depth of expertise alongside Canyon’s design and manufacturing prowess, it was only a matter of time until they updated their DH platform.

Enter The Sender. A completely new frame designed from the ground up, it’s a long, low and slack ride in what looks to be the longest bike on the DH market. With an adjustable head angle (62-64 degrees) plus adjustable chain stays (430mm or 446mm) the wheelbase of the XL (yes, they offer The Sender in XL and for an insight into who would ride that, Fabien does) just clears 1300mm making it one seriously stable high speed machine. A solid, yet sleek carbon front triangle is mated via one beautifully designed linkage to a tough aluminium rear end.

So what about that suspension? Well The Sender uses the time proven 4-bar design with a secondary ‘MX inspired’ linkage. We’re pretty sure it’s just a linkage, but MX does sound cool. And here’s where they’re making moves. The three stage compression curve of The Sender is nothing new, a supple beginning, stable mid stroke and progressive ending to create the perfect mix of three interlocking characteristics: anti-squat, pedal kickback and anti-rise. In Canyons words “Finding the sweet spot for all three results in a system that delivers efficiency, control and builds momentum on track.” Coil be gone! All of this hinging around the humble air shock. The Sender provides plenty of leverage at the start of the stroke to soften up the first ‘hard to get going’ third of the air shock, then moves smoothly into a lower leverage ratio through the middle third to reduce mid-stroke wallow, all without making full-travel too hard to find.

Design across the build and graphics is tight and beyond the ‘form follows function’ aesthetic Canyon nail so well, there’s almost too many well thought out details to mention. Many that on inspecting make you wonder why no-one has done this before. From padded internal routing and rubber protection on chain stays and fork stops to reduce both noise and damage, a sweet rear mud guard aptly named the ‘Sender Fender’, to etched guides on the linkage for setting sag, The Sender may just become the DH frame to define the next generation of DH bikes.

Available here in Australia in three build options ranging from $7,399 to $5,599 and also available as a frame, Canyon have fired a massive shot into the DH bike market. Not only on price, but also by ensuring that so many details that are often overlooked in a DH frame are offered. Frame sizing and adjustability will be a huge draw card for many a rider as well and we’re thinking we’ll be seeing more than a few of these on the lifts this summer.

Read the full ride review in issue 44. Available now.