Canyon has developed the Stitched with the help of its factory freeride team, who’ve piloted it to numerous FMB World Tour podiums. We headed to our local street spots to check out its winning credentials for ourselves.
Frame and equipment: one size, fits tall
The Stitched is only available in one size, and one of the first things you notice is how long it is. The 585mm effective top tube length is unusual for a jump bike but makes it ideal for taller riders.
The hydroformed alloy tubeset keeps things light and stiff, and is nicely reinforced with a gusset on the underside of the down tube/head tube junction that still leaves enough fork clearance for barspins and X-ups. The horizontal dropouts house integrated chain tugs, which are simple to use and keep the chain tight and the wheel straight. We’d have liked the option to run a rear derailleur though, because this bike begs to go fast and soar over big jumps down at the 4X track.
The DJ version of RockShox’s Pike fork is just as impressive as the trail/enduro model
The major upgrades that separate the Stitched 360° from its cheaper stablemate, the £599 Stitched 180°, are the RockShox Pike DJ fork and Truvativ Descendent cranks, and they’re worth the extra cash. The Avid DB3 rear brake performed well to start with, but after a few months it became inconsistent, affecting our confidence when hopping up ledges and dropping into manuals. A bleed and pad reset fixed this, but it did put the dampener on a few rides.
Ride and handling: extra length will reward your patience
The long and relatively relaxed nature of the Stitched takes a bit of getting used to if you normally ride a shorter bike, and may put some people off. Spins and manuals don’t come as effortlessly, for example. But once you get to grips with the Canyon – especially if you’re a taller rider – it feels so much more comfy that you’ll wonder why you spent all those years hitting your knees on the bar.
This is a bike that makes you want to attack everything at full speed. The confidence we gained from the extra-roomy top tube and 68.5-degree head angle pushed us to boost the doubles further and the bunnyhops higher.
We were itching to get out on the Stitched as often as possible
In its DJ guise, the Pike fork offers up 100mm (3.9in) of well-damped travel that provides plenty of support when hitting take-offs and handles heavy landings without fuss. The tapered steerer and 35mm stanchions give the Stitched’s front end a stiff and predictable feel, which matches the back end well. And it’s that stiff back end that lets you accelerate quickly out of berms on the BMX track and boosts accuracy when carving up take-offs.
It’s pretty clear that Canyon’s slopestyle riders had FMB sized jumps in mind when helping to create the Stitched. Rather than design a 26in BMX, they’ve come up with a proper MTB dirt jump bike that’s kept us checking the weather every lunchtime in the hope of fitting in a quick street blast or trip to the local jumps.