Canyon Torque DHX Rockzone review

Nimble, bling-laden downhiller

Our rating 
4.0 out of 5 star rating 4.0
GBP £2,399.00 RRP

Our review

This Canyon is a fun, playful downhill rig that’s specced with some of the best kit available
Skip to view product specifications

German direct-buy brand Canyon is renowned for its bang-per-buck performance. Is the impressive spec sheet of the Torque backed up by its on-track character though?

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  • Highs: Boxxer Team fork is one smooth operator; Cane Creek shock provides massive tuning potential; low overall weight means a playful feel
  • Lows: Really short back end keeps things lively but makes for a less balanced riding position

Frame and equipment: deceptively long chassis dressed in high-end kit

The Torque’s compact, low-slung looks are deceptive. It may look dinky, but the relaxed 62.7-degree head angle, decent 430mm reach (on the medium frame tested) and lengthy 800mm front centre add up to produce a fairly stretched-out ride, with a wheelbase of 1,215mm. It still has extremely short chainstays though, measuring a stubby 425mm.

A ‘Trackflip’ chip in the lower shock mount allows you to tweak the amount of rear wheel travel (195-210mm/7.7-8.3in) along with the head angle and bottom bracket height, should you want to tailor the bike to the track you’re riding/racing. Controlling all of that travel is the impressively adjustable Cane Creek Double Barrel rear shock. This offers high- and low-speed compression and rebound dials – plenty to think about then.

There’s plenty of front end grip thanks to the aggressively treaded Maxxis Shorty front tyre and sensitive RockShox Boxxer Team fork
There’s plenty of front end grip thanks to the aggressively treaded maxxis shorty front tyre and sensitive rockshox boxxer team fork:
Steve Behr

There’s plenty of front end grip thanks to an aggressively treaded Maxxis Shorty

Neat features include integrated fork bump stops and internal routing for a stealth dropper post, should you want to create more of a do-it-all machine rather than a pure downhiller. The one thing the Torque does lack is 650b wheels.

As you’d expect from Canyon, the kit bolted to the Torque is some of the finest downhill hardware available, making it a ridiculously competitive package on paper – not to mention an impressively light one.

Among the many component highlights is the Boxxer Team fork. This gets RockShox’s beautifully smooth Charger damper, which makes for a ground hugging, traction-rich ride with masses of composure when taking on the big hits. Interestingly, Canyon has specced SRAM’s X01 DH seven-speed transmission rather than the 10-speed Shimano Saint found on the top-end Torque DHX Flashzone. We had no issues with the more limited gear range but there’s only one choice of rear derailleur – and replacements certainly aren’t cheap at £210.

Ride and handling: lively ride that rewards a firm hand

The Torque has a lot of things going for it. Point it down just about any track or trail and you’ll have a blast tackling whatever lies ahead. The low weight and stumpy chainstays make for a lively ride, with a nimbleness that encourages a more playful, pump-and-pop based riding style.

Take your time adjusting the Cane Creek Double Barrel rear shock and you’ll be rewarded with a smooth, controlled suspension stroke
Take your time adjusting the cane creek double barrel rear shock and you’ll be rewarded with a smooth, controlled suspension stroke:
Steve Behr

Fettling the Cane Creek Double Barrel shock rewards you with a smooth, controlled suspension stroke

That’s not to say it won’t handle things when the hillside steepens and the terrain deteriorates. With that raked-out head angle, long front centre and super-supple yet impressively composed Boxxer fork, there’s no shortage of confidence as you go belting over the brow of a drop and into the unknown.

The combination of the sensitive fork and aggressively treaded Maxxis Shorty out front means traction is never a worry. You can rip into turns with your feet up and load the bike hard, knowing it’ll stay glued to the ground. Through faster compressions and undulations, especially where line choice is critical, it doesn’t take long to realise the Torque needs a little more finesse to keep it on track though.

One you've got it mastered though, the Torque is a confidence-inspiring blast
One you’ve got it mastered though, the torque is a confidence-inspiring blast:
Steve Behr

One you’ve got it mastered, the Torque is a confidence-inspiring blast

That short back end does mean you feel less centred on the bike and the Canyon requires more exaggerated weight shifts forward and backward in choppy terrain when compared to the likes of the Vitus Dominer we rode alongside it. This doesn’t take long to get used to though, and doesn’t detract from how much fun this bike is to ride.

Setting up the Double Barrel shock takes time and requires a special tool, but the Cane Creek website provides plenty of information to get you on the right track and adjustments on the hill are more about refining performance than anything else. Control is impressive throughout the travel and the supple initial stroke helps to keep the back wheel planted as you pummel through rough, rooty sections at speed. The back end of the Canyon as a whole produces a nicely predictable ride with decent feedback and support.

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Shipping charges: £33 + £15 Bikeguard / For other countries, check www.canyon.com for availability and delivery charges.

Product Specifications

Product

Name Torque DHX Rockzone (15)
Brand Canyon

Available Sizes S M L
Weight (lb) 36.99
Saddle SDG I-Fly
Seat Angle 67.7
Seatpost SDG I-Beam
Shifters SRAM X01, seven-speed
Stem Renthal Integra, 45-50mm
Weight (kg) 16.78
Spoke Type Stainless, plain gauge
Rear Wheel Weight 2950
Bottom Bracket Height (in) 13.58
Chainstays (in) 16.73
Seat Tube (in) 15.94
Standover Height (in) 30.71
Top Tube (in) 24.02
Wheelbase (in) 47.83
Rims DT Swiss FR600
Rear Tyre Maxxis Minion DHR II MaxxTerra, 26x2.4in
Bottom Bracket SRAM GXP
Front Hub DT Swiss 350
Brakes SRAM Guide RS
Cassette SRAM X01 DH Mini Block
Chain KMC X11-93
Cranks Truvativ Descendant, 36t
Fork RockShox Boxxer Team, 200mm (7.9in) travel
Frame Material Hydroformed aluminium
Front Tyre Maxxis Shorty 3C MaxxGrip, 26x2.4in
Rear Shock Cane Creek Double Barrel
Front Wheel Weight 2800
Grips/Tape Canyon Torque DHX
Handlebar Renthal Fatbar, 780mm
Head Angle 62.7
Headset Type Cane Creek 40
Rear Derailleur SRAM X01 DH
Rear Hub DT Swiss 350
Frame size tested M