Canyon Torque Ex Gapstar review

Versatile and well equipped ride ready to tackle anything

Our rating 
4.0 out of 5 star rating 4.0
GBP £1,899.00 RRP

Our review

An excellent frame backed up with superb shock and smartly-specced build kit
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It’s no surprise that the Canyon Torque Ex Gapstar has an excellent parts list. However, it’s backed up by a well-featured 180mm travel, four-bar frame that’s capable of more than just playing in the park.


Frame and equipment: versatility is key

The main highlight of the outstanding kit bolted to the Canyon Torque is the Cane Creek Double Barrel Air shock. With adjustable high- and low-speed compression and high- and low-speed rebound damping, it’s incredibly tunable.

In conjunction with the neutral-feeling and stable suspension platform, this unit really allows you to balance fast and furious descending control with pedalling manners in a way no other bike here can.

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Russell Burton / Future Publishing

It also helps that the Canyon is fitted with a double on the RaceFace Chester cranks, so in addition to the top 36T ring there’s a 22T bailout option. The long, 46.6in wheelbase and relaxed 65.9-degree head angle mean that, with sufficient weight shifting, you can winch up steep climbs pretty easily.

The e*thirteen chainguide and clutch-equipped SRAM X9 rear mech keep the chain firmly in place, and a bashguard fends off rock strikes. It adds up to a bike that’s confident downhill but still manages to make surprisingly short work of uphills.

That relaxed front end and the 170mm travel, air-sprung RockShox Lyrik RC fork give plenty of support and confidence when it gets rough, tracking true thanks to the 20mm through-axle and tapered head tube. 

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Russell Burton / Future Publishing

We’re big fans of the stealthy matt anodised finish on the frame, and although there’s no dropper post fitted, the frame does have bosses for external hose/cable guides underneath the top tube.

Ride and handling: tough and efficient

The front end is slightly tall; we found the stem had to be run as low as possible to help carve turns, but it’s not a deal breaker and the 785mm wide RaceFace bars gave excellent leverage.

It’s an easy bike to muscle through turns and hustle through rocky, rough sections, and it backs up that front end with a stiff, taut chassis.

Some of the Canyon’s pedalling verve comes from the tubeless-ready Sun Ringlé Charger Comp wheels, which we liked, although we hated the end caps for the front hub, which fall out and attempt to lose themselves whenever you take the wheel out.

The mid-weight, EXO sidewall Maxxis rubber uses an incredibly grippy Super Tacky compound up front, paired with a faster-rolling 60a compound at the rear. This gives plenty of grip and feel, and it breaks away progressively, which means more confidence to push harder.

When it does get too much, the Avid Elixir 5 brakes haul up in an efficient manner, though they do lack tool-free adjustment. On the plus side, they use neat clamps to integrate cleanly with the SRAM X9 shifters.

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Russell Burton / Future Publishing

The Torque Ex Gapstar can tackle the rough and tumble of bikepark use and thrash down natural downhill courses, but if you break free from the uplift it sucks up natural big mountain riding too.

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Russell Burton / Future Publishing

Product Specifications


Name Torque Ex Gapstar (14)
Brand Canyon

Available Sizes S M L
Rear Derailleur SRAM X9 Type 2
Front Wheel SunRingle Charger Comp
Weight (lb) 33.7
Weight (kg) 15.3
Stem Race Face Respond, 60mm
Shifters SRAM X9, 10spd
Seatpost Iridium 3-0
Saddle SDG Circuit
Rear Tyre 2.5in Maxxis High Roller II Kevlar EXO 60a
Rear Shock Cane Creek Double Barrel Air, 180mm
Headset Type Cane Creek Series 40
Bottom Bracket Race Face X-Type
Handlebar Race Face Respond, 785mm
Grips/Tape Canyon Bracelets, lock-on
Front Tyre 2.5in Minion DHF Kevlar Super Tacky
Front Derailleur SRAM X9
Frame Material 7005 series alloy
Fork RockShox Lyrik RC Solo Air, 170mm
Cranks Race Face Chester 36/22T, e*thirteen SRS Dual Guide Custom
Chain KMC X10-93
Cassette Shimano Deore, 11-36T
Brakes Avid Elixir 5, 200/180mm rotors
Rear Wheel SunRingle Charger Comp