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For a bike that is positioned in the trail/all mountain "do it all" category and has been almost universally praised by reviewers there is a surprising lack of community discussion around it.

Not sure about the US, but in Australia there appears to be a very small chance of picking one up any time before next year anyway.
 

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I own a CF 9 that was once a media review bike.
It came with a pike ultimate rct3 fork 150mm and a maxxis dissector rear tire.

I am by no means a bike connoisseur, and this is my second full suspension bike replacing a 27.5" 2016 Transition Scout Alloy. So, I can't give deep comparisons to other bikes, but I can share what I know.

That being said, I love the bike. The head tube angle even with the 150mm fork was pretty shocking slack at first, but I got used to it quickly. Another thing I noticed was how light the rear end of the bike was, which may just be the build kit of the CF 9.

My rides so far have been relatively tame trail riding, though I do get my tires off the ground here and there. My rides are typically 8-15mi with ~1.5-2k' of climbing and some short chunk and short flowy bits. Pointed downhill, I found the bike surprising playful and carries speed well while providing a fairly supportive platform to push into turns. It may be how my suspension is set up, but I noticed sit and spin was much more effective than mashing out of the saddle. Out of the saddle pedaling had noticeable pedal bob when the shock was full open. I occasionally ride pavement to get to a local trailhead and locking out the suspension made for a fairly efficient ride.

I picked up a side loading Lyzene water bottle cage and still had to modify the mounting holes to get my 21oz camelback podium in the frame (still juuuust touches the shock w/ the rubber cover). And I still haven't found any accessory to actually attach to the 1 bolt mount under the top tube, so using a Dakine strap thing.

The bike came used, so it had some superficial scratches and 1 deepish scratch on the frame but so far nothing to really report on quality. I have bent a rear spoke, and gotten some recent "pinging" in the front spokes. I suspect I am on the upper weight limit of the what these lightweight 28h wheels were designed to accommodate, and going to be doing some wheel maintenance this weekend.

Let me know if you have specific questions.
Also, this bike looks rad.
 

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Funny to notice, that I also came from Transition Scout Al and now running Euro-spec Spectral CF9. Euro spec means Rockshox front (150mm) and rear. Comparing to Scout, Spectral have much more progression in rear suspension, suspension doesn't bottom out as easily (surprise,:) ), head angle is much slacker and plenty room reach. Suspension feels very supportive and thus more trail oriented. If you are looking for enduro sled, this might not bewhat you are looking for. Occasional enduro runs shouldn't be any issue nor bike park visits. Bike jumps very balanced and tracks corners, but suspension is at trail spectrum of compliance.

Component vice CF9 doesn't leave much to desire. Also DT XMC1501 wheels are still true even though 28h. I'm about 95kg (net) and have done more than 2800km for now. GX chain wears out quick, but I was able to get X01 chain in time to not ruin chain rings nor casette.

Issues, that should be understood:
1. Water bottle location is difficult and tight. I'm using Camelbak when riding Spectral.
2. Headset is IS52/IS52. There is no good reason, why upper bearing is as big as it is. Size of the bearing causes a need for very thick upper crown race which creaks if not greased properly and tightened bit tighter than you'd used to.
3. Crankset is 'Dub wide'. Thus normal boost cranks will require special spacers, but can be done. Chain line is couple of mm outward compared to normal boost. That doesn't seem to be an issue if not altering cranks. Some chain rings might touch chain stay.

All in all; I'm very happy with this bike.
 

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Riders weight is more forward related to rear wheel in Spectral than Scout and front wheel is as well more forward in Spectral. Thus it is easier to keep front wheel on the ground than what it was with Scout. Scout BB is low as where Spectral BB is not that low. Spectral rear suspension is more supportive and keeps BB running higher. As long as climb is relatively straight, Spectral goes better. No matter, if it is a gravel road, easy trail, or technical climb. In case there are tight corners during the climb, Scout was much more easy to turn in tight spots. With Scout you find a way. With Spectral you just pedal it over. More or less.
 

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I have had my Spectral 29 CF9 since March and it's been awesome. Great spec on this bike.

My observations are that this bike is really dialed, and really fast compared to my previous bikes. Most recent bike was a SC Bronson. It's not as playful and poppy as the Bronson was but the way the Spectral can mow through the chunk and just gain speed downhill is amazing to me. I keep the flip chip in the low setting mostly and the bottom bracket is pretty low. I need to pay attention to timing my pedaling through rocky areas to avoid pedal strikes. As others have mentioned, fitting a water bottle is a little tricky but I can fit a 20 oz bottle with a short top using a standard old school type bottle cage. I occasionally will get a creaking sound when pedaling and originally thought it was the pivot bearings. It turns out the rubber sleeves that the rear brake hose and derailleur cable run through as they pass from the front triangle through to the rear triangle get dirty and make some noise. Simply cleaning them and applying some dry lube quiets it down for about 10-15 rides before it returns. Not a big deal now that I know what it is. The bike is super quiet when descending - almost electric car like with the lack of noise. I did have a problem with the rear DT Swiss 240 hub where the ratchet jammed. DT has a service bulletin on it as it's a common problem. I had to return the wheel to DT Swiss in CO and they repaired very quickly at no charge. I imagine that the newer bikes already have the upgraded parts so not likely to be an issue any longer. My only gripe is the brakes that are specced on the bike. SRAM G2 RSC. They work fine but on long high speed descents they are not up to the task. I switched to metallic pads and a 200mm rotor in the rear - that helps but Canyon should have put Codes on a bike that is this capable. The bike climbs really well for a big 29er. Unless I'm grinding up a fire road, I usually just leave the shock open. The bike has gone up in price by $600 since I bought mine so not nearly as good of a deal as it was before. Comparisons to other bikes out there would be Stumpjumper EVO which is really similar geometry and suspension wise. A little more geo adjustability on the Stumpy though. Plenty of other bikes in this category. I would definitely buy it again
 

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I believe that 600ml is max bottle size in any frame size as rear suspension design is the limiting factor.
Thanks for the info, I wasn't sure if frame size impacted things or not.

Not sure if you have seen the Thirstmaster bottles, but they use a fidlock mount and are shorter than the standard water bottles. The Thirstmaster 4000 which is designed for a Jeffsy, holds 590ml and is 4cm shorter than a regular 620ml (21oz) camelback podium. They have a Thirstmaster 5000 bottle which is designed for the Izzo and holds 835ml. I don't know the dimensions of the 5000 but was hoping that it might fit. The Thirstmaster bottles also seem to be tapered at the base, so it appears you could get it further down into the bottom bracket area.
 

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I have a medium frame and modified a Lezyne Side Load Flow to fit a CamelBak Podium Dirt 21 oz (non-insulated version). I had to take a dremel to the cage (plastic) and elongate the mounting holes a bit to push it down toward the bottom bracket. The rubber cap cover barely touches the shock under no load.
 

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Thanks for the info, I wasn't sure if frame size impacted things or not.

Not sure if you have seen the Thirstmaster bottles, but they use a fidlock mount and are shorter than the standard water bottles. The Thirstmaster 4000 which is designed for a Jeffsy, holds 590ml and is 4cm shorter than a regular 620ml (21oz) camelback podium. They have a Thirstmaster 5000 bottle which is designed for the Izzo and holds 835ml. I don't know the dimensions of the 5000 but was hoping that it might fit. The Thirstmaster bottles also seem to be tapered at the base, so it appears you could get it further down into the bottom bracket area.
No, the 5000 won't fit. Way too big. I've test fitted it as I own an Izzo. The only confirmed Fidlock to fit is the 590 with the dust cover removed and obviously the baby one. I bought the 590, but I won't get it until I get back from vacation in a few weeks

Edit: This is for the size Large frame, not sure on others
 

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So, my 590 came in. It obviously touches as stated by others when not sitting. Clears when sitting and will occasionally tap the shock on full extension. I've just put some thicker tape on the contact point where the dust lid hinge touches to prevent any marring and just running it as is. Bike is 2021 CF9 Large
 

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So, thanks to the the above info, I have managed to fit some 710ml bottles into my medium Spectral 29 CF9. I thought I might share some photos of my cage mods and how the different bottles fit.

I used a knife to carve away the plastic in two locations as you can see below.

Purple Sleeve Grey Violet Wood

Watch Hand Purple Sleeve Wood


I then also shimmed the bottom water bottle cage bolt with 2 washers so the cage could slide down even further.

As far as water bottles go, the new style camelback bottles are taller than the old ones, however, the new camelback lids are shorter than the old ones.

See the below picture of an old camelback bottle with a new lid with a modified and shimmed cage.

Automotive tire Bicycle handlebar Automotive design Camera accessory Fender


I then found M20 branded bottles which are slightly shorter still which gives even more clearance when used with a new style camelback lid.

Hood Light Automotive tire Sports equipment Bumper


It took me a bit of experimentation to get that result, so hopefully I can save someone some time. I also feel that there is a chance to get the same sized bottle fitting with a coil if I go down that path.
 

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Things to consider against
-Headset is sort of an issue. It needs to be clean and top cap screw torque needs to be bit higher than usual.
-Water bottle fitment is critical. Order Canyons own bottle cage and bottle if you want to use bottle.
-Cranks have bit wider chain line than regular boost. Good to know when replacing, but no harm caused so far

Things to consider as positive
-Rear suspension is very progressive. Supple at top and is easy to set the sag correctly. For lighter rider, it might feel harsh. Heavy riders will enjoy more than most of bikes. Averages should do just fine. No need for air volume tokens nor super large negative air springs. Coil should do just fine, but I haven't tried
-Geometry is spot on for trail riding. You should know how to weight front wheel when turning as in all relatively slack (at front) bikes.

At the moment of writing I have 5611km tracked at Strava for my 2021 Spectral CF9 and I'm still happy with it. If I would be purchasing it now, I would struggle on deciding between 125 and long travel version.
 
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