Canyon Nerve AL 9.9 29er

Canyon Nerve AL 9.9 29er


The front end uses a Fox 32 fork, with 100mm of travel and again the option of 3 ride settings (climb, trail and descend). Whilst I probably would not want to trust my front teeth down anything seriously steep or rocky (say, the black run at Antur Stiniog, Wales) it was perfectly suited to everything I threw it down on the Cristalp. Again, I ran the Fox 32 hard, mainly on the climb setting to provide something close to lockout, and never came close to using up the travel or wishing I had any more.


100 mm Fox 32 fork and Mavic Crossmax wheel upfront
100 mm Fox 32 fork and Mavic Crossmax wheel upfront


In fact, the more I rode this bike the more I came to appreciate just how good the suspension was. Once I had it set up right the traction and control were impressive. It climbed up very steep fire road, wet slippery single track, rocky technical section and every other terrain imaginable without the need to leave the saddle. The rider position is perfectly balanced so that your weight is in just the right place to keep both wheels flat on the ground with all expended energy used efficiently to keep things moving forward. I have never ridden another bike this comfortable and well balanced.


That’s not to say that going down was compromised; the Nerve AL is no one trick pony. The seat tube is angled slightly back to allow for adequate rear suspension clearance, so with a slight position adjustment I could get my weight back to allow for some seriously fast and dependable descending; in fact the Nerve bike descends like the wind. Some of the liberties I took whilst desperately trying to claw back a minute or two coming down off the mountain should not have been allowed, but the bike just soaked it up.


Front fork lockout, set mainly to climb for the Cristalp...
3 setting front fork lockout, set mainly to climb for the Cristalp…


The Mavic Crossmax ST 29 wheel set is a thing of wonder and beauty: cross-country and endurance event orientated, tubeless ready and weighing 1620g, and retailing for £650 no less, they were stiff, light, responsive and frankly very, very quick.


The Schwalbe tyres – Racing Ralph on the front and Rocket Ron on the rear – offered great grip, even on the most treacherous gravel covered fire roads that traditionally scare the life out of English riders. Whilst I had no issues with punctures during the 3 weeks I had the bike, I would still opt for going tubeless as a rule. Both tyres and rims are ready to go, and once tubeless the option to run on lower Psi without fear of puncturing makes it worth the effort.


Acid Storm finish - one of only two colour schemes
Acid Storm finish – one of only two colour schemes


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