Canyon’s new steering stabilizer-equipped Spectral KIS all-mountain bike holds your line, taking a number of the work out of climbing, then smoothing out and rushing up your descents by routinely returning your handlebar back-to-center. However don’t name it a steering damper. As a substitute, it’s one thing a lot less complicated hiding inside this Spectral’s carbon toptube – Syntace Ok.I.S. tech gently straightening out the bike as path obstacles deflect your entrance wheel…
However why you ask?
Canyon Spectral KIS will get secure steering
Why did Canyon put a steering stabilizer of their common and versatile Spectral trail-to-enduro bike?
It appears uncommon that we get to see true out-of-the-blue innovation in bikes. Fashionable mountain bikes for instance have gotten significantly better in say the previous decade, for probably the most half simply regularly evolving geometry, suspension layouts & internals, wheel-tire interfaces, and shifting tech. The Canyon Spectral has already benefited from all of that within the final two years alone.
However the Syntace Maintain It Secure (Ok.I.S.) steering stabilizer system is a completely new idea on high of that… and one that might make us rethink learn how to trip a bicycle, particularly off-road.
The thought basically boils all the way down to self-centering steering – like you have got in most fashionable motor automobiles. So with out rider enter, when the entrance wheel hits an impediment that knocks it off monitor, the bars come again straight.
It’s also possible to consider it like this. Shut your eyes and let go of the bars for a second, and whenever you open them you already know precisely the place the handlebar might be. Closing your eyes whereas using isn’t normally the most effective concept. However an identical analog may be merely wanting additional down the path to anticipate an even bigger impediment and your wheel hits one thing proper in entrance of it. Or glancing all the way down to see in case your shock is unlocked, or again to see what gear you’re in, or down on the just-punctured tire that’s hissing and spraying sealant at you, or straightening your glasses or wiping sweat out of your eyes. Any occasion the place you break focus for a fraction of a second or take your arms off the bar, that’s when a self-centering steering stabilizer may simply save your butt.
Canyon highlights the truth that Spectral KIS system merely filters out these small bumps that knock your entrance wheel off monitor, delivering “much less twitchy, extra assured dealing with” when descending. On the flats when your weight is shifted additional again or when climbing uphill, the KIS system additionally improves stability by counteracting the wheel flop that comes from the raked-out entrance finish of contemporary slack mountain bikes.
That ought to imply over technical terrain, each quicker descending with much less stress and simpler climbing with much less higher physique fatigue.
How does all of it work?
The premise of the restricted version, steering-stabilized Canyon Spectral KIS is a regular carbon Spectral 29 CF that was reshaped in 2021 as a do-it-all 29er all-mountain bike. It’s a fairly versatile 150/160mm bike that simply can go from on a regular basis path bike to mild enduro beneath a deft rider.
Tucked contained in the toptube of the favored trail-to-enduro bike is the comparatively easy and light-weight 120g spring, strap & cam setup that doesn’t decelerate your steering, as an alternative gently pulling the handlebar again to a straight place after path obstacles knock your wheel out of line.
Canyon’s resolution is tremendous low profile, solely seen from the skin of the body at three factors. The true bolt-on headbadge serves because the connection level for an inside ~175° steerer cease. A gap on the left facet of the headtube offers entry to the clamp bolt that secures the cam across the steerer tube (that is the place you’ll loosen, straighten the bars following an even bigger crash, and retighten the cam.) And the alloy adjuster on the toptube permits you to fluctuate the strain of the inner spring by sliding the adjuster front-to-back.
Learn all concerning the Syntace Maintain It Secure (Ok.I.S.) steering stabilizer tech right here.
However does it really enhance the trip?
Right here’s the factor, I solely have spent the higher a part of in the future using the brand new Canyon Spectral KIS, so I’m not likely positive but. However I’m intrigued.
I rode the steering-stabilized bike back-to-back on generally unfastened, generally technical trails north of Good, the house trails of Fabien Barel who confirmed us round. And I even have ridden the common Spectral (and its mullet & 125mm variations) quite a bit on my residence trails, so I used to be already very aware of the bike’s really feel.
And for probably the most half, in its center spring setting the Canyon Spectral KIS doesn’t really feel all that totally different to trip more often than not. I rode alongside and shortly accepted the self-centering steering as regular whereas on the bottom. It’s not an excellent robust pull. And it felt like KIS was most likely serving to to maintain my entrance wheel straight bombing down a troublesome, rocky & unfastened path.
Going into slower corners, I may really feel the spring attempting to work a bit in opposition to my steeper handlebar turns. However going quicker by way of unfastened turns it appeared to offer extra grip, the extra the spring was doing one thing. The mechanism for this sounds prefer it was been defined to me principally that the KIS system is pulling the again wheel inline extra with the flip, serving to me have a extra balanced place on the bike to get higher grip from each wheels collectively.
The one actually odd sensation is when the bike is within the air, and you’re using playfully. Most instances after I would soar off a hip in a flip or whip the bike slightly bit over a straight line soar, I have a tendency to show the bars a bit, generally pointing the bike within the route I wish to land. However put it into the air, and Canyon Spectral with the KIS steering stabilizer inside would all the time wish to straighten itself out.
With out friction from the bottom preserving the backend the place it was, you get the bike within the air with the bars turned, and the spring will make it straight once more. The odd half is much less the straightening, however extra that it equalizes the bike. For those who don’t actually actively resist, the KIS system will transfer the bars half approach again straight AND the rear finish of the bike midway again straight to line it up. It wasn’t totally equal, but it surely was a bit sudden at first.
With that stated, it’s not a foul sensation, simply one thing it’s important to get used to.
I wasn’t assured sufficient on my first rides to actually push the bike previous the sting of grip on unfamiliar trails to expertise the total 2-wheel drift that Fabien Barel was describing as like he skilled on skis. However after turning by way of the air, I can get a way of what that may really feel like with the bike wanting to maintain itself aligned.
So sure, the bike feels prefer it helps stabilize down technical trails. And whereas it didn’t magically make me a greater climber, I did really feel good climbing up unfastened trails with much less power wanted to maintain the bike straight.
Is it a game-changer? Possibly. Definitely, everybody doesn’t must do away with the perfectly-functional mountain bike they at present know learn how to trip, and get a brand new KIS-enabled bike. I feel even most present Spectral homeowners don’t want a KIS-equipped model.
However the using really feel is exclusive. And it actually might be interesting to a variety of riders – whether or not that’s riders who lack a number of the confidence wanted to actually assault probably the most technical trails, or on the opposite finish of the spectrum, these technically-skilled riders trying to push it a bit additional and a bit quicker down the gnarliest trails.
I’ll go away it with this… I wish to spend extra time on this bike. When extra of them can be found after this coming winter’s snow melts, I’m gonna attempt to put in a bunch of rides on the brand new Canyon Spectral KIS to see if it will probably reshape how I trip a mountain bike.
Canyon Spectral CF 8 Cllctv KIS – Pricing & availability
Curiously and as a pleasing shock, including progressive tech doesn’t add a ton to the general value of the bike. As Syntace describes it, their KIS system itself is comparatively easy & light-weight, so a whole lot of the added value is in integrating it seamlessly into the bike.
Ultimately, including KIS to the Spectral will increase value by 500€, bringing the overall to 4999€ – beneath the 5k mark. Extra essential might be its availability. For the primary 12 months, Canyon has exclusivity for the KIS tech outdoors of Syntace/Liteville, however volumes are nonetheless fairly low to start out. Canyon suggests that almost 150 of those Spectral CF 8 KIS bike can be found right this moment at launch, with extra anticipated within the early spring.
The restricted version 2022 Canyon Spectral CF 8 CLLCTV KIS is obtainable now in 3 or 4 inventory sizes (small coming in a few weeks) in Reflecting Gray (reflective paint) in a single Shimano XT, Fox Efficiency suspension construct meant to hit an attainable worth level for all riders in search of the most recent tech.
So if the KIS-equipped, steering-stabilized all-mountain bike appears like your form of bike, you higher act quick to snag one…