Let’s first start at why I bought a downhill bike and let’s face it, who doesn’t want a downhill bike. They look insane and if you’ve ever dreamt of putting your bike on steroids, the end result is a downhill bike.
So it had been on the shopping list for a while and when I finally had a rational-ish excuse to buy one, I went for it! The Excuse you ask? Well, my Family and I were off to Sainte Foy for a summer holiday, a little skiing village in the French Alps, which is conveniently a 10-minute drive from Tignes. Tignes a world-renowned ski resort has recently turned to Downhill/Enduro for the summer months, sporting ten or so LONG trails. Oh by the way, the lift pass is free, so it’ll cost you nothing to ride.
Long story short, however, it would cost me £600 to rent a downhill bike for the week, so the small increase to £2000 for my own felt plausible! So a month before we left, my shiny new Canyon Torque DHX arrived.
How did it ride?
I’ve only ever ridden three DH bikes so I can hardly call myself an expert. What I would say however is that it had a long wheelbase which meant agility wasn’t its strong point. Pointing it downhill and clinging on, was. Tignes and neighbouring resort Val D'isere, part of the same trail network, are rocky and to say it ploughed the land would be an understatement. Nothing was too big it felt and the more speed the better! I remember riding it at Antur Stiniog where the rocks are big, and it took me a while to mentally adjust. That metre drop followed by a rock garden can actually be taken at full speed, with no brakes. The bike will be fine and in fact, sail right across. Compared to my 100mm hardtail, mentally readjusting your limits was the hardest thing about riding the Canyon.
Go big or go home ey?
So why sell then?
Well, I don’t live in the Alps. Not yet anyway. For the UK it was like bringing a shotgun to a knife fight. Massively more capable than for the riding I was doing. Granted it would be ace at Revo Bike Park and the young chap that bought it off me is doing exactly that, however, for East of England 210mm of travel, big tyres and lazy handling meant it saw more time in the garage than the trails. Even the nearby bike parks like Chicksands could be ridden on 140mm or less. So time to rehome!
Would I buy one again?
No. I’ve now got my new bike in replacement; the YT Industries CF One which has all the attitude and some of the downhill capability of the Canyon, but you can pedal it for hours at a time. Saying that, if lived near to big mountain riding, you betcha it would be back on the shopping list.
So, onto my next bike then. Stay tuned to my channels as I get into the swing of things.