Thursday, November 01, 2007

Canyon Nerve XC 3.0 Review

After a few build hiccups I've mainly been stomping the XC back and forth on my daily commute and it's a definite improvement over my clunky old hard tail. On asphalt it immediately felt stable and reassuring especially in fast sweeping turns. Much to my surprise it rides light and rips up to speed quickly, shaving minutes off my ride to/from work - I just hope my legs aren't ripped apart in the process :p

Last night I escaped the "trick or treaters" and headed over to a misty Woburn for a taste of the Nerve on our beloved dirt. After initially scrabblin' and lurchin' through the roots I decreased the rebound front/rear and the rig then soaked up the roots without any fuss. With only limited time available I hammered around and started to enjoy the ride more with every crank. I did experienced more pedal strikes and after some initial frustration we both soon adjusted to predicting pedal lifts as obstacles swung by. I reckon she's got great potential for XC duties and given a few more miles off road I suspect we'd even cope with a lumpy Welsh trail or two :thumbu

Clicky for the standard specification and interestingly the geometry isn't wildly different from my 5Spot, with just 1 degree steeper HA. Naturally the two rigs handle quite differently (shorter travel/different rocker ratio's/etc) but as there are no demo rigs available the stat's were the only way to gauge if the bike would be suitable.

  • Levers - swapped with rear brake now on the left
  • Grips - changed to my fave Yeti's during the lever swap
  • Saddle - Fizik Gobi, watch the seat post bolts tho - they're made of cheese
  • Pedals - Time ATAC
Weight; a smidgen over 28lbs (no pedals), which is fab considering the price and fact that it's fully suspended. The large diameter tube walls sound impressively thin compared to our other rigs, I guess that the beauty of a hard alloy (7005).

Components worth of comment...

Brakes; Avid's Juicy 3's are proving to be dependable albeit noisy when wet stoppers and the larger front rotor (180 to 160 rear) provides oodles of bite. I'm disappointed by the amount of lever movement (50%) before the pads state to bite. Perhaps it's a quality control thang (fluid levels?) 'cos over the wkend we had two sets of brand new Ultimate's, one with the same 50% idle lever movement and the other with immediate bite. MrsDozer's Nerve also has lots of lever play.

Shifters; My initial cussing at Shimano shifters has been eased somewhat by Dozer pointing out that the dumb ass "finger" lever can also be operated with the thumb, ala SRAM-ies. Otherwise the drive train works fairly will with only the odd half shift experienced by the light feeling levers/mech - I'm used to a good ol'positive "clunk".

Fork; I've not yet mastered the Reba and it appears that few of my Pike learnings are applicable. However, I'm getting there and I also suspect it's still a little tight and needs a few more miles to before it starts to shine. I've noticed that the Bar mounted Poploc occasionally sticks which is easily overcome by twisting the fork adjuster - as you would without the bar lever, go figure. Rochshox's reliability will be most welcome with the amount of miles we'll steadily be clocking up.

Shock; The RP23 is an interesting beast compared to it's older RP3 which I'm more familiar with. The difference being that the 23 can be set with NO pro-pedal i.e. fully open and a user selectable pro-pedal on setting. Unlike the 3's light, medium, firm pp. It does seem psi sensitive on the Nerve as pedal bob can become quite pronounced - something I don't recall on my vanilla RP3/5Spot combo. As the shocks are the same length/stroke I'll be swapping them around once I've acquired a suitable "pin" spanner to undo the Nerve's top mount, grrr another "specialist" tool.

Tyres; Schwalbe's Nobby Nic's are proving to be dependable all rounders being both impressively fast and with reassuring bite both on and off road.

Pic's; here.

Conclusion; In the Nerve XC it seems that Canyon have themselves a nicely sorted rig that quietly gets on with business. It's shown it's versatility during both the daily grind with rapid mile crunching and also at play on our beloved dirt cosseting the rider over the rough. Stomping out of the pedals (about as scientific as it gets!) it doesn't induce any 'orrible floppy moments so it seems to be well designed and bolted together - with plenty of greased components, even the full length of the steerer.

For the price you'll be very, very hard pressed to acquire a similar spec'd fully and this internet only retailer definitely gets my vote. This particular example is only fractionally more than the frameset alone.

Future Tweaks ?
  • Reba, extend to 115mm (spacer removal)
  • Shorter stem, currently 100mm - possibly with a bit more rise
  • Nic's for Racing Ralph's
  • possibly replace the Shimano shifters/rear mech with SRAM


Rob#2 said...

Sooo..... pleased you like it. Another value for money convert!!

A work fried has just received his new Canyon Nerve XC3 and I've just finished unpacking it for him!! I'm very impressed with the finish and general standard of assembly.

Let's hope Canyon continue to offer their customers such great value.


Anonymous said...

I just received my XC 3 about a month ago. Front brake was not adjusted properly (95% lever travel)and had to get it bled at a local shop since I have never worked on hydraulic disc brakes before. Now it's similar to the rear with about 50% travel like yours. Will see how they progress as they break-in. Also the front derailleur cable housing came frayed near the lever housing:( The rest was top notch though and am very happy with the my first fully. My back pains have definitely eased since switching from my hardtail Klein. Except for the small complaints and lack of customer service I certainly score Canyon high on value for money.

Anonymous said...

I just got my canyon nerve WXC 8.0 and it ROCKS! It is incredible value for money.

Farqui said...

I'm sure you'll lurve the ladies version, I guess the geometry is slightly different for the "W"s ?

Oh btw, the extended fork suits my riding style more than in std/shorter guise.

Enjoy :p

rduht said...
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