***Word heavy..... proceed if you want to hear 1st hand experience of buying a Canyon online ***

After deciding to move from the Yeti SB6c to something different and a little less slack, I eventually decided that a Canyon Spectral was the go on paper.

I had a few bikes in the running, with a budget of $6000 and wanting carbon.
Trek Remedy 9.8 and Fuel EX 9.8 were contenders, along with a YT Jeffsy.
To cut a long story short, the best value for money on paper was the Spectral EX 8.0...

As most will know, Canyon (as well as YT) don't have any distributors or shop fronts in Australia (or any other country except Germany).

First port of call was checking out the Canyon Australia website for species and prices. They have a customer service centre in Melbourne, who oh can either call or chat to on IM.

I had a few questions regarding specs which were all answered by the lads immediately.

After deciding that the Spectral EX8.0 was the one I wanted, a quick 10 minutes on the web and the order was placed on the 21st December.

I also added some options like a spare mech hanger and mudguard. Within a few hours I had a confirmation email from the factory that the order was placed, and within another couple of hours had the value put on hold on they credit card.

The next morning, a call came in from the service guys in Melbourne. They explained the process, how long it would take etc etc.

The bike I ordered was one that was "From stock" on their website, so in theory would be shipped straight away. Due to Xmas and New Years holidays, I was prepared to be waiting until mid January.

The confirmation email I received from the factory stated a shipping date between 9/13th Jan. On December 30th i was surprised to get a shipping confirmation, with tracking details for UPS.

Once the shipping commenced, the money was debited from my credit card.

For those interested, the website price includes all import duties and GST, but not shipping. That an extra $199.

The tracking indicated that the bike would arrive on the 9th of Jan. It actually arrived on the 5th. Can't complaint even though the tracking was inaccurate. Still showed that it was in the depot as old mate was dropping it to the door!

Canyon deliver the bikes in a neat bike box, part assembled and straight forward to take out and finish off the build. They previously build the bike complete and test ride, before it breaking it down and packing it away.

The box has profiled packaging and foam straps that can be reused if you want to travel with your bike at a later date, which is pretty handy.

Once out of the box, the finish appears to be pretty good. It's not Yeti standard finish, but still pretty good.

I did have a small mark on the very bottom of the fork leg, which might bother some, but not me. I did call customer service in Melbourne to let them know, they asked how I'd like to resolve it, but I have no issue with it. They were keen to ensure that I was happy, and were appreciative that I was understanding.

Apart from that, the bike went together great.

The DT Swiss wheels were quoted as tubeless ready, but I was pleasantly surprised that they came with tape installed and valves in a bag in the box. 10mins converted the Maxxis Exo 3c tires to tubeless. Decent rubber from the factory is a nice touch.

Spec at the price point is pretty much unbeatable. Pike RCT3, decent 30mm I'd DR Swiss spline wheels, carbon frame, SRAM Gx 11sp , 125mm reverb, Guide RS, Ergon contact points, etc delivered for $5200.

Paint finish is good, but not perfect. You can see some masking marks around the pivot bearing holes and chain stay protector.

I ordered a baby poo yellow colour way ....which came with hideous bad matching Renthal Fatbar Lites..... which looks ridiculous.

Haven't had the maiden run out on it yet, but a quick pedal around the block verified the geo numbers. Feels quick and responsive, but less roomy than the big rig Enduro SB6. I'm a medium on both bikes at 173cm.

I tried to get some in depth info on the daunting task of ordering online blind. The moral of this story is that the build quality is good, communication with the supplier is excellent and experience of ordering a Canyon has been very positive.

A proper test ride will define the final outcome........