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Grand Canyon AL SLX 7.9 29er

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Greg, May 20, 2014.

  1. Greg

    Greg MTB Rider Staff Member

    I was in my late teens the last time a rode my mountain bike, I'm now in my early thirties ... that's a few years too many not doing something which I had forgotten how much I enjoyed! To begin with I wasn't sure what made me reach for my old GT Tempest, the one which I hadn't ridden for 15 or 16 years, and a can of WD40 one last summers day. Slowly it dawned on me ... it was camping in Wales that re-lit the fire, not the camping itself but being way out in the beautiful country side, watching those crazy roadies riding seated from Beddgelert up to Pen Y Pass at a pace nothing short of inspiring! Seeing signs for bike trails here and there brought back fond memories of hacking around the Cornish countryside and riding things I don't think I'd have the balls to now ... well not yet again anyway!

    Once back from camping I was like a cat shut in a house, just wanted to get out ... but I wasn't sure why ... I went for loads of walks exploring which was nice and stuff but didn't satisfy that feeling. Then I happened to dust off the old GT, applied lashings of WD40 and went for a wobbly ride round the local bridal ways ... and that was that! The feeling of the cool breeze through my lightly thinning and slightly receding hair made me feel like a great big kid again, it felt so amazing just to be out dicking around on my bike, why did I ever stop?

    I hadn't planned on spending so much on a bike, I was trying to find a 29er hardtail, that's all, not too difficult really in 2013, right? Then the geek inside me took over, checking specs, reviews, comparisons... hours, and hours, and hours spent looking, searching, reading, doubting, believing, questioning, snow blind looking at bikes. I started off wanting a VooDoo, but there was no 29er stock in the UK at the time. So I got to looking on Tredz, CRC, Wiggle and over & over I found 29er = really crap spec compared to similar priced 26er's. Pants.
    A chap on an American forum said to look at Canyon bikes and soon after I was all set on a Yellowstone AL ... which went out of stock by the time I stopped pondering and went to place the order; also they were at the end of their production run for the 2013 model. So ordered a Grand Canyon AL ... waited for weeks, and weeks, and weeks and as delivery date came (and I was about to jizz in my pants with excitement) it got moved back another 4-5 weeks, fuuuuuuuuuuuuu...... Coincidentally (I think not, you clever Canyon marketing people) the AL SLX 29er's showed as in stock ... so order upgraded and a few days later UPS shipping confirmed! Sa-Weeeet!

    Delivery and assembly were quick & easy. Only thing was the transit wedges for the brakes had fallen out the calipers, despite the handle bar being wrapped very well with bubble wrap the brakes levers hadn't been pulled so all good and no popped out pistons.
    First impressions were, WOW and holy crap this bike is HUGE! Compared to my old GT its massive, looks more so because of the wider handle bar, raised front end on the front shocks and 29er wheels. And by comparison its also a flying machine, so fast. Its rides really nicely too. Feels great on hard pack and dry stuff however its really twitchy feeling on slippery wet clay and mud... I'd say because of a couple of things being wrong tyres, steep head angle, and fighting the bike rather than going with the flow.
    Anyway, its great fun to ride. I look forward to the weekends purely to be out on my bike now, a few hours of being out and getting away from all the bullsh!t is so nice. Not to mention teararsing around ... after catching my breath from climbs!

    I cant wait to see what adventures my rediscovered love of mountain biking brings, its gonna be great!

    Grand Canyon AL SLX 7.9 29er 1.jpg Grand Canyon AL SLX 7.9 29er 2.jpg
  2. Greg

    Greg MTB Rider Staff Member

    Few photos over the last few months:

    Grand Canyon AL SLX 7.9 29er 1x10-1.jpg

    Grand Canyon AL SLX 7.9 29er 1x10-2.jpg

    Grand Canyon AL SLX 7.9 29er 1x10-1.jpg

    Grand Canyon AL SLX 7.9 29er 1x10-1.jpg





    Grand Canyon AL SLX 7.9 29er 1x10-1.jpg

    Grand Canyon AL SLX 7.9 29er 1x10-3.jpg
  3. Greg

    Greg MTB Rider Staff Member

  4. tango boy

    tango boy New Member

    hi greg,
    nice bike, going by the photos it is a work in progress?i am looking at buying a al slx 9.9 in the near future[once i have paid off r/bike]would you mind answering a few questions about the bike?
    what size is the frame, as i was looking at a large as i am 5ft 11"
    is it as good as the reviews claim, i am looking at using it for enduro events so it will have to be comfortable for long distance events,though going by some of the photos you are on the ridgeway which is a long distance ride, have you tried the south downs?it iis like the ridge way but longer and the climbs are bigger though the chalk is just as lethal in the wet.
    i am in plymouth and do all my mtbing over dartmoor and sometimes [exmoor explorer]
    exmoor,i am at the moment riding a whyte 19 alloy which is v.good ,but i now fancy a 29er.
    any feed back would be v.helpful.
    regards colin
  5. Greg

    Greg MTB Rider Staff Member

    Hi Colin, after changing a few things I realised perhaps I was trying to make the bike into something its not so I'm working on getting something a bit better suited to XC and rough stuff.

    For XC riding the Grand Canyon is fantastic, I've been pushing up my miles steadily since getting it, have ridden a couple of endurance events on it too. Its fairly light which is important - 11.5kg at factory spec. Even for light trail centre riding its good too so its good for the majority of country side trails and the kinda of riding to be expected at endurance events..
    I had to push my budget at the time to get the 7.9 ... if you can get the 9.9 its well worth it, better fork, fuller XT spec - shadow plus rear mech, XT brakes instead of Avids plus DT Swiss hubs and rims, and will be lighter than my 7.9 too.
    Mine is a Large frame and I'm 6'2", probably would have been a bit better on an XL as I ride with the seat post fully extended, however I used Canyons fitting guide which put me on a Large so went with that. You cant beat 29ers for long rides and Canyon is always great value for money.

    I havent ridden the South Downs yet but would like to explore the area some time, travelling to places to ride is a bit of an issues as we only have one car so tend to end up riding the Ridgeway a lot!

    Hope that helps!
  6. Greg

    Greg MTB Rider Staff Member

    Think you might have replied to the automatic email from the forum before after I replied here. Hope you dont mind, I put your reply below :)

    I havent done the Ridgeway 200 (km), thats a bit above my level for now, though it could be a good one for next year if I can make 160 km (100 miles) this year - I'm up to about 90km now.
    Progress has fallen back a bit though, been a poor six weeks for cycling for me due to holiday & other stuff going on, getting back on it in August properly as I really want to break 100miles this year!
    I've got family in Kingsteignton so if I'm down for a long weekend and the missus lets me take my bike I'll give you shout ... would be great to head out on to Dartmoor for an explore.

    TrailBreak.co.uk is what got me heading in the direction of endurance rides ... after I accidentally rode the 45 miles route instead of the the 25!! Was a hard but very good day out. Sadly I'm missing their next one, which is
    local to me, due to family commitments. Going to need to start reserving lots of MTB days for next year in the Boss's diary ;)
  7. Greg

    Greg MTB Rider Staff Member

    Final photos the the Canyon, today it is getting returned to stock ready for sale. Most of the upgrades have been taken up to Overspoke Bikes ready to be fitted to my new ride this week! New bottom bracket fitted by Overspoke, just need to replace the rotors and its good to go!





  8. Origami Crane

    Origami Crane New Member

    I love the blue accents! I can only imagine the cool blue blur on the tires as they are spinning. Which fenders do you have on there? I've been looking to get a set for my bike.
  9. Greg

    Greg MTB Rider Staff Member

    Hi, welcome to talkMTB!
    I love blue on bikes! As you've seen in the the Yelli thread :D
    In the guts of winter I use SKS Shockblade II on the front and an SKS X-Blade on the rear. In the summer I put a Mucky Nutz Face Fender on the front forks, it does a great job of catching stones and crud that sometimes flies up.
  10. Mike

    Mike Guest

    Heg greg,could you post some photos when you are sitting on bike and riding? Isn't top tube too short for you? What is your inseam and arm length?
  11. Greg

    Greg MTB Rider Staff Member

    Hello Mike,
    Yea the top tube was shorter than I'd have liked, really I would have been better on a XL frame as mentioned before, however after waiting so long for the bike I was prepared to live with it rather than go through the process of exchanging it.
    Afraid I dont have many photos of me riding it, will post the ones I have later with measurements.
  12. mike

    mike Guest

    Give some photos Greg.
  13. Greg

    Greg MTB Rider Staff Member

    UTNG2_0108.jpg Probably the best pic showing size, I'm 6'2"

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