Steve Walker's Long Term Canyon Nerve AL+ Test Bike

We are just about to fully kick off a series of long term bike tests on Bike Magic. We’ve chosen three steeds and three different riders to provide real world testing and start the process of long termers on Bike Magic. Julia Revitt has already introduced her Kona Tanuki and the next bike and rider combo is that of Steve ‘The Butcher’ Walker and his Canyon Nerve AL+ trail bike. Steve has the top-dog Nerve AL+ 9.0 SL here but also has access to a lower-spec version, so all bases will be covered over the course of this long term test.

Steve Walker's Canyon Nerve AL+ long term test bike. He'll also be comparing lower spec models.
Steve Walker’s Canyon Nerve AL+ 9.0 SL long term test bike. He’ll also be comparing lower spec models.

Steve will be reporting back regularly with his thoughts on how the bike has handled the incredibly varied and predominantly British riding that he does on it. He’ll be racing in all sorts of events, riding all sorts of terrain and generally giving the bike a good old thrashing.

We’ll let Steve tell the tale of his initial feelings of passion towards the bike and stay tuned for a slightly more technical analysis coming very soon…

Steve Walker’s Canyon Love Story

Words an photos: Steve Walker

One day I woke early to find a big, brown, box on my doorstep.

I marvelled at the wonder of our lord’s creation of such a box and what lay inside.

What could the contents of the box be?

A wooden horse perhaps? An outdoor patio set that my wife had yearned for and sneakily ordered without telling me? Or a 150mm all mountain bike with full XTR groupset, Fox 32 Kashima coated forks and a RockShox Reverb dropper post?

XTR... Steve Walker's dream come true. Stay tuned to find out if the kit lives up to Steve's preconceived dreams.
XTR… Steve Walker’s dream come true. Stay tuned to find out if the kit lives up to Steve’s preconceived dreams.

As I sliced the tape that safely guarded the contents of the box my heart was racing and my hands were sweaty and slippery. The butterflies in my stomach were flapping so strongly that I felt I could fly away at anytime. I slowly started to open the box, frantically tearing at the cardboard in order to get inside and, as I gently lifted the contents out, my jaw dropped at the site of the black beauty that greeted me. I gently leant my new love against the garden wall, making sure she was stable and could come to no harm. I took ten paces back and marvelled at the wonder of her all over body tan, her gold and silver jewellery and her sleek lines.

The wheels are a very important area of a bike build, especially on a high end model. Crank Brothers Cobalt wheels are certainly high end, but will they hold up on the trail?
The wheels are a very important area of a bike build, especially on a high end model. Crank Brothers Cobalt wheels are certainly high end, but will they hold up on the trail?

This gave a meaning to the empty world of mine. There would never be another love for me this time and as I looked at her she made everything seem fine, she filled my heart.

After about an hour of fettling, I gently tucked my new found love away in the corner of my garage. I covered her in a dust sheet, away from prying eyes. She was mine and no one else’s and I wanted her to be protected and feel safe.

‘Butch’

More information: Canyon Nerve AL+

Click the photo to be redirected to Canyon's website where you'll find more information on the spec and price of this bike.
Click the photo to be redirected to Canyon’s website where you’ll find more information on the spec and price of this bike.
  1. serge the seal of death

    Bet that will enjoy a trail centre, XC trail and DH track! And can completly agree with unpacking such a bike.
    and doing a mark against the lower spec one, excellent!
    Stealth, always my favorite colour.

  2. James McKnight

    It’s quite some looker indeed. Let’s wait to see how the components package handles the ridiculous number of hours Butcher puts in on every bike he rides and the huge array of terrain.

  3. rod fountain

    Butch used to write love letters like this to his wife (probably). Hope you two are going to be very happy together…

  4. chris.m

    You could have cleaned the bike for the photos, Butcher! I suppose it’s normal for one of yours though ;)
    .
    As you’re used to hardtails and rigid bikes, Butch, this’ll feel like a sofa. Too much bike? We’ll see/read.

  5. Ashab Defacto

    great bike but I will keep hold of my Strive any day over the nerve AL+ looking forward to see how you get on with the long term test.

  6. Luke+Mason

    Looking forward to find out how it holds up on a long term test

    1. derbyram59

      Still looking forward to “first impressions” – after 2 months riding?! :-). How’s it going so far on the King Of Bling?

      1. derbyram59

        Well while we’re waiting with bated breath ;-) I can reveal that my new Al+9.0SL slammed me round Penmachno at breakneck speed at the weekend with “11″ on the fun-factor dial!

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