It only took a few laps on the Torque to realize how much fun this green machine would be in a bike park setting, somewhere with plenty of high speed trails and big jumps. Ratchet up the miles-per-hour and put a big lip in front of it and the Torque is right at home; it ended up being a much more entertaining ride than I'd expected. It's also very quiet, free of any distracting chainslap or cable rattling noises.
The mixed-wheel setup makes a lot of sense for a bike like the Torque. Canyon does offer a dual 29” wheel option, and there's a 27.5” version too, but during all my time on this mulleted machine I never found myself wishing for something different. For me, it handily ticks the 'freeride' box, a bike that's happiest on extra-gnarly terrain or boosting jumps, rather than trying to find the fastest line possible between the tape. Now, there's no reason you couldn't do some enduro races with the Torque, but it is a lot of bike, and probably overkill for some race courses.
There's a very smooth ramp-up to the Torque's 175mm of travel, and I didn't encounter any harsh bottom outs. It does sit a little deeper in its travel in extended sections of rough terrain, part of the reason it feels more like a freeride bike rather than a race machine – the scales are tipped a little more towards the plush side of things, rather than being super supportive.
Not surprisingly, its weight and length are more noticeable at slower speeds and on flatter bits of trail – on more than one occasion I found myself manualing rather than bunnyhopping through a section, simply because I was feeling a little lazy and wanted to save to some energy. There's also the fact that the chainstay length remains the same on all sizes - it'd be great to see an adjustable chainstay length feature, or chainstay lengths that change with each size. I spent a lot of time on a Commencal Meta TR last year, which happens to have the same reach number and chainstay length as the Torque; that may be why it didn't take long for me to get up to speed. If I had to pick, I'd prefer a slightly shorter reach and longer chainstays, but riders that prefer blowing up berms and letting the back end break free at every opportunity may disagree.
In keeping with the freeride theme I made a trip up to Vancouver's North Shore to see how it handled some old-school rock rolls and chunky, technical trails. The overall length was noticeable on some of the slower speed sections, but this is another instance where I'd say the 27.5” rear wheel and shorter chainstays ended up being a benefit by making it easy to weight the front of the bike, and then pivot the back end to get around a steep, weird turn, or reposition the bike to line up for another section of rocks and roots.