Discover the 2021 Singletracks Mid-Term Mashup reviews on Singletracks and video reviews on our YouTube channel.
The rebirth of Canfield is an experience any basic mountain biker can enjoy. For people who love to support small businesses that make great products, seeing Canfield roll out new bikes again should put a smile on their face. The cold, sturdy feel of the aluminum tubes and anodized suspension links evoke a different feel than glazing on the latest sleek carbon wonder from the big bike shops. The Tilt is more unique, which makes it a bit more personal.
Canfield released the Tilt and Lithium towards the end of 2020, and the brand has since filled its stable. The Tilt is a 29 ” 138mm travel that can be paired with a 140mm or 150mm fork. The trail bike is built with the downhill in mind, on par with the namesake Canfield, although it climbs perfectly. More on that later. Getting on and off feels great on the bike in large part thanks to the Canfield Balance Formula suspension.
The geometry on our Medium Tilt started with a 450mm reach, adding or subtracting 25mm up or down the size chart. Stand-over height on the 29-inch is low at 730mm and the wheelbase is comparable to 1,198mm. The head tube angle is 65 °, the STA is 77 °, and the chainstay length in all sizes is 425mm.
All this to say that it looks like a modern, aggressive trail bike, designed to be stable, capable and manoeuvrable; features that are all coveted on a mid-race track bike.
Canfield have chosen some really nice components on this platform, which feels quite unique compared to a lot of other frames out there. Our test bike, valued at $ 4,900, was equipped with Cane Creek front and rear suspension, Kitsuma DB air shock, and Helm MKII fork. Both are highly adjustable and ready to make this unique bike even more personalized under the rider.
Test pilot profile the size: 5’8 ″ (173cm) weight: 165lbs. (75kg) test area: Colorado front range
We had TRP Slate T4 brakes and Canfield rims linked to the Spank hubs. The cockpit features an SDG dropper post and 40mm ProTaper stem, with an 810mm wide ProTaper bar set. The Tilt also gets a Maxxis Minion DHF up front, a rear dissector, and a SRAM GX Eagle drivetrain with 165mm long cranks. Why so short? In a nutshell, leverage shouldn’t matter as much on the mountain bike as it does on the road, and riders can jump more pedal strokes and accelerate more easily.
Climbing is a special event on the Tilt for several reasons. For an alloy trail bike with a skull on the head tube, there’s a lot to be said for how this bike tackles climbs. Our average height weighed just under 32 pounds, so it’s not the lightest climber in our mix of trail bikes. But, with the CBF suspension, short cranks, and a great seat tube angle, the Tilt was one of our testers’ favorites for climbing big Colorado singletracks.
We marveled at how easily the Tilt rolled through messy rock gardens. The CBF suspension offers endless traction and predictability. Know those sections of a climb where you just feel like you just need to put your foot down and start over? You still get that feeling on the tilt every now and then, but ultimately your foot may stay on the pedals more often.
The CBF suspension provides good support in these situations, keeping the rider high and the tire stuck to the ground. Coupled with the shorter cranks, when you feel like you’re about to stall in those situations, the 165mm arms again speed the bike up to get you moving. In short, the Tilt is great at technical climbs.
And then there’s the supportive and energetic nature of the CBF which, together with the 77 ° seat tube angle, is just as comfortable on smooth and sustained climbs. Sure, you can throw some carbon hoops here and make an even sharper, more efficient climber with this bike, but just about everyone should be thrilled with the way the Tilt climbs.
With just a hair of less than 140mm of rear travel, the Tilt is no monster truck. It’s a capable bike, but not a snow plow. That said, it’s fun and capable on just about anything. We felt we needed to maintain an aggressive and forward posture on the descents and really put some punch in the frame to get the most out of the Tilt on the descents, but given its short rear it is an easy bike to turn into. the turns .
With the added weight of the alloy frame, the Tilt was stable in the air and the supportive suspension made it easy to preload this bike for take off.
Considering the frame material, sturdy linkage, and Canfield’s appetite for gravity, the Tilt lived up to our downhill expectations and exceeded them a bit with its agility. While some brands are enlarging their chainstays after shortening them for so long because stability has become an issue, the 425mm stays on the Tilt only seem positive.
Again, we have to highlight the CBF suspension, as it is a big part of any Canfield full suspension platform. The rear wheel of this Tilt pulls apart so easily, and it’s easy to pick up and maintain speed on a really thick trail. When landing jumps and falls, the rear of the Tilt is gradual, yet confident, and we never suffered from a sharp dip.
Almost everything worked fine on the Tilt for us. We love the TRP Slate T4, which is a solid trail bike brake that’s definitely different from the two big competitors.
The Cane Creek suspension is wonderful, and while it might take a while to dial in, the bigger dials on the new Kitsuma shock make it slightly more accessible compared to the previous generation’s tiny hex bolts where users may have been deterred from. adjust .
Short crank arms were also important and likely contributed to the way this bike approached technical climbs.
The wide bars, however, at 810mm, have scared our joint knuckles on several occasions. Even some long-legged enduro bikes we’ve seen recently had 780mm wide bars out of the box, and that also seems like a perfect width for this bike. This may have been a COVID-induced supply issue, and they’ll be easy to cut for runners who don’t like width.
Finally, we found that the Tilt in its white printer paper paint could be a bit polarizing. It could be the lack of any sort of tint, or it could be the Canfield font through the down tube, but people were either genuinely excited about the look or hated it. We got used to it as we rode the bike, and we appreciate that it adds a bit more distinction. It’s definitely different from most offerings on the market.
Wait. One more thing. We can’t get around the fact that there is no space inside the front triangle for a water bottle. The brackets are under the down tube, which is certainly a bit of a letdown.
The Canfield Tilt is not for everyone. Some won’t like the aesthetic, others won’t consider it and rush to something more plastic, svelte, with more hype. These people are missing a truly unique and very complete track bike.
The Tilt is an excellent climber and a real blast on descents, but runners with technical trails nearby will like it the most. There are plenty of trails you can take the tilt on if you want to, but you’ll miss out on the real magic of the CBF suspension platform.
So riders who appreciate big bikes from a small brand and want something that shines through the ups and downs will love this trail bike.
- Amazing suspension platform that feels great on rough, chunky terrain
- Unique brand and appearance
- Good value considering the components
Pros and Cons of the Canfield Tilt Track Bike.
- No bottle mounts inside the frame
- Appearances can divide some
- Only one construction option