Pro Bike: Fabien Barel’s Canyon Strive AL 9.0 Race

Enduro

Once upon a time, Frenchman Fabien Barel was among the best downhillers in the world, capturing elite world titles in 2004 and 2005. But following the 2011 season, Barel decided it was time for a change. “I felt like I had done everything I could in downhill,” said the 32-year-old. “I needed some time off the bike and also some new challenges.”

Initially, that meant staying close to his birthplace and home in France’s Maritime Alps near Nice, spending time with friends and family, and jumping into the occasional motocross race. But biking is in Barel’s blood, and this year he’s making a headlong charge into to sport’s buzz-of-the-moment event, enduro racing.

Competing under the Canyon Bikes banner, Barel is planning to contest to brand new Enduro World Series, plus other select events in the discipline that records competitors times on a series of aggressive all-mountain downhill stages, testing both fitness and bike handling skills.

His bike of choice for this diverse challenge — the Canyon Strive, a 26-inch trail tamer with six inches of travel front and rear. The only problem – none of Canyon’s bikes are available in the U.S. yet, so for now this gallery is as close as you can get.

Photo Thumbnails (click to enlarge)
About the author: Jason Sumner

An avid cyclist, Jason Sumner has been writing about two-wheeled pursuits of all kinds since 1999. He’s covered the Tour de France, the Olympic Games, and dozens of other international cycling events. He also likes to throw himself into the fray, penning first-person accounts of cycling adventures all over the globe. Sumner, who joined the RoadBikeReview.com / Mtbr.com staff in 2013, has also done extensive gear testing and is the author of the cycling guide book "75 Classic Rides: Colorado." When not writing or riding, the native Coloradoan can be found enjoying time with his wife Lisa and daughter Cora.


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  • Herzalot says:

    Hmmm… I respect Barel’s riding, and I know not to judge a book by its cover, but that Canyon does nothing for me. Strange single pivot design and reverse curves. No thanks.

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