We’re big fans of Canyon’s bikes – they’re awesome value for money and do a fine job of nailing that ‘just feels right’ geometry.
Jamie just spent a day over at the Forest of Dean to meet a couple of their new bikes, including the new Canyon Spectral:ON ebike.
Take it away, Jamie:
The ‘:On is Canyon’s new eMTB and comes with a Shimano Steps E8000 motor, some up-for-a-hammering kit and yep, those funny mismatched wheels. Yep, it’s got a 27+ wheel out back and a 29″ wheel up front.
All versions of the bike are build using aluminium frames and come (mostly) with 150mm travel.
The Spectral:On is available in six different versions – with two women’s specific versions and three different standard versions in different specs. Sizes range from XS to XL, with geometry and sizing being pretty close to the non-motorised Spectral.
The top dog Spectral:On 9.0 version is £5,499 with Fox Suspension and Shimano XT bits and there’s various specs below that mixing up RockShox or Fox components and various group sets bits and bobs.
Canyon Spectral:On 8.0
The bike that we rode was the second from top-spec :On 8.0 which has been designed around slightly gnarlier riding than the rest of the range.
It has a SRAM EX1 drive train, Fox Performance Elite DPS rear shock, Fox 36 Float Performance fork and DT Swiss H1501 wheels with Maxxis Minion DHF rubber. It’s available in black-on-black or green-on-black and will cost you £4,499. Unlike the other bikes in the range, the fork is 160mm travel, rather than 150mm.
There’s a couple of neat little details on the bike that really stood out.
First up, it’s obviously those wheels. There’s a 27+ wheel with a 2.8″ tyre on the back and there’s a 29″ wheel with a 2.5″ tyre up front. The idea is that the back wheel is big and tough for durability and the extra width on the tyre gives plenty of support and grip on technical, loose, nasty climbs we’re all now doing on our eMTB’s.
The 29’er up front offers a more normal feeling front end that steers a lot more like your regular mountain bike, wallows less and performs way better in loose, wet mud.
The mis-matched wheels felt like a gimmick on paper, but on dirt suddenly made loads of sense. eBikes need big, wide, tough tyres but equally, most offerings right now just don’t cut it. They’re wallowy, they’re tricky to get the pressures right and they suck in the wet. Canyon’s out-of-the-box approach seems to work though.
I only got a quick lap on the bike but it felt fun, easy to ride and very natural to ride down FoD’s techy, off-piste trails. I’m looking forward to riding it down some wet, nasty South Wales trails.
The bike is also designed with adjustable geometry that that allows you to adjust how the rear shock is positioned. That allows you to alter the BB height slightly to fine tune your setup.
eBike cranks seem to getting a surprising amount of mentions at the moment… and Canyon are contributing to that with shortish 165mm cranks offering loads of pedal clearance and, they say, are a bit better on battery and motor life.
There’s also a Canyon designed saddle which is designed with a little scoop on the rear to hold you in place when you’re grinding up a steep, nasty climb.
A bottle cage is also a welcome add-on. Like loads of Canyon’s features, they’ve clearly taken a step back and looked at things from a rider’s perspective. Hey presto, a neat and tidy bottle cage mount that doesn’t, thankfully, live on the underside of a down tube.
The Canyon Spectral:On was a blast to ride on my short-but-sweet lap of Pedalabikeaway’s trails.
The geometry works nicely and with a 66° head angle and roomy (but not massive) geometry it felt fun to chuck around and very playful despite the eBike weight.
If you’re looking to get your hands on one, Canyon are currently taking orders for delivery during July 18 so… you won’t have long to wait.