Canyon are releasing their eMTBs to Australia - here's our first look at the Spectral:ON
Words and photos: Will Shaw
Whilst buying bikes online and having them delivered to your door is nothing new in 2021, buying an eMTB and having it delivered to your door may well be. With that in mind, here’s my experience receiving the all-new Canyon Spectral:ON CF 8.0 directly to my door.
Before I jump into receiving the bike, as well as my first impressions of this specific model, it’s worth mentioning that Canyon Australia are now offering a full suite of eMTB models. The range starts with their Grand Canyon:ON, a 120mm hardtail that’s offered in five builds priced between $5799 - $6949.
The next model in the line-up is the Neuron:ON. Based on Canyon’s Neuron trail bike, the Neuron:ON features 130mm of travel front and rear in all sizes except for extra small and small. For these models Canyon have opted for a 120mm fork paired with a 130mm rear. They claim this allows them to provide a better suspension package for smaller and lighter riders. Their thinking behind this is interesting, and a topic for another time.
Once again five models will be available in Australia ranging from $7149 - $8599.
The Spectral:ON range includes the Spectral:ON CF 8.0 I’ve received (which retails for $10899). Using a ‘mullet’ 29”/27.5” setup and 150mm of travel front and rear, the Spectral:ON positions itself as a quiver killer and will be available in six builds priced from $8599 - $13549
The last bike in the range is the Torque:ON. Similar to its acoustic namesake, the Torque features 175mm of rear travel paired with 180mm up front. There are two Torque:ON models on offer in Australia, priced at $8449 and $10599.
The reason Canyon are able to offer such an extensive eMTB range here in Australia is their unique method of delivering e-bikes to customers. When you buy an e-bike from Canyon Australia, the bike will be shipped sans battery from Germany, whilst the battery will be shipped locally in a separate delivery. Canyon are expecting the wait from ordering to delivery to be around 2 weeks, and they’re expecting to have stock of batteries from the 24th of February.
Building up the Canyon Spectral:ON
With the rest of the range out of the way, let’s get back to the Spectral:ON CF 8.0. Once both packages have been delivered, building the bike up is about as simple as it gets. Slotting the battery into the open cavity shouldn’t present any issues, and the battery cover is bolted on with four Torx bolts. Canyon provide an instructional sheet and torque wrench for this task, and there’s also a video on their website demonstrating the process.
Once the battery is safely secured inside the frame, all that’s left to do is put the front wheel in and attach the handlebar. The torque wrench will come in handy here, as the CF 8.0 model I received comes with Canyon’s fancy one piece stem and handlebar (creatively named the :ON CF Cockpit CP0025). You’ll also need to plug a motor wire into the motor display using the supplied Shimano tool.
When the bike was fully assembled, a quick bolt check revealed that everything had been tightened appropriately at the factory, which is good to see. Despite being keen to hit the trails at this stage, you’ll need to give the battery a full charge prior to your first ride. The CF 8.0 ships with Shimano’s 4A fast charger, which will fill up an empty tank in around 4 hours.
As I’ve mentioned, the model I’ve received is the CF 8.0. As always in the Canyon range, the CF denotes that the frame is carbon. For $10899, this build is packing plenty of value for money! On top of a carbon front triangle, the bike features a Fox Performance 36 fork paired with a Performance DPX2 rear shock, a full Shimano XT groupset including brakes, and DT Swiss H1700 wheels. The little details are similarly pleasing, with Maxxis 3C rubber front and rear, although I’d prefer something a bit tougher than the EXO and EXO+ tyres specced as standard. Another minor complaint out of the box is the 150mm dropper that comes on the XL model.
The bike comes with Shimano’s EP8 motor and a 630Wh battery, which I’ll touch on in more depth in the full review. The display integration on the handlebar is very tidy indeed, and the cable holders keep the cockpit pleasingly mess free, a nice touch from Canyon.
Geometry wise, the Spectral:ON strikes a middle ground that on paper suits the bike’s 150mm of travel front and rear. On my XL frame key numbers include a 66.5-degree head tube angle, 485mm reach, and 435mm chainstay. The chainstay length is the same throughout the range, and the integrated cockpit from size small to XL is a 50mm stem paired with a 780mm handlebar.
I’ve only had one ride on the Spectral thusfar. Unfortunately, it was cruising along the bike path adjusting the bike’s setup as my local trails were sopping wet. All in all the Spectral:ON looks like a sorted package though, so stay tuned for a full review in issue #188.