Refreshed Spectral:ON hopes to keep Canyon ahead in the electric bike game

An all-in-one bar and stem, battery integration and updated geometry aim to keep the new Spectral:ON ahead of the curve

Canyon Spectral:ON electric mountain bike

Introduced for the first time in 2018, the Spectral:ON was Canyon’s first electric mountain bike.

Advertisement

It’s been quick to add bikes to the range, however, with the Neuron:ON (also recently updated), Pathlite:ON, Roadlite:ON and Grand Canyon:ON swiftly following.

It seems like the speed at which Canyon is adding bikes is mirrored by how quickly they’re updated, too. For example, the 2018 Spectral:ON platform lasted just two years before receiving a full overhaul.

Updating bikes this regularly is a good and bad thing; for the prospective buyer, they can be sure they’re getting the latest tech and parts, but for the owner of the old bike it can be disheartening to see your pride and joy superseded by the next model.

The latest Spectral:ON is touted as a do-it-all, go-anywhere, ride almost anything trail bike­­ and Canyon hopes the revisions to the frame will improve descending performance and give riders more control on technical climbs.

Read about our initial ride impressions in Alex’s first ride review for Spectral:ON here.

Canyon Spectral:ON frame details

Canyon Spectral:ON electric mountain bike
The integrated on/off button also has a USB-C port.
Canyon

Built with a carbon fibre front-end, the new bike’s main feature is its concealed, integrated battery in the chunky down tube. Also, because the front triangle is now made from carbon, Canyon claims it’s 1kg lighter than the outgoing model.

It also says that the carbon front has helped maintain the same level of stiffness as the outgoing alloy bike, while losing that all-important kilogram of weight. Canyon claims the bike weighs 21.6kg but didn’t specify which size or model this figure is for.

The rear end is made from 6061 aluminium and has Canyon’s QUIXLE rear axle.

Integrated into the bike’s top tube is the on/off button and a waterproof USB-C port so that you can charge your devices using the bike’s battery.

There’s a reinforced carbon fibre bash guard on the underside of the bike’s down tube and it has an integrated seatpost clamp bolt rather than using a standard seatpost clamp collar.

Canyon Spectral:ON battery and motor details

Canyon Spectral:ON electric mountain bike
The Shimano STEPS E8000 motor and spider-less crank arm are a neat combo.
Canyon

Canyon told us that it decided to use Shimano’s STEPS motor because, it claims, it’s exceptionally reliable and in the event of it needing servicing or repairing, Shimano has a vast service and repair network.

It also acknowledges that the E8000 system used on the Spectral:ON doesn’t have the biggest battery out there, stating that compromises are always going to be made.

Based around Shimano’s E8000 250W drive system, that provides 300 per cent of peak assistance with 70Nm of peak torque.

The down tube is big enough to house Shimano’s current 504Wh battery, which has a range of up to 100km in Eco mode, according to Canyon. The battery is removed using a 4mm Allen key that loosens the retaining bolt.

The motor’s attached to 165mm Shimano cranks and a bespoke direct-mount 34-tooth chainring, which does away with a crank spider.

The battery can be charged both on and off the bike using the supplied charger. With the 2M charger, a fully drained battery is charged to 80 per cent in 4 hours. A full charge from empty takes 7.5 hours. A faster 4M charger is available and cuts charging times in half.

Canyon Spectral:ON suspension details

Canyon Spectral:ON electric mountain bike
The Spectral:ON is a true all-mountain bike.
Canyon

With 150mm rear wheel travel, Canyon has made the Spectral:ON’s suspension linear. Linear suspension is easier to compress throughout its travel, not resisting compression towards the end of its stroke like progressive systems do.

This means the rear suspension should be fairly active and eager to absorb bumps throughout its travel but might struggle to proficiently absorb bigger hits like a more progressive system can.

In a bid to help suspension compliance, and therefore comfort and grip under power, Canyon has lowered the anti-squat figure to 70 per cent.

This should mean that when you’re pedalling the bike’s suspension remains more active compared to a bike with a higher number.

The system’s built around the progressivity of the spring curve provided by air shocks and isn’t compatible with coil units. Because of the clevis design of the linkage – that exerts higher loading through the shock’s shaft – the smaller piston sizes of coil shocks could fail.

Mounting the shock beneath the top tube also means that shock options are limited if the air can is particularly large — like on the Fox Float X2.

Depending on model, the Spectral:ON is fitted with Fox DPX2 and RockShox Deluxe shocks.

Canyon Spectral:ON geometry details

Canyon Spectral:ON electric mountain bike
Spectral:ON geometry chart.
Canyon

Although the geometry on the new Spectral:ON is remarkably similar to the outgoing bike, there are some key changes.

The chainstays are now 435mm long – 5mm longer than the outgoing bike – and the head angle has been slackened to 66.5 degrees, nearly a full degree slacker than the old bike.

The seat tube angle remains almost unchanged at 74.5 degrees, 0.1 degrees slacker. This is an interesting move considering the recent trend for steeper seat tube angles which, backed up by experiential evidence, are better.

For a size large, other interesting numbers include a 1,221mm wheelbase and 465mm reach. The bike’s running a mullet setup, where the rear wheel is 27.5in and the front 29in.

It’s available in four sizes: small, medium, large and extra-large.

Canyon Spectral:ON components and specifications

Canyon Spectral:ON electric mountain bike
Canyon’s own electric mountain bike saddle looks similar to SQlab’s ERGOLUX.
Canyon

To toughen up the Spectral’s spec, Canyon has decided to fit 203mm disc brake rotors and four-piston brakes with either Shimano’s XTR, XT or MT-520 calipers, and a Fox 36 or RockShox Lyrik fork.

The rear tyre across the range of bikes uses Maxxis’ EXO plus casing to help reduce the chances of punctures.

In a bold move, Canyon has developed its own electric mountain bike-specific bar and stem combo called the Canyon CF:ON CP0012, which has internal routing for any cables associated with the Shimano STEPS E8000 system.

The bar and stem have a 50mm effective stem length, come in 760mm or 780mm widths and have an 8-degree backsweep and 5-degree upsweep.

On the unisex model, Canyon’s also specced its electric mountain bike saddle that’s akin to SQlab’s ERGOLUX. It has a large, flat area for your sit bones and a raised section at the back to help keep your butt on the seat on steep climbs.

Canyon Spectral:ON models

Canyon Spectral:ON electric mountain bike
The USB-C port is waterproof.
Canyon

The new Spectral:ON is available in three standard unisex models and one women’s specific model.

Canyon Spectral:ON WMN 7.0

  • Frame: M098 carbon fibre front triangle, 6061 alloy rear triangle (150mm travel)
  • Fork: RockShox Lyrik Select
  • Shock: RockShox Deluxe Select
  • Drive unit: Shimano DU-E8000
  • Battery: Shimano BT-8035 504Wh
  • Display: Shimano SC-E7000
  • Switch: Shimano SW-E7000-L
  • Groupset: Shimano XT/SLX mix
  • Crankset: Shimano FC-E8000, 34t Canyon CN:ON chainring
  • Brakes: Shimano MT520 4-piston, 200mm discs front and rear
  • Wheels: RaceFace rims on Shimano MT510/MT400 hubs
  • Tyres: Maxxis Minion DHF 2.5 WT EXO (f), Maxxis Minion DHRII 2.6 WT EXO Plus (r)
  • Bar and stem: Canyon:ON
  • Saddle: Canyon SD:ON WMN
  • Seatpost: Iridium dropper
  • Sizes: S, M
  • Price: £4,299 / $N/A / €4,599 / AU$7,249

Canyon Spectral:ON 7.0

  • Frame: M098 carbon fibre front triangle, 6061 alloy rear triangle (150mm travel)
  • Fork: RockShox Lyrik Select
  • Shock: RockShox Deluxe Select
  • Drive unit: Shimano DU-E8000
  • Battery: Shimano BT-8035 504Wh
  • Display: Shimano SC-E7000
  • Switch: Shimano SW-E7000-L
  • Groupset: Shimano XT/SLX mix
  • Crankset: Shimano FC-E8000, 34t Canyon CN:ON chainring
  • Brakes: Shimano MT520 4-piston, 200mm discs front and rear
  • Wheels: RaceFace rims on Shimano MT510/MT400 hubs
  • Tyres: Maxxis Minion DHF 2.5 WT EXO (f), Maxxis Minion DHRII 2.6 WT EXO Plus (r)
  • Bar and stem: Canyon:ON
  • Saddle: Canyon SD:ON
  • Seatpost: Iridium dropper
  • Sizes: S, M, L, XL
  • Price: £4,299 / $N/A / €4,599 / AU$7,249

Canyon Spectral:ON 8.0

  • Frame: M098 carbon fibre front triangle, 6061 alloy rear triangle (150mm travel)
  • Fork: Fox 36 Performance Elite
  • Shock: Fox DPX2 Performance
  • Drive unit: Shimano DU-E8000
  • Battery: Shimano BT-8035 504Wh
  • Display: Shimano SC-E800
  • Switch: Shimano SW-E7000-L
  • Groupset: Shimano XT
  • Crankset: Shimano FC-E8000, 34t Canyon CN:ON chainring
  • Brakes: Shimano XT 4-piston, 200mm discs front and rear
  • Wheels: RaceFace rims on Shimano XT hubs
  • Tyres: Maxxis Minion DHF 2.5 WT EXO (f), Maxxis Minion DHRII 2.6 WT EXO Plus (r)
  • Bar and stem: Canyon:ON
  • Saddle: Canyon SD:ON
  • Seatpost: Iridium dropper
  • Sizes: S, M, L, XL
  • Price: £5,199 / $N/A / €5,999 / AU$8,849
Advertisement

Canyon Spectral:ON 9.0

  • Frame: M098 carbon fibre front triangle, 6061 alloy rear triangle (150mm travel)
  • Fork: Fox 36 Factory
  • Shock: Fox DPX2 Factory
  • Drive unit: Shimano DU-E8000
  • Battery: Shimano BT-8035 504Wh
  • Display: Shimano SC-E800
  • Switch: Shimano SW-E7000-L
  • Groupset: Shimano XTR
  • Crankset: Shimano FC-E8000, 34t Canyon CN:ON chainring
  • Brakes: Shimano XTR 4-piston, 200mm discs front and rear
  • Wheels: Reynolds TRe carbon
  • Tyres: Maxxis Minion DHF 2.5 WT EXO (f), Maxxis Minion DHRII 2.6 WT EXO Plus (r)
  • Bar and stem: Canyon CF:ON CP0012
  • Saddle: Canyon SD:ON
  • Seatpost: Iridium dropper
  • Sizes: S, M, L, XL
  • Price: £6,499 / $N/A / €6,999 / AU$11,049