The new Canyon Spectral:On electric mountain bike adds a full-carbon frame and 900Wh battery

New carbon frame, geometry and battery packs for Canyon's electric trail bike

Canyon Spectral:ON CFR

Canyon has released a new version of the Spectral:On, with a full-carbon frame, increased range and a slacker geometry. The German brand has also added a top-tier CFR frame to the line-up.

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By focusing on reducing the weight of the frame, while also developing its own 720Wh and 900Wh batteries, Canyon says it has created an electric mountain bike that delivers both range and ride quality.

Despite equipping the 2022 Spectral:On with bigger batteries, compared to the outgoing model and its 630Wh battery, Canyon says the new bike comes in at a lower or similar weight due to the new design and full-carbon construction. It’s claimed to be stiffer as a result, too.

Geometry has also been tweaked, giving the Canyon Spectral:On slacker head angles, steeper seat angles and longer chainstays.

Moreover, the whole range has a mullet bike setup, with a 29in wheel at the front and 27.5in at the back.

In terms of suspension travel, all models have 150mm forks, 155mm of rear suspension and 150mm seatpost travel in size medium. Canyon advises the Spectral:On is “rated and approved for forks with up to 160mm of suspension travel”.

Three versions of Canyon Spectral:On CF vary from £4,749 / AU$9,149 / €5,199 to £6,399 / AU$11,949 / €6,999.

The lighter Canyon Spectral:On CFR starts at £8,999 / AU$15,049 / €8,999 and rises to £10,499 / AU$18,649 / €11,299.

US pricing is currently unavailable until the bikes launch in America later this year, with delivery expected in the fall/autumn.

What’s new?

Canyon says the 2022 Spectral:On is a completely new bike. Key highlights include:

  • Lighter, full-carbon frame with CF and CFR tiers
  • 2,880g claimed weight for size-medium CFR frame
  • Revised geometry that’s longer, lower and slacker
  • Larger 720Wh or 900Wh batteries

Full-carbon frame with CF and CFR tiers

Canyon’s Spectral:On electric trail bike now has a full-carbon frame.

The new Spectral:On has a full-carbon frame, gaining a carbon rear triangle for the first time.

The aim, Canyon says, was to create an electric mountain bike with extended range, but without that coming at the cost of a “playful on-trail personality” by adding significant weight.

As a result, Canyon says the updated Spectral:On is “lighter, stiffer and stronger”.

Along with the carbon rear-end, weight saving has been achieved by a new carbon layup across the frame, according to Canyon.

In terms of stiffness, a new seatstay bridge has also been added, and bigger bearings and 15mm thru-axles introduced at the pivot points. On strength, Canyon says the CF and CFR frames are now tested to – and meet – the “Category 4E” standard.

Canyon is offering the new Spectral:On at CF and CFR levels.

The difference between the CF and CFR frames is weight, achieved through an upgraded carbon layup. According to Canyon, a size-medium CFR frame weighs 2,880g – a 300g weight saving over a medium Spectral:On CF frame.

Canyon says stiffness and durability remain the same across the two frame platforms, which also share the same frame features.

In terms of overall bike weight, Canyon says the flagship 2021 XTR-specced Spectral:ON CF 9 weighed 22.5kg with a 650Wh battery, compared to the 2022 Spectral:ON CFR, which is 610g lighter despite having a 720Wh battery.

If you add the 900Wh battery, the new Spectral:On CFR weighs 350g more than its predecessor, but with a 42 per cent increase in battery capacity, according to Canyon.

Canyon develops its own battery pack

The Canyon-developed battery pack aids weight distribution and increases range, according to the brand.

The Spectral:On continues to use a Shimano EP8 motor, which delivers 85Nm of peak torque, but Canyon has developed its own battery pack for the new bike.

“Developing our own battery allowed us to give riders more miles from every charge while also improving the Spectral:On’s centre of gravity and weight distribution,” says Canyon.

Canyon claims its own power supply system adds additional cells to the battery without a marked increase in its size or weight.

Laying the battery cells horizontally allows more to be packed in, according to the brand. Canyon says this avoids issues associated with attaching a large, heavy battery to the bike’s frame, such as poor handling.

The battery can be charged on or off the bike with a new Rosenberger-style magnetic connector.

The new battery is not compatible with a standard Shimano charger, but the batteries are covered by the Shimano Steps Service Program.

“This means consumers can order replacement batteries or get warranty support through bike shops that are Shimano dealers,” says Canyon. Shimano also supports Canyon batteries with a one-year warranty.

A full charge of the 720Wh battery with the supplied Canyon charger takes six hours and the 900Wh will need seven hours.

In terms of range, Canyon claims the 720Wh battery has achieved 77.7km with 1,681m elevation and the 900Wh version has managed 97.2km including 2,132m of climbing.

Compared to a Shimano EP8 630Wh battery, this extends range by 15 per cent for the 720Wh and 42 per cent in the case of the 900Wh battery, Canyon says.

Longer, lower and slacker geometry

Canyon describes the Spectral:On as “super-playful”.

Canyon says it updated the Spectral:On geometry to “continue to make a well-balanced bike that performed well in a wide range of conditions – in essence, the ultimate all-mountain/trail eMTB.”

The company describes the Spectral:On as “super-playful” despite being a 20kg electric mountain bike.

With this in mind, the rear end is kept “short, but not too short” by adding 5mm to the chainstays.

Canyon claims this change has “improved the bike’s traction and balance on steep climbs yet… make[s] the bike a blast when ripping from one corner to the next on tight trails.”

Climbing performance is preserved by steepening the seat angle from 74.5 to 76.5 degrees, Canyon says.

The Spectral:On’s reach is up 25mm. Along with a one-degree slackening of the head angle, Canyon says this will boost the bike’s stability and balance on descents.

However, while the Spectral:On’s geometry has taken a more progressive route, Canyon says there’s a limit as to how effective this can be.

“The Spectral:On is not the longest, slackest bike in the world,” says Canyon.

“Frankly, we weren’t trying to create a dedicated e-gravity or enduro bike. Those bikes are well and good (in fact, they are a lot of fun), but we wanted to build a bike that you could take anywhere – from relatively mellow singletrack to a legitimately hairball bike park run – and have a good time.

“While this new Spectral:On is, indeed, longer and slacker than its predecessor, it still rocks a very balanced geo that works well beneath a lot of different riders and on a lot of different types of terrain.”

Otherwise, Canyon has cut 20mm from the seat tube in each size to accommodate longer dropper posts.

The brand says large and extra-large frames come with 170mm and 175mm droppers respectively.

Frames in sizes medium and small run 150mm and 125mm dropper posts respectively.

The Spectral:On’s mullet setup features a 29-inch front wheel and 27.5inch rear wheel, the largest Canyon recommends.

Rider height (cm)166-175175-183183-192192-200
Top tube length (mm)589613637663
Head tube length (mm)115125135145
Head tube angle (degrees)65.5065.5065.5065.50
Seat tube length (mm)420440460480
Seat tube angle (degrees)76.5076.5076.5076.50
Chainstay length (mm)440440440440
Wheelbase (mm)1,1941,2231,2521,281
Stack (mm)634643652661
Reach (mm)435460485510
Standover height (mm)809814820825
BB drop front/rear (mm)35.5/1935.5/1935.5/1935.5/19
Front travel (mm)150150150150
Rear travel (mm)155155155155

Air shock only

The Spectral:On pairs a 150mm fork with 150mm of rear travel.

Canyon describes the Spectral:On as a “one bike, any trail” kind of machine, with the 150mm fork working alongside 155mm of rear-suspension travel.

According to Canyon, the Spectral:On is not compatible with coil-shock suspension, explaining the bike is made with the “spring curve of an air shock in mind”.

It adds: “Coil shocks are not ideal in designs that use clevis mount shock extensions and rockers.

“The forces transferred (in such a design) to the smaller-diameter damper shafts used in coil shocks is quite high and can lead to shock failures.

“Air-sprung shocks are better suited to this design because they utilise larger-diameter damper shafts that better withstand those forces and thereby increase shock life.”

Finishing touches

The new front-end layout keeps things clean.

Finishing touches include a skid plate to protect the motor and act as a chain guard.

Wires route through the Canyon:On bar and stem, with headset cable routing contributing to a clean front end, according to Canyon.

Canyon says the Spectral:On has simpler wiring than the outgoing model for ease of maintenance.

Three wires run through the bike. One goes from the HMI display unit through the down tube to the motor.

A second connects the motor to the battery and a third joins the motor to the speed sensor.

Finally, Canyon claims its fast-release Quixle thru-axles allow tool-free wheel removal and increase rear-end stiffness.

2022 Canyon Spectral:On prices, specifications and availability

There are five bikes in the range at launch.

The 2022 Canyon Spectral:On range includes five bikes: three at CF level and two with the flagship CFR frame.

Prices range from £1,949 / AU$3,099 / €1,999 to £10,499 / AU$18,649 / €11,299.

Outside of the US, the Spectral:On CFR bikes are available now with the bigger 900Wh battery.

From May, most riders (again, outside of the US) will be able to choose between the 720Wh and 900Wh across the entire CF and CFR range, though small frame sizes can only accommodate the 720Wh battery.

In the US, the Spectral:On CFR and Spectral:On CF 8 will only be available with the 900Wh battery in medium, large and extra-large sizes.

The Spectral:On CF 7 will have the 720Wh battery in all sizes for US riders, with the option to upgrade to 900Wh “while supplies of the bigger battery last”.

Canyon Spectral:On CF 7

  • Weight: 23.05kg (720Wh) / 23.95kg (900Wh)
  • Groupset: Shimano XT
  • Gear ratio: 10-51t
  • Gears: 12
  • Chainring: Canyon:On 34t direct mount
  • Fork: RockShox Lyric Select
  • Shock: RockShox Deluxe Select
  • Handlebar: Canyon HB0057
  • Brake: Shimano Deore MT6100, 4-piston
  • Lever: Shimano Deore
  • Rotor: Shimano SM-RT30 front, EM300 rear
  • Disc size: 203mm
  • Wheelset: Race Face AR30 / AR35 with Shimano MT400 / MT510 hub
  • Front tyre: Maxxis Assegai 3CMT EXO
  • Rear tyre: Maxxis Minion DHR II EXO
  • Saddle: Fizik Terra Aidon X5
  • Seatpost: Iridium SP0050 dropper
  • Rotor: £1,949 / AU$3,099 / €1,999

Canyon Spectral:ON CF 8

  • Weight: 23.05KG (720Wh) / 23.95kg (900Wh)
  • Groupset: Shimano XT
  • Gear ratio: 10-51t
  • Gears: 12
  • Chainring: Canyon:On 34t direct mount
  • Fork: Fox 36 Rhythm Grip
  • Shock: Fox DPS Performance
  • Handlebar: Canyon HB0057
  • Brake: Shimano M7120 4-piston
  • Lever: Shimano SLX
  • Rotor: Hayes D-series
  • Disc size: 203mm
  • Wheelset: Sun Ringle Duroc
  • Front tyre: Maxxis Assegai 3CMT EXO
  • Rear tyre: Maxxis Minion DHR II EXO
  • Saddle: Fizik Terra Aidon X5
  • Seatpost: Iridium SP0050 dropper
  • Rotor: £2,449 / AU$3,899 / €2,499

Canyon Spectral:On CF9

  • Weight: 22.84KG (720Wh) / 23.75kg (900Wh)
  • Groupset: SRAM GX Eagle AXS
  • Gear ratio: 10-52t
  • Gears: 12
  • Chainring: SRAM X-Sync chainring 104BCD, Shimano SM-CRE80-B Spider 34t
  • Fork: Fox 36 Performance Elite
  • Shock: Fox Float X Performance
  • Handlebar: Canyon HB0057
  • Brake: SRAM Code RS
  • Lever: SRAM Code RS
  • Rotor disc: SRAM Centreline
  • Rotor size: 203mm
  • Wheelset: DT Swiss H1900
  • Front tyre: Maxxis Assegai 3CMT EXO
  • Rear tyre: Maxxis Minion DHR II EXO
  • Saddle: Fizik Terra Aidon X5
  • Seatpost: Iridium SP0050 dropper
  • Price: £2,949 / AU$4,649 / €2,999

Canyon Spectral:On CFR

The second-tier offering has an impressive kit list.
  • Weight: 21.84KG (720Wh) / 22.75kg (900Wh)
  • Groupset: Shimano XTR
  • Gear ratio: 10-51t
  • Gears: 12
  • Chainring: Canyon:ON 34t direct mount
  • Fork: Fox 36 Rhythm Grip2
  • Shock: Fox Float X Factory
  • Handlebar: Canyon HB0057
  • Brake: Shimano BR-M9120 4-piston
  • Lever: Shimano XTR
  • Rotor: Shimano RT-MT900 / Shimano EM910
  • Rotor size: 203mm
  • Wheelset: Reynolds TRE309 / 367
  • Front tyre: Maxxis Assegai 3CMT EXO
  • Rear tyre: Maxxis Minion DHR II EXO
  • Saddle: Fizik Terra Aidon X5
  • Seatpost: Fox Transfer
  • Price: £8,649 / AU$15,549 / €9,299

Canyon Spectral:On CFR LTD

Are you tempted by the top-of-the-range CFR LTD?
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  • Weight: 21.94KG (720Wh) / 22.85kg (900Wh)
  • Groupset: SRAM XX1 Eagle AXS
  • Gear ratio: 10-52t
  • Gears: 12
  • Chainring: Canyon:ON 34t direct mount
  • Fork: RockShox Lyric Ultimate Flight Attendant
  • Shock: RockShox Super Deluxe Ultra Flight Attendant
  • Handlebar: Canyon HB0057
  • Brake: SRAM Code RSC
  • Lever: SRAM Code RSC
  • Brake disc: SRAM centreline
  • Disc size: 203mm
  • Wheelset: Reynolds TRE309 / 367
  • Front tyre: Maxxis Assegai 3CMT EXO
  • Rear tyre: Maxxis Minion DHR II EXO
  • Saddle: Fizik Terra Aidon X5
  • Seatpost: RockShox Reverb AXS
  • Price: £10,499 / AU$18,649 / €11,299