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Canyon Grand Canyon:ON 9 review

German brand’s premium motorised hardtail punches above its weight

Our rating 
4.5 out of 5 star rating 4.5
GBP £3,699.00 RRP | EUR €3,899.00 | AUD $6,899.00
Canyon Grand Canyon:ON 9 hardtail mountain eBike

Our review

By far the closest ride quality to a ‘proper’ MTB, but versatile enough for urban riding and exploring, too
Pros: Versatility; low BB contributes to stable handling
Cons: Cheap Schwalbe tyres are a bit hard and scratchy off-road; smallest frame only has room for 504Wh battery
Skip to view product specifications

Canyon’s Grand Canyon:ON 9, like all of its electric mountain bikes, uses a Shimano motor. The bike is intended to pair the best facets of Canyon’s Grand Canyon hardtail with an EP8 drive unit, making it a versatile performer on the trails and in the city.

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That Shimano motor provides ample torque and power, with three modes (Eco, Trail and Boost).

The spec list includes a Fox 34 Rhythm fork, Shimano gearing and braking and Schwalbe Nobby Nic Performance tyres.

Canyon Grand Canyon:ON 9 frame details

The fat down tube conceals a full-size 630Wh battery, which, if you tune it for economical power usage, will deliver over 100km of range for lighter riders.

However, if you need to remove the powerpack to charge it, you have to undo four Allen bolts, which is a bit time-consuming.

The ON 9 has sophisticated aluminium tube profiles, with huge welds joining slimline rear stays (for increased compliance over rough ground) and a funky oversized seat tube.

Its geometry is modern without being radical, with the large frame we tested sporting a reach of 455mm.

A heavily sloped top tube keeps the frame out of the way on technical terrain and provides room to move about.

The Canyon also has a very low bottom bracket height, for a lower centre of gravity and stable rider position.

Canyon Grand Canyon:ON 9 specifications

The geometry contributes to a stable, smooth and predictable ride.
Mick Kirkman / Our Media

A dropper post is a welcome sight, with enough travel to suit taller riders. Canyon sensibly specs big 203mm brake rotors front and rear, too, so there’s plenty of stopping power from the sorted Shimano brakes.

You need decent brakes to slow down the 2.6in Schwalbe tyres, which, although they have lots of cushioning and stability, have harder rubber than some other mountain bike tyres.

This means the blocky tread lasts well, but doesn’t dig in and conform to the ground, so the tyres feel a bit nervous over roots and wet rocks.

They also have less traction than you need when you’re in the most powerful motor mode going uphill, where the rear tyre can wheelspin and upset your balance.

The Shimano STEPS cranks eat into the power. Even when seated, they twist and contort under power when using big flat pedals that exert a lot of leverage.

Heavy riders will want to swap them out (a relatively easy and inexpensive job). Everything else is totally sorted. The 120mm-travel Fox 34 Rhythm fork works well and you wouldn’t want any more bounce upsetting the shape and balance of a hardtail mountain bike.

Canyon Grand Canyon:ON 9 geometry

SMLXL
Seat angle (degrees)74747474
Head angle (degrees)67686868
Chainstay (mm)425440440440
Seat tube (mm)400450480540
Top tube (mm)601638666688
Head tube (mm)100120135145
Bottom bracket drop (mm)54546565
Wheelbase (mm)1,1091,1571,1881,211
Standover (mm)752797814844
Stack (mm)602651665675
Reach (mm)405430455475

Canyon Grand Canyon:ON 9 ride impressions

There’s plenty of speed on tap.
Mick Kirkman / Our Media

This bike impressed from the moment I slung a leg over it. It’s rapid and has well considered geometry, which makes you feel planted and stable, without pedal strikes becoming an issue on lumpy ground.

With its balanced head angle, wide bar and short stem, there’s a precise and reactive (yet not too eager) feel to the steering.

Lean the bike and you change direction smoothly, and it’s easy to predict the handling, because it never seems to unsettle your position, even if you get airborne.

The Canyon rides like a ‘proper’ aggressive hardtail, yet it’s still comfy and well-balanced around town.

The motor is far more powerful than its rivals, too. You can blast uphill, stream through the smooth 12-speed Shimano gears and always remain in the sweet spot for power delivery, and there’s way more juice to drag a heavy rider up steep hills in the top modes.

As you can also tune it for maximum economy in Shimano’s E-Tube app, it brings you the best of both worlds.Like all electric hardtails, the frame amplifies motor noise, but it does a good job of quietening trail chatter and feels smooth over choppy surfaces.

Although the Canyon has a plush Fox fork and a steep head angle, your weight doesn’t get pitched about.

In fact, there’s a real calmness if you let the bike rip through bombholes or deep berms.

We did have a major issue when the battery stopped communicating with the motor, but it’s rare that Shimano’s proven system fails, and all electric bikes are fallible.

Canyon sent out a new battery, as they would for a customer.

Canyon Grand Canyon:ON 9 bottom line

It’s one of the best electric hardtails, and at home in the city too.
Mick Kirkman / Our Media

This is a stellar electric hardtail, with ample power and torque, that will suit urban adventurers as well as seasoned mountain bikers.

There’s plenty of speed on tap, geometry is well thought-out and the steering reliable yet reactive.

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Beyond a possible need for a tyre upgrade, Canyon’s Grand Canyon:ON 9 is difficult to find fault with.

How we tested

Electric hardtails such as the three on test here don’t have any rear suspension, but do come with big, grippy tyres and front suspension to help smooth out the ride and boost confidence. 

Specialized, Canyon and Orbea have designed these machines to handle proper mountain bike trails, but also to double up as all-purpose bikes, with features such as lockable batteries, lights, accessories mounts and kickstands. 

We took them around our local woods and bridleways, and also on a camping trip to the Lake District with kids in tow, to find out which is the most practical and comfortable to sneak off to the trail centre on, nip about on gravel lanes on or explore the countryside with.

On test

Product Specifications

Product

Price AUD $6899.00EUR €3899.00GBP £3699.00
Weight 23.15kg (L)
Brand Canyon

Features

Available sizes S, M, L, XL
Motor Shimano STEPS EP8 (85Nm max torque)/Shimano E8036 630Wh
Tyres Schwalbe Nobby Nic Performance 29x2.6in
Stem FSA Comet 35
Shifter Shimano Deore M6100
Seatpost Canyon Iridium
Saddle fi’zi:k Terra Alpaca X5
Rear derailleur Shimano Deore XT M8100 (1x12)
Headset Canyon
Brakes Shimano MT410, 203mm rotors
Handlebar FSA Comet, 760mm
Grips/Tape Canyon lock-on
Frame Aluminium alloy w/integrated battery
Fork Fox 34 Rhythm GRIP, 120mm travel
Cranks Shimano STEPS
Chain Shimano M6100
Cassette Shimano Deore XT, 10-51T
Wheels Canyon Iridium 30