Canyon's New Spectral:ON eMTB, the electric sibling of the Spectral has received a hefty and well-deserved facelift to make it competitive in the constantly growing market of eMTB's.
Although the main figures - 150mm of travel on both ends and mixed wheel-sizing remain the same, that's where the similarities mostly end. Besides refreshed geometry, the frame material is changed from aluminum to carbon fiber. The CF abbreviation is a nod of the material used. Correspondingly, the aluminum models carry the letters AL in their name.
Altogether, there are four models with one women's-specific model. The flagship model is the CF 9.0 which is equipped with full XTR and Fox Factory goods with a retail price of 6 999 €.
Canyon Spectral:ON CF Details
• Intended use: Trail riding
• Wheel size: 29" front, 27,5" in the back
• Travel: 150mm front and rear
• Carbon fiber frame with aluminum chainstays
• 66.5° head angle
• 74.5° seat tube angle
• 504WH battery on all models
• Shimano Steps E8000 motor
• 4 models: CF 9.0, CF 8.0, CF 7.0 and women-specific CF 7.0 WMN
• Sizes: S-XL
• Weight (CF 9.0 model, claimed): 47.6 lb / 21.6 kg
• Price: 4599-6999 € (US pricing to be confirmed)
Next in line is the CF 8.0 which shares the same frame and suspension components but gets an XT drivetrain and anchors instead of top of the line offerings from Shimano. The CF 7.0 is the most affordable model with a price tag of 4599 €. Instead of Fox product, this model sports Lyrik Select fork and Super Deluxe shock. Shifting duties are handled by XT/SLX components while stopping power is provided by 4-pot Shimano MT520 brakes. The women's-specific 7.0 version shares the same components except for contact points and frame color.Frame Details
Engineers behind the new Spectral:ON have taken the full advantage of the properties that carbon fiber brings to the table. First, the aesthetics are greatly improved from the previous aluminum version. Integrating the battery inside the downtube greatly helped with this and it's worth noting that the 2020 lineup is the first wave of mountain bikes from Canyon with this feature.
Canyon's team claim to have gone through multiple iterations before settling on the final design. Six samples of manufactured downtubes were on display during the press launch, all with varying cross-sections.
Besides hiding the battery inside the frame - which is almost a given in this era of eMTB, the frame had several nice features which combine looks and performance. The seat mast borrows the shape from the Sender
frame with looks resembling a submarine tower. A wedge-style seat clamp is hidden inside the mast and is tightened from the front using a 4mm hex key.
No SWAT boxes or any other integrated storage can be found in the frame. However, there is a place for the ever-important waterbottle. If one wishes to carry tools on-bike without compromising hydration, integrated tools such as the EDC System from OneUP
are the way to go. It is worth pointing out that Canyon's proprietary stem design may limit options when it comes to hiding hardware inside of the steerer tube - more on that below.
The stealthy theme continues in the rear triangle where the pivot is hidden inside the hollow structure of the seat stays. Although carbon fiber is the name of the game with Spectral, aluminum hasn't been completely disregarded. The rear end of the Spectral is built from carbon fiber seat stays and aluminum chainstays to use the best attributes of both materials, according to Canyon. The brake mount is designed around 203mm rotors, eliminating the need for adapters which is a very welcome feature.
The previous model of the Spectral:ON wasn't exactly archaic, but certainly not the latest fashion either. With the new model, the numbers have changed to reflect the needs of modern riding without jumping to the deepest end of progressive geometry.
The head angle is slackened to 66.5 degrees while the seat angle is set to 74.5 degrees. The reach of a large-sized frame is 465mm and chainstays measure at 435mm. Some may consider figures like these to be almost conservative. However, when taken into account that the aim was to design a trail bike that is truly an "all-rounder" that suits the taste of most riders, the geometry seems reasonable.
The seat angle is still not the most progressive and the seated riding position could benefit if it would be 1-1.5 degrees steeper, but then that might mean increasing reach, which would change the front-center and wheelbase so it seems an appropriate compromise.Suspension Design
The electric-sibling of the Spectral frame shares a similar structure with the rest of the lineup. Basically, it's a single pivot enhanced with a clevis-mount shock extension and rocker links – a design that is quite common nowadays.
The system is coined as triple phase suspension with the intention that the behavior of the suspension travel is divided into three parts: sensitive, stable and progressive. The bike is designed to be efficient in pedaling throughout this.
Although the structure and working principles are the same, Spectral:ON has 16% less progressivity at the end of the travel compared to the 130mm travel Neuron:ON and solely pedal-driven Neuron: AL models. This also means that the bike is designed to be used only with air shocks which might be disappointing for the coil aficionados.The Specs
The whole Spectral:ON CF line has a well-rounded component spec. Reynolds carbon TRe hoops complement the XTR-kit and Kashima-coated suspension on the 9.0 model. The 8.0 and 7.0 give an equally solid return on the investment, something that the direct sales operated German brand is well-known for.
Integration is a sign of progress or a curse, depending on the application and how one wants to see it. Nevertheless, there's plenty of that going on in the Spectral's cockpit. The CP0012 stem and handlebar are made of carbon fiber and employ a one-piece design. The goal of joining the two together was a small reduction in weight, but most importantly, making the installation easier. Since the combo eliminates adjustment for bar roll, it truly is a plug & play type of approach when it comes to mountain bike cockpit; tighten the headset and point the stem straight.
The integrated stem and handlebar combo isn't necessarily everyone's cup of tea, but the benefits can not be negated. The simplicity of setup, a direct mount for the display, weight reduction, and stealthy looks will appeal many with the exception of the most demanding fiddlers with a picky taste to the cockpit feel. Photos: Canyon/Marcus Greber.
The CP0012 is supplied only with the top-tier CF 9.0 model and has an option for two widths: 760 or 780mm. Both bars have the same shape with 8 degrees of back sweep and 5 degrees of up sweep. Stem length is set at 50mm.E8000 - The Japanese Powerhouse
Besides one's legs, propulsion for the Spectral:ON is provided also by the new Shimano Steps E8000 motor. When comparing ride-feel amongst eMTB motors, the Steps system is on the milder side of the spectrum and provides a more natural assistance feel.
The drive unit itself is quite compact, weighing at 2.8kg The 504Wh battery does not shine with its capacity but should be enough to power at least for 1.5 hours even when riding with the least economic manners. The compact battery also helps to keep the weight down which is claimed to be around 21.6kg for the XTR-equipped CF 9.0 model.
Shimano also have one of the widest service networks in the business which was a heavy factor when deciding the drive unit, according to Canyon. It's in the manufacturers and rider's best interest to keep the bike running problem-free all times and the dense net of Shimano service points certainly should help to keep the wheels rolling.
A nice addition to the Shimano drive system is the inclusion of USB-C port next to the power button, located just behind the head tube. This enables the charging of a phone or ride-computer if power turns out to be in short supply in either device.