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Friday, June 21, 2024

Evaluation: Canyon Spectral:ON CFR eMTB Rewards Endurance

Canyon up to date the Spectral:ON eMTB in 2022, redesigning your entire bike round their in-house developed batteries. Opting to retain the mixed-wheel platform with a 150mm fork up entrance, Canyon has added slightly additional journey within the rear, boosting it to 155mm. Probably the most notable adjustments, nonetheless, are targeted across the engine room of this trail-oriented eMTB.

2023 canyon spectral on cfr review riding corner fast downhill pan shot through trees
Credit score: Rupert Fowler

Creating their very own proprietary 720 Wh and 900 Wh batteries, Canyon has been capable of handle the difficulty of vary anxiousness whereas minimizing the burden penalty related to that boosted capability. Weight of the XTR-equipped Spectral:ON CFR in dimension small, with its 720Wh battery is 21.8 kg.

Paying nice consideration to the distribution of that weight, the Shimano EP8 motor seen throughout the five-model vary is tilted up by way of 30° to permit the battery to tuck in entrance of the motor, positioning the burden as little as attainable. For a deep dive on the bike’s growth and the body particulars that make up the brand new Spectral:ON, see our tech submit right here which additionally covers pricing and availability data intimately.

2022 canyon spectral:on cfr review battery charging port on- off bike
The battery will be charged when it’s on or off the bike. I rode the Spectral:ON by way of some very moist circumstances, and am happy to report no water injury to any of the electronics. I by no means skilled any points with this connection whereas using. Credit score: Rupert Fowler.

To comply with up on my First Experience evaluate of the Canyon Spectral:ON CFR (pertaining to my expertise in Massa Marittima), I now have a extra in-depth evaluate with suggestions gleaned from over 500 km price of using during the last yr on my native trails of the Tweed Valley. To get a full image, the bike has seen every part from blue, crimson and black-graded path heart to steep, pure enduro trails and even just a few DH tracks.

Full disclosure: I’m not an everyday eMTB rider, however I’m an everyday mountain bike rider, extra stoked on using down hills than up them. So please, don’t anticipate this to be an in-depth account of how the Spectral:ON compares to different eMTBs in its class.

Evaluation: Canyon Spectral:ON CFR

2023 canyon spectral on emtb long term review 155mm travel mullet ebike
Credit score: Finlay Anderson

Standing at simply 5ft 4″ tall (163cm) I used to be equipped with a Small Spectral:ON CFR, restricted to a 720 Wh battery resulting from its shorter downtube size. On paper, the bike is barely too large for me; the sizing chart recommends a rider top vary of 166-175cm, although I’ve to say its 435mm attain felt acceptable for each seated pedaling and descending. This one ships with a 760mm bar (M-XL get 780mm), so I did minimize it all the way down to my most well-liked 740mm.

The seat tube size, although shorter than that of its predecessor, continues to be fairly tall at 420mm. With the 125mm journey Fox Switch Dropper Seat Submit, I felt I had enough clearance to maneuver across the bike most of the time. When encountering very steep chutes, I felt the necessity to transfer again to permit the saddle to come back by way of my legs in a manoeuvre extra generally necessitated on short-travel XC bikes. Clearance was nearly by no means a difficulty on graded path heart terrain.

Driving the Spectral:ON down one of many steeper sections of the Massa Marittima enduro trails. Credit score: Rupert Fowler

Venturing onto the steeper, rougher sections of hand constructed path, I did discover the saddle interfering with my thighs and knees an excessive amount of. Word: there’s a $229.50 USD repair for that. Provided that the Small Spectral:ON does even have 199mm of seat tube insertion accessible, it does have capability for a 150mm OneUp V2 Dropper.

The CFR mannequin will get a Fox 36 Manufacturing facility fork with GRIP2 damper; one I’m accustomed to and really snug on. A Fox Float X Manufacturing facility shock takes care of the rear wheel’s 155mm journey. The carbon chassis rolls on a Reynolds TRE309/367 carbon wheelset with a 27.5″ x 2.6″ Maxxis Minion DHR II (EXO) on the rear and a 29″ x 2.5″ Assegai (EXO+) on the entrance. Whereas that top quantity rear tire ought to permit for comparatively low pressures, the sunshine casing discouraged me from going too low. It is a 21.8 kg eMTB; in my view, Canyon actually should have spec’d a DoubleDown casing. For a lot of the take a look at interval, I did really swap out the EXO for a DoubleDown to scale back puncture danger.

spectral on seat stay tire clearance
The carbon rear-end with 440mm stays leaves loads of clearance round a 27.5″ x 2.6″ rear tire; each on the seat-stay bridge and chainstays. Credit score: Rupert Fowler.

I ran the rear on the really useful 30% sag (130 PSI), with 70 PSI within the fork (really useful for my 60 kg). The Float X Shock is fitted with a 0,4 in³ quantity spacer as inventory. Whereas I reported frequent bottom-out occasions on the paths of Massa Marittima with these settings, that wasn’t the case on my native trails across the Tweed Valley. This explicit shock is impressively tuneable when it comes to its air quantity, and thus end-stroke ramp, because of the existence of 6 completely different dimension quantity spacers starting from 0.1 inches to 1.01 inches.

2023 cayon spectral:on emtb review top tube shape clearance float x shock movement
The highest tube of the Spectral:ON is properly formed for shock clearance; the 230mm x 60mm shock rotates on its bushings on the higher mount because the rear wheel is displaced by way of 155mm. The bike just isn’t appropriate with coil shocks.

Although I sometimes discovered the o-ring pushed to its restrict, there was clearly enough ramp to stop any harsh bottom-out. The shock provides each low velocity compression and rebound damping changes; I settled on 10 clicks (from closed) on the rebound, and seven clicks (from closed) on the compression facet.

2023 canyon spectral:on review
Credit score: Finlay Anderson

Certainly, the Spectral:ON is sort of a vigorous bike, given its heft. I felt it was comparatively simple to un-weight the front-end over moist root-riddled sections. A 440mm chainstay size isn’t tremendous brief by any means, however the 19mm BB drop (from the rear axle) matched with the bike’s low heart of gravity provides it a playful really feel in that regard.

The suspension is supple off the highest (and remained so all through the take a look at interval), with loads of mid-stroke help to push towards by way of the apex of turns. By way of tough, straight-line chunder sections, it felt forgiving in some methods, but additionally slightly too vigorous with maybe an excessive amount of suggestions every so often. I discovered just a few clicks of rebound damping to be helpful in calming it down.

2023 canyon spectral on review trail center riding glentress ebiking
Credit score: Finlay Anderson

The bike is, in some respects, fairly nimble in relation to hopping across the path, switching from line to line, for instance. However, it does have a sure sluggishness in nook initiation. This was most evident when establishing for left-handers, with my most well-liked cornering route being reverse to that.

2023 canyon spectral on emtb test glentress trail center
Driving the Canyon Spectral:ON CFR on the Pink Graded singletrack of the Glentress Path Middle (internet hosting the XC World Champs later this yr, by the best way). Credit score: Finlay Anderson.

The Spectral:ON CFR does have a sure edgy-ness to its experience really feel. Rolling alongside on worn-out, hardpack trails, I discover myself noticing how the bike doesn’t achieve this effectively at muting the low-level path chatter. It’s not tremendous clean, and sadly can really feel slightly nervous even on this comparatively mellow terrain. It’s tough to say precisely what’s liable for that feeling, however on condition that the fork and shock seemed to be sliding easily, I’m tempted to apportion blame to the stiffness of the chassis and its carbon wheelset.

The bike rewards a affected person using fashion, the place letting the path come to you leads to a extra flowing experience. My expertise was that there was little to be gained from a extra aggressive method. Maybe my higher physique power has dwindled such that i’m not fairly capable of muscle the additional weight of an eBike so effectively, and in that regard I didn’t really feel like a lot of a pilot. The bike finds its method down path heart singletrack effectively sufficient, the suspension working effectively to hug the bottom and preserve constant traction by way of the much less well-supported corners, however the bike by no means fairly left me feeling exhilarated.

Leaving the path heart behind to experience some more difficult terrain with steeper, extra committing corners and off-camber strains, I used to be left feeling slightly weak. I felt the front-end may do with being slightly larger, although the steerer had been minimize such that the stem was already at its highest attainable place. I performed round with the bar-roll, however couldn’t shake the insecurity in its front-end dealing with on these steeper tracks.

Including extra compression damping to the fork (5 HSC clicks from closed, and three LSC clicks from closed) improved issues significantly, serving to to stop the fork from diving into its journey on low-speed steep sections affected by drops in short-succession. Nonetheless, I did have the misfortune of clipping the quilt on the underside of the downtube just a few instances, and on one event the quilt really dislodged. Fortunately, there was no concern concerning the battery dropping out of the body; it’s held securely in place by two bolts.

Credit score: Rupert Fowler

One may argue that a number of the enduro tracks I examined the eBike on are above and past what it’s designed for, in any case it truly is well-mannered on the mellower, manicured path heart singletrack. Nonetheless, the bike’s journey and geometry numbers did encourage me to search for these more difficult sections of path.

2022 canyon spectral:on geometry

All that stated, the Spectral:ON is authorized to be used with a 160mm journey fork, which can effectively have been an amazing repair for a number of the abovementioned points. Slackening the 65.5° HA off slightly with an extended journey fork would seemingly have improved my confidence on steeper trails, and raised the underside bracket just a few millimeters leaving extra clearance between the downtube cowl and a number of the step-like options on sure enduro tracks.

canyon spectral:on emtb technical climbing shimano ep8 motor
Credit score: Finlay Anderson

On the ups, I had no qualms with the power of the Spectral:ON to hold me up and over technical options. Rear wheel traction was constant and, given acceptable ranges of self-belief, would assist energy me by way of options that I could not even hassle trying on an everyday bike. The Shimano EP8 motor gives an intuitive experience really feel, and it didn’t take me too lengthy to familiarize myself with its energy output, harnessing it for some fast, enjoyable and interesting climbs on technical singletrack.

The motor does rattle, although. On that, Shimano stated, DU-EP800 could generate a lightweight rattling noise from inside when the bike is uncovered to vibration“. You may learn their full response within the Editor’s Word on the foot of this text.

With the motor switched off, drag is minimal. I really thought the bike pedaled actually effectively on lengthy, clean hearth street climbs, and on a couple of event I used to be very completely happy to pedal the bike’s 21.8 kg underneath my very own steam. It wasn’t the arduous expertise I had imagined it could be.

2022 canyon spectral:on cfr review chain dragging along chainstay
Within the small sprockets of the cassette, the chain rests on the chainstay protector. The shut proximity might be one other supply of rattling noise. Regardless of this, the chainstay protector seems remarkably recent on the finish of this take a look at interval, and continues to be securely adhered. Credit score: Rupert Fowler.

A Conclusion of Experience Impressions

I rode the Spectral:ON CFR over all kinds of terrain throughout the take a look at interval, and have concluded that it’s most at house on mellower, flowing path heart terrain the place gradient is constant. It’s a path bike in any case, and if path heart trails make up the overwhelming majority of your mileage, then the Spectral:ON is worthy of consideration.

I’ll say it once more; this eBike rewards a affected person using fashion, and I personally didn’t get a lot out of my efforts to push it more durable. It doesn’t provide probably the most snug experience, however traction is dependable and constant, up and down the paths.

Credit score: Rupert Fowler

Technical Report

On high of the motor rattle is a creaking noise produced underneath flex that has been current all through the length of the take a look at, sounding nearly just like the headset has been over-tightened (it hasn’t). If I flex the body laterally from the BB space by pushing down on one of many pedals, a creaking noise will be heard. It’s very tough to find out the place that creak originates, however it’s current nonetheless. That stated, it’s not so loud that I hear it whereas using.

Extra regarding maybe, was the lateral play that developed within the spindle. This turned obvious towards the tip of the take a look at interval. The whole crankset might be shifted from side-to-side; it was lower than 1mm of motion, nevertheless it was sufficient to be perceived whereas using, giving the impression that one thing, someplace, had come unfastened. Trying again, this will likely effectively have contributed to the nervous-feeling I discussed earlier.

canyon spectral:on downtube sprayed
Who wants a fender when the downtube is that this extensive? On the Small body, the downtube homes a 720 Wh battery, however the bigger body sizes all take a 900 Wh. Credit score: Rupert Fowler.

The Fox suspension elements of the Spectral:ON CFR have been supple all through, and after 726 km of using there isn’t any play detectable in any of the body bearings.

2022 canyon spectral on mud flap
Sadly, this rubber particles guard fell off throughout the take a look at interval, leaving the realm weak to trapping stones picked up by the rear tire. The clear tape on the chainstays additionally peeled away pretty early on within the take a look at interval, leaving it wanting slightly scruffy. Credit score: Rupert Fowler.

The headset nonetheless rotates easily, and so I’ve not wanted to cope with any cables routed by way of the Acros headset. The Shimano XTR rear brake did endure from a wandering chew level throughout the take a look at, however a lever bleed was enough to treatment the scenario.

canyon spectral on emtb acros headset cable routing
The Acros headset bearings remained in good situation all through the take a look at interval. Cables are run by way of the headset with rubber bungs serving to to maintain water and dust out of the internals.

Editor’s Word: We obtained in contact with Shimano to feed again on the rattle of the EP8 motor. Here’s what they needed to say about it: DU-EP800 could generate a lightweight rattling noise from inside when the bike is uncovered to vibration whereas the gears within the drive unit are usually not loaded throughout coasting. DU-EP800 is a product that achieves excessive torque, mild weight, compactness, quietness, effectivity, warmth resistance and low drag. All elements of the drive unit are optimally designed to steadiness these efficiency necessities of the drive unit at a really excessive stage. This can lead to rattling noise in sure conditions, however this phenomenon doesn’t have an effect on the operate and sturdiness of drive unit. Based mostly on the suggestions from our clients, we’re making day by day enhancements to make our merchandise higher. The suggestions we obtained from clients concerning rattling noise may even be mirrored as data to enhance the product.

We have been additionally in contact with Shimano concerning the lateral play on the crankset. A neighborhood Shimano Service Middle kindly shipped the motor off to Shimano for us, to research the difficulty additional. We have been assured by Shimano that the lateral play that was felt was inside tolerance, thus the motor was not eligible for substitute underneath guarantee. They’d the next remark to share:

“The drive unit’s design compensates for variations to keep up a minimal quantity of drag within the system, and this built-in expertise, whereas not noticeable for the rider, can generally be felt throughout upkeep when the spindle is pushed by hand. Our engineers thought-about the consequences of those variations in temperature, throughout the growth of the SHIMANO STEPS drive unit, together with the resultant thermal growth and elevated drag: the result’s a small quantity of tolerance on the spindle which is able to dealing with the ensuing variations in dimension. For instance, when using underneath a excessive load, like climbing a protracted, steep hill, the temperature within the drive unit can rise. A right away impact of this rise in temperature is thermal growth throughout the drive unit. This growth of the components within the drive unit can create undesirable forces on the spindle and bearings, which might trigger for elevated drag within the drive unit”.

canyon spectral:on cfr review tool housed inside rear axle
This lever tucks itself neatly away contained in the rear axle, so that you’ll by no means be with out the software you could take away the rear wheel; it’s well-executed, not liable for any of the aforementioned rattling. Credit score: Rupert Fowler.

What concerning the precise weight?

Nicely, we have been a bit stunned by this one, as have been the oldsters at Canyon. Their claimed weight for a medium Spectral:ON CFR with a 720 Wh battery is 21.84 kg. In the meantime, we weighed our small Spectral:ON CFR with its water bottle cage at 21.8 kg on a Park Device scale, with out pedals.

Pricing & Availability

The 2022 Canyon Spectral:ON CFR eMTB reviewed right here retails at $10,500 USD (£8,099). Nonetheless, newer releases of the Spectral:ON CF7, CF8 and CF9 have made this eBike extra accessible to these with a smaller funds. Pricing begins at $5,999 USD. For extra particulars on these extra reasonably priced fashions, see our earlier protection right here.

Specs of the Spectral:ON CFR Examined Right here

  • CFR Carbon Body (lighter than CF collection frames)
  • Fox Float X Manufacturing facility EVOL Shock – 230mm x 60mm
  • Fox 36 Manufacturing facility Fork with GRIP 2 Damper – 150mm with 44mm offset
  • Shimano STEPS EP8 Motor
  • Battery: 720 Wh (900 Wh on Medium, Massive and XL)
  • Shimano XTR 12-Velocity Derailleur
  • Shimano XTR 1–51T Cassette
  • Shimano STEPS HOLLOWTECH e-MTB Cranks – 165mm Crank Arms
  • Canyon 34T Chainring
  • Shimano M9100 XTR Chain
  • Shimano XTR 4-Piston Brakes with 203mm ICE TECH FREEZA Rotors
  • Reynolds TR 309 E and TR 367 E Wheels
  • Maxxis Assegai 29″ x 2.5″ Entrance Tire
  • Maxxis Minion DHRII 27.5″ x 2.6″ Rear Tire
  • Canyon:ON eMTB Stem – 45mm size
  • Canyon:ON 30mm Riser Bar
  • Canyon Lock-On Grips
  • Fizik Terra Aidon X5 Saddle
  • Fox Switch Manufacturing facility Dropper Seat Submit


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