2021 Canyon Spectral:ON First Look | Canyon e-MTB range arrives in Australia

That’s right folks – for the first time ever, Canyon Bicycles is now offering its electric mountain bike range to the Australian market. That’s big news, because up until now Canyon hasn’t been able to sell e-MTBs into Australia due to constraints around shipping bikes with a big ol’ battery inside the downtube. Thankfully those logistical challenges have been overcome however, and just in time for the official launch of Canyon’s 2021 e-MTB range. The lineup includes the Spectral:ON, Neuron:ON and Grand Canyon:ON, which have all been updated with new spec, motor and battery options. There’s also a brand new long-travel platform called the Torque:ON, which you can check out in our separate tech feature here. In this article, we’ll be taking a tour of the broader e-MTB range, along with a closer look at our newest test bike – the Canyon Spectral:ON CF 8.

2021 canyon spectral:on cf 8 emtb shimano ep8
Canyon e-MTBs are now available in Australia, including the latest Spectral:ON, which gets significant upgrades for 2021.

The Canyon Spectral:ON – What’s The Vibe?

Out of the four models in Canyon’s e-MTB range, the most versatile option is surely the Spectral:ON.

Designed as the capable all-rounder, the Spectral:ON features 150mm of suspension travel front and rear. With an eye on keeping things playful, Canyon has built the Spectral:ON with a trendy mullet wheelsize setup – much like the Merida eOne-Sixty we just tested. There’s a 29in front wheel for improved rollover and stability, while the 27.5in rear wheel has allowed the designers to keep the rear end nice and short, with the goal of delivering more nimble handling, particularly through the turns.

The frame itself is constructed with a sleek carbon fibre front end and an alloy sub-frame. A four bar suspension design connects to the rear shock via an extension link, and the layout means there’s sufficient clearance inside the mainframe to fit a water bottle. Our Medium sized bike fits a proper 750ml bottle, just clearing the piggyback reservoir.

2021 canyon spectral:on cf 8 emtb shimano ep8
The Spectral:ON CF 8 now features the one-piece carbon cockpit, giving it a very suave front-end.

New for 2021, the Canyon Spectral:ON moves from the old E8000 motor to Shimano’s new EP8 drive unit. That means you’re getting more power, less weight, reduced drag, better ride feel and improved tune-ability via the E-TUBE app. For the full rundown on the new EP8 motor, check out our separate tech feature here.

Also new for 2021 is the move from a 504Wh battery to a bigger 630Wh unit, which should help to expand the Spectral:ONs range by some margin. It’s still easily removable from the downtube via a 4mm hex key, so you can recharge it separately or while it’s in the bike. The battery is protected by a bolt-on armour plate that cleanly integrates with the frame, while the motor is shielded by a fibre-reinforced skid plate. Further insurance against crash damage is provided by a headset steering limiter, and Canyon has also added a neat chainguide, which mounts directly to the main pivot.

2021 canyon spectral:on cf 8 emtb shimano ep8
Canyon has embraced Shimano’s new EP8 motor, integrating it into every one of its e-MTB models for 2021.
2021 canyon spectral:on cf 8 emtb shimano ep8
The battery cover works as protective armour, while cleanly integrating into the downtube.

How Does The Bike Arrive?

As with any Canyon mountain bike, the Spectral:ON arrives on your doorstep after being airfreighted directly from Canyon’s factory in Koblenz, Germany. The shipping cost is also the same at $199 AUD, which is additional to the price of the bike itself. It’s shipped inside a purpose-built cardboard bike box that’s made to withstand the extra weight of an e-MTB. Inside the box you’ll find basic tools, a torque wrench, shock pump, build manual and a charger. What you won’t find however, is the battery.

To get around the issue of airfreighting a full-size battery, it’s simply sent separately. Whereas the bike is sent from Germany, the battery comes from Canyon Australia by road freight. Once the two packages arrive, all you need to do is bolt the cover to the battery, then clip the battery into the frame. Otherwise bike assembly is the same as any other Canyon mountain bike – fit the front wheel and handlebar, install your pedals, and you’re mostly ready to roll.

2021 canyon spectral:on cf 8 emtb shimano ep8
We’re currently testing the new Spectral:ON CF 8, which is one seriously good-looking piece of kit.

What Canyon Spectral:ON Models Will Be Available In Australia?

There are six Spectral:ON models that we’ll be able to buy in Australia, and stock is due to be available by mid-February. All models are built with the same carbon/alloy frame, Shimano EP8 motor and 630Wh battery, with prices starting at $8,599 AUD for the Spectral:ON CF 6 and going up to $13,549 AUD for the Spectral:ON CF 9.

Regardless of price, all Spectra:ON models feature Shimano 1×12 drivetrains, 4-piston brakes and 203mm rotors. The tyre combo is identical throughout the range – you get a 2.5in Minion DHF on a 30mm wide rim for a little more precision up front, with a 2.6in Minion DHR II on a 35mm rim for a little more traction and cushion on the rear.

As for contact points, the Spectral:ON comes with Canyon’s unique e-MTB specific saddle that’s designed to offer more support for seated pedalling on steep climbs. You also get shorter 165mm crank arms, and the cockpit is rounded out with a 760-780mm wide bar and a 50mm stem on all sizes. Higher end models feature a distinctive one-piece carbon fibre handlebar and stem, with internal routing for the Di2 electric wires. Speaking of electrics, there’s even a USB-C charging port just behind the head tube, which you could use to charge your GPS, phone, headlight, or Tamagotchi.

We’ll be testing the Canyon Spectral:ON CF 8 over the coming weeks to see how it compares to the competition, so stay tuned for the full review coming to Flow MTB soon. In the meantime, read on for an overview of the Spectral:ON lineup, followed by a closer look at the Neuron:ON and Grand Canyon:ON.

2021 canyon spectral:on cf 9 emtb
The top-banger of the range; the Spectral:ON CF 9.

2021 Canyon Spectral:ON CF 9

2021 canyon spectral:on cf 8 emtb
An alternative colourway for the Spectral:ON CF 8 – the same bike we’re currently testing.

2021 Canyon Spectral:ON CF 8

2021 canyon spectral:on cf 7 emtb
The Spectral:ON CF 7 dips below the $10K barrier with a RockShox suspension package and Shimano SLX/XT running gear.

2021 Canyon Spectral:ON CF 7

2021 canyon spectral:on cf 7 wmn emtb
The Spectral:ON CF 7 WMN shares the same spec as the unisex option, but comes with a female-specific saddle.

2021 Canyon Spectral:ON CF 7 WMN

2021 canyon spectral:on cf 6 emtb
The cheapest option of the range, the Spectral:ON CF 6 still gets the same chassis, motor and battery as the $13K model.

2021 Canyon Spectral:ON CF 6

2021 canyon spectral:ON cf 6 wmn
And the Spectral:ON CF 7 also comes in this WMN version too.

2021 Canyon Spectral:ON CF 6 WMN

2021 canyon neuron:on emtb
Nice commute.

Canyon Neuron:ON – Less Travel, More Chill

Sitting beneath the Spectral:ON, the Canyon Neuron:ON is a full suspension e-MTB that aims for a more accessible price point thanks to its all-alloy frame. However, it’s still built around the latest Shimano EP8 motor and most bikes get a 630Wh battery too. You’ll also find Shimano 1x drivetrains and hydraulic disc brakes throughout the range, and every model is also equipped with a RockShox fork and air shock.

Designed for more all-round riding with a priority on comfort, the Neuron:ON has less aggressive geometry and less suspension travel with 130mm front and rear. In the bigger sizes (M-XL) it features 29in wheels, while the smaller sizes (XS-S) use 27.5in wheels. Those smaller sizes get slightly less travel (120/125mm) and they also come with a smaller 504Wh battery due to size constraints. As a result, XS-S sizes are a few hundred bucks cheaper.

Despite the cheaper price point, you’ll still find loads of features in the Neuron:ON, including an integrated chainguide, Quixle thru-axle, e-MTB specific saddle, internally routed dropper post, and a USB-C charging port on the top tube.

2021 canyon neuron:on 9 emtb
The top Neuron:ON 9 features a RockShox Pike fork, XT brakes and Schwalbe tubeless compatible tyres.

2021 Canyon Neuron:ON 9

2021 canyon neuron:on 8 emtb
You drop down to Deore brakes and a coil-sprung fork on the Neuron:ON 8, lobbing a grand off the price.

2021 Canyon Neuron:ON 8

2021 canyon neuron:on 8 WMN emtb
The women’s specific model is also available down to an XS frame size.

2021 Canyon Neuron:ON 8 WMN

2021 canyon neuron:on 7 emtb
The cheapest full suspension e-MTB from Canyon, the Neuron:ON 7, still features a 1x drivetrain, dropper post and air-sprung shock.

2021 Canyon Neuron:ON 7

2021 canyon neuron:on 7 wmn emtb
And the female-specific option; the sub-$8K Neuron:ON 7 WMN. Digging that paint job!

2021 Canyon Neuron:ON 7 WMN

2021 canyon grand canyon:on emtb
For the commuters and bush track explorers, there’s the Grand Canyon:ON.

Canyon Grand Canyon:ON – The Hardtail e-MTB

For those who don’t need rear suspension, the Grand Canyon:ON brings the price of entry down even further over the Neuron:ON and Spectral:ON.

The Grand Canyon:ON is built around a 6061 welded alloy chassis that incorporates Shimano’s internal battery pack into the downtube. Smaller sizes and cheaper models use the 504Wh battery, though most options feature the bigger 630Wh battery. All Grand Canyon:ON models are powered by the 85Nm Shimano EP8 motor, and they all feature Shimano 1x drivetrains and hydraulic disc brakes.

Just like its more expensive fully suspended counterparts, the Grand Canyon:ON integrates armour for both the motor and battery, and it features Canyon Chain Catcher and USB-C charging port as standard.

2021 canyon grand canyon:on 9 emtb
Featuring a Fox 34 Rhythm fork and Shimano 1×12 drivetrain, the Grand Canyon:ON 9 is the top-tier option of the hardtail e-MTB range.

2021 Canyon Grand Canyon:ON 9

2021 canyon grand canyon:on emtb
All Grand Canyon:ON models are built around Shimano’s new EP8 motor, including the Grand Canyon:ON 8.

2021 Canyon Grand Canyon:ON 8

2021 canyon grand canyon:on 7 wmn
Available down to an XS size, the Grand Canyon:ON 7 WMN is equipped with a RockShox Judy fork and Shimano hydraulic disc brakes.

2021 Canyon Grand Canyon:ON 8 WMN

2021 canyon grand canyon:on 7 emtb
For riders less concerned about range, the 504Wh battery in the Grand Canyon:ON 7 helps to bring the price down below $6K, while still offering EP8-power.

2021 Canyon Grand Canyon:ON 7

2021 canyon grand canyon:on 7 wmn emtb
Canyon’s Grand Canyon:ON 7 WMN is decked out with Shimano hydraulic disc brakes and a wide-range 1x drivetrain.

2021 Canyon Grand Canyon:ON 7 WMN

2021 canyon spectral:on cf 8 emtb shimano ep8
With four models and 17 spec options, Canyon’s 2021 e-MTB range is the biggest and most comprehensive yet. And as of now, it’s all available to Aussie riders.
2021 canyon spectral:on cf 8 emtb shimano ep8
We’ll be testing the Spectral:ON CF 8 over the coming weeks – stay tuned to the website and social channels for updates on the electric blue mullet!

Mo’ Flow Please!

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