Canyon Torque:ON | A Brand New Long Travel e-MTB Has Landed

In case you hadn’t heard already, Canyon Bicycles has just announced that its full electric mountain bike range is now available in Australia. As part of that announcement, Canyon is also launching a brand new platform called the Torque:ON. As the German brand’s biggest travel e-MTB to date, the Canyon Torque:ON follows in the footsteps of the existing Neuron:ON and Spectral:ON models, but dials things up a few notches for the riders who want to tackle the gnarliest trails on the steepest terrain, without having to rely on shuttles or chairlifts.

2021 canyon torque:on e-mtb
Talk the Torque – Canyon’s new e-MTB is a 175mm travel self-shuttling beast of a bike!

The All-New Canyon Torque:ON

Based on the current Torque, Canyon’s all-round gravity rig, the Torque:ON is essentially the electrified version. It features a four-bar suspension design with 175mm of rear wheel travel, a 180mm travel fork, and 27.5in wheels. That puts it into the same lane as other DH-focussed e-MTBs like the Specialized Kenevo and the Norco Range VLT.

Unlike the regular Torque, the Torque:ON is (for now) only available with an alloy frame. For an e-MTB designed for absolute bikepark mayhem though, that seems like a sensible choice.

Also sensible is the option to fit a bottle and the use of large, heavy duty pivot bearings throughout the back end. Canyon has tuned the suspension kinematics specifically for e-MTB use, with the Torque:ON featuring less anti-squat compared to the regular Torque. This is possible due to the more consistent chain force that’s dished out by the mid-drive motor, which results in less pedal bob compared to the haggardly inconsistent inputs of unassisted human legs. With less anti-squat, the Torque:ON’s rear suspension is claimed to reduce pedal kickback for more seamless bump absorption. Finally, with the Torque:ON having a higher sprung mass as the result of carrying a motor and battery, Canyon has also made the spring curve more progressive than the regular Torque, in order to reduce mid-stroke wallow and improve bottom-out support.

New EP8 Motor, Modest Battery Size

The Canyon Torque:ON launches with the new Shimano EP8 motor, and that’s powered by Shimano’s internal 504Wh battery pack. This is a curious choice, given that many of Canyon’s competitors are electing for bigger 625-700Wh batteries. Heck, even the latest Spectral:ON is now fitted with a 630Wh battery.

According to Canyon however, it sees the 504Wh option as providing an adequate range for most riders. It also comes in around a kilo less than Shimano’s 630Wh battery, and with much of the Torque:ON’s focus on being as playful as possible, weight was apparently a key consideration. That sounds a bit odd for what is already a heavy-duty, long-travel e-MTB. But given it’s likely to spend quite a lot of time in the air, boosting jumps and railing around berms, we can see where Canyon’s coming from. Here’s the word directly from our German friends;

We could have gone bigger here on the battery, but doing so would have added weight to the chassis and dampened the ride quality we love. We chose to go with the outstanding ride quality.

So there you go. If you’re genuinely worried about range though, Canyon will be offering complete Torque:ON bikes with a secondary battery pack for an extra $800 AUD. The battery itself is stowed inside the frame’s downtube, where it’s protected by a bolt-on hard cover. It’s removable via a 4mm hex key, so you can easily swap it around at the trailhead. It also means you can charge it separately, or while it’s mounted in the bike via the integrated charing port.

2021 canyon torque:on e-mtb
Some riders may wish for a bigger battery pack, but Canyon says it wanted to maximise agility with the Torque:ON.

e-Freeride Geometry

As a gravity-focussed bike, the Torque:ON of course features very much gravity-focussed geometry. There’s a slack 63.5° head angle, and generous reach measurements across the four frame sizes (460mm on the Medium and 485mm on the Large).

The seat tube angle isn’t particularly steep at 74° though, especially when you compare it to the Specialized Kenevo (77°) and the Norco Range VLT (77-78°). The slacker seat tube angle also results in quite a long effective top tube length, though bear in mind that we haven’t ridden the bike yet – we’re just going off the geometry chart. Still, for riders on the border between frame sizes, this may be something to take into consideration.

One other number that really stands out is the 430mm chainstay length. That’s short for any mountain bike, let alone one with 175mm of rear travel. But for one with a mid-drive motor as well? That’s bonkers! Along with the 27.5in wheels, it would appear that Canyon is very much focussed on making the Torque:ON as playful as possible.

canyon torque:on geometry

What’s Going To Be Available?

There will be two Torque:ON models launching together, both of which are built around the same alloy frame, Shimano EP8 motor and 504Wh battery. Depending on the model you choose, you’re getting either a Fox 38 or RockShox ZEB fork, along with a huge 70mm stroke piggyback air shock.

Big 4-piston brakes come as standard with 200-220mm rotors for maximum power and heat dissipation. You’ll also see e-MTB specific DT Swiss Hybrid wheels, which feature burlier hubs with tougher axles and bearings, as well as stronger spokes and thicker-walled alloy rims. These are wrapped with Maxxis Minion tyres, though we’re a little confused to see a DoubleDown casing for the front tyre, and a lighter weight EXO+ casing for the rear tyre. This is likely because Maxxis doesn’t currently offer a 2.6in wide Minion DHR II with a DoubleDown casing, but it’s still odd given that a big travel bike like this surely warrants heavy duty casings front and rear.

Dropper post travel also tops out at 150mm, even on the XL frame size, which is on the short side these days. Perched atop is Canyon’s own e-MTB specific saddle, which gets a scoop-tail profile to provide a more secure pedalling position on steeper climbs. Another nice touch is the integrated chainguide for the EP8 motor, and there’s even a USB charge port up on the top tube.

As with the rest of the Canyon e-MTB range, including the Spectral:ON CF 8 we currently have on test, Torque:ON is due to be available to Australian riders by mid-February. The bike itself will be shipped directly from Canyon’s German factory in a unique e-MTB specific cardboard bike box, while the Shimano battery will be shipped separately from Canyon Australia via road freight. Read on for a closer look at specs and pricing for the two-bike lineup.

2021 canyon torque:ON 9 e-mtb shimano ep8
The Torque:ON 9 gets a Fox 38 fork and Float X2 shock, along with a SRAM GX Eagle drivetrain and Code RSC brakes.

2021 Canyon Torque:ON 9

2021 canyon torque:ON 8 e-mtb shimano ep8
The Torque:ON 8 features a RockShox ZEB and Super Deluxe shock, with a Shimano SLX drivetrain and SLX 4-piston disc brakes.

2021 Canyon Torque:ON 8

2021 canyon torque:on e-mtb
“Wheeeeeeeee!”

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