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Canyon updates its Spectral:ON with a completely new chassis

Canyon Spectral:On e-MTB
(Image credit: Canyon)

Despite the last Spectral:ON only being updated last year, Canyon has completely reworked the Spectral:ON format. The Spectral:ON is the German brand's best electric mountain bike for riders looking for a well-rounded trail mountain biking platform, following the same format as the brands extremely capable Spectral CFR and CF bikes.

The Spectral:ON still sports a 150mm fork and 155mm of rear travel and rolls on a mullet wheel configuration. It also still uses a Shimano EP8 motor and Canyon's Triple Phase Suspension although that's about where the similarities end.

Canyon's redesign was focused on increasing range whilst reducing weight to maximize the good times out on the trail, not only on the CF level frame but also adding a premium quality CFR model. At the same time Canyon took the opportunity to make adjustments to the geometry as well as increasing the strength to a “Category 4E” rating.

Canyon Spectral:On CF e-MTB

(Image credit: Canyon)

The previous Spectral:ON CF featured a semi-carbon chassis, this was an easy weight saving starting point with Canyon adding a full carbon rear end to the new bikes. Canyon claims that further weight was saved by using new carbon layup schedules and optimizing frame details.

As with other bike lines in Canyon's range the Spectral:ON is now offered in CF and CFR frame version. Both frames should be the same in terms of design and ride feel, the only difference being the carbon material and layup used. The result is a claimed 300g saving with the CFR frame.

The complete redesign of the frame has meant Canyon were able to update other bits of the frame too. The pivots have been increased to 15mm pivot axles and bearings are larger to handle significantly more load which should help bolster the toughness of the frame in high load situations.

Canyon Spectral:On CF e-MTB

(Image credit: Canyon)

Adding lightness and strength wasn't the only task, by reconfiguration the motor and battery layout Canyon has been able to boost the range too. Canyon designed its own battery, repositioning the battery cells horizontally in order to create a more compact battery. To further optimize the motor and battery layout Canyon has rotated the EP8 motor by 30-degrees to help keep the weight low.

The battery come in two size options, 720Wh and 900Wh which Canyon claims add 15 to 42 percent over the standard 630Wh battery respectively. In ride terms, that should add up to 97.2km in range or 2,132m of elevation with the 900Wh battery and 77.7km in distance and 1,681m in climbing for the 720Wh. Any way you look at it, that's a pretty sizable day on the trail.

The batteries use a Rosenberger self-locating, magnetic charger plug and the battery can be charged on or off the bike. You can't use the standard Shimano charger though so you won't be able to top up your juice at a friend's house. The batteries are part of the Shimano Steps Service Program, so replacements can be sourced.

Due to the smaller downtubes, all size small Spectral:ON models only come with 720Wh batteries. On the Medium through X-Large Spectral:ON models Canyon gives the choice of either 720Wh and 900Wh battery versions. However, if you are in the States, you will only have the 700Wh on the CF7 (Canyon says a 900Wh battery upgrade might be available where stock allows) and the CF8 and CFR only have 900Wh on the Medium to X-Large sizes.

Canyon Spectral:On CF e-MTB

(Image credit: Canyon)

To complement the increases in capability and range, Canyon has made some tweaks to the geometry as well although nothing too radical. The head-angle has been slackened by a degree to 65.5-degrees, reach increased by 25mm and 5mm added to the chainstays resulting in a 26mm longer wheelbase and should equal a more stable ride feel. The seat angle has been steepened by 2-degrees as well which should help better position the rider on steep seated climbs.

The seat tube has had 20mm lopped off the top as well which not only allows for longer travel dropper posts to be used but also gives customers a little more flexibility with sizing. Canyon will offer the Spectral:ON in Small, Medium, Large and X-Large frame sizes.

Canyon Spectral:ON range and specs

Canyon will have a five-model strong range with two CFR models and three CF options, Canyon says the Spectral:ON CFR models with 900Wh battery (size S: 720Wh battery) will be available to buy from the 5th of April, followed by the Spectral:ON CF bikes in May.

US customers will have to be a little more patient unfortunately, Canyon USA expects to have Spectral:ON CF models in late spring and should have CFR models in the Fall of 2022. 

Bikes will be available to order from Canyon.com (opens in new tab).

Canyon Spectral:ON CF 7

  • Frame: Canyon Spectral:ON CF 7
  • Motor: Shimano EP8 Motor
  • Fork: RockShox Lyric Select, 150mm Fork
  • Shock: RockShox Deluxe Select, 155mm rear suspension
  • Groupset: Shimano XT 12-speed (10-51)
  • Cranks: Shimano
  • Brakes: Shimano Deore (203mm)
  • Wheelset: RaceFace  AR30 / AR35  w/  Shimano  MT400 / MT510 Hub Mullet (30f/35r) Wheels
  • Tires: F: Maxxis Assegai 3CMT EXO 29x2,5 WT R: Maxxis Minion DHR II EXO+ 27,5x2,6 TR MT
  • Handlebar: Canyon HB0057
  • Stem: Canyon ST0031
  • Seatpost: Iridium Dropper Post (S=125, M=150, L and XL=170)
  • Saddle: Fizik Terra Aidon X5
  • Weight: 23,04 kg Carbon E-MTB (720 WH Bat.),  23,95 kg. Carbon E-MTB (900 WH Bat.)

Canyon Spectral:On CF8 e-MTB

(Image credit: Canyon)

Canyon Spectral:On CF8

  • Frame: Canyon Spectral:ON CF 8
  • Motor: Shimano EP8 Motor
  • Fork: Fox 36 Rhythm Grip, 150mm Fork
  • Shock: Fox DPS Performance, 155mm rear suspension
  • Groupset: Shimano XT 12-speed (10-51)
  • Cranks: Shimano
  • Brakes: Shimano SLX (203mm)
  • Wheelset: Sunringle Duroc Mullet Wheels
  • Tires: F: Maxxis Assegai 3CMT EXO 29x2,5 WT R: Maxxis Minion DHR II EXO+ 27,5x2,6 TR MT
  • Handlebar: Canyon HB0057
  • Stem: Canyon ST0031
  • Seatpost: Iridium Dropper Post (S=125, M=150, L and XL=170)
  • Saddle: Fizik Terra Aidon X5
  • Weight: 23,04 kg Carbon E-MTB (720 WH Bat.),  23,95 kg. Carbon E-MTB (900 WH Bat.)

Canyon Spectral:On CF9

  • Frame: Canyon Spectral:ON CF 9
  • Motor: Shimano EP8 Motor
  • Fork: Fox 36 Performance Elite, 150mm Fork
  • Shock: Fox Float X Performance, 155mm rear suspension
  • Groupset: Sram GX Eagle AXS 12-speed (10-52)
  • Cranks: Shimano
  • Brakes: Sram Code RS (203mm)
  • Wheelset: DT Swiss H1900 Mullet Wheels
  • Tires: F: Maxxis Assegai 3CMT EXO 29x2,5 WT R: Maxxis Minion DHR II EXO+ 27,5x2,6 TR MT
  • Handlebar: Canyon HB0057
  • Stem: Canyon ST0031
  • Seatpost: Iridium Dropper Post (S=125, M=150, L and XL=170)
  • Saddle: Fizik Terra Aidon X5
  • Weight: 22,84 kg Carbon E-MTB (720 WH Bat.),  23,75 kg. Carbon E-MTB (900 WH Bat.)

Canyon Spectral:On CFR e-MTB

(Image credit: Canyon)

Canyon Spectral:On CFR

  • Frame: Canyon Spectral:ON CFR
  • Motor: Shimano EP8 Motor
  • Fork: FOX 36 Factory Grip2, 150mm Fork
  • Shock: Fox Float X Factory, 155mm rear suspension
  • Groupset: Shimano XT 12-speed (10-51)
  • Cranks: Shimano
  • Brakes: Shimano XTR (203mm)
  • Wheelset: Reynolds TRE309 / 367 Mullet Wheels
  • Tires: F: Maxxis Assegai 3CMT EXO 29x2,5 WT R: Maxxis Minion DHR II EXO+ 27,5x2,6 TR MT
  • Handlebar: Canyon HB0057
  • Stem: Canyon ST0031
  • Seatpost: Fox Transfer Dropper Post (S=125, M=150, L and XL=175)
  • Saddle: Fizik Terra Aidon X5
  • Weight: 21,84 kg Carbon E-MTB (720 WH Bat.),  22,75 kg. Carbon E-MTB (900 WH Bat.)

Canyon Spectral:On CFR LTD e-MTB

(Image credit: Canyon)

Canyon Spectral:On CFR LTD

  • Frame: Canyon Spectral:ON CFR LTD
  • Motor: Shimano EP8 Motor
  • Fork: Rock Shox Lyric Ultimate Flight Attendant, 150mm Fork
  • Shock: Rock Shox Super Deluxe Ultra Flight Attendant, 155mm rear suspension
  • Groupset: Sram XX1 Eagle AXS (10-52)
  • Cranks: Shimano
  • Brakes: Shimano Deore (203mm)
  • Wheelset: DT Swiss HXC 1501 Mullet Wheels
  • Tires: F: Maxxis Assegai 3CMT EXO 29x2,5 WT R: Maxxis Minion DHR II EXO+ 27,5x2,6 TR MT
  • Handlebar: Canyon CP0012 integrated bar and stem
  • Seatpost: RockShox Reverb AXS Dropper Post (S=125, M=150, L and XL=170)
  • Saddle: Fizik Terra Aidon X5
  • Weight: 23,04 kg Carbon E-MTB (720 WH Bat.),  23,95 kg. Carbon E-MTB (900 WH Bat.)
Graham Cottingham
Senior reviews writer, Bike Perfect

Graham is all about riding bikes off-road. Based in Edinburgh he has some of the best mountain biking and gravel riding in the UK right on his doorstep. With almost 20 years of riding experience, he has dabbled in downhill, enduro and, most recently, gravel racing. Not afraid of a challenge, Graham has embraced bikepacking over the last few years and likes nothing more than strapping some bags to his bike and covering big miles to explore Scotlands wildernesses. When he isn’t shredding the gnar in the Tweed Valley, sleeping in bushes or tinkering with bikes, he is writing tech reviews for Bike Perfect and the muckier side of Cyclingnews 


Rides: Canyon Strive, 24 Bicycles Le Toy 3, Surly Steamroller

Height: 177cm

Weight: 71kg