like most humans As someone who has crossed the half-century mark, in terms of physical fitness, I travel back and forth between fantasy and reality. My fantasy is that I am as healthy and strong as I was when I was 25. Reality: I am not. While I like to think I’ll never replace my human-powered mountain bike with an electric version, Canyon’s new Spectral:On makes me feel like I’m 25 years old again. Who wouldn’t indulge this opportunity?
The first generation e-MTB I tested years ago was heavy beast It feels unmanageable on the road. But like other ebike multiverses, off-road machines have steadily evolved, with lighter, smaller motors, more powerful batteries, and a more balanced frame shape (or “loose geometry” in bike nerd parlance), which makes for a better ride overall. These evolutionary steps make the e-MTB increasingly alluring, especially if I want to take a long cabin trip through backcountry Utah in my eighties.
2022 Spectral:On comes in five editions. Compared to the previous Spectral model (originally launched in 2018), all of these new bikes have more range, more power, and a stiffer, stronger full carbon frame that brings the rider closer to the bike’s middle rear. Arranged to provide more stability and balance. All are mullets, which means they’re paired with a more stable 29-inch front wheel that can flip just about anything and a 27.5-inch rear wheel for added riding pleasure.
Canyon also tilted the bike’s motor—a 5.7-pound magnesium-clad Shimano EP8 that delivers 63 foot-pounds of torque and quadruples the pedaling effort—to a 30-degree angle. This fix allows Canyon to tuck the lower part of the battery into the frame, lowering the bike’s center of gravity, which is the main reason the bike handles more like an unpowered mountain bike.
Canyon then fully carbonized the frame, including the rear triangle, making the entire frame lighter and stronger; each frame size has 25mm more reach, a slightly wider head tube angle, and chainstays. An increase of 5mm, all of which adds to the stability of the saddle. Canyon then took 20mm out of the seat tube, allowing a longer dropper post, better suited for thicker descents.
And then there’s the Germans’ precise attention to detail: the battery has a magnetic charger plug, which makes it easier to lock even in dark, crowded garages. Wiring is routed through bars and stems, reducing cockpit clutter. Best of all, the dashboard is color-coded so at a glance, riders know which of the three pedal assist modes they are in; with the push of a button they can scroll through mph, distance, mileage Meter, available range, maximum speed, average speed, cadence and time of day.
The only choices consumers have to make when deciding on the five versions are frame size, component quality, and battery size. You can choose between a 720-watt-hour or 900-watt-hour battery, and the smaller frame only comes with a 720-watt-hour battery option, as the larger 900-watt-hour battery won’t fit in it. All of these options determine the final price, which ranges from $6,000 to $10,500.