After three brand new eMTBs last week, Canyon is back again with three almost invisible upgrades to its popular Spectral:ON eBike that make it more capable, fun to ride and safer. Bigger, beefier forks, a more powerful motor, and a brand new Canyon app for your smartphone that combines ride tracking with anti-theft protection, while opening the door to more intelligent tracking capabilities on the road.
2023 Canyon Spectral:ON All Mountain Electric Bike
all c. Canyon, photo by Rupert Fowler
When Canyon released the lightweight carbon Spectral:ON CFR last year, they initiated a major modernization of their aggressive off-road mountain e-bike family—rounded out last week with the all-new Enduro Strive:ON and Freeride Torque:ON . But while the Spectral:ON 2022 increased rear travel to 155mm and increased battery capacity up to 900Wh, the forks stayed at 150mm.
We tested the small Spectral:ON CFR e-bike (which is limited to a 720Wh internal battery) hoping for more travel and more confidence up front. And just a little worried about the Shimano EP8 motor rattling when coasting…
Well, for 2023 Canyon has addressed most of our concerns – with more travel and an improved drive motor!
The newly updated e-bike upgrades to 160mm e-MTB forks, “for more confidence and stability on aggressive trails” (on most models). The e-bike 2022 was already technically designed for 160 mm at the front.
But now that the new Spectral:ONs are coming direct from Canyon, they all benefit from the head tube deflecting about half a degree – to 65°. Combined with the 155mm outer diameter, we feel this is a better balance for the Spectral:ON’s all-mountain versatility.
Photo by Rupert Fowler
Then it also gets upgraded to the latest Shimano EP8 Series EP801 motor – the same one we tested with eMTB AutoShift and FreeShift, which oddly isn’t included here, although the Di2-equipped model appears to have the hardware to run FreeShift to get it running. However, the new EP801 delivers slightly more peak power at a claimed 600W (versus the EP800’s 500W). And more importantly, it happily seems to get rid of the internal rattles that have been rocking us.
All new gps tracking and smartphone canyon app
But while the fork and motor updates improve on what’s already there, the new connected GPS tracker and accompanying Canyon app bring all-new features that are now built into the Spectral:ON 2023. And there are hints of what’s to come for other Canyon bikes and e-bikes in the future…
“We built the Canyon App to simplify and streamline every step of owning and riding a Canyon, and to help riders get the most out of their bike—from day one and for years to come.” Thanks to a number of Features that make every part of building, riding, maintaining and storing your Canyon bike fun and effortless.”
– Lionel Guicherd-Callin, Global Director of Canyon Connected
The key new technology hidden in the Spectral:ON e-bike is an integrated GPS tracking and wireless communication chip that is powered directly from the system and is not as easy to separate from the frame and motor, even when the battery of the e-bike is removed. Its main function is the added security of anti-theft bike location tracking – these top-of-the-line e-bikes can cost upwards of €10,000, after all. The key to its function, however, is an all-new Canyon app that offers many more possibilities.
The new Canyon Spectral:ON 2023 is their first e-bike (or bicycle) to feature anti-theft GPS tracking. But it also has accelerometers on the e-bike that trigger when parked, effectively “locking up” to alert you if it’s being moved and to track it over longer distances if it’s stolen.
Other helpful functions of the Canyon app are:
- Assembly instructions and videos to help buyers unbox their new e-bike and set it up for the ride quickly and easily,
- Suspension setup and tuning guides created with the suspension manufacturer for your e-bike,
- simple maintenance guides to help home mechanics keep their e-bike in tip-top shape,
- a virtual bike garage storing the most important specifications and geometry of your e-bike,
- Complete parts guide to help you find and replace all bike parts that could become damaged and
- A place where you can find stories about canyon athletes riding your e-bike and similar bikes
Thanks to the unlimited functionality that a smartphone app can provide via over-the-air updates, additional Canyon app functionality is likely only limited by the imagination and workload of Canyon’s new software development team. Another feature already planned for launch soon is quick and easy bike insurance (only available in some markets).
It seems to make a lot of sense for a consumer-focused brand like Canyon to provide an easy-to-use modern platform through which to share important information with their bike and e-bike buyers and simply make things easier for their end users. users to get the most out of their bike purchase.
The Canyon app is free and available now in the Apple App Store and Google Play Store.
2023 Canyon Spectral:ON – New colors and specifications
2023 Canyon Spectral:ON CF7
We’d already tested an all-black version for 2022, but now the 2023 models also offer other color options – like white, green, blue, and grey, depending on spec choices. Again, there are 4 models, all getting the all-important motor and GPS tracking update – 2 with the top-of-the-line CFR carbon frame and 2 with the more affordable CF carbon – plus the option to drop from a standard 720 for €499 -Wh battery upgrade to a larger 900Wh battery extra.
2023 Canyon Spectral:ON CF8
The €5,000 Spectral:ON CF 7 is the most affordable all-mountain e-bike with a carbon frame, a Shimano Deore 1×12 groupset and RockShox Lyric Base/Deluxe Select R suspension. A €6,000 Spectral:ON CF 8 ups the performance spec SLX and Fox 36 Rhythm/Float X.
2023 Canyon Spectral:ON CFR
With the lighter carbon frame, the €9500 Spectral:ON CFR with Fox Factory suspension, an otherwise complete XTR groupset paired with XT Di2 electronic shifting and Reynolds TR 309E carbon wheels.
2023 Canyon Spectral:ON CFR LTD, photo by Rupert Fowler
And at the top, only the €12,000 Spectral:ON CFR LTD model remains with the shorter 150mm travel of the RockShox Lyric fork and combines the automatic Flight Attendant Ultimate suspension control with a new SRAM XX1 AXS Eagle direct mount transmission.
All newly updated Spectral:ON 2023 electric bikes are now available in most markets. Currently only a $5,600 version of the Spectral:ON CF8 will make it to the US with the new updates later this year.
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