Like most people who has crossed the half-century mark, I swing between fantasy and reality when it comes to my physicality. My fantasy is that I’m still as healthy as I was when I was 25. Reality: I don’t. And 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 again. And who wouldn’t enjoy that opportunity?
The first generation of e-MTBs that I tested many years ago was heavy beasts find it difficult to manage on the trail. But like the rest of the ebike multiverse, all-terrain machines have steadily evolved with lighter and smaller engines, more powerful batteries, and a more balanced frame shape (or “comfortable geometry”). in cyclists parlance) improves the overall riding experience. These evolutionary steps make the e-MTB all the more appealing, especially if I wanted to take day-long trips through rural Utah in my ’80s.
There are five versions of Spectral 2022: On. Compared to previous Spectral models (the original came out in 2018), all of these new bikes have better, more powerful range and stiffer, stronger carbon frames that keep riders close than with the rear midsection of the vehicle, an arrangement that provides more stability and balance. All are mullet, which means they pair with a more stable 29-inch front wheel that can roll over anything with a 27.5-inch rear wheel to add to the fun of the ride.
Canyon also tilts the bike’s engine — a 5.7-pound, magnesium-coated Shimano EP8 that delivers 63 feet-pounds of torque, quadrupling the pedal force — to a 30-degree angle. . This fix allows Canyon to fit the battery lower into the frame, thereby reducing the bike’s center of gravity, a major reason the bike feels like a mountain bike without a motor.
Canyon then completely carbonized the frame, including the rear triangle, making the whole thing lighter and stronger; increased reach by 25 mm for each frame size, reduced the head angle by one degree, and added 5 mm to the leash, all adding more stability to the saddle. Canyon then removed 20 mm from the seat tube, allowing the appropriate longer drip seat posts to be installed on the desiccant.
Then there’s the precise German attention to detail: The battery has a magnetic charging plug, which makes it easier to lock even in a dark and crowded garage. The wiring is threaded through the rod and body, helping to reduce clutter in the cockpit. Best of all, the dashboard is color-coded, so with one easy glance the driver knows which of the three pedal assist modes they are in; and with the push of a button, they can scroll through mph, mileage, odometer, available range, top speed, average speed, cadence, and time of day.
The only choices consumers have to make when deciding between the five versions are the frame size, the quality of the components, and the battery size. You can choose between a 720 or 900 watt-hour battery, and the small-sized chassis only has a 720-WH battery option, as the larger 900-WH battery doesn’t fit inside it. All of these options determine the final price, which ranges from $6,000 to $10,500.