First Look: Canyon Spectral: ON 2020 e-MTB

The Canyon Spectral: ON is lighter, faster, and carves like a beast.

E-bike News

First Look: Canyon Spectral: ON

Today, Canyon introduces the next generation of Spectral: ON, a bike that’s lighter and as nimble as its predecessor, yet Canyon claims it’s even more capable of the most challenging climbs and descents. When Canyon launched the Spectral: ON two years ago, it immediately turned heads – a very playful, capable e-MTB – something that was rowdy and rolled fast. 

The first-generation of Spectral: ON e-MTB was only available outside of the United States. That changes today when the second-generation Spectral: ON debuts in the United States in the form of the Spectral: ON CF 7.0 model.

The Spectral: ON CF 7.0 will soon be available, direct to consumers, on for $4,999.

Canyon Spectral: ON 2020 updates

The most obvious change for 2020 is the Spectral: ON‘s sleek, carbon front-triangle and neatly integrated, internal battery. The new design sheds weight,  is supposedly just as stiff and, more importantly, lowers the bike’s center of gravity—which vastly improves the handling. 

The Spectral: ON is powered by the rider and Shimano’s E8000 drive system. Shimano’s lightweight and compact motor gives us the flexibility to design the best-handling chassis possible. E-mountain bikes can exact a heavy toll on their components. After all, when you introduce a motor to the mountain bike equation, you also add weight, speed, and mileage to the mix. The Spectral: ON is equipped with massive 203 mm rotors and powerful four-piston disc brakes. Each model is outfitted with burly FOX 36 or RockShox Lyrik forks. Canyon took this opportunity to fine-tune the bike’s geometry and suspension kinematics with an eye towards increasing rider control, going up and down the mountain.


A new fiber-reinforced skid plate simultaneously shields the motor from rocks and serves as a bash guard for your chainring. A custom Canyon SD: ON saddle gives you more leverage to scale steep climbs.

The Canyon: ON bar and stem reduce cockpit clutter by allowing you to route wiring through the bar and stem. And a top-tube mounted USB-C charging port ensures that you never run out of the juice to power up your light, smartphone, GPS unit, or other devices you want to bring along for the ride.

The Spectral: ON sports 150mm of front and rear suspension. This was also one of the first production “mullet” bikes of its era—sporting a 29” front wheel and 27.5” rear wheel. That’s still the case, though Canyon since moved to a 27.5 x 2.6 tire on the rear, for a more precise feel when cornering and stable sensations on the ground. In short, this bike plays on the rowdy end of the e-MTB spectrum. All Spectral: ON models are backed by the power of Shimano’s E8000 drive. Now for 2020, there’s now an on/off button and USB-C charging socket conveniently located on the top tube.

Sizing and Availability

Canyon now offers the Spectral: ON in four sizes, Small, Medium, Large, and X-Large accommodating riders from 5’4” on up to 6’3”. While there are several Spectral: ON models available in Europe, Canyon United States is entering the American market with a single model, the $4,999 Spectral: ON CF 7.0. The Spectral: ON CF 7.0 comes equipped with a stellar parts kit that includes a RockShox Lyrik Select suspension fork, RockShox Deluxe Select shock, Shimano XT/SLX drivetrain, four-piston Shimano MT520 brakes, and an Iridium dropper post. 

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About the author: Jordan Villella

Jordan comes from the steep streets of Pittsburgh PA, where he learned to dodge cars and rip single track. He has been involved in nearly every aspect of the cycling industry: from turning wrenches, store design, clothing production and bike park creation. Jordan spends his free time racing cross country and cyclocross around North America, though he has been know to enduro every now and then. His love of cycling is only second to his love of his family and punk rock.

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  • budget rider says:

    i wish there was a conscience minded company that would build a bike that will stand the abuse of technical riding up and down alike and be lightwieght and cheap to buy , probably still too much for guys like me who need save a whole year to buy a bike for $ 1500 . 00 at which time im buying last years model hence the discounted price. so it would be nice to see if someone will look to the bulk of who ride without sponsers and actually work two jobs to make ends meet . at minimum wage

  • Nero1k says:

    In response to “Budget Rider”:
    You don’t need the latest and greatest stuff that hits the market to go out and have a great time. Most people that are riding the new stuff are financially established people that have been working in a career-minded job for years. If you’re working 2 minimum wage jobs, you’re likely pretty young. Your first car out of high school isn’t going to be a 2020 Porsche 911. It’s going to be a 1996 Chevy S10 with 170,000 miles on it. If you want the nice new stuff, you gotta pay your dues and work for it, like the rest of us have to. Otherwise, year end deals for last years model, or something second hand. That’s life.
    Second, e-bikes are still just catching on. They have new technologies, and due to low production compared to traditional models, and economies of scale, they are inherently expensive. Let the people who can afford $10k for a new bike support manufacturers financially through these early stages in development so that more affordable models become available in the near future.

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