The Canyon Spectral:ON 9 is the second-highest spec bike in Canyon’s Spectral:ON CF range. The bikes in this range are known for being playful, powerful, lightweight, and for coming with a chunky battery to keep you going on long old rides.
As we found out in our Spectral: ON CF 7 and CF 8 reviews, however, there are also areas where certain CF models lack, particularly in the suspension and brake departments. So, does Canyon rectify that with the more expensive Spectral: ON CF 9? And is it worth paying that extra price-tag?
We’ve taken it to the trails, climbed the hills, thrown it down the descents and around the corners, to find out what you need to know before parting with your hard earned cash.
Join us, then, as we really get stuck into the Canyon Spectral:ON CF 9.
Spectral:ON CF 9
The Canyon Spectral: ON CF 9 weighs in at 22.90kg, a slight weight saving on the Spectral:ON CF 7 and CF 8 models.
It’s a fully carbon, premium-quality frame which is both nice and light, as well as being seriously durable – this frame will take real punishment on the trails.
It also has an incredibly polished finish; the battery’s display cable is routed through the stem, giving it a refined look and also reducing the chances of impact damage to those important components.
The battery is also tucked away nicely into the downtube, adding to that sleek finish and, from the outside, it would be hard to tell the bike apart from a non-electrical assisted ride.
It also has a progress geometry, with a decent length reach and steep head angle; this gives you a stable feel on the trails and excellent handling. You feel comfortable up top and, more than anything, the bike feels super playful! It can be thrown around the corners and get up and over obstacles and hills with ease.
The seat angle is pretty slack, though, which will, unfortunately, impact your pedalling efficiency. Overall, however, it definitely feels like an accomplished bike to ride.
This is one of the major headlines for the Canyon Spectral:ON CF 9 – it comes with a large 900Wh SRAM eTap Powerpack 1BY battery (although if you want to go for one of the smallest frame sizes it only comes with a 720Wh battery). That chunky battery gives you enough juice to go on some seriously long rides, which will satisfy the needs of most riders.
As always, it’s incredibly tricky to give a definitive range with so many factors that can affect it – such as the type of terrain you’re riding on, the weight and ability of the rider and how much assistance you’re using. However, the company states the range as around 100km and on our tests we managed to push out 97km on a ride with around 2,000m of climbing (where we used a decent slice of assistance).
It’s a serious battery that’ll allow you to go on some big rides and – wait for it – it has a full charge time of around only 1 hour. That’s a major upgrade from the 4 to 7.5 hours it takes to charge up the battery on the Canyon Spectral: ON CF 8.
The Canyon Spectral: ON CF 9 comes with a 250Wh Shimano EP8 motor, the same as on the rest of the Spectral: ON CF range. The EP8 has 3 modes, which you can easily switch between on a well-designed display: Eco, Trail and Boost, each of which can be used for different stages of riding.
It’s a really decent set-up, kicking out 85Nm of torque, giving you the ability to power up some very challenging terrain, particularly when you factor in that relatively lightweight frame.
Now listen, there are bikes out there which provide more torque, like the Specialized S-Works Turbo Levo, for instance, which can boot out 90Nm, but you’ll be paying a heck of a lot more for a bike like that.
One issue with the EP8 is the ability to estimate your range. You’re only provided with 5 bars on the display, rather than a percentage of remaining battery. That creates an element of guess work, something that can be a little unnerving if you’re approaching one of the bottom two bars. It’s also not the quietest of beasts and, at times, can sound a little rattly.
The Canyon Spectral: ON 9 comes with 150mm travel at the front and at the rear. It’s configured with air-sprung Fox Performance Grip 2 front forks and air-sprung Fox Float X Performance Evolution rear shocks.
Although you don’t have an excessive amount of travel, it’s a decent set-up which provides a poppy feel and gives a playful ride experience, overall. It can be thrown around the corners nicely, takes a fair amount of beating downhill, and still comes out the other side feeling nice and comfortable.
There isn’t a great deal of difference between the suspension set-ups on the Spectral:ON CF 9 and the cheaper ON CF 8. However, one slight change is that Canyon has included black anodized stanchions (instead of the Kashima Coat) at the front end, and the Fox Float rear shocks have a “piggyback” set-up, which provides a place for the oil to go when displaced.
This is important for the harder, more aggressive riders out there, and certainly increases the performance of the shocks. With decent suspension and a robust frame, it can take some big drops and travel over gnarly terrain without giving your body a kicking.
Overall, we’re pretty damn impressed with how it rides.
As with the other bikes in the Canyon: Spectral ON CF range, the CF 9 comes with a ‘mullet’, mixed wheel set-up.
It has 29-inch wheels up front and 27.5-inch wheels at the rear – the larger size at the front end provides a decent level of traction, so you grip to the trail securely, while the smaller wheel at the back allows you to still have fun and throw it around.
The front end is set up with 29 x 2.5 inch Maxxis Assegai tyres, meanwhile at the rear you’ve got 27.5 inch x 2.6 inch Maxxis Minion DHR II.
The Canyon Spectral: ON CF 9 comes with SRAM-code disc brakes. These are highly responsive and have immense stopping power, giving you the peace of mind that they’ll be there for you when you really need them.
The brakes are paired with 203mm rotors, which are much better for heat dissipation, allowing you to keep the brakes on for longer on those long descents. It’s exactly what you need on those gnarly trails.
The bike comes with a 12 speed SRAM GX Eagle Cassette and SRAM GX Eagle AXS 12 speed derailleur. This is one of the main areas where the Canyon really ups its game for the CF 9.
The CF 7 and 8 bikes are both configured with a mechanical shifting set-up, and the second best in Shimano’s range. On the CF 9, however, Canyon has switched to a wireless system, stocking the bike with SRAM GX AXS.
Electronic gears are becoming more and more popular in the industry. They provide much crisper shifting ability, making the CF 9 a much more responsive bike in this area.
We’re really pretty impressed with the price and believe it provides very decent value for money.
You can pay significantly more for some top e-MTBs, and although you might eke out a little more torque, a chunkier battery or a more elite level suspension and brake set-up, overall the Spectral ON: CF 9 will do the job for most e-MTB riders.
It’s a well-designed, robust, playful and powerful bike which comes thousands of dollars cheaper than some of its competitors.
Canyon Spectral ON:CF 8 Facts and Figures
|BODY HEIGHT IN MM||<175||175 – 183||175 – 192||> 192|
|SEAT HEIGHT IN MM||647 – 766||693 – 823||733 – 853||753 – 873|
|SEAT TUBE LENGTH IN MM||420.0||440.0||460.0||480.0|
|TOP TUBE LENGTH IN MM||509.0||613.0||637.0||663.0|
|HEAD TUBE LENGTH IN MM||115.0||126.0||263.0||365.0|
|HEAD TUBE ANGLE||65.5°||65.5°||65.5°||65.5°|
|SEAT TUBE ANGLE||76.5°||76.5°||76.5°||76.5°|
|CHAINSTAY LENGTH IN MM||440.0||440.0||440.0||440.0|
|WHEEL BASE IN MM||1194.0||1223.0||1252.0||1281.0|
|STACK IN MM||634 mm||643 mm||652 mm||661 mm|
|REACH IN MM||435.0||460.0||485.0||510.0|
|STAND OVER HEIGHT IN MM||809.0||814.0||820.0||825.0|
|BOTTOM BRACKET OFFSET IN MM||36.0||36.0||36.0||36.0|
|STEM LENGTH IN MM||45.0||45.0||45.0||45.0|
|HANDLEBAR WIDTH IN MM||760.0||780.0||780.0||780.0|
|CRANK LENGTH IN MM||165.0||165.0||165.0||165.0|
|SEAT POST DIAMETER MM||30.9||30.9||30.9||30.9|
|DROPPER POST TRAVEL IN MM||125.0||160.0||170.0||170.0|
|SEAT POST LENGTH IN MM||378.0||425.0||465.0||465.0|
|MAXIMUM SEAT POST INSERTION DEPTH IN MM||199.0||220.0||240.0||240.0|
|MINIMUM SEAT POST INSERTION DEPTH IN MM||90.0||90.0||120.0||120.0|
|WHEEL SIZE||29″ / 27.5″||29″ / 27.5″||29″ / 27.5″||29″ / 27.5″|
|DISC SIZE IN MM||150.0||150.0||150.0||150.0|
|REAR SUSPENSION TRAVEL IN MM||155.0||155.0||155.0||155.0|
|BATTERY CAPACITY||720 Wh||900 Wh||900 Wh||900 Wh|
|FITTING LENGTH IN MM||230×60||230×60||230×60||230×60|
|Frame||Rear Shock||Suspension Fork|
|Canyon Spectral:ON OF
Carbon frame with integrated battery. Category: 4e.
Material: Carbon (CF)
|Fox Float X Performance Evolution
Dimensions: 230 x 60mm.
|Fox Performance Grip 2
Air-sprung fork with 150 mm travel.
Axle: 15 x 110 mm. Travel: 150 mm
Fork steer tube diameter: 1 1/8″ 1,5″
|Shimano Steps EPB Motor
High-torque motor. Maximum torque: 85 Nm. 3 app-tunable support modes: Eco Trail, Boost.
|SRAM eTap Powerpack 1BY
Charge time: less than 60 minutes.
Battery Canyon BT002
Choose from the Canyon 900Wh or 720Wh battery (due to downtube length restrictions 720Wh only with size small frames).
|SRAM GX Eagle AXS 12s
Next-gen wireless 1×12 groupset. App- configurable.
|SRAM GX Eagle AXS Controller
Unsurpassed wireless 12 speed shifting.
|SRAM GX Eagle, 12-speed (10-52) Cassette size: 10-527
Gear range: 520%
Designed for the rigors of E-MTB riding.
24mm spindle, 165mm crank arms
|SRAM Eagle Chainring||SRAM GX Eagle 12s
Strong and sturdy 12 speed chain with SRAM’s easy to use powerlink.
|Disc Brake||Brake Rotor|
|SRAM Code RS||SRAM Centerline rear rotor, 203mm Stainless steel construction, 12-spoke design reduces distortion, UCI-compliant rounded edges, six-bolt mounting|
|DT Swiss H1900
Rotor mount Center Lock
DT SWISS H 1900 Spline Hybrid 29
Rotor mount: IS 6-bolt
|Maxxis Assegal 29×2,5″ Width: 25″
Maxxis Minion DHR II 27,5″ x 2.60WT Width: 2.6″
|Canyon Guide Thru Axle
The Canyon Quixle combines the stiffness of a through axle with the ease-of-use of a quick-release.
|Canyon ON ST0031
Canyon E-MTB stem. Length: 45 mm. Fork shaft diameter: 1 1/8″.
Clamping Diameter: 35.0 mm
|Canyon ON HB0057 Riser bar
Clamping Diameter: 35,0 mm
Width: 780 mm
Rise: 30 mm
|ELPA SHIM SC-E7000 Display Set 35||Shimano STEPS power mode switch Handlebar-mounted unit lets you quickly and easily change power modes or activate walk-assist mode|
|Fizik Terra Aidon X5
|Iridium Dropper Post
Clamp diameter: 30,9 mm
|Battery Charger||Trekking & City Pedals||Manuals and Accessories|
4A charger and cable. For charging Canyon e-MTB batteries, either in the bike or
|Iridium VP-536||Canyon Bag
Storage box for tools and replacement parts.
Wrench Tool 15mm
QSG 027-V02 M091/M129 SPTION
We’re really very impressed with the Canyon Spectral ON 9. It’s certainly a noticeable step up from the ON CF 7 and CF 8 bikes, but it’s also at a cheaper price than some of the other brands in the market for a bike of this spec.
One major plus for the ON CF 9 is the rapid charge time of that chunky battery; it’s a huge advantage, enabling you to get back out on the trails in no time at all. It handles well, has a powerful motor and utilises a robust carbon frame. When paired with its playful suspension, you’re provided with a comfortable ride that can still take a heck of a beating. It also looks incredibly good, too, so this one undoubtedly gets a big thumbs up for us.
Now, saddle up and decide for yourself.