The Canyon Spectral: ON CF 7 is the cheapest option in the highly-regarded Canyon Spectral: ON range. These bikes are well-known for their large battery sizes, combined with lightweight frames and powerful motors.
The Spectral: ON CF 8 is up there as having one of the chunkiest range-to-price ratios in the e-MTB business, but how does its cheaper sibling, the ON: CF 7 compare? And is it really worth paying that extra bit more for the Spectral: ON CF 8? Or will the CF 7 do the job just fine?
In our Spectral:ON CF 7 review, we’ll strip the bike back, give it a whirl and figure out the answers to those questions for you. So, saddle up, it’s time to get started!
Another accomplished e-MTB from Canyon. It’s lightweight, powerful, has a large battery and a sleek design. It handles well and offers a comfortable ride for a long day out in the saddle, with a chunky battery to make that possible. It isn’t made for gnarly downhill trails and it lacks in travel area, suspension quality and brake quality. So it isn’t without its faults, but the bike does come at a relatively affordable price.
Spectral:ON CF 7
The Spectral: ON CF 7 weighs a total of 23.04kg, exactly the same as the CF 8.
It’s a fully carbon frame, with progressive geometry, which makes it nice and light to manipulate up and over obstacles, climb those chunky hills and handle around the tight corners. Canyon has set the bike up with a longer reach and slacker head angle, which provides riders with a more planted stance and an element of confidence on some tricky terrain.
The longer chain stays also increase the bike’s handling and you have a good level of balance while out on a ride. The sizeable battery is tucked nicely into the carbon frame and it has a really neat-looking finish. On the face of things, it really doesn’t look too dissimilar to the more expensive CF 8, and without getting under the hood you would think they’re the same bike.
So what differs?
One of the main assets for the Spectral:ON range is the enormous battery sizes.
The CF 7 comes with a 720Wh battery and when you combine that with the lightweight frame, it really does pack a punch and makes long rides possible, while also feeling very comfortable.
The CF 7’s battery size is the same as the CF 8’s standard battery, but you can really jazz up the CF 8 by increasing the battery size to 900Wh – something you can’t do on the CF 7.
Canyon’s Spectral:ON series is all about range. However, calculating exact range is always tricky, because it depends on how much electrical assistance you use, the terrain you’re going up and your cycling ability.
That said, the CF 7 will easily knock out enough assisted kilometres to satisfy most riders, with an ability to get out 70km on a fairly standard ride and less if you factor in a lot of climbing – That’s pretty decent!
The battery charges at a pace, too; you can get back up to 80% charge (when fully drained) in around 4 hours.
Just like the Spectral:ON CF 8, the Spectral: ON CF 7 comes with a 250Wh Shimano Steps EP8 motor. The Shimano motor will produce 85 Nm of torque and a top speed of 25km/h (15.5mph) – that’s more than enough to fire you up some really tricky terrain.
Coupled with the lightweight frame it’s a beast on the inclines and designed to glide up some very challenging trails, indeed.
The Shimano EP8 comes with 3 modes to flick between on the bike’s display – Eco, Trail and Boost – these do the job nicely and enable you take on most climbs you throw at the bike. Importantly, the bike also has a really natural feel, and the switch between modes doesn’t feel stop/start or jerky.
The Spectral: ON CF 7 just ever so slightly lags behind the CF 8 in this area.
The bike is set up with 150mm of travel at the front, with Rockshox Lyrik Select forks. Meanwhile, at the back it has 150mm of rear travel thanks to the Rockshox Deluxe Select R.
Realistically, you’re only losing out on 5mm of rear travel between the CF 7 and the CF 8, which most of us would barely notice.
Regardless of how it compares to the CF 8, the CF 7 isn’t an all-out downhill cruiser, far from it in fact, and it would certainly come unstuck on some gnarly downhill routes.
This bike is made for longer all-trail rides, not punishing jump courses and downhill trails. So if you’re looking for the latter, then this certainly isn’t the bike for you.
The Spectral: ON CF 7 comes with Shimano Deore 4-piston brakes, only ever so slightly down a step from the Shimano SLX set up on the CF 8.
However, the brake set-ups on both bikes are lacking in our opinion. It feels more palatable on the CF 7 because you aren’t paying anywhere near quite as much as the CF 8. Neither set-up is made for the most punishing downhill thrashings.
The Spectral: ON CF 7 is fitted with 27.5 inch by 2.6 inch Maxxis Minion DHR II tyres. They provide a decent tread width to feel comfortable on a long ride through the trails and they soak up a lot of pressure admirably.
The bike comes with a 12-speed Shimano Deore M6100 cassette and 12-speed Shimano Deore XT M8100 rear derailleur.
This is the entry level bike in the Spectral ON: CF range and we’ve got to admit, there really isn’t a lot of difference between the CF 7 and 8. Aside from the size of the battery, there’s very little which elevates the CF 8.
You’ve got a sleek carbon frame, great maneuverability, a powerful motor and a still fairly sizeable battery, for more than $1,000 less than the next model up in the Spectral ON: CF series.
The bike isn’t set up with top-spec brakes and suspension, but then again the price reflects that. We think it’s fairly priced, and far more agreeable than the price tag on the CF8.
Canyon Spectral ON:CF 7 Facts and Figures
|Body Height in cm||< 175||175 – 183||183 – 192||> 192|
|Seat Height in mm||647 – 756||693 – 823||733 – 853||753 – 873|
|Seat Tube Length in mm||420.0||440.0||460.0||480.0|
|Top Tube Length in mm||589.0||613.0||637.0||663.0|
|Head Tube Length in mm||115.0||125.0||135.0||145.0|
|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||1262.0||1,281 mm|
|Stack in mm||634.0||643.0||652.0||661.0|
|Reach in mm||435.0||460.0||485.0||610.0|
|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|
|Frame||Rear Shock||Suspension Fork|
|Canyon Spectral:ON OF
Carbon frame with integrated battery. Category: 4e.
Material: Carbon (CF)
|Rockshox Deluxe Select R
This shock generates 150 mm of rear travel. Dimensions: 230 x 60 mm.
|Rock Shox Lyrik Select
Air-sprung fork with 150 mm travel.
Axle dimension: 15×110 mm
Stanchion Diameter: 35 mm
Travel: 150 mm
Fork steer tube diameter: 1 1/8″ – 1,5″
Offset: 42 mm
|Shimano Steps EP8 Motor
High-torque motor. Maximum torque: 85
Nm. 3 app-tunable support modes: Eco. Trail, Boost.
|Battery Canyon BT001
Canyon 720Wh battery
|Shimano Deore XT M8100 12speed
Precise 1×12 drivetrain.
|Shimano Deore M6100 12speed
Rear derailleur shifter, 12-speed, 2-way release, I-Spec EV clamp allows 14mm lateral adjustment and 10-degrees rotation adjustment. 133 g
|Shimano Deore M6100 12speed Cassette packed with trickle-down performance features.
Gear range: 10-61
Designed for the rigors of E-MTB riding, 24mm
spindle, 165mm crank arms
|Canyon EP1110-01 Chainring 34T
Durable 34-tooth e-MTB chainring
|Shimano CN-M6100 12s|
|Disc Brake||Brake Rotor|
High-power 4-piston Deore brake, quick
pad retraction, compatible with ICE TECH brake pads
|Shimano SM-RT30 Center lock 203 mm
A big Shimano RT830 brake rotor delivers equally big stopping power.
Shimano RT-EM300 STEPS
Specifically designed to work with E-MTB speed sensors.
|RaceFace AR30 Shimano MT400
Shimano MT400 front hub with Boost 110 spacing, RaceFace AR30 aluminum rim, 30mm inner rim width
RaceFace AR35 Shimano MT510
Shimano MT510 rear hub with Boost 148 spacing, RaceFace AR35 aluminum rim, 35mm inner rim width
|Maxxis Assegai 29×2,5″ Width: 2.5″
Maxxis Minion DHR27,5″ x 2.60WT Width: 2.6″
|Canyon Quixle Thru Axle|
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|
|Canyon BC001||Iridium VP-536||Canyon Bag
Wrench Tool 15mm
Canyon Quick Start Guide Spectral:ON
Despite being the entry level ride in the Spectral:ON series, the CF 7 is a very well-designed bike. It has very similar specs to the CF 8, but you’re paying over $1,000 less.
It’s a lightweight and powerful e-MTB, with a large battery, sleek design and natural ride feel. You’ll manage some chunky days out on the CF 7; it will dance up the hills and leave you feeling really quite comfortable as you do so.
In terms of value for money, Canyon is being fair with the Spectral: ON CF 7 and we recommend it if you’re looking for a long and comfortable day out on the trails on a bike you can trust.
If you’re looking for a bike to throw down some gnarly downhill routes, though, this certainly isn’t the bike for you. The suspension and brake setups lack what you really need to give it serious downhill punishment.
Now get out and give it a spin, yourself!