What does a good beginner’s eMTB cost and what makes a good eMTB for small riders? The Canyon Neuron:ON WMN provides the answers to these questions. We put it to the test in our long-term review.
Before we get into the review, we would like to tell you about our latest print edition. The E-MOUNTAINBIKE Print Edition 2020 is our third annual edition and ultimate test bible, with which we aim to help you choose the perfect eMTB. More than 250 pages of extensive buyers advice, tons of eMTB know-how as well as reviews of the 35 most exciting eMTBs and the 7 best motors. You’ll also find many helpful tips and a guide to the most exciting eMTB trends – all of this is wrapped in a high quality print format. Click here for more information or order it directly in our shop!
If you’re a short rider looking for a suitable eMTB, you don’t have it easy. The search will seem all the more futile if you’re on a budget or simply don’t want to spend too much. A bike that will be especially interesting for newcomers to our sport is the Canyon Neuron:ON WMN. The direct to consumer brand offers the bike with 27.5″ wheels on sizes XS and S, whereas the larger versions roll on 29″ wheels. The entry-level Neuron:ON WMN 7.0 offers 130 mm travel front and rear with pedal assist delivered by a Shimano STEPS E8000 motor and an internal 504 Wh battery. We expect the frame will be updated to the recently launched Shimano EP8 motor for the new season. Canyon could happily continue using the 504 Wh battery, especially for sizes XS and S. Our small and lightweight test rider Toni never had any problems with range, even on extended rides.
How much should I pay for a good eMTB? The Neuron:ON WMN 7.0 in detail
In our last group test of eight affordable eMTBs, the average bike price was € 5,224. The Neuron:ON WMN 7.0 comes in significantly lower at € 3,699. Canyon are able to keep the price so low due to the lower 504 Wh battery capacity and, of course, their sales model. As a direct to consumer business, Canyon are able to cut out the middleman. Consequently, they’ve developed a special delivery box which allows the customer to simply roll out the bike without any heavy lifting. Assembling the bike requires just a few simple steps: attach the handlebar and pedals, inflate the tires and suspension, adjust the rebound and off you go. Canyon rely on Shimano’s service network for the motor and battery. However, should the bike itself become defective within the warranty period, you’ll most likely have to send it back to Canyon in the box it was delivered in.
Like the motor, Canyon rely on Shimano for most of the other components. Shifting is taken care of by a combination of SLX and XT 12-speed components. Keeping the Neuron:ON’s speed in check is a Shimano MT501 four-piston brake with a 200 mm rotor up front paired with a two piston model and 180 mm rotor at the rear. While the front brakes gave us nothing to complain about, we would have preferred a more reliable setup on the rear. The organic pads didn’t last very long either. Unfortunately, if you want to switch to metal pads, you’ll also have to replace the rotors as the stock ones are only compatible with resin pads. The bike’s low price is most noticeable in the suspension. The RockShox Recon RL is an entry-level fork and the Deluxe Select R shock only allows you to adjust the rebound speed. On a more positive note, the Neuron:ON comes specced with a dropper post that you can actuate via remote from the handlebar and a well-dimensioned cockpit consisting of a 50 mm stem and 740 mm wide handlebar. If you’re an aggressive rider, that might sound narrow but it works well for sizes XS and S. Size M upsizes to a 760 mm model. For the tires, Canyon rely on Schwalbe’s 2.6″ Nobby Nic with the durable Speedgrip compound, though they don’t offer the best grip, especially when it is wet.
We were positively impressed with the neatly integrated clamps on the grips, the compact Shimano STEPS E7000 remote and display, as well as the convenient USB-C charging port in the top tube which allows you to charge your light or smartphone while you ride.
Canyon Neuron:on WMN 7.0
Motor Shimano E8000
Battery Shimano 504Wh
Display Shimano Steps E7000
Fork RockShox Recon RL 120 mm
Rear Shock RockShox DEluxe Select R 135 mm
Seatpost Iridium Dropper 100 mm
Brakes Shimano MT501 200/180 mm
Drivetrain Shimano SLX/ XT 1x12
Stem Canyon:on ST0030 50 mm
Handlebar Canyon:on HB0056 Riserbar 740 mm
Wheelset Race Face Ar30 27,5" (XS/ s)
Tires Schwalbe Nobby Nic 2.6"/2.6"
Size S M L XL
Weight 22.90 kg
Perm. total weight 130kg
Max. payload (rider/equipment) n/a
Trailer approval no
Kickstand mount no
Charging port in the toptube
The geometry of the Neuron:ON WMN in detail
DWhat we’re most intrigued about with the CANYON Neuron:ON WMN is the wheel size split between the small and medium frame as well as the option of an XS size frame, which should accommodate riders under 1.60 m tall and thereby open up the world of eMTBs to even more riders. The two smallest models roll on 27.5″ wheels while the M comes specced with a set of 29” wheels. For sizes L and up, riders will have to resort to one of the unisex models. On paper, the geometry of the Neuron:ON looks like it’ll make for balanced and good-natured handling. It isn’t trimmed towards hardcore trail shredding but it promises to be well-rounded and versatile. Only the 420 mm seat tube could be a little shorter in size S to allow for a longer dropper post and thus more freedom of movement.
Good-natured, balanced, agile – riding the Neuron:ON WMN
With the Neuron:ON WMN, Canyon are appealing to women who are new to the wonderful sport of eMTBing. It’s not the bike for extreme trail shredding but for relaxed excursions, quick after-work laps, commuting, or your first attempts at a bit of singletrack. Accordingly, the handling of the Neuron:ON is very well balanced and predictable.
Just smile! The Neuron: ON ensures riding fun on wide paths and long tours!
The Neuron:ON performs excellently on long rides thanks to the balanced riding position and its overall comfortable ride. Your position on the bike is pleasantly upright and central, so you’re unlikely to have any issues with back pain. Your weight is distributed evenly between your hands and seat. As usual, saddles are heavily dependent on personal preference. Canyon’s in-house model features a pronounced lip on the back of the saddle to provide added support on steep climbs but it felt slightly too wide on flat terrain. Speaking of steep climbs, the gear ratio of the drivetrain on the Neuron:ON, together with the Shimano motor, makes easy work of even the nastiest climbs. While the latest motors available on the market are even more powerful, we never had the impression that the motor was lacking in this regard. Unfortunately, if you want to use the Neuron:ON for commuting, you’re going to have to get creative as there are no mounts for a stand or fenders.
When the path heads downhill, the rider is positioned comfortably at the centre of the bike, always in control. The Neuron:ON feels precise and direct as you change direction, with agile and predictable handling through tight sections and fast corners. The suspension’s 130 mm travel is sensitive and it effectively irons out irregularities on dirt roads. With a moderate riding style, you can easily take on the occasional bit of singletrack too. However, if things get more demanding and rough, you will notice the fork starting to feel overwhelmed. The geometry isn’t designed for high speeds either as it lacks the necessary composure. If riding trails is your preferred way of spending time on your bike and you might even want to go to a bike park every now and then, you will definitely be better off with the Spectral:ON.
The Neuron:ON isn’t made for demanding trails – in these situations the bike will get overwhelmed.
The Canyon Neuron:ON WMN 7.0 is a good value eMTB for leisurely rides. Its handling is predictable and agile and it offers a very comfortable ride. The small frame sizes also make it a great option for smaller riders. The spec is coherent and the price is fair. However, aggressive riders who want to have maximum fun on the trails are better advised going with the more capable but also more expensive Spectral:ON.
- great value for money
- good-natured, easy handling
- well specced
- fork limits the bike on the trail
- no local dealer network for after sales service
- no stand or fender mounts for commuting
It's finally here: The E-MOUNTAINBIKE Print Edition 2020 is our third annual edition and ultimate test bible, with which we aim to help you choose the perfect eMTB. More than 250 pages of extensive buyers advice, tons of eMTB know-how as well as reviews of the 35 most exciting eMTBs and the 7 best motors. You’ll also find many helpful tips and a guide to the most exciting eMTB trends – all of this is wrapped in a high quality print format. Click here for more information or order it directly in our shop!
Words: Antonia Buckenlei Photos: Christoph Bayer