With its huge 900 Wh battery, the new Canyon Spectral:ON CF8 promises to deliver (almost) endless fun. Despite the huge battery, it’s relatively light and at € 6,299, it doesn’t break the bank either. Is the new Canyon a jack of all trades or does it come with a catch?

For an overview of the test fleet head to the group test: The best eMTB of 2022 for € 6,500 – 11 budget eMTBs in our eMTB group test

Canyon Spectral:ON CF8 | Shimano EP8/900 Wh | 150/155 mm (f/r)
23.94 kg in size L | € 6,299 | Manufacturer’s website

The new Canyon Spectral:ON CF 8 certainly makes an impact: with its modern design language, it makes our hearts beat faster and its key data look pretty darn good too! It’s available with either a 720 Wh or 900 Wh battery. The latter has a € 300 surcharge and is the biggest battery in the entire test field – goodbye, range anxiety! Canyon’s latest carbon eMTB is trimmed for uncompromised trail fun and rides a lot better than its 23.9 kg (size L) may suggest – the clever weight distribution works magic! Just like a lively show-jump horse, it bounces across the trail with carefree light-footedness, encouraging you to pop off ledges and pump through rollers. Admittedly, Canyon’s spirited stallion took little notice of its sluggish opponents during our test runs! The natural ride feel of the Shimano EP8 motor paired with the mullet wheel setup and poppy suspension (150/155 mm) make it the ideal companion for exciting home trail adventures. Moreover, at € 6,299 for the 900 Wh version, the new Spectral:ON CF 8 doesn’t force you to remortgage your house!

Canyon dug deep into their box of tricks with the 2022 Spectral:ON CF 8

The Spectral:ON CF8 has an elegant new carbon frame. The down tube looks slim from the side and wide from atop. This is due to the shape of the huge new battery, which was developed in-house by Canyon and sits deep in the down tube right in front of the motor, ensuring a low centre of gravity. The battery played an important role in the development of the bike and takes on significantly more responsibilities than its predecessor: for example, the push-through power button acts directly on the battery button. Moreover, charging takes place directly through the battery plug that also powers the Shimano EP8 motor. Unfortunately, the magnetic plug between the motor and battery in front of the bottom bracket isn’t secured properly, making it all too easy to inadvertently disconnect the plug with your foot.

The Canyon Spectral:ON CF8 combines a big battery and playful handling like no other bike in this test.

The Shimano EP8 motor is tilted upwards and neatly integrated into the frame. This allows Canyon to position the battery deep inside the down tube and right in front of the motor.
The world’s upside down – the easiest way to remove the battery is to turn the Spectral:ON upside down. Before you do this, you’ll have to remove the rubber tab and fold the skid plate to the side.
Charging takes place through the same battery plug that powers the Shimano EP8 motor. The huge cover that protects the plug between the motor and battery makes it all too easy to inadvertently disconnect the plug with your foot and thus shut down the motor.
The power button is no longer wired to the motor and acts directly on the small button on the battery. As a result, the new Spectral:ON dispenses with the practical USB charge port for smartphones and external navigation devices.

Canyon Spectral:ON CF8

€ 6,299


Motor Shimano EP8 85 Nm
Battery TrendPower Simplo 900 Wh
Display Shimano SC-EM 8000
Fork FOX 36 Rhythm 150 mm
Rear Shock FOX Float DPS Performance 155 mm
Seatpost Iridium 170 mm
Brakes Shimano SLX M7120 200/200 mm
Drivetrain Shimano XT/SLX/DEORE 12
Stem Canyon 45 mm
Handlebar Canyon 780-800 mm
Wheelset Sunringle Düroc SD37/42 29"/27.5"
Tires MAXXIS ASSEGAI Exo/Minion DHR II EXO+ 2.5"/2.6"

Technical Data

Size S - XL
Weight 23.94 kg
Perm. total weight 130 kg
Max. payload (rider/equipment) 106 kg
Trailer approval no
Kickstand mount no

Making contact – there’s hardly any room between the chain and the chainstay protector. This can cause the chain to rub against the protector and thus accumulate dirt over time.
FOX’s budget 36 Rhythm fork doesn’t offer too many adjustment options but delivers a great performance on flowing trails. On rough descents, the lack of stiffness results in vague handling with fast consecutive hits, especially with heavy riders.
The cables run internally from the cockpit through the Acros headset, straight into the frame. The scope of delivery includes rubber plugs for either one or two cables, which prevent dirt from entering the frame.
Canyon’s proprietary bottle cage relies on three bosses and is supported from the bottom. This clever system doesn’t require deep threads and helps Canyon keep the down tube slim.
Size S M L XL
Seat tube 420 mm 440 mm 460 mm 480 mm
Top tube 589 mm 613 mm 637 mm 663 mm
Head tube 115 mm 125 mm 135 mm 145 mm
Head angle 65.5° 65.5° 65.5° 65.5°
Sitzwinkel 76.5° 76.5° 76.5° 76.5°
Chainstays 440 mm 440 mm 440 mm 440 mm
BB Drop 36 mm 36 mm 36 mm 36 mm
Wheelbase 1,194 mm 1,223 mm 1,252 mm 1,281 mm
Reach 435 mm 460 mm 485 mm 510 mm
Stack 634 mm 643 mm 652 mm 661 mm
Helmet Oakley DRT 5 | Glasses 100% Speedcraft | Hippack CamelBak Podium | Jacket Gore Lupra
Pants Gore Fernflow | Shoes Five Ten Freerider Pro Primeblue

The innovative battery concept helps minimise complexity, allowing Canyon to design a lightweight yet stiff carbon frame with fewer openings and a simplified wiring harness. On the other hand, it makes it harder to remove the bolted battery, forcing you to lay the bike on its side or turn it upside down and, on top of that, the finicky battery mount has some play. Moreover, the Spectral:ON CF 8 doesn’t have trailer approval, nor does Canyon offer suitable everyday equipment like mudguards, luggage racks, kickstand or a lighting system for this bike. Given the low max. payload of 106 kg (the second lowest in this test), heavy riders will have to pack their backpack visely. On epic touring adventures, the Canyon shines with its huge range and relaxed pedalling position, which is comfortably compact and relatively upright. However, the suspension doesn’t provide the same comfort as plusher bikes in this test, like the Moustache Trail 7 or FOCUS JAM² 7.9.

The Canyon Spectral:ON CF8 2022 comes to life on the trail

Are your home trails scattered with jumps, kickers and flowing turns? In that case, you won’t find another eMTB in this test that delivers this much fun for these many hours at a time. Only the Orbea Rise is more fun downhill and offers even more intuitive handling but also makes it harder to reach the trailhead with its torque-limited motor. On flowing trails, the Canyon shines with direct and agile handling, while the active Fox suspension makes it easy to pop into the air despite the big battery. The Canyon responds to steering input willingly while the short 440 mm chainstays and small rear wheel ensure excellent maneuverability. However, the Spectral:ON quickly moves out of its comfort zone on fast technical terrain.

The Canyon is in its element on flowing trails! However, on technical terrain, you’ll have to pick your line and time your pedal strokes carefully to avoid smashing the cranks and motor into obstacles.

In high-speed sections, the Canyon struggles to keep up with the queens of composure in this test, the MERIDA eONE-SIXTY and Mondraker Crafty R. While the standard EXO/EXO+ tire casings are perfectly suited for lighter riders and touring, heavy and fast riders should upgrade to a model with tougher casing. The low bottom bracket and extensive motor cover limit ground clearance, making it all too easy to hit the motor on steps and ledges – we’ve already managed to break one cover! Even uphill, the Canyon prefers a fire road over a technical trail. On blocked terrain, you’ll have to pick your line and time your pedal strokes carefully to avoid smashing the cranks and motor into obstacles, which can be challenging for inexperienced riders. The Shimano EP8 motor can’t keep up with the responsiveness of a Giant drive or the sheer power of a Bosch motor and the slightly rear-heavy pedalling position forces you to actively weight the front wheel on technical climbs.

Tuning tip: Heavy and fast riders should upgrade the tires to a model with a tougher casing, e.g. EXO+ at the front and DoubleDown at the rear.

Perseverance is key! With its huge 900 Wh battery, the Canyon is the perfect companion for exciting backcountry adventures, encouraging you to explore the most remote trails in your local mountains.









Value for Money






Intended Use

Everyday use



Fast & rowdy

Technical climbing


With the new Spectral:ON CF 8, Canyon have created an excellent eMTB for active riders who love to spend long hours improving their riding skills on flowing trails. That’s what Canyon’s lightweight eMTB loves doing best with its poppy suspension, despite its huge battery. The harmonious design language, clever weight-shedding frame details and wallet-friendly price tag are just the icing on the cake! Unfortunately, the twitchy high-speed handling and poor ground clearance on technical terrain narrow down the range of riders it’s suited for.


  • top handling on flowing trails
  • two battery sizes to choose from – range anxiety adieu!
  • low system weight despite big battery capacity


  • motor and crank clearance on technical terrain
  • it’s easy to inadvertently disconnect the magnetic plug between the motor and battery with your foot

You can find out more about at canyon.com

The test field

For an overview of the test fleet head to the group test: The best eMTB of 2022 for € 6,500 – 11 budget eMTBs in our eMTB group test

All bikes in test: Bulls Sonic EVO AM-SL1 (Click for review) | Canyon Spectral:ON CF8 | Centurion Numinis R2700i (Click for review) | FOCUS JAM² 7.9 (Click for review) | Giant Trance X E+19 (Click for review) | MERIDA eONE-SIXTY 975 (Click for review) | Mondraker Crafty R (Click for review) | Moustache Trail 7 (Click for review) | Orbea Rise H15 (Click for review) | Rossignol Mandate Shift XT (Click for review) | SCOTT Patron eRide 920 (Click for review)

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Words: Rudolf Fischer Photos: Mike Hunger

About the author

Rudolf Fischer

In his previous life Rudolf was a dab hand at promoting innovation, putting his brain behind big-ticket patent assessments that easily ran into six-or-seven-plus figures. These days, the self-confessed data nerd’s role as editor at DOWNTOWN and E-MOUNTAINBIKE is no less exciting. Given his specialism in connectivity, Rudolf’s often placed on the front line of future mobility conversations, but he’s also big into testing new bikes–both on the daily as a committed commuter and intensively for our group tests. The business economist graduate is as versatile as a Swiss penknife, and that’s no hyperbole. Away from two wheels, his background in parkour means he’s a master of front, side and backflips, plus he speaks German, English, French, Russian and a touch of Esperanto. Japanese remains woefully unmastered, despite his best home-learning attempts. Good to know: Rudolf’s sharp tongue has made him a figure of fear in the office, where he’s got a reputation for flexing a dry wittiness à la Ricky Gervais... interestingly, he's usually the one laughing hardest.