Not only does Canyon have a massive bike portfolio, but also a racing team in most mountain bike disciplines. With the new € 7,199 Strive:ON CFR, the German mail order brand has just launched an electric enduro racer with a Bosch motor. Is it just fast between the tapes, or can it also convince as a capable all-rounder?

Canyon Strive:ON CFR | Bosch Performance Line CX/750 Wh | 170/160 mm (f/r)
24.3 kg in size M | € 7,199 | Manufacturer’s Website

Although Canyon’s portfolio is massive, there was a critical gap in their eMTB line-up for quite a while. The Spectral:ON, which was introduced last year, is intended primarily for trail riding, while the new Torque:ON was designed as a shuttle replacement for bike park sessions and rowdy, fast-paced trail adventures. The new Strive:ON is meant to fill the gap between the two bikes and wants to be the weapon of choice for second-shaving PR hunts on demanding terrain, both up and downhill. Not only does it borrow the name from Canyon’s enduro bruiser, the analogue Strive, but it also shares the same 170/160 mm of travel (f/r). The latest iteration of the Strive was introduced last year and secured the coveted Best Buy Tip in the big 2023 group test of our sister magazine ENDURO. Unlike its motorless counterpart, however, the Strive:ON forgoes Canyon’s proprietary Shapeshifter, which allows you to alter the geometry and rear suspension kinematics at the touch of a button depending on whether you’re climbing or descending. In addition, the 24.3 kg electric version relies on a mixed wheel setup rather than full 29”. Retailing at € 7,199, the CFR variant is without a doubt one of the cheapest bikes in its segment. We put the new Strive:ON CFR through the wringer on the rocky trails around Massa Marittima in Tuscany, pushing the bike and ourselves to the limits, both uphill and downhill. How did the Strive:ON fare?

The new Canyon Strive:ON CFR 2023 in detail

At first glance, the new Canyon Strive:ON is more reminiscent of the analogue Spectral than the Strive, with the shock transitioning seamlessly into the seat stay, drawing a single harmonious line. However, the Strive:ON relies on a straight seat tube and relatively steep down tube, which makes it possible to remove the battery from the bottom of the frame. To do this, you’ll have to loosen the bolt on the cover and unclip the battery. The procedure is quick and straightforward, and doesn’t require tools. Moreover, Canyon let you choose between two batteries, with either 625 Wh or 750 Wh capacity, which are easily interchangeable. The battery feeds a Bosch Performance Line CX Smart System motor, with a Bosch System Controller mounted in the top tube. The latter replaces the clunky Bosch remote, and shows the battery charge status and current support level via coloured LEDs. Canyon also replace the standard Kiox 300 display with a wireless mini-remote on the handlebars. The rear brake line and the cables for the shifter and dropper remote are routed internally, disappearing into the frame through the headset. That said, the cables enter the frame through the headset top cover, rather than being fully concealed inside the stem and spacers, making it easier to adjust or service the cockpit than a fully integrated setup. There’s a bottle cage on the down tube and a tool mount underneath the top tube, while a generously sized chainstay protector prevents chain slap and paint chips.

To remove the battery of the Strive:ON you’ll have to loosen the bolt …
… then you can remove the battery cover and slide out the battery.
The cables are routed through the side of the headset, making it easier to fine tune the cockpit.
When the battery is removed, you can see how the cables are routed in the frame.

Spec and variants of the new Canyon Strive:ON CFR

The Canyon Strive:ON is available in three variants, all of which can be configured with either a 625 Wh or 750 Wh battery. While the smaller battery weighs around 800 g less and is € 200 cheaper, it also has around 20% less range. All prices refer to the respective model with a big battery. The entry-level CFR Underdog retails at € 5,999 and comes equipped with FOX Performance suspension and Shimano DEORE groupset. The mid-range CFR model we tested retails at € 7,199 and features a FOX 38 Performance Elite fork and X2 Performance shock, which both offer significantly more adjustment options than the entry level model’s suspension. Shimano supply the XT drivetrain and matching XT brakes. The € 9,699 CFR LTD top-spec variant is the signature model of former enduro and downhill champion Fabien Barel. Needless to say, this comes equipped with components from Fabien’s sponsors, including a RockShox ZEB Ultimate fork and Super Deluxe Ultimate air shock. A new SRAM Eagle Transmission X0 drivetrain ensures butter smooth shifting while SRAM Code RSC brakes provide powerful and reliable deceleration. Moreover, the Strive:ON CFR LTD rolls on Pirelli tires, and is the only variant with Bosch’s limited-edition CX Race motor.

Canyon Strive:ON CFR Underdog
Canyon Strive:ON CFR
Canyon Strive:ON CFR LTD

The spec of our Canyon Strive:ON CFR 2023

The Canyon Strive:ON CFR is specced uncompromisingly for trail performance and doesn’t care about bling. The most obvious example is the FOX 38 Performance Elite GRIP2 fork, which forgoes the fancy Kashima coating, but delivers just as good a performance on the trail as its top-tier Factory counterpart. A FOX X2 Performance air shock with oversized air chamber ensures supple performance and offers externally adjustable low speed compression and rebound settings. Shimano XT brakes with a massive 220 mm rotor at the front and 200 mm disc at the rear do stopping duties, while shifting is taken care of by a mixed Shimano drivetrain with XT rear derailleur and cheaper SLX cassette. The latter is 60 g heavier than its XT counterpart but doesn’t noticeably affect the performance on the trail. The Canyon G5 dropper post offers 170 mm of travel, which is enough for “conventional” size M frames. However, the Strive:ON is anything but conventional in terms of sizing and relies on a very long reach across the board, meaning that frame size M is comparable to a size L from other manufacturers, which calls for a long-travel dropper post.

Shimano XT brakes with a 220 mm rotor at the front and 200 mm disc at the rear do the stopping duties.
The FOX FLOAT X2 Performance shock forgoes the golden Kashima coating and adjustability of high speed rebound and compression that the top-tier Factory counterpart has.

Canyon also rely on their in house components for the cockpit, combining a 40 mm G5 stem and matching 780 mm alloy handlebars. With the Strive:ON, the handlebar width is size-specific: the two smaller frame sizes come standard with 780 mm bars, while size L and XL have wide 800 mm bars. While size-specific handlebars are rather uncommon, they make perfect sense! The DT Swiss HX1700 alloy wheels are a popular choice amongst our editorial team, proving a great match for fast, rowdy riders. Even during our Strive:ON test rides, they gobbled up nasty impacts without batting an eyelid. MAXXIS supply the tires, combining a MAXXIS Minion DHR II in the robust Doubledown casing and hard MaxxTerra rubber compound at the rear and an ASSEGAI in the thinner EXO+ casing and soft MaxxGrip rubber compound at the front. While this is an excellent tire combo, you could make it even more awesome by upgrading the front tire to the tougher Doubledown casing, which allows you to run lower air pressures for better traction.

Frame size S and M come equipped with 780 mm handlebars, while sizes L and XL come with wider 800 mm bars – awesome!
The DT Swiss HX1700 alloy wheels are a favourite among the editorial team at E-MOUNTAINBIKE.

Canyon Strive:ON CFR

€ 7,199


Motor Bosch Performance Line CX 85 Nm
Battery Bosch PowerTube 750 Wh
Display Bosch System Controller
Fork FOX 38 Performance Elite GRIP2 170 mm
Rear Shock FOX Float X2 Performance 160 mm
Seatpost Canyon G5 170 mm
Brakes Shimano XT 220/200 mm
Drivetrain Shimano XT/SLX 1x12
Stem Canyon G5 40 mm
Handlebar Canyon G5 Alu 780 mm
Wheelset DT Swiss HX1700 Alu 29"/27.5"
Tires MAXXIS ASSEGAI, EXO+, MaxxGrip/Minion DHR II, Doubledown, MaxxTerra 2.5"/2.4"

Technical Data

Size S M L XL
Weight 24.3 kg

The geometry of the new Canyon Strive:ON

As already mentioned, the Canyon Strive:ON has a very long reach across all sizes. This measures a whopping 450 mm in size S, making it hard for short riders to find a suitable frame size. If you find yourself between two sizes on Canyon’s size chart, we recommend reaching for the smaller of the two options – which is exactly what we did! For our editor Simon, who is 181 cm tall, the Strive:ON in size M (475 mm reach) was a perfect fit. At 420 mm, the seat tube is pleasantly short and even short-legged riders shouldn’t have problems with the saddle height. Chainstay length is 445 mm across the board.

Size S M L XL
Top tube 584 mm 610 mm 637 mm 665 mm
Seat tube 395 mm 420 mm 435 mm 460 mm
Head tube 110 mm 120 mm 130 mm 145 mm
Head angle 63.5° 63.5° 63.5° 63.5°
Seat angle 78° 78° 78° 78°
BB Drop 25 mm 25 mm 25 mm 25 mm
Chainstay 445 mm 445 mm 445 mm 445 mm
Wheelbase 1.245 mm 1.274 mm 1.304 mm 1.336 mm
Reach 450 mm 475 mm 500 mm 525 mm
Stack 628 mm 637 mm 646 mm 660 mm
Helmet Giro Insurgent Spherical | Goggle Scott Prospect | Jersey Rapha Trail Long Sleeve Technical | Pants Rapha Trail Pants | Shoes Specialized Cliplite 2FO

The new Canyon Strive:ON CFR 2023 on the trail.

As soon as you swing your leg over the saddle, the Canyon Strive ON CFR places you in a central, upright pedalling position and integrates you nicely between the wheels. Although the suspension bobs slightly when pedalling, it isn’t enough to be annoying and actually improves the bike’s long-distance comfort, making it suitable for long days in the saddle. Furthermore, the suspension’s excellent small bump sensitivity ensures plenty of traction on technical climbs, making the Strive:ON a capable climber together with the powerful Bosch motor. Despite the smaller rear wheel and relatively short chainstays, the weight is evenly distributed between the front and rear. As a result, the front wheel always remains planted on the ground, making it easy to commit to sketchy lines even on very steep climbs.

No matter if the way up is rather flat and relaxed …
… or steep and techy, the Strive:ON is a super strong climber.

When gravity takes over, the Strive:ON makes you feel at ease from the get-go, guiding you to the valley bottom with intuitive, predictable handling. While the Canyon’s already great fun on man-made, flowing trails, it only comes to life on faster, rougher trails, where it makes you feel as if you were driving a 911 on the Nürburgring for the first time. Just like a Porsche, the Strive:ON is pleasantly firm, providing tons of support when pumping through rollers and plenty of pop when pulling off ledges. At the same time, the suspension generates good traction and offers good progression towards the end of the stroke. The Canyon lifts up onto its rear wheel rather eagerly, making it easy to pull manuals and lift the front-end over obstacles. The agile handling together with the short rear end and small rear wheel make it easy to carve through tight corners. However, the Canyon doesn’t shy away from high-speed trail sections either, where it impresses with excellent composure.

Who should take a closer look at the new Canyon Strive:ON CFR 2023?

Despite filling the gap between Canyon’s freeride tank, the Torque:ON, and the playful Spectral:On, the Strive:ON CFR is probably the most versatile e-mountainbike in Canyon’s portfolio. That said, it’s still aimed at shredders rather than touring riders. It comes with a very solid spec, an easily removable battery and a clean look. Unfortunately, short riders have to be extra careful when choosing the frame size. The comfortable pedalling position is perfectly suitable for long days in the saddle. On the trails, the Strive:ON CFR delivers excellent performance, both up and downhill, where it impresses with agile handling and well-balanced suspension.

The Canyon Strive:ON CFR was developed as an e-Enduro racer and that’s what it does best. The interchangeable battery and powerful motor provide an excellent base, while the excellent climbing qualities and downhill performance are the cherry on top of the cake. However, the Strive:ON CFR can do a lot more than just race. With its solid spec, intuitive, agile handling and composed character, the Strive:ON CFR is an excellent all-rounder.


  • Excellent performance at a fair price
  • Trail machine for beginners and experienced riders alike
  • Great all round potential


  • Short riders struggle to find a suitable size
  • Dropper post is slightly too short

For more info, visit

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Words: Simon Kohler Photos: Boris Beyer

About the author

Simon Kohler

​​Simon loves speed. He has many years of racing experience as a longboard downhill skater, blasting down alpine passes on his board. In the meantime, he’s swapped four wheels for two, charging down trails and bike park lines aboard his mountain bike instead. He’s savoured some of Europe’s finest trails on various road trips through the Alps. Having lived in Austria for some time, he knows the local Austrian bike parks like the back of his hand. He’s a tech nerd through and through, using the skills and know-how from his engineering degree and his attention to detail to put the latest bikes and components through their paces for our reviews. As an early riser and self-declared muesli connoisseur, he lives his life powered by oats and the strength of his legs.