Are you looking for an eMTB with lots of travel and plenty of reserves? Then take a closer look at the new Canyon Torque:ON with its Shimano EP8 motor. We’ve already swung a leg over the brand new, top-of-the-range Torque:ON 9, costing € 5,799, and have all the details for you here.

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!

Canyon Torque:ON 9 | Shimano EP8/504 Wh | 180/175 mm (f/r)
24.04 kg in size L | € 5,799 | manfacturer website

Premiere: the new Canyon Torque:ON expands Canyon’s eMTB portfolio with a long-travel and capable bike intended to deliver lots of riding fun. As usual, the name and character of the bike are related to those of its analogue brother, the Torque. Canyon’s goal: create a fun and capable eMTB for the fastest and most challenging trails. For the new Torque:ON, the brand relies on a Shimano EP8 motor, a small 500 Wh battery, 180 mm travel up front, 175 mm at the rear and 27.5″ wheels at both ends. Yes, you read that right – 27.5″. We also thought that 650B wheels had died out on eMTBs, yet Canyon have disabused us of that notion. But does the concept of a simultaneously playful and capable eMTB work? We rode the top-of-the-range, € 5,799 model for one day on the snowy trails around Stuttgart and another on the muddy trails of the Pfalz and can tell you more about our first impressions here.

The Canyon Torque:ON 9 in detail

The Torque:ON doesn’t hide its heritage. The lines of the aluminium frame and the paint job blend with the ranks of the rest of the Canyon eMTB family, lending the newest bike its typical Canyon look. Examine it more closely and you’ll notice several prominently positioned welds – the most obvious example of which is the seam at the shock mount. The Torque:ON is driven by the new Shimano EP8 motor which delivers 85 Nm torque and is powered by a 500 Wh battery. The motor is elegantly integrated and the plastic motor cover is cleverly designed, protecting both the motor and the chainring at the same time.

Like all their 2021 eMTB models, Canyon fit the Torque:ON with a Shimano EP8 motor that produces 85 Nm torque.
Right next to the power button on the top tube the Torque:ON has a USB-C charging port which can supply devices like GPS, phones, lights and more with power directly from its battery.
Canyon’s usual, ebike specific SD:ON saddle…
… and Quixle thru-axle are also used on the new Torque:ON
The Torque has inherited Canyon’s typical seatpost clamp from its little brother, the Spectral:ON.
The chainstay protector doesn’t just look it. It is effective.
The plastic motor cover protects the motor…
… and also spares the chainring from unwanted impacts.
The welds of the aluminium frame are positioned prominently in some places, like the shock mount here.

The chain guide is unobtrusively mounted to the frame, though it initially rubbed against the chain audibly in the lowest gear, not just stressing our ears but the chain too. The problem should be resolved in series production. Typical for Canyon, the Torque:ON comes with a USB-C port on the top tube, their SD:ON saddle with a raised tail, space for a bottle cage in the main triangle and Canyon’s Quixle thru-axle. With a maximum permissible weight of 145 kg, meaning a 120 kg maximum combined load for rider and equipment, as well as approval for bike park use, Canyon demonstrates how seriously they are taking durability and weight limits. Despite the small battery, the Torque:ON 9 is no lightweight. With its aluminium frame and descent-focussed spec, it weighs in at 24.04 kg.

The motor and battery concept of the Canyon Torque:ON – Why “only” 500 Wh can make sense

The new Shimano EP8 motor fitted to the Torque:ON is, like all 2021 Canyon eMTB models, at the heart of this bike. In comparison to its predecessor, the Shimano STEPS E8000, it hasn’t just got smaller and lighter, but putting out 85 Nm it also generates more torque. The typical clattering of the Shimano EP8 on the downhills is also present on the Torque:ON. You can find more information about the system in our article about the Shimano EP8 and our motor group test.

For the display, Canyon use the established Shimano STEPS E7000 model.
The assistance modes are controlled with the new, compact EM800 remote.
The integrated 500 Wh battery can be quickly and easily removed with the ON key or a 4 mm Allen key.
For anyone wishing for more battery capacity, Canyon offer a second battery including a cover for a € 500 upcharge.
If you often ride in the bike park or trail centre, you can quickly swap out the battery during your lunch break.

Why does the Torque:ON have “only” a 500 Wh battery? To maintain a good balance of weight, weight distribution and handling, Canyon purposefully chose a 500 Wh battery for the Torque:ON and ignored the ongoing battle for maximum range. A larger battery automatically means more weight and different weight distribution. The Torque:ON is about handling first and, as such, the choice fell in favour of a 500 Wh battery to benefit its downhill performance. That said, the battery isn’t positioned all that low in the frame. To ensure that long days in the saddle are still a possibility, you can purchase a spare 500 Wh battery including a cover when you order your Torque:ON. The cost: a reasonable € 500. If you often ride at the bike park or trail centre, you can quickly swap out the battery during your lunch break and charge the other one in the meantime. Thanks to keyless battery removal, swapping the battery can be done in a jiffy – just use the Canyon ON key provided or a 4 mm Allen key. Unfortunately the bike doesn’t come with the faster 4 A charger like the Spectral:ON 9 but the slower 1.8 A version instead. If you end up settling for just one battery, your lunch break might have to be a bit longer as a result.

The components of the Canyon Torque:ON 9 – Top function at a great price!

The price is hot! For € 5,799, you might not get a fancy carbon frame but you do get a considered and well-chosen spec that suits perfectly where this bike will be ridden. For the suspension, Canyon pair a 180 mm FOX 38 Factory GRIP2 fork with a FOX FLOAT X2 Factory shock that controls 175 mm travel at the rear. Canyon have done everything right with the brakes too: SRAM CODE RSCs with a 220 mm rotor up front and 200 mm at the rear. A 12-speed SRAM GX Eagle drivetrain does shifting duties and the 27.5″ DT Swiss H1700 Hybrid wheelset with 30/35 mm (f/r) rim widths suit the bike too.

The plush 180 mm travel up front is controlled by a FOX 38 Factory GRIP2 fork.
The 175 mm travel at the rear is handled by a FOX X2 Factory shock.
SRAM CODE RSC brakes do stopping duties…
… with a large 220 mm rotor at the front and 200 mm at the rear.
For the drivetrain, Canyon also rely on the American brand for their top-of-the-range model: SRAM GX derailleur, cassette and shifter handle the gears.
Considering the potential this bike has, more robust tires than the MAXXIS Minion with their EXO+ casing would have been a better choice. With the more stable Doubledown casing, it would be possible to run lower pressures.
The own-brand dropper post works well but 150 mm travel on size L isn’t enough. In combination with the SD:ON saddle with its raised tailed, freedom of movement is limited for bigger riders on downhill terrain.

The dropper post is an in-house item but the 150 mm travel on sizes L and XL is too little. Likewise, the tire combination of a 27.5 x 2.5″ MAXXIS Minion DHF up front and a 27.5 x 2.6″ DHR at the rear, both with an EXO+ casing, isn’t the best choice. Given the potential of this bike, we would have wished for a less puncture prone and more robust Doubledown tire at the rear, like the one that was erroneously fitted to the front of our bike. Better puncture protection and the option to run even lower pressure are more important than trimming weight. You can find out whether the value for money is as good as the bike’s price in our riding impressions because all those top-end parts have to add up to a good ride.

Canyon Torque:ON 9

€ 5,799

Specifications

Motor Shimano EP8 85 Nm
Battery Shimano BT8035 504 Wh
Display Shimano SC-E7000
Fork FOX 38 Factory GRIP2 180 mm
Rear Shock FOX X2 Factory 175 mm
Seatpost Iridium Dropper Post 150 mm
Brakes SRAM CODE RSC 220/203 mm
Drivetrain SRAM GX-Eagle 1x12
Stem Canyon:ON AL 45 mm
Handlebar Canyon:ON AL 780 mm
Wheelset DT-Swiss H1700 27.5"
Tires MAXXIS Minion DHF/DHR (EXO+/EXO+) 2.5/2.6"

Technical Data

Size S M L XL
Weight 24.04 kg
Perm. total weight 145 kg
Max. payload (rider/equipment) 120 kg
Trailer approval no
Kickstand mount no

Specific Features

USB-C charing port

Further builds of the Canyon Torque:ON

Alongside the top-of-the-range model, there’s just one other build, the Torque:ON 8, which costs € 4,499 and can also be ordered with an additional 500 Wh battery. Here Canyon spec RockShox suspension with a ZEB R fork and Super Deluxe Select R shock combined with Shimano SLX brakes and a mixed SLX/XT drivetrain. Unfortunately, you’ll have to forgo the large 220 mm rotor on the front of the Torque:ON 8

Canyon Torque:ON 8

€ 4,499

Specifications

Motor Shimano EP8 85 Nm
Battery Shimano BT8035 504 Wh
Display Shimano SC-E7000
Fork RockShox ZEB R 180 mm
Rear Shock RockShox SuperDeluxe Select R 175 mm
Seatpost Iridium Dropper Post 125-150 mm
Brakes Shimano SLX MT7120 203/203 mm
Drivetrain Shimano XT/ SLX 1x12
Stem Canyon:ON AL 45 mm
Handlebar Canyon:ON AL 780 mm
Wheelset DT-Swiss H1900 27.5"
Tires MAXXIS Minion DHF/DHR (EXO+/EXO+) 2.5/2.6"

Technical Data

Size S M L XL
Weight 23,74 (Herstellerangabe in Gr. M)
Perm. total weight 145 kg
Max. payload (rider/equipment) 120 kg
Trailer approval no
Kickstand mount no

Specific Features

USB-C charing port

The geometry of the Canyon Torque:ON

The Torque:ON is available immediately in sizes S, M, L and XL and is designed for riders between 166 and 200 cm tall. Canyon don’t change wheel sizes depending on the frame size as they do with some of their other bikes. Instead, all sizes of the Torque:ON roll on 27.5” wheels. The stroke of the dropper post is 125 mm for size S and 150 mm for sizes M, L and XL. For the L and XL bikes, that’s too little, which is only exacerbated in combination with the SD:ON saddle with its raised tail, limiting freedom of movement for bigger riders on downhill terrain. At 63.5°, the head tube angle is slack, the reach is long (485 mm in size L), seat tube angle is moderately relaxed (74°) and the 430 mm chainstays are short.

SizeSMLXL
Seat tube440 mm440 mm460 mm500 mm
Top tube612 mm639 mm667 mm694 mm
Head tube115 mm125 mm135 mm145 mm
Head angle63.5°63.5°63.5°63.5°
Seat angle74°74°74°74°
Chainstays430 mm430 mm430 mm430 mm
BB Drop15 mm15 mm15 mm15 mm
Wheelbase1,214 mm1,244 mm1,273 mm1,302 mm
Reach435 mm460 mm485 mm510 mm
Stack616 mm625 mm634 mm643 mm

The Canyon Torque:ON 9 on the trail – This is how this capable bike rides

Thanks to the slack seat tube angle and sensitive suspension, the Torque:ON 9 provides a relaxed and comfortable position on the flats – as long as the special saddle with its wide and raised tail suits your sit bones. The raised tail helps keep the front of the bike planted on steep ramps or step-ups on the trail. Indeed, that’s a good thing because the front wheel quickly lifts as soon as things ramp up. Nonetheless, thanks to the good traction of the suspension, technical climbs can be surmounted too with an active riding style.

Point the Torque:ON downhill and you’ll immediately feel comfortable. You are well integrated with the bike and always feel that you have everything under control. With the combination of its handling and the braking power of the CODE RSC brakes, especially with the large rotor up front, the Torque:ON communicates a sense of security. Even if things get really steep, there’s no over-the-bars feeling despite the small front wheel. The geometry complements the plush yet defined 180/175mm travel suspension. Small and mid-sized hits are effectively damped while the suspension also deals with big impacts well thanks to good progression and plenty of reserves. When the trail is flat, the Torque:ON gets bored. To have proper fun, it requires either demanding terrain or high-speed trails. We’ll have to do more testing to see whether the overall concept, with its small battery and 27.5″ wheels, can come out on top in direct comparison to the competition.

On demanding terrain and high-speed trails the Torque:ON isn’t just a whole lot of fun, it also communicates a steadfast sense of security.

Helmet Lazer Jackal | Glasses Oakley Sutro | Jacket Endura Singletrack Onesie | Shoes Crankbrothers Mallet E BOA

Tuning tips: Tires with more robust casing | dropper post with more travel | if required, swap the saddle

Canyon Torque:ON or Spectral:ON – Which bike is right for you?

If you prefer to ride longer tours and flowing trails with a manoeuvrable and spritely bike, reach for the Spectral:ON. If you’re looking for uphill flow, you’ll also be better served by the lighter and more agile Spectral:ON. On the other hand, all those who want to blast through the bike park and who ride steep alpine terrain on rough trails should take a closer look at the Torque:ON.

Canyon Torque:ON 9 conclusion

With the Torque:ON Canyon expand their portfolio with a capable and downhill-focussed bike with an interesting battery concept and 27.5″ wheels. The Torque:ON is targeted primarily at a fledgeling and price-sensitive group of riders who prefer to spend their days in the bike park or trail centre. While there are some potential upgrades, particularly regarding the travel of the dropper post and the casing of the tires, the Torque:ON still represents excellent value for money!

Tops

  • capable downhill
  • plush and defined suspension
  • bold battery concept

Flops

  • puncture prone tires
  • struggles on technical uphills
  • short-stroke dropper post in size L

For more information, visit canyon.com


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: Jonas Müssig Photos: Peter Walker