French rider, Fabien Barel needs no introduction. Before announcing his retirement from downhill racing in 2011, after bagging three World Championship titles, he moved to race enduro with Canyon. Since then, he's had a huge influence on the design of the brand's bikes and its latest e-mountain bike, the Strive:ON. We caught up with Fabien to check out the bike he'll be racing in this year's EWS-E series.
For those not already know, the Strive:ON is an e-mountain bike designed for one thing, e-enduro. To achieve this, it gets a range of enduro-specific features that are not found on other bikes in Canyon's e-bike range. That includes a bottom bracket that's a little taller paired with a specially designed skid plate to help riders clear tech while climbing.
While we're in this area, the bike has been designed with fast battery changes in mind, as riders get to swap batteries during the race and not a second can be spared. This has been achieved through a design that's similar to the Spectral:ON's. The Strive:ON can then accept either 625Wh or 750Wh batteries.
2023 fabien barel canyon striveon motor.jpg, by Liam Mercer
The bike runs Bosch's highest-end Performance Line CX Race motor. This one is built in small numbers and, as its name suggests, it's designed for racing, offering a lighter weight figure and a longer overrun duration which should come into its own during the Power Stages found in the E-EWS.
2023 fabien barel canyon striveon bb logo 2.jpg, by Liam Mercer
This bike is filled with neat details, such as these motivational slogans. A gain is a gain, right?
2023 fabien barel canyon striveon bb logo1.jpg, by Liam Mercer
And on the other side are some handy details, in case you or a mechanic forgets about the bike's basic specs.
2023 fabien barel canyon striveon grip.jpg, by Liam Mercer
As well as the cool details, oil-slick components are discreetly nestled around the bike. So here, we've got Ergon GD1 grips with oil-slick collars, and attached to a RockShox Reverb AXS dropper post is an Ergon SM10 EMTB saddle with oil-slick rails. Also, slowing this bike is a pair of SRAM Code RSC brakes with 200mm SRAM HS2 rotors.
2023 fabien barel canyon striveon saddle.jpg, by Liam Mercer
2023 fabien barel canyon striveon fork.jpg, by Liam Mercer
The Strive:ON is running 170mm of suspension which is provided by a RockShox ZEB Ultimate. This is RockShox's top-level enduro fork that comes complete with fat 38mm stanchions but also all of the most modern tech, including buzz-reducing ButterCups and the latest Charge 3 RC2 damper. Imperative for racing, this fork also gets all the adjustments anyone could request.
2023 fabien barel canyon striveon seat stay.jpg, by Liam Mercer
The rear 165mm of suspension is handled by a RockShox Super Deluxe RC2T, which again is the top-level shock in the range with loads of adjustability.
2023 fabien barel canyon striveon mech.jpg, by Liam Mercer
As expected of a high-end race-ready e-mountain bike, Fabien's is running the latest SRAM XO T-Type drivetrain and this is helpful for more than just crisp shifting. That's because this kit is incredibly capable when shifting under load and on an e-bike alone, that's mega important but during race scenarios, the ability to shift while hauling uphill can save a surprising amount of time.
2023 fabien barel canyon striveon front tyre.jpg, by Liam Mercer
Fabien is running the very latest Pirelli Scorpion Race DH M tyres both front and rear. Pirelli says this is the most versatile tyre in its Race range, with a tread engineered for mixed terrain. Specifically, this tyre uses SmartEVO DH rubber that's been developed through Pirelli's motorsport department and it's a dual compound rubber that sets the Race range of tyres apart from its enduro and trail range mates.
2023 fabien barel canyon striveon wheelset.jpg, by Liam Mercer
Fabien has opted for Crankbrothers' Synthesis E-MTB Alloy wheelset. Why alloy, you ask? Well, it bends, as perfectly demonstrated (but not pictured) on this bike. A bend in an alloy rim may still hold a seal, allowing the rider to continue with the stage. Carbon doesn't bend under heavy impact, it shatters.
Anyway, this is an e-bike-specific wheelset and, like the other Synthesis wheels, each wheel is tuned for use at each end of the bike. So the front is tweaked to be more compliant to improve handling and grip whereas the rear is said to be stiffer to help support load when cornering and track the terrain better at speed.
2023 fabien barel canyon striveon top tube.jpg, by Liam Mercer
Keeping the handlebar free of clutter, is a top tube-mounted TCU that displays the motor's power modes and battery through coloured lights. As you can see, Fabien's properly rinsed the battery here.
All of that, we're told, weighs in at 23.10kg.
So, that is the bike Fabien Barel will be riding this season but the best bit is that you can buy this bike in this exact same spec for £9,000.
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