Canyon Grand Canyon:ON 9 first ride review
We've already taken a good look at the new Torque:ON and Strive:ON full suspension freeride and enduro e-mountain bikes. The final e-mountain bike in Canyon’s line-up to be updated this year is the Grand Canyon:ON, which combines trail-friendly geometry with commuting capability. This bike proves that there’s definitely a place for pedal-assisted hardtail radness.
- Canyon Strive:ON CFR first ride review
- Canyon Spectral:ON CF8 e-MTB review
- Canyon updates the Neuron "do-it-all mountain bike"
This time, it's not an enduro kind of bike but rather something that will get you to work while sampling some mighty fine single track on the side.
Using 120mm of travel, this bike gets 29-inch front and rear wheels and 2.6in tyres. That's all bolted to an alloy frame that offers a whole host of mounting points for bottle cages, luggage racks and accessories, as well as a kickstand. So if you were tempted to go out on an e-bike overnighter, the Grand Canyon:ON is more than ready.
As for the geometry, it's been tweaked to be a bit more 'mountain bikey', with a large frame now coming with a modern 475mm reach, a 68-degree head tube angle and a 75-degree seat tube angle. Then there are the 460mm chainstays.
With that shape in mind, Canyon wanted to create a bike that's a solid climber but one that offers a relaxed and upright body position. That longer reach adds stability, making this e-hardtail more capable of tackling off-road trails.
There are four models on offer, all of which run the latest generation Bosch Performance Line CX High Torque Drive Unit, with the 8 and 9 models coming with a 750Wh battery as standard, while the 7 offers a choice between the 625 and 750Wh units.
The big story is that the top-end model, the Grand Canyon:ON 9, is equipped with Bosch's eBIKE ABS which comes as part of a collaboration with Magura. Using Bosch's experience in creating ABS for motorbikes, this first production-ready eBIKE ABS is said to enable controlled and stable braking, even when the conditions are particularly dodgy.
For this system to work effectively, there's an anti-lock braking system at the front wheel and rear wheel. During hard braking, brake pressure at the front is regulated automatically by the system, eliminating over-the-bar moments. It says that this shortens braking distances over loose terrain, too.
Canyon Grand Canyon:ON 9 - Specification
My first taste of Grand Canyon:ON came in the form of the top-end model which benefits from the aforementioned ABS system paired with Magura CTE ABS brakes. With that, there's a Fox AWL fork and Rodi TRYP 30 wheels. Those hoops are wrapped with Schwalbe Nobby Nic tyres and there's a Shimano XT groupset. As for price, this will set you back £4,150
Touching on the other bikes in the range, the £3,649 Grand Canyon:ON 8 gets everything found on the 9, apart from the ABS system. At £3,099, the 7 model gets a RockShox Judy fork, a Shimano Deore drivetrain and SRAM DB8 brakes, with everything following suit from the pricier bikes. This bike is also available with a smaller battery, costing £2,899.
Canyon Grand Canyon:ON 9 - Ride impressions
While perhaps not the most exciting bike that Canyon's launched today, it's one that took me by surprise due to how capable, and versatile it is on most terrain. It does its job very well and blends the roles of commuter and singletrack ripper.
Its geometry is very well considered as it marries the stability found on more trail-orientated bikes with fast handling and a precise front end that comes as a result of that comparatively steep head-tube angle. The front of the bike is very easy to direct, and it supports the rider through steeper switchback corners.
Though, as it is so steep, it doesn't offer much in terms of stability but that's where the longer reach and chainstay come into play, as it's comfortable at speed. And the ABS system furthers the bike's comfort in this area as it works incredibly well to keep front wheel traction at all times.
During my ride aboard the Grand Canyon:ON 9, I really worked to try to beat that ABS system but it just works too well and, while it's easy to see how effective it is under extreme braking conditions, it's in the finer details where it really impresses. Firstly, under very heavy braking over loose gravel, the front wheel will slip a smidgeon before the ABS senses that loss of traction, where it then clearly modulates the front brake to avoid any further loss of grip. It also eliminates any small losses of traction - so much so that you can't detect whether it's working or not until you turn the bike off and try again.
This system also completely eradicates the chances of launching yourself over the bars, too. As soon as the rear wheel unweights under braking, the ABS kicks in, releasing braking power on the front wheel. This does have a huge effect on braking distance though as it pulls back braking power significantly when the ABS is active. For the new rider who's likely to panic brake more frequently or those who commute over ever-changing surfaces, this can be a lifesaver but the more experienced rider will be able to achieve a shorter braking distance without relying on ABS.
In terms of specification, there's very little to complain about. The fork is a capable unit, and in fact, it's very similar to the Marzocchi Bomber Z2 as it uses the very same Rail damper - it's well-damped and simple to adjust. ABS aside, the brakes are plenty powerful enough to slow down this alloy-framed machine and it's great to see proper tyres kitted on the bike. With this rubber, the Grand Canyon:ON will easily blur the commute/singletrack line.
So there's little to complain about with this bike. It's super well-rounded and when ridden within its parameters, it's a very solid bit of kit but it does come with one hiccup, and that's its price. £4,150 is an investment, especially when you can get a Canyon Neuron:ON 8 for the same money. Of course with that bike, you're getting suspension at both ends and high-level kit. But that bike won't accommodate bags or commuter-friendly components with near as much ease.
This bike is for those who want a well-specced bike that can handle single-track riding as well as chilled spins along canal paths.
While stiff, thanks to the alloy build, the frame offers a ride that will appeal to almost everyone. It's not overly aggressive but then it's not meant to be as it's designed as an e-MTB that bridges the gap between on- and off-road. It effectively blurs agility with stability due to a considered geometry, resulting in a ride that'll slay green and blue trails, but happily take you to work in the morning.