“The Canyon Gravel:ON is not for the faint of coronary heart, however its top-tier elements and insane vary are price your consideration.”

  • Construct High quality & Design
  • High quality elements
  • Highly effective Motor
  • Satisfying on-road or off

Over the previous few years, the gravel group has solidified a biking tradition that refuses to be burdened with the unwritten guidelines of street biking. This implies bushy legs, fats tires, and an emphasis on having fun with the experience and never how rapidly you possibly can end it. E-bikes, whereas rising with a barely much less distinct group of their very own, are extra extensively accepted than they was once, just because they get extra folks on bikes. Whereas I do know there’s a contingent of Lycra-clad elitists that will take challenge with each of these statements, e-bikes and gravel bikes are right here to remain. I welcome the corporate. 

So, it is sensible that Canyon launched the Grail:ON, its first entry into the U.S. e-bike market. Should you’re not accustomed to Canyon, you ought to be. It makes superb bikes which can be typically the perfect high-end bang on your buck as a result of the corporate operates via a direct-to-consumer mannequin. This implies you gained’t see new Canyons at your native bike store, however don’t fear. An unimaginable six-year guarantee, 30-day return coverage, and a easy setup with all of the instruments included make for a clean shopping for expertise.

The Grail:ON: What’s it, and what’s completely different?

Born from Canyon’s long-standing gravel favourite, the Grail, the Grail:ON makes extra modifications than simply slapping a motor and battery on and calling it good. And whereas a motorbike’s geometry actually isn’t the sexiest matter to get into, with the Grail:ON, it’s price mentioning. Canyon took into consideration what throwing a bunch of additional weight and energy onto a motorbike would do, they usually modified it accordingly.

This implies they thickened the sidewalls of this all-carbon body to take care of the additional abuse whereas additionally lengthening the wheelbase and shortening the stem. These modifications translate into an e-bike that’s much more nimble than others I’ve ridden. Actually, the sleek and responsive experience had me forgetting at instances that I used to be using an e-bike in any respect. 

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Exterior of the body and motor, probably the most important visible distinction from different bikes is the Grail:ONs double-decker handlebar. This multilevel drop bar appears to be like half hammerhead shark and half medieval weaponry. Whereas it would look insane, the consequence is a rise in consolation that you’ll quickly study to like.

For the Grail:ON, the built-in stem has been shortened, which brings that floating prime bar nearer to the rider. Meaning a extra relaxed and comfy using place. Pulling double obligation, the highest bar additionally helps dampen street vibration when issues get bumpy. I can attest that I used to be fairly skeptical of those claims, however discovered myself spending increasingly more time on prime as a result of it took the sting off tough again roads. 

Fats tires? No downside

Additionally serving to take the sting off bumpy roads are the Grail:ONs tires. Up from 40mm on the Grail to 50mm for the Grail:ON, the Schwalbe G-One Bites are ginormous. After I pulled the Grail:ON from its field, my first thought was that this stuff have been means too massive. With a tread sample simply shy of what I’d take into account for a mountain bike, the G-One Bites are massive, aggressive, and in a position to experience at solely 30 psi. This implies a great deal of traction and further suspension to absorb bumps, in addition to extra rolling resistance.

If all you’ll be using is free gravel, this isn’t a difficulty, however should you’re like me and experience 80% paved roads with little bits of gravel combined in, rolling resistance turns into extra of a priority. A lot to my shock, for my first outing, I pumped the entrance and rear as much as 55 psi and was shocked when I discovered myself cruising at 21 mph. Seeing as the facility for the Grail:ON stops at 20 mph, the tires and further weight have been balancing themselves fairly properly.

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The place I did discover the Grail:ON’s weight, which is claimed at simply over 35 kilos for a medium, was on gravel descents. Whereas I may nonetheless throw the Grail:ON round, I used to be positively using the 160mm hydraulic disc brakes a bit more durable than regular, and that is the place the additional measurement on the tires actually got here into play. The identical tires that I scoffed at in my lounge have been coming into their very own out in the actual world — I used to be thrilled to have the additional rubber to work with. 

Battery and motor

The wrongdoer behind the Grail:ONs weight is, after all, the Bosch Efficiency Line CX motor and detachable 500 watt-hour battery. Canyon selected the Bosch unit as a result of it might throw down as much as 85Nm of torque, which is just below 63 pound-feet or about what an 800cc motorbike has.

In contrast to bikes, the Grail:ON has no throttle — it’s a pedelec, or pedal-assist. Because of this whenever you begin pedaling, the motor kicks in and offers you help primarily based in your cadence, drive exerted, and general velocity. The facility from the motor is available in 4 varieties. Eco Mode is the least highly effective, adopted by Tour, Sport, and the undisputed king of hill-smashing, Turbo.

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All modes are restricted to 20 mph within the U.S. and are chosen through the easy but efficient Bosch display screen that provides you information in your present velocity, vary, energy mode, and battery life. You possibly can, after all, pedal over that 20 mph restrict by yourself energy, in addition to flip off help if you wish to give your self a bit further exercise.

I haven’t been an enormous fan of Bosch motors previously, as I discovered them jerky and noisier than I’d anticipate. The unit within the Grail:ON has modified my thoughts. Its clean supply by no means caught me off guard, whereas on the similar time impressing me with the sheer energy obtainable. My solely gripe with the Bosch system is the show. It exhibits the whole lot it must regarding the motor, however I’m positively wanting ahead to the day once I don’t should even have my devoted bike pc on board for GPS and monitoring my exercises. 

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With regards to vary for the Grail:ON, Canyon estimates {that a} 210-pound rider will get just below 70 miles of vary. E-bike vary is troublesome to quantify as a result of all of the variables in play, however I used to be stunned to see that I blew their estimate out of the water, getting nearer to 110 miles in Eco Mode. Granted, I’m 170 kilos, using totally on paved nation roads with a mixture of hilly and flat terrain. However having a battery that lasts so long as this one makes the eight-hour recharge time a bit extra bearable.

A stupendous experience

Additionally serving to with the recharge downtime is how good the Grail:ON appears to be like simply sitting there. It screams, “I’m completely different!” far more than it does “I’m an e-bike!” and that is actually appreciated. Whether or not it’s the super-clean inside cable routing or that Starship Enterprise entrance finish, the Grail:ON is a looker and garners greater than its fair proportion of second glances and inquiries. But it surely’s actually the mixture of standout elements and items that convey the entire package deal collectively. 

I’ve talked concerning the tires loads, however the DT Swiss wheels are additionally price mentioning. With hubs which can be bolstered to take the additional torque from the motor, the HGRC 1400 wheelset provides aerodynamics and power to your experience. The truth that any aerodynamic features are in all probability negated by these monster truck tires is irrelevant. They appear superior! 

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The seat put up is one other Canyon specialty that’s price mentioning. Its leaf spring design helps clean the experience out much more than the body already does. Add within the Fizik Argo Tempo saddle, and you’ve got a veritable two-wheel throne utilizing among the smartest design know-how obtainable to the biking group right now.

Talking of know-how, I used the top quality Sram eTap model of the Grail:ON. This implies wi-fi shifting for the 12-speed 10-36 cassette being pushed by a 44 tooth FSA chainring up entrance. Whereas the eTap drivetrain labored flawlessly, there may be one odd factor about it — it makes use of batteries. The wi-fi derailleur makes use of its personal battery, so it isn’t linked to the bike as a complete.

Because of this theoretically, I may run out of batteries on the derailleur and never be capable to shift, whereas nonetheless having a full cost on the motor. The Sram batteries final two to a few weeks, so so long as you’re charging them together with bike lights and head models, you ought to be wonderful. However I’m wondering if this method would have been higher served with a Shimano Di2 setup that also has a hardwire connection and will have been built-in with the bike battery.

Guarantee data

The bike has a six-year guarantee on all Canyon elements and elements, with a two-year guarantee on all e-bike elements, together with the Bosch motor and battery.

Our take

The Grail:ON is a prime of the road gravel bike that occurs to have an e-bike motor. Giving riders a number of energy modes whereas utilizing class-leading elements married to a body that has been expertly tweaked to fulfill the very best calls for, the Grail:ON is the whole lot I’d anticipate from a world-class builder like Canyon. And with the Grail:ON profitable a 2020 Pink Dot award for bicycle design, I’m clearly not the one one who thinks so.  

Is there a greater different?

The closest competitor is the Specialised Turbo Creo SL Comp Carbon at $6,750. However with the Specialised, you miss out on the digital shifting, upgraded wheels and tires, and purchase a a lot much less dramatic aesthetic. If these issues don’t tickle your fancy, perhaps take into account the Big Revolt for $4,200 as a extra reasonably priced choice.

How lengthy will it final?

The sturdiness of the Grail:ON positively is dependent upon your use. Whereas carbon fiber isn’t identified for being probably the most sturdy materials on the earth, the built-up thickness that the Grail:ON employs ought to preserve points at bay. In the meantime, Bosch is understood for making powerful as nails electrical motors with batteries formally rated to deal with 500 recharge cycles providing you with years of use earlier than you’ll have to switch it. Firmware updates might be supplied yearly from Bosch sellers to maintain riders updated with the most recent gravel software program enhancements. 

Must you purchase it?

Sure. If the $6,999 price ticket on the eTap mannequin is a bit an excessive amount of, it’s best to positively take a look at the usual Grail:ON CF8 mannequin. The CF8 has mechanical shifting and barely cheaper DT Swiss wheels, however in any other case has the identical advantages of huge tires and body design for $5,799.

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