Canyon Grail:ON overview: Rule roads and switch heads

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

Construct High quality & Design

High quality elements

Highly effective Motor

Pleasing on-road or off

Over the previous couple of years, the gravel neighborhood has solidified a biking tradition that refuses to be burdened with the unwritten guidelines of highway 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 neighborhood of their very own, are extra broadly 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 which will take difficulty with each of these statements, e-bikes and gravel bikes are right here to remain. I welcome the corporate. 

So, it is smart that Canyon launched the Grail:ON, its first entry into the U.S. e-bike market. If you happen to’re not acquainted with Canyon, you ought to be. It makes superb bikes which might be usually the perfect high-end bang to your buck as a result of the corporate operates by way of a direct-to-consumer mannequin. This implies you gained’t see new Canyons at your native bike store, however don’t fear. An unbelievable 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 adjustments than simply slapping a motor and battery on and calling it good. And whereas a motorcycle’s geometry definitely isn’t the sexiest subject to get into, with the Grail:ON, it’s value mentioning. Canyon took into consideration what throwing a bunch of additional weight and energy onto a motorcycle would do, and so they 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 adjustments translate into an e-bike that’s way 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. 

Exterior of the body and motor, essentially the most important visible distinction from different bikes is the Grail:ONs double-decker handlebar. This multilevel drop bar seems half hammerhead shark and half medieval weaponry. Whereas it’d look insane, the end result 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 high bar nearer to the rider. Meaning a extra relaxed and comfy using place. Pulling double responsibility, the highest bar additionally helps dampen highway vibration when issues get bumpy. I can attest that I used to be fairly skeptical of those claims, however discovered myself spending increasingly time on high 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. Once I pulled the Grail:ON from its field, my first thought was that these items had been method 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 capable of experience at solely 30 psi. This implies a great deal of traction and further suspension to take in bumps, in addition to extra rolling resistance.

If all you’ll be using is unfastened gravel, this isn’t a problem, however should you’re like me and experience 80% paved roads with little bits of gravel blended 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 ability for the Grail:ON stops at 20 mph, the tires and further weight had been balancing themselves fairly properly.

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 tougher than normal, 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 front room had been coming into their very own out in the true world — I used to be thrilled to have the additional rubber to work with. 

Battery and motor

The perpetrator 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 could actually throw down as much as 85Nm of torque, which is just below 63 pound-feet or about what an 800cc bike has.

In contrast to bikes, the Grail:ON has no throttle — it’s a pedelec, or pedal-assist. Which means that once you begin pedaling, the motor kicks in and provides you help based mostly in your cadence, drive exerted, and total velocity. The ability 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.

All modes are restricted to 20 mph within the U.S. and are chosen through the easy but efficient Bosch display screen that offers you data in your present velocity, vary, energy mode, and battery life. You may, 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 little bit further exercise.

I haven’t been a giant fan of Bosch motors up to now, 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 out there. My solely gripe with the Bosch system is the show. It exhibits every little thing it must regarding the motor, however I’m positively wanting ahead to the day after I don’t must even have my devoted bike pc on board for GPS and monitoring my exercises. 

With regards to vary for the Grail:ON, Canyon estimates 210-pound rider will get just below 70 miles of vary. E-bike vary is tough to quantify because of all of the variables in play, however I used to be shocked 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 little bit extra bearable.

A ravishing experience

Additionally serving to with the recharge downtime is how good the Grail:ON seems simply sitting there. It screams, “I’m completely different!” rather more than it does “I’m an e-bike!” and that is definitely appreciated. Whether or not it’s the super-clean inner 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. Nevertheless it’s actually the mix of standout components and items that carry the entire bundle collectively. 

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

The seat put up is one other Canyon specialty that’s value 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 a few of the smartest design expertise out there to the biking neighborhood at present.

Talking of expertise, I used the prime 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 related to the bike as a complete.

Which means that 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 positive. 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 components and elements, with a two-year guarantee on all e-bike components, together with the Bosch motor and battery.

Our take

The Grail:ON is a high 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 every little thing I’d anticipate from a world-class builder like Canyon. And with the Grail:ON successful 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 $four,200 as a extra inexpensive possibility.

How lengthy will it final?

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

Do you have to 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 have 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 massive tires and body design for $5,799.

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