The Canyon Grail:ON represents the subsequent huge factor in biking: gravel e-bikes. And this new wave will go well with a number of riders, whether or not you’re commuting to work or heading out to discover.
As the talk over entry versus affect on trails wears on, mountain e-bikes proceed to battle for acceptance within the U.S. In the meantime, hearth roads, filth roads, and paved roads stay honest recreation. And that’s the terrain that Canyon’s single-chainring, Bosch Efficiency-powered Grail:ON electrical gravel bike was made for.
Canyon says that “e-gravel” is about utilizing the additional energy of a motor so as to add a brand new dimension to on a regular basis rides, that it lets commuters and metropolis cyclists get the place they’re going quicker. However it additionally provides them oomph sufficient to get away with an off-grid journey in a matter of hours, not days.
In brief: The Grail:ON represents a brand new class of bikes, gravel e-bikes, that skip forwards and backwards throughout the fun-functional line. They work simply as effectively for an assisted escape into the woods as for commuting or working errands.
The bike was a pleasure to journey, with and with out the pedal help turned on. For gravel, a prime help degree of 20 mph was typically ok. However once we popped out onto hardpacked or paved surfaces, we wished for extra juice. It’s a motorbike that may shock and delight any rider, and assist those that wish to discover attain past their perceived limits.
Canyon Grail:ON Gravel E-Bike Stability & Traction
A sister bike to Canyon’s race-y double-decker handlebar Grail, the Grail:ON has a number of the similar signature options: the Hover bar and shock-absorbing leaf spring seatpost, for instance. However the geometry of the 2 bikes is totally different.
The carbon fiber Grail:ON has an extended wheelbase than the unique Grail, with 50mm Schwalbe G-One Chew tires for traction on uneven terrain, particularly when your bike is heavier and your journey receives a motor enhance.
Plus, the Grail:ON’s tires are 10 mm wider than its non-motorized cousin. And the nonetheless comparatively mild carbon body is critically beefed up. In some locations, the body’s wall thickness exceeds four mm, which is extra what you’ll anticipate to see on a downhill bike.
The bike’s DT Swiss HG sequence wheels are particularly designed and constructed for e-gravel, with stainless-steel spokes and steel-reinforced hubs that face up to the motor’s torque. Hydraulic disc brakes use 160mm rotors within the entrance however will be retrofitted with an adapter to suit 180mm rotors for much more braking energy.
Bosch’s CX Gen4 drive system provides up even energy, with 85 Nm of torque that provides riders as much as 340% help over their very own muscle. That help proves delightfully punchy, which makes for an addictive “just-one-more-burst” using expertise.
Canyon & Bosch: Highly effective Mixture
Johannes Gabel, lead engineer for the Grail:ON Undertaking, stated that Canyon labored with Bosch to adapt its eMTB system to be simply as highly effective but in addition present a really feel extra in line with gravel biking.
The help curves are usually not as progressive, and in some modes they’re linear. Greater energy modes really feel much like what a rider would expertise on an eMTB, and the decrease modes have noticeably much less surge.
“With no suspension, we wished to keep away from the acceleration feeling too sharp if you’re pedaling on a fireplace highway or commuting on this bike,” Gabel informed me.
Truthfully, I felt a bit responsible as I scooted alongside mellow climbs and up steep, punchy tracks, even once I wasn’t passing different riders. And I couldn’t wipe the smile off my face once I cruised by means of the Vermont countryside. In actual fact, this bike inspired me to take the great distance.
Realizing I had the additional energy of the motor and battery behind me impressed me to discover all of the aspect routes on one journey, a few of which I’d been for years however had by no means made the time to pedal.
Canyon’s Grail:ON Driving Modes for Each Want
The Grail:ON has 4 using modes. In all, the extra you set in, the extra you’ll get out. The 2 highest help settings, Turbo and Sport, serve up huge helpings of energy at greater cadences. In the meantime, the 2 decrease settings are cadence-neutral, with constant help at any cadence.
More often than not once I wished help, I opted for Turbo mode. This received me the place I wished to go as shortly as attainable. I additionally discovered myself turning off the motor for lengthy stretches. The 32-pound bike was not merely manageable, it was tremendous enjoyable to journey with out help.
After I hit a hill, I’d energy it up with a fast click on of my thumb on the double-decker bar-mounted distant, and away I’d go. For standing and climbing, Tour and Sport modes labored higher — and I not often used Eco. As a robust bike owner, I most popular to drive the bike with my very own energy, although this mode could possibly be helpful for somebody who’s both utilizing this bike to construct health or isn’t an on a regular basis rider.
Consolation & Management
With seven body sizes (2XS to 2XL), riders from 5’1” to six’5” ought to match this bike. As a 5’7” rider, I used to be on a dimension small; often, I journey a 52-54cm body. Small, XS, and 2XS roll-on 650b wheels to take care of nimble dealing with and correct geometry. The Grail:ON’s extra relaxed and upright using place additional will increase consolation.
In comparison with the unique Grail, which has a race-y really feel, the Grail:ON has a considerably longer wheelbase, which makes the bike extra steady. The tires are the identical width as an XC MTB tire, with extra gravel-appropriate tread that was enjoyable, not sluggish, on pavement.
On the bike, I used to be in a extra upright and relaxed place than I used to be on the Grail. I had good management, and it was straightforward to maintain my eyes on the highway or path earlier than me.
Canyon positioned the motor low, which supplies the bike a planted really feel on quick descents and added traction on steep climbs. The longer wheelbase additionally provides the Grail:ON extra tire clearance with no toe overlap. And longer seat stays additionally enhance stability.
Impressed by mountain bike geometry and kinematics, the bike makes use of a brief stem and huge bars, making the steering fast and serving to you retain the bike beneath management.
The Grail:ON is modern. Canyon opted to incorporate fender mounts, however the model didn’t embrace bag braze-ons or fork waterbottle mounts. Most gravel riders received’t do a multiday journey on this bike, although in Europe the infrastructure for that sort of journey is rising.
However prime tube mounts, or additional fork mounts, would encourage riders to dream about huge journeys. And fairly frankly, it’s nice to have a bolt-on prime tube bag for rides of any size.
Canyon’s Grail:ON Class 1 Ferrari
The bike has a spread of as much as 68 miles in Sport mode from the 500wH battery and most motor help as much as 20 mph — the authorized restrict for sophistication 1 e-bikes within the U.S., in response to Canyon.
If it’s hilly, chilly, otherwise you select a extra highly effective mode, anticipate much less distance from the battery. Sure, you possibly can convey an additional, however that’s a cumbersome prospect. And recharging the battery takes about eight hours. Bosch doesn’t supply a spread extender, and Canyon specced the most important battery it may match within the body throughout its line of seven sizes.
That brings us to our solely gripe with this bike. It’s a category 1 as an alternative of a category three, which suggests its max help velocity is just below 20 mph. That felt too gradual. Matthew Leake, Canyon’s highway and model advertising supervisor, informed me that the Bosch motor and battery within the Grail:ON is like having a Ferrari engine in a Mini Cooper. He was spot-on.
Energy is on the forefront of the using expertise, and I wished that energy sooner. As a result of this bike is heavier than a non-electric highway or gravel bike, and since the middle of gravity is so low, I regularly discovered myself going over 30 mph on descents over clean surfaces.
However when the highway began to climb once more and I dropped sufficient velocity for the help to have interaction, I kinda felt like I misplaced my circulation. So I simply hammered to maintain the momentum I had.
‘E-Gravel’ on the Rise
E-gravel is clearly an rising class. Simply look past Canyon’s entrance into the electrical gravel market. Niner Bikes, which has 4 gravel fashions, stated that the recognition of gravel using has continued to surge, and its RLT (“highway much less traveled”) sequence has turn out to be some of the in style traces in its historical past.
“There’s the same surge of curiosity in e-bikes occurring proper now,” Zach Vestal, Niner advertising supervisor, informed me. “New riders are adopting e-bikes in report numbers. And the stigma of pedal-assist bikes amongst elite and fanatic cyclists is fading. E-bikes won’t ever exchange pedal bikes, however they’ve an plain place within the pantheon of pedal-powered, two-wheeled expertise.”
In the meantime, John Cordoba, Specialised highway and gravel product supervisor, took it a step additional: “As gravel is rising, we see e-gravel with much more potential to convey new riders in. Within the U.S., there’s a bigger acceptance for drop-bar e-road and gravel bikes, so it’s positively a wider vary of riders right here which might be shopping for the bike for commuting and gravel using.”
Because the onset of COVID-19, e-bikes have seen an unprecedented surge. With public transit and ride-sharing off limits or severely restricted, Vestal stated that the crucial for e-bikes as a mode of transportation, not simply recreation, is extra pressing than ever.
In accordance with the newest NPD numbers, Electrical bike gross sales have been up 84% in March, 92% in April, and 137% in Might within the U.S.
“We’re excited to see what occurs,” Leake stated. ”A number of how you employ this bike will come all the way down to the place you reside. It’s a flexible commuter through the week that additionally maximizes enjoyable if you wish to escape into nature. It’s a nascent class.”
Canyon Grail:ON U.S. Fashions
Grail:ON CF eight: $5,799
Grail:ON CF eight eTap: $6,999