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by Iain Treloar
September 1, 2020
The world’s getting back on board with bikes. Governments, individuals, and corporations are beginning to see the health, environmental, and economic savings possible from the bicycle, and bike brands like Canyon are working to develop machines that will integrate into a more bike-friendly future.
Available now, Canyon has announced two new e-bike models that feature slick integration of lights, mudguards, and racks. Available sometime in the future, maybe, is what Canyon calls the Future Mobility Concept, which is a four-wheeled, fully-enclosed capsule that can flit back and forth between the road and the bike path.
We’ll get to the real-world bikes shortly, but for now, let’s talk about that wild concept vehicle. Canyon’s concept, which is essentially a velomobile – an enclosed recumbent – looks a bit like a tiny car, with a width of 83 cm and a height of 110 cm. The capsule encloses around the occupant, with a sliding roof that can keep elements out entirely, or open up to provide a breezy air-in-the-hair sensation. There’s even a seat for a child behind the driver/rider, or space for luggage.
Steering would be controlled by two joysticks on the side of the legs, while the vehicle would be powered by electrically-assisted pedal power. Canyon estimates a range between charges of around 150 km.
Canyon’s concept vehicle integrates heavily into your smartphone for security and “all the main functions”.
It’s Canyon’s answer to the urban mobility problem of how to overcome traffic and weather – it “gives daily commuters an alternative to sitting in traffic while presenting cyclists with an alternative to riding in poor weather,” Canyon says. “The vehicle bridges the gap between car and bike.”
Canyon has created a physical version of the concept, which will be exhibited at the company’s Koblenz showroom, although it’s not commercially available. It does, however, foreshadow a growing interest in the commuter market from Canyon. “We firmly believe that the future of our cities lies with new, clean forms of mobility,” Canyon says.
“We are re-orienting ourselves in the area of city and trekking bikes, and we will focus strongly on urban mobility in a broader sense in the future. In the coming years we will launch more urban bicycle solutions, but the implementation of other concepts like this will also be intensified. The concept gives us a vision that we want to work towards – quickly.”
In the here and now, Canyon has also announced two new e-bike models, the Commuter:ON and the Precede:ON. Both feature urban-friendly features like built-in lights and fenders and carrying capacity, although different frames and spec differentiates them.
The Precede:ON 9 is the headliner, labelled by Canyon as “the bike of the future”. It rolls on 27.5″ wheels, features a carbon fibre frame with an integrated Bosch motor and battery, and runs a Gates belt drive.
The Precede:ON 9…
… and its step-through variant. Both models are considered unisex, although the step-through has a slightly smaller size range.
There’s also what looks like a fascinating automatic shifting system from Enviolo. Enviolo produces continuously variable gearing, which may sound familiar under the brand-name NuVinci. Well, NuVinci’s had a rebrand! While the company’s old hub gearing products were operated with a gripshift, the Enviolo Automatic works off a preferred cadence set by the rider, adapting the gearing to suit automatically.
For those chasing a more conventional derailleur system, the Precede:ON 8 uses Shimano’s 1×12 XT drivetrain.
Both models feature an integrated cockpit with a Bosch display, hidden cabling and hoses, Supernova lights, aluminium fenders and a kickstand, and both are available in a conventional or step-through frame. The Precede:ON 8 is available immediately for €4,299 / GBP3,999 / US$NA / AU$NA, and the Precede:ON 9 for €4,999 / GBP4,699 / US$NA / AU$NA.
There is significant integration at the front end of the Precede:ON, including brakes developed specifically for this bike with TRP. They look to be set a bit inboard, but that may be a trick of the angle.
The Commuter:ON 7 (€3,299 / GBP3,099 / US$NA / AU$NA) is an aluminium-framed e-bike which will be available from spring 2021. It borrows a couple of neat tricks from the Precede:ON, such as the inclusion of lights and fenders, but has a more conventional parts list – rather than a belt drive, the Commuter:ON runs a wide-ranged 1×12 Shimano XT cassette and rear derailleur.
The Commuter:On 7 comes in four sizes, small to extra large.
The 252 wh battery of the Commuter:ON is integrated into the down tube, and is removed for charging. Canyon says it will also supply a cover so that, with the battery removed, the down tube cavity can be used as storage and the bike ridden as a conventional bike.
It will use a Fazua Evation mid-drive motor, and weigh in at 17 kg (less 3.3 kg if you ditch the battery). The Commuter:ON will also be made available in a lower step-through (WMN) version.
The Commuter:ON WMN.