Canyon drops in with their first full-on e-enduro ebike – this all-new carbon Strive:ON CFR. Developed from scratch around the eEWS-dominating Bosch powertrain, the new Canyon Strive:ON is race-ready for the UCI World Cup EDR-E electric enduro series. Featuring a tough but light carbon frame inspired by the success of Canyon’s recent Spectral:ON eMTB, this new enduro-racing ebike is designed to fly fast down the most demanding timed stages in mountain biking, then zoom back up the ascents, with super fast pit crew battery swaps along the way.
c. Canyon, all photos by Boris Beyer
More than just an electrified version of Canyon’s already-successful Strive enduro race bike, the Strive:ON combines the best characteristics of the conventional enduro bike with more eMTB-specific lessons refined by the Canyon team aboard their all-mountain Spectral:ON and freeride Torque:ON ebikes.
The result is 160mm of progressive rear wheel travel paired to 170mm forks (just like the regular Strive) but with geometry more suited to the always-on-pedaling nature of racing eMTBs through extremely technical terrain and a ride feel that maintains handling stiffness while not beating the rider up. After all, even though the timed enduro stages are each relatively short, enduro racing means long, big days in the saddle – think 4hrs+ and 3000m of climbing, plus some back-to-back racing days.
MTB legend Fabien Barel – who rode the regular Strive to its first EWS win back in 2013 – explained to us how developing the new enduro ebike was about careful balance. A gravity bike’s capabilities on the downhills, a more nimble enduro bike feel and higher ride for smashing technical rock gardens, and a forward position over the front of the bike to maintain control on the technical timed uphill race sections.
The carbon Strive:ON is literally molded around the Bosch Performance Line CX motor platform, and specifically the ability to run the extended power CX Race motors that delivers a peak output of 600W, quick pedal response, and the sustained torque output that gives e-enduro racers support for longer than most other motors after they stop pedaling.
In either the CX or CX Race motor versions, riders can pick from either the lighter 625Wh or longer-running 750Wh Bosch Powertube internal battery that can be quickly swapped out in a race for extended range.
All controlled with the simple LED remote in the toptube and no external display.
Strive:ON Enduro Race Geometry
Beyond that Bosch CX Race motor, enduro race-ready geometry was probably the biggest driving factor in creating the Strive:ON.
At first glance, it seemed that the most-apt geometry comparison might have been the Spectral:ON CFR (which has 155mm rear/150mm fork travel) because of the evolved similarities between the regular Strive & Spectral. But this new Strive:ON is much more a speed & gravity-oriented ebike than an all-mountain one. And befitting of such, it takes a longer and slacker approach, while sticking with a 29″ front / 27.5″ rear mullet wheel setup. In fact, we can’t really compare it to the old aluminum Torque:ON bikepark ebike either, as that gets a major upgrade to match this enduro ebike today, too.
What that means is a gravity slack 63.5° headtube angle, a full 1.5cm longer in Reach than the Spectral:ON or the alloy Torque:ON (now up to 500mm for a Large), longer 445mm chainstays for a bit more stability, and just 25mm of bottom bracket drop to help clear obstacles and technical trails. Plus, it gets an incredibly steep 78° seat tube angle, as getting rider weight forward for timed stage technical climbs is critical to being able to maintain front wheel grip and to limit spinning out the rear wheel. And that more forward position is key while climbing to balance the overall slower handling of the ebike’s additional weight.
eEnduro Tech Details
From a technical side, I was a bit surprised that the e-Strive does NOT include the ShapeShifter geometry-altering tech that makes the regular Strive unique. In fact, with e-enduro racing including uphill timed sections, a Strive:ON with a ShapeShifter could be especially beneficial. But within the more constrained space inside the main triangle between the motor, battery, and toptube low enough for adequate standover – there simply wasn’t enough space to fit the existing system in.
So Canyon stuck with a four-bar suspension layout more like their latest Spectrals, tweaked with higher anti-squat, more mid-stroke support to help pedal above the 25kph pedal-assist limiter, and driving a horizontal shock into the oversized downtube, with space for piggyback air or coil shocks.
The new Strive:ON come in 3 enduro-ready builds in 4 stock sizes, all sharing the same top-spec CFR full carbon frameset – Category 5 tested and certified to the same standards as a downhill racing bike. Switching to the same shock layout as the rest of Canyon’s ebikes, also means there’s room in the main triangle in all sizes from S-XL both for a water bottle cage and a 2-bolt direct mount tool bag that can fit under the toptube.
More than just putting a bash guard under the motor, the Strive:ON frame features an off-road motorcycle-inspired skid plate. Mounted to the motor itself, it’s designed to slide up and over obstacles instead of getting hung up, while of course also protecting the motor and the easy access to the bottom of the battery for quick battery swaps.
I’ll go into more detail about riding the new Strive:ON later, but our first impressions are that this is definitely an ebike that can push you to be a faster racer. Matching ebike race-tuned geometry, plenty of travel, a strong Bosch powertrain, and solid suspension – the Strive:ON is capable and predictable.
Whether you are looking for the all-out uphill speed that you can get from the CX Race motor for the Power Stages, or simply confident control for bombing the most technical descents – the Strive:ON will not disappoint.
Does every mountain biker need an enduro bike, no. Does every ebiker need a UCI EDR-E-ready enduro ebike, a solid also no. But strong technical riders and racers looking to push it to the next level will find a capable e-enduro platform in the new Strive:ON.
2023 Canyon Strive:ON CFR – Pricing, options & availability
2023 Canyon Strive:ON CFR Underdog
The all-new Strive:ON enduro ebike comes in two models with the standard Bosch Performance Line CX motor. The Canyon Strive:ON CFR Underdog is the most affordable from 5800€ with the smaller 625Wh battery, Fox Rhythm suspension, and Deore drivetrain.
The Strive:ON CFR starts at 7000€ with the smaller battery, and an upgrade to Fox Performance Elite suspension and an XT groupset. Both add on 200€ more to upgrade to the bigger 750Wh Powertube battery.
As of now, only this Strive:ON CFR model will be available in the USA< starting in September 2023.
The flagship of the range though is the limited edition Strive:ON CFR LTD with special Fabien Barel team graphics, a SRAM X0 Eagle AXS transmission, RockShox Zeb/Super Deluxe Ultimate suspension, and the Bosch Performance Line CX Race motor that is 150g lighter, while ramping up pedal assist from 340% to 400% and adding that extended power delivery overrun Race Mode. Get the LTD for 9500€ with the 625Wh battery, or 9700€ with the big 750Wh battery.