Canyon Torque: ON CF // e-Freeride enters the chat!
Have you heard that e-Freeride is officially now a thing? Enter the all-new Canyon Torque: ON! Ever since it was introduced into Canyon’s line-up several seasons ago the Torque model has always been a big-hitting brute of a bike ready to hit anything in its way. When they announced the original Torque: ON alloy model it was without a doubt a tank ready to smash over the worst terrain in the world.
Now we have the all-new carbon Torque: ON CF, a machine ready to subdue any wild terrain with finesse and style if required but, if the pilot wants to party, it can do that too.
Unlike some of the newer superlight e-Bikes, at first glance you can immediately spot that this bad boy is indeed an e-Bike thanks to its chunky down tube and large BB area. With the shock position parallel to the down tube, staunch tubing and a new linkage style, it’s not surprising this bike is stiffer than its elders as well. The bike weighs in at a stout 23.9kg (medium with a 720wh battery), Canyon says they managed to increase front triangle stiffness by 7% and rear triangle stiffness by a whopping 25%. When you are whipping off massive lips, squaring off corners and swinging off the back in the steep stuff, you are going to want that extra stiffness.
Canyon engineers also went out of their way to design smaller 720wh and 900wh batteries so that when they are mated to the lower-slung motor, the centre of gravity is as low as possible. This will enhance stability without reducing agility and thanks to the big batteries you can take advantage of this balance for hours.
Shimano’s latest EP8 motor powers this beast up the hills with 85 nm of smoothly delivered torque (see what we did there?).The EP8 is an esteemed motor often praised for its reliability and intuitive user interface. By rotating the motor 60 degrees Canyon has managed to decrease the chances of it getting hit in the rough stuff, allow easy battery installation and keep the weight low. It is a bit sad to see Canyon have not spec’d the bike with any Di2 options to allow auto shifting or freeshift abilities.
Just like the bouncers at Summernats, the engineers were strictly told “mullets only” so riders can take advantage of the extra room to party off the back while the 29-inch wheel provides extra grip for the business upfront. I know we keep repeating it but, this bike is designed for maximum fun for the most amount of time.
When you start to dig into the numbers you discover this is a big bike. The wheelbase ranges from 1247mm on a small to a colossal 1334mm on an XL. To keep riders balanced in the centre of the bike all models come with a 445mm chain stay. We assume that they ignored size chainstays to retain snappy riding throughout the range. The reach on a medium is 475mm which keeps riders pretty much bang on in the centre of the bike. One quirky thing is the stack only grows 9mm per size and bikes only have 20mm of spacers, so we expect to see some tall bars swapped out on bigger sizes.
That isn’t the only quirky thing on the Canyon: ON CF, there is the proprietary drink bottle. Yep, it is 2023 and we are talking about drink bottles on bikes! There was one standard that had never really been messed with, drink bottle attachments and spacing. We guess it had to happen at some point. Due to the new suspension linkage and the shock position there wasn’t any room left in the front triangle. It turns out that the Canyon engineers are human and need water when they ride their bikes.
Taking more inspiration from the moto world they have created a 650ml drink bottle that sits on the down tube, just behind the head tube and it slots through the top tube, just like a moto fuel tank.
One thing every Canyon has is supreme frame protection and they are a dream to work on. By working with their world mechanics they can pinpoint where the most common damage occurs and prevent it effectively. By using replaceable threaded eyelets throughout the suspension linkages, extra bearing seals and proprietary grease in the bearings, the Canyon: ON CF is ready to be beaten on for many seasons to come.
The best thing about this bike? It won’t break your wallet. For $10,100 you get a bike ready to shred the gnarliest bike parks, scree slopes or send huge drops for years to come. The Ken Roczen model looks wild in Honda red and has top-level componentry for a smidge under $15k. We won’t be surprised if we see these popping up at trail centres all over Australia shortly.