Canyon have cranked up the power on their groundbreaking Grail gravel bike, with the launch of the all new Grail:ON. The Grail:ON features the innovative double-decking handlebars that first appeared on the standard Grail, with a remote for the Bosch motor system placed conveniently at your fingertips on the lower deck... add chunky 50mm tyres, a quality carbon frame and a sub-16kg weight on the flagship CF 8 eTap model, and the Grail:ON looks like the ideal machine for conquering gravel tracks, paths and tarmac alike.
So, it's just the Grail with a motor added on then? Not at all, as the Grail:ON has been completely reworked from the original Grail with specific geometry and features to meet the demands of e-gravel, arguably cycling's newest genre. The wheelbase is longer and you also get super wide 50mm tyres to provide you with all the extra stability you'll need when adding the powerful Bosch Performance Line CX Gen4 drive system into the equation. The stack-to-reach ratio has been increased to make the riding position a little more upright, reducing pressure on your back and shoulders for longer days in the saddle. You also get wheels courtesy of DT Swiss that are designed specifically to meet the demands of e-gravel.
At the lower or higher end of the bike size charts? You don't have to worry with the Grail:ON, as the range of sizing is huge with seven in total, from 2XS up to 2XL to accommodate all shapes and sizes.
If you don't have many gravel routes to ride in your locale, would the Grail:ON over Canyon's existing Endurace:ON e-road bike be a wise choice? Canyon say: "The Grail:ON is designed for all-terrain riding, whereas the Endurace:ON is optimised for maximum performance on the asphalt. In terms of riding position, the Grail:ON is more relaxed, whereas the Endurace is slightly more performance focused.
"The Grail:ON also features a high-torque Bosch motor that provides the extra power needed to surge up the short, sharp climbs that are a typical feature of gravel riding. Conversely, the Endurace:ON’s low-torque Fazua motor provides more smooth background power, which puts the rider’s own physical performance at the forefront and avoids high-torque surges for a natural feel. And the Grail:ON features chunky 50 mm off-road tyres and e-gravel specific rims, whereas the Endurace:ON’s e-road-specific 32 mm slick tyres roll much faster on tarmac."
So if you're someone who likes more relaxed days out and more power from your motor for the toughest terrain, then the Grail:ON is the one for you!
The punchy Bosch Performance Line CX Gen4 motor system usually appears on electric mountain bikes, but Canyon have opted to spec it on the Grail:ON so you can use the huge 85 Nm of torque to get up steep off-road tracks and uneven terrain. Choose from the Eco, Tour, Sport, and Turbo modes for smooth, sustained support in Eco right up to a surging boost in Turbo to get up the steepest climbs.
The 500Wh battery will give you plenty of range for long days out, and it's tidily integrated low into the frame to further lower the rider's centre of gravity; this should help you feel more balanced and planted. Canyon say that the extra mass of the motor and battery could actually make for better handling, something we're all for on bumpy descents.
Another very neat feature - and one that is completely unique to the Grail:ON - is the placement of the remote on the bottom deck of the cockpit. This means operation couldn't be easier or more ergonomic, with the buttons perfectly placed for your left thumb to toggle between the four power modes.
And what of those radical handlebars? Well the logic goes that a standard handlebar flexes the least in areas closest to the stem, and is flexier on the drops... but the double decking bars on the Grail:ON flips that around, giving you a super compliant top deck and extra stiffness in the drops. Canyon have also opted for a shorter stem and wider bars (75mm and 440mm in a size medium respectively) to counterbalance the longer wheelbase for even more agility.
For the drivetrain, Canyon have specced 1x systems on all models so shifting the front mech is one less thing to worry about. Schwalbe G-One Bite 50 mm tyres feature on all models too, and thanks to the super generous tyre clearance there is also plenty of room for mudguards. Powerful hydraulic disc brakes with 160mm rotors front and rear will provide plenty of stopping power, and the carbon frame is finished off with sleek internal cable routing to keep things tidy. There are even custom mudguards specifically for the Grail:ON, that are easy to fit and designed to stop the front guard from brushing against the rider's foot, couple with Plus-Size toe clearance.
While the Grail:ON is primarily built to excel on gravel and uneven off-road terrain, its credentials also make it the ideal do-everything bike. Wide 1x gearing, tough tyres, plenty of mounting points and super comfortable geometry make it perfect for commuting and general riding year-round. It's also impressively light, weighing just 15.9kg on the flagship CF 8 eTap model and 17.1kg on the CF 7.0.
We'll be getting our hands on the Grail:ON for a full review very soon. If you're already sold and want to make it your own, then Canyon are offering four models initially. There are two versions of the Grail:ON CF 7 (£4,999) - one unisex and a WMN version with women-specific contact points - plus the Grail:ON CF 8 (£5,299), and the flagship Grail:ON CF 8 eTap (£5,999) with SRAM Force AXS eTap 12-speed shifting, carbon wheels and a weight of just 15.9kg for a size medium.
Is the Grail:ON the perfect do-it-all gravel machine for you? Find out more and see your buying options on Canyon's website.