The new Canyon Strive:ON joins the electric revolution, designed specifically for the rigours of the EDR-E electric enduro race World Series.

With the rise of EDR-E, the electric Enduro racing discipline, comes the requirement for an e-bike that’s light, efficient, agile, race-ready and can climb as well as it descends. Enter the new Canyon Strive:ON, the latest bike to join Canyon’s eMTB fleet, powered by the new Bosch CX Race drive unit and built to handle the most technical of tracks.

Want to get straight to the good stuff? Read our first ride review of the Canyon Strive:ON to check out mbr editor Danny’s first impressions of this e-enduro beast.

Need to know:

  • Designed for e-enduro racing
  • High-grade carbon CFR frame
  • Powered by the new Bosch CX Race drive unit with either 750Wh or 625Wh battery
  • 170mm front, 160mm rear
  • Mixed wheel only
  • Adjusted geometry blends features from Strive and Spectral elements
  • Three build options
  • Durable frame design and plenty of integrated frame protection

Canyon Strive:ON

If the answer is the Strive:ON, the question was ‘what do you get if you blend elements of the Strive and Spectral analogue bikes, motocross bikes, and the Canyon Sender downhill bike’. While the resulting bike offers a surprisingly similar ride to the non-electric Strive (according to Canyon) – a bike which has won stages of the Enduro World Series since its launch back in 2014 – to get there, a complete redesign had to happen.

Canyon Strive:ON CFR LTD

The range-topping Canyon Strive:ON CFR LTD

Frame design

Since this bike is aimed at racing, and racing in a discipline where light weight and efficiency are critical, the new Strive:ON comes in Canyon’s highest-quality CFR (Canyon Factory Racing) carbon. This offers the best strength-to-weight ratio, and has been further optimised to ensure strength where it’s most needed and shave weight where possible. Canyon has stated that there are no plans for a CF carbon or aluminium version, the latter because it just wouldn’t be able to get it light enough. Canyon also says it has built in greater compliance in the rear triangle to help reduce rider fatigue.

In fact, a size medium frame weighs in at a reported 2.45kg, while the Torque:ON CF (which also gets an update) comes in at 3.4kg. However frame weight is only part of the picture, and in fact this lighter comparable weight is mostly just to off-set the higher comparable weight of the Bosch CX Race motor on the Strive:ON over the Shimano EP8. In the end, Canyon says, both bikes weigh about the same as each other.

Canyon Strive:ON geometry chart

Canyon Strive:ON geometry chart

Like any equation, if you change one element and want the end result to come out the same (or thereabouts), you need to change the other elements to compensate. Add a motor, battery and the associated engineering pressures to a frame design, and to get the same handling, geometry has to change. That’s why compared to the analogue Strive, the Strive:ON has a slightly steeper 63.5 degree head tube angle, a steep 78 degree seat tube angle and a 7mm higher bottom bracket.

Canyon Strive:ON advertorial

Another benefit to adding a weighty motor and battery is increased stability when the system is mounted low in the frame as it is here. But increased stability can come at the expense of agility.

So in addition to the aforementioned geometry elements which help off-set this, and to take into account the fact that EDR-E competitors will be racing uphill as well as downhill on the infamous technical Power Stages, the chainstays have been lengthened by 10mm to 445mm. This, plus the higher bottom bracket, should help the Strive:ON clear the roughest of rough terrain.

Mullet all the way

Mixed-wheel haters look away now, because the new Strive:ON comes with a mullet set up, and only as a mullet. Canyon explains this is both to help reduce overall bike weight, and also to counteract the sluggishness that can come with heavier weight and greater stability.

Mullet mixed wheels on Canyon Strive:ON electric mountain bike

The Canyon Strive:ON runs 29er wheels front, 27.5 rear

What’s more, due to the frame design there isn’t an option to run 29er wheels front and rear; it’s mullet all the way.

Another feature keen-eyed Strive fans might spot by its absence is the Shapeshifter. For anyone who hadn’t encountered this, it was essentially on-the-go geometry adjustment, operated by a switch on the cockpit. Canyon is up-front about the fact that with the motor and battery, there just isn’t room for that system on this bike, especially coupled with the fact that there was a need for a water bottle mount and top tube storage. Instead, as explained above, Canyon has blended elements of the geometry Shapeshifter provided, like the climb-ready 78 degree seat tube angle (AKA Pedal Mode on the Shapeshifter).

Power it up

When we covered the new Bosch CX Race motor back in autumn 2022, we were excited by many of the features the system boasted. This included Race Mode, which offers 400% support plus kicks in faster than its CX sibling.

Canyon Strive:ON advertorial

And then there’s the overrun. Most motor systems have this, where the motor will continue providing a little power to the system once pedalling has stopped, and it helps counteract the more rapid deceleration e-bikes have due to their heavier overall system weight. With the Bosch CX Race, this overrun lasts longer and is noticeably stronger, and can be initiated with just a partial turn of the cranks. This makes it easier to generate enough momentum quickly enough and for long enough to negotiate particularly technical trail features and sections.

The CX Race is also 150g lighter than the standard CX. However, this motor is super-strictly limited, destined for only the range topping race machines in each brand’s lineup, and as such will only come on the Canyon Strive:ON CFR Ltd.

However, the other Strive:ON models still come with the well-regarded Bosch CX motor, which offers 600 Watts of peak power and 85Nm of maximum torque, and will provide power up to 120 rpm.

Both systems have integrated controls built into the top tube, and modes and multiple elements can be adapted to personal preference using the Bosch Flow App. The system now also has a compact handlebar-mounted remote – the Bluetooth Mini Remote – which offers mode selection, and can also be used to control an optional linked display and lights.

Battery options Canyon Strive:ON

There are two batteries for the Canyon Strive:ON; the smaller 625Wh and the 750Wh

The other important part of any electric bike system is the battery, and the Strive:ON has the option to take either a 625Wh battery (which comes as standard) or a beefier 750Wh battery (available for an 200 euro) which offers greater capacity for a longer run time, but with a weight penalty. Numerically, the 625Wh battery is 700g lighter than the 750Wh, but has 20% less estimated range.

Battery change on the Canyon Strive:ON

The bike is designed to allow quick and easy battery changes

Designed to be quick to change, the idea here is that racers can choose between light weight, in events where battery changes are allowed, and therefore getting a more efficient, manoeuvrable system, or a bigger battery with more capacity for events where battery changes are prohibited.

Both batteries are available aftermarket for riders looking for add options or range, as is the spacer which ensures the smaller 625Wh battery fits snugly in the frame.

Stay protected

Racing is rough on a bike, and EDR-E and other electric enduro events are particularly rough. To improve durability, the frame has been built to withstand the increased forces and stresses that come hand-in-hand with eMTB racing. The bike has also been built with sealed bearings and thread inserts, to help protect thread damage on all major pivot points, while pivot bearings have market-leading double sealed protection and grease fill.

Canyon Strive:ON advertorial

Added protection provided in motocross skid plate style

Physical protection takes inspiration from motocross racing, where the sound of rocks hitting and grinding across the belly of the bike is a familiar sound. A strong protection plate, similar to the skid plates seen on MX bikes, is located to provide protection to the motor casing and chain ring. It has a ‘sled’ design that should mean the plate (and bike) slides over any obstacles, and is secured in place via the motor mount bolts.

Canyon Strive:ON skid plate frame protection

A closer look at the protective plate

Canyon Strive:ON range and spec

There are three models in the Canyon Strive:ON lineup, from the Underdog up to the CFR Ltd.

Canyon Strive:ON CFR Underdog

Canyon Strive:ON CFR Underdog

Canyon Strive:ON CFR Underdog

  • Price: £5699
  • Frame: Canyon Strive:ON CFR M158
  • Fork: Fox 38 Rhythm (170 mm)
  • Shock: Fox Float X Performance
  • Motor & battery: Bosch Performance Line CX with 625Wh or 750Wh battery
  • Groupset: Shimano Deore (10– 51t)
  • Brakes: Shimano Deore (220/203 mm)
  • Wheelset: DT Swiss H1900 with Maxxis Assegai 2.5 Maxxgrip, EXO+ tyres (front) and Maxxis Minion DHR II 2.4 Maxxterra, DD rear)
Canyon Strive:ON CFR

Canyon Strive:ON CFR

Canyon Strive:ON CFR

  • Price: £6899
  • Frame: Canyon Strive:ON CFR M158
  • Fork: Fox 38 Performance Elite Grip2 (170 mm)
  • Shock: Fox X2 Performance
  • Motor & battery: Bosch Performance Line CX with 625Wh or 750Wh battery
  • Groupset: Shimano XT w/ SLX Cassette (10 – 51t)
  • Brakes: Shimano XT (220/203 mm
  • Wheelset: DT Swiss HX1700 with Maxxis Assegai 2.5 Maxxgrip, EXO+ tyres (front) and Maxxis Minion DHR II 2.4 Maxxterra, DD rear)
Canyon Strive:ON CFR LTD

Canyon Strive:ON CFR LTD

Canyon Strive:ON CFR Ltd

  • Price: £9199
  • Frame: Canyon Strive:ON CFR M158
  • Fork: RockShox Zeb Ultimate RC2 (170 mm)
  • Shock: Rockshox Super Deluxe Ultimate
  • Motor & battery: Bosch Performance Line CX with 625Wh or 750Wh battery
  • Groupset: SRAM X01 AXS ET (10 –52T)
  • Brakes: SRAM Code RSC (220/200 mm)
  • Wheelset: DT Swiss HX1501 with Pirelli Scorpion Enduro M 2.5 tyres front and rear

When will the Canyon Strive:ON be available to buy?

Most Canyon Strive:ON models will be available globally from 9th May 2023. Canyon states that the new Canyon Strive:ON CFR LTD will be available in the US from September 2023.

Looking for an electric mountain bike? We’ve tried and tested loads, like the new Specialized Turbo Levo SL and the high-scoring Pivot Shuttle Team. Or if you’re looking to go electric without spending a fortune, our guide to the best budget electric mountain bikes has your back.