An enduro bike it aint, but Canyon's new mid-power Neuron:Onfly might be the perfect e-bike for most UK riding.

Product Overview

Canyon Neuron:ONFLY CF9


  • • Sleek looking lightweight bike that sneaks in under 20kg
  • • Great motor in the Bosch SX, with the best balance of power and battery
  • • Good spread of sizing, with modern geometry
  • • Aggressive pricing with models below £5,000
  • • Supportive suspension that pedals well all day


  • • Needs a 150mm fork to hold up the front end
  • • Bosch SX drones at low cadences


The Neuron:ON fly CF9 is Canyon’s first sub-20kg e-bike, and it kills it on flowy singletrack


Price as reviewed:


Canyon is far from a newbie when it comes to building e-bikes, the direct sales brand has arguably the best electric mountain bike out there, in the Spectral:ON CF9. What it hasn’t had until now though is a lightweight bike with a mid-powered motor, so step forward the Neuron:ONfly, a short-travel e-bike taking Canyon into the modern era. Check out our full range breakdown, prices and more details on the new bike for the full Canyon Neuron:ONfly family.

The new Neuron:ONfly is Canyon’s first ever lightweight e-bike, kudos for building a proper bike then, rather than a weight-saving letdown

Neuron:ONfly need to know

  • Trail or adventure e-bike with the latest Bosch SX motor
  • 140mm travel and 29in wheels front and rear (XS size gets 130mm)
  • Four full-carbon models, from top-spec LTD to CF7 at £4,649.
  • This CF9 model costs £6,699
  • Five sizes, from XS to XL, topping out at 510mm reach
  • 19.9kg claimed weight on CF9 tested
  • 400Wh fixed internal battery, plus optional 250Wh range extender
  • Bosch SX boasts 55Nm torque and 600 watts peak power, if you pedal hard

The heart of the Neuron:ONfly is Bosch’s latest SX motor, a power unit that will bring lightweight e-bikes to the masses

Canyon Neuron:On Fly – lightweight, middleweight or flyweight?

The first thing to point out is that, while the Neuron:ONfly uses the new lightweight Bosch SX motor, it’s not that light for the category, at 19.9kg. There are plenty of new e-bikes that are either lighter or boast more travel, like the Whyte E-Lyte and new Mondraker Dune XR, but crucially both those bikes are significantly more money. The Dune’s frame is also claimed to be much lighter, 2,650g without motor and shock to the Neuron:ONfly’s 3,300g.

Instead of focussing on a bike’s weight, the idea is more to target the feel of pedalling a regular bike, and to do that one motor stands head and shoulders above the rest in my opinion – the Bosch’s SX. It’s one of the most natural feeling motors out there and really does match the power coming from your legs, whether you’re soft pedalling or powering up a fireroad.

Sleeved internal routing runs the length of the bike to eliminate any cable rattle

Good though the SX is then, and I have to say it is extremely good, it does come with some drawbacks. It’s very small, but the motor is only 900g lighter than the full-power CX unit, and a big 400Wh is non-negotiable here – go SX and you have to take this big and heavy battery pack.

Of course none of this is necessarily a bad thing, it’s great to see that Canyon hasn’t chased a headline weight like Scott did with the Lumen, and built a bike that’s too good for its own parts. There are no flimsy tyres (something that tripped it up with the Neuron:ON last year) XC suspension components, dinky rotors or just plain old small sizing. No, what I’m saying is that there has to be a reason to justify using a lightweight motor over a full power unit, and Canyon’s hanging its hat on ride feel.

The Neuron:ONfly isn’t pretty viewed from the non-driveside, but it’s all in the name of function and getting the SX motor low down

Neuron:On Fly Frame

It’s only been a year since Canyon released the Neuron:ON, a full power version of the Fly here sharing the same travel and a whole lot more besides. There’s no way of squeezing the much smaller Bosch SX motor into a frame designed for a CX though, so it’s a brand new carbon frame for the Fly. It’s a better looking package overall, and without the need to squeeze a big 750Wh battery into the down tube it’s a more willowy looking frame, while the motor section is also smaller and less boxy.

The frame features both a headset turning lock and downtube bumpers… overkill?

That said, the Neuron:ONFly is nearly identical to the full-fat bike in terms of suspension design and geometry. With the shock mounting to the top tube there’s space enough for your water bottle, while Canyon has sculpted the down tube and motor housing to perfectly fit Bosch’s PowerMore 250 Wh range extender. It makes for a super-sleek and modern looking bike. It doesn’t butt up against the motor quite as tightly as Whyte managed on its E-Lyte, but it’s close nevertheless. The only flaw then is that you have to decide whether to run a range extender, or carry water with you.

The Bosch PowerMore range extender adds 250wh, but also £467 to the price of the bike.

A PowerMore isn’t included in the price of the bike, so if you want the extra juice you’ll need to squeeze out another £439.95 for the unit and £27.95 for the custom length cable to connect it up. Canyon has both listed on its site, but with availability only from July.

The Bosch Connectivity Module is bolted into the motor cover, here’s hoping a savvy thief never looks at this bike review

Inside is just as interesting, Canyon’s snuck in a Bosch Connectivity Module or anti theft tracker, pay around €40 a year and you’ll have live tracking of your bike at all times. It does make me somewhat nervous just how easy this would be to remove though – it’s mounted to the removable motor cover – and just how smart e-bike thieves are now.

High collars looked great on Harry Hill, and now on the Neuron:ONfly too

Plenty of care has gone into the internal routing, cables sensibly enter via the headset rather than the stem or bars so you can change the latter easily, while each cable and hose gets its own channel, laminated into the downtube to eliminate rattles. Canyon’s built in extensive chainstay protection too, it’s squidgy and rubbery and there’s a high collar at the chainring end to stop the chain getting anywhere near the lower linkage. The chainguide is new, there’s nothing too unique about it but Canyon says you can now adjust how close it sits to the chain without taking it off and reassembling it.

There’s also something called an Impact Protection Unit built into the headset, to stop the bars overturning in the event of the crash. It’s backed up by rubbery bumpers on the down tube to fend off the fork’s top caps, but it’s unnecessary on the size XL I rode thanks to a really high head tube.

The head tube on the size XL is tall, and the internal calbe entry into the headset will stop you slamming it all the way down

Geometry and sizing

The Neuron:ONfly isn’t pushing the limits on bike geometry and sizing, but it’s definitely very progressive for trail bike, especially one Canyon reckons will interest adventure riders as well as shredders. I’m 185cm (or I was when I last checked some 20 years ago), which puts me squarely between sizes Large and XL in terms of my ideal reach of 500mm. I opted for the XL then to see if the longer head tube would make the bike unrideable for me, but by dropping the bars some 10mm I was still able to weight the front. In truth I could ride both sizes, without the biggun feeling like a gate or the littlun a unicycle, which means Canyon’s done a good job balancing the bike.

Ditch the bar mounted remore and you can still change the SX motor modes from the top tube mounted controller

Motor and battery

The Bosch SX motor will generate the same 600w of power as the CX motor, but with a lower torque figure you’ll have to pedal much faster to get there. That’s the much-touted theory anyway, but I’ve never had a satisfactory explanation of just how fast you have to pedal to get there: 110rpm has been mentioned, but even at that super-fast cadence I’m absolutely certain I’m not reaching the 600w figure because I can ride faster uphill on the full fat motor. And when we tried a hillclimb drag race back-to-back, testing both motors, the CX was considerably faster. This makes that figure largely irrelevant then, and as usual we need to fall back on real-world riding impressions.

In the slippy, rooty and rocky conditions around Canyon’s HQ in Koblenz, the Bosch SX was on home turf and loving it, there’s some serious muscle to the motor on modest inclines and it’s only when things get really steep that you feel the lack of torque compared to a full-power motor. I also like the simple LED display Canyon has neatly set into the down tube, and you can remove the switch on the bars and control the power modes just from the frame if you so choose.

The cables might be rattle-free, but the SX motor isn’t exactly silent when you’re coasting downhill

What I don’t like is the gentle rattle you get from the motor when freewheeling down rough descents, it reminds me of the problems we had with Shimano’s E8000. It also generates a weird vibration and low pitched drone at slow cadences, something that increased the more I rode the bike. This would be really annoying but for the fact it disappears when you start pedalling properly and turning the pedals over at more than a crawl. It’s also such a powerful and natural motor and so brilliant in all other respects I’m prepared to overlook this.

With 400Wh of battery to play with you have to work really hard to burn through it all, something we discovered range testing all four of the lightweight motors earlier this year. Same story aboard the Neuron:ONfly, you need around 1,000m of climbing to drain the battery even if you’re riding it Turbo mode, and that’s squarely in the lightweight ballpark in terms of range. You can add to that with the 250Wh range extender, but what you can’t do is remove the battery and charge it off the bike, which isn’t a deal breaker for me but definitely is for some riders I know, who don’t have space at home for an eeb.

The Neuron:ONfly is so supportive it’s in danger of out-muscling the Pike fork up front


Canyon’s design is called Triple Phase Suspension, the brand says it resists pedal bob when you’re cranking hard, opens up in the mid-stroke for smooth descending, and has enough progression to save you from big hits. What brand doesn’t claim this goldilocks formula though?

What I did feel is that the Neuron:ONfly has a fair amount of anti-squat going on, which is to say Canyon has designed the suspension kinematics to hold the bike high in its travel when you’re pedalling. Anti-squat also applies when you’re descending too, it’s the bike’s ability to hold you up in a corner, and combined with a decent amount of progression and big sizing, the Neuron:ONfly is a supportive bike.

The fork is at odds with the rest of the bike though, while the rear suspension resists compressions well I was constantly adding more air to the fork, which took the brunt of the trail and the weight of the supportive rear end.

DT Swiss wheels, Schwalbe tyres and a SRAM GX AXS drivetrain work brilliantly on the Neuron:ONfly.


Wired wireless is an oddball design feature in principal, but it works for me. Canyon has taken SRAM’s wireless GX AXS shifting and plumbed it straight into the bike’s battery, so you never have to worry about charging that little battery on the mech again. All the benefits of electronic shifting (a stronger mech, more precise shifting, self-trimming) and none of the range anxiety.

The rest of the package is straight out of the SRAM top drawer, with an Ultimate level Pike, Select+ shock and Code Silver brakes with 200mm rotors. DT Swiss HX1700 wheels are a great choice, and Canyon’s 780mm bar, 45mm stem and 230mm dropper are perfect for this application.

The Schwalbe tyres are worthy of a mention too, on the back is a fast rolling Nobby Nic with Addix Speedgrip compound and its a Hans Dampf with Addix Soft on the front for a great combination of speed and grip.

The forests above Koblenz feel very much like home if you’re a Surrey-based rider


I rode the Neuron:ONfly for two days in Koblenz, Germany, on terrain most UK riders would find pretty familiar, with plenty of roots and mud. The trails were pretty beaten up and rocky in places, which tipped them into the more enduro end of trail riding at times, and really pushed the limits of a lightweight trail bike with just 140mm travel.

Climbing really is the bike’s strong suit, but with limited torque I stalled out on steeper climbs


It’s easy to see why Canyon wants adventure riders to enjoy the Neuron:ONfly, the bike’s efficiency on fireroads and non-technical ascents is very good. With plenty of anti-squat on offer I could leave the climb switch alone without feeling like the suspension was robbing me of any upward mobility, and even when standing up and cranking on the pedals the bike felt taught. And with plenty of chainstay behind me for support on steeper stuff and a speedy Nobby Nic the ups felt short and easy.

Trying to tackle steeper climbs and power up and over roots is always going to be harder on a bike with limited torque than an 85Nm full power motor, and I did struggle to clean some techie climbs simply because I stalled out. It’s much more important on the SX motor to pick a low gear and keep the revs high than it is on CX, and to try and move the bike around like a regular mountain bike, switching lines where you can.

The CF9 was fast as anything on smooth singletrack, but it’s still agile and fun to play on


Most of the Koblenz tracks I rode were fast and pretty smooth, while one or two were much rougher and steeper, and together they perfectly demonstrated the bike’s strengths and weaknesses. If we take the rough stuff first, the bike was somewhat overwhelmed by very rough enduro-style tracks, there’s not enough travel to steamroller through big holes in a track and it’s obviously not designed for this kind of riding… you want the Spectral or Strive for this.

The back end felt pretty harsh when clattering across roots at top speed, and partly that must be down to the anti-squat and progression holding the bike up. There’s no sensation of slurping through the big hits, and it made me try and work the bike around the trail more, pick better lines and generally ride smart like I really should do.

The Neuron:ONfly offers great support when gravity is trying to crush you and the bike into a berm

When the trails dialled down a setting the Neuron:ONfly felt like a different bike, it boasts the lightweight feel that is so hard to pin down on a mid-power bike but that really differentiates it from a full fat e-bike. It’s playful and responsive, with plenty to push against in the shock without dropping the O-ring and bottoming the bike out. It’s not a trail hooligan like the Transition Relay, Canyon has kept the bike’s character controlled and steady but it’s still great fun to ride.

With only one exception Canyon has fitted all the right components to the Neuron:ONfly, and resisted the temptation to chase a headline weight and make this bike as light as possible. I can’t name another manufacturer that dodged this trap on its first mid-power bike, Canyon has done its homework well.

I did find the Pike dipped too far into its travel, overinflating the fork did hold me up with around 50% more air than recommended

The exception is the Pike up front couldn’t match the support from the rear suspension and went too deep into its travel. I started out with the recommended pressure as printed on the fork leg, but ended up pumping more and more air in until I’d overinflated the by some 50%. A quick look inside revealed two volume reducing tokens already pre-installed, and nowhere to go to reduce the bottom-out. It didn’t spoil the ride because the Pike managed to remain supple and comfortable even with 120psi packed into it though.

There is a solution though, adding 10mm more travel to the fork would elevate the front end, clock the rider rearwards and allow a little bit more usable travel. The Spectral uses a 150mm fork though, and I suspect Canyon wants to draw a definite line between the two bikes, so I very much doubt we’ll see a Lyrik-equipped Neuron:ON in the near future.

The Neuron:ONfly is one sleek looking machine, especially in Canyon’s Space Grey colour


Canyon’s going to sell heaps of the Neuron:ONfly simply because it’s great value and great looking – nowhere else can you buy a lightweight e-bike this well equipped, with one of the best motor’s going. It helps that the bike is a great fun to ride on most trails, and only loses its sh1t when things get very rough or steep. I didn’t get to ride the full-power Neuron:ON, but I’d be willing to bet the Fly rides more dynamically and more like a regular bike, and it’s this that’s going to appeal to the next generation of e-bikers.


Frame:Full CF Carbon, 140mm travel
Shock :RockShox Deluxe Select+, 210x55mm
Fork :RockShox Pike Ultimate, 44mm offset, 140mm
Motor :Bosch Performance Line SX (600W, 55 Nm)
Battery :Compact PowerTube 400 (250 Wh PowerMore range extender option)
Display :Bosch System Controller
Anti-theft :Bosch Connectivity Module
Wheels :DT Swiss HX1700 LS
Front tyre :Schwalbe Hans Dampf Super Trail Soft Grip, 2.35in
Rear tyre:Schwalbe Nobby Nic Super Trail Speed Grip, 2.4in
Drivetrain :SRAM GX AXS chainset, T-type derailleur and shifter pod, SRAM XS-1295 10-52t cassette
Brakes:SRAM Code Silver Stealth 4 piston brakes, 200mm rotors
Components :Canyon 230mm dropper, 780mm bar, 45mm stem, and saddle
Claimed weight :19.9kg (43.9lb)
Sizes :XS, XS, S, M, L, XL
Size ridden :XL
Rider height:185cm
Claimed geometry:
Head angle :64.5°
Seat angle:70.3°
Effective seat angle :76.5°
BB height :340mm
Chainstay :450mm
Front centre :851mm
Wheelbase :1301mm
Seat tube :455mm
Downtube :
Top tube : 667mm