Think e-bikes are just MX bikes masquerading as push bikes? Then look away, because the Canyon Torque:ON takes shuttle-free freeriding to another level.
If you’ve ever braaped an imaginary throttle as you’ve powered out of a tight switchback, or stuck an inside foot out as you’ve landed a jump into a berm, then Canyon’s new Torque:ON freeride bike will elevate your supercross fantasies to new heights. Hey, there’s even a Ken Roczen special edition colourway to satisfy the frustrated MX superfan.
The Canyon Torque:ON not the e-bike for you? Then check out our buyer’s guide to the best electric mountain bikes.
Need to know
- Built for blasting self-shuttled bike park runs
- 175mm of rear wheel travel paired with a 180mm fork
- Mullet wheels and four frame sizes across a three model range
- Shimano EP8 motor with 85Nm and 600W peak power
- Choose to run either 720Wh or 900Wh battery
- Split top tube accommodates custom gas tank-inspired drinks bottle
- Three models with prices starting from £5,749
No more lift tickets
The idea of a burly, self-shuttled bike park bruiser is not a new concept at Canyon – it has had a Torque:ON in the range since 2021 – but with 27.5in wheels front and rear and a measly 504Wh battery on board, it never really caught on. This new version stuffs its predecessor into the hay bales with a far more attractive (and moto-inspired) mullet wheel set-up, and enough battery power to let you smash out laps until your arms fall off. Taking the clever modular battery idea from the Spectral:ON, this new Torque:ON will accommodate either a 720Wh or 900Wh power pack to run its Shimano EP8 motor.
The battery slides out the bottom of the fully enclosed down tube, so it’s easy to remove for charging, or you can swap between the options depending on whether you want long range or less weight. There’s a £350 price difference between the two batteries at the checkout, as well as a 910g weight penalty with the bigger unit.
More strength, less weight
Canyon’s engineers have gone to town on the new frame design, with a layout that puts the shock low and inline with the down tube, driven by a huge, solid-carbon seatstay extension. Everything is pumped up and overbuilt, but the new frame is claimed to be 1.5kg lighter than the old model, while bringing stiffness improvements of 7% to the front triangle and a whopping 25% at the stays. Testament to the abuse it’ll take is the fact that it exceeds cat 5 certification.
Onboard water feature
The signature feature of the new frame is the split top tube, where a custom drinks bottle nestles between two carbon struts. It’s undeniably moto-inspired, and while this gas tank only fuels the human engine, you’ve got to hand it to Canyon for going to such lengths to accommodate a bottle. Run the Torque:ON with the 900Wh battery combined with a full ‘Hydration Station’ and you’re looking at adding over 1.5kg to the weight of the front end, which will not only have an effect on fork pressures, but it will almost certainly make the bike noticeably harder to manual.
Canyon has modernised the sizing in line with its most recent models, so the four sizes start with a 450mm reach on the small, then progress in 25mm increments up to the 525mm XL. Seat tubes are kept really low, so you can generally choose to upsize or downsize and still run a decent length dropper post.
There’s a 63.5º head angle, 77.5º effective seat angle, 445mm chainstays and a 32mm BB drop. For reference, the old Torque:ON had a 62.8º head angle, 76.5º effective seat angle, 431mm chainstays and a 342mm BB height. As I did on the Strive:ON, I downsized to a medium frame (I usually ride a large Spectral:ON). I should add here that the small frame only accepts the smaller battery due to space constraints.
Three price points
With three models available, entry to the Torque:ON party starts at £5,749 for the CF8 with Fox 38 Performance fork, Float X2 Performance shock and Shimano SLX groupset. The CF9 costs £7,149 and is upgraded with Fox Factory-level 38 fork and X2 shock, and Shimano XT groupset.
Last but not least, there’s the CF LTD Roczen at £8,599 with RockShox Zeb Ultimate fork, Super Deluxe Ultimate coil shock, SRAM X01 AXS wireless groupset and custom Roczen paint job which looks the bomb, even if the red, black and white scheme doesn’t represent his current Suzuki sponsorship.
How it rides
Cards on the table; there were only two fleeting moments where I got close to experiencing the Torque:ON’s potential during the bike’s launch in Tuscany. Both were high speed, contouring singletrack with rain-washed ruts and around 25mph on the speedo. Everywhere else it was so far within its comfort zone that I would probably have been faster on a 120mm bike – in fact, having ridden the very same trails on the Rotwild R.X275 a few weeks earlier, I can say that in absolute confidence.
Having said that, at no point did the Torque:ON feel more like a Tank:ON. It could still be hopped into compressions and boosted off lips. It didn’t plough straight on around slow speed turns, and it changed direction with relative ease. But it was complete overkill for the gradient, average speed, and roughness of the tracks. It needs the high-speed jump trails of Dyfi Bike Park and BikePark Wales, or the broken, potholed, fall-line chutes of Morzine to break into its stride.
Until I get to try the Torque:ON in any of these situations, trying to sum up its performance feels like road testing a Lamborghini to Lidl. As such, you’ll have to treat this like a bookmark, and I’ll come back to you when I’ve had more time on one.