canyon strive ON torque ON cam mcrae
eMTB First Rides

The 2024 Canyon Strive:ON + Torque:ON eMTB

Photos Roo Fowler and Boris Beyer
Reading time

The Strive is Canyon's no-compromise enduro race platform,* but until today, you couldn't buy an eMTB version. The electrified interpretation of enduro racing was launched as an EWS series in 2020 (although there were races before this), and now that the UCI is involved, they call it EDR-E and the series seems to be gaining steam, particularly in Europe. Canyon saw a hole in their eMTB line between the 150 mm travel Spectral:ON and the 180/175 mm Torque:ON and wanted to fill that gap with a thoroughbred competition machine.

*Jesse Melamed however seems to prefer racing the Spectral

The Canyon Strive:ON features a 170 mm fork and 160 mm of rear travel; numbers that are relatively common in racing paddocks. The sleek lines and svelte (for an eMTB) silhouette make its competitive intentions clear.

For the Strive:ON, we rode trails near Punta Ala, site of the first ever EWS race in 2013. The first champion was Fabien Barel and (lucky bastards that we were) he was our guide for the day. The terrain was quite varied with fast singletrack punctuated by unexpected rocky features, and some steep lines that had eroded into uneven slabs of stone and compacted earth with lots of tricky technical moments. Some trails went straight down while others used the vertical more efficiently by following the contour meaning there was a lot of terrain to enjoy. In all we did 52 kms of riding and heaps of vertical, stopping for lunch to swap batteries

On The Dirt

We were all amazed by the quality and condition of the dirt at Bandite. Was it brown pow, chilled peanut butter, chocolate mousse? Perfectly moist trails in April are apparently a rarity in Punta Ala but it was unseasonably chilly and damp, but on this day we somehow managed to dodge the rain to enjoy Singletrack heaven. And if the rocky areas had been wet, it would have been treacherous indeed.

We rode some straight up nasty terrain on the Strive:ON, blind, often faster than I would have chosen on my own, and the bike saved my ass several times because I quickly became able to predict how it would react. The pace, led by Fabian and some other fast enduro racers, was at the upper limit of my abilities, but the bike kept me from getting dropped.

strive ON CFR

This was the model we rode, and the spec was solid. A Fox Performance Elite fork with a Grip 2 damper, and X2 shock, Shimano XT brakes (220 and 203 mm Hayes rotors) and XT drivetrain (with an SLX cassette), along with DT Swiss HX1700 wheels with aluminum rims.

The handling surprisingly reminded me of my We Are One Arrival 170 - despite the motor and the mullet set up. It was fast, agile, and yet surprisingly stable. I located the centre of the bike relatively quickly and found myself carrying a surprising amount of speed (for me) after only a few descents.

I was impressed and a little confounded to discover that the Strive:ON began to feel light once it got up to speed which made it easy to find a narrow entry or get up and over an obstacle that couldn't be avoided. Even when it got slow and technical I had no trouble making the bike move where I wanted it to, or to survive when I ended up somewhere uncomfortable, which happened often in this terrain.

Canyon Strive ON Boris Beyer 12

The riding at Bandite was by most accounts the best of the three areas used for the camp. Photo - Boris Beyer

Canyon Strive:ON at a Glance

  • 170 mm fork and 160 mm rear travel
  • Mullet in all sizes
  • Higher BB clearance and 'sled' design skid plate below that area
  • 625 or 750 Wh (for 200 € more) 'Powertube' battery choices
  • Bosch Performance CX motor on Underdog and CFR models with 600 watts peak power and 85 nm peak torque and 340% max boost
  • Bosch Performance CX Race Edition motor on CFR LTD - same power and torque but 400% max boost and 150 g less weight
  • 24.0 - 24.5 kg (52.9 - 54.0 lbs)
  • 5800 EUR - 9200 EUR - depending on model and battery size
strive ON component spec

The three models of Strive:ON.

anti squat and geo

Strive geo and anti-squat. Figures and graphs provided by Canyon. The geometries of these two bikes are remarkably similar. The notable exception is the Strive's much steeper seat tube angle. An unusual omission in both charts is bottom bracket height, although BB drop gives us some idea.


The geometry of the Strive is supposed to be a little less DH focussed than the Torque (although the actual numbers are identical in many cases) which may explain why it didn't feel as much like a mullet - or at least not in any negative way. The rear wheel didn't seem to hang up more than a 29er but it tipped into corners with that satisfying mixed-wheeled eagerness. It also held lines with tenacity, on uneven terrain or even flat corners. And for a race bike, it felt surprisingly lively and fun.

strive ON Underdog

Even the underdog has a highly respectable component spec.

Bosch CX Performance Line Motor

This was the most time I'd spent on the most recent Bosch motor and I was impressed. The torque, responsiveness, and natural power application were all really good. Another feature I appreciated is the overrun. All eMTB motors have this feature, where the motor will continue providing power momentarily after you stop pedalling. The CX pushes a little longer meaning you can ratchet through sections where a full pedal stroke isn't possible. Apparently the CX Race's overrun feature lasts even longer. When cheating is allowed, it's not even cheating.

Some motors provide all of their boost long before you have reached your personal maximum power output but the Bosch manages this nicely, rewarding your increased effort with more watts on a longer curve than many others, encouraging you to keep your own throttle down.

Canyon Strive ON Boris Beyer 9

This is the top of the line Strive:ON CFR LTD. The motor is the more boosty Bosch CX Race model, which ramps the assist from 340 to 400%, which is similar to the new Shimano EP8.01. Also - if you are going to have someone else's name on your bike, Fabien Barel would be a pretty good choice!

Final Thoughts

Obviously a day doesn't make a review, and this is particularly the case with an eMTB. We didn't have to charge them, deal with any maintenance, swap cables or bleed brakes (with through the headset routing!). Most importantly, there was no opportunity to see how the Strive:ON handles weeks of wear and tear. eMTBs take more of a beating than bikes that have only human engines because they are heavier and carry more speed on flats and uphill. Still, this is a bike I'm pretty optimistic about all in all.

I appreciated the motor and the handling and the kinematics, (although the mid stroke/anti squat was perhaps a little supportive for my less race-inclined tastes), and the spec was very well chosen. My only real gripe would be the through-the-headset routing for the rear brake, derailleur and dropper post, which means you'll be taking apart your headset far more often than you'd like.

Otherwise, she's a beaut!

2024 Strive:ON Prices

  • With 750 Wh batteries: The Strive:ON Underdog is available at 5,999 EUR, the Strive:ON CFR is 7,199 EUR and the Strive:ON CFR LTD is 9,699 EUR.
  • With 625 Wh batteries: The Strive:ON Underdog is available at 5,799 EUR, the Strive:ON CFR is 6,999 EUR and the Strive:ON CFR LTD is 9,499 EUR.

Canyon eMTBs aren't yet available in Canada - but they are working on it. US prices to come.

roo fowler cam mcrae cayon torque on 13

Following Dan Milner from MBR in the UK on the 2024 Canyon Torque:ON. Many manufacturers are moving away from model years but for us it helps distinguish one article from another and is also useful for search engines.

2024 Canyon Torque:ON CFR eMTB

Photos - Roo Fowler

You can't blame the Torque:ON. Or anyone really. Except maybe Cannondale... but not really. There is only so much terrain to go around in Massa Marittima and apparently, Cannondale was having a dealer event and had secured access to some trails that would have been more appropriate for this bike. The trails we rode weren't terrible or boring, it's just for the most part they would have been more appropriate for a bike like the Spectral:ON with its 150 mm of travel. There were a few sections where the bike began to come alive but it was often like we'd brought a monster truck to a rally. It wasn't that the bike felt bad, and TBF I believe it was the first time these bikes had been ridden since this was day 1, so the suspension wasn't likely broken in, but it was rare that the Torques felt poppy and alive or even challenged in any way.

I felt like my suspension settings were close to dialed - or at least not terrible - but I wasn't using much of my travel. Again, this isn't a criticism of the bike or Canyon, because it was a tough time of year to find terrain for a bike that would be most at home in a bike park, or at least on big mountains.

roo fowler cam mcrae canyon torque on

The bike felt pretty good when we got it up to speed but our testing would have benefitted from longer sections of challenging terrain.

The Canyon Torque:ON - On the Trail

Our day riding the Massa Marittima trails was genuinely chilly and made worse by the wet conditions. Our climbs, done at high speed, were often in very shallow creeks running down the middle of the trails, pasting our asses with mud and water. The dirt held up in the wet though and the downhills were fun and well built.

My biggest impression of the bike was how robust it is. It felt like you could ride it through a solid wooden door without slowing down. Canyon's test rating system puts this at a 5E, which means tested to a DH standard but even further on the seat mast, which could see a lot of cycles considering how well these bikes climb. And we did a lot of climbing at high speed on this bike, where it peformed admirably. Self shuttling is a fair bit more fun than sitting in the back of a car or truck with your stinky buddies.

2024 torque ON CF 8LTD Massa maritima12

Canyon angles the Shimano motor for more clearance and the battery is shaped so that it's wider than it is tall to provide even more room. The Shimano motor looks incredibly well-integrated here. In fact, it's the best I've ever seen.

2024 torque ON CF 8LTD Massa maritima1

In the event there is a strike along the bottom of the bike, there is a burly looking skid plate installed to allow your bike to slide and to protect your frame.

Shimano EP8 Motor

I was right a home on the Shimano EP8 motor and I prefer its numerical interface to the graphic display on the Strive:ON. And in this case I'd have to say that the EP8 rattled less than the Bosch CX Performance motor on the Strive, although I do prefer the more incremental power delivery of the Bosch.

Leverage Ratio Torque_ON Strive_ON

Feel free to nerd out. It's interesting that the coil-capable Torque:ON doesn't ramp up more than the Strive, which only ships with air shocks. In fact it seems the opposite is true.

torque geo

Other than seat angle and BB offset (aka drop) there is little to separate the geometries of these bikes. I found the large in both fit me very well.

Canyon Torque:ON At a Glance

  • Mullet in all sizes
  • Full carbon frame drops weight 1.5 kg from previous aluminum model (4.9 to 3.4 kg)
  • 180 mm front travel and 175 mm rear (compatible with up to 190 up front but not with a dual crown)
  • 2 battery options: 720 Wh and 900 Wh
  • Custom front and rear fenders available
  • Custom 650 ml water bottle mounts in split top tube for easy access
  • Can be used with a coil or an air shock
  • Shimano EP 8 motor
  • replaceable thread inserts and double-sealed bearings at all pivots
  • 24 - 24.8 kg (52.9 - 54.7 lbs)
  • 6,000 EUR - 9,400 EUR depending on model and battery size

Component Spec

I've come to expect solid components draped from Canyon frames. The Torque:ON CF 8 continues that tradition. The CF 8 we 'editors' were riding rolled on a Fox Factory 38 Grip 2 Fork and a Factory X2 2-position in the rear, Shimano XT brakes and drivetrain, and Sun Ringle DUROC SD 37|42 wheels. Interestingly, the Torque came spec'ed with 203 mm rotors front and rear - Hayes again - rather than the 220 you'd expect up front from a bike with these intentions. Excellent rubber in the form of Maxxis Assegai 2.5 MaxxGrip, EXO+ up front and Minion DHR II 2.6 MaxxTerra, EXO+ in the rear. Many riders would prefer to see a DH spec for tires for this application but I'd prefer to run an EXO+ with inserts.

Canyon Torque ON models 2024

Three models available. Again we rode the middle version - in this case the CF 9. The CF Ltd is the Ken Roczen model.

roo fowler cam mcrae canyon torque 1

This trail, Cicalino Freeride, had some steep sections where the bike started to stretch its legs, but it was only rated blue because most of it wasn't very difficult.

I would like to give the Torque:ON a fair shake on the North Shore, in Whistler, and Squamish to get an idea what it can do on more suitable terrain. I also think the coil-sprung model would come to life a little more. For now though I have to apologize for my somewhat limited impressions.

  • Torque:ON CF 8: 5,999 EUR (720 Wh) or 6,399 EUR (900 Wh)
  • Torque:ON CF 9: 7,499 EUR or 7,899 EUR
  • Torque:ON CF Roczen 8,999 EUR or 9,399 EUR

Canyon eMTBs aren't yet available in Canada. US prices to come.
Cam McRae

Height - 6'/183cm (mostly legs)

Weight - 170lbs/77kg

Inseam - 33"/84cm

Ape Index - 0.986

Age - 58

Trail I've been stoked on lately - Sam's Dad's Trail

Bar Width - 760mm

Preferred Reach - 485-500mm (longer with 27.5 wheels than 29)

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+3 Cam McRae rhw hotlapz

Any bike (excluding DH/DJ/Trials) that needs to run a proprietary primary water bottle in normal sizing is a design failure. Second water bottle? Sure, no problem. But the first one? Ehhhhhh.  It would be a deal breaker for me, especially when there's a host of equally well equiped, similarly competent e-bikes out there.

Jury's out on whether the oompa loompa crew at press camp is a fashion failure.


I can see your point about the bottle. It did however work surprisingly well and was easier to access than a conventional bottle. My main critique, which I neglected to mention, was that the plastic was a little too stiff for the shape so it became difficult to access the water once it was less than 1/3 full. It stayed put without the strap no problem (only one top rider managed to dislodge it in months of testing) and provided decent volume. 

All in all it wouldn't be a deal breaker for me.



It just seems like a monumentally stupid problem to have if you ever get to point in a few years where you're going thirsty on rides because some company discontinued your proprietaty water bottle and yours got stinky after a couple years of running electrolye juice in it, went brittle and cracked, etc. 

I guess it's not a problem if you're someone who regularly trades out bikes.


Down the road it could indeed be a problem. I don't know Canyon's track record of supporting proprietary hardware, but I do like the way they run their business in other ways, which leads me to believe they would be good about supporting their customers. At the same time, businesses get sold and times change. 

Or maybe this thing will catch on and spread throughout their line? ;)


+1 Cam McRae

Personally, I've known enough bikes that don't come with bottle holders at all (or even worse, only under the downtube) that having a goofy water bottle isn't that much of a concern to me. I'd rather have this than the two sip Fidlock thing that YTs come with. 

Also, the 3d printed opportunities that come from having bottle mounts in that location seem endless.


+2 Cam McRae Sandy James Oates

I'm surprised that XT Linkglide isn't specced here. Is it not available to bike manufacturers yet?


I believe not. My understanding is we'll start to see it show up on bikes later this summer. 

Shimano still releases a lot of products before they're actually delivering, which is what companies used to do in the 00s - no idea why that persists.



Ah fair enough, also what's with the 51 or 52 tooth cog on an e-bike cassette, it's got to be rather redundant right?

+1 Dan

That all depends on the size of your chainring. The gearing on bikes I've been on has been pretty usable. And sometimes you might run out of battery as well!



The torque that must go through a skewed chain riding in the big cog when the battery dies... Poor chain!


+2 Cam McRae utopic

I don't care that this is an ebike, but I really can not get past the ridiculous through-the-headset cable routing. Would any of you spend your own money on a bike that had this? I sure wouldn't.



Yeah I probably would - if I had that much money to burn on a bike, I'd pay someone else to mess with brakes etc.


+2 Cam McRae utopic

I rode Rock'Oh and other bandite trails some years ago and really can't imagine to have fun in this narrow rocky rut with a 25kg plastic monster eBike. It was not that difficult, but I constantly smashed my pedals and downtube. Did they reshape the trail?

Nonetheless an eBike is a good choice for this area. The Maremma is famous for its myriads of horse flies in summer. On the climbs at 35°c they will attack. With an eBike I could have escaped them.

As for the Strive:on, I think it is good not to have the added complexity of the shapeshifter. After studying the "if's" and "don'ts" on their website, I am quite repelled by all the hassle coming along with an eBike sold online - only 2yrs limited warranty (battery, motor etc.!) and any changes to the bike's original setup void the warranty and the 220€/yr insurance. I wonder... will I ever commit myself to this?



I’d be curious to hear a comparison between these bikes and the Ibis Oso you will also test. The spec/price ratio are on different worlds at least, so I’d be curious to hear it the extra money in the Ibis could be felt somehow.


That’s an interesting one. The bikes are quite different in terms of the terrain they are aimed at - and the ideal rider. And the terrain I rode each of them on as well. The Oso would be better compared to the Spectral:ON which I haven’t ridden. 

One reason for the price difference between Canyon and Ibis is the sales model. Canyon sells strictly direct to consumer with no bike shop involved. That means you can’t take a Canyon back to the shop if you have an issue. Instead you need to deal with the company directly, for better or worse. It also means there is no additional mark up that occurs at the shop.

The Oso was very well suited to the Campus trails and the Strive was ideal for those near Punta Ala. The suspension feel was different but not necessarily better or worse I’d need time on both bikes on the same trails (which may not be appropriate for both bikes) to give a solid verdict. Those sorts of comparisons, if done in isolation, can be useful for guiding a purchase decision but many variables need to be sifted through, as well as more time on each bike, before I’d want to make any proclamations. 

Both brands make high quality bikes but they are very different companies. Ibis remains a small boutique brand while Canyon is a large concern selling to a much larger worldwide audience. Again, for better or worse. 

Sorry? Lol


+1 Cam McRae

On the Shimano EP8 owners FB page I am pretty sure  they  hang on to the box and ship the bike back to wherever they got it for warranty CRC or wherever ? That Shimano EP8 owners page is mostly brits so they do seem to do  a lot of sodding  and bricking


0 Cam McRae Peter Leeds dhr999 E-wok

moped moped moped

motorcycle motor cycle

one or all of you are probably the antichrist ... there we got that out of the way

I have bought my last 3 bikes from out of town and so while I can normaly wrench my way out of a paper bag enough to tweak an acoustic bike but the thing that makes an e-bike very different for service IS the motor. I had an intermitent firmware issue with a shimano motor, cuz of distance from the dealer it was kind of a problem, I never really got the bike to the dealer cuz of distance, sometimes it worked then it died then it came back, eventualy I downloaded new firmware which fixed my problem

SO how would you deal with ^^ that on the direct-to-customer model ?

So as always its really easy to just not read about the devils own bicycle er bicycles er mopeds er motorcycles er...


+1 E-wok

you go to the next dealer that is a certified (insert your motor brand) dealer?



yeah so maybe that next dealer doesnt really want to work on your bike  so it sits there for a couple weeks until you realize  who exactly is the anti christ to whom which really did happen to a bro

Who then takes his dead E-bike to a 2nd dealer who swapped the warranty motor for him but charged  $$$ cuz there is/ was no way  for that 2nd dealer to  recover time from Shimano,

So from what I have seen its really a good thing to buy from an LBS who in this case would have taken care of bro

so I am curious how Canyon would handle this in Canada ??


So many things going on here but it's an interesting set of questions.

For clarity, Canyon e-bikes are not yet available for sale in Canada. This is mostly because of battery shipping issues. Canyon USA is a subsidiary and has its own warehouse. Canyon in Canada is handled by Canyon Germany. If you're in Canada and own a Canyon e-bike (we'll just avoid discussing for now how that was made to happen) I suppose you'd have to get service via whichever country you bought it from. And yeah, that is definitely an issue.

If you're wondering why we're covering e-bikes not available in Canada, it's because the majority of our audience is outside of Canada (!). So, with apologies to our Canadian readers, all we can say is that as far as we know, Canyon is working on a different solution for Canada in future (not just for e-bikes).

As for shops refusing or giving late service to customers with Canyons or other consumer direct bikes...that's just bad business. That doesn't help the customer that gets effed, but if shops make more (or let's say, greater margin) on service than they do on bikes and maybe parts, they're shooting themselves in the foot by not trying to service as many bikes as they possibly can. Or cutting their nose off to spite their face. Missing the forest for the trees...but it still happens and unfortunately not everyone lives in a place like North Van where one shop's bad behaviour just means you can head down the street to another one that actually wants your business.


+2 Pete Roggeman utopic

I had no idea NSMB had a following outside of this colony !

Shimano didnt even have the firmware to fix my minor issue when i bought and nobody told me about the DL even when they did release 4.1.8  so I had to run into the fix myself 10 months later 

but my issue was minor compared to my buddy who got really FUBARd on the motor swap, besides paying for labor  he was down for most of the summer

IMO Shimano hasnt really got a handle on servicing computers and make no misteak we are riding computers, if you don't believe me look at e-tube and notice all the firmware

just my experiance from 2 seasons of owning the devils own moped


+2 Andrew Major Peter Leeds utopic E-wok

computers and water...  what could go wrong.

Ha! Yep. Until about three years ago Canada/US readership was a dead heat. Now the US side is way higher. Combined, they're 60%. So almost half of the readership is outside North America (with apologies to Mexico).

I have heard some other stories about service issues with motors. It's definitely an issue, I grant you that. We've had a few motor problems, but it can be hard for us to simulate the customer experience when the person helping us at a shop (let alone a brand rep) knows who we are when we need help, so our experience is not always representative and we know that.

eBikes are definitely computers. And I definitely understand why people want no part of that, whether it's a motor or even a battery that handles shifting. Hell, I still think I may never have had more fun on a bike than when I first got a '98 RM Hammer Race that mostly got ridden in the UBC Endowment Lands (aka Pacific Spirit Park). Equal fun, yes, but maybe never more.

+2 Andrew Major Pete Roggeman

"I had no idea NSMB had a following outside of this colony !"

It should - Every lake or ocean and roughly 50% of rivers have a North Shore, so really NSMB should have lots of appeal.

The water thing is kinda weird - over a decade ago, Shimano toured the first DI2 groupset around with this weird fish tank contraption where they could spin the cranks and make the drivetrain shift while the deralleur and battery were submerged. So I feel like they shouldn't be running into any water ingress issues with anything 'e-tube'. Although I suppose I can't be mad at Shimano if the root issue is the particular brand not running Shimano batteries or wiring (distinctly not e-tube on brands like Norco, for example).

+2 Peter Leeds dhr999

I think ebikes have a few more years to iron out the problems/issues.  If you live in an environment with lots of water, it's even worse.  

Definitely can't be your one and only bike if you ride lots.  I couldn't even imagine dealing with warranty/parts from an online shop that overseas without any local dealers and even then... 

At least this bike doesn't have headset cable routing.

+1 utopic

It's true. I had a motor short out during a rather mellow (just below axle height) creek crossing in Santa Cruz (not on the Ibis ride or it would have made it into the article). Weirdly, that's the first time I've had a motor crap out on me - and I've ridden ebikes over the last three winters in truly shitty conditions - only on fortified trails, Jerry, I promise!

Oh but btw, you may have missed it, but those Canyons do have headset cable routing :(


+1 utopic

bike shops love the headset routing...  $$$$$.  Anyone else, dumb.


+3 Velocipedestrian Andrew Major Pete Roggeman

"bike shops love the headset routing "

I can tell you for a fact they do not. The only shops that love headset routing are ones that are really hurting for work - that's few and far between near me. DIcking around with headset routing is a really poor return on investment for the tech's input time (assume you're charging the same hourly rate regardless of task, you're still not going to be using that time to sell add-ons and parts you might with quicker, easier service), and probably is going to piss the tech off to boot. Pissing good techs off is NOT worth it in this climate.

If the labour bill is the same and there's no shortage of work, what shop out there is going to prefer sellin $20 of cables and housing and making one customer happy versus doing 3 basic tunes in the same time, possibly selling a host of full-margin add ons like chains, brake pads, tires, etc, and making three customers happy? And yeah, some bikes with a high amount of proprietary bullshit in their headset routing actually do take about as much time as three other bikes with normal stuff (Emondas and Speed Concepts still sometimes wake me up at night, sweating).

Edit: I forgot to mention builds. It's standard practice in busy shops to have juniors handle the lion's share of the builds, with (hopefully) manager or senior tech oversight. A motivated junior tech might be able to knock out 10+ basic hardtails, or a solid number of full-suspention bikes in a day. Give the junior tech an internal headset routed bike, and, if it's one of the stupid bikes, it might take them all day - or burn through half or more of a senior tech's day on an activity that isn't billable. Yes, builds go to your sales, but a same-margin $10,000 bike with bad headset  internal routing and a $10,000 bike without often have substantially different build times and its just money flushed down the toilet. Some companies help shops out by pre-routing internal headset bikes, but sadly many do not.

+1 Andrew Major

Excellent insights, Lu, thanks for sharing those.


dunno but we were also in massa when the canyon press camp was there, but all trails were open? did they do several camps on different days? we were there the day after the rain when everything was super soaked…


I think the deal is that they don't want to cross pollinate when they have yet to be released bikes, particularly if there are dealers around and embargoes. The guides may not like it either so perhaps they control access.



Anyone considering buying a Canyon, should first try to talk with people that have had any type of problem with the brand. Fact is that you're not buying a're buying a box of parts from a company in Europe, and hoping that the pieces will amount to a functional bike. If you are one of the unlucky that receives a botched frame or broken component you may be waiting months for support (if at all). An adept mechanic or industry insider may be able to navigate the path of fixing major problems, but the average consumer is entirely at the mercy of a fallible quality-control system some 8000km removed from caring with layers of taxes, duties, and brokerage fees standing between you and a replacement part you have pretty much already paid for.


-2 Joseph Crabtree Peter Leeds utopic Ride.DMC rhw Cam McRae cornedbeef E-wok

Damn motorcycles are taking a lot of bandwidth on here...

And before someone goes off about how different this is than a 'motorcycle' just realize it has a motor, and two wheels, ergo: motorcycle.

+3 Deniz Merdano BarryW Jotegir E-wok Joseph Crabtree

Logic is sound. How do you like my new motorcycle? ;)

Edit: We just posted some non-motorcycle coverage of a new bike. 

PS - if it has AXS, is it a motorcycle?


+1 utopic

The stand up style motorcycles are super fun actually. Still a motorized cycle though!

Wireless communications are becoming the norm for high performance street motorcycles as a way to reduce weight actually. 

AXS is way late to that game. ;-)

-5 Peter Leeds Joseph Crabtree BarryW ZigaK utopic


BarryW logic: AXS has a motor. Bikes with AXS have two wheels. Bikes with AXS are motorcycles!


+4 Joseph Crabtree BarryW ZigaK chris2 utopic E-wok

Cam, that's not what Barry said, and you know that. Like Barry, I have concerns about the ever increasing industry push in the direction of full motorization, one press junket at a time. More "assist", more overrun, more, more, more!

+3 Jotegir Niels van Kampenhout rhw dhr999 E-wok Joseph Crabtree BarryW

It's just getting so old. And being pedantic - and falsely so - doesn't make anyone all that interested in listening to the part of the argument that may be true. So, make a silly 'it's a motorbike' comment, get a silly response. Seems fair.
+3 Pete Roggeman Jotegir SteveR dhr999 E-wok Joseph Crabtree Peter Leeds

First of all, I think all the moped and motorcycle commentary is hilaaaarious. 

B: this is what he said verbatim: " it has a motor, and two wheels, ergo: motorcycle."

IV: I don't disagree with you at all. Healthy, intelligent, adult skepticism of hyper modernization, and the rise of convenience while raising prices and putting decent bicycles (for example) out of reach of most people, is very welcome here and I share many of these concerns. Calling it a motorcycle or a moped or a broped doesn't add anything to the conversation. 

επτά: And yet those comments are welcome as well.

PS - Tell a Hell's Angel the bikes above are motorcycles, and see what they say. Or maybe a pro motocross or moto GP rider. They'll probably enjoy it as well.

+2 SteveR ZigaK chris2 utopic dhr999 E-wok

You need better reading comprehension Cam. 

I never equated AXS to making something a motorcycle, you asked a silly question, and I informed you that wireless networking is a thing on performance motorcycles. Never equated wireless devices with making something a motorcycle. 

But as SteveR said, where does this end? You act like my logic isn't, yet argue yourself that these are not motorcycles. Hey, drop the lawyer speak definitions, these are motorcycles, not the bicycles most of us ride. That's clear from the plain usage of these words. 

Calling these motorcycles does add to the conversation, because they are not the same as someone pedaling themselves (all by themselves) to the top of the hill to then ride down again. I don't say anything insane like these are equal to motocross bikes, but motorized they are. 

And your Harley rider point is ridiculous. Look at the history of the motorcycle, it looks shockingly like ebike development. Like very similar progression. Consider that the end point wasn't bicycles, that was the starting point, and ended up at Harley Davidson, MotoGP bikes and the like. 

The world did this program of motorizing bicycles, and that ended up with a completely different user group and ethos than the bicyclist crowd.


+6 BarryW Cam McRae Pete Roggeman ZigaK Joseph Crabtree utopic

Flogging this a bit further:

I have to agree with Cam on one point: while they are definitely motorized, legal assisted e-mountain bikes are not equivalent to motorcycles by a long shot. Even to relatively low powered moto's such as the SurRon (which have unfortunately begun to appear on some of our local non-motorized trails). And, to clarify my position: despite my personal aversion to e-mtb, I do believe that pedal assist has a place in the biking spectrum, even on many trails.  However- when the marketing push of MORE! is aimed squarely at an mtb demographic of "shredders" who are perfectly capable of biking without motors, like Barry I have to wonder: where does this end?
0 dhr999 E-wok Joseph Crabtree utopic

LOL! Maybe lighten up a bit Barry! Did I seem deadly serious above? But let’s recap.

You said this;

“It has a motor, and two wheels, ergo: motorcycle.”

AXS has a motor. By your reductive definition, that makes a bike with AXS a motorcycle, I said nothing about wireless either. That was you.   

I also did not suggest that you said these were equal to Harleys or motocross bikes. Maybe have a look back and see what I actually said if that’s of interest.   

My comprehension is actually pretty good. No need to get petty.

One could just as easily say, if it has to be pedalled to move, it is a bicycle. That is more logical than calling them motorcycles,

Which they aren’t, quite obviously. 

That doesn’t mean they should be allowed everywhere or that those who ride them shouldn’t be guided by the same principles as those that should (but don’t always) guide those who ride bikes with no electric motors. Or that eMTBers should be exempt from contributing to trail maintenance.

I support the legal limits to eMTB power and speed and I do not believe those with throttles should have the same access as pedal assist bikes.   

I also support sensible access rules like keeping eMTBs off some sensitive alpine trails, not because they do more damage individually, but because they will produce more traffic.

You think calling them motorcycles is a productive addition to this conversation, and I disagree. 

I’m okay with that! 

-1 utopic

I can't reply toSteveR below (comment system limitation) but it's a perfect example of making a solid argument without a reflexive statement preceding it. That's a conversation we can have. 

Barry, I know you have contributions to make, you just lose your audience when you start out flippantly. Of course it doesn't help when we reply that way either but it's really frustrating to go to the effort of disrupting your week by flying far away to test bikes (sounds tough I know but it actually is a big effort) then compiling info and spending a lot of time writing an article only to have the same ol' "motorcycle" tirade. Yes, it's our job and no one's asking for sympathy. No, you don't have to embrace e-bikes. But at least meet us halfway on having a decent conversation about it. 

As far as where it'll end, the last two generations of Shimano and Bosch motors have 85nM of power. Most efforts are centered around making batteries and therefore bikes lighter (more efficient, longer lasting, etc). You could add more power to what we have now but I don't think the ceiling is a lot higher. You can only go so fast on a trail before you outpace your vision, skill, coordination, etc. 

Surrons are a different story altogether but they should be controllable using a lot of the same things used to keep ICE motos off other trails, like squirrel catchers. Those things are, I think, what will bring to fruition a lot of the problems people have been worried about with e-bikes that haven't really come to be.

+1 ZigaK utopic dhr999

Replying to Pete:

Thane for the real response.

I'm actually quite genuine on my opinions about ebikes. And to date not one person has made a cogent argument how they are not in fact just (by today's standards) low powered motorcycles. 

Like really, every response is that that use the same components as bicycles, so bicycle! But that's not really how that works. Case in point: a BMW i3 uses the weird, large diameter wheels that are closer to fatbike dimensions than common automotive wheels. Would that similarity make it a bike? Of course not. 

Now that's an obviously absurd comparison because no matter the parts used to make what we all call a "car" if it has four wheels, is self motivated, and can carry at least one passenger it's a CAR! And to add to that, a Paganini Zonda shares literally zero parts work any car any one of us on here will ever own, but it is still a car because of the 4 wheels, self motivating and able to carry at least one person. Even more true of exotic racing cars or motorcycles. 

So saying that these are not motorcycles is weird. How is it not? Does it self motivate? Yes. Does it also need rider input, yes. Does that take it out of the motorized category? No. Does using mtb brakes on a motorcycle make it a bicycle? No. Literally the only real debate is the legal category these sit in. And they have defined a motorized cycle as a subdivision of bicycle. Cool, well let's all listen to the definitions made by corporations and government, because that's usually the best idea right? Hopefully you can feel the snark.

I don't hate anyone for flying around to go ride bikes Ave write about them, but I've gotta be honest while they are incredibly fun recreation, this article is about a sport most of your readership does not partake in. It is a different sport that sits right between full powered motocross type riding, and human powered bicycles. 

And responding to Cam: 

Sure, I did say that, but by clawing onto what was obviously not my point you sir become the obnoxious pendant. Not me. 

And yes, you said that if I asked Harley riders of these are motorcycles they wouldn't agree. Well if you asked that same group about a lot of things I bet we could come up with the craziest answers that neither you nor me would agree with. 

Smiles all around boys, I like a good and thoughtful debate, and I feel when you flip me shit I get to flip my own hack at you. No love lost here, u still enjoy the writing, but I'm still gonna hate the low powered motorcycles.

To everyone: I'm not mad bro. Just feeling the frog in water slowly coming up to a boil. Like I mentioned earlier, look at the development of the motorcycle, it was literally bicycles with motors added. (Or velocipedes). Either way, that was the origin of the motorcycle, not an original thought, but more that people already riding bicycles wanted to pedal less. Well here we are with newer tech, but I fail to see how that makes anything different.

0 Pete Roggeman utopic

I can't reply to your last comment but it starts with - "Replying to Pete:

Thane for the real response."

But your comment seemed like a really long winded way of saying you don't understand the definition of a bicycle. It's always been a pedal propelled device with two wheels, a frame and handlebars.

Yes the inception of the motorcycle was preceded by a bicycle like principles but the combustion engine hadn't been invented yet and the logical end point was the motorcycle. What do you think the logical endpoint of e-bikes are? Do you think manufacturers will abandon e-bikes and just say that we're all headed for e-moto cross bikes anyway? Lol no.

The biggest differentiator is that e-bikes lack a throttle (accelerator) and require human pedalling effort to move forward. The output of the motor equates to the effort being put in by the rider.

As soon as e-bikes have a throttle or autopilot that requires no pedalling, then I'll agree with you.

Also your mention of the i3 is weird. It has four wheels and an accelerator, it's an automobile (car).

+4 Cam McRae Pete Roggeman Morgan Heater Peter Leeds

This is what peak motorcycle riding looks like, people.


+2 Cam McRae BarryW

I don't think she rides many mountains on that particular e-bike, so "peak" might be a bit excessive. True wizards ride motorunicycle:


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