Pray that the city of the future will look more like the utopia of Logan’s run than the dirty, constantly raining in Blade runnerBecause in the exceptionally clean urban environment of our dreams, we will all be young and healthy and get around on a combination of monorails and something like the new Canyon Precede: ON, a premium e-bike in hybrid and step-through editions as practical as it is beautiful.
I took it for a short jaunt at the press conference and can report that it drives like a dream and feels much lighter and more agile than the 23 kg weight suggests. Part of this is due to the first-class CX motor from the Bosch Performance Line, which is located centrally between the pedals. The chunky 57mm wide tires and carbon frame with the fancy carbon seat post from Canyon (that̵
It’s the second e-bike we’ve tried that shifts automatically, and the Precede: ON Enviolo system was far superior to the clunky experience we had with the VanMoof S3. Switching on the Precede: ON was not noticeable at all and when I found my preferred cadence setting, I stepped comfortably with exactly the right level of resistance.
It’s really nice and easy to ride and surprisingly practical for such a futuristic looking bike too. There are built-in lights with two front settings, one of which is bright enough to illuminate a street without street lights. A luggage rack is standard and can weigh 25 kg, can carry panniers or a set of customized Canyon baskets. There is an optional luggage rack for 5kg and the ability to attach a Croozer bike trailer for children, pets or cargo. The main reason Canyon is bringing out a unisex step-through version is to improve balance when assembling a heavily loaded bike.
Mudguards come standard, and the replaceable battery comes out from the top of the down tube rather than the bottom so you don’t have to become familiar with the part that may have been splattered with dirt and debris. The premium CF 9 also has a carbon belt drive so there is no risk of your pants getting greasy. A stand is so tightly integrated that you may have trouble seeing it if it’s hidden. Only a small tab protrudes from your foot.
The stated maximum range is 65 km, although it is likely to be less if you are a normal person who doesn’t drive in any mode other than turbo, the one with the greatest assistance. While this should cover you for the kind of city trips this bike is intended for, it’s on the lower end of the range that e-bikes have to offer, and the 500 Wh battery doesn’t charge particularly quickly. It takes six hours to empty full.
The smooth cycling and thoughtful amenities justify the £ 4,699 price tag (get ready). It’s worth noting that Canyon partnered with the Green Commute Initiative’s cycle-to-work program, so you can get up to 47% off the price of the bike if you use it to get to work. You can also pay for the bike in interest-free installments using a Klarna-like service called Splitit.
There’s a slightly cheaper version, the Precede: ON CF 8 (£ 3,999), the main difference of which is a ten-speed Shimano groupset rather than the belt drive and automatic shifting. But if you’re spending that much money anyway, I’d be tempted to do the whole thing.
However, when you are considering a bike that looks so expensive (and expensive) that it is meant to transport you around town and therefore necessarily needs to be locked outdoors in public, theft is a clear problem.
The good news, however, is that, like everything else, security has been given a lot of thought. The Precede: ON doesn’t have a built-in SIM card like a growing number of e-bikes to help you track them down (an approach that isn’t always as appealing as you might expect; VanMoof’s recovery service costs about as much as for example an e-bike insurance). What it does have, however, is a removable Bosch Kiox display that acts as a key – without the paired device, the bike is unusable.
There is also space between the seat post and the rear wheel for a lock that is as secure as possible, the Abus Bordo Granit XPlus 6500 folding lock (additional £ 111.95).
Lock it up, take the display with you, and make sure you have a budget for bike insurance – it’s a bike well worth the risk.
Buy Precede: ON from Canyon | £ 3,999 – £ 4,699