Canyon Grail:ON CF 7 review

Cavalo

New Member
Region
USA
I'm going to post this in case someone using a search for feedback might find this helpful. I did a lot of research before purchasing the Grail:ON but info is hard to find.

My background: I am 47yrs old, 6'3.5" (192cm) 195lbs(89kg) used to race road bikes as Cat2 15 yrs ago. Got really sick with a long term illness, and hadn't ridden a bike in 10yrs because exercise made me more ill. Started to get better, and wanted to get back into riding bikes but was afraid I would not be able to put much effort into it because I just can't without paying big price. The Grail:ON seemed perfect. I wanted a gravel bike or something that could be more of an all road bike. I thought the grail:eek:n checked all the boxes and would allow me to ride at my pace of 15yrs ago, and open up other riding opportunities(gravel, easy local trails, etc.). And it did all that.

Yes the cutoff is about 26.5mph actual speed(indicated 28mph) which is kind of annoying, but once I installed a wheel speed sensor to use with garmin edge 1000 and used theoretical circumference of a 700x50 tire I understood the issue. It is indeed 28mph using the theoretical tire size... but the effective tire size is a bit smaller. So its not an intentional thing on Canyon/Bosch's part.

The bike rides exactly like you would expect. The motor is like a riding a perfectly insync tandem with an adjustable stoker power output with no weight. The bike weighs the same as tandem too. haha
I found Eco to feel like riding a normal bike at higher speeds and on road, it was kind of like you could roll those monster truck tires with road bike efficiency and then some. Tour was like mega boost. Sport was you don't even have to try to pedal, and I never used turbo because sport with a modicum of pedaling was already pulling max power out of motor. In the US the motor is rated at 350w. I used to train with SRM power meter and that was roughly my FTP (power I could maintain for an hour). It can put more power than that for short bursts, but 350w sustained in addition to whatever you provide is plenty.

I would definitely get the SRAM equipped bike if you spend any time on the road riding faster than 20mph. The shimano equipped bikes come with 11-42 11spd cassette, and the spacing is all wrong for a class 3 E-bike. Close ratio in the middle, with the smallest cogs being 15-13-11. With a 44t chainring, you pretty much spend all your time in those three gears, with a big gap between each. It doesn't look like there is much clearance on the chainstay to mount a bigger chainring and Canyon had no idea. Even a 46t would be a gamble and it needs at least a 48t. The 10-36 12spd SRAM cassette would be much better, as it has 15,14,13,12,11,10. And man even in ECO mode the 44-42 gear is stupid torquey, like unusable low with the motor kicking in. You can climb 40% grades in the 44f-36r without much effort.

RANGE:
Everybody wants to know about range... how long is a rope? The battery is 500w/hr, but efficiency is probably 80% best case so down to 400w/hr, and because of internal resistance losses that is only at a slow discharge rate, if you discharge it faster, it goes even lower. And of course how much power are you putting in? I did a couple rides at both ends of extremes.

All out: I did a ride around a hilly criterium course close the car to ride till empty and managed 33mi(53km) at avg speed of 23.5MPH(37.7kph) with a cumulative elevation gain of 2280ft. I was mostly in Tour mode not riding hard, but I was staying aero. The higher power outputs drained the battery quick. That's a lot of climbing so I'm pretty sure that is about all I could have done as my 30yr old self going all out, and I did it with a lot less effort. Its important to note I was always trying to stay in zone 2, I never let my heart rate go above 125bpm, so would SWAG my avg power input to be about 200w to augment whatever the motor did. To do that effort on a 38lb bike with those tires would be probably require 480w average, so lets just say I did get close to the rated capacity of battery (280w x 1.5hrs = 420w/hr)

At the other end of the spectrum I did a 49mi ride lots of gravel and 1900' of climbing at avg speed of 18.7mph and got back to car with 1 bar remaining. Toggled to Tour mode for hills, but mostly Eco mode. I would place the effort equal to what I could do on Endurace with GP5000 tires(roll way easier) with a 13.7mph avg. Its a huge difference. There is no question about it, you could easily do a 60+mi ride at much faster speed than regular bike given equal efforts.

I ended up returning it. There was nothing wrong with it, its a fantastic bike... it just didn't suit me. I got an analogue Endurace to replace it. The reasons for me was that I realized all the E-bike was doing was allowing me to ride faster (duh). But where I live in housing development hell, unless you can ride 45mph on high traffic two lanes with no shoulder, you have still have to load it up into the car to drive 10mi outside of exurbia to the nice low traffic roads and gravel, and man throwing a 38lb bike in the back of the car is so much harder than an 18lb one. Plus there was this subtle grinding feeling in the smaller cassette cogs you could feel through the crank that I thought was in the motor (I since had the same problem in the Endurace bike and realized it is a shimano hyperglide thing that goes away when the teeth and chain wear-in).
 
I'm going to post this in case someone using a search for feedback might find this helpful. I did a lot of research before purchasing the Grail:ON but info is hard to find.

My background: I am 47yrs old, 6'3.5" (192cm) 195lbs(89kg) used to race road bikes as Cat2 15 yrs ago. Got really sick with a long term illness, and hadn't ridden a bike in 10yrs because exercise made me more ill. Started to get better, and wanted to get back into riding bikes but was afraid I would not be able to put much effort into it because I just can't without paying big price. The Grail:ON seemed perfect. I wanted a gravel bike or something that could be more of an all road bike. I thought the grail:eek:n checked all the boxes and would allow me to ride at my pace of 15yrs ago, and open up other riding opportunities(gravel, easy local trails, etc.). And it did all that.

Yes the cutoff is about 26.5mph actual speed(indicated 28mph) which is kind of annoying, but once I installed a wheel speed sensor to use with garmin edge 1000 and used theoretical circumference of a 700x50 tire I understood the issue. It is indeed 28mph using the theoretical tire size... but the effective tire size is a bit smaller. So its not an intentional thing on Canyon/Bosch's part.

The bike rides exactly like you would expect. The motor is like a riding a perfectly insync tandem with an adjustable stoker power output with no weight. The bike weighs the same as tandem too. haha
I found Eco to feel like riding a normal bike at higher speeds and on road, it was kind of like you could roll those monster truck tires with road bike efficiency and then some. Tour was like mega boost. Sport was you don't even have to try to pedal, and I never used turbo because sport with a modicum of pedaling was already pulling max power out of motor. In the US the motor is rated at 350w. I used to train with SRM power meter and that was roughly my FTP (power I could maintain for an hour). It can put more power than that for short bursts, but 350w sustained in addition to whatever you provide is plenty.

I would definitely get the SRAM equipped bike if you spend any time on the road riding faster than 20mph. The shimano equipped bikes come with 11-42 11spd cassette, and the spacing is all wrong for a class 3 E-bike. Close ratio in the middle, with the smallest cogs being 15-13-11. With a 44t chainring, you pretty much spend all your time in those three gears, with a big gap between each. It doesn't look like there is much clearance on the chainstay to mount a bigger chainring and Canyon had no idea. Even a 46t would be a gamble and it needs at least a 48t. The 10-36 12spd SRAM cassette would be much better, as it has 15,14,13,12,11,10. And man even in ECO mode the 44-42 gear is stupid torquey, like unusable low with the motor kicking in. You can climb 40% grades in the 44f-36r without much effort.

RANGE:
Everybody wants to know about range... how long is a rope? The battery is 500w/hr, but efficiency is probably 80% best case so down to 400w/hr, and because of internal resistance losses that is only at a slow discharge rate, if you discharge it faster, it goes even lower. And of course how much power are you putting in? I did a couple rides at both ends of extremes.

All out: I did a ride around a hilly criterium course close the car to ride till empty and managed 33mi(53km) at avg speed of 23.5MPH(37.7kph) with a cumulative elevation gain of 2280ft. I was mostly in Tour mode not riding hard, but I was staying aero. The higher power outputs drained the battery quick. That's a lot of climbing so I'm pretty sure that is about all I could have done as my 30yr old self going all out, and I did it with a lot less effort. Its important to note I was always trying to stay in zone 2, I never let my heart rate go above 125bpm, so would SWAG my avg power input to be about 200w to augment whatever the motor did. To do that effort on a 38lb bike with those tires would be probably require 480w average, so lets just say I did get close to the rated capacity of battery (280w x 1.5hrs = 420w/hr)

At the other end of the spectrum I did a 49mi ride lots of gravel and 1900' of climbing at avg speed of 18.7mph and got back to car with 1 bar remaining. Toggled to Tour mode for hills, but mostly Eco mode. I would place the effort equal to what I could do on Endurace with GP5000 tires(roll way easier) with a 13.7mph avg. Its a huge difference. There is no question about it, you could easily do a 60+mi ride at much faster speed than regular bike given equal efforts.

I ended up returning it. There was nothing wrong with it, its a fantastic bike... it just didn't suit me. I got an analogue Endurace to replace it. The reasons for me was that I realized all the E-bike was doing was allowing me to ride faster (duh). But where I live in housing development hell, unless you can ride 45mph on high traffic two lanes with no shoulder, you have still have to load it up into the car to drive 10mi outside of exurbia to the nice low traffic roads and gravel, and man throwing a 38lb bike in the back of the car is so much harder than an 18lb one. Plus there was this subtle grinding feeling in the smaller cassette cogs you could feel through the crank that I thought was in the motor (I since had the same problem in the Endurace bike and realized it is a shimano hyperglide thing that goes away when the teeth and chain wear-in).
Thanks for posting this is very helpful I have one of these on order and all my ebikes for the road (except my wonderful Giant Revolt Eplus Pro that comes with 80nm super quiet 5/3 assist levels and 46t chainring), I have had to put larger chainrings on. Glad this popped up on my search. The actually took one of these Grail:On bikes and did really smart chainline mods that worked to get a 62t !!! chainring on it.
 
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Haha, the timing of your response is synchronous... I just ordered another Grail:ON... I decided I need the power to ride up steep climbs, and its just a fun bike to ride. I too have thought about shimming out the chainring to mount a larger ring. A 47t is nice. I'm going to see how the 44t standard feels, as this time I got the Sram 12spd bike which has closer ratio 10-36 cassette.

The 44-11 gear being top end, I didn't really find any issue with it, since 26mph cut off is pretty low cadence in that gear anyway. What I did find to be an issue was the lack of a 12t and 14t cog, and there was no use for a 42t cog, except if your battery is dead, as on eco mode in a 44-42 gear, its unrideable except up a stupid steep grade that you will never(rarely?) find yourself riding on a gravel bike.
 
Haha, the timing of your response is synchronous... I just ordered another Grail:ON... I decided I need the power to ride up steep climbs, and its just a fun bike to ride. I too have thought about shimming out the chainring to mount a larger ring. A 47t is nice. I'm going to see how the 44t standard feels, as this time I got the Sram 12spd bike which has closer ratio 10-36 cassette.

The 44-11 gear being top end, I didn't really find any issue with it, since 26mph cut off is pretty low cadence in that gear anyway. What I did find to be an issue was the lack of a 12t and 14t cog, and there was no use for a 42t cog, except if your battery is dead, as on eco mode in a 44-42 gear, its unrideable except up a stupid steep grade that you will never(rarely?) find yourself riding on a gravel bike.
We have lots of those wonderful ( aka stupid), steep and technical grades here in Colorado in the USA :) . Another for me "fun" way to train is to turn the motor off on some steep climbs and use the weight of the bike for training. When racing national pro for mountain mtb events we would put weights in our back packs as taught by Tink (https://mbaction.com/meet-the-riders-their-rides-tinker-juarez/). This is much easier with just the weight of the bike :eek: . I really like that 42t in the back then. :)
Oh yea, I pulled the 44 chainring and easily cleared a 46 non oem chainring on it (mostly for my stupid fast rolling group training rides). The chainline remained fine and no drops. Now this is a size medium frame not a large so there maybe a difference there but I would certainly recheck your measurements. More info in next post below.
Best package put together with a high end shipping box (a lil thicker than even Bike Flights boxes)
I even like the weird looking double front bars (very easy to hang a very light mind you barrel bag on the front lower without messing up my hand position on the top). But hate the non adjustable nature of it as well as the support staff at Canyon won't let you even pay to upgrade if you like a wider bar width. I like really wide and they put 46" (c/c at the ends) bars on their xlarge models and I wanted to buy one of those and could not. I run a freakin Ritchey 52" handlebar on my Giant Revolt. https://www.excelsports.com/ritchey-comp-venturemax-xl-handlebar
Oh yea, immediately ordered a speedbox 3 for it to get rid of the really stupid rent my bike from them speed limit on the thing. Germans started it the gestapo speed limits on bicycles no less; yet they don't have a speed limit on cars on the autobahn.
Also, will probably have to upgrade to the silly large Nyon display (allows custom torque assist levels) because at the time of Purion display, they did not understand we are not stupid robots and need to customize our own training torque levels on any given training day depending on what our legs report. :)
Thanks for your post have fun with your new, new bike.
 
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We have lots of those wonderful ( aka stupid), steep and technical grades here in Colorado in the USA :) . Another for me "fun" way to train is to turn the motor off on some steep climbs and use the weight of the bike for training. When racing national pro for mountain mtb events we would put weights in our back packs as taught by Tink (https://mbaction.com/meet-the-riders-their-rides-tinker-juarez/). This is much easier with just the weight of the bike :eek: . I really like that 42t in the back then. :)
Oh yea, I pulled the 44 chainring and easily cleared a 46 non oem chainring on it (mostly for my stupid fast rolling group training rides). The chainline remained fine and no drops. Also, it looks like I could (maybe) 47~48t on there and I may try it for jollies. For mountain technical yes, will go back to 44t. Oh yea, how do you like the shipping box and tool kit they send. Best package put together with a high end shipping box (a lil thicker than even Bike Flights boxes)
I even like the weird looking double front bars (very easy to hang a very light mind you barrel bag on the front lower without messing up my hand position on the top). But hate the non adjustable nature of it as well as the support staff at Canyon won't let you even pay to upgrade if you like a wider bar width. I like really wide and they put 46" (c/c at the ends) bars on their xlarge models and I wanted to buy one of those and could not. I run a freakin Ritchey 52" handlebar on my Giant Revolt. https://www.excelsports.com/ritchey-comp-venturemax-xl-handlebar
Oh yea, immediately ordered a speedbox 3 for it to get rid of the really stupid rent my bike from them speed limit on the thing. Germans started it the gestapo speed limits on bicycles no less; yet they don't have a speed limit on cars on the autobahn.
Also, will probably have to upgrade to the silly large Nyon display (allows custom torque assist levels) because at the time of Purion display, they did not understand we are not stupid robots and need to customize our own training torque levels on any given training day depending on what our legs report. :)
Thanks for your post have fun with your new, new bike.
Quick update I tried a 48t on it will fit fine on a size medium so again, I would recheck your measurements (I will do pictures in anotehr post so people don't get the wrong information) but the chainring itself (not sure if chainline or not) appeared to catch not being a narrow wide like the 46t one I have been doing the fast group rides with. So, I will probably by another one of these great running cheap and quiet VXM Chainrings in a 48t to try for fun. I don't really need it full time unless I was doing more long distance flat/rolling group rides.
I really don't expect these rings to last a real long time but I have had this last one I use last a season. Care should always be taken when running alum chainrings on an ebike generally I would get FSA ebike specific alum rings. Otherwise steel (which works your chain over), but that is better than having a freaken chainring break when you are hammering out of the saddle. :) https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B085SZV3NX/
 
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Here is the real pics of the chainring clearance on a medium Canyon Grail On frame, Again, I have been using the 46t and it cleared a 48t see tech details above. Measured with a 46T it had 4mm (see where I used the calipers to measure and if you are using a narrow wide chainring be sure to measure at the wide tooth :) ...) , of clearance. Still am waiting on the 48T narrow wide chainring to try when I get back to colorado. But, again so people don't get the wrong information. This bike in at least a size medium and probably larger will fit at least a 46t and maybe even 48-50. (I am not going to test a 50t on it because there is no real reason to) I can get out of the saddle and sprint (thanks to speedbox), up to my normal sprint speed with the 48t. Disclaimer, I am not a sprinter I am talking about when the wild and wonderful accelerations happen in the pack and one needs to quickly bridge from a large gap, back to the draft.
 

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Okay here is the real clearance with a as described above narrow wide 48t version of that chainring that just came in. As you can see it is just fine and is about 3.5mm.
 

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