New Canyon Spectral:ON Builds, New App, New Security Features

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There’s a new Spectral:ON launched today, which is interesting to a point, but really what’s exciting about it is the new Canyon App and Connectivity Module that are launched with it.

Canyon Spectral:ON Updates:

  • Now with larger and sturdier 160mm forks.
  • Longer fork slackens the head tube angle by about 0.5 degrees
  • Shimano EP8 motor update ups its peak wattage to 600 watts with power delivery across a wider range of cadences
  • Bike connects to the new Canyon app for GPS tracking and security notifications
  • New colour options

Canyon’s new app is the first step in bringing all your ‘bike management’ under one electronic widget. At the moment, if your bike is of the modern variety that comes equipped with a battery of some form, there’s a fair chance you’ve at least one app on your phone already. SRAM’s AXS app, perhaps, or Shimano’s Tubes ebike app. Canyon is working to make it so that everything from bike purchase through the unboxing and setup and on to spares and repairs will be able to be run through their app, integrating those third party products along the way.

For now, the app is a first step towards that. You open it up, log in using the same details as on the Canyon site, and any bikes you’ve already bought from them will appear in your ‘garage’. You can add others that you’ve bought second hand too – although currently only models from 2020 and beyond are supported by the app. In the garage, you’ll see the geometry details and manuals. You’ll be able to view the set up instructions inside the app, rather than having to head off to YouTube. And you’ll get reminders to do maintenance too – along with instructions on how to do it.

You’ll also be able to access stories and features from Canyon riders – perhaps inspiring you to ride what you’ve got, or maybe tempting you to consider buying an n+1 – from Canyon, of course?

In time, Canyon hopes that integration of functions with in the app will provide new opportunities – for example, if you record your rides, it might adjust your maintenance recommendations according to how often you ride. They’re also planning for you to be able to select the part you need to replace and order it from there – so no more discovering you’ve ordered the wrong brake pads, or a rotor that doesn’t match your wheel. Also under consideration is how the system might allow you to sell your bike on, or for stolen bikes to be identified because they’re in the wrong virtual ‘garage’.

Another element that’s fitting into this new app is Canyon’s new tracking system. Unlike aftermarket trackers, this uses a ‘connectivity module’ that is installed at assembly – removing it would require complete dismantling of the bike, along with battery and motor removal, as it’s built into the motor drive unit. It has 4G LTE cellular connectivity and motion sensing, as well as a back up battery. If you’ve left your bike somewhere and it moves when you’re not near, you’ll get a notification via the Canyon app. If you’re not there to go out and wrestle the thieves to the ground, then you’ll be able to track your bike using the 4G connectivity and the app. Even if the thieves remove the main ebike battery, the back up battery on the tracker will still give you a location for up to 24 hours.

The tracker requires a subscription to cover the 4G connectivity, which comes free with the bike for the first 12 months. After that plans are expected to cost around €35 a year. At the moment it’ll only be annual plans, although you will be able to subscribe or quit at any time, which associated refunds for time not used. If that sounds like a bit of a nuisance, on the flip side, some insurers are offering substantial discounts for bikes with this technology fitted, so you should recover the subscription cost that way. Canyon is currently working with Qover insurance, who is offering 20% off on bikes fitted with this technology.

The new Spectral:ON – which gets updated build specs but no changes to geometry – is the first of Canyon’s bikes to have this new ‘IOT’ tracker system fitted. If you don’t like the idea of being tracked, you can revoke location sharing at any time in the app. This puts the device into a deep sleep mode, so no new location data is processed. If you’re against tracking at any time and want to fully deactivate the sensor and remove your bike from this service you’ll need to contact Canyon direct. Or – for now anyway – buy a bike without the tracker fitted.

Anyone who has had a bike stolen will likely be interested to hear of this tracking system. Especially for high end bikes, and when combined with potential insurance discounts. And we can see that in the utility market there’s great potential for improving peace of mind about leave your £5k or so car replacement cargo bike sitting in the street/outside the supermarket/etc. It’ll be interesting to see how it rolls out to other models, and particularly if it will work with bikes without motors, where dismantling is less of a destructive prospect and there isn’t a regular source of power for battery charging.

As for the app, this V1 edition may be of most use to those unboxing their new Canyon, but we can certainly see how future developments might simplify maintenance and repairs, especially for those without easy access to mechanical knowledge. A single app on your phone for all things bike also has quite a lot of appeal – although obviously it would only handle the Canyon bike(s) in your garage.

Even if you don’t have a Canyon bike, the idea that the technology and inter-company co-operation is there to offer better security options for bikes is promising. Between the physical tracker and the virtual bike garage and identifying frame numbers, it seems there is something there that could help reduce the potential for reselling stolen bikes and parts.

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