What does it cost? £4699 (as tested - Grail:ON CF 7)
What is it?The Canyon Grail:ON is an impressive electric gravel bike that promotes the ethos that gravel, and cycling, is for everyone. It’s something of a do-it-all bike. German brand Canyon has built the Grail:ON after years of pioneering in the gravel scene, and has created an e-bike that makes you want to ride not just on gravel, but everywhere.
What is it like? Gravel, by nature, is seen as a discipline that was popularised by people who ride for the sake of riding, not necessarily for Strava QOMs. And this bike encapsulates that feeling, by inspiring you to want to ride it, not just on the Downs but to the shops and the office.
The electrical assistance doesn't make you super-fast, but that's not what this bike is about. It's more about flattening the curve and softening the weaknesses that cause you to slow down - setting off and slowing down at junctions, cornering, and climbing. Overall, it's about improving your overall efficiency while allowing you to still enjoy the essence of cycling, and of course, gravel.
And by doing so it opens the door to many that might feel left behind. The addition of a motor to a bike is so much more than giving someone a helping hand up a hill; it means that people who might have been previously unable to ride distances or off-road due to injury or health conditions, now can.
The Grail:ON is stable, in part due to the mid-drive motor position which helps in off-road applications. It’s also got a more upright riding position than some other gravel bikes, leading to less shoulder strain and opening up the ability to ride for longer. It's got the option to go low, by taking out the headset spacers and sitting on the drops. This means you can ride the same bike to work as you can on a South Downs epic.
Those handlebars are something of a discussion point within the industry. Do they provide as much comfort as they claim? I'd say yes. At first, I thought they were a bit gimmicky, but the more you ride, and the harsher terrain that you ride, you realise that that the flex area is working to reduce arm fatigue.