Canyon Pathlite:ON 5 review: a powerful electric bike at the crossroads

The Canyon Pathlite:ON 5 is a perfect hybrid bike, as well suited to paths and rough terrain as it is to the city. With its top-of-the-range engine and its price lower than that offered by the competition, it has all the weapons to become a reference. Our test.

In the electric bike sector, the German brand Canyon has built a small reputation with the public: offering excellent bikes for direct sale, which allows them to better equip them than the competition for a lower cost. And it’s true that by browsing the Canyon catalog, it’s quite easy to find high-end components at prices that you don’t know from other brands – read our complete electric bike buying guide for more elements of comparison.

The Canyon Pathlite:ON, which we tested in its version 5 displayed at €2,699 on the manufacturer’s website, fully respects this philosophy. With its massive 4th Gen Bosch Performance CX motor, features sized for dirt trails or more advanced trekking, and a sleek design that can easily transform it into a city bike, the Pathlite:ON 5 is precisely the kind of model that is Canyon’s strength. And, incidentally, our favorite type of e-bike on Vroom.

Design and components of the Canyon Pathlite:ON 5 (2022)

A beautiful green bike, which arrives in a huge box, almost completely assembled: this is the first impression when you receive this VAE sold by Canyon. We then immediately think of the brand’s choice to sell only direct and our small city apartments: who may well have the space to store several square meters of cardboard while they see if everything is working well and that it does not shouldn’t you return the bike? But this initial disappointment, which could be prohibitive for some buyers, very quickly gives way to the discovery of this electric Pathlite.

Canyon Pathlite:ON 5 // Source: Louise Audry for Numerama

We immediately notice several details that make all the salt of this proposal: an overpowered Bosch Performance CX motor (85 Nm of torque), an 11-51 cassette on 11 speeds allowing crossings in rough terrain and huge 29 wheels. inches equipped with Schwalbe G-One All Around tires designed to absorb the roughness of the paths without transmitting vibrations to the pilot.

Version 5 is also equipped for the city with its lighting system connected to the removable 500 Wh battery and its enormous mudguards. Small subtlety: the rear light is made up of 4 diodes directly in the seat post, which is particularly attractive. Everything is held together by an aluminum frame that can weigh 23.5 kg on the scale, with a very classic Suntour front suspension on this kind of bike (which can jam). Two powerful hydraulic disc brakes complete Canyon’s offer.

Canyon Pathlite:ON 5 review: a powerful electric bike at the crossroads
Canyon Pathlite:ON 5 // Source: Louise Audry for Numerama

In short, we end up with a very simple bike in its design, minimalist in terms of accessories (the Bosch Purion computer, the simplest in the range, attests to this) and which makes you want to hit the road immediately. And why not, go further: these hybrid electric bikes between city bikes and bikes for rough terrain have very often taken the best of their respective heritages. We must, for example, never forget that the city is not an easy playground and that the bitumen is sometimes very uneven, not to mention the cobblestones or other slippery surfaces – bet on a bike type paths to make his daily journeys are therefore not superfluous.

Canyon Pathlite:ON 5 review: a powerful electric bike at the crossroads
Canyon Pathlite:ON 5 // Source: Louise Audry for Numerama

On the road with the Canyon Pathlite:ON 5 (2022)

Bosch motors fitted to well-made e-bikes rarely disappoint. It’s the first thing you feel when you make your first pedal stroke in Turbo mode with this Pathlite:ON 5 from Canyon: the desire for the engine to activate and push you. Or, you could say, to propel you. With its 85 Nm of torque and a bike with a sporty profile which invites you to take less seated positions than with a city bike, half a pedal stroke already engages the motor which will have only one task: to take you to 25 km/h. It does this in seconds, up to the steepest climbs of our urban commute.

Canyon Pathlite:ON 5 review: a powerful electric bike at the crossroads
Canyon Pathlite:ON 5 // Source: Louise Audry for Numerama

For these, the widest 51-tooth sprocket is even too wide. In a steeply leaned position, the power that you can transmit to the wheel associated with the power of the engine can make you go into reverse wheel unexpectedly if you dose your stroke badly. But who can do more can do less: from 3rd gear, you find yourself in perfect comfort, where the thrust is frank and the effort less, even on the most difficult climbs. The large, well-designed wheels, the pinion and the motor will also be able to take you up steps or cross embankments without the slightest problem, both downhill and uphill.

For further
Specialized Turbo Vado 3.0 // Source: Louise Audry for Numerama

In town, we take great pleasure in taking advantage of these advantages to avoid any vibration during the unfortunate events of our journey. Potholes are not scary, nor are cobblestones which transmit little vibration. We regret the absence of a suspended seat post on this model, but the sporty position allows you to get up quite easily on the pedals – when you feel that a blow will be strong, you go up a few centimeters and you no longer feel anything.

Canyon Pathlite:ON 5 review: a powerful electric bike at the crossroads
Canyon Pathlite:ON 5 // Source: Louise Audry for Numerama

Under ideal conditions – flat, paved and not wet – it is an understatement to say that the Bosch Performance CX motor is exhilarating. It allows you to jump ahead of everyone else when starting a fire and can get you out of dangerous situations. A good recovery is not only feeling, it is also the possibility of quickly escaping from an uncomfortable route – the right “blind spot” of trucks, alongside cars that could open their doors, etc.

On the other hand, even if the Canyon Pathlite:ON 5 is perfectly equipped to ride in the city in all legality, it lacks a very practical comfort option and often standard on city bikes: a luggage rack. No doubt it’s easy to mount one on this bike – the components are standard – but it is an element to add to the invoice and installation. And, perhaps, an element that will weigh in the balance at the time of choice.

The verdict

The Canyon Pathlite:ON 5 is a real success for the brand. It makes us forget the mistakes of the Precede:ON, mastered but much too expensive to be recommended. The Pathlite:ON 5 is an over-equipped bike for its price. It displays the sportiness of a gravel or trekking bike, combined with the elegance and practicality of a city bike, all powered by a particularly powerful Bosch Performance CX motor. We struggled to put it in difficulty in our tests and the driving pleasure is clearly there. When it comes to choosing, you can’t find better equipment, but maybe think twice about the accessories (the bare minimum) and the very cumbersome delivery.


Source: Numerama by www.numerama.com.

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