There are tons of e-bike news this week and Canyon is getting in on the wave with a couple of new Commuter:On & Precede:On city e-bikes, but it is the Canyon Future Mobility Concept that has our attention. Whether it is really practical or not, where it would make sense or even be truly safe to pedal… is all up for discussion. But a four-wheeled, fully-enclosed recumbent electric-assist pedal car from a major bike brand is certainly worth discussing!
Canyon Future Mobility Concept, electric-assist commuter pedal car
It is hard to decide even what we call this thing, but Canyon’s new Future Mobility Concept is an interesting mash-up of a tiny electric car and the urban e-bikes that we see zipping around densely populated European cities. Canyon has looked at what use cases will get more people out of cars and onto bikes, and has come up with an idea that takes cargo bikes to the next level into an e-bike/car hybrid.
The idea is essentially that it can transition from car traffic and speeds up to 60km/h, then down to conventional e-bike 25km/h max speeds to slip into narrower bike lanes once traffic starts to build up.
And with a fully closable cab or ‘capsule’, riders get protection from the elements as well as some crash protection too.
Inside, the layout is much like a recumbent bike, trike, or in this configuration a quad-bike / pedal car. It isn’t an electric car per se, but a pedal-powered vehicle with the additional support of a regular e-bike powertrain. Canyon claims a target 150km range with 2000Wh of batteries (about 4x a regular e-bike), at a mix of high & slow speeds. Maneuverability is also recumbent-like, with two side sticks for steering to navigate a 7m turning radius.
You can then fit a single rider plus a bunch of groceries, or a pilot rider plus a child as a passenger (as the front seat slides forward to load the rear).
All of that in a 4-wheeled footprint that is essentially the same width as an enduro bike’s handlebar (max 83cm wide), but a wheelbase about a half meter longer (1680mm wheelbase, 2.3m long overall.) At 95kg, this isn’t going to get carried up the stairs. Canyon says it will be able to be remotely locked and disabled to prevent theft, but I would think most users would probably want to be able to secure it in a garage?
With a roof/windshield that can be locked in either the open or closed position, depending on the weather, you can have more of a car or a recumbent feel while pedaling along.
It is clearly still a concept vehicle, so while Canyon has a lot of tech questions answered (like, yes it will have some heating to keep the windshield from fogging in the winter and it will be controlled by your smartphone), it really remains subject to change before we see one on the streets.
When can you buy a Canyon Future Mobility Concept pedal car?
Canyon says they “firmly believe that the future of our cities lies with new, clean forms of mobility” and are committed to being involved in reshaping urban mobility. “Currently, we are re-orienting ourselves in the area of City & Trekking bikes, and we will focus strongly on urban mobility in a broader sense in the future. In the coming years we will launch more urban bicycle solutions, but the implementation of other concepts like this will also be intensified. The concept gives us a vision that we want to work towards – quickly.”
Even if I can’t imagine myself actually wanting to ride an enclosed e-recumbent pedal car around the city, it’s cool that Canyon is thinking outside of the box with their Future Mobility Concept!
Canyon Commuter:On & Precede:On city e-bikes you can actually buy
Back to the realm of (current) reality, the future of mobility in cities now is more likely well-equipped commuter e-bikes. Canyon’s two latest options are the alloy Commuter:On built around the smooth & light Fazua motor, and the Precede:On with the more powerful Bosch powertrain.
The aluminum-framed Commuter:On is meant to be a lightweight city e-bike for shorter rides to work and around the city. At 3300€ with either a traditional or step-through frame configuration, the Commuter:On is meant to be light & easy to manage in tight spaces and even up stairs to your apartment (just 17.2kg, size M) featuring integrated lights, fenders, and a rear rack built to haul heavy loads.
The carbon-framed Precede:On is more of a premium option with the powerful 85Nm Bosch Performance CX motor, a 500Wh battery for 65km range, and next gen Enviolo Automatic CVT stepless shifting inside the rear hub. It takes integration even a step further at the cockpit with the brakes, lights & cycling computer all tucked into the carbon bar – and still gets full fenders, a burly rear rack, and the option for a front rack.
The Precede:On also comes in a traditional or step-through frame layout, with two spec models available. The 4300€ Precede:On 8 sticks with a more conventional Shimano XT 1×12 setup, while the 5000€ Precede:On goes for the automatically shifting Enviolo CVT internally geared hub.
While we have to wait for the Future Mobility Concept to become real, both the Commuter:On & Precede:On city e-bikes are available now in Europe. Canyon confirms that they will not make it to the US market in 2021.