Big battery, big engine, and big size, the last e-bike launched by Cannondale is not some sort of a half-measure or half-incredible electric bicycle. But is its style and electric power enough to make it a good urban city bike? Let’s take a closer look.
Cannondale is a traditional cycle player and is among the manufacturers which have taken time to embrace the electric wave. However, the American company wants to remedy this and so, it unveiled a very powerful and stylish model of an electric bike, Canvas Neo 1.
Read also: Is Cannondale a good e-bike brand to buy? Complete brand & models review – in this article.
This model is available in two frame designs or otherwise, two versions. However, they are fairly distinguished by their level of motorization.
In this article, we review the more expensive high-end electric bike model Neo 1 for 3799 euros. This model is equipped with a Bosch Performance CX line engine. Let’s keep going to see if it’s worth buying or not (check the current price on REI.com).
Design: lots of big tubes
It is an understatement to say that Cannondale Canvas Neo 1 has an original and distinctive design. Cannondale reflects its American origins. First of all, its frame gives it a streamlined look. The frame looked a lot like Harley’s frame.
Its tubes, with various thickness levels, connect with each other to reinforce the motorcycle aspect and confirm the truly successful e-bike style.
The Canvas Neo 1 exists in two versions. One is known as the Classic while the other one is known as the Remix. The Remix model has a slightly sloped frame with a lowered upper tube. This facilitates stepping over and helps with certain maneuvers. We think that this is also one of the nicest design aspects of the frame.
The battery, which is well hidden in the main tube, can also be removed whenever the owner wants. However, Cannondale has provided an easily accessible port within its electric bike for recharging your bike whenever you want, without removing the battery.
This charging port is only protected by a plastic cover. We did not find the protection reassuring especially if you are to ride in a rainy season.
We also regret that Cannondale did not polish the welds of Canvas Neo 1 Classic and Remix models well. The frame does not look like it was assembled in one piece.
At the price of almost 4000 euros, it would have been a welcoming level of service.
However, on the other hand, the idea of putting or designing two reflective bands on the carbon-made suspension fork is very effective and interesting at the same time. The bands effectively complete the default lightning of the e-bike in the streets.
Equipment: classic but lacking certain elements
Cannondale did not merely rely on its aluminum frames in its two models, Canvas Neo 1 Classic and Remix. It also endowed its e-bikes with classic and useful equipment.
The motor is not a custom-built one, but Shimano (we always pay attention to such details), the transmission is Deore, the hydraulic MT200 disc brakes on both hubs.
If you talk about the equipment comfort level, the results are more than satisfactory. The Cannondale Canvas Neo 1 Remix has excellent front lightning, remarkable wide mudguards, 29-inch rims compatible with tubeless tires, and a kickstand.
Schwalbe G-one Speed performance tires offer high-end performance and also offer a good compromise between speed and grip. Therefore, these models are ideally suited to be used as city bikes.
Continuing on equipment, there is one element that disappointed us a bit, which was the display. Instead of using a more visual display, which would help choose the level of electric assistance and show e-bike’s autonomy, Cannondale has chosen an old Purian option from Bosch.
It is probably an economical choice that steals the beauty of the electric city bike. At this pricing level, the display at the Kiox level would have been more suitable for the bike.
Application: Cannondale has understood e-bike secrets
Even when now many electric bikes have their smartphone apps, they do not normally adapt very well to them. Not many apps are able to share their service with their e-bikes. Most apps that we have come across so far, just point out your location or keep track of your journeys. Nothing more than that.
However, Cannondale has developed its application for the e-bike in the most ambitious way. Indeed, the companion application is conceived both as a tool for monitoring the e-bicycle itself and for its maintenance as well.
It is possible to use one app to monitor several bicycles, not necessarily electric bikes so that one can monitor their usage, performance, speed, route, etc.
But above all, the owner can keep track of whether that bike needs maintenance or not. Concretely, depending on one the number of kilometers traveled, the application made by Cannondale can tell you which part of the bike specifically needs maintenance or needs to be changed.
To connect the application to your Canvas Neo 1, you do not have to be tech-savvy. This is very simple, even for beginners. All you have to do is just turn the front wheel of your e-bike (the one on which Cannondale has placed a sensor developed in partnership with Garmin). The pairing is instantaneous and then allows you to create your account and associate it with your e-bike.
The application also has all the resources to maintain your e-bike by yourself. Indeed, for each model of Cannondale, it is possible to find all the manuals for each spare part of the e-bike. Moreover, it is also possible to find video tutorials easily to clean or change the damaged parts of the e-bike.
Unfortunately, the Canvas Neo 1 is not compatible with the virtual reality option of the application which allows you to dissect each part of your bike using your phone and thus help disassemble and reassemble even the most complex parts.
Finally, the app also gives indications of the number of liters of petrol saved or the reduction in CO2 emissions compared to those of other Cannondale users, which is a great add-on.
Engine and performance: Bosch is doing its best job
Unsurprisingly, Bosch was chosen by Cannondale for the engine and battery part of its Canvas Neo 1. In the two available versions of the Canvas Neo, the rider can count on Bosch’s traditional battery, the 500-Watts Power Tube. However, the type of engine changes depending on the specific model used.
The Canvas Neo 1 has the Performance Line CX engine, the most advanced motor option from Bosch. But the Neo 2 version of the Canvas, slightly cheaper (3299 euros) is content with a Bosch Performance Line of 250-watts.
The 500 euros difference between the two e-bike versions may seem disproportionate. It is not the case though. If you hesitate between the two versions of the bike, we strongly advise you to opt for the one with the best engine. Even though it is hardly differentiable if you put the e-bike to regular use but it matters in the long run. It will surely matter to you as well.
The CX version is not only more powerful (75 Nm against 65 Nm) but it is also thinner and more progressive when it comes to the level of assistance. Indeed, this is most visible in TOUR and EMTB modes, that is, between 140% and 340% assistance. At this level, the engine expresses itself as best.
The Bosch Performance Line motor model which takes into account the intensity of the pedal stroke is to be reserved for the most delicate passages, but it is a pleasure even on a basic ride.
On the other hand, the ECO mode slightly disappointed us. With 60% assistance delivered, it barely compensates for the overweight of an e-bike as heavy as the Canvas Neo.
Finally, the TURBO mode is certainly less violent than on previous Bosch engines but it seems slightly oversized in the context of a classic use of city bike.
Driving sensations: comfortable to ride on the streets
Thanks to a well-thought-out geometry and an ideal engine, the road performance of the Canvas Neo 1 is simply excellent. Whether on small stony paths, or fairly wide roads, or in town in narrower passages, this Cannondale e-bike is very comfortable.
This maneuverability is allowed by a relatively small handlebar, given the imposing dimensions of the bike. But again, the lowered tube of the Remix version is an undeniable advantage, especially when you have to take a very tight turn.
Above all, whatever the driving conditions, the Canvas Neo 1 is reassuring, with its perfect balance and very suitable equipment (thanks to the hydraulic disc brakes). Ultimately, this Cannondale e-bike is certainly one of the most pleasant urban bikes on the current market.
Autonomy: not bad, but average
As always with e-bikes, it is impossible to define a standard autonomy for each model. This is dependent on the size of the cyclist, the profile of his route, and of course, the level of assistance used.
Despite its weight (21.8 kg) and its imposing dimensions, the Canvas Neo is able to achieve a very honorable total of 70+ km on a single charge, which is quite an average range.
The Canvas Neo is able to add a second battery to its frame. It is not integrated but is superimposed on the main tube, an additional cable is necessary to connect the two Bosch Power Tubes. You will get it upon the purchase of the e-bike.
Cannondale Canvas Neo 1 datasheet
|Type(s)||City electric bike|
|Max speed announced||25 km per hour|
|Application compatibility||Android, iOS|
|Number of speeds||10|
|USB socket to charge the smartphone||No|
Dimensions and weights
|Weight (including battery)||21.8 kgs|
Pros of Cannondale Canvas Neo 1
- Successful design.
- Good equipment.
- Bosch Performance Line CX engine.
Cons of Cannondale Canvas Neo 1
- The Bosch Purian display.
- The high price for an average e-bike.
Final remarks about Cannondale Canvas Neo 1
The Cannondale Canvas Neo 1 is well thought out, very well made, and judiciously equipped. In short, it is an excellent urban e-bike.
Despite its imposing dimensions, it manages to maintain an honorable weight and is quite maneuverable on the road.
Above all, it has the best engine of the moment, which is anything but an accessory. Finally, when we add to its list of qualities, it could also have the most successful design. It is really unfortunate that Cannondale has not opted for a display commensurate with its ambitions. The same Canvas Neo with a Kiox display would have had much more class.
Read also: Check out reviews of popular models of electric bikes in this overview article.