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First Ride: Shimano’s New Steps EP8 eMTB System

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First Experience: Shimano’s New Steps EP8 eMTB System

It wasn’t a query of if, however when Shimano was going to introduce a brand new flagship motor. The times of the outdated Steps E8000 had been numbered. Lengthy stay the model new STEPS EP8!

All new, all higher. With 21 p.c extra torque than the E8000, now providing as much as 85Nm, in comparison with the outdated system’s 70Nm, with a most energy output of 500W The EP8 (DU-EP800) isn’t simply extra highly effective, it has turn into extra compact and lighter on the identical time.

Shimano EP8 Particulars

• 85nM torque
• 500W most energy output
• Magnesium drive unit case
• Weight: 2.6 kg
• 36% discount in drag in comparison with earlier model
• New help algorithm.

Because of a magnesium drive unit case and its enhanced form the brand new motor has shaved 300 grams off the size, coming to a complete weight of two.6kg. A ten p.c smaller type package deal provides much more floor clearance over its predecessor. The motor mounts are nonetheless the identical as earlier than, so bike producers can truly match the brand new motor into current frames with none modifications.

One other large enchancment over the outdated motor is a 36 p.c discount in drag and vastly decreased driving noise. Warmth administration has been optimized by introducing warmth dissipating supplies, an elevated floor space within the case and even a refined warmth administration algorithm.

Talking of algorithms, Shimano has utterly reworked their help algorithm for all of their assist modes, organically matching the rider’s efforts and delivering the correct energy on the proper time. As a substitute of a single help ratio for every driving mode the brand new algorithm consistently calculates the best help ratio relying on the state of affairs.

There’s a brand new show, the SC-EM800, which appears to be like similar to the identified SC-E8000 however contains a extra succesful chipset, expanded compatibility with third celebration computer systems because of ANT, and the power to pick out two totally different customized journey profiles. Additionally, with this show suitable new wires can transmit information quicker as a consequence of elevated bandwidth and make the system future-proof for brand spanking new options.

A brand new handlebar-mounted help swap (SW-EM800) with bigger buttons and better tactile suggestions is now out there, as is a brand new chain information (CD-EM800).

A 160mm crank arm possibility has been added to the 165, 170 and 175mm vary, preserving the Q-factor at a slender 177mm.

Additionally up to date is the E-Tube Undertaking app that may talk with Shimano’s digital tools (Di2 shift parts additionally). By way of customization, the choices are expanded massively, permitting the riders to regulate every journey mode with ten totally different help curves to manage how rapidly the ability ramps as much as match their enter. Moreover, the utmost torque restrict will be set between 25 to 85 Nm of torque.

Most Shimano shows can talk wirelessly by way of Bluetooth with the app.

Experience Impressions

Because of a collection of unlucky occasions, I couldn’t journey the brand new motor anyplace close to as a lot as may have been doable, however then once more, the few prolonged rides that I did get in, I depleted the battery each time and picked up some correct testing impressions.

Merida’s 2021 eONE-SIXTY 8000 with carbon entrance triangle, combined 29/27.5” wheel setup and good particulars – like Thermo Gate cooling vents on the steer tube space to assist heat air from the battery to dissipate – acted as our check bike. With Merida and Shimano having labored intently collectively when creating the frames that had been launched in 2020, their total vary has now been upgraded with the bigger 630Wh inner battery (500Wh for XS dimension), enhanced Power Guard battery cowl with softer outdoors materials to scale back noise and assist sealing the battery compartment, additional built-in cable routing, entrance mild and naturally the brand-new Shimano STEPS EP8 motor. Our mannequin was outfitted with Shimano’s SC-E7000 show, the 2 increased carbon fashions 9000 and 10K function the brand new SC-EM800 show model.

Time to play: good riddance to error W013 – the brand new EP8 can lastly be began up rapidly with none problem, even when pedaling.

It’s fairly apparent simply how way more highly effective the brand new EP8 is. Not solely extra highly effective, however extra well-rounded, with torque easily progressing, it doesn’t matter what mode you’re operating the bike in. Gone is the jerking movement that typically particularly accompanied the Increase setting. Even when beginning out in steep sections, the motor reacts extraordinarily delicate to pedal enter and it’s quite straightforward to switch the ability to the bottom and maintain the wheels from spinning.

All of this on the sensation of how quiet the brand new EP8 is, nearly taking it to a brand new degree within the class of full-size motors. Even in Increase mode, below full load, the noise doesn’t amass to way more than a low hum, exhausting to even acknowledge over the ambient noise of a journey.

Additionally, the bottom setup of the Path mode has turn into way more enjoyable to make use of. At the least in idea, when checking the vary between Path and Eco mode, it nearly doubles in distance because of their new algorithm. Naturally, the assist from the motor is way much less in Eco in comparison with Increase, or now even Path, however I assume that there are nonetheless going to be lots of people that can need to journey predominately on this mode to get some exercise in. Though I’ve not ever spent a lot time in Eco with the E8000, apart from after I was in hassle with my remaining vary, the brand new assist algorithm can also be noticeably affecting the bottom assist mode in a optimistic approach.

Though it wasn’t unhealthy earlier than, pushing past the 25km/h threshold additionally feels extra pure now with the discount in drag, aside from the truth that having to maintain a heavy e-bike at velocity will at all times be a bit more difficult. So far as general vary goes, the brand new EP8 system appears to be benefiting from its enhanced effectivity and ought to be proper there with its largest rivals, though I’ll need to run my little check lap for some comparable numbers.

Higher than earlier than, however nonetheless noticeable, is the transition each time you begin spinning the cranks from standstill and when stopping to pedal. For lack of a greater description, it’s kind of a refined double-clicking resistance that may barely be felt by the pedals and, for those who concentrate, even be heard. Whereas it doesn’t actually have an effect on the journey high quality, I’m going to wish to spend some extra time with the system to see if there are particular conditions the place that sensation turns into annoying.

Most significantly, as soon as you might be pedaling, transitions from the motor assist is completely seamless and feels extraordinarily pure. Kudos to the brand new algorithm.

Lastly, Shimano’s Stroll Mode is now usable. Straightforward to shift into and activated with the thumb distant, it pushes the bike alongside powerfully, it doesn’t matter what gear you’re operating. On the push of one other button, you’re again to your common driving mode.

Sadly, when attempting to connect with our check bike with the E-Tube app there was an error, because the new motor wasn’t a part of the official system but, so I can’t say to what diploma the modes can get affected.

Even with as little time as I spent on Shimano’s new EP8, it’s protected to say that it’s an enchancment over the E8000 in each single approach. I’ll spend much more time with the brand new system for an in depth evaluate and run it face to face to a few of its largest rivals to determine in what areas it does carry out higher and the place it nonetheless has some catching as much as do. Keep tuned.



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