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First Ride: Shimano’s New Steps EP8 eMTB System

First Journey: 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 previous Steps E8000 had been numbered. Lengthy reside the model new STEPS EP8!

All new, all higher. With 21 % extra torque than the E8000, now providing as much as 85Nm, in comparison with the previous 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 similar 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 dimensions, coming to a complete weight of two.6kg. A ten % 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 really match the brand new motor into current frames with none modifications.

One other large enchancment over the previous motor is a 36 % discount in drag and enormously diminished 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 fully reworked their help algorithm for all of their assist modes, organically matching the rider’s efforts and delivering the suitable energy on the proper time. As an alternative of a single help ratio for every using mode the brand new algorithm continually calculates the best help ratio relying on the state of affairs.

There’s a brand new show, the SC-EM800, which appears similar to the recognized SC-E8000 however encompasses a extra succesful chipset, expanded compatibility with third celebration computer systems because of ANT, and the flexibility to pick out two completely different customized trip profiles. Additionally, with this show suitable new wires can transmit knowledge quicker attributable to 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, holding the Q-factor at a slim 177mm.

Additionally up to date is the E-Tube Challenge app that may talk with Shimano’s digital tools (Di2 shift parts additionally). When it comes to customization, the choices are expanded massively, permitting the riders to regulate every trip mode with ten completely different help curves to regulate how shortly 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.

Journey Impressions

Attributable to a sequence of unlucky occasions, I couldn’t trip the brand new motor anyplace close to as a lot as might 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 take a look at bike. With Merida and Shimano having labored intently collectively when creating the frames that had been launched in 2020, their complete vary has now been upgraded with the bigger 630Wh inner battery (500Wh for XS dimension), enhanced Vitality Guard battery cowl with softer exterior materials to cut back noise and assist sealing the battery compartment, additional built-in cable routing, entrance gentle and naturally the brand-new Shimano STEPS EP8 motor. Our mannequin was geared up with Shimano’s SC-E7000 show, the 2 greater 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 shortly with none problem, even when pedaling.

It’s fairly apparent simply how far 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 working the bike in. Gone is the jerking movement that typically particularly accompanied the Enhance setting. Even when beginning out in steep sections, the motor reacts extraordinarily delicate to pedal enter and it’s reasonably straightforward to switch the ability to the bottom and hold the wheels from spinning.

All of this on the sensation of how quiet the brand new EP8 is, virtually taking it to a brand new degree within the class of full-size motors. Even in Enhance mode, beneath full load, the noise doesn’t amass to far more than a low hum, arduous to even acknowledge over the ambient noise of a trip.

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

Though it wasn’t unhealthy earlier than, pushing past the 25km/h threshold additionally feels extra pure now with the discount in drag, other than the truth that having to maintain a heavy e-bike at velocity will all the time be a bit more difficult. So far as total vary goes, the brand new EP8 system appears to be benefiting from its enhanced effectivity and ought to be proper there with its largest opponents, though I’ll need to run my little take a look at 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 way of the pedals and, should you listen, even be heard. Whereas it doesn’t actually have an effect on the trip high quality, I’m going to want to spend some extra time with the system to see if there are specific conditions the place that sensation turns into annoying.

Most significantly, as soon as you’re 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 working. On the push of one other button, you’re again to your common using mode.

Sadly, when attempting to hook up with our take a look at bike with the E-Tube app there was an error, for the reason that 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 secure to say that it’s an enchancment over the E8000 in each single means. 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 opponents 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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