electrical bike First Journey: Shimano’s New Steps EP8 E-Bike 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 dwell 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 grow to be extra compact and lighter on the similar time.
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 bundle 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 massive enchancment over the previous motor is a 36 % discount in drag and vastly lowered 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 help modes, organically matching the rider’s efforts and delivering the best energy on the proper time. As a substitute of a single help ratio for every driving mode the brand new algorithm consistently calculates the perfect help ratio relying on the scenario.
There’s a brand new show, the SC-EM800, which seems to be similar to the recognized SC-E8000 however contains a extra succesful chipset, expanded compatibility with third social gathering computer systems due to ANT, and the power to pick out two totally different customized experience profiles. Additionally, with this show appropriate new wires can transmit information quicker attributable to elevated bandwidth and make the system future-proof for brand spanking new options.
A brand new handlebar-mounted help change (SW-EM800) with bigger buttons and better tactile suggestions is now accessible, 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 Mission app that may talk with Shimano’s digital tools (Di2 shift elements additionally). By way of customization, the choices are expanded massively, permitting the riders to regulate every experience mode with ten totally 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.
Attributable to a collection of unlucky occasions, I couldn’t experience the brand new motor wherever close to as a lot as may have been attainable, 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, blended 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 growing the frames that had been launched in 2020, their whole vary has now been upgraded with the bigger 630Wh inside battery (500Wh for XS dimension), enhanced Vitality 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 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 generally particularly accompanied the Increase setting. Even when beginning out in steep sections, the motor reacts extraordinarily delicate to pedal enter and it’s fairly 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, virtually taking it to a brand new stage within the class of full-size motors. Even in Increase mode, beneath full load, the noise doesn’t amass to far more than a low hum, laborious to even acknowledge over the ambient noise of a experience.
Additionally, the bottom setup of the Path mode has grow to be far more enjoyable to make use of. At the least in concept, when checking the vary between Path and Eco mode, it virtually doubles in distance due to their new algorithm. Naturally, the help 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 wish to experience 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 bother with my remaining vary, the brand new help algorithm can also be noticeably affecting the bottom help mode in a constructive approach.
Though it wasn’t dangerous 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 pace will at all times be a bit tougher. 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 rivals, though I’ll must 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 type of a refined double-clicking resistance that may barely be felt via the pedals and, should you listen, even be heard. Whereas it doesn’t actually have an effect on the experience 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 might be pedaling, transitions from the motor help is completely seamless and feels extraordinarily pure. Kudos to the brand new algorithm.
Lastly, Shimano’s Stroll Mode is now usable. Simple 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 driving mode.
Sadly, when making an attempt 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 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 overview 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.