First Experience: Shimano’s New Steps EP8 eMTB System
All new, all higher. With 21 p.c 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 identical time.
• 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.
Due to 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 kind bundle 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 huge enchancment over the previous motor is a 36 p.c discount in drag and drastically 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 utterly reworked their help algorithm for all of their assist modes, organically matching the rider’s efforts and delivering the precise energy on the proper time. As a substitute of a single help ratio for every using mode the brand new algorithm consistently calculates the perfect 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 includes a extra succesful chipset, expanded compatibility with third celebration computer systems due to ANT, and the flexibility to pick two completely different customized trip profiles. Additionally, with this show appropriate new wires can transmit information sooner as a result 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 higher 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, retaining the Q-factor at a slender 177mm.
Additionally up to date is the E-Tube Undertaking app that may talk with Shimano’s digital gear (Di2 shift elements additionally). By way of 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 facility ramps as much as match their enter. Moreover, the utmost torque restrict could be set between 25 to 85 Nm of torque.
Most Shimano shows can talk wirelessly by way of Bluetooth with the app.
As a consequence of a sequence of unlucky occasions, I couldn’t trip 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 creating the frames that have 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 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 trouble, 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 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 slightly simple to switch the facility 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 stage within the class of full-size motors. Even in Increase mode, below 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 principle, when checking the vary between Path and Eco mode, it virtually doubles in distance due to their new algorithm. Naturally, the assist from the motor is far 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 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 hassle with my remaining vary, the brand new assist algorithm can also be noticeably affecting the bottom assist mode in a optimistic manner.
Though it wasn’t dangerous 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 pace will all the time be a bit tougher. So far as total vary goes, the brand new EP8 system appears to be benefiting from its enhanced effectivity and must be proper there with its greatest 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 delicate double-clicking resistance that may barely be felt by means of the pedals and, for those who concentrate, 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. Simple 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 using mode.
Sadly, when making an attempt to connect with our take a look at 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 secure to say that it’s an enchancment over the E8000 in each single manner. 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 greatest 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.