Technical Report Shimano Integrated Battery:
OK, so integrated batteries are more aesthetically pleasing on a perfect side on view of an eMTB, and I understand why people want their bike to look nice. But, compared to Shimano STEPS systems using their standard external battery, the internal one is heavier, bigger (harder to carry a spare in a pack for an epic ride) and places the on/off button, charging port, and key port in the direct firing line of incoming mud. I much prefer to have the standard batteries which are also a little faster and easier to swap out and the important contact points are out of harm's way.Shimano XT Drivetrain:
Another one bites the dust. During a simple pedal up a fire road in a less than taxing situation, I had another rear derailleur and hangar explosion. eMTB motors don't sense the snapping and cut the power, so I ended up with another badly scratched chainstay, destroyed hangar, and derailleur, and spokes, and a long, heavy push to get out of the woods and home. That's the third one this year to go with no warning.RaceFace Aeffect Dropper
This was my first experience with a dropper from RaceFace. The 150mm travel Aeffect worked without issue and the remote lever fits well on the handlebar combined with the Shimano motor undercarriage lever.Magura MT5
I've had mixed results with Magura brakes recently; most of the time the MT7 with the older style, longer lever had a great feel and modulation, but the same caliper matched with the HC3 lever which is the most expensive, adjustable, and shortest felt like trying to modulate a piece of wood. These MT5's brakes needed an extra bleed from new to stop the bite point changing with heat and took a long time to bed in.