Review: Shimano's STEPS EP8 Motor is Great, But Not Perfect

Oct 21, 2020
by Ralf Hauser  

After our quick first ride article, I was able to take more time to test out Shimano's new EP8 motor. Most of the ride time was spent aboard Merida's eONE-SIXTY 8000, with a few rides on Propain's Ekano. Many of the results were similar to what I wrote about in the First Ride article, although some significant details having come to light during proper testing.




Shimano's EP8, short for DU-EP800, features a higher maximum torque of 85Nm compared to the older E8000's 70Nm, topping it by an extra 21%. Maximum power output sits at 500W, although the continuous power output is set at 250W like most motors. The maximum rider support was raised to 400%, compared to the E8000's 300%.

At the same time, the EP8's form factor has become smaller by 10 percent over its predecessor, with a total weight of only 2.6kg, making it one of, if not the lightest full-size motors on the market.

The motor mounts remain in the same positions as before, making it possible for manufacturers to use the new motor in an older chassis. Various available drive unit covers hide cables or even mounting bolts for a clean look.
Shimano STEPS E8000

Continuous power: 250W (500W peak)
Torque: 85Nm
Weight: 2.6kg (5.72lbs.)
Maximum Support: 400%
Q-factor: 177mm

Battery Capacity: External: 418, 504, 630Wh/Integrated: 504, 630Wh

Displays/Remotes: SC-E800, SW-EM800, SC-E5003, (SC-E7000, SW-E7000-L with adapter)
Modes: (No support)/Eco/Trail/Boost
Walk assist: Yes

More info: www.shimano-steps.com








EP8 Details

A three-stage gearing system with six gears is optimized for the high RPMs of the motor and utilizes efficient reduction gears to allow for the motor's compact design. A one-way clutch delivers smooth engagement while reducing drag for a natural riding feel. Said drag has been reduced by 36 percent over the old motor, with greatly minimized driving noise. Heat management has been optimized by introducing heat-conducting magnesium materials, an increased surface area in the case and even a refined heat management algorithm. Under high heat buildup in the past, the old motor could reduce its output down to 40Nm; the EP8 will go down to 70Nm at the most at a much later point.

The new SC-EM800 display looks very similar to the known SC-E8000, but features a more capable chipset, expanded compatibility with third party computers thanks to ANT, and the ability to select two different custom ride profiles. New wires (EW-SD300) can transmit data faster due to increased bandwidth and make the system future-proof for new features. It can also communicate with other devices via Bluetooth LE.

With most manufacturers having shied away from the trigger-style remote that was available for the E8000 in the past due to conflicting with most dropper post remotes, a new handlebar-mounted assist switch (SW-EM800), similar to the 7000-series version but with slightly larger buttons and greater tactile feedback is now available.

The SC-E7000 black-and-white display and SW-E7000-L handlebar remote will still be compatible with the EP8, although only with adapters connecting to the thinner cables.

SC-EM800 display.
SW-EM800 remote.

A 160mm crank arm option has been added to the 165, 170 and 175mm range, with the Q-factor remaining at a narrow 177mm.

Chainrings and spider are common with other STEPS systems and support chain lines of 50, 53, and 56.5mm for 9, 10, 11, and 12 speeds. Depending on the model, chainrings with 34, 36 and 38 teeth are available. A new chain guide, the Shimano STEPS Chain Device (CD-EM800) is compatible with 53 and 56.5mm chain lines for 34- to 38-teeth chainrings and mounts directly to the motor.

CD-EM800 chain device.

Even though Shimano offers external down tube mounted batteries with 418, 504 and 630Wh, these days you'll mostly see the internal batteries on higher-end mountain bikes. A 504 and 630Wh integrated option is available, as well as an older bulkier square style of integrated battery with 504Wh. Since their system is open to third-party battery suppliers it’s still not uncommon to find some Shimano-equipped e-bikes with other battery packs as well.

Their in-tube batteries are designed to either be charged inside the bike if a manufacturer adds a charging port to the frame, or directly at the battery when removed. However, an extra adapter - which usually comes with the charger - needs to be attached to the battery for that to work. Something to remember if you're going on a trip where the bike can't be stored inside the accommodation near an outlet. Claimed weight for the 630Wh integrated BT-E8036 battery is 3,700g, an increase of 650g over the BT-E8020 integrated 504Wh battery.

BT-E8036 630Wh battery.
BT-E8060 630Wh battery.

For the launch of the EP8, Shimano has completely revamped their assist algorithm for all of their support modes to organically match the rider’s efforts and deliver the right power at the right time. The new algorithm constantly calculates the ideal assist ratio depending on the situation, compared to the older way of calculating a single assist ratio for each riding mode.

Due to the rather low weight and smallish form factor, expect the EP8 to show up on the newer breed of e-bikes with smaller batteries and lower weight, like Rotwild's R.X375 or R.E375 line with custom 375Wh batteries.


App

The E-Tube Project app, available for iOS and Android, that can communicate with all of Shimano's electronic equipment (including Di2), got a complete overhaul. Most of Shimano's displays can communicate with your smartphone via Bluetooth, and the SC-EM800 is one of them.

There are two profiles that can be altered, and either one of those profiles can be selected from the display during your ride. Within each profile, each ride mode is now customizable in three categories - assist character (level of rider support), max torque (the maximum torque the motor can provide) and assist start (the sensitivity of the motor reacting to the initial stroke of the pedal). Assist character and max torque can be adjusted in ten steps, assist start in five. Maximum torque can be set between 25Nm and 85Nm. The E-Tube Project app can also provide maintenance reminders.

A second standalone app, Shimano's E-Tube Ride app, receives all the basic info from the display at your smartphone. You're able to rearrange multiple screens with the information you want to see. Also, you can record your ride and send that recording to Strava afterwards.



Setup Notes

While I applaud Shimano for not having to deal with the initialization of the torque sensor before every ride anymore, effectively eliminating the chance of causing error W013 to pop up and shutting down the bike in case it would sense any load on the cranks, their safety protocols are a bit annoying.

Every time you start your bike, the ride mode is set to off. I'm not sure if they are afraid of people not remembering that they are sitting on an e-bike and shooting off into the trees, but basically every other motor manufacturer lets the system start in whatever ride mode it was sitting in before it was shut off - without a problem, I should add. I'd say it's fine that the protocols are in place initially, just give the end user an option to switch the safety protocols off in a sub-menu on the display. It might not be a big deal to a lot of people, but I know some that are so annoyed by this feature alone that they wouldn't pick Shimano over a competitor.

In order to connect the E-Tube Project app to your bike the power of the bike needs to be switched on, but its ride mode has to remain in the off position. On one test bike, I was able to make a connection to the bike after about the third try, and on one it wasn't possible at all, giving me an error I couldn't find anything out about when researching it.

I connected my Garmin 830 to the bike via ANT and that ended up being a surprisingly simple task, also quickly finding the bike again when both units were switched off after a ride and then on again. However, when you connect the E-Tube Ride app during a ride at the same time it disconnects your Garmin, so running both at the same time does not seem to be an option. On a few occasions when switching the phone into standby the connection was lost and it had to be reconnected again. I am not sure if recording the ride would have been disrupted as well by that, but it looks like the GPS tracking works independently from the rest of the data.

Shimano EP8


Display Hits & Misses

Unquestionably, Shimano has the cleanest and sleekest display integration on the market. But in my opinion, Shimano has dropped the ball by not upgrading the display with percentage numbers for the battery level. It feels like staring at a Nokia 3310 cell phone when everyone else is running around with an iPhone 11, or soon 12. With only five bars of battery charge showing, there's no way to tell if your bike is still running on 40 percent or 21 percent unless saw exactly when a bar dropped from two fifths of the reading to one fifth.

According to Shimano, "The new display does indeed continue using the five bars of battery charge. The goal was to keep the same sleek design as the E8000 and that limited us to the five bars.

However, computers like Garmin do have the ability to show battery level as a percentage number. Also, the new E-TUBE app can do the same thing. While we don’t expect people to ride with their phone on their handlebars when mountain biking, the battery level can easily be checked in common situations like when a group of riders stops on the trail to compare battery levels and make sure everyone can finish the ride.

Or, if you are riding and have three bars left but aren’t sure how long ago it dropped from four, you can pull out your phone for more precise battery level information."


First of all, I do not want to fiddle with my phone when I'm out riding my bike, apart from the fact that riders with other systems can just look at their display and get the proper info, so it's not like the whole group has to stop in order to figure out if they can do another loop or not. As for reading the battery level off their E-Tube app, all it showed me was, surprise, a battery symbol with five bars. I can only hope that the app will see an update one day with the option of percentages. Also, you'd have to connect your phone with your bike being set to the off mode to begin with. With Bluetooth, the success rate or time needed for building that connection can sometimes vary.

As far as real estate on their display goes, just printing the percentage number instead of the battery symbol would have given me more than enough room to do that, or adding the number as a sub-menu, would have at least been another option. Actually, if you really look at it, Shimano is quite good at wasting real estate on the SC-EM800 display, and I could think of quite a few options of how to make more important info fit the main screen of the small display. They could have also just split the five bars into ten as well, at least you could have doubled the information that way.

The only real viable solution for an exact percentage reading is getting the readout with a Garmin or similar computer, but that would require you to buy a computer if you don't already own one and ride with two displays, which would totally negate Shimano's idea of a sleek design.

Other annoying things to consider with Shimano's display is the fact that when looking at range or other sub-menu information it automatically jumps back to its initial screen after about a minute or so. The only item it doesn't jump back from is cadence. Also, their sub-menu order is somewhat dated as well. Why in the world the ODO is situated before remaining range is beyond me. Usually, I wouldn't care if the display jumped back on its own, but since I have to hit the small button repeatedly when my battery charge becomes critical on some rides, the more often you have to hit the button every few minutes the more you'd wish for a different setup. Again, Shimano can set it up the way they want, but please give the end user the option to change that display's behavior.

Apart from all of that, Shimano still doesn't give you information about rider input, which isn't necessarily vital, but a nice info to know about in certain situations or for people that like to use their e-bike as a training tool.

Being able to customize ride modes with their E-Tube app in multiple ways is simply awesome. Similar to Specialized's approach, you can tweak the bike to your liking in multiple ways. Also, it enables companies to preset their two profiles to specific ideas of what their bike is intended for.


Ride Performance

Many of the EP8's first impressions still hold true after testing it for a longer period of time. In some regards however, it's painting a somewhat different picture.

You hear it often with e-bikes that power is nothing without control, and Shimano sure delivered in that regard. Not only does the EP8 deliver more power than the E8000 in any situation, the new ride mode algorithms deliver a smooth and well-rounded power transfer, with torque smoothly progressing no matter how hard you stomp the pedals or what ride mode you choose.

Test bike
Merida eONE-SIXTY 8000 2021
Battery: Shimano BT-E8036 630Wh
Tires: Maxxis Minion DHF Exo+ MaxxTerra 29 x 2.6" front, Minion DHR II DD MaxxTerra 27.5 x 2.6" rear
Weight: 23.21kg/51.06 lbs. (w/o pedals)

Propain Ekano
Battery: Shimano BT-E8035 504Wh
Tires: Schwalbe Eddy Current Soft 29 x 2.6" front, 27.5 x 2.6" rear
Weight: 23.86kg/52.5 lbs. (w/o pedals)

Especially at lower cadences, the new motor can handle loads much better and propel you forward without a drop off in power, even in steep terrain. Speaking of steep terrain, it's much easier to get the bike going from a standstill in those kinds of situation, as the power added to the pedals smoothly transfers to the rear wheel. It's rather easy to control rider input and power delivery in general, even in Boost mode, where the power output used to be much harder to control in the past.

In direct comparison to Bosch's Performance Line XC Gen 4 or Specialized's 2.1 (Brose Drive S Mag), both those competitors still offer slightly more punch in their highest ride modes, although the difference is not nearly as big as it was compared to the E8000.

After having played around with each of the settings in the E-Tube Project app, I found Shimano's new setup for the Trail mode a great choice for various riding conditions. I used to avoid using the underpowered Trail mode on the previous version, but utilizing the full 85Nm of maximum torque when needed with a much more powerful base setup means that mode will see a lot more use. If you enjoyed it the way it was, you can simply detune the setup.

The only thing that could possibly be improved upon, with Shimano's factory setup for Profile 1 already being set to the highest setting for all options in Boost mode, would be to actually increase the possible output for all those variables as an option for riders looking for an even punchier feel from the motor. Even if maximum torque was carved into stone, higher options for assist character and assist start might elevate the EP8's power output to level equal to Bosch's Gen 4 or Brose's Drive S Mag.

Shimano EP8

Being able to change between two motor setup profiles from your display is a useful feature. You can even do so during your ride, although you have to stop to allow the system to switch over. It mainly allows you to create a more aggressive setup for your after-work-loop and one for those epic day's ride where you want to make sure that you make it out of the woods with energy to spare.

With the option to custom-tune those two profiles further, Shimano's E-Tube app is a smart tool for anyone interested in tweaking their motor's behavior to their ideas. In the end, many riders only predominantly use the Eco and Trail mode, so them detuning the Boost mode probably makes a lot of sense. Since Profile 2 of the stock setup does reduce the overall power and power transfer from all modes, they might be happier just by selecting that option.

Also, having these options allows bike manufacturers to create profiles according to what they think matches their bike's character best, or helps them to introduce new concepts with smaller batteries and lighter overall weight to the market, like what Rotwild is doing.

There is still a slight initial transition every time you start spinning the cranks from standstill and when abruptly stopping to pedal, although it's much less than before. It's a subtle double-clicking resistance that can slightly be felt through the pedals and, if you pay attention, even be heard. It really doesn’t affect the ride quality though, and at some point you just forget that it's even there. Plus, it's not that often that you start from standstill during a ride to begin with. Having said all that, I have found one situation where it bothered me slightly, which was during track stands where the constant cutting in and out make balancing a bit more undefined. Since doing track stands on your e-bike won't be a high priority, I'd say it's not an issue.

One of the greatest strengths of the EP8 is how quiet it is under load, even in Boost mode. Only at really high cadences does the motor noise increases slightly, but even then it stays composed. It's more a hum than a whine, and easy to forget about in seconds, especially in the flats or over rolling terrain. The motor is probably the quietest full-size motor on the market today, at least as long as you are not coasting over uneven terrain.


Motor Rattle

I remember dealing with a rattling noise when riding the EP8-equipped bike for the first ride article, but I was too focused on other impressions to dig deeper. On my next ride after the article was published it became clear when rolling down nothing more than a short fire road transition that the distinct noise was coming from the motor.

The noise is best described as a metallic rattle, similar to chain slap on bikes without chainstay protector. It's also very similar to Bosch's Gen 4 motor rattling, but maybe even at a higher frequency. Once you hear it, you cannot unhear it and it's simply annoying.

Here is Shimano's official statement to the questions of what the reason for the rattling noise is, and if they are working on a fix:

bigquotesThe new EP8 drive unit provides incredibly quiet assistance under pedal load. However, when coasting on rough terrain the unloaded system can exhibit a normal clicking sound that may be detectable to the rider. The clicking sound has no effect on the function or durability of the drive unit.

EP8 delivers significant performance improvements with higher peak torque, greater range, lower driving noise, better heat resistance, and reduced drag. These metrics are balanced with other important priorities such as durability and overall ride experience, with the best combination of key benefits ultimately resulting in a minor noise being detectable under specific riding conditions.

Shimano works diligently to deliver the best overall product experience and will continue to listen to rider feedback as we strive for continual improvement of our product line.
Shimano

In my mind, the noise generated by the motor when coasting should have been deemed as unacceptable (I feel the same way about Bosch's approach).

From having tested two EP8's, one embedded in a carbon and one in an aluminum front triangle, the pitch and intensity of the noise might change slightly from frame to frame (the same as we've seen with Bosch), and of course I cannot speak for every motor that will be equipped, but colleagues have confirmed that they've experienced the same issue. While we didn't get a clear explanation on what is happening inside the motor, I assume it's a similar cause as found with Bosch, where the gears are moved slightly by the bike kinematic's chain pull or vibrations caused by uneven ground when there is no load on the motor. So while it might not cause any technical issues, it's still annoying

In terms of battery management, the moment the display drops down to a single bar of charge left, or even before that, the system becomes as unpredictable as ever. With a theoretical rest charge of 20% on one of my rides in Trail mode and 12km left on the range display, the display jumped down to half of that within a few hundred meters and then continued to skip numbers from five to three and then to one when limping home in Eco mode.

Using the Garmin option to see the remaining battery charge in percent gives you a much better idea of your remaining energy level, although beyond about the last quarter or even third of charge left the battery seems to drain at a highly progressive rate. That's not necessarily uncommon for batteries of any type, but the difference between the first half of the charge to the second is significant.

At the ten-percent mark your Garmin gives you a warning, with the bike finally shutting down shortly after it shows you a remaining charge of six percent. I assume the cutoff happens at five percent, which would correlate with the required by law rest charge necessary to still power lights or other equipment even after the motor shuts down.

At least now the bike can still be started once turned off below a remaining range of 12km, an improvement over the E8000. Even at only one kilometer of range left on your display you can switch the bike off and on at your leisure until the battery fully drains.

Test Lap
Boost mode: 23.1km/1.250m @75kg tested (27.13km/1,436m @55kg tested)


Doing my lap test - which still is anything other than scientific, with many factors like rider input, components and bike weight not being standardized - it's intended to give a vague idea of how one motor system compares to the other on the same lap.

Since my low weight of 55kg always caused room for speculation on what the range for a heavier rider might look like, I ended up packing an extra 20kg of weights into my backpack on a second loop. By trying to find a pedal input that kept my lap times close to what they were with my regular setup I assumed that this would be the approach you'd want to see when riding with your buddies at the same speed.

Surprisingly, and contrary to my assumption from the motor comparison story from a few months ago, the difference wasn't as high as expected, only coming to about 15%, rather than the estimated 25%. Of course, that might be different with other motor systems and maybe I'll repeat those laps with the other motors down the road out of sheer curiosity, even if riding with the extra weight is about as fun as poking a hot needle into my eyeball. Not that I've ever tried that.


Compared to Bosch's Performance CX Gen 4 and Specialized's 2.1 (Brose) systems in my non-scientific reach test, the overall range of Shimano's EP8 was a bit disappointing. Especially compared to Bosch, with the comparable 625Wh battery size, Shimano only managed to climb about 350 meters less in altitude. Arguably, that Bosch motor was tested with the older 75Nm setup, but I heavily doubt that raising the maximum torque an extra 10Nm after the summer update would shrink its range down to that number. Theoretically, jumping between Trail and Eco mode almost doubles the range of the EP8, but unless I was willing to ride the same lap in both those modes as well (I am not), it's hard to tell if the system really follows the display's prediction.

Less drag over the cutoff limit is nice to have, but it wasn't bad before to begin with. Pedaling in the flats beyond the 25km/h (or 20mph in North America) limit with an e-bike however will never be amusing, so it really only comes in handy going down a hill. When the bike does come to a stop, Shimano's walk assist mode is finally easy to access and now pushes the bike forward efficiently and powerfully, no matter what gear you're in. Simply push down on the lower remote button and hold the upper button afterwards.



Pros

+ Extremely quiet when pedaling.
+ Great modulation.
+ Highly customizable support modes.
+ Great walk assist mode.
+ More power than older E8000.
Cons

- Metallic rattling noise from motor when coasting.
- Only five power bars for charge level.
- Slightly less powerful and punchy than Bosch or Brose.
- Lower maximum distance than other systems with comparable battery.
- Unpredictable battery consumption during the last 20%.



Pinkbike's Take
bigquotesWith the new EP8, Shimano managed to close the gap to its biggest competitors. It even surpasses them in terms of noise (very quiet under load) and weight. Display integration is still the best on the market, even if it only shows five bars of battery level and could easily integrate some more user-friendly features. Their new ride algorithms make the EP8 one of the most natural feeling motors out there, with plenty of power to propel the bike over obstacles, even if Bosch and Brose are still a bit punchier and deliver slightly more power.

The biggest downfall, however, is the motor's annoying rattling noise when coasting over obstacles. Is the rattling during coasting enough to shy away from getting a bike with Shimano EP8 motor at the end of the day? Probably not, as it performs better in any other segment than its predecessor and the EP8's biggest competitor Bosch is basically doing the same. Overall, the EP8 is a great motor, but not a flawless one.
Ralf Hauser







195 Comments

  • 170 3
 “Pros - extremely quiet... Cons - annoying rattling noise”...sums up 2020!
  • 12 0
 I rode the engine too, the thing is the engine is super quiet once you charge on the pedals, and you've got that annoying rattling noise as soon as you are on the freewheel and cruising down the trail... Shim is working on it from what they said.
  • 2 0
 @tomdesoals: I don't quite get it though. What is rattling? The freewheel is still in the (regular) rear hub so when you're not pedaling, nothing in the motor-bottombracket assembly should be moving, isn't it?
  • 4 0
 @vinay: There's another freewheel in the motor..
  • 1 0
 @hirvi: Yeah, but isn't that only supposed to slip (hence make sound) when you pedal but the motor isn't supposed to provide assistance? Sorry I can't picture how the freewheel in the motor is supposed to rattle/click if the cranks aren't spinning and the chain isn't moving (as you'd have when coasting). Is this explained in more depth in an earlier article you can refer to?
  • 3 0
 @vinay: There is a functional play between the engine and the ring, and the noise is coming from there.
  • 5 0
 @tomdesoals: Ah, thanks I get it. When the motor applies torque it pushes in one direction and closes the gap, when there is no torque the ring can rock a little. A bit like chain slap when you don't apply force on the pedals. Make sense. Maybe in a next generation they can implement an optional solution analog to what we're already seeing f bicycle chains. That is, spme pretension or a clutch like system. Can't see the equivalent of a ribbed chainstay protector happening Wink . But yeah, tough crowd we are innit? They improved upon so much and now we start moaning about a little rattle.
  • 2 0
 @vinay: Honeslty the engine feels great, but that noise is the first thing I noticed ????
  • 1 0
 @tomdesoals: Yeah, I get that now that bikes have become more silent anything new that makes noise can become annoying. I have no personal experience riding with pedal assist but when I hear the high whiz from the motor I think that would drive me mad too. Probably more than some rattle. But yeah, different people. From what I get from the article, what would actually bother me more is how it kicks in from a standstill or trackstand. In the article it is not considered that much of an issue as supposedly trackstands are less common on e-bikes, but if I'd get one (if ever) that would be just what I can imagine myself do. Try to tackle crazy steep tech climbs. So that would include rocks, hops, trackstands but also sudden boosts from a standstill. As they say, power is nothing without control. I suppose pedal assist allows you to tackle the more fun/steep/tech climbs but to be effective it needs to be subtle too. What's your experience on this?
  • 16 0
 Put on i9 Hydra hubs, annoying motor rattle sounds disappears. Easy fix
  • 2 0
 @tomdesoals: That excuse that Shimano put out by their customer service dept . is a broken record . it's been quite awhile and still no fix . That kind of thing can destroy a company's reputation even if it's not something serious .
i hope they get it fixed ,because it's a great motor except for the noise .
  • 1 0
 @hirvi: Yes & a gear box, but only one use able gear?
Which sucks!!!!!
  • 5 1
 @vinay:

please share your vast knowledge of what goes on inside ebike motors......
  • 1 0
 Can I give 100 upvotes please? It is the most underrated comment ever on the pinkbike
  • 2 0
 @tomtom4044: I just did.

@milkdrop: Please do.
  • 49 18
 What this article says to me is that ebikes are no where never the level of refinement that I would require to give up a normal bike.
I am open to ebikes but I am not open to paying for crap. And what ever you may think, annoying rattles = crap in my world.
  • 12 1
 Im the worlds biggest ebike fan & I quite agree. How stuff like this gets through what I would like to think was extensive testing I will never know. Same with brose 2.1 & their motor failures.
  • 15 128
flag deadmeat25 (Oct 21, 2020 at 4:33) (Below Threshold)
 So this one article, about this one e-bike, says to you that ALL e-bikes lack refinement and therefore aren't worthy of you gracing them with your holy ass?

You dick lol!

You basically can't afford one, that's the truth isn't it? My Kenevo is, and has been flawless for two years, makes no weird noises and is the most 'refined' bike i've ever owned...

Do you bitch about good looking women too because you can't get one of them either...?
  • 42 5
 @deadmeat25: people like you are the reason I have no faith in humanity. You have money. Big deal. Get over yourself.
  • 4 1
 Wait until you see how much work it takes to replace rear derailleur housing!
  • 1 0
 IMO Shimano bikes are good,but they are 2 steps down compared to Specialized and Bosch. I have tested a few one´s and to me best one is Specialized in terms of ridding feeling and refinement. Good thing with Shimano is warranty,at least here in Madrid is almost instantaneous. If you have a problem you can reapair it very quick. I tested a few Merida bikes with Shimano motor and they have some bugs in first versions,quite annoying stupid things force you to reset the bike sometimes. Those Merida ebikes ride quite good too.
  • 7 0
 As much as I want an emtb right now, I am waiting until the technology is perfected. IMO we're still in the pilot phase and have a lot of room for improvement. Plus the prices will drop as the tech becomes cheaper and can be offered at lower prices.
  • 7 0
 @deadmeat25: I only bitch GLW if they do annoying rattling noises

Is this the bad trail maners we've been hearing about from e-bikers?
  • 5 3
 What this article says to me is no wonder people make fun of mountain bikers.
  • 6 1
 I own the Levo SL, and it is the most refined ebike I have ridden so far. It is MUCH less powerful, but there is no rattle, no weird cut off, no jerky pedal action. The battery drains in a linear way, I can adjust modes on the fly, the app in pretty good and not necessary at all unless you want to fine tune the modes. The SL was a surprisingly great bike to be honest.
  • 2 2
 @Caiokv: Ok Mr. Richy Rich

Kidding but definitely jealous. I really want the SL. I'm sure we will see more bikes implementing the same slimmer/sleeker design.
  • 4 6
 I find the author of this article is overly picky. I run the previous version steps e8000 and I think it's brilliant. So when the new version is so much better... Trust me, there is no reason to not like ebikes. It's like riding your bike now, but faster.
  • 3 0
 @axleworthington: carefull, you will make the baby jesus cry . . . again
  • 7 0
 @stumphumper92: Not rich, just VERY irresponsible with money hahaha
  • 1 0
 @LuisCR: Brose equipped e-mtbs are silent, buy one of those...
  • 10 10
 @Leo48333: @Leo48333: I don't have money, i am f*cking poor, because i got my e-bike on interest free credit 2 years ago and i'm still paying for it...!

I 100% wouldn't change a thing though, it's literally the best thing i've ever bought in my life...

I've always made sacrifices for bikes, all the way back in '97 when i bought a Marin B-17, my first proper bike. That cost me £1260.. Back then, and to me, that was more money than i'd ever even seen, i got that on 4 years credit, INTEREST BEARING!!! God knows how much i eventually paid...

The point is, most people bitch, whine, put e-bikes down and generally make out like they are against e-bikes purely because they can't or WONT afford one, and it pisses me off because you could ALL have an ebike or whatever bike you want if you are willing to sacrifice other stuff.

Maybe you don't care about biking that much, maybe you have a family or video games are more important or whatever, but don't pretend they're shit just because you don't have one.
Get a second job, sell some shit, give up crack, do whatever you can, because most of the people you see riding super nice bikes have done exactly that, we're not all dentists!!!
  • 2 1
 @deadmeat25: not sure even why someone downvote u?
  • 4 1
 @Caiokv: I just rode a 2021 Levo SL and for the first time ever I actually want an eBike. I’m not going to be pulling the trigger on one anytime soon, but I totally get the appeal after riding that bike. It almost doesn’t feel motorized, you mostly just feel like you’re way stronger and fitter.
  • 2 0
 @nickmalysh: because of the implication that people are only against e bike because they can't afford them. I don't want one because I don't want a battery...
  • 1 0
 @deadmeat25: too aggressive! Check yourself buddy!
  • 2 0
 @charliept: Yeah you're probably right...
  • 1 0
 @deadmeat25: thanks bro.

I wouldn't mind to ride an e-bike when I'm pushing my mule loaded with a chainsaw, shovel, rake and 2 or 3 water gallons or when I'm towing my kids up the hill. Then I remember the fuss of the batteries, especific app and all the pieces that are prone to failure and I give up.

I break a lot of bike stuff. Simply is better for me. I even probabily forget to charge the batteries betwen rides.
  • 34 5
 Quick everyone, it's another article about e-bikes... grab the pitchforks!
  • 3 1
 Must be a slow news day
  • 15 1
 Don't worry: "Every time you start your pitchfork, it resets into 'no stab' mode. While midly annoying, it only takes a couple button presses to get back to get an 800% stabbing strength increase! Stab happy!"
  • 31 2
 The reviewer weighs 55kgs. Is this a review for ants?
  • 14 0
 He was pretty happy about ANT compatibility. We need to go deeper.
  • 2 0
 @sjma: Underrated comment
  • 20 8
 @ChazzMichaelMichaels In case you're concerned about my ability to ride and test bikes, or e-bikes, I invite you to come on a ride with me to make up your mind.
  • 3 0
 Well, maybe, but he also chucked 20kg dead weight in his bag to try to make things right for you. That's worse to, because 20kg dead weight doesn't contribute like 20kg of normal, muscle-laden body mass.
  • 1 0
 @ralf-hauser: I think Chazz was implying 55kg was a typo which it must be right?
  • 3 0
 @ralf-hauser: But what I don't get is you talking about the old trail mode being underpowered. That's nuts with your weight. I weigh 70 and almost never use boost and ride mostly in ECO/high and sometimes in Trail/medium.
  • 3 0
 @tabletop84: Totally. What’s also nuts is doing “Test Lap” testing in 100% boost mode, and then posting the 23.1 and 27.13 km figures. That’s the equivalent of testing a vehicle’s fuel economy with the pedal to the metal start to finish. Who in the real world would ride this bike in that fashion? Completely misleading data.
  • 1 0
 @mtnbkrmike: one German emtb news site and I think also a few mags started to do this. I think the review of Ralf hauser is good tho apart from a few things. The weird part is just that the rattle never got mentioned from everyone when bosch came out with the newest motor. Or I rarely read it in reviews of the e8000
  • 3 2
 @tabletop84: Agreed. It’s a fine review. Unfortunately I have 2 e-fat bikes on their way for me and my daughter with this same motor. I guess not only will we be pissing off all the traditionalists with our e-bikes, but we may have to be wearing our AirPods at the same time to drown out all the racket. Doubly irritating. And 2 of us!!! Yikes! Just kidding. We will leave the AirPods at home. I do hope though things are going to work out ok. Not exactly a stellar review. But nicely done, apart from the 100% turbo mode test lap testing. Look how many posters in this forum alone misinterpreted the ensuing data!
  • 15 1
 Going the right direction in weight reduction. Hopefully we will have a system with little weight penalty in a few years. An E-bike with 200 watt power assist, 350 WH battery, and total weight of bike under 34 lbs. That would be awesome to do laps on. Specialized is close to this.
  • 5 0
 Lapierre e-zesty. The version I've been riding on was 17,8kg. Carbon wheels... It was one of the most fun bikes to ride. Regardless ebike or "normal" MTB. Bunny hops were absolutely a blast on this bike. Nothing like on an ebike. And you can take the motor together with a battery out in matter of seconds. What's left is just a plain old mountain bike with a weight around 14kg. Unfortunately frenchies and Germans are not masters of marketing.
  • 1 0
 @goroncy: been wondering what that bike is like in people powered mode, do you forget youre riding a gutted e-bike?
  • 5 0
 @GumptionZA: I have pretty strong legs so I may not be the best judge. For me it was just plain old MTB. A very good one.
  • 1 0
 We’ve closer to that than years. ????
  • 3 0
 You miss that obscure offering from Specialized? The Levo SL?
  • 1 1
 @GumptionZA: had my sensor spin a couple times and lost power, feels like riding in 6" of mud. Probably just psychological as its pretty dramatic when power kicks out but does feel like there is drag, maybe its just me.
  • 2 0
 @Chuckolicious: Well with the shimano you can get close to the weight of the levo but still get the power on hard climbs. Take a look at the rotwild rx 375: it comes with a 36 instead of the 34 of the levo, has a nice long and slack geo and sits just at 18,3kg
  • 1 0
 @tabletop84: Interesting! The longer travel version is very interesting! Though I would point out that the 21 SL now comes with a 36 as well. Couldn’t find weights, did I miss it?
  • 1 0
 The bike exists. It's called Orbea Rise.
  • 13 3
 Wait, 23-27kms? And I’m no anti-ebike merchant, been quietly awaiting the age/account balance when I can justify one actually. But on the premise of further, faster, more fun, that range at full noise is not gonna outdo the range & fun I get outta my bowl of cereal and some old fashion pedal power. Sell it to me, bet ya can’t... ‘specially at a respectable 90 keys
  • 8 2
 Yeah, that's pretty poor! My local rides average 30-35km with just under 1km of climb. I'd do way more on a big day. I thought ebikes were supposed to enable us to do more fun stuff in less time. And that's with the big heavy battery too.
  • 8 5
 @mountainsofsussex: Well, you can climb 500-800m much faster than on a regular bike hahahaha. Not that you need to, but you can. So you spend 2hrs on an ebike climbing much faster and descending at the same pace, but you get to use remaining time drinking beer.
  • 11 0
 That just isn't real world riding though, you just don't spend all your time in boost mode. On my older gen Bosch motor with a 500wh battery I can get about 30 miles out of a battery charge if I only turbo up the steepest climbs and do the other bits in low/mid power settings (and I'm about 100kg's / 16 stone which sucks battery). Thus when I'm carrying a spare battery I can get up to 60 mile rides in, which e-bike or not, is still a hell of a day in the saddle.
  • 8 0
 @mountainsofsussex: range is going to vary dramatically depending on the power mode and what cadence you are pedalling at amongst other things. Run it in turbo and let the motor do most of the work and you will not get very far. I run a Trek Rail with a 2021 Bosch motor. On my regular 30km run that has a mix of road, fire trails and single track I will use 2 out of 5 bars of battery on running on Trail (second Lowest setting). We don't have crazy mountains but there are a couple of decent hill climbs. If I did the entire thing in turbo and flat out I would probably be struggling to get back.
  • 7 0
 @IMeasureStuff: completely concur. I could easily squeeze out a 40-50 mile ride if I’m putting in the work along with battery. I ride mostly in emtb mode on my Rail and use only 1-2 bars during a typical 20-25 mile after work ride.
  • 2 0
 @IMeasureStuff: must admit I hadn't twigged the test was done in turbo (too used to analogue bikes where the only mode is me). Given how much faster it's possible to ride an ebike, I guess trail mode would just be enough for my bigger rides.
  • 6 0
 @mountainsofsussex:

I switched to ebikes a year ago and spend the entire day in the lowest power mode. I even use the app to dial the power down a little, so you get assistance but still get a decent workout too. On a 504wh battery (the older smaller one) I can get around 4.5K to 5K of climbing on steep stone/mud hills.

If you ride alone or with another ebike, you can get so many trails done and you're riding at a decent pace with little to no rests, so i generally get a better workout too.
  • 4 1
 @pauluswebster Yeah, that's only in Boost mode. You can get more out of the system when riding Eco or Trail modes predominately.
  • 1 0
 While I am at the age/account to have one, I couldn't imagine riding longer than my 630W battery lasted, i don't think i would be able to walk for a week. With that said, all my riding is tough climbs and steep descents, without an e-bike would be walking up a bunch of it. 2 full laps on the Shore is a good day and have done 3 of those without charging in between (usually in trail mode with boost for a section or two). For the type of riding and trails I do, battery power is not an issue, in fact would look at a smaller battery and weight savings on my next rig. If you aren't climbing steeps and requiring the torque, you would get way longer distance. At full charge in Trail mode it says range is 90km or so but I haven't put that to the test on more mellow trail days but am sure others have.
  • 8 0
 The complaints of charge bars on the display and the bike starting without any assistance are non issues for me. I've spent some time on this motor and it's one of the first to feel organic in the way it adjusts to the rider's pedaling. The lighter weight is a big plus as well. Perfect? No, but the best on the market IMO.
  • 2 0
 The charge bars are a major issues though on the 8000, after a bit of use the battery becomes extremely unpredictable. When new the last bar of charge corresponds to roughly 15-20% charge, but over time this becomes 5-10%. So then it gets really confusing as it seems like the first bar lasts 30% and the last one 10%. So despite being an engineer the non-linear noisy nature of the reporting makes it very difficult to plan rides and I almost always finish the last few km without assistance for bigger rides. (7000km ridden so far)
  • 5 0
 @Mugen: it's extremely difficult to accurately predict SOC on some lithium chemistries due to how flat the discharge curve is. If they're using coulomb counting rather than voltage it gets even more complicated due to cell balancing and other issues related to system inefficiencies. I've seen lots of big smart companies screw up SOC because of the complexities.
  • 1 0
 @BikesBoatsNJeeps: You seem more knowledgeable than me on that aspect, but having ridden with friends who use the garmin to get a percentage battery it changes everything. With 5 bars, unless you are really diligent in checking when each bar drops and the assistance you have used since, when you have 2 bars left, you basically have no idea if that represents 20% or 39% charge. They need to report the charge with at least 10 bars in my opinion.
  • 3 0
 @Mugen: or give you a percentage. Bars are dumb, the display is huge, give me a %SOC and be done.
  • 3 0
 On my e8000, my impression was (now on a Trek Rail w a Bosch gen 4) that if you were at two bars, you were really at one, and if you were at one, you’d better be a couple of blocks from home.
  • 2 0
 @Mugen: The problem with electric vehicles is that people don't really understand the tech behind it. It's basically the same for every manufacturer even tesla. When you stress the battery with high power drain the current will plummet dramatically when its emptied below half its capacity. Essentially the manufacturer has to protect the battery via BMS not to fully discharge it. Therefore you never get the full advertised capacity out of the battery because for it to work long term and not die on the first ride it needs to be protected from a deep discharge. If you go full throttle in a tesla on the autobahn the car also throttles the power output at some point or shuts off completely. This also varies depending how cold it is, how old the battery is, rider weight, fitness, assist mode etc...
  • 9 0
 We need power bars that Go to Eleven!
  • 7 0
 Why don't you just make 10 be the top number and make that fully charged?
  • 11 0
 @Counsel: Yeah but 11 is one higher...
  • 3 0
 if we need that extra push over the cliff, you know what we do, we charge it up to 11
  • 24 16
 So many issues that can be simply solved by not having a motor.
  • 4 0
 Durability and ease of maintenence is far more important than power in my world.
Ive seen a bunch of broses burn out and theyre not easy to service(you have to replace the motor)
After 2 years when the warranty comes to an aend i want a engine that you can easily replace most of the parts.

Moisture in the engine is a common way to destroy bearings and electrics.
My 2016 citybike with shimano steps lasted 13400miles. (The gears on inside) but shimano replaced the engine for free four yrs after buy=thumbs up
  • 4 0
 "Unquestionably, Shimano has the cleanest and sleekest display integration on the market"
Who needs that stupid display anyway?
Specizlized has that dialed on their bikes. Super low profile batt / power readout and then the rest is in the app...which works.
  • 5 1
 All you guys "waiting" to get a ebike are blowing it..the bikes are refined trek rail no problems..going around the country slaying every trail I see chugging beer and laughing at all u haters.. believe me I guys will all be on one sooner than later
  • 4 0
 agree!
  • 4 0
 However, when coasting on rough terrain the unloaded system can exhibit a 'NORMAL' clicking sound that may be detectable to the rider.

Normal? According to who?

For the record, most of our bikes / ebikes, do not 'click'.

Do the Shimano PR team even ride bikes?
  • 3 0
 the rattle it because the sprag bearing that used to be used in most motors has been replaced by DT swiss style star ratchet drive rings. The sprag bearings are the weakest part of the system. its no surprise that motor manufacturers want shot of them.
  • 4 1
 Did some rides on a scott e-genius 920(2020) and my biggest one I did was a 115 km with 2000 meters of ascent ,19 km average speed,all in the eco mode and riding some rocky terrain with some tarmac ,fire roads ,very mixed terrain ,and I did got impressed with the power and the range ,didn’t got me so tired on the legs it’s most a cardio ,but don’t put more power on them and no more battery capacity,cause it wil make them almost a dirt bike :-((
  • 5 0
 That rattle would drive me bonkers. If I pull the E-trigger, it'll still be a Levo SL now that S has worked through the issues.
  • 3 0
 I have ridden ebikes great fun,addictive, you gain some things , but lose some things as well, like all bikes a compromise. Great for climbing, on the descents the weight changes how I ride, not better or worse. But please don't anyone kid themselves that it's as much of a work out as an analogue bike, if there was no mechanical advantage over analogue what would be the benefit.
  • 1 2
 They suck on jumps
  • 1 0
 I think the only way it can get even close (And still doesn't) to that statement, is riding 25km on an analogue, or 50km on an ebike.
A bit like sprinters vs endurance runners. A lot more grit and grind for the analogue/sprinter, but a more consistent lower energy level for longer on the ebike / endurance.
  • 1 0
 @tabletop84: Not sure what ebike you've tried, but I assure you the YT Decoy is pretty awesome on jumps. Unless you mean dirt jump style, I can imagine they wouldn't be great there.
  • 2 0
 @tabletop84: as with any bike, the only limits lay with the rider, not the bike. Exchange They for You.
  • 1 0
 @norona: not really. A lighter bike always handles better on jumps. It's not rocket science, just basic physics.
  • 2 0
 @tabletop84: hmmm, e-bike, hmmm moto, again I understand if you can't handle them, but many can.
  • 1 1
 @norona: even in the ebike ads with pros you can see that they struggle to make it look effortless pushing them around in the air. And there is a reason you can do differnt tricks on a bmx vs a dh bike...
  • 2 0
 @tabletop84: the secret to being a good athlete is adaptability, I was a pro for 16(biking) years now only riding e-bikes, still a professional athlete in other sports, and sorry, you are imagining a struggle for others, from watching footage? Just say you struggle, that is only what you can comment on, and my question would be how much have you ridden e-mtb, moto etc A blanket statement makes no sense, if you were a skier, you can't tell me what its like to be a snowboarder without actually doing it, you can imagine lots of stuff but that is just opinions based only on your limited knowledge. There are specific tricks that might take more strength to do, however an e-mtb is way more stable in the air, on the ground due to is weight. I put 1000km a month on e-mtb here in squamish and whistler. Check out freestyle mx on the level of tricks they are doing with a 250 pound bike. cheers dave
  • 1 0
 @norona: Yeah I get it you da pro and everyone who says that their ebike isn't as nimble in the air as their acoustic bike sucks. Plus inertia and gravity are fake news...
  • 2 0
 @tabletop84: not as nimble, but then more stable and more planted, life is a trade off with anything, adaptability and strength over come that, many top ews bikes are in the 37 pound range, as they also want strength. Life is a balance. You said they suck on jumps, I am just pointing out that is a blanket statement that is not very accurate. Show me the triple tail whip your doing and you have a point. I live in Canada by the way, but it seems your initial statement is actually the fake new. Happy Riding!
  • 11 5
 No mention on the worldwide recall of the motor due to issues?
  • 5 2
 I have not heard of a recall, so I did some digging. All I could find is that bike manufacturers are to hold off selling the EP8 until Oct/Nov while they addresses some final issues. That's it, no recall, but I'm happy to be corrected if I'm wrong.
  • 7 1
 lost me at ..'a normal clicking sound'
  • 3 2
 Truly unfortunate you lost it. That Shimano response was pure gold. You can't imagine what kind of thought must have gone behind that response? Board meetings, marketing experts, Problem Solvers AKA "The Dude"... They could have gone "yeah the rattling sucks but we hope you appreciate the motor nonetheless" but instead they composed this... pure poetry. Rattling noise, you've seen (or heard) any of the Semenuk RAW100 videos? It is a feature bro, the sound of pure class. People know you're not running some old E8000 or E7000 motor. No, you're running the latest EP8. And you're clearly not pedaling, just pure flow. The sign of a true technical rider. You can't call an e-bike rider lazy when they try to overtake you making this sound. Annoying rattle, did anyone say that to Shimano when they first introduced the freewheel?

Oh sorry, I tried to write poetry too but it kinda starts to turn into an unintended rant. Sorry for that. I'm not destined to write poetry. Shimano does. Rattle and Poetry. Eat that, U2.
  • 6 0
 Shimano tried to take the Apple approach to antennaegate...you're holding your phone wrong...you're coasting your bike wrong. I would have respected Shimano more if they owned it and were more forthright about working to resolve it. Not the first time Shimano has screwed the pooch with recent launches. They need to get their old skunk works team back together and gain real world feedback before promoting vaporware.
  • 2 0
 @tcmtnbikr: Yes and no.

Yes 1: As a customer you might consider this an issue and want it to be solved without them pointing out what is so good about the product.

No 1: What they did here was point out that the additional noise is a consequence of improvements they made to the product. If you don't want the noise, you're not getting the improvements either. Not sure whether they still offer the older E8000 and E7000 motors. If so, then you do have the option.

No 2: What I meant to point out here is that the Shimano response was a truly remarkable display of tuned overly slick crisis management. If it wasn't for social distancing, they would have invited Ralph in their lobby, pushed him into a comfy chair and offered him a cup of their finest tea blend. And probably a goody bag on the way out. It is a quality in its own right, completely separate from creating a proper product. Not saying it is the way to go but damn, it takes a freaky slick creature to pen that response down. It is so over the top you can only admire it.

To be honest I don't pay enough attention to Apple and the phone business in general, just quickly looked it up. So far I don't quite see how it is comparable. From what I understand from it the issue was affecting the primary function of the phone so it truly is a major issue and it didn't increase performance in any way. What we have here with the motor is that the primary function (providing controlled proportional pedaling support) has improved with a by-effect (noise when coasting) that doesn't affect the main functions. You could say they underestimated the demand for a silence when they set priorities and made their design decision. It is a new issue and as far as I know, not quite something they should have been aware of. I don't view it as a mistake, mostly as a misjudgement of priorities. People want power, efficiency, durability, proportional support, low drag when coasting... Now they know people want little to no noise when coasting. They'll implement it in their next design. But I think it is harsh to say it is a faulty design.
  • 4 0
 Rattling and lack of update to the battery monitoring is a no go for me, I would just upgrade the battery to the new 620s if i could fit it.
  • 2 0
 That rattling feeling comes from one way bearing. For a lighter pedal feel than the E8000, the one-way bearing has reduced its rotational resistance, creating a free play. It's a similar level of feeling to Gen. It doesn't feel good.
  • 5 0
 "- Only five power bars for charge level."

This might be the weakest "con" ever. Ever.
  • 3 1
 My brain constantly struggles with whether 2 bars remaining means I have 21% or 59%...I would prefer a continuous power bar or percent.
That said, it’s a very minor negative. You could cover my e8000 display with black tape and I’ll still ride that bike any chance I get!
  • 2 0
 Looks like Rocky(Dyname), Giant(Yamaha) and Specialized(Brose) are in for 2021 and Shimano and Bosch are out. I don't know anyone that likes a bike that rattles in any way or form. What a misstep by Shimano to join Bosch in its failure.
  • 2 0
 My take away besides the obviously pro/con talking points was the weight of the bike. At 52+ lbs, you're going to be using that motor every pedal stroke. Ebikes are cool but not quite refined enough to jump in yet. When they start looking (and weighing closer to regular trail bikes then I'll consider.
  • 5 1
 Once again still want to know; is the BB replaceable on these units yet, or are they still landfill waiting to happen?
  • 4 0
 A bike that weighs almost half as much as the rider. Didn't think I'd ever see that.
  • 1 0
 I have a gen 3 and it's totally quiet when coasting .
The motor to watch for is the new Sachs Micro Mobility from germany . it's in partner ship with Magura BMZ and one other company .
Their new motor has 110 Nm and two battery choices . one @ 625 w and the other @ 820 or about that. That's some impressive specs.
The motor is designed to put out 50% of its power during start up and low cadence . It was specifically designed for
MTBs and Cargo bikes where one needs a lot of low cadence power . Its currently available in Bulls bikes and Nox e mtbs out of austria/ germany . Sounds good but , time will tell.
  • 1 0
 Yeah but who needs all that power? Also the bikes will be heavy as f*ck with an 820Wh battery. Plus integration looks like shit on those Nox bikes.
  • 2 0
 Shimano get your shit together or just say that you're not going to find a fix. My new bike with your new motor is just sitting in a warehouse waiting on you to get this sorted before it ships.
  • 1 0
 I love the progression of Ebikes! SpecializEd # levo SL is a great benchmark...
A few companies that are about to release bikes very similar, longer range, a whole lot more torque and lighter!
Not trying to hate on SpecializEd #....
But I have and have had lots of friends that are on the fifth and six motors form Specialized and still are burning out the new ones.
It’s funny how they don’t talk about that on PinkBike our other forms????
  • 1 0
 Have had a Specialized Levo & sold it due to making weird noises, so yes other manufacturers have problems too, not saying that is easy to get good reliability with new technology, but my Shimano e-8000 motor has been more reliable even is very wet weather!
But still feel having more than one internal gear will work better?
  • 2 0
 By their own standards of non-assist components, this motor is not worthy of the shimano name. They must be under pressure to deliver units as this is at best rushed.
  • 4 0
 this dude knows how to write a review, well done
  • 2 0
 Was thinking the same thing. This is a real review with details and pros and cons. I wish real bike reviews were this detailed.
  • 2 0
 Are we ignoring the fact that motor has been recalled/reworked by Shimano, and pushing all new bike deliveries by two months (at least)?
  • 4 2
 A dinamo or recharging when braking or something... That's what I'm still waiting for!
  • 5 0
 Generally on bikes we spend so little time braking that regeneration would be a waste of effort. And just read any car review of the blend between regenerative braking and hydraulic, then decide whether you want a computer deciding to regen as you roll off a drop...
  • 7 1
 regen braking is pretty much impossible on an ebike as it requires the use of a direct drive motor. dont think people would fancy riding a fixie down a trail.
  • 5 6
 Really? A dynamo and regenerative braking is the ONLY thing stopping from buying an e-bike?

You sure bro...? Or is that a bit of a lie...?
  • 1 1
 @deadmeat25: Well yep, I'm sure - I don't have 5000 euros (plus) burning a whole in my wallet and I don't currently have much of a problem pedalling up my local mountains to enjoy the descents. My point is: ebikes don't currently take my fancy that much, but if they ever become clever enough to rarely need charging, I think I'll be persuaded.
  • 1 2
 @mexicanoportugal: There you go, first line, that's the real reason...

There will never be dynamos or regenerative braking on emtb's, they're trying to make them lighter, not heavier, i'll bet you'll buy one when you can regardless..
  • 2 0
 @b45her: Front wheel would be a good candidate!
  • 2 0
 I like to see a dynamo recharging system when the bike starts to coast downhill. All e-Bike assist mode gets disabled during the downhill slopes. So, when the sensor senses a negative elevation gain, the dynamo kicks in to recharge the battery. I'm sure a dynamo can be integrated somehow with the hub rotations without causing a lot of drag. If a dynamo can be worked into the wheel hubs, you may even get near perpetual charging while the system is in use.
  • 1 0
 @CSharp: look into experiments of people trying to power even the smallest kitchen appliances with stationary bikes. Olympic track thighs can power the oven light for a bit, but no, it will not blend... 500Wh of capacity is huge.
  • 1 0
 @CSharp: wow, you just invented a perpetual motion machine. You should patent that quick
  • 2 0
 Anyone knows what's are those white (ish) shoes the reviewer is using on some of the pics?
  • 2 0
 Sombrio Shazams
  • 2 3
 "but since I have to hit the small button repeatedly when my battery charge becomes critical on some rides"

And this is the real rub with e-bikes. Why the f*ck would I choose to have to think about how much battery boost I have left? (If I'm not hauling gear back and forth for a trail work day or such.) Would you just turn around and cut your ride short if you underestimated your range? If you're checking often enough that the menus get annoying, it obviously sucks to pedal an unpowered e-bike.

(Usual caveats apply for riders with disabilities or health issues where e-assist is not a choice but a necessity for continued riding.)
  • 5 0
 @just6979 Not trying to be an 'ebike activist' here, anyone out on any bike is just fine in my books. But to answer your question from my perspective. I've ridden most my life, class myself as pretty fit and love a good mix of trail / enduro / DH.

Demod an ebike the other month. Ordered one the day after. For me it's a simple calculation, one of my local trails is a 22km Red/Black. With family duties etc I can get a lap in under 2 hours, be back home and spend the rest of the Sunday without the mrs feeling hard done by. On an ebike, I can 2/3 laps of the same trail. 2/3 x the adrenaline of the downs which is really what I ride for.

Same with Downhill, at Steve Peats Steel City they have great push/pedal climbs to get back to the top. Realistically after 8 runs I am shattered! Ebike, easily get in 16 + if my arms hold up to it!

Again I understand the hate, it's definitely not for everyone, but has absolutely changed my riding Smile
  • 1 3
 @GSuperstar: Hope you're doing 50% extra trail work, or at least donating 50% more than the average, since you're getting 50% of additional use out of the trails than the average person without a motorized bike.

Do you have plans to recycle your battery? Because after a couple years, you won't be getting that same extra 50% distance, since most systems are only warrantied to maintain ~75% capacity after a few years or few hundred charge cycles. And those things aren't something you can just chuck in a landfill.

I don't hate e-bikes, I'm planning on getting one for commuting once my office opens up fully again and I have a commute further than bedroom to living room desk. However, I do hate motorized bikes (that's what they are, regardless of pedal-assist or throttle) on trails made and used for human-powered travel.

And they definitely have more impact on the trails, evidenced by the fact that everyone is selling extra strong components as "e-bike specific". If they need to be extra strong, that's because more forces are going through them, and thus into the trail. It's not the extra weight of the bike, because then they'd be putting e-bike stuff on L and XL bikes since the riders of those would tend to weigh more. "The maximum rider support was raised to 400%" -- up to four times more power than is put into the pedals! You can't tell me that's not having a trail impact.

This might not apply to you, but I'll throw it in anyway:

The "keeping up with your buddies" excuse doesn't fly with me. If your crew gets pissed that someone "can't keep up", then you need a new crew. At least a group who can differentiate between a training ride and a fun ride. No one should have to spend more money on a more complicated machine to "keep up" on a fun ride.
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 @just6979: Your logic doesn't really work there. If I didn't have an ebike but had 2/3 times the amount of time to put into riding would you still be asking me to donate an extra 50% of trail building effort / money? I'm pretty confident you wouldn't.

Added to the above, I pay to park at my trails that help fund them. I don't offer extra as I'm on an ebike, however one of the jump places I go to charges more for ebikes as we can get more runs in. So I guess this should be down to the trail owners rather than putting the onus on me? If I really wanted to go down an elongated route, I'd point out how manufacturers since turning to ebikes have since received the largest rise in purchases of their brand in a very long time. (Hence all the sold out bikes). Funding the industry that we both love is surely a good thing, and in turn gets more people out to trails increasing traffic flow / sales / attendance. All beneficial to trails.

With the amount of batteries in everyday tech that are not suitable for landfills, on millions of products, sold in their billions all over the world. I think ebikes probably rank pretty low in the grand scheme. Ideal? Absolutely not, but if you're asking me how I'm going to save the world with a 1 x ebike purchase that I plan to own for many years to come (Unlike a lot of tech with batteries) then I'm afraid I'll have to disappoint you here and admit I'm not the next Elon Musk.

I have to point out that as you're looking at everything with a negative viewpoint, there are factors you may ignore as they don't fit your anger:

Such as 'Trails made for human-powered bikes'. You know roads weren't originally made for engine powered cars? Things move on. There's a lot of people riding since the creation of ebikes that never used to, and if they're riding at places that they have to pay for (Parking / entry / cafe food etc), then that's additional income to those businesses they wouldn't have seen. I'm not trying to claim that the financial benefits will outweigh the labour cost as I don't have that information, but you 'are' trying to claim they won't.

E-bike specific components. If you truly believe that the majority of those aren't more to do with sales marketing, then you haven't spent enough time on the Pinkbike comments section Smile

You're correct the latter doesn't apply to me, and I'm in full agreement with you there. Waiting at the top for a mate never bothered me, if anything gave me an extra chance to take in the views.
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 "While we don’t expect people to ride with their phone on their handlebars when mountain biking" - Buddy, you must not have seen many e-bike riders.
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 I'm 56 with a long term knee injury. Just got my first 29er. I feel like I've been missing out on so much! Climbs really well and descends like a beast. I also got it second hand as I just can't afford new. I've had a go on ebikes and think they're fantastic and good fun. I'm not an ebike hater - but (you knew it was coming) - I can't ever see myself being able to justify the expense of one and I wouldn't like to risk a second hand one. Environmentally I think they're a disaster as well - rare earth elements in the batteries for one thing.
Perhaps when i'm around 60 I'll be posting that 'I've just got my first Ebike' but until then I'll keep enjoying the real freedom.
  • 1 0
 Hey Ralf Hauser!! The motor was recalled because of the rattle when coasting.......
  • 1 3
 quieter(+) smaller(+) lighter(+) more power(-) battery range(=)
IMO ebikes should have simply an On & OFF or Assist ~ No Assist, not power* levels...Current ECO(lowest power mode) is well beyond enough.....Turbo/Boost modes, more power and larger batteries will only harm this sport and segment. with reckless riding...Honestly at that point you are no longer mountain biking but rather moto cross riding and I am an ebike/mountain bike rider...
Focus-Specialized-Lapierre were on the right track with smaller & lighter
  • 2 0
 Appreciate the level of detail in this article, good work.
  • 2 0
 Can they make it swappable with a gear box?
  • 1 0
 For a mechanic, mechanical noise is a no-no by the end of the ride I’d be destroyed mentally!
  • 3 2
 A Step in the right direction.
  • 4 2
 With just few steps back
  • 1 0
 Not great not terrible XD
  • 2 3
 When we make fun of others, it’s because we are not happy w ourselves. Mkay?
  • 1 2
 So why has no one made a motorized gearbox yet? Seems like the best of both worlds...
  • 1 1
 Funny that motor has a gear box, but only one gear?
  • 1 1
 Can someone make a bike with 50% - 100% assist?
  • 1 0
 Fuck. Off.
  • 11 14
 I read walk assist...i stop here
  • 7 3
 Why?
  • 10 0
 Don't all e-bikes feature walk assist? Seems quite useful for when pushing the bike up these impossible climbs.
  • 8 1
 @vinay: Walk assist is one of the best things about e bikes. Actually very useful for trail scouting or hiking up in the snow.
  • 3 0
 @vinay: It is, he's just talking shit...
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