We went to Eurobike expecting to get a look at a new motor from Shimano, the E6100 city motor that we told you about last month. And in fact we found out that the Japanese component giant had not one new motor system, but two!
E7000 is a more affordable system for electric mountain bikes. As you can probably figure out from the numbers – E6100 is the new city motor, and E8000 the existing mountain bike motor – it sits in the middle of the range. Whether there's an E5000 or an E9000 in the pipeline, we don't know. But anyway, there are three motors now, all using the same mounting system and similar build and internals. We caught up with Ben Hillsdon from Shimano who gave us a quick overview of the system....
So the motor is less powerful than the E8000: 60Nm instead of 70Nm. Shimano still reckons that's plenty for mountain biking, and in fact Bee told us that some of their athletes had been tuning the E8000 system down a bit so it wasn't quite as powerful, to make it easier to keep traction on steep stuff. The slightly lower output should also mean battery life is a bit better, though we've found the Shimano system to generally be at the top of the pile there anyway.
The new motor is a bit lighter than the E8000, but visually it's very similar. The remote has changed though, with a brand new unit for this system.
E8000 uses the same shifter as the XT and XTR Di2 groupsets. It's a twin-paddle design and it's lovely to use, easy to find on the bars with excellent feedback. It's an expensive thing to make though, so E7000 opts instead for a more standard two-button design. It's still very pleasant to use, with a nice positive click. There will be left-hand (for modes) and right-hand (for gears, if you're using Di2) versions.
The display has changed, too. It sits in the same place – behind the bars, where it's a bit more protected from damage – but swaps the colour screen for a monochrome one to save a bit of cash.
You can even do away with the display entirely: check the video for a demonstration of the new Bluetooth junction box, which allows you access to all the drive modes but also can connect with your smartphone to allow you to use that to control the system.
We haven't used the E-TUBE RIDE app yet but you'll get a dashboard for all your ride data, as well as the ability to configure the motor system. "Simply choose Explorer, Dynamic or Custom settings on your phone and your drive unit’s usage characteristics will change automatically", says Shimano. So you can set up your E7000 bike just how you like it. The display and Bluetooth box can be run in conjunction if you want the ease of use of the display and the system control that comes from the app.
Shimano says that the new system will be available in September, with the app available to download from this month. Look out for it!