Just one short month after bringing its E6100 electric bike drive system to market, Japanese company Shimano is at it again, pulling the covers off its all-new affordable STEPS E7000 E-bike drive system.
Designed to offer top-level e-MTB motor performance, at a more affordable price, join us as we dive into seven things to know about the 2019 Shimano STEPS E7000 e-bike drive system.
1. Targeting an Emerging Market
Whereas Shimano E8000 is aimed solely at the dedicated e-MTB market and E6100 is positioned for urban and city commuters, E7000 is designed for light-off road use and is equally at home on the bike paths and city streets, straddling the line between both camps.
Featuring a host of trickle-down tech from its more expensive off-road specific sibling in E8000, the new drive system aims to provide enthusiast level off-road riders with the similar level of performance tailored towards more recreational off-road terrain.
2. Top Level Motor Performance
The new motor specifications unveiled at the release of the E6100 drive system carry over to the E7000 drive system. This sees maximum and nominal outputs pegged at 500 and 250 watts respectively. Torque figures are equally as impressive, with a claimed 60nM on offer, sure to make tackling any sharp inclines that little bit easier.
The dimensions for the drive units mimic those found on the E8000 unit. A narrower Q-Factor (pedal-to-pedal width) is said to put riders in a natural riding position, whilst the reduced weight compared to rival systems on the market are claimed to make for “more nimble and responsive e-MTB’s”.
3. Refined Controls
Handlebar controls for the E7000 drive system take on a minimalistic and fuss-free aesthetic. The left-hand switch toggles through the support modes, as well as enabling walk-assist whilst the right-hand controls take care of the shifting.
For those with a dropper post equipped e-MTB, the left-hand control is designed to compliment a remote mounted lever, for easier seatpost adjustments on the fly. Tactile responsiveness also sees an upgrade, with a reassuring click signifying a gear or assistance level change, ensuring accidental gear changes are a thing of the past. Additionally, the new controls are said to be easier to use even with thick [full-fingered gloves].
4. Sleek New Display
Taking care of speed, gear and range metrics is an all-new console display, similar to that used on Shimano XTR and XT Di2 drivetrains. The discrete unit looks set to compliment a fuss-free cockpit.
STEPS’ new wireless functionality allows riders to display all riding information on a 3rd party device such as your existing cycling computer or smartphone. For a cleaner set-up riders also have the ability to toggle assistance modes from the display itself, negating the need for the left-hand control unit altogether.
5. Three Levels of Support
The E7000 drive system comes with three base assistance modes; Eco, Trail and Boost. There is also a walk-assist option that aims to make walking with your bike easy.
In addition to the three pre-loaded modes, when paired with the E-Tube App riders can customise the output of the drive system based on their riding preferences. These allow the riders to tweak for acceleration output, battery conservation, or a combination of the two based on their ride style.
6. Di2 and E-Tube compatible
As is the case with E6100 and E8000, the new E7000 drive system is compatible with both Di2 shifting and controllable via Shimano’s own E-Tube App.
E-Tube allows riders to customise the riding characteristics of their Shimano STEPS drive system, display in-depth metrics such as gear, speed and range as well as toggle assistance modes simply by tapping their smartphone.
Initially released for use on road bikes back in 2010, Di2 electronic shifting has found its way into just about every category of drivetrains that Shimano offers. For 2019, this is set to continue in the E-Bike world with Di2 shifting compatible with the full range of STEPS drive systems.
7. Pricing and Availability
We expect to see the new Shimano STEPS E7000 drive system fitted on more affordable e-MTBs around September/October 2018. Check with your bike shop for local availability
Want to know more about the world of assisted riding? Our Ultimate E-bike Buyers Guide has all you need to know in 2018