Shimano Focuses Further on E-Bikes
NUNSPEET, the Netherlands – Shimano’s Model Year 2016 program contains a series of components which shows the company’s further concentration on e-bike components. Like with new software updates as well as with the new rollerbrake SD-C6000 which is especially suited for the use in heavier bicycles like e-bikes.
Shimano has three new and different rollerbrakes in it MY 2016 program. Top model is the named SD-C6000 which is specifically designed to provide sufficient braking power for a total weight of 130 kilograms (bike + rider). That makes this new brake specifically suitable for use on e-bikes.
New is also that software updates can be installed in the current STEPS drive system. Examples are Walk Assist and Start Mode. After a stop Start Mode selects automatically a lower (pre-selected) gear. In daily life selecting the right gear proves to be difficult; in particular for the e-bike target group. However, coming soon is auto shifting with special Di2 software with which it will become possible to have the system shift automatically to the correct gear. STEPS with Di2 is to be called ‘Symphomatic’.
Shimano Symphomatic is the combination of the STEPS drive units DU-E6001 & DU-E6010 and the new Nexus-8 Di2 compatible hubs. Based on cadence and speed, the Shimano Steps system automatically gives a signal to the Di2 hub to shift to the matching gear. The drive unit temporary reduce the chain tension while pedaling, which allows the hub to change in the correct gear. This results in a smooth riding experience where a rider does not have to worry about riding in the right gear, because the system automatically shifts to the correct gear. This feature is especially useful when a rider is not used to shifting gears or suddenly needs to stop.
Light off road version
Shimano made its e-bike components also available for sportive off road riding, but not for extreme mountain bike trails. The company developed dedicated firmware for the drive unit which offers more sportive riding characteristics, strengthened the battery mount for better shock absorption. It is also compatible for its 11-speed mountain bike rear derailleurs with an 11-speed chainring with chain guard and a compatible 11-speed chain for e-bikes and ‘light’ e-MTB’s.
Despite the fact that only after two years Shimano is already having software updates for STEPS, there are no reported developments towards a drive system for speed e-bikes.
Other interesting news is that Shimano is making its PRO Tharsis XC (handlebar, stem and seatpost) available for OEM’s. With that these specific for XTR Di2 developed components become available for first assembly.