Shimano has announced an off road ready Steps E8000 drive unit and group, due to market in October this year.
Designed compact in order to allow frame manufacturers the freedom to maintain short chain stays, the drive unit is held in a triangle formation around the bottom bracket resulting in secure, direct and efficient power transfer from the rider to the cranks. This compact design incorporates cooling fins on the drive side for the heat dissipation from the motor.
Pushing out 70Nm of torque, the motor is controlled through a sleek bar-mounted cycle computer (SC-E8000) and a ‘Firebolt’ switch unit for assistance control (SW-E8000-L), along with a speed sensor set (SMDUE10) for the rear wheel.
Keeping costs down, the remaining components of the drivetrain can be supplied from Shimano’s Di2 MTB components (XTR/XT), or mechanical 10 and 11-speed drivetrains.
In keeping with modern tech, the system links easily via bluetooth with the E-Tube software platform allowing you to change settings and customise your set-up via computers, tablets or smartphones.
Power for the motor is delivered by a slim but durable, low profile and waterproof battery on the downtube delivering over 500Wh. A secure mount keeps the battery firmly in place even over rough terrain, yet removing the battery for charging is simple with a sideways release mechanism.
Connected to the motor is either the hollow crankarm (FC-E8050) or the solid crankarm (FC-E8000), both of which are available with 34T or 38T chain rings (SM-CRE80-B/CRE80) for 10 or 11-speed cassettes. Chainrings feature Shimano’s Dynamic Chain Engagement technology and, together with an optional chain retention device (SM-CDE80), ensures chains remain on drivetrains.
The system is controlled by the compact Shimano’s Steps MTB colour LCD computer (SC-E8000) to offer riders their gear number, power assist mode and battery range information.