leisure

Shimano STEPS: components explained

With the constant improvements in motor and battery technology, electric bikes are becoming more popular. A number of brands have already jumped on the e-bike bandwagon and that number’s set to increase as more powertrain options become available. Shimano’s STEPS is one such option. 

Rather than merely adding a battery and motor to an existing groupset, the Japanese component giant has designed the electric system from the ground up. We’ve gathered together all the info we can find on Shimano’s STEPS components to compile this guide. 

  • Buyer’s guide to electric bikes
  • Electric bikes and the law
  • Electric bike reviews

What is Shimano STEPS? 

STEPS, which stands for Shimano Total Electric Power System, is Shimano’s range of electric bike (or e-bike) components. Like other e-bike systems, such as those from Bosch, it’s a pedal-assist system, which means the power is only applied when you’re pedalling. It’s designed to make e-bikes feel and handle more like ‘normal’ bikes while combining user-friendliness with a clean design.

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There are numerous regulations concerning electric bikes, particularly governing power output and speed, so as to differentiate them from electric motorbikes and scooters. In the UK this includes EN 15194 for EPAC (Electronically Power Assisted Cycles) and EU regulation 168/2013, which state that the power output must not exceed 250 Watts, and that the maximum assisted speed will not exceed 25kmph (15.5 mph). 

The benefits of electric bikes

Shimano has designed STEPS with two types of users in mind. The first is city riders, who either can’t drive or want to save money on their commute by cycling, but don’t want to arrive at their destination hot and sweaty. The second group, trekking and leisure riders, is one of the key user groups for e-bikes. These are cyclists who want to be able to ride further, more easily, and keep up with fitter riding companions.

The main benefits of any pedal-assist e-bike system include:

  • A power boost to make hills easier to climb
  • Extra drive to combat the slowing effects of headwinds
  • The ability to cover greater distances with less fatigue (depending on battery life)

What does Shimano STEPS consist of?  

The STEPS drive unit

The STEPS battery

The STEPS drivetrain

The STEPS display

A dedicated computer keeps track of battery life

Bikes that feature Shimano STEPS

Shimano STEPS E800 mountain bike

Shimano have also produced the STEPS E800, an e-mountain bike groupset designed for all-mountain, trail and cross-country use. It’s been designed specifically for mountain bike use and provides more torque assist at lower cadences to help with sharp climbs. 
At 70nm maximum torque, it provides more power than the leisure/commuter version of the STEPS system and compatibility with Shimano’s Di2 mountain bike groupset. 
  • Shimano joins the e-mountain bike fray with M8000 STEPS

You can read more at BikeRadar.com

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Participants should be spoilt for choice when it comes to machines to demo, with more than 170 bikes available from the likes of Specialized, Whyte, Santa Cruz, Orange, Trek, Yeti, Intense and more.

Several clothing and equipment manufacturers will also have stands at the show, so visitors can expect to see the latest kit from Fox Clothing, Hope, Giro and Science In Sport, among others.  

The event will be free to attend and will start at 10am on both days. The last demo bikes will go out at 3:15pm. To get involved, all you need to do is register at the Leisure Lakes Bikes website.

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You can read more at BikeRadar.com

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