E-bike giants Shimano and Brose update their mid-mount motors, reduce weight and size, aim for a wider adoption of electric-assist bicycles in both the MTB and recreational segments
The electric bike industry flourishes more than ever before, so it’s not a surprise to see some of the biggest names in the business constantly upgrading their game, bringing forth better, lighter, more economical and versatile motors. This week’s bold move comes from Shimano and Brose, who unveiled a new unit each, taking off where their previous models left off.
Brose shows their Drive S Mag mid-drive motor, a step up from their acclaimed Drive S unit. The main difference is the magnesium housing, which is lighter and smaller than the previous aluminium one. The Drive S was good, but bike builders had a rather hard time fitting it in their projects because of its size.
The Drive S Mag is now 15% smaller and weight 1.1 lb (500 grams) less than its predecessor. With its power-to-weight ratio improved, so did its performance figures. Drive S could deliver a 380% boost to the pedal-power figures, whereas the Drive S Mag is capable of adding no less than 410% of boost.
A new power mode is now available with this motor. In Flex Power Mode, the motor can still deliver assist even at high pedal speed, by reading the torque figures and pedal cadence and providing the necessary assist pace. The 250W motor has a peak power of 500W, and delivers 90 Nm of torque. It can reach 25 km/h (15 mph) and comes with three display options: a full-info one, a basic info display and a display-less, button-only interface.
Shimano delivers the new E7000 motor, boasting pretty much the same specs as the Brose unit, 250W/500W power ratings and the same top speed. Three power settings are selectable using the display commands or the smartphone: Eco, Trail and Boost. However, Shimano also introduces three riding modes, Explorer, Dynamic and Custom, all user-changeable to suit particular needs in terms of battery saving or acceleration.
Both motors are engineered for off-road riding, but they can be equally rewarding for recreational trail riding, as well. We guess that soon, mid-drive units will become the standard, as they offer a better feel, better weight balance and improved hill climbing capabilities.
No prices have been announced yet, but rumor has it that they won’t be significantly higher than what the previous units went for.
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