SHIMANO Releases Most Light-Weight and Economical E-Bike Drive Unit

SHIMANO STEPS E5000 drive unit, chain rings and series set to bring more affordability to e-bikes 




There are plenty of clear reasons for riding with an e-bike – just ask the Dutch, Danish and Germans who use them in their thousands – but the point of hesitation for some riders can be the initial cost outlay compared to a normal bike. Now Shimano has made a move to make that buying decision easier with its most affordable and lightest e-bike groupset yet.


In addition to its two e-MTB groupsets (the E8000 and E7000 series) and its City/Trekking e-bike groupset (the E6100 series), Shimano now introduces the SHIMANO STEPS E5000 City/Comfort series designed for navigating towns and cities in quiet comfortable simplicity.


The new E5000 drive unit (DU-E5000) isn’t designed to give the rapid acceleration and off-road handling of the e-MTB series, instead it’s designed for elementary-level e-bikes. With its light weight comfort components and power assistance it’s designed to give riders a helping hand in the city on journeys that often see riders weighed down with baggage, whether that’s physical baggage from grocery shopping or doing the school run, or emotional baggage from a long day at the office.


The E5000 drive unit silently generates an efficient 40Nm of torque, letting the bike take the strain when you don’t want to. Highly efficient motor technology and a small, low-weight drive unit (2.5kg, which is 380g less than other SHIMANO STEPS drive units) combined with either a rear derailleur or internal hub gear options from SHIMANO NEXUS helps to create light weight, comfortable and easily-maneuverable bikes with durable components, such as a square-axle bottom bracket that is built to handle the rigors of city-based riding. 


As well as being one of the quietest e-bike drive unit on the market, the DU-E5000 drive unit is also one of the lightest and smallest, sitting neatly behind the crank arms. Combined with an internal battery this set-up can create a disguised looking urban e-bike, which can help to normalize e-bikes in the market.


The support coming from the drive unit is offered in eco mode, normal mode or high mode, with all modes offering a natural and responsive riding feeling that responds to the rider’s input. Like all SHIMANO STEPS systems, riders get more acceleration when their pressure on the pedals tells the system they want to speed up. This style mimics how people ride a bike normally and helps to save battery capacity because support is not provided when riders aren’t ‘asking’ for it.


Crucial information from the drive unit, such as speed or remaining battery is displayed either on a standard SHIMANO display unit (eg SC-E7000 or SC-E6100), 3rd party cycling computers or a smart phone in conjunction with the new EW-EN100 junction box and a new E-TUBE RIDE phone app which can display riding information. For a truly simple set-up riders can just use the EW-EN100 junction, removing the high-value computer and support switch, making the bike’s components less susceptible to theft.


SHIMANO STEPS E5000 is compatible with either mechanical shifting or Shimano’s Di2 electronic shifting technology. Battery options include 418Wh or 504Wh (watt-hour) rack type, down tube or internal batteries.


SHIMANO STEPS E5000 bikes are compatible with the NEXUS Inter-8/7 speed Internal Hub Gear (IHG) or the NEXUS Inter-5E IHG dedicated for e-bikes, or even the premium ALFINE Inter-11/8 speed IHG. All 8-speed or Nexus Inter-5E Di2 hubs have the option of automatic shifting and a Start mode which downshifts to allow riders to start in an easier gear. For riders preferring external gears, the option of a derailleur and cassette is available, most likely with mechanical 9-, 10- or 11-speed shifting and a compatible mechanical rear derailleur, but also with the option of 11-speed electronic shifting (Di2) compatibility. Brake options include Disc brakes, Roller brakes, Coaster brakes or V-Brakes.


The efficient and lightweight SHIMANO STEPS E5000 components will be available in the market from late-November 2018 onwards.