Shimano have unveiled a new component group for electric bikes called STEPS – Shimano Total Electric Power System.
It's designed to give e-bikes the feel and handling of a 'normal' bike, combining user-friendliness with a clean design.
The group includes a 250W electric motor that will help get you up to speed but cuts out at 15.5mph (25km/h), with a regenerative braking function that charges the battery as you ride downhill.
As well as prolonging battery life, this E-Gain system, which kicks in as soon as you touch the brake lever, also improves braking power – think of engine-braking with a car.
STEPS equipment can be used with an eight-speed hub gear operated via electronic shift buttons (Shimano SG-E500), a Nexus hub gear or standard rear derailleur. V-brake and roller brake options will be available.
The 24V/4.0Ah lithium-ion battery is designed to be mounted on a rear rack, and includes an integrated rear light. A full charge is said to take just one hour, and it can be recharged over 3.000 times – so even if you use it every day it should last over eight years.
Buttons on top of the brake levers allow you to switch riding modes and operate the lights (as well as the integrated rear light, the system includes a 6V/2.4W LED front lamp, which looks like it has a fork crown mounting).
A bar-mounted STEPS computer gives you an overview of e-bike functions such as riding mode and battery power, along with a gear indicator, speedometer and odometer. All the cables are designed to be internally routed.
At this stage, that's all we know, but STEPS is due to be launched at the Eurobike trade show in September and hit the market in December.