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News
02 June 2021

Motorised bikes versus e-mountain bikes – what is the difference?

At SHIMANO we are first and foremost about cycling, so when we work on new e-MTB technology it is with the goal of making your rider experience even better.

E-bikes are amazing, they have changed the cycling industry forever. E-bikes make cycling more accessible, they allow riders to go further and explore more, they help push you to discover new cycling experiences. But the one thing we believe e-bikes should not change is the essence of cycling; the natural feel of rider and bike working seamlessly together.

When you ride an e-MTB it is still you pedalling; but it is you on your best day, having reached levels of fitness and power you wouldn’t think possible. You aren’t a passenger on an e-MTB, it’s your skill, strength and technique that controls the bike. Power, power, power does not make a great natural riding experience. How the power is delivered makes the difference - intuitive power that is there for you when you push on the pedals.

Pedal-assist mimics the way you ride so it is only there when you need it and in response to rider demand. The motor assistance engages smoothly, in a controlled way, and disappears without you noticing when you stop pedalling or get over 25kmh. You’ll know it is there, because you will feel its support, but you won’t need to think about it.

For e-MTB and rider to work together in perfect harmony there needs to be perfect integration of every component. SHIMANO system engineering is designed to ensure your e-MTB becomes more than just the sum of its parts. Every part of the bike from e-MTB smart software through to the components that allow you to shift, brake and pedal, work together seamlessly. When you are riding you feel at one with your bike and your e-MTB becomes a part of you.

We take this philosophy even further with our E-TUBE app. This allows you to communicate directly with your bike, and set the behaviour of pedal-assist to choose the exact balance between torque and pedalling input, to compliment your preferred riding style. You can adjust the torque to trail conditions and switch between pre-set profiles to manage the pedal-assist and create a ride that feels just the way you want it.

Part of achieving a perfectly natural feel from an e-MTB is it’s sound and look. When we ride we want to hear our surroundings; the clatter of wheel over rocks, the perfectly timed shift of our gears, the noise of our tyres hitting the loose gravel of a berm. What we don’t want to hear is the loud whirr of a motor. If you look down when you ride you don’t want to be faced with an array of screens, dials or controls so we have created neat and compact switches and displays. This clean cockpit, uncluttered bar and near-silent motor make your e-MTB feel more like a conventional MTB.

We design e-MTB’s to make your ride experience better, not to change it completely. Riding is about simplicity, there is enough complication in the rest of our lives. Every piece of technology we design is with the aim of making your e-MTB experience feel natural, we don’t want anything to detract from the enjoyment of the ride. To discover for yourself how well we have achieved this book a test-ride today!