On 27 April Shimano announced the launch of two new e-Cargo drive unit models, advancing its position in the e-Bike market. The EP8 and E6100 cargo-specific drive units come with built-in features designed for powering heavy loads.
The two models, which previously existed for other bicycle types, will now come in specific cargo variations known as DU-EP800-CRG and DU-E6100-CRG, and are compatible with Shimano gearing systems, such as Nexus Internal Hub Gears or derailleur/cassettes.
Whilst the drive units are based upon Shimano’s regular DU-EP800 and DU-E6100 models, inside the unit, several differences can be found. Shimano engineers studied the handling characteristics of E-Cargo bikes and have created new specific firmware settings optimised for propelling heavy loads of up to 250 kg.
The DU-EP800-CRG and DU-E6100-CRG models come with Eco, Normal (or Trail) and High (or Boost) modes. Both cargo drive units reach maximum output torque at much lower rider pedalling torque inputs. The difference between the two units comes in the EP8 drive unit being higher performance with a powerful yet quieter motor, whereas the E6100 version offers more gradual acceleration with a lower output torque.
The more advanced DU-EP800-CRG model comes with many of the same functions and features as Shimano’s EP8 mountain biking drive unit. It’s a lightweight and compact model with a design that neatly integrates into bicycle frames. The model also features cooling fins on the outer shell that allow for heat dissipation and optimised internal gear mechanisms also help to reduce heat.
The DU-EP800-CRG has a maximum output torque of 85Nm, which is achievable in both Boost and Trail modes, and also has a battery-saving Eco mode and a built-in smart Walk Assist mode. The DU-E6100-CRG is slightly bigger than the EP800-CRG version but also has smooth pedalling under load or without battery assistance, walk assistance, start mode and full automatic shifting. However, the maximum output assistance provides 60Nm.
Both drive units are compatible with Shimano’s 630Wh, 514Wh or 408Wh batteries, or they can be combined with 3rd party batteries from Shimano partners such as Trend Power or Darfon. The two new models will be available mid-2021.
This article was first published in Cycling Industry News.