Shimano release new E-Tube Project apps and EP8 details
Shimano have just officially announced their new EP8 motor unit. They have also updated all of their E-Tube Project apps in order to support the new EP8. Not only have they released a new version of E-Tube Project for windows - adding EP8 and SC-E5000 support, they have also overhauled the mobile apps visually.
The updated apps - release september 1 - are said to look a lot better and feature subtle functionality changes. Let's have a look at the changes per app. Most of these are E-Bike and E-MTB focused, but road Di2 users will notice some small visual changes too.
If you prefer a video, click the image below for an overview of the new E-MTB / E-Bike features.
E-Tube Project for Windows
The Windows application lets any Di2 user connect to their bike using the SM-BCR2 internal battery charger. One end plugs into the Junction A and the other (USB) end connects to your PC. It will then let you change button assignments, adjust your derailleurs, save and restore presets and update firmware.
The latest version (4.0.0) of the desktop app adds support for the new Shimano EP8 motor unit and the SC-E5000 display. It has also been overhauled visually. Thanks Shimano - now I get to change all the images on the site! ;-)
E-Tube Project (mobile/tablet)
This mobile app lets you do everything the desktop app does and in some cases even more! The tablet versions of the mobile app allow you to run basic error checking on your components. You can also update firmware, change synchronized shift settings, save presets and more!
If you're a road / mtb / gravel Di2 rider then this update brings you a pretty extensive visual overhaul. The actual functionality of the app hasn't changed, but it is much easier to use. For E-bike riders it allows you to set up and tweak the EP8 motor unit performance and assist modes… and will also let you store your settings in a new feature - rider profiles.
Let's take a quick look at the new mobile app
If you load up the old app you will get a message, prompting you to download the new version:
So I did.. and then opened the new app:
Once the app has loaded it asks you to create a Shimano ID. Shimano have partnered with the 'Customer Identity Platform' Gigya to implement this Shimano ID. They want your date of birth, country, name and nickname. This new account is also used to log into the desktop app.
Click the image below for a video of me creating an account and registering a bike:
The website for the Shimano ID Portal is https://id.shimano.com by the way, but there isn't much there - it is really meant to be used from the apps.
Once you've logged in you can register your bike. The app allows you to have multiple bikes, all with their own profiles and settings. You can also connect your (Shimano)power meter and even assign that to a bike. I just threw together random parts to create a 'bike', so I have named my bike "Mix of random parts".
The ever so confusing Synchronized Shift setup screen has changed too.. it is now much better and easier to use. As an added bonus, it'll also display an animation of your synchro shifting end result!
Update components and register the Power Meter
E-Tube Ride (mobile)
The new E-Tube RIDE app has been updated to display more information AND it also connects to regular Di2 bikes to display gear information and power data.
Download the apps
You can download the E-Tube project app for windows on the E-Tube Project website. This is also where you'll find links to the Android and iOS versions. E-Tube RIDE is a separate app and Shimano have given this app its own website. Note that in the past E-Tube RIDE did not connect to regular Di2 bikes (no support for the EW-WU111 / EW-WU101 / SC-MT800 / SC-M9051). It only connected to E-bikes and E-MTBs. According to Shimano the new app should connect to regular Di2 bikes, but whether or not it'll actually do this remains to be seen.
Of course I will test the new versions as soon as possible and update this page as I figure out what the exact changes are.
EP8 - What is it?
So.. what about EP8? The information I got states that the new motor unit is quieter (same level as the E7000), faster, lighter, more energy efficient and pretty much Shimano's next big E-bike / E-MTB thing. This is what they say about it:
The new EP8 drive unit (DU-EP800) is capable of pumping out 85Nm of torque to conquer the toughest trails and steepest climbs. This 21% increase in power over its SHIMANO STEPS E8000 predecessor comes along with a 300g weight decrease to 2.6kg (10% reduction) thanks to a new magnesium drive unit casing. This low weight and high peak power makes it one of the best-in-class drive units in terms of power-to-weight
- The pedal rotation friction has been reduced by 36% compared to the E8000
- It weighs 2.6kg, which is about 300g less than the E8000
- Its max torque is 85Nm - 21% more than E8000
- The SC-EM800 display also provides wireless (BluetoothLE) capabilities
Shimano's EP8 powered bikes make use of the more heavy duty EW-SD300 wire and the motor unit is compatible with both mechanical (9/10/11/12 speed) drivetrains and Di2 systems (11 speed).
The guys at the Electric Mountain Bike Network have some nice hands-on experience with the new motor - click the image link below to watch their take on it.
When can you actually ride a bike with the EP8 motor unit? According to Shimano availability information be shared as soon as possible.
So… I guess we'll have to wait and see! Like with the E-Tube changes, I will update this page as more information appears.