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From City to Trail

October 30, 2017
From City to Trail

While an e-bike has the potential to change the way you ride, choosing your desired e-bike system can be overwhelming. There are multiple e-bike systems and frame types available, each with their own advantages and disadvantages. While this overflow of variety can be potentially off-putting, the process of choosing a system can be made significantly easier by first narrowing down what type of riding you have in mind for your new machine. An electric bike, or e-bike, lets you capitalize on riding opportunities present in everyday life. Meetings that were once too far away are now in range, terrain that was once too difficult is a breeze, and rushing to make that morning in time just became a thing of the past. On an e-bike, the city streets and trail pass quickly beneath you, while you comfortably control your effort. Day-long rides that would normally be outside of your comfort zone are now easily within reach. Your e-bike takes care of the heavy lifting and allows you to ride hard when you want, or take it easy when you desire a lighter workload. Fly up anything from intimidating pitches on the trail with a STEPS equipped mountain bike, or that troublesome hill between you and your office with a on cruiser bike.

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Preeminent components manufacturer Shimano currently offers two main types of e-bike pedal-assist systems, city/commuter and mountain bike. They are exemplified by Shimano’s two e-bike motor systems, the city and commuter specific E6000 STEPS City and the off-road mountain bike specific E8000 STEPS E-MTB system. The E-MTB is designed for anything from moderate to high-level trail riding, while the City is ideal for everyday riding and trekking adventures in and around town, or even a bike tour adventure along the Croatian coastline.

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The STEPS City is a fantastic e-bike motor system for anyone who wants to ride to work without worrying about being late and arriving sweating and exhausted, or eliminate the unpleasant struggle to get back up to speed at an intersection after stopping at a light. While a great commuter option, it is also more than competent while out on an urban adventure or even a fitness building countryside ride. This system is likely to be mounted to a traditional cruiser or commuter bike, built to get you where you are going in an upright and comfort-centric position.

While not designed specifically for speed, the pedal-assist system can easily propel you along at speeds up to 20mph. The motor system includes three pedal-assist modes: Eco, Normal and High. These three modes go from a mild pedal-assist option, Eco, to a slightly more aggressive pedal-assist experience, Normal, to High, which offers the greatest level of assist power. Toggling between the three modes is incredibly easy and intuitive thanks to an easy-to-read bar mounted computer that is paired with an ergonomic switch unit. Easily switch between High mode, which allows for a more balanced, less strenuous ride, to Eco, for a better workout and to increase time between charges. Outside of these three options, the system offers an additional walk assist mode that pulls the weight of the bike as you walk uphill.

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The City will have you covered in most casual, day-to-day riding situations, and will solve many of the common problems associated with commuting, but when the terrain gets truly formidable and more power and battery range is required, the Shimano E8000 E-MTB system picks up the slack. The E8000 MTB is designed for hardcore adventurers who want to take on bigger challenges outside of their comfort zone. Even though it is designed to push the boundaries, it will accommodate any skill level and deliver maximum enjoyment at whatever effort level you desire. The system is robust enough to handle nearly any trail and provides intuitive assist with the feel of riding a normal racing-level mountain bike.

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Like the City, the MTB system provides three separate assist level, in addition to a walking mode. The three pedal-assist levels are Eco, Trail and Boost. Eco provides solid support for long expeditions with the maximum amount of battery life. Trail offers intuitively smooth graded support through even the most demanding singletrack, with a less battery range than Eco, but more than Boost. Boost mode offers a high-octane shot of speed when turning the pedals, ideal for rough and steep sections that would be otherwise impassable. Managing transitions between these modes is a bar mounted Firebolt Switch Unit control that is ergonomically designed for mountain biking and lets you easily switch between modes. A bar mounted LCD digital display shows your power assist mode and battery range information.

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If you want to cruise to and from work, around town and explore local loops with ease and speed, a STEPS City equipped bike is perfect for you. If you want to push yourself further, get out on your local mountain bike trails and experience a wide riding range, an E8000 MTB equipped bike is the machine for you. Whatever your riding style, there is a system out there to suit your needs. Don’t waste any more time, start getting the most out of your riding experiences with an e-bike.


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