Shimano EP8 and E6100 cargo-specific drive units now come with built-in firmware designed for powering heavy loads.
Shimano E-Cargo drive units, gearing and brake systems now meet the technical standard (DIN 79010) for usage on transportation bikes and cargo bikes.
Shimano is moving further into the e-bike market with the introduction of two new drive unit models designed with innovative features to power heavy cargo bikes. Not only are these drive units made for cargo, but they are also made for families, made for neighbourhood journeys, made for transport and made for just about anything you want to carry on a bike.
The two models are Shimano’s EP8 and E6100 drive units which will now come in specific cargo variations known as DU-EP800-CRG and DU-E6100-CRG, and using Shimano’s principles of system engineering, they are also compatible with Shimano gearing systems, such as Nexus Internal Hub Gears or derailleur/cassettes, and can be complemented by Shimano braking systems, approved for cargo bikes.
Aside from coming with a striking yellow CARGO sticker on the casing, these drive units are Shimano’s regular DU-EP800 and DU-E6100 models. But inside is where the difference can be found. The Shimano engineers who studied the handling characteristics of E-Cargo bikes have created new specific firmware settings optimized for propelling heavy loads (up to 250 kg).
Like all Shimano’s urban e-bike drive units, the DU-EP800-CRG and DU-E6100-CRG models still come with Eco, Normal (or Trail) and High (or Boost) modes but both cargo drive units reach their maximum output torque at much lower rider pedaling torque inputs. And what’s more, those modes are fully customizable on the fly with Shimano’s E-TUBE app.
The main difference 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. In other words, both offer the appropriate support needed for riding an e-cargo bike, but the level of support provided by the EP8 drive unit makes pedalling these bikes just a little easier.
Diving into the detail, 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. It is quiet during freewheeling or pedaling, even under load, and provides a smooth pedaling action, even without assistance support. Heat management is a particular advantage of the DU-EP800-CRG; cooling fins on the outer shell allow for heat dissipation and optimized internal gear mechanisms also help to reduce heat, especially on long climbs.
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 to power over obstacles (eg curbs, ramps, etc) in a non-riding situation.
The DU-E6100-CRG is slightly bigger than the EP800-CRG version but has many of the same features including smooth pedaling under load or without battery assistance, walk assistance, start mode and full automatic shifting. The big difference is in the maximum output assistance with the DU-E6100-CRG providing 60Nm.
Whether you use the EP8 or the E6100 version there are two handy features that can be used when the drive unit is combined with a Di2 internal hub gear; Start mode, which drops you down to your preferred gear to push off it, and full Automatic Shifting, which takes away the stress of shifting by changing gear when you reach an optimum pedal pressure (input torque) and speed.
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 drive units are also compatible with many other Shimano drivetrain and braking components – a full list of list of compatibility options is available on Shimano’s website.
The two new models - DU-EP800-CRG and DU-E6100-CRG – will be available during summer 2021.