The Shimano STEPS E8000, together with the offerings from Bosch, is likely the most popular motor on the market today. From the display, to the battery, all the way to the motor, the mature system has been thought through to the last detail, is cleverly integrated and easy to use. But can it offer the same convincing performance on the road as well?

For an overview of the test fleet head to the main article: The best E-road bike motor – The 5 most important E-road bike motors on test

The Shimano STEPS E8000 offers three assistance modes (Eco, Trail and Boost) and is the strongest motor in our group test. The optimal cadence for it to produce its maximum output is around 70–90 rpm. Conversely, under 50 and above 105 rpm, the E8000 provides barely any support. It’s particularly the adaptive Trail mode, inherited from the mountain bike roots of the system, that impressed us with its natural feeling power modulation. Pedalling out of the saddle, the E8000 registers the increase in force almost immediately and increases its output correspondingly. That means the motor reacts quickly to your input and even during dynamic riding out of the saddle, accurately mirrors and magnifies the power you put in.

At the 25 km/h assistance limit the Shimano system offers only average performance. While we like how the power is reduced linearly as you approach the assistance limit, the motor has some pedalling resistance above the 25 km/h limit. As you drop back below the threshold, you will also notice the system reengaging.

We tested an E8000 fitted to a BMC Alpenchallenge AMP ROAD and found it relatively loud in comparison with its competitors. However, that comes with the addendum that different frames will amplify and transmit motor noise differently and many other factors such as the distance of the motor from your ears will strongly influence how much you perceive it.

Control of the Shimano STEPS E8000 system is well implemented and stands head and shoulders above the competition thanks to its integration with existing Di2 shifters. Shimano uses its existing road components and allows the rider to select support modes as well as cycle through data displays with button presses on the ULTEGRA Di2 shifters. This solution has yet to find its equal. Our test bike was fitted with the STEPS 7000 display. We think this is a good choice as the compact dimensions and black and white readout make it very user friendly. It can also be connected to your smartphone and in turn, you’ll be able to use the ride tracking and navigation features of the E-TUBE RIDE app.

With a second app – E-TUBE – you’ll be able to connect your smartphone via Bluetooth and tune the level of support in Boost and Trail modes. A number of settings are offered, including Dynamic (factory setting), Explorer and Custom mode. The Shimano system may offer a real road bike feeling in terms of power delivery but unfortunately that doesn’t quite translate when pedalling. While the Q-factor is narrower than that of the Bosch motor, it is based on the wider geometries of mountain bikes rather than the narrow Q-factors of traditional road bikes.

And finally we have one pointer for you. There’s no need to worry, the error code W13 doesn’t mean you’ll have to bring your bike in for servicing! If you’re clipped in or have your feet on the pedals, the Shimano motor won’t turn on as the sensors in the unit aren’t able to run self-calibration. So, feet off and then away!


The combination of the STEPS E8000 system with electronic Di2 shifters is yet to find its equal in terms of integration and ease of use. In addition, the Shimano motor is the strongest is the test, and in Trail mode responds to varying rider output quickly and naturally.

Torque 70 Nm
Motor weight 2.89 kg
Support modes 3
App control Yes (with E7000-Display or dongle)


  • Excellent system integration
  • A large selection of displays and remotes
  • Riding modes are easy to configure


  • Some pedalling resistance above 25 km/h

For more info head to:

For an overview of the test fleet head to the main article: The best E-road bike motor – The 5 most important E-road bike motors on test

All motors in test: Bosch Active Line Plus | Ebikemotion X35 M1 | FAZUA Evation | Specialized SL 1.1

This article is from GRAN FONDO issue #012

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Words: Benjamin Topf, Felix Stix Photos: Robin Schmitt