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Electric bikes are definitely gaining popularity…especially among commuters. But what if you already have a great bike and don’t want to buy another one?
Enter the upcoming Shimano STEPS system. One of the first serious e-bike conversion systems.
"The system is called STEPS, which stands for Shimano Total Electric Power System. In the full set you’ll get a 250-watt front hub motor (geared), a torque-sensing bottom-bracket, a rotation-sensing crankset, a rack-mounted battery with integrated rear lamp, a pair of brake levers with switches to control everything, a front lamp and a bar-mounted computer so you know what it is all doing.
Finally, at the back you have one of Shimano’s 8-speed Nexus hubs which has electronic shifting."
That all sounds great, but seriously, how practical are electric bikes? Doesn’t the battery just drain faster than you can get to the top of that first hill? Don’t they take forever to recharge?
On many electric bike systems, yes.
But Shimano claims a one-hour charge of its STEPS gives 25 or 37 miles range (depending on power-mode) and a surprisingly fast top speed of 15 mph.
One of the coolest aspects to the Shimano STEPS system is that the your bike remains your bike. You can cruise in electric mode or remove the battery (and you’ll want to, since it weighs 5.95lbs) and crank out those pedal strokes for some actual cardiovascular exercise.
Shimano hasn’t released any pricing info as of yet, but the STEPS system will hit the market during Eurobike later this fall, and final pricing is sure to drop around then.
Is an electric bike appealing to you or is it an abomination of cycling?
I think every little step toward living green is an awesome one… but eco-snobbery sucks! My goal is to help newbies learn the most important steps toward living green — individually and collectively. Personally, I strive to have as little impact as possible on Planet Earth while I'm here.