What is Shimano STEPS? Shimano's motor system explained

What is Shimano STEPS? What are the benefits and what makes a Shimano Steps system?


Electric bike are becoming a common sight in stores, on our roads and on trails. There are already a great deal of brands that have started to offer electric drive units for bicycles, but Shimano Steps is one of the most popular options on the market.


What does Shimano STEPS stand for?


Shimano STEPS stands for Shimano Total Electric Power System, and it is the name given to a range of motor and components systems designed specifically for pedal-assist bicycles.


What models are in the Shimano STEPS range?


The STEPS range isn't a single system, but a range of systems designed for different types of bicycles and riding styles.


  • Shimano STEPS E6100 - This motor system tends to be used on hybrid-style bikes, the types of bikes that a rider would use for touring from place to place.
  • Shimano STEPS E5000 - E5000 is aimed at urban riding and commuters. 
  • Shimano STEPS E7000 - is Shimano's entry-level E-MTB system designed for off-road adventures.
  • Shimano STEPS E8000 - is the most advanced Shimano E-MTB motor system, designed for extreme mountain bike riding, and is the motor system that we use on our Patrol E-Six e-MTB.


Shimano STEPS E8000 Components


The E8000 STEPS drive unit

shimano steps e8000 drive unit

The powerful Shimano STEPS E8000 motor, found on the Patrol E-Six, offers riders assist up to 25km/h (depending on local restrictions). The drive system weighs on 2.5kg and is one of the most lightweight and compact e-MTB motor systems on sale today.


The Shimano STEPS E8000 drive system offers riders 3 modes to choose from;


  • Eco - This is a factory set level of assistant and offers the least amount of assist.
  • Trail - Trail is a dynamic mode that provides more assistance based on how much effort the rider puts into the system. This is the most natural power assist and is best used for most off-road riding.
  • Boost - In this mode, the drive unit will offer full assistance regardless of the effort the rider puts into the system.


Walk mode - In addition to these modes, there is also a Walk function that helps when hiking up unrideable, loose or steep terrain. With the mode, button pressed walk mode will help to drive the e-MTB up hills as you walk.


The Shimano STEPS E8000 Drivetrain

shimano steps e8000 drivetrain

Attached to the E8000 motor is a Shimano Hollowtech II bottom bracket for added strength and direct power transfer. Fitted to the bottom bracket is an e-MTB specific Shimano XT Crankset. This crankset has shorter 165mm crank arms to minimise pedal strikes.


Shimano STEPS E8000 Switch Unit

shimano steps e8000 firebolt

E8000 uses the Firebolt Switch unit to control which mode your drive unit operated in. The e-MTB Switch unit is designed specifically for mountain bike riding and lives on the left-hand side of the handlebars.


Firebolt uses paddles to flick from through Boost, Trail, Eco and Walk modes during a ride.


E8000 Display

shimano steps e8000 display

E8000 features an easy to read display with dynamic visuals that show the rider which mode the drive unit is set in. Each mode is shown in a unique colour and the sleek bar-mounted computer also displays other important information such as battery range, speed, total distance and more.


Patrol E-Six

patrol e-six

The Patrol E-Six takes advantage of the Shimano STEPS E8000 drive unit, motor system and display and is married to our own custom developed internal battery of improved weight distribution, a modern frame design and improved range. 


Designed from the ground up as an E-Enduro bike, the Patrol E-Six features 29in wheels, a 160mm of suspension travel and a custom-tuned rear shock to ensure constant traction when on the move.


For more information about the Patrol E-Six, or the Patrol E-Zero hardtail e-MTB visit our product pages.