Two new motors from the Japanese brand, the Ep5 has 60Nm of torque and the E5100 50Nm... but they’re not exactly light


Shimano has launched two new drive units with mid-power outputs that are just begging to be used on a lightweight e-bike. EP5 delivers 60Nm of torque and it’s also Auto Shift ready, meaning any bike that picks it up could also select the best gear for you. That’s something we’re yet to see on a lightweight e-bike, with full power bikes like the Canyon:ON or the now defunct Nukeproof’s Megawatt owning the automatic gearbox space. Meanwhile, the E5100 system offers 50Nm of torque and is geared towards a more natural ride feel, Shimano says.

There’s only one problem then, as least from the stats, which is that EP5 weighs a hefty 3kg, heavier even than the full-power 2.7kg Shimano EP8 and EP801. And E5100 isn’t breaking any light weight records either, it’s 2.4kg. Weight isn’t everything though, the best lightweight eMTB motors are those that can deliver the right feeling of power and support, and crucially let you pedal beyond the speed limiter.

Shimano EP5 and E5100 drive units need to know:

  • Two new units, the EP5 and E5100 – both of which are mid-power
  • The EP5 weighs 3kg and offers up to 60Nm of torque
  • Whereas, the E5100 weighs 2.4kg but only offers 50Nm
  • Both offer Auto Shift technology
Shimano EP5

The new Shimano EP5 comes with 60Nm of torque and offers three assist modes

Shimano EP5

Perhaps the more relevant announcement of the two for mountain bikers is the EP5. It sits below the EP6 and EP8 systems, and offers up to 60Nm of torque. It allows riders to utilise auto shift technology, and the assist modes can be customised using the E-Tube Project Cyclist app. From there, you can create up to 15 ‘assist characters’ and choose things like the maximum torque for each. There are three customisable assist modes to begin with; eco, trail and boost.

It weighs 3kg so a bit more than most lightweight eMTB mid-drives, but might suit something like a really lightweight carbon frame. Shimano has some pretty bold range claims, saying the “EP5’s balanced assist output allows riders to make the most of every pedal stroke and battery charge, providing riders with over 270 km range1 across a mostly flat commuting course.”

Shimano EP5

The new drive units might not be adorning any eMTBs any time soon, but they’re an interesting addition to Shimano’s drive system lineup

Shiman0 E5100

Perhaps less relevant for us mountain bikers, and more for any e-commuters amongst us, the E5100 is a lighter mid-drive designed for a more ‘natural’ ride feel. It comes with a maximum torque of 50Nm, and aims to bridge the gap between acoustic and electric riding. Shimano says it’s light and quiet, and compatible with various brake types (including disc). It can also be personalised using the E-Tube Project Cyclist app.

You can also use auto shift technology with this motor as long as you also run an IHG drivetrain. The system weighs 2.4kg which puts it in lightweight territory, but it doesn’t look like it’s cut out for electric mountain biking.