FIRST LOOK: NEW SHIMANO XT Di2 GROUP, EP DRIVE UNITS, AND AUTO SHIFT TECHNOLOGY
New eMTB technology coming in 2023 from Shimano
Di2 IS BACK IN THE DIRT
Shimano is introducing a lot of new technology that revolves around its EP electric mountain bike platforms that we will be seeing on bikes in 2023. Arguably the biggest of these advances is the reintroduction of Di2 electronic shifting with two all-new Deore XT Di2 group. These eMTB-specific electronic drivetrains are powered by the bike’s battery and works in conjunction with Shimano’s recently released Linkglide drivetrains.
A NEW WAY TO SHIFT
The significance of this drivetrain is the introduction of new shift technologies in the form of Free Shift and Auto Shift with manual override. Free Shift is an all-new shifting mode that allows for gear changes without pedaling the bike. Shimano says that When you shift, the XT Di2 system prompts the EP Drive unit to simultaneously advance the drivetrain at the chainring and make smooth, pedal-less shifts. Taking shift technology one step further is Auto Shift which makes predictive gear changes automatically based on your speed and pedal cadence. This includes making automatic shifts while you’re coasting.
NEW EP DRIVE UNITS
XT Di2 and the new shift modes are only compatible with Shimano’s all-new EP6 and updated EP8 drive units. EP6 is claimed to deliver the same natural ride feel and uncompromised ride experience as EP8 but at a lower price. EP8 is now called EP801 in its second generation and gains new CAN accessory ports and XT Di2 compatibility.
AVAILABILITY AND PRICING
Shimano says that XT Di2, and EP6/EP801 drive units will be available as part of complete e-bike builds from its partners beginning late spring to summer of 2023. They add that because all these parts work as a system, these components will only be available as part of complete bike builds and therefore they do not plan to provide pricing for individual parts or groupsets at this time. We really look forward to trying this new electric bike technology so stay tuned for future ride impressions.