What Could Shimano Do in 2016

George S.

Well-Known Member
A few of us, at least, are fascinated by Shimano and e bikes. They make a lot of parts, so they ‘win’ if people build an ebike with Shimano parts. No sweat. On the other hand, they might want to have a successful drive. They could couple a mid-drive to their IGH systems, internal hub gearing. The two things together could make an ‘automatic transmission’, eventually. You sell parts that encourage people to buy more parts. But a Shimano drive that was ‘universal’ means a very broad market. Mid drive systems need to be refined, including installation and upgrades like torque sensing.

Right now Shimano seems to be tied to Raleigh, with the STEPS. Could Shimano just make a drive, a ‘center drive’ that was just a part? In other words, something like the Bafang BBS02/HD? I can’t see Shimano getting much traction with a hub motor, but I could see a 600W mid-drive being popular, with the Shimano name. They could sell it on Amazon. Start out at $400, just to get the ball rolling.

The Bafang drive is over priced. Industrial stuff like that should drop 20% a year. Someone is likely to come along in 2016, but Shimano has money to develop products. Maybe a Kickstarter? Maybe a US made drive?
Most of the Cyclone and BBSHD etc stuff sold here is illegal in many parts of the U.S.

Shimano and Yamaha are more than capable of building drives much more robust than BBSHD but they have to stick to legal regulations.

They will jump in if they sense enough market and viable economic model to maintain steady flow.

I am trying to follow what people are doing with the new California standards. The 28 mph ebike may be legal in Cal, but it isn't in Utah and many other states. We have a hard 20 mph limit, or you are a motorcycle rider, I guess. I think @Tora Harris will ship the Cross Current into Utah. I think @motostrano will ship the Cross Current, since he is an internet dealer offering 'free shipping'. The CC is a Cal 28 mph ebike. I assume all the Speed Peds will be sold across the US. And people come here and gripe when they can't go 28 mph. I don't have the answer.

The crunch is '17 when California requires labels with the wattage and the Class of bike.

I suggested Shimano build a 600 watt drive. I suggested Shimano use a parts model. I like hubs. If I sold kits I would sell MAC motors and Golden motors, and I would try to keep them legal. But that's 1000w in Utah.