Shimano Cargo updates e-bike drive for heavy loads, plus huge 220mm rotors will stop you

Tips & Reviews

Shimano Cargo gives two top EP8 & E6100 STePS e-bike motors new e-cargo-specific engine tunes to get the most out of pedal-assist heavy lifting. Plus, with the addition of massive new 220mm rotors and the requisite adapters, you’ll be able to bring any heavily-loaded cargo, eMTB, or gravity mountain bike back down to a safe stop more easily. Now with their e-Cargo drive units, gear ratios & brake systems up to DIN 79010 technical standard, Shimano Cargo hopes to see even more growth in alternative car-free transportation…

Shimano Cargo, e-bike drive upgrade to haul heavy loads

Shimano Cargo e-bikes, heavy-duty electric motor cargo-specific power tunes, made for heavy stuff

Essentially boiled down to firmware upgrades over the standard EP8 & E6100 e-bike motor tunes, Shimano Cargo means getting more out of your cargo e-bike.

Shimano Cargo e-bikes, heavy-duty electric motor cargo-specific power tunes

The cargo-specific drive unit models – DU-EP800-CRG & DU-E6100-CRG – get simple yellow CARGO labels denoting their pre-configured heavy-duty settings inside.

Compatible with Shimano’s regular mountain & urban bike gearing setups like Nexus internal hub gears, mechanical or electronic derailleur+cassette combos, Shimano Cargo can also be paired with Shimano’s cargo-approved braking systems

Shimano Cargo e-bikes, heavy-duty electric motor cargo-specific power tunes, made for family

Shimano engineers developed the cargo-specific tunes after studying the unique handling characteristics & needs of e-Cargo bikes. The cargo firmware settings are optimized for getting heavy loads up to speed (up to 250 kg) and keeping them moving. You still get regular Eco, Normal/Trail & High/Boost pedal-assist modes, but the cargo tunes are tweaked to achieve their maximum output torque at much lower pedaling cadence & rider torque input. Plus, the settings are still fully customizable via the Shimano e-Tube smartphone app.

Shimano Cargo e-bikes, E6100 vs. EP8eavy-duty electric motor cargo-specific power tunes, 
E6100 Cargo (left) & EP8 Cargo (right)

Comparing the two Cargo drive units, the newer & lighter EP8 has less internal resistance, slightly quieter operation & higher 86Nm max torque, while E6100 delivers smoother power output/acceleration & max 60Nm torque at a lower cost.

Both sync with Alfine Di2 hubs for smart Start mode that can be set to auto-downshift whenever you come to a complete stop to make getting moving again easier – or even fully-auto, cadence-based Automatic Shifting. Both also are compatible with 408Wh, 514Wh, or 630Wh batteries or other combination high-energy battery options.

Shimano Cargo versions of these two motors are expected to retail for the same as the regular e-bike/eMTB versions, and will be available this coming summer 2021.


Huge 220mm Shimano Deore/SLX MTB disc brake rotors

Huge 220mm Shimano Deore/SLX MTB disc brake rotors
6-bolt RT66-LL (left) & Centerlock RT64-LL (right)

In addition to new Shimano Cargo bike drive systems (and Shimano’s new extra-durable Deore XT LinkGlide MTB drivetrains), there are also a couple of new mega disc brake rotors to bring heavy bikes (& e-bike) safely back to a stop. Promising 10% more stopping power than the previously maxed out 203mm rotors, these new SLX 220mm rotors are sure to slow you down.

The 220mm rotors are available in one-piece SLX-level 6-bolt (SM-RT66-LL) or two-piece Deore-level Centerlock (SM-RT64-LL) with an alloy carrier (no IceTech). They are compatible with all of Shimano’s 2-piston & 4-piston brake calipers, with new adapters (SM-MA-F220P/PM/PL2/PL) fitting them to any compatible frame or fork. The new 220mm rotors will be available to purchase in June 2021.

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