Commencal Meta Power ebike showcases new Shimano EP8 motor
The Shimano Steps series of electric bike motors have long felt quite decent and smooth to ride, but they've fallen behind on torque since Bosch started extracting 85 Nm from its Performance Line CX motors, and an update has perhaps been overdue.
That update has now arrived in the shape of the new EP8 motor, which manages to output the same 85 Nm (63 lb-ft) peak torque from a 250-W mid-drive setup that's smaller and lighter than its E8000 predecessor, allowing extra ground clearance on trails, as well as more space for the battery in the downtubes. The new motor weighs in at 2.6 kg (5.7 lb), and is said to be quieter than its predecessors too.
The EP8 motor has debuted in a range of new bikes, including ones from Merida, Husqvarna and Commencal. We'll surely be seeing it in plenty of others, but this Commencal Meta Power is a fine-looking thing, so let's take a quick look at this.
The Meta itself is an enduro-style dual-suspension offroad racer; Commencal punts it in the Enduro World Series. So the Meta Power's mission is fairly clear: maintain as much of the regular bike's rugged downhill and trail-stomping capability as possible while adding an electrified boost to help get you up hills.
Thus, it houses the diminutive EP8 at the bottom of its sharply angled frame, going with a decent-sized 630-Wh lithium-ion battery to trade off between size, weight and range. The bike comes in 27.5- and 29-inch wheel versions, the former to prioritize agility and the latter emphasizing go-anywhere capability.
The forks and underslung shock come from either RockShox or Fox, depending on which level of specification you go for, And there's a hydraulic dropper seat post that can be pushed down out of the way for the gnarly stuff and pop back up again when it's time to sit down and cruise.
The price of entry is pretty steep, though. The basic SX Ride model starts at US$5,499, and the higher-spec 29 Team model starts at $6,499. A little rich for our tastes but they certainly look like quality machines for serious off-road action.
Source: Commencal USA