Let’s be honest here. EMTB ownership hasn’t exactly been the smoothest experience for the large majority of us since its inception. Those looking for a more intimate relationship with their bike manufacturers warranty department have been in luck. The bulk of current owners: test dummies if you will, have been required to stump up their hard earned cash in return for a part time job at the troubleshooting department of (insert ebike brand here) just to avoid owning a bicycle shaped brick. Maybe I’m being a little harsh here but I’m sure we all have a degree of scepticism and concern when it comes to owning an EMTB out of warranty.
When the mass market finally wake up and realise that EMTB’s were the answer after all, the industry will have undoubtably progressed and individuals will likely be walking into the same consumer experience expected from a modern day smartphone or flat screen TV. Switch it on, and it just works, every…single…day. They will have no idea of the anguish and pain we all had to go through just to make sure we could fulfil our electric dreams. The question is when on earth can we expect this reliability revolution to happen?
In my opinion, adoption will eventually breed perfection. But how long do we have to wait? As EMTB’s transition from the niche segment of the MTB industry into the more dominant segment (a shift that has arguably already happened in some European markets) will we still hear the same horror stories but on a much larger scale?
Since 2019 I’ve been running a growing rental fleet of Shimano powered, Vitus ebikes running E7000 and E8000 motors. The fleet is based in the heart of a very wet and wild Snowdonia national park, so as you can imagine our bikes take quite a beating. Not only do they have to deal with a varying range of rider abilities, they are also sometimes required to haul larger than average loads up some very steep forest hills. I’ll say no more but you get the idea. Its no wonder Shimano installed a W010 error code indicating the temperature of the drive unit is higher than it should be. The code causes the motor to assist at a lower level or shut off completely to protect itself from overheating and dying an untimely death. Despite rarely seeing the W010 error code we have had our fair share of motor related issues.
In this video I discuss the pain and anguish I have so far faced, but prove that it is indeed possible to operate a fleet of Shimano powered ebikes and come out the other side with only marginally more grey hairs than you started with #justformen