Frustrations with Shimano and Santa Cruz in the UK

rpurdie

New Member
Jan 12, 2023
14
11
UK
I have a Santa Cruz Heckler with a Shimano E8000 motor. I really do love the bike, it has taken me places and done things I'd never have seen/done otherwise. It's decent spec and is now 2.5 years old and out of warranty.

Knowing what I know now, I couldn't in good conscience advise anyone to buy a bike with a Shimano motor :(.

Santa Cruz advertise that they want to get you out riding. They've been great at things in the past and I have other Santa Cruz bikes but when it comes to anything Shimano, they can't do anything to help and you have to contact a Shimano service centre.

Shimano do not service the motors and do not offer parts. Motors are not offered for sale either, you simply can't buy one. The reason is the motors have parameters specific to the bike they're fitted to and UK/EU laws mean these have to be restricted to maintain the max speed/power limits.

As such, the service centres can't change any of the motor configuration, that can only be done by Shimano's UK representative, Madison. Madison can only offer warranty replacements and they can only replace like for like.

I can in theory fit an EP-8 to the bike, the physical mounting is the same and Santa Cruz did ship Hecklers with my frame with an EP-8. I would need a new speed sensor, cable, display and mode switch but those are solvable things. The trouble is I can't obtain a motor anywhere legitimately in the UK, nor change the settings on it if I could.

As far as I can tell, supply of EP-8 motors for warranty replacements is problematic with long delays. Santa Cruz only has motors to fit to new bikes so basically fobs off existing customers with "talk to Shimano, only they can solve this". Talking to Madison, they say "only Santa Cruz could provide an upgrade kit". Given the supply issues, nobody is interested in resolving things. This is really poor for existing customers, particularly when they've used a brand based on their support in the past.

Both sides don't understand the other. Santa Cruz has told me I can get a Shimano service centre to change the motor bearings for example. This simply isn't the case.

I can buy a bearing kit online and then service my existing motor myself, if I feel like taking the chance. There are also places offering that service, the trouble is should anything go wrong, there are no spare parts.

The motor is out of warranty. If a service centre runs tests and determines my motor is failing, Madison might at a push agree to replace the motor out of warranty, at the cost price of a new motor. If I'm going to spend £900+ on a new motor, I'd prefer the EP-8 but that isn't an option. I wouldn't get to keep the old motor, it has to be done by the service centre and I can't repair it, only replace.

It looks like I might be able to obtain an EP-8 motor from elsewhere in the world, obviously that would have no warranty and I could have fun with import duty/taxes. It is possible to use unauthorized software to change the software config. Whilst that wouldn't have any warranty support, would I actually miss out on much given where things are at?

Anyway, I wanted to share the experience and put a plea out there to Shimano and Santa Cruz to sort this experience out, please! As things stand, I really can't recommend them.
 

Redlemon

Active member
Oct 30, 2021
161
292
Quebec, Canada
You're out of warranty, Santa Cruz is not really responsible for this...their warranty support is incredible otherwise and it would be a poor financial choice for them to start covering out of warranty bikes.

Replace the motor, sell the bike and never buy Shimano again, moral of the story.
 

yorkshire89

Well-known member
Sep 30, 2020
327
498
North Yorkshire
Have you tried claiming through warranty with Santa Cruz? Has it been refused for being over 2 years, with no offer of replacement motor or contribution to the cost of a new motor?

Mines currently getting replaced at 2.5 years FOC (Bosch) and I've heard of people getting replacements outside of the warranty period for Shimano E8000's
 

Richywalker64

Active member
Nov 14, 2020
152
102
Hartlepool
My e8000 motor was replaced with a brand new motor free of charge from Shimano/Maddison even though the bike was 3 and a half years old and 18 months out of warranty
I took mine back to Start cycles where I bought it from and they were very helpful.
Did you buy the bike from a shop or online?
Mine was not de restricted or tampered with which I think helped my case
 

rpurdie

New Member
Jan 12, 2023
14
11
UK
My e8000 motor was replaced with a brand new motor free of charge from Shimano/Maddison even though the bike was 3 and a half years old and 18 months out of warranty
I took mine back to Start cycles where I bought it from and they were very helpful.
Did you buy the bike from a shop or online?
Mine was not de restricted or tampered with which I think helped my case
It was bought from a shop that has now been taken over by specialized which puts me in an awkward position, they can't help and I don't have a relationship with anywhere else. Mine hasn't been de-restricted or tampered with!
 

rpurdie

New Member
Jan 12, 2023
14
11
UK
You're out of warranty, Santa Cruz is not really responsible for this...their warranty support is incredible otherwise and it would be a poor financial choice for them to start covering out of warranty bikes.

Replace the motor, sell the bike and never buy Shimano again, moral of the story.
Santa Cruz are responsible in so much as they put Shimano components in the bike and the ability to repair/upgrade/replace those components is looking problematic. As I said, the Santa Cruz support in general was great and was why I bought another one! As thing stand, if I wanted another e-bike I couldn't buy Santa Cruz without Shimano.
 

Husky430

E*POWAH Master
Jul 8, 2019
431
676
Sunshine Coast
Sadly been down this same route with my Merida and an e8000 motor, after 2 and a half years it just stopped dead with no noises or symptoms.
Ended up sourcing a new motor from Germany and then got reamed with the import duty etc from customs which then delayed everything by a couple of weeks more. All very frustrating.
New motor started messing-up after a ride in heavy rain, managed to dry it out but after that every time I road it was thinking is it going to play up again.
Got rid of it and now have a Bosch powered bike which so far has been faultless, then again so was the Shimano for 2 and half years.
Have no answers for you I'm afraid but really, for the costs of these bikes, its not really good enough I think.
 

Mteam

E*POWAH Elite
Aug 3, 2020
1,491
1,435
gone
Will Bosch replace a motor that's 2.5 years for free?
not quite free, but a friend just had a near 3 year old bosch gen 4 motor in his wild fs replaced by bosch for £100, I suspect the £100 covered the bike shop labour to swap the motor, and the motor itself was essentially free.
 

DJ57UMP

Active member
Mar 13, 2021
149
123
England
I have a Santa Cruz Heckler with a Shimano E8000 motor. I really do love the bike, it has taken me places and done things I'd never have seen/done otherwise. It's decent spec and is now 2.5 years old and out of warranty.

Knowing what I know now, I couldn't in good conscience advise anyone to buy a bike with a Shimano motor :(.

Santa Cruz advertise that they want to get you out riding. They've been great at things in the past and I have other Santa Cruz bikes but when it comes to anything Shimano, they can't do anything to help and you have to contact a Shimano service centre.

Shimano do not service the motors and do not offer parts. Motors are not offered for sale either, you simply can't buy one. The reason is the motors have parameters specific to the bike they're fitted to and UK/EU laws mean these have to be restricted to maintain the max speed/power limits.

As such, the service centres can't change any of the motor configuration, that can only be done by Shimano's UK representative, Madison. Madison can only offer warranty replacements and they can only replace like for like.

I can in theory fit an EP-8 to the bike, the physical mounting is the same and Santa Cruz did ship Hecklers with my frame with an EP-8. I would need a new speed sensor, cable, display and mode switch but those are solvable things. The trouble is I can't obtain a motor anywhere legitimately in the UK, nor change the settings on it if I could.

As far as I can tell, supply of EP-8 motors for warranty replacements is problematic with long delays. Santa Cruz only has motors to fit to new bikes so basically fobs off existing customers with "talk to Shimano, only they can solve this". Talking to Madison, they say "only Santa Cruz could provide an upgrade kit". Given the supply issues, nobody is interested in resolving things. This is really poor for existing customers, particularly when they've used a brand based on their support in the past.

Both sides don't understand the other. Santa Cruz has told me I can get a Shimano service centre to change the motor bearings for example. This simply isn't the case.

I can buy a bearing kit online and then service my existing motor myself, if I feel like taking the chance. There are also places offering that service, the trouble is should anything go wrong, there are no spare parts.

The motor is out of warranty. If a service centre runs tests and determines my motor is failing, Madison might at a push agree to replace the motor out of warranty, at the cost price of a new motor. If I'm going to spend £900+ on a new motor, I'd prefer the EP-8 but that isn't an option. I wouldn't get to keep the old motor, it has to be done by the service centre and I can't repair it, only replace.

It looks like I might be able to obtain an EP-8 motor from elsewhere in the world, obviously that would have no warranty and I could have fun with import duty/taxes. It is possible to use unauthorized software to change the software config. Whilst that wouldn't have any warranty support, would I actually miss out on much given where things are at?

Anyway, I wanted to share the experience and put a plea out there to Shimano and Santa Cruz to sort this experience out, please! As things stand, I really can't recommend them.
I was kind of in the same boat. I loved my Heckler but didn't want to take a chance with the motor after 2 years.

So I spoke to Madison and they said they could sell me a motor if I had approval from Santa Cruz. I spoke to Jungle who said they were happy to approve the EP8 for my Heckler.

During the time I was speaking with Madison and Jungle I was also speaking to Howard at Pedal & Spoke. Once I had approval from Jungle we basically had it lined up to make the swap - as you say for the EP8 upgrade it was going to be just about everything - but that was cool for another 2 years warranty!

Then I rode my mates Levo... and that put pay to upgrading the Heckler... so I sold the Heckler and now sport a 2022 Levo Expert lol

But you can do it, and if you need proof I think I still have the email from Jungle telling me it's OK to put the EP8 in the Heckler.
 

rpurdie

New Member
Jan 12, 2023
14
11
UK
I was kind of in the same boat. I loved my Heckler but didn't want to take a chance with the motor after 2 years.

So I spoke to Madison and they said they could sell me a motor if I had approval from Santa Cruz. I spoke to Jungle who said they were happy to approve the EP8 for my Heckler.

During the time I was speaking with Madison and Jungle I was also speaking to Howard at Pedal & Spoke. Once I had approval from Jungle we basically had it lined up to make the swap - as you say for the EP8 upgrade it was going to be just about everything - but that was cool for another 2 years warranty!

Then I rode my mates Levo... and that put pay to upgrading the Heckler... so I sold the Heckler and now sport a 2022 Levo Expert lol

But you can do it, and if you need proof I think I still have the email from Jungle telling me it's OK to put the EP8 in the Heckler.
I read your post about this which prompted me to talk with Madison and Santa Cruz, I'd have loved to have done that. They've both said it cannot be done and Madison cannot under any circimstances provide an EP-8 :(.
 

Hardtail

Member
Mar 8, 2021
102
49
Uk
2X new EP8 motors for sale on Ebay from a German seller:
www.ebay.co.uk/itm/185678587038

Commencal lists EP8 motor units for sale on their website, contact them to find out the details.
COMMENCAL | DRIVE UNIT SHIMANO EP8 META POWER

Clearly they come up for sale new, so why not just do the conversion yourself? it has been done before and there are youtube videos discussing it. Once it works sell the e8000 before it is a brick.

EP8 can have bearings replaced and rebuilt, just don't expect any support from Shimano.

I run a Bosch motor and I treat it hard, I decided to have mine rebuilt myself instead of via warranty as it is relatively cheap and easy, no way would I want to send it off and risk not having it for more than 2 weeks...
 

yorkshire89

Well-known member
Sep 30, 2020
327
498
North Yorkshire
I run a Bosch motor and I treat it hard, I decided to have mine rebuilt myself instead of via warranty as it is relatively cheap and easy, no way would I want to send it off and risk not having it for more than 2 weeks...

You will lose your warranty if you do this though. Both motor failures I had were electrical and required replacements, so wouldn't want to go down this route personally.
 

Hardtail

Member
Mar 8, 2021
102
49
Uk
You will lose your warranty if you do this though. Both motor failures I had were electrical and required replacements, so wouldn't want to go down this route personally.
Thats also my point. I accepted having no warranty as I would rather not deal with frustration and delays.
I had a torque sensor replacement, which I believed was the first time done at Performance Line Bearings, it was seemingly unsuccessful as no matter what they did on their test bench they could get the motor to drive.
Motor was returned and I was not charged. I fit the motor in the bike and all worked perfectly! Clearly there was some sort of learning process for the new sensor. The motor was then fully rebuilt with new bearings etc. and the bill paid. I was very happy with the service and would do it again without having to deal with warranties etc.
 

rpurdie

New Member
Jan 12, 2023
14
11
UK
Thats also my point. I accepted having no warranty as I would rather not deal with frustration and delays.
I had a torque sensor replacement, which I believed was the first time done at Performance Line Bearings, it was seemingly unsuccessful as no matter what they did on their test bench they could get the motor to drive.
Motor was returned and I was not charged. I fit the motor in the bike and all worked perfectly! Clearly there was some sort of learning process for the new sensor. The motor was then fully rebuilt with new bearings etc. and the bill paid. I was very happy with the service and would do it again without having to deal with warranties etc.
The challenge with Shimano is there is no part availability. If I rebuild it, replace the bearings, water gets in and corrodes a circuit board, my only option would be to find another broken motor and try and build a good one from the parts. I'm relatively skilled at taking things apart and repairing them, both electrical and mechanical, but the lack of spare parts limits what you can do. There are few broken spare motors as they can only ever be exchanged by Madison (and scrapped at that point).

The motors from abroad are the ones I was and am still wondering about.
 

B1rdie

E*POWAH Elite
Subscriber
Feb 14, 2019
648
781
Brazil
The problem with shimano motors grows when you mix it with expensive brands like santa cruz. If you buy a canyon, commencal or other brands, paying $800 for a brand new motor is not so bad. I had a new E8000 that I bought from commencal and kept it waiting at the shelf (even though my bike is a canyon spectral). Living in the third world, I got used to have those "spare parts" bought in advance, so as to avoid the tax+delay problem, so, when the shimano E8000 suddenly died from E10, after riding 5.000 km in two years, I could not only diagnose the fault was inside the motor but also swap it and keep riding because I had antecipated that could happen, and I knew from this site and others worldwide, about problems with shimano warranty from one side and the availability of these motors from online internet retailers.
 

rpurdie

New Member
Jan 12, 2023
14
11
UK
The problem with shimano motors grows when you mix it with expensive brands like santa cruz. If you buy a canyon, commencal or other brands, paying $800 for a brand new motor is not so bad. I had a new E8000 that I bought from commencal and kept it waiting at the shelf (even though my bike is a canyon spectral). Living in the third world, I got used to have those "spare parts" bought in advance, so as to avoid the tax+delay problem, so, when the shimano E8000 suddenly died from E10, after riding 5.000 km in two years, I could not only diagnose the fault was inside the motor but also swap it and keep riding because I had antecipated that could happen, and I knew from this site and others worldwide, about problems with shimano warranty from one side and the availability of these motors from online internet retailers.
This is pretty much why I was thinking about the EP-8. I don't want to be left without the bike, I know the motor is showing signs of stress so getting a replacement and small upgrade ready makes perfect sense and I'm willing to buy a new motor to do that. I can't, at not least in any way allowed/supported by any of the companies involved.
 

cappuccino34

Active member
Nov 24, 2020
396
202
Helmshore
I have a Santa Cruz Heckler with a Shimano E8000 motor. I really do love the bike, it has taken me places and done things I'd never have seen/done otherwise. It's decent spec and is now 2.5 years old and out of warranty.

Knowing what I know now, I couldn't in good conscience advise anyone to buy a bike with a Shimano motor :(.

Santa Cruz advertise that they want to get you out riding. They've been great at things in the past and I have other Santa Cruz bikes but when it comes to anything Shimano, they can't do anything to help and you have to contact a Shimano service centre.

Shimano do not service the motors and do not offer parts. Motors are not offered for sale either, you simply can't buy one. The reason is the motors have parameters specific to the bike they're fitted to and UK/EU laws mean these have to be restricted to maintain the max speed/power limits.

As such, the service centres can't change any of the motor configuration, that can only be done by Shimano's UK representative, Madison. Madison can only offer warranty replacements and they can only replace like for like.

I can in theory fit an EP-8 to the bike, the physical mounting is the same and Santa Cruz did ship Hecklers with my frame with an EP-8. I would need a new speed sensor, cable, display and mode switch but those are solvable things. The trouble is I can't obtain a motor anywhere legitimately in the UK, nor change the settings on it if I could.

As far as I can tell, supply of EP-8 motors for warranty replacements is problematic with long delays. Santa Cruz only has motors to fit to new bikes so basically fobs off existing customers with "talk to Shimano, only they can solve this". Talking to Madison, they say "only Santa Cruz could provide an upgrade kit". Given the supply issues, nobody is interested in resolving things. This is really poor for existing customers, particularly when they've used a brand based on their support in the past.

Both sides don't understand the other. Santa Cruz has told me I can get a Shimano service centre to change the motor bearings for example. This simply isn't the case.

I can buy a bearing kit online and then service my existing motor myself, if I feel like taking the chance. There are also places offering that service, the trouble is should anything go wrong, there are no spare parts.

The motor is out of warranty. If a service centre runs tests and determines my motor is failing, Madison might at a push agree to replace the motor out of warranty, at the cost price of a new motor. If I'm going to spend £900+ on a new motor, I'd prefer the EP-8 but that isn't an option. I wouldn't get to keep the old motor, it has to be done by the service centre and I can't repair it, only replace.

It looks like I might be able to obtain an EP-8 motor from elsewhere in the world, obviously that would have no warranty and I could have fun with import duty/taxes. It is possible to use unauthorized software to change the software config. Whilst that wouldn't have any warranty support, would I actually miss out on much given where things are at?

Anyway, I wanted to share the experience and put a plea out there to Shimano and Santa Cruz to sort this experience out, please! As things stand, I really can't recommend them.
A friend of mine bought an E8000 motor for his bike, no problem at all.
I'm sure that in the UK there's a legal requirement to supply replacement parts up to a certain age, at least five years but it might actually be 10 years. They can't expect you to dump your bike if the motor fails just outside the warranty.
The 'manufacturer specific' motor sounds like BS to me.
 

rpurdie

New Member
Jan 12, 2023
14
11
UK
A friend of mine bought an E8000 motor for his bike, no problem at all.
I'm sure that in the UK there's a legal requirement to supply replacement parts up to a certain age, at least five years but it might actually be 10 years. They can't expect you to dump your bike if the motor fails just outside the warranty.
The 'manufacturer specific' motor sounds like BS to me.
I cannot find any supplier of the motor in the UK. I have confirmed there definitely are bike specific settings applied to the motor (such as the angle of the motor in the frame and the wheel size). Those need to be set on the motor to match it to the bike. Those settings cannot be changed by Shimano service centres in the UK, only by the Shimano representative, Madison. Santa Cruz, Jungle (Santa Cruz importer), the bike dealers I've talked to and the shimano people all tell me the same thing. Not sure what I'm missing but it doesn't make sense to me.

At least one of the main crank bearings on the motor has play so I'm going to have to do something. The batteries I have are also showing a 20-25% loss of range which is also starting to be a real pain (need to carry a second battery). Spending more money on something I have concerns about is hard, I do actually otherwise love the bike though :/.
 

Hardtail

Member
Mar 8, 2021
102
49
Uk
One of those EP-8 I listed in Germany mentions something about the wheel size setting on the motor, google translate. You should ask them if they can change the setting. Surely @knut7 has some contacts for wizards who can assist with Shimano, or perhaps it needs to be done via a secret handshake…
Does the motor angle really need to be set in the software!?
 

rpurdie

New Member
Jan 12, 2023
14
11
UK
One of those EP-8 I listed in Germany mentions something about the wheel size setting on the motor, google translate. You should ask them if they can change the setting. Surely @knut7 has some contacts for wizards who can assist with Shimano, or perhaps it needs to be done via a secret handshake…
Does the motor angle really need to be set in the software!?
I believe STunlocker can do it and yes, the motor angle is needed. How critical it is I don't know.
 

Hardtail

Member
Mar 8, 2021
102
49
Uk
I believe STunlocker can do it and yes, the motor angle is needed. How critical it is I don't know.
Nice! Sounds like you are close to being able to do it yourself.
As an anecdote... When my Bosch Gen 4 started playing up due to water ingress, it was the torque sensor that went first, it was a couple of weeks of odd behaviour before I got the error code. The inside looked bad, lots of rust and gunky grease, thankfully the board tested ok and the torque sensor could be replaced.
I see that The Ebike Motor Centre stock EP-8 and E8000 bearing kits!
 

EMTB Forums

Since 2018

The World's largest electric mountain bike community.

436K
Messages
20,809
Members
Join Our Community

Latest articles


Top