Automatic gear shifting upgrade for ebikes with SHIMANO STEPS and Nexus Di2 hubs

Last Updated - January 29, 2016

New firmware has been released by Shimano to make automatic gear shifting possible for e-bikes with SHIMANO STEPS components (DU-E6001 and DU-E6010) and Nexus-8 Di2 (SG-C6060) sealed hub drive units. 

The Nexus-8 hub with Di2 electronic shifting capability now takes gear shifting a step further by automatically selecting the best gear based on a rider’s cadence and speed.

That means riders don’t have to worry about which gear to select, the bike will always choose the optimum gear based on speed and the pressure the rider puts through the pedal cranks.

When activated, the SHIMANO STEPS system automatically gives a signal to the Di2 hub to shift to the matching gear.

Alternatively, if the rider wants to take control, they can simply turn the unit to manual electronic shifting via the SW-E6000 handlebar switch to change gear manually.

In automatic shift mode the drive unit temporarily reduces the chain tension while pedaling, which allows the hub to automatically change to the correct gear. This is especially useful when a rider is not used to shifting gears or suddenly needs to stop. The result is a smoother riding experience, one where a rider can focus on what’s ahead, rather than worrying about which gear they are riding in.

The system was tested across a variety of terrain including flat areas and hilly areas, from cobble-stoned villages and cycleways to busy cities, to ensure perfect performance with fast cadence, high power or stop-and-go accelerations.

The system also adds a further advantage with the ability to learn from a rider’s riding style and preference for cadence and power, so the rider can change the default RPM settings at which the hub changes gear.  

Shimano is the only brand to offer automatic and electronic gear shifting as a complete system, making for an easy and stress-free riding experience, and a responsive and personalized performance. 


Where to get the firmware:

The SHIMANO STEPS 2.11.1 firmware is available to download directly from the Service section of the new SHIMANO STEPS website.

The new-look website was unveiled today (21st January 2016) and now features three high profile SHIMANO STEPS ambassadors from the Netherlands, Belgium and Germany (shown above).

Jetske van den Elsen (Dutch TV presenter), Francesca Vanthielen (Belgian actress) and Kati Wilhelm (Biathlon World Champion 2005/06) are all recent converts to SHIMANO STEPS and have been using their e-bikes in recent months for light fitness and everyday cycling.

The new SHIMANO STEPS website is available in 10 languages and lists over 50 bike brands using the SHIMANO STEPS system. Plus the website lists all the SHIMANO STEPS test riding opportunities around Europe.

To install the free of charge SHIMANO STEPS firmware upgrade:

  • Dealers: make sure you have your SM-PCE1 diagnostic checking tool to hand and visit the Service section of the SHIMANO STEPS website here:
  • Consumers: we recommend you visit your local SHIMANO STEPS dealer for expert installation advice.