SHIMANO E-Tube – introduction of the apps E-Tube Project and E-Tube Ride

Whether it comes to classic bikes or e-bikes, SHIMANO belongs to the most renowned component manufacturers. But does that also apply to the company's e-bike apps? You will find that out in this article. We will go into detail about SHIMANO E-Tube and the corresponding apps. We will tell you what makes them different, what they can do and what the app reviews are saying.

Good e-bike apps ensure that you can use your smartphone as a display and no longer need a bike computer.

Whether this works as well as it sounds in practice depends mainly on the quality of the app. In our overview article “How to find the best e-bike app for your needs“, we looked at the key requirements for an e-bike app and the essential differences between various apps.

SHIMANO has been offering e-bike riders the option of connecting the drive and smartphone via Bluetooth for some time now. Currently, you have the choice between two apps with different focuses: E-Tube Project and E-Tube Ride. To help you create your own image, we will take a closer look at both of them below.

The manufacturer – a few words about SHIMANO

There is probably no cyclist who has not heard the name SHIMANO. Founded in 1921, the Japanese company became known as a pioneer for finely tuned component systems – until then, bicycle components usually came from different manufacturers. Later, the company also entered the market for fishing accessories. However, the bicycle division still accounts for the “lion’s share” of the business.

SHIMANO is also known for high quality in the e-bike sector. The SHIMANO Steps drives are popular with the public and are also sought after by drivers with high demands.

Essentially, whether the focus is on relaxed cruising in the city or breakneck trails, whether road bike, city bike or mountain bike, SHIMANO has components for every need and every riding style. And the topic of components connectivity is nothing new for the innovative Japanese.

The E-Tube apps for e-bikes at a glance

The connection between a bike and smartphone is called “E-Tube” at SHIMANO.

Currently there are two, actually three apps for SHIMANO Steps motors in the pipeline:

  • E-Tube Project: The E-Tube Project app is available in two versions. With the E-Tube Project Cyclist, you can update the firmware and create individual riding profiles. E-Tube Project Professional supports dealers in the maintenance of bikes with SHIMANO drives.
  • E-Tube Ride: With the E-Tube Ride app you can display data on your bike, navigate and evaluate routes.

Both apps are available for Apple and Android devices and both have already undergone a few updates. In at least one case, such an E-Tube app update appears to have had a positive effect.

The E-Tube App Project – Features

How good is the app in practice? – Reviews

Individual setting options can significantly increase the riding pleasure for e-bike riders, whether off-road or in city traffic. Outdoor fans in particular will probably enjoy creating profiles for different routes. In this respect, there is little to criticise about the idea behind E-Tube Project.

However, most e-bike riders are not very enthusiastic about the app’s functionality in practice. The most serious criticism is that it is often not possible to establish a connection between the smartphone and the motor. But the app is of no use without an established connection. The advantages, such as the intuitive operation, then do not come into play. Unfortunately, app updates have not been able to solve this problem sufficiently so far.

Although this might change in the near future, you shouldn’t expect too much from E-Tube Project app for the time being.

The E-Tube Ride App – Features

How good is the app in practice? – Reviews

There are also critical voices about the SHIMANO E-Tube Ride app. But overall, the reviews paint a much better picture compared to E-Tube Project. In the App Store, the app has 4.5 out of 5 stars, which is not a bad score for an e-bike app.

A recent update seems to have brought some improvement. Since then, connection problems have been much less frequent than with the “sister app”.

Comparison of the SHIMANO apps E-Tube Project and E-Tube Ride

SHIMANO
E-Tube Project

SHIMANO
E-Tube Ride App

Functions

performing firmware updates for SHIMANO Steps drives

insight into ride data

customising support

route display

configuring automatic shifting

route evaluation

maintenance (Especially E-Tube Project Professional)

navigation

User feedback:

mostly negative

mostly positive with slight drawbacks

criticism of connection problems

Comparison of the SHIMANO apps E-Tube Project and E-Tube Ride

SHIMANO
E-Tube Project

Functions

performing firmware updates for SHIMANO Steps drives

customising support

configuring automatic shifting

maintenance (Especially E-Tube Project Professional)

User feedback:

mostly negative

criticism of connection problems

SHIMANO
E-Tube Ride App

Functions

insight into ride data

route display

route evaluation

navigation

User feedback:

mostly positive with slight drawbacks

Alternatives to the SHIMANO E-Tube apps

The lion’s share of current e-bike apps on the market comes from e-bike or motor manufacturers. Independent developers are having a hard time, although their apps often convince with better performance.

Even if you are looking for an app for e-bike systems or other drives from SHIMANO, your choice is very limited.

Apart from the E-Tube mobile apps mentioned here, there are only tuning apps that you can use to get new top speeds out of SHIMANO Steps drives. However, for legal reasons alone, we would strongly advise you not to use these – unless you only want to do a few laps in your own backyard… You can find out more about e-bike tuning and its risks in our article “E-bike tuning: possibilities and risks”.

However, there is one manufacturer-independent e-bike app that we don’t want to withhold from you.

The PowUnity app – a manufacturer-independent solution with high performance

Are you looking for a reliable app with seamless route recording and highly effective theft protection? And you don’t mind if it can do even more?

With the combination of the PowUnity app and the BikeTrax GPS tracker, you can protect your valuable e-bike from experienced bike thieves. And if it does get stolen, chances are high that you’ll get it back.

And how does it work? It’s actually very simple:

  • The GPS tracker is invisibly integrated inside your e-bike drive.
  • As soon as someone tampers with your e-bike without permission, you will be informed by the PowUnity app.
  • If you arrive too late to prevent the theft, you can track the location of your e-bike in real time and report it directly to the police via the app.

In addition, the PowUnity app automatically records routes without you having to remember to start the recording. All of this works across all systems. That means it doesn’t matter which manufacturer your e-bike’s drive is from. If you change your e-bike, you can simply take the GPS tracker with you – and if it has a different motor, you only need to buy the matching connection cable.

In 2023, we are even upgrading the PowUnity app for the BikeTrax GPS tracker. From then on, e-bike riders will be able to use it as a display and view speed and performance data on their smartphone as well as plan services in the maintenance area.

And to e-bike manufacturers who cooperate with PowUnity, we offer a white label solution of the PowUnity app.

 

Conclusion on the SHIMANO e-bike apps

Where there is light, there is also shadow. SHIMANO is without doubt one of the outstanding manufacturers of bicycle and e-bike components. However, its E-Tube software and the SHIMANO E-Tube apps are not quite as convincing. This is especially true for the E-Tube Project app.

The E-Tube Ride app, on the other hand, scores as a practical display replacement for SHIMANO Steps drives with mostly reliable performance. What it lacks, for example, is theft protection. Therefore, we recommend you to take a look at the PowUnity app – a manufacturer-independent solution that won’t let you down and also offers a constantly growing range of functions.

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