The Steps has a very smooth transition, as good as any that I have ridden (definitely a high-end torque-sensor). Plus, Shimano has provided a lot of user-programmable options to dial it in to your preferences. I must confess I do prefer the more powerful drives, so the Steps is not something I'm pursuing. It provides an acceptable 70-nM (from the reference I just googled), so if that power level works for you, the Steps is as nice as anything out there.
I got to ride a loaner Bulls Di2 equipped shimano FS bike(E-CORE Di2 FS 27.5+) for two weeks and about 200 miles while my Bulls Brose hardtail was waiting on suntour fork parts.
The shimano did seem smooth although it wasnt anything noticable over the brose that I could tell. I wasnt doing anything super technical though.
The Di2 shifting was AWESOME, I loved the display and how its control was integrated into the left shifter like control. I also really like the design with low q-factor and the ability to use standard cranks. I think its the best designed system.
I was not a fan of the battery which mounted on the underside of the downtube(not all shimano systems are this way), the charging port was always dirty despite having a cover. I also seemed to always run out of battery as I have been spoiled by the larger battery on my Bulls hardtail. Took me about 5 rides to figure out the power modes. The system was definately noisy and thats probably the most serious dislike for me. I really care about the noise and the brose is just so quiet. More people noticed the bike was electric due to this. I dont think anyone has ever suspected my brose bike.
I actually ordered a Focus Jam 2(with plans on getting a second battery) from jensonusa on black friday but cancelled the order as a FS bike isnt really needed for what Im riding at the moment.
I am asking the same question since I am interested in another eMTN after 2-1/2 years riding Bosch CX.
I want to call BULLS to get their opinion since they offer Shimano, Bosch and Brose assisted models.
I am considering their 180mm travel model that is Shimano assisted.
i am tempted to travel 700 miles to the Sea Otter classic next month to find out if they will have all 3 models for demo.
I will be curious which model Bull's pro's will be riding in the race since it seems the Shimano has less NMeter torque than the other 2
We've just hired a pair of Shimano Step powered Cannondale Neos, (not the latest as the batteries are mounted externally) while in Spain. The motors have a very smooth power delivery and the power control while changing gear makes it sound like an auto. Personally I prefer the power and more noticeable response of my Bosch CX Cube, but the Shimano system make for nice cruising/ mild off-road trips. Also even with 400mh batteries the system seems more economical than the Bosch. As always YMMV.