Since revolutionizing the cycling world in 2008 with the introduction of Di2 electronic shifting technology, SHIMANO has delivered the fastest, most precise, and reliable shifting ever. Today, SHIMANO sets a new standard for the future of e-bike shifting technology through a unique integration of all-new XT Di2 and SHIMANO EP e-bike platforms.

Introducing two new e-bike specific DEORE XT Di2 drivetrains in collaboration with the all-new EP6 and updated EP801 e-bike platforms, SHIMANO unlocks its revolutionary FREE SHIFT and AUTO SHIFT WITH MANUAL OVERRIDE technologies for expanded functionality and enhanced E-MTB ride experience.

Introducing FREE SHIFT

Simply put, Shimano’s FREE SHIFT technology is an all-new shifting mode for E-MTB that allows riders to make gear changes without pedaling the bike. FREE SHIFT is made possible by SHIMANO’s unique system integration capabilities with DEORE XT Di2 and new SHIMANO EP platforms. When you shift, the XT Di2 system prompts the EP Drive Unit to simultaneously advance the drivetrain at the chainring and make smooth, pedal-less shifts. FREE SHIFT technology allows you to make decisive gear changes while diving through corners, bombing into large dips and g-outs, and rolling through technical sections of trail, ensuring you’ll always be ready for the trail ahead.


Taking shifting integration one step further, SHIMANO’s AUTO SHIFT WITH MANUAL OVERRIDE technology is a new mode that automatically shifts gears for you. Utilizing SHIMANO’s LINKGLIDE drivetrain technology paired with Di2, the system has the ability to make predictive gear changes based on your speed and cadence, inspiring a smooth, uninterrupted ride experience. In combination with FREE SHIFT technology, AUTO SHIFT WITH MANUAL OVERRIDE can make predictive shifts while you are coasting, always finding the optimal gear for every pedal stroke. The new technology is simply the luxury to focus on the natural world rather than consciously making gear changes.


The ultimate high-durability drivetrain fused with advanced Di2 capabilities, the all-new SHIMANO DEORE XT Di2 LINKGLIDE (LG) groupset brings smooth shifting, long-lasting drivetrain performance and revolutionary shift modes to the SHIMANO EP platform for e-MTB. Also utilizing a centralized battery power source and the latest in EP technologies, the XT Di2 LG system is the ultimate in durable, decisive shifting performance for e-MTB.


Combining the refined shifting performance of SHIMANO HYPERGLIDE+ drivetrain and advanced Di2 technologies, the all-new DEORE XT Di2 HYPERGLIDE+ (HG+) groupset brings revolutionary shifting modes and next-level shifting performance to the SHIMANO EP platform for e-MTB. Utilizing a centralized battery power source and the latest in EP technologies, XT Di2 with HG+ is the ultimate in lightweight, smooth, and fast shifting for e-MTB.

Following singletracks and forest trails from
Port Elizabeth to Plettenberg Bay

The 2023 M&G Investments PE PLETT will follow the Eastern Cape coast south, for the 11th staging of this iconic race. Starting at the Crossways estate outside Gqeberha, the route crosses the properties of 57 landowners, including SAN Parks and MTO Forestry, as it winds its way towards Natures Valley outside of Plettenberg Bay. Next year’s race will feature more singletrack than ever before, as well as a mix of plantation and indigenous forest trails, plus fynbos dual tracks and scenic gravel roads. 

Stage 1

Starting at the Crossways Kitchen, Stage 1 is arguably the second toughest day of the M&G Investments PE PLETT. The 65-kilometre route takes in 1,000 meters of climbing, most of which comes in the first 30 kilometres. Heading straight into the 3Rivers Trails, the first challenge is the new Fynbos to Forest switchback climb into the Longmore Forest, followed by the black-graded Porcupine Trail descent into the town of Loerie. Riders then make their way across the Gamtoos River on a railway bridge, before following a mix of dual and cattle tracks leading towards Jefferys Bay. Here, the railway line singletrack guides riders behind the town and into the Mentoors Kraal race village for a well-deserved rest.

Stage 2

A saw-tooth profile suggests a tough day in the saddle, with the Queen Stage billing echoing that sentiment. The 79-kilometre route from Jeffreys Bay and Mentoors Kraal to the Assegaaibosch Hotel near Kareedouw, includes 1,350 metres of climbing with a series of steep climbs (instead of one or two long ascents) accounting for the day’s challenges. Along with the race through the towering turbines of the J-Bay Wind Farm, the route takes in the newly built Helgat singletrack across the Zwartenbosch Golf Course as well as the brand-new Churchill Dam route. At Assegaaibosch a heated pool awaits, providing the perfect tonic for tired legs and the chance to recover ahead of Stage 3.

Stage 3

With the toughest day now behind, the 58-kilometre Stage 3 offers riders a slightly easier day in the saddle. Once again, the day’s most significant climb comes early on, challenging riders to conquer the Soloko ascent above Kareedouw within the first 15 kilometres for the titles of King and Queen of the Mountain. The remaining short but steep climbs help account for the 1,230 metres of accumulated elevation gain in the stage. Once out of the mountains and onto the coastal plain, the views are provided by deep gorges and a ride along the Robbehoek cliffs, overlooking the Indian Ocean. The Kwaaibrand singletrack provides the final thrill en route to the Tsitsikamma Lodge and Spa race village; and the party to celebrate the completion of the penultimate stage.

Stage 4

The final stage of the M&G Investments PE PLETT is the second longest but arguably easiest of the race. Measuring 72 kilometres in length and featuring 1,050 metres of climbing, it's no “free ride” to Natures Valley. Indigenous forests in the Tsitsikamma National Park provide cool and loamy riding conditions to the Bloukrans River crossing on the N2’s massive bridge. There may be no time for bungee jumping, but the descent on the asphalt Groot Rivier Pass will be nearly as quick as the Bloukrans bungee freefall, as it leads riders home to the Vasselot campsite in Natures Valley.

All told, the route includes 274-kilometres of racing, with just shy of 4,700 metres of climbing. The stats only tell a fraction of the facts, however. Only riding the M&G Investments PE PLETT can do the route justice. To experience it, from the 22nd to the 25th of February 2023, visit

News24 Provides Backdrop for and Coverage of Gravel vs MTB Across the Tankwa Karoo

The R355 is South Africa’s most famous gravel road. Or most infamous rather. Famed for shredding the tyres of pilgrims on their way to Africa Burn, or those of motorcycle adventurers seeking isolation in the heart of the Tankwa Karoo. For cyclists it holds a special attraction. It is the longest uninterrupted gravel road in the country and host to The News24 Karoo Burn.

Cyclists will have noted the increase in road, gravel and mountain bike coverage on South Africa’s largest online news platform. Ride24, a subsidiary of the larger News24 website, provides a substantial amount of unique coverage on local and international races. Now the overarching platform has also announced its sponsorship of Dryland Event Management’s race across the Tankwa Karoo and Koue Bokkeveld.

"Nearly two years ago, News24 made a commitment to focus on cycling and mountain biking in its editorial coverage,” said News24's lifestyle editor, Herman Eloff. “It's a lifestyle topic that has a passionate and committed community that has embraced us with open arms. Cycling editor Lance Branquinho and his talented team of writers have expanded our coverage to exciting new levels. Joining forces with The Karoo Burn event is the natural next step in expanding our commitment to the sport. We look forward to seeing you in the Karoo."

2023 marks the third edition of the 242-kilometre-long race. Which is set to take place on 25 February next year. Starting in Calvinia the route heads south-west along the R355. Climbing initially, for the first 20 kilometres before an 80 kilometre descent lulls riders into believing it will be an easy day in the saddle. The second half of the route is resolutely uphill, with a 70 kilometre grind to the Tankwa Padstal softening the legs for the true trial of the race. 170 kilometres into course the Katbakkies Pass provides the ultimate test of machine choice.

Having turned off the R355 and started the trek west towards the finish line at Kaleo Guest Farm, Katbakkies is the decisive point in the race. Rising 700 metres, from the Tankwa Karoo plateau into the rugged Koue Bokkeveld, in just 10 kilometres it begs the question: mountain- or gravel bike? The easier gearing of the mountain bike provides the option to spin up the pass. While the efficiency of the gravel bike required less energy expenditure, so theoretically one would be climbing fresher.

“Dryland does everything we can to make the 242 kilometre race that little bit easier,” Rademeyer was eager to point out. “Our water points are famously well-stocked and that certainly helps fuel the riders for the longest uninterrupted gravel road in the country as well as the ascent of the Katbakkies Pass. Still, anyone who completes The News24 Karoo Burn is, as Carel Bezuidenhout used to say, an yster!”


The Wille Honde Bicycle Wall Mount is a convenient way to keep your bicycle from taking up unnecessary space. Simply hang up your bike in your garage or wherever you choose.

It's as easy as hooking your bicycle's pedal to the main Wille Honde Bicycle Wall Mount Bracket and your wheel go onto the front support bracket, to ensure your bike is secure and stable.

RRP R: 300 |