Being new to the electric bike market in the United States, you might not have heard very much about Bulls electric bikes. They opened in Germany in 1997 and have been making great bikes ever since. We were so impressed with their flagship US line back in 2016 that we wanted to make sure we profiled some of our favorite Bulls electric bikes for the coming year. Our review of Bulls 2017 electric bike lineup will provide you with some information on Bulls bikes in general and a few a specifics on our favorite models.
The first thing you notice about a Bulls electric bike is their design. Bulls is one of the best at manufacturing electric bikes that look like traditional bikes. This is a big plus for a lot of people. There tends still to be a bit of a desire to fit in with the rest of the bikes for a variety of reasons, and I think Bulls is probably your best bet if you want that look. This is especially true of the Bulls bikes with Brose motors. Both the motor and battery on Brose bikes are extremely low profile. In fact, the battery on the Bulls electric bikes with Brose motors integrates completely into the downtube. Without inspecting the bike closely, you truly can’t tell there is a battery there.
There are a few other benefits of a Brose motor over the arguably more popular Bosch (both of which are top of the line, and both of which Bulls uses). Brose motors are largely regarded as some of the quietest on the market. Even at high RPMs the motor noise never becomes an annoyance. They also offer 90nm of torque. Basically, the higher the torque, the quicker you can accelerate. This means you can get up to speed with traffic while road biking, or you can take a break before that big hill while mountain biking without having to worry about running out of energy on the way up. Top that off with a 650 watt hour battery and a 5 amp charger, and you’ve got very powerful bikes that last a long time per charge and recharge more quickly.
But let’s get to some specific bikes. Here is our review of Bulls 2017 electric bike lineup:
The Lacuba Evo E8 comes in three different frame styles: Standard, Step-Thru, and the Wave. I picked out the wave specifically because I wish you would see more commuter bikes like this on the market. It is the easiest style to mount, which is great for a rider who is using it to commute. It works especially well when you’re using the rear rack and don’t want to have to lean your bike to one side or try to throw your leg over the crate you’re using. Speaking of the rear rack, you might notice that Bulls has avoided mounting the battery back there. While I’m not totally against a rear-mounted battery, I do think it takes away from the look of the bike. These batteries also can affect how much gear you can carry on the rear rack.
I also like the ultra-upright style of this bike. Again, this is perfect for a commuter because it makes you more visible and allows you to see better as well. This is a Brose motor, so you can expect the bike to take you pretty far (easily 60-80 miles). Bulls also has included a headlight and a taillight integrated into the bike’s power. Finally, the Suntour fork with suspension and 63 mm of travel makes hitting minor potholes less of an issue. There are a lot of commuter bikes that still don’t offer suspension, so I’m glad to see Bulls on the front end of this.
For those that might prefer a commuter option with a Bosch motor, Bulls is offering the Cross Lite E. I’ve chosen the Wave frame of this bike for a sort of side-by-side comparison. As you can see, it is a very similar bike. The fork is exactly the same with the 63mm of travel in the suspension. Most of the components in general are pretty similar. There are a few key differences.
Let’s start with the Bosch motor. Again, Bosch is generally more popular, and whichever one you choose really does come down to personal preference. Bosch is going to offer you 500 watt hours in the battery and 75nm of torque. But, there is also the added benefit of the CX 350 watt performance motor. Brose is a 250 watt. So, again, when it comes to the motor it really is all about personal preference. The other major difference in these two bikes is that the Cross Lite E comes with a more traditional 11-speed casette and derailleur system, whereas the Lacuba has an internally geared hub. The benefit of the traditional cassette and derailleur is that repairs and maintenance, while more frequent, cost a lot less and one can learn them pretty easily.
Next up is the Lacuba Evo 45. Switching back to the Brose motor, but now with the ability to go 28mph. I talked a good bit about the Brose motor above, but another thing I wanted to point out was that Brose motors can accommodate a dual chainring on the front set of sprockets. Bulls has decided to take advantage of this on the E45 which makes climbing hills a breeze. To help with safety, they’ve also upgraded the brakes on this bike to Tektro Dorado HD-E715’s. These hydraulic disc brakes have great stopping power and should make stopping after going 28mph easy and smooth. The Shimano Deore derailing system gives you the capability to shift smoothly even up steep hills.
I’ll go with the E-Stream Evo 3 27.5 Carbon as we start to talk about some of the bikes you could take off road. This bike is going to come with a Brose 250 watt motor, 90nm of torque, and 650 watt hours of battery life. I think this motor is great for trails because of the strong acceleration the Brose motor can provide thanks to it’s high torque. I also like that it cuts you off at 20mph per hour because it’s definitely easy to get carried away on an awesome yet unpredictable trail. The Nobby Nic tires on this give you great control with a width of 2.8″. This improves on the already excellent control you have thanks to it being a 27.5″ bike.
Another very solid quality in the Brose off-road bikes is how completely integrated that battery is. Having a good center of gravity is very important if you plan on doing any downhill riding. By placing the battery in the downtube as opposed to on top of it, Bulls provides optimal balance. Finally, the carbon frame is a nice option so that we don’t have to deal with quite as much weight as most electric bikes.
Our first of the true downhill mountain bikes is the Six50 Plus E FS 3. Bulls has opted to build this bike with a Bosch CX performance motor, which I think is appropriate given Bosch’s history of performing well on these types of bikes. They’ve kept you with some solid 180mm rotors for great stopping power and upgraded you to Magura MT-5 hydraulic disc brakes on both the front and rear wheel. The 11-speed Shimano Deore system should give you enough versatility to conquer just about any trail.
The main upgrade on this bike is the RockShox Air suspension for with 150mm of travel and the rear suspension RockShox shock with 120mm of travel. This means that your ride should remain comfortable no matter what the conditions. They’ve also replaced the quick release on the front wheel for a more solid through axle. This makes for a safer and sturdier ride.
Last but not least, for those who want an ultra smooth ride, Bulls brought you the Monster E FS. With tires 4 inches wide and RockShox full suspension, there is almost nowhere you can’t go. The front fork also comes with remote lockout, meaning you can turn your suspension on and off as you ride. This becomes useful if you’re riding on a mix of trails and roads. I also love the coloring off this bike. You almost don’t even need to get any extra reflective gear, however I would recommend purchasing a head and taillight if you plan on night riding! This bike features the Bosch CX performance motor with an upgraded 500 watt hour battery as well for longer rides!
Alright, so there are our favorites for the Bulls 2017 bikes! Let us know what you thought of our review of Bulls 2017 electric bikes. Cheers!
Author: Scott Nickley
Scott Nickley is a writer, actor, cyclist, runner, and cafe loiterer living in Los Angeles. You can find his work on the Fly Rides website and find him in the flesh following all cycling laws in your nearest bike lane.