- Fully loaded urban electric bicycle with great accessories for commuting including an aluminum rear rack, full length fenders with mud flaps and integrated LED lights
- Relatively light weight at under 50 lbs, this is due in part to the nicer air suspension fork which includes lockout, ergonomic grips with bar ends further increase comfort
- Upgraded hydraulic brakes provide excellent stopping power and are easy to line up if you take the wheels off for transport (both offer quick release skewers)
- Balanced frame with battery and motor weight low and center, zippy feel but the Bosch motor produces a bit more whirring noise at higher RPM's than some hubs, battery and display panel are removable for safe storage and charging
The BULLS Cross Lite E is a well equipped commuter or even trekking electric bicycle platform. It’s powered by the massively popular Bosch drive system with a large easy to use display that’s removable, battery that can be charged on or off the frame and a mid-drive motor that measures wheel speed, pedal cadence and pedal torque up to 2,000 times per second! Riding this and other Bosch ebikes feels very responsive and zippy but the geared design produces a bit more noise – a distinct high pitch whir that becomes more pronounced as your pedal RPM increases. Honestly, there aren’t too many things to complain about on this bike… I feel that the mid-$3k price point is good considering it’s available in five frame sizes including a high-step and low-step frame, you get an upgraded air fork, full length fenders, upgraded grips with bar ends from Ergon (perfect for resting your hands on longer rides), a cargo rack with mini-pump and integrated LED lights. It’s packed with value but may be difficult to locate in person if you live in the USA. BULLS is new to the States but has been operating in Europe and parts of Asia Pacific since 1994. I enjoyed riding this and other models from them, some of which used different motor systems.
If you’re someone who wants to ride their bike to work daily in rain or shine, cold or extreme heat and not get sweaty, this would be a great platform. The range is easily 35+ miles per charge (up to 100 in lower assist levels) and since you can take the battery off for charging at your desk it’s convenient, even if you have to park outside on a public rack. For me, the Bosch Intuvia display has always been easy to understand and use and I love that it has a small button pad that’s external to the main display which sort of replicates the important buttons like up and down on pedal assist. Since the lights are wired in on this ebike you can control them with the Intuvia display and there are readouts to help you plan your trip which dynamically estimate range based on recent use and the level of assist chosen. And again, I like that the display comes off so you don’t have to leave it outside on the rack with your bike. Other highlights are the relatively low weight (considering all of the accessories you get), this is thanks in part to the upgraded air suspension fork which includes lockout for efficiency on smooth flat surfaces. I love the reflective sidewall strip on the tires and that they offer puncture protection. If you can find this bike in the correct size and are willing to spend a bit more than a hub driven ebike, you’ll get a great Shimano Deore XT drivetrain, quick release wheels and other little upgrades like the bell and bottle cage bosses which are standard on all sizes and frame types. I think BULLS did a great job here and even the color scheme is appealing in a way that’s not overly feminine or masculine. For those who want even more comfort, consider swapping out the default seat post with a suspension model like the Thudbuster ST or more expensive but incredible Body Float.
- Available in two frame styles (high-step diamond and step-thru) as well as five frame sizes 45cm, 48cm, 50cm, 53cm and 58 cm for improved fit and comfort
- Excellent weight distribution with the battery and motor low and center on the frame, this improves balance, handling and makes maintenance easier and more familiar to shops
- At 48 to 50 lbs depending on the frame style and size chosen, this is a relatively light weight electric bicycle (especially considering it has fenders, a rear rack with mini-pump, kickstand and lights), the air suspension fork helps a lot
- Upgraded Ergon brand ergonomic grips with bar ends for changing hand positions on longer rides, this combined with the suspension fork adds a lot of comfort, consider a 30.9 mm Body Float seat post for an even nicer ride if you get a sore neck and back, Thudbuster makes a Short Travel ST version that would also work and cost less
- Awesome Schwalbe Marathon Racer tires with RaceGuard puncture protection and LiteSkin reflective sidewall strips, this pairs with the integrated LED lights for safer night and morning commuting
- The Bosch battery pack is removable for reduced weight when lifting the frame, this also makes charging and safe storage of the battery pack easier (store in cool dry locations vs. extreme heat and cold)
- The Bosch motor is extremely efficient, on a commuter bike like this with smooth hybrid tires it should offer 35+ miles… up to 100 if you’re using the lower levels of assist and aren’t climbing much
- There’s a cool range readout on the display panel that samples how you’ve been riding and dynamically estimates how far you can go in each level of assist (there are four levels), this helps you plan and conserve on longer rides
- The Bosch drive system can sense when you shift gears and it halts power to the motor momentarily to reduce mashing (when the chain strains and slips between sprockets), it’s not perfect but better than nothing!
- The Intuvia display panel is backlit, easy to read, removable, has a Micro USB charging port on the side to help maintain your phone or other portable electronics and works with a remote button pad that’s easy to click without taking your left hand off the grip, in this case the display also activates your bike lights!
- The motor is extremely responsive and relies on a controller measuring wheel speed, pedal cadence and torque up to 2,000 times per second! It makes starting quick and easy, even up hills
- I like that the fenders are really tight and narrow but still go all the way (especially up front) to reduce splashing and keep your shins and feet dry
- All models have bottle cage bosses! This means you can add a bottle cage, mini-pump or gear box easily
- Prologo Zero Space performance saddle for more active riding, this is a name brand nicer seat that isn’t as squishy but won’t chaff your legs or be uncomfortable to pedal with, nice upgrade for a commuter bike that’s more performance oriented
- Only available in one color scheme but I think it looks pretty nice and sort of unisex, matte black with gloss white and metallic blue accents
- The motor design is geared and when you pedal at higher speeds there’s a distinct high pitch whirring sound, it’s not too bad but some gearless motors and other centerdrive systems from Brose and Impulse are quieter
- The BULLS electric bikes aren’t available at many retail outlets in the USA yet, they have been operating in Europe and parts of Asia for many years (since 1994) but if you live in the US the Cross Lite E may be difficult to find and test ride
- Official Site: http://www.bullsebikes.com/product/cross-lite-e-step-thru-3/
- More Pictures: https://goo.gl/photos/SwUxPszELcjWrhhT9