BULLS E-Stream EVO 45 FS Review

Bulls E Stream Evo 45 Fs Electric Bike Review
Bulls E Stream Evo 45 Fs
Bulls E Stream Evo 45 Fs Brose High Speed Motor Trail Tune
Bulls E Stream Evo 45 Fs Bmz Downtube Battery 37 Volt
Bulls E Stream Evo 45 Fs Ergon Ga30 Locking Grips Transflective Display
Bulls E Stream Evo 45 Fs Rockshox Pike 150 Mm Suspension Fork
Bulls E Stream Evo 45 Fs Shimano Deore Xt Shadow Plus 22 Speed
Bulls E Stream Evo 45 Fs Schwalbe Rocket Ron 650b Tires
Bulls E Stream Evo 45 Fs Motor Protector Double Chain Ring
Bulls E Stream Evo 45 Fs Battery Pack
Bulls E Stream Evo 45 Fs Electric Bike Review
Bulls E Stream Evo 45 Fs
Bulls E Stream Evo 45 Fs Brose High Speed Motor Trail Tune
Bulls E Stream Evo 45 Fs Bmz Downtube Battery 37 Volt
Bulls E Stream Evo 45 Fs Ergon Ga30 Locking Grips Transflective Display
Bulls E Stream Evo 45 Fs Rockshox Pike 150 Mm Suspension Fork
Bulls E Stream Evo 45 Fs Shimano Deore Xt Shadow Plus 22 Speed
Bulls E Stream Evo 45 Fs Schwalbe Rocket Ron 650b Tires
Bulls E Stream Evo 45 Fs Motor Protector Double Chain Ring
Bulls E Stream Evo 45 Fs Battery Pack

Summary

  • A high quality full suspension e-mountain bike that's also a speed pedelec (capable of 28 mph top speeds), solid hydraulic disc brakes, wide thru-axles with Boost Technology
  • Adjustable 150 mm RockShox suspension front and rear, four-bar rear swing arm to reduce brake jack, 22 speed drivetrain with Shimano Deore XT Shadow Plus clutch on rear derailleur to reduce bounce and slap
  • Integrated LED lights with a bright mode at the rear when brake levers are pulled, room for a bottle cage or other accessory on the downtube, beautifully integrated battery and motor
  • A bit heavier than competing FS models due to battery size (37v 17.5ah), not a fan of the spring loaded kickstand, battery port cover doesn't always stay down, battery lock can be wonky and is placed in the path of the left crank arm

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Video Review

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Introduction

Make:

BULLS

Model:

E-Stream EVO 45 FS

Price:

$5,199

Body Position:

Forward

Suggested Use:

Trail, Mountain

Electric Bike Class:

Speed Pedalec (Class 3)
Learn more about Ebike classes

Warranty:

2 Years Motor and Battery, 5 Years Frame

Availability:

Europe, Canada, United States, Australia, New Zealand

Model Year:

2017

Bicycle Details

Total Weight:

56 lbs (25.4 kg)

Battery Weight:

7 lbs (3.17 kg)

Motor Weight:

6.61 lbs (2.99 kg)

Frame Material:

7005 Aluminium

Frame Sizes:

16.14 in (40.99 cm)17.32 in (43.99 cm)19.29 in (48.99 cm)21.26 in (54 cm)

Geometry Measurements:

33" Stand Over Height

Frame Types:

High-Step

Frame Colors:

Matte Black with White and Neon Green Accents

Frame Fork Details:

Rock Shox Pike RC 27.5 Solo Air, 150 mm Travel, Rebound and Compression Adjust, 15 mm Maxle with Quick Release and Boost

Frame Rear Details:

Rock Shox Monarch Plus RT, 150 mm Travel, Rebound Adjust, 12 mm Thru Axle with QR

Attachment Points:

Bottle Cage Bosses

Gearing Details:

22 Speed 2x11 Shimano Deore XT Shadow Plus, 11-40T

Shifter Details:

Shimano Deore XT Triggers on Right and Left

Cranks:

FSA Cranks, 44T / 30T

Pedals:

Wellgo Alloy Platform, Cage Style

Headset:

FSA Tapered 1 1/8"

Stem:

Bulls Alloy, 7° Angle, (70 mm, 80 mm)

Handlebar:

Bulls Alloy, Low Rise, 740 mm Length, 25 mm Rise, 9° Bend

Brake Details:

Tektro Dorado HD-E715 Hydraulic Disc with 203 mm Rotors, Tektro Dorado Levers with Brake Light Switch

Grips:

Ergon GA30 Locking, Flat

Saddle:

Fizik Nisene MG

Seat Post:

Aluminum Alloy

Seat Post Length:

350 mm

Seat Post Diameter:

30.9 mm

Rims:

WTB ASYM i35, 32 Hole

Spokes:

Stainless Steel, 14 Gauge Front 13 Gauge Rear, Black

Tire Brand:

Schwalbe Rocket Ron, 27.5" x 2.25"

Wheel Sizes:

27.5 in (69.85cm)

Tire Details:

Tubeless Ready, Folding, EVO Liteskin, Trail Star 3

Tube Details:

Presta Valve

Accessories:

Velo Battery Protector Pad, Hebie Spring Kickstand, Integrated Fuxon LED Headlight, Integrated Toplight Line E LED Back Light (Bright with Braking), Flick Bell on Right

Other:

IP56 Ingress Rating, Boost Adds 10 mm to Hub Length in Font and 6 mm in the Rear, KMC X11E Chain, Formula Hubs

Electronic Details

Motor Brand:

Brose, Trail Tune, E45

Motor Type:

Mid-Mounted Geared Motor
Learn more about Ebike motors

Motor Nominal Output:

350 watts

Motor Peak Output:

530 watts

Motor Torque:

90 Newton meters

Battery Brand:

BMZ

Battery Voltage:

37 volts

Battery Amp Hours:

17.5 ah

Battery Watt Hours:

647.5 wh

Battery Chemistry:

Lithium-ion

Charge Time:

4.5 hours

Estimated Min Range:

50 miles (80 km)

Estimated Max Range:

130 miles (209 km)

Display Type:

Fixed, Backlit Transflective LCD, BULLS CSI

Readouts:

Speed, Battery Level (5 Bars), Assist Level (None, Eco, Tour, Sport)

Display Accessories:

Independent Button Pad with Tactile Feedback on Left, 6 Volt Micro USB Port on Display

Drive Mode:

Advanced Pedal Assist (Cadence and Torque Sensing)

Top Speed:

28 mph (45 kph)

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Written Review

The BULLS E-Stream EVO 45 FS combines some of my favorite features of electric bikes. It allows you to travel in full suspension comfort without concern for lost efficiency because it’s electric… and has an extra-large battery pack. It allows you to travel faster, in this case much faster, with advanced pedal assist up to 28 mph in a way that feels natural and blends in. And, it keeps you safe and visible with smart integrated lighting systems. Not only are they sleek and light weight, the rear light has a large reflective surface and gets extra bright when the brakes are activated (as with an automobile). This is one of the most purpose built and stealthy electric mountain bikes I’ve tested in recent years and while the price tag isn’t low, I think it’s reasonable given the limited options in this niche. If you’re someone who commutes by week and could appreciate the speed and lighting features but loves to hit the trails on the weekend and doesn’t want a flexy frame with cheaper suspension and touch points then this is one of your only options. You get an upgraded saddle, grips and capable hydraulic disc brakes (208 mm front rotor and 180 mm rear). The only accessory I felt was missing is a dropper seat post. I love the traditional diamond frame and appreciate how the battery interfaces with the downtube (from the bottom up), keeping it open for hanging on car or bus racks. With the exception of a few European mandated quirks like a spring loaded kickstand and oversized brake levers, this thing is exactly what it should be… and it even has bottle cage bosses. You won’t be distracted by a large display or overly noisy motor and with five frame sizes to choose from, it’s more likely to fit the tall and short riders alike. I had a blast testing this ebike and found myself subconsciously comparing it with the other leaders in the space, it left me a little envious.

Interfacing directly with the core of the frame, completely replacing the bottom bracket, is a 350 watt mid-drive motor from Brose. This thing peaks with 90 Newton meters of torque and can reach 530 watts when climbing in the highest level of assist. The compact black casing hides behind two chainrings and has a nice neoprene pad stuck to the bottom to reduce nicks and scrapes picked up on the trail. While you can definitely hear it operating at the highest levels, especially when pedaling with a higher RPM, it’s one of the quieter geared mid-drive motors I’ve tested. Inside, there’s a collection of gears and a belt transition that takes the edge off and reduces some of the mechanical vibration and sound. When riding on a dirt trail, especially with larger knobby tires, it almost disappears completely. One thing you won’t find here is a shift sensing controller. It measures rear wheel speed, pedal cadence and torque but relies on you to shift consciously while backing off on pedal pressure (I usually ramp up my speed then ease off pedaling to switch smoothly). All in all, this motor is very capable and a lot of fun in the higher levels when paired with the wide range of gears. Brose and Yamaha are two of the only mainstream mid-drive systems offering this right now and while they aren’t quite as responsive as Bosch (winding down more slowly) they work quite well and tend to produce less noise. In short, the motor is great but it’s up to you to operate properly and empower it while avoiding damage to two derailleurs, the chain and sprockets. I believe in you…

Powering the motor and both integrated LED lights is a high capacity Lithium-ion battery pack. Inside are BMZ cells offering 37 volts and 11.5 amp hours of energy… enough to top 100 miles per charge if you’re willing to slow down a bit and use lower assist levels. Note that anytime you’re riding above 20mph, air resistance produces drag exponentially. People aren’t super aerodynamic when sitting up straight riding on a bulky mountain bike frame with wide knobby tires. And on those occasions where you throw efficiency to the wind and max out to 28 mph I’d suggest taking those turns very carefully lest you slide out and whack your chin as I have done on occasion. Wet grass is a big danger… but you may find yourself going from sidewalk to grassy hill to catch air. This bike feels a lot like flying because it can handle almost any terrain comfortably and won’t leave you breathless to maintain higher speeds. Back to the battery itself, the mounting interface is solid but a little tricky to work with. You have to push the pack up from beneath the downtube (latching the bottom and snapping the top). There’s a key and sliding lever thing which lets you unlock the pack. I do wish the keyed locking core was spring loaded and defaulted to locked vs. making you twist the key each time and I was being extra careful not to drop the battery when using the slider lever thing. The pack weighs about seven pounds which isn’t bad, but you’re actively pulling it down out of the downtube and the weight plus gravity plus trying to keep the bike from tipping can make it awkward at times. Thankfully, there’s a kickstand included with this bike (most e-mountain bikes don’t have them) but it’s spring loaded and constantly wants to slap back up. This is due to some European regulations… which also mandate large knob-ended brake levers, reflectors on the suspension fork and a license plate mount. Stepping back from the bike, once the battery is mounted properly, it looks just beautiful. And underneath the battery you’ve got another strip of foam padding to keep it protected. In short, the battery weight is positioned well and the quiet motor plus near-invisible battery result in a more normal looking electric mountain bike, one that won’t turn heads or ruffle feathers.

Operating the EVO 45 FS feels simple because the display panel is very basic and limited. Once the battery is charged and mounted (either charged on or off the bike) you sometimes have to press a power button on top of the downtube to get it to wake up. Next, you press the top edge of the button pad which is mounted within reach distance of the left grip. This brings up a nice display with speed, assist level and battery level readouts. It’s a transflective display, designed for easy reading in light or dark scenarios and it’s unique to Bulls from what I can tell. You click up or down to change power level (filling three boxes for full power) and pedal along, the drive systems kick in automatically from there. It’s very simple and easy to adjust without taking your eyes off the trail and there’s less to get scratched, broken (if you fall) or noticed as being “electric” by fellow riders. On the left side of this display button pad thing is another switch to activate the LED lights and as mentioned earlier, the rear light goes extra bright when braking. I love that they managed to squeeze in a Micro USB port on the display pad (near the base) for those who like to mount portable electronics to their handle bar cockpit area. Back to the go-anwhere speed commuting scenario, you could mount your phone and use GPS for longer rides without completely draining it. Just get the correct adapter off Amazon.

Not everyone cares about speed, full suspension or comfort the way I do. I’m not looking for a motorcycle here but I do enjoy the extra boost when riding in traffic and I only have the space and budget for one ebike. In so many ways, the BULLS E-Stream EVO 45 FS satisfies that vision. An ebike that blends in, is fun to ride and useful in a range of scenarios without being ridiculously expensive. Yes, $5,500 is far from cheap but it’s way less than some of the competing electric bicycles out there with similar designs like the Specialized Turbo. I like that Bulls went with Boost Technology (wider axles) and the sturdy thru-axle design front and rear. That’s a big deal when you’ve got large knobby tires, off-road and high speed. A dropper seat post would be easy to add yourself aftermarket and while I’m not sure where the cable would end up, the original brakes, shifter wires and electronics are all internally routed reducing snags and keeping the bike clean. Depending on how and where you’re riding, note the throttle lever on the rear derailleur which tightens the springs and reduces chain bounce and slap. It also makes shifting harder but is worth experimenting with as you go from streets and trails to bouncy rocks and mountains. The tires are tubeless ready and that’s one way to cut down on the heavier build (this is a 56 lb ebike) and that makes riding with lower PSI possible too… but do check on the pressure regularly given the weight of the bike slowly squeezing air out. Some people might want to explore a single sprocket up front given the 11 speed cluster in the rear (for even more weight savings and simplicity), Bulls is sold at a growing number of US dealers that could help you set it up and the two-year warranty is solid. This is a larger company with International distribution and a good reputation, I’d like to thank Bulls for partnering with me to make this review possible. We filmed on an access road in Southern California with some great views and had a blast.

Pros:

  • One of the very few full suspension, higher-end, electric mountain bikes that is also a speed pedelec capable of 28 mph top speed!
  • Integrated LED lights front and rear including a bright mode for the rear when you pull the brake levers… this increases safety if you’re using the bike to commute or jog around town during the week
  • You get a few little extras from European standardization including a license plat mount at the back, larger brake levers with ball ends and a flick bell
  • The battery blends in perfectly with the frame, it’s mounted up into the downtube and has a nice rock guard on the bottom (along with the motor) for protection off-road
  • I love that the screws used to attach some plastic housing on top of the downtube (for the battery, charge port and controller) can be used to mount a bottle cage
  • While you don’t get as many readouts with the Bulls display panel, I love how compact and easy to use it is, I also like the transflective readout technology which is easy to read in dark or super bright situations
  • Built into the display ring is a Micro USB port that could maintain your phone, Garmin or other portable electronic device… it’s conveniently located and blends in
  • 22 speed drivetrain with Shimano Deore XT Shadow Plus (has a tightening lever to reduce chain slap), offers plenty of range for climbing or reaching and maintaining higher top speeds… just awesome and perfect for a speed pedelec, I also like the chainring bash guard on it
  • I love the adjustable air suspension components here, both from RockShox with 150 mm travel, but would consider adding a dropper seat post for added versatility transitioning from climbing to descending
  • You can get the E-Stream EVO 45FS in five frame sizes which is really impressive to me, I’d consider four to be a lot but that makes this bike even more accessible to a range of body types
  • Both wheels offer quick release and use thicker longer axles (with Boost technology) for strength and stiffness with the larger tires
  • I like that the battery us removable to reduce weight and that the top triangle on the bike is more traditional because it’s much easier to hang from some racks
  • Very nice hydraulic disc brakes from Tektro, these are ebike specific (with the light integration) and offer great stopping power with a 203/180 setup vs. just 180 mm rotors on both
  • Super-fast 5 Amp charger compared with more standard 2 Amp or 4 Amp, nice to have given the larger capacity… I also like the magnetic EnergyBus plug style that will pop off vs. bending or tipping the bike
  • The motor is smooth and quiet, apparently there’s a rubber belt inside transferring power between standard gears and this reduces vibration and abrasion

Cons:

  • The little rubber cover flap meant to protect the charge port from dust and water doesn’t stay put very well, I had to work with it a bit each time which was frustrating
  • The locking core on the left side of the downtube is directly in the path of the left crank arm which means it could get snagged or bent easily… be careful not to leave the key in and make sure the battery is fully secure, I believe you have to manually turn again to lock the battery vs. just having it always locked when clicked in
  • Unlike Bosch and some of the nicer Yamaha display panels, this setup lacks a range estimator and battery percentage readout which makes it difficult to gauge distance at times, you just have a five bar battery info-graphic
  • No shift sensing technology with the Brose motor controller but the advanced assist makes shifting crunch-free if you just ease off a little and practice
  • I was surprised to find out that the bike weighs 56 lbs because many other premium FS ebikes are in the 52 lb range but this one has a larger capacity battery and reinforced top tube so that’s probably what does it
  • The kickstand has this automatic spring action that I really dislike… easy enough to remove the stand if you want (I believe this is a requirement for European speed pedelecs but I feel that it’s unstable and bikes tend to tip more with it)

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Jay
6 months ago

Nice video overview it’s a good looker I really wanted to like it a lot more but the lack of shift sensing would stop me from considering this as a 2nd ebike. Its been around now for a while so I don’t see why Brose, having achieved pretty much a premium product positioning aren’t inclined to incorporate it. If you appreciate shift sensing as I feel most people who have experienced it do then it’s not something you want to downgrade from. A bit like going back to dial up. Ok maybe a little harsh but you’ll know what I mean. Stopped me from moving to the Specialized Turbo Levo. Of course this isn’t Bulls fault so maybe manufacturers are a better voice to apply some pressure on what is otherwise a best in class motor option.

Any idea if the shift sensing ‘tech’ is patented or limited in some way? It can’t be that tricky to incorporate.

Reply
Court Rye
6 months ago

Hi Jay! I feel you… it’s interesting that Bosch and Impulse can do shift sensing, even some more generic Bafang mid-drive systems can add a bit of hardware to make it possible like e-RAD does, but I haven’t heard anything from Brose or Yamaha. My Turbo Levo is still working great but I never ever mash the gears. Admittedly, I don’t get to ride as much as I’d like to but I always shift carefully and it hasn’t posed a real issue. On the flip side, my Uncle owns a Haibike with Bosch and has gone through five chains and two derailleurs over a two year daily ride period. I am not sure if he shifts differently than me or it’s just the added forces of electric. You CAN mash on Bosch, their shift sensing is software driven but to me, it’s better than nothing. I am careful regardless of the platform. If you’ve got a mid-drive, you will be putting more pressure on some components it so it’s important to take that into consideration ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Reply
Nicolas
5 months ago

Great in-depth article! I test rode this bike at the last Long Beach Expo and was really impressed with it. It handled the obstacle course with such brio and aplomb that I’m smitten with it :) You can sense how well put together it is and oozes quality built. I’m looking forward to a more in-depth test ride and finding out more.

Reply
Court Rye
5 months ago

Hey Nicolas! I’m looking forward to more comments from you because your vocabulary rocks… Perhaps an update on this bike if you decide to buy one?!

Reply
Nicolas Zart
5 months ago

Thanks Court, looking forward to this amazing community. Decide to buy one? Hum, that’s a tough one. More like, two, three, four… I wish, and I’m working on it.

The good problem with modern e-bikes is that they are so good. I’m not sure if most people remember what was available 10 years ago? Crickets… OK, one or two brands and a lot of DIY conversions and modifications. It was slim picking. Today, you have such a wide choice of availability. It’s truly impressive!

Reply
Ken
5 months ago

Thank you for the great review on this as well as so many other bikes Court! I must admit that I have been binge watching your reviews and they have literally been keeping me up at night and I am so sleep deprived right now… I am so excited to get an e-bike and want to pull the trigger and get one ASAP, but am doing my best to take a step back and make sure I make a good choice and wise investment. I’m basically considering two completely different categories and price points. I’m considering a couple of significantly less expensive options (E-Glide ST and Magnum Peak), but I’ll comment on those separately as I’m guessing that would be more appropriate and useful for others.

The Bulls EVO 45 is clearly at the upper price point and I am very intrigued by it. I know you ended up getting a Specialized Turbo Levo FSR Expert and I know it was important for you to have a class one bike to open up as many riding options as possible, but I’m curious if you can share any other thoughts between these Bulls and the Specialized that led you to go Specialized as I know they have class one Bulls versions as well. I’m personally leaning towards this Bulls EVO 45 because I want to use this as a commuting bike as well as a multipurpose bike as well as an off-road mountain bike. I like the idea of the 28 mph from the perspective of getting to work quicker and staying with traffic better, but I’m also a bit concerned that the state of Oregon may decide that this is not legally considered a bicycle… I also like the integrated lights, bigger battery = longer range, and lower price point. With all that said, I like the idea of the Specialized (I would likely be considering the Comp instead of the Expert) better because I’m familiar with the brand and dealer network (but have never heard of Bulls before), I like the idea of a bit wider tires, and I really like the look! The only thing I wish these bikes had was a throttle as that would be even more ideal from my perspective… Any thoughts would be appreciated!

Also some more specific questions with respect to the Bulls EVO 45 – Is the motor really a 350 watt or was this a typo and should it be a 250 watt? How wide are the tires on this bike? I’m sorry for the long comment, but thank you again for all of your work and any thoughts you may have! Ken

Reply
Court Rye
5 months ago

Hi Ken! Great questions… I chose the Turbo Levo Comp but it was sold out so I ended up with an Expert. I paid over $6,500 with it after a discount from Specialized (since I was going to review it, they’re an advertiser and they didn’t have the cheaper Comp model). The reason I chose Specialized and paid a premium was because this was one of the first ebikes in the USA to offer the Brose motor. I wanted to get one, test it out and do some long term review/feedback videos. ALSO! I wanted to learn from the experts at Peloton Cycles in Fort Collins. They let me film and everything so I got like three videos out of the experience along with a great bike. So I guess the short feedback would be that Bulls is a solid brand, I didn’t avoid them but just didn’t have the option AND wanted to get some great support and learning. I hope this helps you with the decision and sorry I’m a bit short of time or would elaborate further… feel free to connect in the forums or ping me with other comments. I’ll do my best to help ;)

Reply
Ken
4 months ago

Thank you for the initial response Court; I appreciate it. As much as I’d like to try one of the Haibikes with the new Yamaha pw-x motor, which really sounds interesting to me, it doesn’t sound like that will happen for another year at this point according to my local dealer… Have you been able to ride anything with this motor yet? If not and assuming it would be another year wait, that brings me back to Bulls and Brose for now I think. I’m now down to 2 bikes, the Bulls EVO 45 and the Bulls EVO FS3 Plus… I’m really (I mean REALLY and SERIOUSLY!) having a hard time making up my mind between these two bikes. Unfortunately, I don’t have the ability to ride both of them, so I’m hoping maybe you could share some thoughts given you reviewed both and appeared to have ridden both back to back on the same day on the same terrain. What I’m really really curious about is aside from the obvious differences in top speed, tire width, lights, bell, kick stand, seat, brakes, etc., is there any noticeable difference in power between the two under 20mph based on the 350 watt rating vs. the 250 watt rating? Any other differences or thoughts would be most welcome! Thank you again for all the great work and help!!! Ken

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Court Rye
4 months ago

Hi Ken! I can tell you’ve been digging deep on these two. Sounds like you’ve identified the main differences and indeed, the bikes are very similar. For many people, the high speed option is a big deal and it’s something you cannot add once the bike has been purchased. The feeling of both motors is similar… but you end up going faster and perhaps accelerating faster on the 45. I like how that bike looks, appreciate the kickstand and larger brake rotor at the front. I’d probably pay more for that one because I ride in and around town frequently and it’s very easy to hit 20 mph with either bike but then you’re basically stuck at 20-23 mph with the slower motor because of air resistance and bike weight. Note that you will drain the 45 battery faster due to the higher speed but these packs are big. Most of my riding is on streets but I love dirt paths and jumps… where speed helps again :P

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Denis Shelston
3 days ago

By Michael Skopes. August 2017
With permission

A 2017 E-Bike Adventure

One day, not so long ago, I opened a door to enter an area where I am employed. I was hit, full on, with the fact that I no longer have any passion for what it is I do there. My days there are only a passing of time spent wondering about other things more important to me; my family, my home,...me, and other more fun activities.

At the same time, I appreciate the compensation that my job affords me - money and health care benefits. You know, all that boring stuff like an IRA, 401k, and such. But, all that, is for the most part, pleasureless. The most pleasing aspect of that crap is the toys I can buy to make my life more FUN.

The following sentence involves a subject, which to me, borders on the surreal. Retirement...is...just...around...the...corner. Hell, retirement is something old people do. I don't qualify as an old person. At least, not in my mind, I don't.

I don't know how my twenties turned into my sixties so quickly. My brain, my heart, and my soul, all tell me it's time for another game of 500 in the park, or a few high dives off of top board at my hometown swimming pool. But, uh oh...the deep end no longer has those old diving boards! In fact, the entire pool has been completely re-built and almost unrecognizable. And, unfortunately, what my body tells me about physical activity is not quite the same as what my brain, heart, and soul communicate.

Go for a long endorphin filled cross country type run? Uh uh. Don't even think about it. My lower back and knees won't take the pounding. Damn, I loved running so much. Extend my body airborne for that long pass at the goal line like I once often did? Not a good idea. Hitting the green grass wearing pads at one time was exhilarating, not debilitating. Hey, how about attacking a radical mogul course on freshly fallen snow? Get real fella! Not anymore. Oh, the knees, the hips, the lower back. Skiing became my all time favorite winter activity while in my mid to late twenties.

Get this, though. Physical exertion is far from a thing of my youthful past. Hooray for the bicycle! Hip hip hooray for the electric bicycle! I'll get to the e-bike in just a minute. Allow me to back track for a moment.

One of my very first loves, as a young boy, was learning how to ride a bicycle. And, after mastering that marvelous activity, the extended range that became my daily excitement, grew longer and longer. Soon, I disappeared from my parents' view for hours at a time as I biked with my pals from one end of town to the other. Minutes, hours, and miles meant nothing to us. We had trusty mechanical steeds whose rolling wheels seemed capable of endless, small town, summer time adventures. If we weren't kicking up dust, pebbles, and basic dirt while racing around Chapin Park's baseball field, we were busy slamming on our brakes while screaming down swimming pool hill.

That excellent downhill activity, of melting bicycle tire rubber, left twenty foot long black streaks on the blacktop. Bald tires? We never cared. That was part of the deal. And when those rubber burning slides ended, we just might opt to take a little detour out to the long abandoned strip mines. Out there, on the outskirts of town, the giant coal digging machines of old left us with huge mounds of gray/white earth. Over time, outstanding trails developed throughout those sometimes treacherous hills which were intertwined with deep, blue pools of water that stretched for hundreds of feet. Riding those paths brought many a boy, and a few girls, to the point of total exhaustion, and in some cases...broken frames and fractured bones.

Yes, my childhood relationship with my Monark bicycle was a love affair. Many of my friends had that same love affair. Several of us participated in the annual Corn Festival bicycle parade. We decorated our bikes with crepe paper, flags and banners. Some kids wore costumes. I donned a Marlon Brando type motorcycle cap - the tough guy look like from his fifties movie, "The Wild One".

But that love affair broke my heart when some criminal stole my beloved Monark. Sadness became my middle name. Consolation on the part of my mother didn't even help. And I adored my mother, and how she did so much for me and my two sisters. My father offered a matter of fact response to my long face with a few well chosen words and a simple pat on my shoulder. All that did little to mend my deep psychological wound. But Dad had a quiet way about him that endeared me to him just as much as Mom.

In time, a replacement two-wheeler appeared. That tale is one whose details I won't divulge in this story. I would rather keep that for anyone interested in reading my book "My Little Skinny Greek Life: On Liberty Street". Find it on Amazon. I don't want to spoil that story here. What I will go into here, is the flash forward to today.

FLASH!

For years, various physical problems have kept me from fully enjoying the activity that I had loved for so much of my life. Before losing the ability to travel by bicycle, I had the pleasure of making two long road trips. The first, at age twenty nine and turning thirty, went on for 1500 miles from California to Illinois.

Some of the information written in an unsolicited newspaper article about that tour - going all the way to Maine, down to Florida, and back to California - never happened. Those plans had to be changed for several reasons. I actually can't recall the primary reason. It may have been that being a touring novice, I bit off more than I could pedal.

I have read, in my current research, that the number one reason for many new bike touring enthusiasts cutting their tours short is because of unrealistic goals. Their mental and physical preparations couldn't match up with their lofty plans. Really. Just imagine coming up with the idea of riding a heavily outfitted bicycle for 7,000 miles without ever having done any touring at all prior to that. Hmm...you see what I mean? However, I did go over 1,500 miles on my Centurion two wheeler.

My second major distance bicycle adventure took me from Monterey, California south to Los Angeles and specifically, Northridge to attend a Super Bowl party. However, I only managed to put in about 155 miles because I strained my knee and had to grab a bus for part of the remaining distance.

So, as I mentioned above, hip hip hooray for the electric bike. Because now, I am so happy to say that I have returned to the joyful activity of riding a long distance tour by bicycle. I am in the middle of one as I write this story. It is forty miles this time. Nowhere near 1,500...yet.

This time, so many calendar years later and with bike technology that is light years ahead of 1982, I now ride a RadRover from Rad Power Bikes, out of Seattle, Washington. They have created a beauty that comes in two colors; black or white. I chose black. It is an electrically powered fat bike which I have modified to fit my practical and esthetic needs.

It is known as a fat bike partly because it has four inch wide knobby, fat, tires. It is, in essence, a mountain bike which is very capable as a road bike at the same time. The 750 watt motor and the 48 volt battery can take me up to 25 miles with my leg power added. With a second battery stowed away in my Burley Nomad trailer, my distance doubles. When that runs out, I hopefully am already camped or in a hotel where I can re-charge for the next day of travel.

My interest in bicycle touring was recently re-kindled by stumbling upon a few videos on YouTube. Seeing the various examples of which panniers to purchase, how and what to pack in them, brought back memories of my past pannier preparations. There is a certain excitement related to the process of deciding upon what to buy, where, and how much to spend. So, familiar tour preparation became a big part of my daily thoughts. This was particularly true while at my personally unsatisfying job.

Every day, while at work, my mind wandered away from vocational duties to adventurous daydreams. I couldn't help it. Every day, as I commuted to and from work, all I could think about was bike touring. Could I even physically do it anymore? I would soon find out.

Suffering through the slow stop and go crawl of heavy rush hour traffic turned into something completely different. My mind turned off the disgust associated with this daily grind and welcomed the fantasies I conjured up instead. Rather than mutter under my breath my roadway discontent with hundreds of other cars and trucks that surrounded me, I was smiling internally at the prospect of my next, long awaited, two wheeled adventure. Hot damn!

Well, the days passed by. Each night after work I would stitch together more and more ideas that percolated in my mind in the hopes of making my fantasy adventure come true. I pulled down my old Centurion Super Le Mans twelve speed that had been hanging in the garage for years and started the process of giving it new life. Yes, the very same bike that took me to Illinois from California thirty five years ago. It needed new tubes and tires for sure, and a good amount of service all totaling $240. That figure was just under what I paid for the bike new from Joslyn's Bike Shop in Monterey thirty seven years earlier. Ouch.

After that, an expense that ultimately turned out to be an unnecessary one, I rode it around my neighborhood for about a mile with no bags other than the old handlebar bag. It felt very familiar and good. The next day, I added the matching rear Eclipse panniers I had stored away from those past tours. I partially filled them with a few items to ease into a touring weight. I rode for three miles. That was not bad, but I did feel the difference and the need to get into better shape if a real extended tour were to take place. By the way, I tried desperately to figure out a way to once again use those great old blue bags on my Rover. I couldn't quite get their proprietary configuration to conform to my new ride satisfactorily, so I had to let them go back into storage after the third and final test run coming up. Bummer!

The following day, for that final test run, I went out for six miles. This time I had to walk up a few hills and also stop for a good rest or two along the way. It occurred to me, that there was no way I could realistically take this sentimental bike for a long tour ever again. My hopes faded. The idea of embarking on another tour adventure looked pretty much impossible. Then, I stumbled upon the e-bike world and everything changed.

I discovered a video, among many others, that was created by a young man named Adamm Jarvis. He produced an interesting review of the RadRover. It can be found on YouTube easily enough. I watched it a couple of times and thought the Rover was worth a better look, so I went to the Rad web site to learn more. I was impressed with the company and its young founders. Still, I needed to look around for other choices, which I did, just to be sure I was satisfied with my research.

I kept going back to Rad. I spoke with them on the phone a few times, telling them my plans and they thought the Rover would work best for my touring idea. I saw more reviews - EBR, Electric Bike Review, was another good one.

I returned to Adamm's video. There was something about it that spoke to me. It had an easy going vocal delivery by Adamm himself, music, and good production value. Along with the bike itself, featured in the video, that twenty something minute video helped me make up my mind. The Rover is what I wanted.

It is now June, 30th 2017. Today, I have pedaled my Rover twenty miles to the Sycamore Campground at the beach near Malibu, CA. Roughly ten miles on roads and streets, and ten miles on the great trail from inland to the beach. I am the only person in the hike and bike area. My campsite begins to take shape.

This may only be a shorter overnight adventure, but boy, am I ever loving it. The ride was wonderful - not hot at all, but perfect. I took this trail part way three other times. Having taken this trail now for the fourth time, and adding the camp out element to it, I am filled with a sense of adventure. I've longed for this touring/camping feeling. This short bike tour brings back all the experiences that my other longer tours gave me - scenery, fresh air, camping, exercising by bike, saying hello to new people as they go about their camping fun. The little kids on their bikes smile as they ride past me among the camp sites. I think one of those smiling little ones was the same one who woke up early the next morning and would not stop screaming. Seriously, for well over an hour, I struggled with those screams and the incessant small dog barking that complimented the shrieking. So much for a peaceful way to wake up with the great outdoors.

My penthouse suite tent is roomy and functional, but it isn't sound proof. It has enough room to hold my Rover and trailer all secured, dry and safe without a need to lock it up. I think it is fine with me right beside it. Even so, ever since my first bike was stolen so many years ago, I have never forgotten the hollow feeling of having lost such a treasured possession to some cold hearted thief. However, in my actual garage at home, my Rover is kept securely locked.

I kid around when asked about the space inside my voluminous tent.
"I have a garage, a bedroom, kitchen, and bathroom."
When people hear me say that, they often chuckle. It's true. I really make good use of the giant tent...I create a garage, a bedroom, a kitchen, and a bathroom within the nylon walls.

Many a campground will have a tendency to gross me out when it comes to the bathroom facilities. I decided to take my self contained idea to new heights by incorporating the survivalist style bathroom. I have a sliced section of a pool noodle circling the rim of a small bucket lined with a plastic waste bag, a hospital urinal, a hospital wash basin (I've spent a few days in hospital care recently), plenty of t. p., small trash bags, wet wipes, wash cloths, towels, soap, and I fill up one or two gallon plastic bottles with water from the campground source. All these comforts ease the hassle of having to walk to the facilities in the middle of the night if necessary. In fact, I am now so spoiled by this, I can't help but think that this is the only way to camp by bicycle.

Having my indoor kitchen is convenient, too. Boiling water for morning coffee without going outside is great. Oatmeal and coffee at my fingertips - perfect. My only concern is if Yogi Bear's cousins come snooping around. I had better start keeping the bulk of my minimalist food stuffs outside during the night. Ya think?

My bedroom set up is an important one. I have to be comfortable with my necessary pillow configuration, and mattress combo. My ground tarp is the first protective layer followed by the tent floor, a one half inch thick layer of foam rubber, topped with my air mattress, the Klymit Insulated Static V Sleeping Pad. I researched the mattresses and knew I had to have a top of the line product. It inflates with only about twelve deep breaths. The Klymit I bought is not their most expensive version. That said, I was not going to sacrifice my comfort to save a few bucks by going any lower.

My new sleeping bag, the OutdoorsmanLab sleeping bag is not of the mummy type. I feel way too restricted if and when I can't sprawl as part of my comfort zone. The bag also allows for poking your feet out when it gets too hot. I like that for sure. Everything is lightweight, and compact. That, my friends, is more than just desirable when biking. It is imperative.

There is so much room to work in my tent garage. I'm away from any flying pests or crawling bugs as I work. I fabricated a kick stand/tent floor protector out of a plastic coffee can lid, cardboard and gaff tape. I need to prevent holes in the tent floor. Spreading out my tools and parts inside my tent near my Rover and Nomad bicycle trailer makes it easier to be a do-it-yourselfer. Very convenient.

Here are some thoughts as the sun sinks behind the dry mountain a few yards west of my camp site.

We're taught from an early age to share. Share that Popsicle, or candy bar. Back in 1982, a lanky gray haired gentleman walked out of a small grocery store in Glacier National Park and saw I was bicycle touring. He had just unwrapped his candy bar and offered to share it with me. I think it was a Hershey bar - kindness.

"Here, have a bite of my Slim Jim, or half of my sandwich." That's a comment that may sound familiar to many of us from times past. Similarly, at another stop at a campground in northern Montana, an older retired couple, who upon learning I was in the middle of a cross country bicycle tour, offered dinner and homemade blueberry pie in their motor home camper. I will never forget the look on the woman's face, and her exclamation;

"You're doing what?? You must be hungry!"

I find it touching when on the receiving end of kindness and generosity. At the same time, I see the compassion and satisfaction on the faces of those who offer it. Those moments lead me into a more spiritual place where I often ponder the bigger picture, and how little things we do can have so much meaning.

Ah, the wonder of it all. The world going by at 70 to 80 miles per hour in a car is quite different from the world I see at 5 to 25 miles an hour by bicycle. The world I witness from a slower perspective has a more complete way of becoming a part of me. I see more. I hear more. I feel more. I acutely sense the wonder of it all.

I guess my philosophical nature comes from being Greek. My ancestors managed to produce a few good ones way back when. I'm sure you can recall their names.

This trip is only the beginning. I'd like to make several of these e-bike journeys to help re-capture some of the youthful times I loved so much. I want to retire soon and take advantage of the physical abilities I still have before they wither away never to be again. I can't see myself spending anymore precious days than I absolutely have to working in an unsatisfying job. I want to feel the wind against my face as I bike along a secluded trail. I want to hear the birds calling, see the squirrels, lizards, and rabbits dart across the trail in front of me as they rush toward their own little palaces. I want to cross the shallow stream that meanders across the trail in three different locations and get wet, muddy, and laugh about it to myself.

I travel alone. I don't mind the solitude, the mud, the sweat, the tough hills, and the occasional mechanical repair. They're all part of the smile. My smile. And I will savor all of these moments as they find me - as nature comes to me. I won't wonder, one day, why I didn't take advantage of the mountains, the beaches, the nights under the stars. Nope. That little boy who ate up the streets of small town USA while pedaling on his Monark still exists. He is just a little bigger, wiser, and definitely more gray. He continues to occupy the space between my ears and the heart of my soul.

So, this is my camp/biking story that replaced the original, longer, Santa Barbara round trip which had to be cancelled. Some of you have been waiting for this documentary of sorts for too long. I apologize for the delay. Perhaps I will get to the Santa Barbara adventure before my legs tell me to give it up. I hope to make that tour soon. For now, I hope you found this little story interesting. Perhaps even inspiring. Thanks for taking the time to share my adventure.

alesandra leckie
6 days ago

I did the same thing this weekend and rode both the Brose and Bosch versions of the Bulls bikes. I ended up going with the eStream Evo 45 FS (demo) -- so, you probably rode my bike! I took it for a 10mi ride and really had fun with it. I like the riding position better than the Evo8 and the FS was very comfortable. While I didn't plan on getting a MTB -- I really liked the flexibility it offered. Despite the bigger tires, it still rode great on the street.
What is the range on your bike, also is the shifting a issue? I'm looking at the
BULLS E-STREAM EVO 2 27.5 PLUS 2017, any comments on that bike.

Ravi Kempaiah
6 days ago

Totally off subject observance...

While I think this is a neat bike, I was captivated by the objet d’art in the background. It's not often one sees something like that occupying a spot on a muddy looking stream bank. Anyone know where this is?

It was shot in Netherlands, the biking capital of the world.

1/1
Sonoboy
1 week ago

Totally off subject observance...

While I think this is a neat bike, I was captivated by the objet d’art in the background. It's not often one sees something like that occupying a spot on a muddy looking stream bank. Anyone know where this is?

Craig Crowder
2 weeks ago

Affected models:

-2017 BULLS E-STREAM EVO 2 27.5 PLUS
- 2017 BULLS E-STREAM EVO 2 FS 27.5 PLUS
- 2017 BULLS E-STREAM EVO 3 27.5 PLUS
- 2017 BULLS E-STREAM EVO 3 29
- 2017 BULLS E-STREAM EVO 45 FS 27.5
- 2017 BULLS CROSS LITE E
- 2017 BULLS DAIL E GRINDER 45
- 2017 BULLS SIX50 E 1.5
- 2017 BULLS SIX50 E 2 STREET
- 2017 BULLS SIX50+ E FS 2 27.5
- 2017 BULLS SIX50+ E FS 3 27.5

James Alderson
2 weeks ago

I like my Bosch-powered LebowskE (not a CX motor though), but I like my Bulls E-Stream EVO FS3 Plus with Brose a lot more. I've never ridden the Specialized, but it has the same motor (tuned differently) as my Bulls and comes with Plus tires. If there's a chance you'll eventually find yourself on more technical trails like I did, this is the pick of your three, IMO.

I really like the Bulls Plus bike, but I found the non plus bike from last year for 3K.. the current 27.5 Plus is 4600... I read there are some bigger tires you can put on the non plus, but for 1600 bucks more, is the plus worth the extra???

Lastly, I agree 100% with Bicyclista about the local service aspect, and am equally perplexed about the "non-transferable" warranty on a Demo. My best guess is that it was purchased and returned, making it a used bike, Without a warranty, they should charge at least $1000 less!

Well that would be my guess too. I am guessing its a used bike they are simply selling as its a 7500 dollar bike and I am getting it for 4600, but thats if its a demo. If its used, which I will check on, then I agree. 3500 would be reasonable and I would buy it in a heartbeat.

LimboJim
2 weeks ago

Thats a great point on the bike being useless without the battery. Now, two things come to mind about this though. One is that you can repack a battery at any battery shop from what I understand. My biggest concern in buying a Specialized Turbo Levo or a Bulls E-Stream is that the battery is built into the frame and I am not sure how long I can expect these companies to support the market for those batteries in the future. Two is that I have been wondering if it might be better to buy something like the mountain bike models from Luna Cycle where they take an existing good quality full suspension bike and strap on a high power mid motor setup that can be removed should it become useless or need to be replaced with the newest version.
The main problem with Luna's eMTBs, IMO, is that they're using powerful but not very sophisticated motors that tend to lag on kicking in and easing off. They're also much more herky-jerky than Bosch, Yahama, and Brose as a result.

This, along with the protruding nature of the motors' placement in front and/or below the bikes' cranks, can make for some tricky traversing on technical trails (downright dangerous, in my experience). Even if you keep to "easy" trails, don't ever try to hop a log or that motor will catch it and the bike will come to a dead stop (but you will not)!

Motor and battery replacements might be easier and cheaper through Luna, but I believe that well-established bike manufacturers will support older models for many years to come...

LimboJim
2 weeks ago

Hey, I have done a LOT of reading and watching videos etc, and I might just be asking this to feel like I am getting some advice from those who might have experience, or maybe just to write my thoughts down and see if I have already made a decision while doing so.. lol.

I am looking for an e-mtb to do (in order or priority) 1) fitness riding for weight loss 2) Fun rides with the kids in greenways and parkways around the area and 3) Light trail riding. I don't want to be a jumping crazy speedster youngster, but would be fun to get out on some easy trails.

I have a couple options local, and one that I would have to order. They vary in price, but not enough that it will sway me completely, but is a factor. Looking for feedback on which way any of you guys went if you were looking at the same or similar bikes.

1) Specialized Turbo Levo Expert Demo - this is a demo from a shop around the corner from me. That is a huge consideration when it comes to maintaining the bike, however, comes with no warranty as it is not transferable. The bike is $4600 plus taxes etc. The battery size is about average and the brose motor seems half decently reliable.

2) Felt LEBOWSKe 10 - clearance unit from a shop about 30 minutes from me in the downtown area. Stil, good access to maintenance and warranty work if required. It's a fat bike with no suspension except the big ass tires on it, but unsure if that is enough to do light off road stuff. The warranty is a great factor as is the bosch motor. The bike is $3500 on clearance plus taxes.

3) Bulls E-Stream EVO FS 3 27.5 - This is a bike that I would be ordering from a dealer in NYC. There are zero dealers around me that carry this bike so I would be taking a chance on the warranty. This is NOT the Plus version with the bigger tires, but is still a great bike with great reviews. Its on clearance as well at $3100 but not taxes and 100 dollars delivery drop shipped from Bulls in Germany. I am concerned with the distance for warranty, but the price is pretty good.

So, that didn't help me... I still see the good and bad with each.

Any thoughts???
Like Fitzy, I've reduced my load from 220 to 185 lbs riding my eMTBs. I live on a narrow, busy scenic byway with no real bike lanes, so I avoid riding on roads. I live right next to ~3000 acres of State Park with singletrack trails, fire roads and ATV trails galore, however, so I seldom have to...

My first ebike purchase was made assuming I'd never get back to the challenging, technical trails I rode in my younger daze - like you, I just wanted to get back on a bike, get fitter and maybe ride some "easy" trails. It was an "original" Sondors - single-speed, fat tires, but low torque and limited range.

I quickly outgrew it, however, and soon got into increasingly offroad-capable eMTBs. Now I'm not only riding the trails of my youth, I'm delving deeper, climbing higher, and riding twice as long as I ever did, even in my 20s and 30s. I've never been particularly athletic, but eMTBs nake me feel like I am!

I like my Bosch-powered LebowskE (not a CX motor though), but I like my Bulls E-Stream EVO FS3 Plus with Brose a lot more. I've never ridden the Specialized, but it has the same motor (tuned differently) as my Bulls and comes with Plus tires. If there's a chance you'll eventually find yourself on more technical trails like I did, this is the pick of your three, IMO.

On a well designed and equipped bike like Specialized, Plus tires make mincemeat out of rock gardens/roots etc., yet offer much tighter handling than fat tires. I have a full suspension Haibike with 27.5x2.4 tires, too, and come back from technical rides on it sore from the added jostling that my cushy Plus eMTB virtually negates.

The primary advantage of the Bulls is its 650WH battery. The LebowskE is only 400WH, and I believe the Levo is ~500WH. Again, you may eventually find that extended range to be a godsend.

Lastly, I agree 100% with Bicyclista about the local service aspect, and am equally perplexed about the "non-transferable" warranty on a Demo. My best guess is that it was purchased and returned, making it a used bike, Without a warranty, they should charge at least $1000 less!

James Alderson
2 weeks ago

Hey, I have done a LOT of reading and watching videos etc, and I might just be asking this to feel like I am getting some advice from those who might have experience, or maybe just to write my thoughts down and see if I have already made a decision while doing so.. lol.

I am looking for an e-mtb to do (in order or priority) 1) fitness riding for weight loss 2) Fun rides with the kids in greenways and parkways around the area and 3) Light trail riding. I don't want to be a jumping crazy speedster youngster, but would be fun to get out on some easy trails.

I have a couple options local, and one that I would have to order. They vary in price, but not enough that it will sway me completely, but is a factor. Looking for feedback on which way any of you guys went if you were looking at the same or similar bikes.

1) Specialized Turbo Levo Expert Demo - this is a demo from a shop around the corner from me. That is a huge consideration when it comes to maintaining the bike, however, comes with no warranty as it is not transferable. The bike is $4600 plus taxes etc. The battery size is about average and the brose motor seems half decently reliable.

2) Felt LEBOWSKe 10 - clearance unit from a shop about 30 minutes from me in the downtown area. Stil, good access to maintenance and warranty work if required. It's a fat bike with no suspension except the big ass tires on it, but unsure if that is enough to do light off road stuff. The warranty is a great factor as is the bosch motor. The bike is $3500 on clearance plus taxes.

3) Bulls E-Stream EVO FS 3 27.5 - This is a bike that I would be ordering from a dealer in NYC. There are zero dealers around me that carry this bike so I would be taking a chance on the warranty. This is NOT the Plus version with the bigger tires, but is still a great bike with great reviews. Its on clearance as well at $3100 but not taxes and 100 dollars delivery drop shipped from Bulls in Germany. I am concerned with the distance for warranty, but the price is pretty good.

So, that didn't help me... I still see the good and bad with each.

Any thoughts???

James Alderson
2 weeks ago

Hi James. When I had an old ebike I didn't even try to sell it, I just donated it to Goodwill. As Rich pointed out batteries are such a huge part of the cost of an ebike and they degrade so quickly that if I were going to buy a used bike I would consider a regular bike which can last forever but never an ebike which without a battery is pretty much worthless. This is a problem not only for ebikes but for all electric vehicles. Outside of Teslas which have a somewhat cult following take a look at the price of used Leafs or Volts - the depreciation is unreal.

Thats a great point on the bike being useless without the battery. Now, two things come to mind about this though. One is that you can repack a battery at any battery shop from what I understand. My biggest concern in buying a Specialized Turbo Levo or a Bulls E-Stream is that the battery is built into the frame and I am not sure how long I can expect these companies to support the market for those batteries in the future. Two is that I have been wondering if it might be better to buy something like the mountain bike models from Luna Cycle where they take an existing good quality full suspension bike and strap on a high power mid motor setup that can be removed should it become useless or need to be replaced with the newest version.

1/1
Ravi Kempaiah
2 weeks ago

As the crow flies my mountain commute would be relatively short- but by road it's about 26 miles round trip and with an elevation of 1200 ft up/down each way. The good news is that it's all paved, but the last part of my climb home is very steep with the majority of the 1200ft climb within less than a mile.
I'd also like to have the option of single track trail riding in the mountains as well. The trails can be very rocky and technical at times. So if any of you experienced riders can recommend a tougher e-mountain bike, I would appreciate very much.
Thank you! -Nikki

The new models from Trek (Powerfly series) and Giant (Dirt E) are really good. The big advantage would be extensive dealer network for you test it out and get service down the line.

There are few E-MTB with speed motors:
E.g., Haibike Full Seven S 7.0 and Bulls E-stream EVO 45 FS.

You could put Thule pack-pedal on most full suspension bikes for commuting purposes.

Have you tried any of the eMTB so far?
Personal preference plays a big role in selecting a proper bike.

Alphbetadog
2 weeks ago

I have a '16 E-Stream Enduro FS and absolutely love it. Since I often ride 4 miles on the pavement to and from the trails I didn't want the plus sized tires thinking they would a lot more "draggy". The 2.35" wide Hans Dampf tire work excellent on the terrain I encounter here in Arizona.

Blueflash
2 weeks ago

Hi, new member here. I'm seriously thinking of purchasing my 1st e-bike, and really like the Bulls E-stream Evo FS3 27.5. It will be an all around bike so I'm thinking this would work fine for me over the 2017 Plus model. The dealers are offering a big discount on price for the 2016 model. I was wondering if the firmware update from Bulls works on this model. Do you get the 4 new power modes? Do you get the walk mode? Also, are you current owners still happy with your Bulls? Thanks for your help.

Dan Dialogue
3 weeks ago

I've got a Bulls E-Stream EVO3 FS with a damaged controller. I let my son ride it since his bike was in the shop for a fork repair. Unfortunately, he had a bad crash (he's OK) but my bike is pretty banged up. The controller apparently took a direct hit on a rock of some sort. The LCD is badly damaged and is not functional. For the time being, the assist up and down switches still work, so the bike is still usable. Just can't see the display.

Be warned, a new replacement controller from Bulls is $240!

1/1
Edward Kean
4 weeks ago

Comparo caveat - 60yrs old, 190lb w/15yrs of un-assisted Colorado, Utah, and New Mexico trail and mtn riding- I ride hyper technical tight turny steep loose babyhead granite sandstone rooty sandy complicated random bushwacky w/ lots of stumps, logs, rocks, jumps, drops and occasionally "singletrack" and also a bit of paved and dirt roads. The more weird, surprising and challenging, the better.

Spec Turbo Levo FSR vs. Bulls E-Stream Evo FS3 27.5+

Both - creamy sweet quiet forgiving Brose, bitchen plush ride, sticky planted plus tires, balanced fork angle for both turning and decending.

Battery - Spec -460Wh, Bulls 650Wh - game over, don't need to read further (650W is a compromise (650 gets me to about 5 hrs of the above so I have another in my backack).

Further(?)

BB - Spec - low and modern (crunch/slam obstacles) Bulls - awesome clearance (ride)

Controls - Spec - on side of down tube (down tube? side?) or phone (phone?) Bulls - on the handlebar by the grip (steep section - engage meth squirrel mode)

Walk mode - Spec (walk mode?) Bulls (bike will crawl up three flights of condo stairs at 3am after the Bluegrass Festival)

USB outlet - Spec - na (and phone is dead) Bulls - plug in and call a chopper if I forgot to put it in airplane mode

Disclosure- I'm with Small Planet EBikes in Colorado and although not carrying Spec I did buy one at my LBS and loved it for the super cool looks, Brose motor, nifty software, enduro geometry & vibe, plush ride, and top notch dealers (an awesome bike for short groomy).

Edward Kean
4 weeks ago

Nice to hear. I'm in the process of getting an ebike and torn between the Bulls E-stream fs3 and the Specialized Turbo Levo. I did demo the Levo HT and was very pleased. Couldn't get my hands on the Bulls FS3 but any feedback on comparisons would be appreciated.

Edward Kean
4 weeks ago

I'm getting close to buying an E-Stream EVO 45 and I'm wondering if you have any feedback on what size to get or what size you have and how you like it? I'm 5'11" with a 31" inseam in pants or a 33" inseam using the book all the way up to your crotch method to measure where the seat would be with no shoes on...

Thank you!
5'11 / 34" inseam - 49cm E-Stream Evo FS3 27.5+ is perfect. Note- running slightly taller Maxxis Chronicle 27.5 x 3's.

jwf1racin
4 weeks ago

I'm in the process of selecting a new E-Bike with the following requirements. I'm looking for a 28 mph petal assist with enough torque to climb 10° inclines (pavement) I am primarily using this bike for commuting and some gravel bike paths but would like a suspension to handle rough roads. I'm looking at a Stromer ST2 or a Bulls outlaw E45 or BULLS E-Stream EVO 45 FS.

Which bike would better meet my requirements of speed and torque?

I'm 190 pounds and 5'9"

Craig Crowder
2 weeks ago

I've had my Bulls SIX50+ E FS 3 about 3 weeks now and I've ridden it about 16 times for a total of 170 miles. I've been very happy with the ride and performance. Luckily for me the LBS notified me that the manufacturer notified him of the crank arm bolts coming loose. I checked them and they were very loose and I tightened them. About 4 rides later the left crank arm came off while I was riding and I was lucky to be sitting on the saddle when it came off. I was able to find the bolt and put back together. The LBS had said that he was waiting for a "Bulls" fix but I guess they haven't got back to him yet. I'm thinking of using blue loctite after I clean the threads, what do you think?

****UPDATE 8/4/17****

SR Suntour has a "corrective action" on the cranks depending on the Bulls bike model number and the model number of the crank arm. From Suntour:

"SR SUNTOUR has found that the cranks supplied on some BULLS E-Bike Models(See attachment for complete list) tend to loosen over time.
Re-tightening the crank only works for a short time then becomes loose again. SR SUNTOUR has therefore decided to have all crank arms and bolts
replaced."

Affected models:

-2017 BULLS E-STREAM EVO 2 27.5 PLUS
- 2017 BULLS E-STREAM EVO 2 FS 27.5 PLUS
- 2017 BULLS E-STREAM EVO 3 27.5 PLUS
- 2017 BULLS E-STREAM EVO 3 29
- 2017 BULLS E-STREAM EVO 45 FS 27.5
- 2017 BULLS CROSS LITE E
- 2017 BULLS DAIL E GRINDER 45
- 2017 BULLS SIX50 E 1.5
- 2017 BULLS SIX50 E 2 STREET
- 2017 BULLS SIX50+ E FS 2 27.5
- 2017 BULLS SIX50+ E FS 3 27.5

1/1
Shaun MacDonald
4 weeks ago

Nice choice! The minute you ride in water, mud, snow or even small pebbles, you'll be glad you got the fenders. Those really wide and knobby tires displace matter a LOT more than any regular bike tire. I remember going through water at good speed without any fenders; the front wheel actually propelled a stream of water straight up a few feet in the air! guess who drank dirty water a second later? :rolleyes::rolleyes: And the rear one is a life saver for the bike, your back and strangely enough, your bottom. I can home once without a fender once again and my butt was drenched, much worse than my back.

Assembly is easy and you will get a multi-tool gizmo that is enough to assemble the bike and tighten all screws around the bike (good thing to do for safety in case something left the factory not tight enough.

And before I forget, some screws must be left alone though, like the ones on the derailleur. The top 3 here are adjustment screws :)

Thanks for the picture!

america94
1 month ago

Bought the Red Limited - you mentioned to make sure I get the fenders. Will arrive on Wednesday. Beniot was great to deal with. Called me on a sunday afternoon. I had many correspondence with him by email. Bit more than the Voltbike but Beniot said it was worth it and from what I read from everyone on this thread that is true. I will certainly take you up on the assembly. Mechanical and me don't get along sometimes. Hoping there is not too much to put together.
Nice choice! The minute you ride in water, mud, snow or even small pebbles, you'll be glad you got the fenders. Those really wide and knobby tires displace matter a LOT more than any regular bike tire. I remember going through water at good speed without any fenders; the front wheel actually propelled a stream of water straight up a few feet in the air! guess who drank dirty water a second later? :rolleyes::rolleyes: And the rear one is a life saver for the bike, your back and strangely enough, your bottom. I can home once without a fender once again and my butt was drenched, much worse than my back.

Assembly is easy and you will get a multi-tool gizmo that is enough to assemble the bike and tighten all screws around the bike (good thing to do for safety in case something left the factory not tight enough.

And before I forget, some screws must be left alone though, like the ones on the derailleur. The top 3 here are adjustment screws :-)

1/1
dusail
1 month ago

Yesterday I let a friend ride my E-Stream FS3 27.5+. He'd only ridden Bosch ebikes before this, and didn't remember that I'd told him there were two front chain rings. Although he's an experienced cyclist, he ended up audibly cross-chaining, but I didn't think it necessary to check the chain for damage - OOPS!

A bit later, while climbing a steep hill, the chain broke and the motor spun to what sounded like well over 1k RPMs - it made a frighteningly loud, extremely high-pitched whine for maybe 5-10 seconds before shutting off. While it behaved/performed normally after we fixed the chain (chain tools and spare links are good to keep handy), I worry about the internal (belt/gear) wear and long-term effects this incident might've caused.

Any thoughts? Has this happened to any of you with other Brose (or any brand) equipped ebikes?

I have a new Evo FS 3, and with just about 10 miles on the bike, experienced a chain break. The motor over-revved, and then quit, as you reported. No cross-chaining was involved, but I'd been having random chain clunks, and some hopping between gears on the climb. I was almost to the top, when the chain went. I contacted the dealer, (about 90 miles away) and they told me to have the bike serviced at the local shop. According to them, the OEM chain was a low end type, and probably had a "frozen link". I upgraded to a "best" quality SRAM chain, and since have gone about 150 miles, with lots of climbing, and no issues. The dealer was super responsive and refunded my out-of-pocket expenses (Cynergy e-Bikes in Portland, Or).

irl
1 month ago

Good afternoon, sorry for this issue the team will process this shortly. We are integrating all of the communication channels preferred by our customers into a steady stream as you know juggling between platforms is a bit challenging.

For any doubts please contact us at support@juicedbikes.com

Thanks and have a great day
<3 thank you for taking care of this, Luis!

Luis Mtz
1 month ago

Good afternoon, sorry for this issue the team will process this shortly. We are integrating all of the communication channels preferred by our customers into a steady stream as you know juggling between platforms is a bit challenging.

For any doubts please contact us at support@juicedbikes.com

Thanks and have a great day

You Toober
6 days ago

@ 13:04 - MOVE!! One side!!

>:0

Zach Stenger
3 weeks ago

Are there any other 28 mph full electric mountain bikes? Great review btw!

Mr Ohbie
3 weeks ago

This bike is everything that I want just hate the color combo haha but seems like its a great commuter/trail bike wish I could test it out before I buy >.<

ElectricBikeReview.com
3 weeks ago

Bulls seems to have a growing network of dealers which is great, but I know it can be difficult to find and test the right bike sometimes... It would be cool if they had more color choices too but at least it's fairly neutral. Spray paint maybe :P

RoboticusMusic
1 month ago

Where is this location?

Larry Conger
1 month ago

Hey, Court I wanna see what the Shimano steps is all about so can u pls do a video comparison maybe look at the BULLS E-CORE FS Di2 27.5 Plus as the best example?

Alex NC
2 months ago

What's the best way to add a rack for hanging bike panniers to this bike?

And... dude! get away from that edge! You were freaking me out. You were one bad rock away from a major life adjustment

koolstup
4 months ago

I weight 147lbs, so this bike would be ideal for me. Sadly, it's not available/legal in the UK :-(

Mike Malloy
4 months ago

Thanks for all your unbiased reviews. I trust them more than watching promotional reviews. As I shop for ebikes the one thing that gets me is... I find a ebike close to the specs I'm looking for but the paint color is not as exciting as other ebikes I've seen. The color on this bike is 'okay', basic black/white but doesn't pop. I wish that besides bike size options, you could have paint color options. I suppose this would be special order but that's fine too. When you spend $$$$ for a ebike you want it to be perfect.

Alex Jett
4 months ago

Where can this bike be purchased

You Toober
6 days ago

*http://www.bullsebikes.com/edealers/*

benzoesan sodu
5 months ago

What is in your opinion best ebike on full suspension have you ever ride? On Bosch, Brose or on Brose? Which models? Maybe Haibike Dwnhill Pro? Bulls E stream Evo FS? Thank you :)

ol1bit
5 months ago

Awesome...my 3 year old Emotion 650B is feeling old, still goes awesome, but always though on trails. Power is lacking tad. Someday...

Duane Jahn
5 months ago

fifty-five hundred dollars for a bicycle? That is crazy, IMHO.

You Toober
6 days ago

You have people out there that pay hundreds of dollars for jeans/clothing, hundreds of thousands for a car, tens of millions for an apartment, paintings.....

Jason Hacker
5 months ago

I notice you're wearing a lid when you ride off. The image stabilisation is impressive - have you attached your normal handheld gimbal set up to it or is that all digital stabilisation? Judging by the way you are looking down at the frame I suspect there's no gimbal but.....

Maurice Imhof
5 months ago

I really like this bike since it is a proper enduro trailbike but also an s-pedelec, therefore suitable for commuting... Is the saddle on the bulls really fix (not a dropper)?

Propel Electric Bikes
5 months ago

I think this bike is going to be quite popular. Many people are looking for a bike with these sorts of capabilities. It's pretty awesome!

Bike Style 4.0
5 months ago

look at my Channel for More Bulls 2017 Electric Bikes :-)

Lee Kliman
6 months ago

I have enjoyed your Electric Bike Review, since the first Specialized Turbo Levo you reviewed. I am an intermediate level mountain biker that rides a FS 27.5+ mtn. bike. The Turbo Levo presently does not have enough amp hours I needed for my planned e-mountain bikepacking rides. After your video mentioned the Bulls E-stream Evo FS 3 Plus had 17.5 ah, I knew there was an e-mountain bike with my requirements. I liked Bulls E-stream 45 FS for better front suspension, better seat, stronger brakes for steep downhills, and preprogrammed to run up to 28 mph on flat terrain. After a lengthy consideration and further research, I chose the Bulls E-stream Evo FS 3 Plus, because it was a Class 1 rated in some states and better traction with 27.5+ tires on loose soil in steep grades. Your videos helped me to decide!
Question: During this video you mentioned the 45 FS was going 12 - 13 mph up the steep grade. Based on same conditions on steep grade would the FS 3 Plus have same maximum speed of the 45 FS, because both bikes have the same Brose motor with same torque output of 90 newton meters on the same grade?

Lee Kliman
4 months ago

PandaOn2Wheels Hello PandaOn2Wheels,
I purchased my Bulls E-stream EVO 3 FS 27.5 Plus from Boise Electric Bikes. Boise Electric Bikes is owned by Michael and Heidi a family business (http://www.boiseelectricbikes.com). In January, Boise had snow in town and bicycle market was slow and I felt I could get my best deal. I wanted to work with my local bike shop for support and service. I did my homework of current winter deals for my Bulls e-mountain bike online. I asked for Michael if he could offer me similar deal. Michael agreed to work with me.
Lee

PandaOn2Wheels
4 months ago

Lee Kliman Whoch dealer did you deal with? I'm planning on purchasing one within next few months and would love to get that kind of deal. Thanks.

Lee Kliman
5 months ago

Thank you for replying to my comment. You are correct, I am enjoying my 2017 Bulls E-stream EVO 3 FS Plus. The ebike climbs excellently up steep grades. Plus tires on dirt climbs are more important to me over 28 mph on flat roads.
My electric bike dealership included Magura Vyron Wireless Dropper Post, Orange tubeless sealant conversion, Mirrycle Bar End MTB Mirror, and discounted price. I use this Bulls ebike for bikepacking on dirt roads and trails. I also have DMR Vault pedals, Arkel 15 seatpacker, Salsa EXP Anything handlebar cradle/bag, front & rear lights, and GPS with Ram mount. All in all seems to work seamlessly together for bikepacking.

Propel Electric Bikes
5 months ago

Great bike! Sounds like you're going to have a lot of fun with it! You should have no issue maintain similar speeds up grades since the torque is effectively the same. It will just cut out at 20 mph instead of 28. Hope you enjoy your new bike!

Seb K
6 months ago

In every video - "I'm going to set it to the maximum level" . Just something I noticed .

ElectricBikeReview.com
6 months ago

Yeah, I want people to know what I'm doing in case they are new... Sometimes I go with lower levels to test speed and response. I like to pump it all the way up so you can hear the motor and see how powerful it can be if desired :)

Bob A
6 months ago

Awesome bike and components! Did not realize that the fork is almost $1000 dollars US. Once again, Bulls comes out with another awesome ebike. Making me a little quizie on those trail inclines LOL

ElectricBikeReview.com
6 months ago

Ha! Yeah, the face camera offers mixed results... and the cliffs were a bit large (perhaps even larger in appearance with a wide screen lens). Indeed, Bulls offers good value in the higher-end market in my opinion. The price tag of this bike is high but not ridiculous given the components and drive system in place.

andrew hunt
6 months ago

Let's make the 28mph bike more expensive than the 20mph because we can even though it's just firmware and cost us nothing we can charge more.

Stephen Cho
6 months ago

Bulls Lacuba E45

andrew hunt
6 months ago

Once specialized or bulls come out with a speed pedelec hardtail I will buy it.I will have to wait till then.

ElectricBikeReview.com
6 months ago

Hey, that's a great idea XD

PixelLord
6 months ago

Man what a beautiful scenery..
If not a secret, where is it?

ElectricBikeReview.com
6 months ago

Um... I was taken there, not exactly sure on the location to be honest. It's an access road south of Redondo Beach in the Rancho Palos Verdes area