BULLS E-Stream EVO FS 3 27.5 Review

Bulls E Stream Evo Fs 3 27 5 Electric Bike Review
Bulls E Stream Evo Fs 3 27 5
Bulls E Stream Evo Fs 3 27 5 Brose Trail Tune Mid Drive Motor
Bulls E Stream Evo Fs 3 27 5 Integrated Removable Bmz Battery Pack
Bulls E Stream Evo Fs 3 27 5 Ergon Ga1 Locking Grips
Bulls E Stream Evo Fs 3 27 5 Rock Shox Pike Yari Rc Suspension Fork 150mm
Bulls E Stream Evo Fs 3 27 5 Rock Shox Monarch Plus Rt
Bulls E Stream Evo Fs 3 27 5 Diamond Frame Bottle Accessory Bosses
Bulls E Stream Evo Fs 3 27 5 Schwalbe Rocket Ron Tires
Bulls E Stream Evo Fs 3 27 5 Shimano M615 Hydraulic Disc Brakes
Bulls E Stream Evo Fs 3 27 5 Shimano Deore Xt 22 Speed
Bulls E Stream Evo Fs 3 27 5 Electric Bike Review
Bulls E Stream Evo Fs 3 27 5
Bulls E Stream Evo Fs 3 27 5 Brose Trail Tune Mid Drive Motor
Bulls E Stream Evo Fs 3 27 5 Integrated Removable Bmz Battery Pack
Bulls E Stream Evo Fs 3 27 5 Ergon Ga1 Locking Grips
Bulls E Stream Evo Fs 3 27 5 Rock Shox Pike Yari Rc Suspension Fork 150mm
Bulls E Stream Evo Fs 3 27 5 Rock Shox Monarch Plus Rt
Bulls E Stream Evo Fs 3 27 5 Diamond Frame Bottle Accessory Bosses
Bulls E Stream Evo Fs 3 27 5 Schwalbe Rocket Ron Tires
Bulls E Stream Evo Fs 3 27 5 Shimano M615 Hydraulic Disc Brakes
Bulls E Stream Evo Fs 3 27 5 Shimano Deore Xt 22 Speed

Summary

  • An all-mountain electric bike with beautifully integrated battery, motor and display... it blends in more than most other e-mountain bikes I've tested and runs quiet
  • Sturdy 15 mm thru axle in the front and 12 mm axle in the rear with Boost technology on the wheels (wider axles for better chain alignment and wheel strength)
  • RockShox air suspension in the front and rear with 150 mm travel Pike Yari fork, balanced 27.5" wheelset with tubeless ready Rocket Ron tires by Schwalbe
  • Smaller display shows less detail about your ride (no odometer, max speed etc.) and the motor doesn't offer shift sensing, battery port cover doesn't stick down easily and keyhole is near crank arms

Video Review

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Introduction

Make:

BULLS

Model:

E-Stream EVO FS 3 27.5

Price:

$4,699

Body Position:

Forward

Suggested Use:

Mountain, Downhill

Electric Bike Class:

Pedal Assist (Class 1)
Learn more about Ebike classes

Warranty:

2 Years Motor and Battery, 5 Years Frame

Availability:

Europe, Canada, United States, Australia, New Zealand

Model Year:

2016

Bicycle Details

Total Weight:

51.8 lbs (23.49 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)

Frame Types:

High-Step

Frame Colors:

Matte Black with Gloss Grey and Neon Yellow Accents

Frame Fork Details:

Rock Shox Pike Yari RC 27.5 Solo Air, 150 mm Travel, 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, 11-40T

Shifter Details:

Shimano Deore XT Triggers on Right

Cranks:

FSA Cranks, 38T / 28T

Pedals:

Wellgo Alloy Platform, Cage Style

Headset:

FSA Tapered 1 1/8"

Stem:

7° Angle, (70 mm, 80 mm)

Handlebar:

Low Rise, 720 mm, 25 mm Rise, 9° Bend

Brake Details:

Shimano M615 Hydraulic Disc with 180 mm Ice Tech Rotors, Shimano Levers

Grips:

Ergon GA1 EVO Locking, Flat

Saddle:

Selle Royal Seta M1

Seat Post:

Aluminum Alloy

Seat Post Length:

300 mm

Seat Post Diameter:

30.9 mm

Rims:

HC-30D 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

Other:

IP56 Ingress Rating, Boost Adds 10 mm to Hub Length in Font and 6 mm in the Rear

Electronic Details

Motor Brand:

Brose Drive T (Trekking)

Motor Type:

Mid-Mounted Geared Motor
Learn more about Ebike motors

Motor Nominal Output:

250 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:

20 mph (32 kph)

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Written Review

Bulls has delivered one of the most diverse electric mountain bike lineups to the US that I’ve seen to date. Their bikes come in multiple sizes, use the latest battery technology and feature premium components (in this case a Shimano Deore XT drivetrain with 22 speeds, Shimano M615 hydraulic disc brakes, Ergon locking grips and RockShox air suspension supporting burly thru-axles on both wheels, Boost technology that widens the hubs and Schwalbe tubeless ready tires). My focus as a reviewer goes from “is this bike capable” towards “how does this specific model fit in the lineup” given that they also have 29er models and speed pedelecs.

As a Class 1 ebike, you get a top speed of 20 mph and no throttle mode with the E-Stream EVO FS 3 27.5 but are thus allowed to use it on more trails. It’s an ebike that you have to pedal in order to activate and it relies on torque and cadence sensors to deliver smooth responsive power output. The bike doesn’t perform like some others I’ve tested where the motor is clearly on or off, this one feels more natural and is a lot quieter as shown in the video review above. With a nominal rating of 250 watts some may not be impressed at first but the peak out put of 530 delivers and I have never had an issue climbing, even the steepest trails, if I shifted down to lower climbing gears.

Powering the bike on can be a two step process if you haven’t ridden for a day, there’s a button on the top of the downtube that activates the battery and a second one on the display button pad. Once both are switched on you can choose from three power levels, offering increasing torque and speed… you can also click down to zero where the bike performs as a normal pedal-power bicycle would. At ~52 lbs this is not the worlds lightest electric bike but the battery capacity is enormous so you’re getting a lot of extra range in exchange. I found that the battery, motor and rear suspension weight was all kept as low and central as possible to maximize handling. My only grips are that the flap covering the charging port doesn’t stick down perfectly and might let some dust in over time and that the keyhole positions the key very near the left crank arm and could expose it to bending and breaking if left in.

With 27.5″ wheels and longer travel 150 mm suspension up front, I view this bike as an all-mountain model with the potential for enduro riding. Compared with the 29er models, these wheels are more agile and easier to turn. The tires are not super wide and thus, fit between ricks easier but might also sink into soft terrain and slip on angles easier. The tires are tubeless ready and feature Liteskin, meaning they have thinner sidewalls to reduce weight. One of the biggest benefits of this model compared with Bosch or Yamaha driven bikes is that the battery fits into the downtube and the motor is super quiet. This makes it much more invisible to fellow riders… and it makes hanging it on some car racks easier. If you’re looking to ride further and enjoy all types of terrain, not just flatter trails, then this would be an excellent choice. It does not have shift sensing so take care in how you ride and shift those gears, keep an eye on the key when messing with the battery (or just charge with it on the frame) and consider adding an independent cycle computer if you want more feedback. Also consider upgrading the pedals from the stock cages. Big thanks to Bulls for partnering with me for this review.

Pros:

  • The battery and motor blend perfectly with the frame, from the side it almost doesn’t look like an electric bike at all and the motor runs very quietly so you can blend in
  • Because it uses both a torque and cadence sensor, the bike responds fluidly as you pedal, it’s a great approach for mountain bikes especially because you might be riding on unstable terrain or paths that require quick changes in power output
  • Despite having such an integrated battery design, you can still remove it easily for reduced weight, safer storage or charging separately and it just requires the key to do so… no extra tools
  • I like the minimalist display panel they chose, it’s transflective so you can see it clearly in bright sunlight and it’s super small so it stays out of the way while not taking up too much bar space or standing out
  • Bulls has chosen to use the EnergyBus charging port for the battery which uses magnets (like a MacBook) so if you trip over the cable it won’t bend the pins or tip the bike… it will just unplug
  • Many of the Bulls electric bikes come in multiple sizes and the E-Stream EVO FS 3 27.5 is no different, you get three frame sizes to choose from to maximize fit and performance for your body type
  • This bike would perform well on all-mountain terrain and possibly some nduro riding because it has a longer travel 150 mm suspension fork but mid-sized wheels with the popular 27.5″ diameter, it felt responsive but also forgiving to me
  • This is one of the very few electric mountain bikes I’ve seen with more than 11 speeds, the Brose drive system allows you to have two chainrings vs. one so in this case, the Shimano Deore XT drivetrain delivers 22 speeds which is more like traditional unpowered mountain bikes but also increases weight and complexity a bit
  • Solid 180 mm hydraulic disc brakes from Shimano, they deliver smooth powerful stopping that’s important for actual mountain biking, this bike can handle difficult terrain
  • You get quick release on both wheels for faster, easier maintenance and convenient transport, both axles are thicker than normal with 15 mm in the front and 12 mm in the back
  • It’s an excellent climber because of the mid-drive motor design (shift to lower gears to help it climb) and you should get you 40+ miles even on difficult steep terrain because of the larger battery pack
  • Both wheels feature Boost which means the hub is wider or “longer” so the spokes don’t have to be so narrow, this improves strength and is useful for riding on bumpy terrain where big rocks or drops might come up, it also improves chain alignment
  • I love that you can mount a water bottle cage on the downtube here and that the triangle space is left wide open because it makes hanging from certain kinds of car racks possible
  • Most of the cables and wires are hidden, routed internally through the frame to reduce snags and stay out of the way while riding, this along with the nicer paint makes the bike look beautiful

Cons:

  • I feel like the battery port flap (on the downtube) doesn’t stick into the frame as well as it could, I had to mess with it to get it to stay put and if you don’t take that extra time it might be easier for dirt or mud to get in there
  • Be very careful with the keys when locking or unlocking the battery, the crank arms pass right by the keyhole and could bend the keys or get snagged if you leave them in, maybe future models will position this differently
  • I’m not a huge fan of the cage style pedals, they get bent more easily and don’t offer as much surface area as a platforms like this, you may consider clip-in pedals but given the heavier weight of ebikes I have noticed that I sometimes unclip accidentally when tossing the bike around
  • While the display is more stealth than a big screen, there aren’t as many readouts like max speed, trip distance or odometer and I don’t think Bulls has a smart phone app right now to let you dig in deeper and tune the bike, they went with simplicity here
  • All mid-drive e-bikes tend to put more stress on the chain and sprockets and this one doesn’t offer shift-sensing so it’s up to you to shift smoothly to avoid mashing
  • If you haven’t ridden the bike for a while the battery goes into sleep mode so you have to press power on the downtube and then again on the display panel, not a huge gripe but it’s an extra step and could make you wonder if the battery has gone dead or something if you forget and just go for the display
  • Considering that the bike has 22 speeds and some of the gears lay the chain very close to teh chain stay, you might want to add a neoprene slap guard because the bike just comes with a basic clear sticker which will likely get banged up over time
  • The weight of the battery, motor and even the rear suspension piston is kept as low as possible, it’s all very centered on the frame as well so you get maximum balance and handling

Resources:

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Comments (12) YouTube Comments

Mark
1 year ago

Hi Court,

I appreciate your reviews. I currently own the izip peak ds 2015 model. I am looking to upgrade to something with more range and a more natural, smoother motor specifically for mountain biking. I am considering this Bulls or the new izip peak ds with the Bosch motor. In your opinion which is the better bike for fairly serious mountain biking. Which motor do you like better- the Bosch or the Brose?

Thanks,

Mark

  Reply
Court
1 year ago

Hey Mark! I like the way Bosch performs (quicker and higher torque feeling) but love how quiet and well integrated Brose it. Regarding visuals and cool factor, I’d go with Bulls. If you’re looking for a great deal on the Bosch system, however, I’d consider the Peak DS. It’s a very difficult choice but it sounds like you have enjoyed your older Peak DS and IZIP has treated you well? I’d love to hear what you get and how you like it. Considering that Bulls is international and the Brose system is used by companies like Specialized, I feel like they are nearly as trustworthy as Bosch, and the custom battery design for the E-Stream EVO FS 3 27.5 is shared by several Bulls models so I’m assuming it would continue to be available for several years?

  Reply
Robert
1 year ago

Would this bike be any good for commuting at all? My commute would be 20miles roundtrip with a decent incline both ways in oregon. Theres some trails around where I live that would be amazing to ride on the way back too just not sure if it would be the right bike for commuting to work or not with some trails.

  Reply
Court
1 year ago

Hi Robert, I may be unique in this sense but I pretty much only ride full suspension ebikes these days because of the comfort. It sucks to have a backpack but I’d rather wear one than have a rigid frame, even hardtails can be a bit uncomfortable after a long day of work if the street is torn up and you’re riding at higher speeds like 15+ mph constantly. I think the E-Stream EVO FS 3 would be great for commuting with some trails mixed in. The only drawback is no fenders and no rack. If you get a mud fender for the fork crown to keep water out of your eyes and just wear an old backpack then you’re pretty much set… and then you’d have a bike for trail riding on the weekends. Make sure you lock the wheels up at the rack though because I believe they are both quick release.

  Reply
Robert
1 year ago

Thanks for the reply! I have been in a black hole of watching your reviews and can’t decide between this bike the Evo FS 2 or the FS 45 its so hard to decide ha I dont mind carrying a backpack since I wear one anyway and not too much weight and since most these bikes dont have a cage for water bottles I have a camel back for water. Not sure what the difference is with the Evo FS3 and the FS2 but I know the FS45 has a higher speed limiter does that make it a 1400$ option viable? or are they more or less the same just higher speed limit? Ill be testing these bikes out this weekend and will be purchasing something in the next week!

Peter
11 months ago

Hi Court, in the table, you say the rear suspension has 120mm of travel but your summary suggests both front and rear suspensions have 150mm of travel. Is it 150mm for the rear? Other than that, I think the main difference with the Plus version is the tire width and this being ~2 lbs lighter.

  Reply
Court
11 months ago

Good catch Peter, I believe that they are both 150… the graphics on the seat stay swing arm portion of the bike is painted with 150, so I think I just made a mistake. Thanks!

  Reply
Dan
9 months ago

Hey Court,

I’m working on converting mine to a 1×11 to make room on the bars for a dropper post lever. Do you have a contact at Bulls that might be able to tell us exactly what FSA model crankset this model has?

Much thanks.

Dan

  Reply
Court
9 months ago

Hi Dan, I can try to connect you with someone at Bulls or possibly forward your request. Please reach out to me using the contact page here on EBR so I can use that to start an email chain. Sounds like a fun project, I hope I can help you get it figured out :)

  Reply
Dan
9 months ago

Court,

FSA contacted me and I got the info I needed. I’ve got a new chainring and spacer coming to make the conversion. I’ll post up when I get it completed.

Best,
Dan

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