BULLS Monster E S Review

Bulls Monster E S Electric Bike Review
Bulls Monster E S
Bulls Monster E S Alloy Skid Plate Motor Protector
Bulls Monster E S Bosch Powerpack 400 Removable Battery
Bulls Monster E S Bosch Intuvia Display Panel
Bulls Monster E S Schwalbe Jumbo Jim 4 Inch Tires
Bulls Monster E S Rock Shox Bluto Rl Solo Fat Tire Suspension Fork
Bulls Monster E S 11 Speed Shimano Deore Xt
Bulls Monster E S Shimano Ice Technologies Disc Brake Rotors
Bulls Monster E S Bosch Performance Cx Motor
Bulls Monster E S Electric Bike Review
Bulls Monster E S
Bulls Monster E S Alloy Skid Plate Motor Protector
Bulls Monster E S Bosch Powerpack 400 Removable Battery
Bulls Monster E S Bosch Intuvia Display Panel
Bulls Monster E S Schwalbe Jumbo Jim 4 Inch Tires
Bulls Monster E S Rock Shox Bluto Rl Solo Fat Tire Suspension Fork
Bulls Monster E S 11 Speed Shimano Deore Xt
Bulls Monster E S Shimano Ice Technologies Disc Brake Rotors
Bulls Monster E S Bosch Performance Cx Motor

Summary

  • Premium hardtail electric fat bike with all the fixins, highlights include rear rack bosses, tubeless-ready tires and punched out rims, RockShox air fork with remote lockout and high torque Bosch CX motor
  • Quality 180 mm hydraulic disc brakes from Shimano for excellent stopping power and modulation, impressive light weight for such a large electric bike at ~52.5 lbs, quick release rear wheel and removable battery to reduce further
  • Available in two frame sizes for improved rider fit, angled top tube lowers stand over height but classic diamond frame is still stiff, strong and compatible with many hang-style racks (especially with the battery off)
  • Would be nice if the front wheel was also quick release but the 15 mm thru axle is nice for improved handling and strength, no throttle mode for help managing those precarious moments in deep sand or snow but that keeps it Class 1

Search EBR

{{title}} {{distance | number:2}} miles away

{{excerpt}}

National eBike Shops

Electric Cyclery
900 N Coast Hwy
Laguna Beach,  CA  92651
Propel Bikes
134 Flushing Ave
Brooklyn,  NY  11205

Video Review

Trusted Advertisers

Introduction

Make:

BULLS

Model:

Monster E S

Price:

$4,299

Body Position:

Forward

Suggested Use:

Trail, Sand and Snow

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:

52.5 lbs ( 23.81 kg )

Battery Weight:

5.2 lbs ( 2.35 kg )

Motor Weight:

8.8 lbs ( 3.99 kg )

Frame Types:

High-Step

Frame Sizes:

18.11 in ( 45.99 cm )20.07 in ( 50.97 cm )

Frame Material:

7005 Aluminium

Frame Colors:

Matte Black with Matte Grey and Neon Green Accents

Frame Fork Details:

Rock Shox Bluto RL Solo Air, 100 mm Remote Lockout, 15 mm Thru Axle

Frame Rear Details:

11 mm Quick Release Skewer

Attachment Points:

Rear Rack Bosses

Gearing Details:

11 Speed 1x11 Shimano Deore XT, 11-40

Shifter Details:

Shimano XT Triggers on Right

Cranks:

FSA CK-760/IS Cranks, 15T Chainring

Pedals:

Wellgo Alloy Platform, Cage Style

Headset:

Tapered 1 1/8"

Stem:

7° Rise (80 mm, 90 mm)

Handlebar:

Low Rise, 720 mm, 25 mm Rise, 9° Bend

Brake Details:

Shimano M615 Hydraulic Disc with 180 mm Shimano XT Rotors

Grips:

Flat Rubber

Saddle:

Selle Royale M1

Seat Post:

Alloy

Seat Post Length:

300 mm

Seat Post Diameter:

30.9 mm

Rims:

Alloy, Punched Out Square Holes, 32 Hole

Spokes:

Stainless Steel, 13 Gauge, Black

Tire Brand:

Schwalbe Jumbo Jim, 26" x 4"

Wheel Sizes:

26 in ( 66.04 cm )

Tire Details:

Snakeskin, Tubeless Easy

Tube Details:

Presta Valve

Accessories:

Large Slap Guard

Other:

Aluminum Skid Plate, Locking Removable Battery Pack

Electronic Details

Motor Brand:

Bosch Performance Line CX, Gen 2

Motor Type:

Mid-Mounted Geared Motor
Learn more about Ebike motors

Motor Nominal Output:

350 watts

Motor Torque:

75 Newton meters

Battery Brand:

Samsung

Battery Voltage:

36 volts

Battery Amp Hours:

11 ah

Battery Watt Hours:

396 wh

Battery Chemistry:

Lithium-ion

Charge Time:

3.6 hours

Estimated Min Range:

35 miles ( 56 km )

Estimated Max Range:

85 miles ( 137 km )

Display Type:

Intuvia, Removable, Adjustable Angle, Grayscale, Backlit LCD

Readouts:

Speed, Assist Level (Eco, Tour, Sport, Turbo), Battery Level (1-5), Odometer, Trip Distance, Estimated Range, Clock, Max Speed, Average Speed, Trip Time, Shift Assist Recommendation

Display Accessories:

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

Drive Mode:

Advanced Pedal Assist (Measures Wheel Speed, Pedal Cadence and Pedal Torque, Power Output Relative to Pedal Input: Eco 50%, Tour 120%, Sport 190%, Turbo 275%)

Top Speed:

20 mph ( 32 kph )

Trusted Advertisers



Written Review

Fat tire electric bikes have grown in popularity over the past few years and mainstream brands have taken note. At least one major company introduced a mid-drive powered fat bike with front suspension during the 2015 / 2016 season but the Bulls Monster E S is the only model I’m aware of that’s powered by Bosch and available in the US. This ebike uses the CX variant of the second generation Bosch Centerdrive which offers more torque, a faster response time and a nicer interface than the other system I’ve tested… some of this is my opinion of course but features like display removability, integrated Micro USB charging and forward compatibility with larger batteries (namely the new Bosch Powerpack 500) make it a standout against Yamaha, Brose and Impulse. This performance however, is reflected in the price.

The Monster ES costs ~$4,300 which stings for many mainstream consumers but to be honest, I think it’s priced well. You get a near complete upgrade on all of the components, two frame size options, a two year comprehensive warranty and a fat bike that’s relatively light weight made from high grade Aluminum alloy. My favorite part is the rack interface at the rear, there are four threaded eyelets for adding a cargo rack which transforms this beast into a “go anywhere” commuter. Sand, snow, rain or shine won’t stop this bike and weather / terrain aside… larger riders might feel that the aesthetic suits their presence and build more than smaller bikes. I love that the bright accents aren’t overdone but that the bike offers some color and fun. It’s a cool looking bike with a battery and motor that match the color scheme and are mounted in a way that sort of blends with the frame and tires. There’s also a tough aluminum skid plat bolted to the bottom of the motor, protecting it from rocks and other obstacles you might encounter on adventurous rides.

Perhaps my only gripes with this electric fat bike, aside from the price tag, are the lack of quick release on the front wheel, basic rubber grips that don’t lock and the limited availability at dealers right now. Bulls is relatively new to the US market and while they’ve expanded into roughly 20 dealers at the time of this review, it’s not a bike that everyone is going to be able to find locally and take out for a test ride. Take note however, brands like Bosch only partner with companies they trust and Bulls has been accepted in Europe and parts of Asia, selling ebikes for several years now. Some of the premium parts used on this model include Shimano hydraulic disc brakes (both large 180 mm) with ICE Technology rotors meant to dissipate heat, an 11 speed Shimano Deore XT drivetrain and RockShox Bluto air suspension fork with remote lockout. A couple of areas I think could be improved by Bosch include adding a battery percentage readout on their display and perhaps higher power output on the USB port built into the display so that phones and some other portable electronic devices could be charged and not just maintained when plugged in.

Overall, it’s a bike that gets the job done with instantaneous feedback from pedal assist that measures wheel speed, pedal cadence and pedal torque 100 times per second. The chainring is extra small with just 15 teeth for improved torque and climbing power. The motor spins that chainring roughly twice as fast as the cranks rotate and this produces a natural feel while pedaling while empowering to motor to operate efficiently. It starts and stops super fast but there is a bit of an electronic whine or whir produced when pedaling at higher RPM. It’s something you see (or hear) with all of the current Bosch e-bikes. In optimal conditions (flat pavement with a ~160 lb rider using Eco mode) you should be able to reach up to 60 miles per charge with the standard 400 watt hour pack or you can pay more for the newer 500 watt hour and go ~25% further. Both batteries look the same and are removable to reduce frame weight if you’re transporting the bike. I do appreciate the traditional, stiff triangular frame (which hangs on many car racks easily) but it presents a higher stand-over height so it’s cool that the top tube is angled down to take that into account and shave off an inch or two for people with shorter legs. Cables and electrical wires are all internally routed for protection and a nicer look as you see with more expensive models.

I took the bike into sand (both soft and firm) and it performed well when I let some air out of the tires. Again, these are higher-end Schwalbe tires with a layer of puncture protection and the ability to be run tubeless to reduce weight. So the bike stood up to the challenges of riding in sand but it did kick some up onto my legs a bit (no fenders), the 100 mm air fork suspension took the edge off of the bumpy parts and I was able to steer alright. It’s amazing how much help you’re getting from an electric assist bike… having ridden bikes like this without power on sand, it’s nearly impossible. The only question mark in truly rigorous terrain like this is the lack of throttle because there are times when it’s nice to just get help starting from rest or power through a difficult section without worrying about shifting gears. Most mid-drive electric bicycles just don’t offer throttle mode. This is a Class 1 electric bike that will be legal in more locations (like mountain bike trails) but without the throttle there’s a bit more balancing and work to be done. Rest assured however, it’s very possible and quite enjoyable. Another consideration with fat bikes is that if you’re spending this kind of money for a bike and then actually ride it near the ocean with salt water there may be corrosion and rust happening, especially if you don’t rinse it immediately after each ride. I wrote a guide about this here and included some pictures and feedback from a hardcore rider in Europe who uses a Bosch powered bike. So the way I’d approach this thing is as a weekend warrior where there’s a rack for hauling, a good drive system delivering excellent climbing and range, a nice suspension setup and fun off-road capable tires that could be enjoyed on the weekends and taken care of on those special beach or salty snow days. It’s just something I’d baby a little because it’s so capable and can really last if you do. Big thanks to Bulls for partnering with me for this review.

Pros:

  • Robust drive system with additional protective metal paneling below the motor, offers 75 Newton meters of peak torque output for excellent climbing or slogging (the Bosch CX offers 15 more Nm than the standard Bosch Performance line)
  • In addition to the metal push guard, there’s an oversized alloy chain guard protecting the chainring and keeping your chain from bouncing off on bumpy terrain, an extra-large rubber slap guard protecting the chainstay and I like that you get metal pedals but would probably upgrade from the cages to a Wellgo platform like this for increased surface area and traction
  • Name brand tires from Schwalbe, the Jumbo Jim model offers “Snakeskin” puncture protection and can be run tubeless for decreased weight and improved low-pressure performance, the punched out rims reduce weight and look cool
  • Awesome suspension setup… you get a RockShox Bluto air fork with remote lockout, 100 millimeters of travel performance and a 15 mm thru-axle for strength
  • Great utility potential with this bike given the seat stay bosses so you could add a rack and fit a trunk bag or panniers, make sure to get a fat bike rack that is disc brake ready like this
  • The bike is available in two frame sizes for improved fit whether you’re tall or short, the top tube is angled down for lowered standover height, reinforced seat tube bumps up for strength and would work well with a 30.9 mm thudbuster to improve comfort (long or short travel would work), nice name brand Selle Royal saddle that’s color matched to the bike
  • Motor and battery weight are kept low and center for improved handling and I love that the controller provides shift sensing feedback to spare the chain and sprockets if you’re shifting under load (extra important off-road or in soft environments with hard pedaling, especially given that this bike has 11 speeds)
  • The battery can be charged on or off the frame and I like how it blends in with the black frame and is designed into the downtube with a little cup at the bottom, the Bosch system is forward compatible with the new 500 watt hour pack but comes with the 400 watt pack standard here
  • I was really impressed by the weight of this bike at ~52.5 lbs, yes I was on the smaller frame size but that’s still good for a fat-ebike and I attribute it to the nicer components, premium frame and air fork
  • The price point also wowed me considering the nicer components and solid two year warranty (with five on the frame) at ~$4,300 it’s a very complete package including 180 mm hydraulic disc brakes with XT rotors from Shimano
  • The Bosch Intuvia display panel is intuitive to use, large and easy to read, backlit for use at night, it includes a Micro USB charging port on the right side for maintaining a phone or charging a headlight (or other portable electronic device) and it’s completely removable! I love that there’s also a button pad break out box positioned near the left grip for adjusting power and readouts on the fly without taking your hand off

Cons:

    x

  • The Bosch Centerdrive is one of my favorite ebike motor systems because it’s efficient and durable but it does not offer a throttle mode (that keeps the bike a Class 1 here), the downside is that sometimes on snow and sand it’s nice to have extra help when you can’t pedal easily (something a Class 2 would offer)
  • No bottle cage bosses on the seat tube… it looks like there might be room but given the up-release battery design that Bosch offers maybe it would be a tight fit, at least you have the option for adding a rack
  • No quick release on the front wheel… just the back, that makes transporting and flat fixes a bit more time consuming
  • Given the larger, heavier wheels and tires used on this and most fat bikes, I was surprised that the rear wheel wasn’t using a 12 mm thru-axle… just a standard 11 mm skewer
  • The grips work alright but aren’t locking so they can spin easier if you really bear down or get them wet or hot riding, cheap to upgrade but given the price of this bike kind of a low point
  • One area I really feel like the Bosch system could be improved is with the display panel because it only shows five battery bars vs. an actual percentage estimate (or more bars), there’s a big difference between 20% remaining and empty when you’ve got a bike this big to haul back home
  • The second generation Bosch mid-drive (that the CX is built on) produces a distinct whine because the sprocket spins at about 2x pedal rotation… this makes it super responsive but that noise is more noticeable than the Brose and some Impulse 2 motors (or even Yamaha)

Resources:

Trusted Advertisers

More BULLS Reviews

BULLS DAIL-E Grinder Review

  • MSRP: $5,999
  • MODEL YEAR: 2017

One of the first Gravel Grinder style electric bikes to make it to America! Made with premium components, high performance lights and a purpose built frame in three sizes. Capable of high speed 28 mph performance, the Bosch centerdrive motor measures bike speed, pedal…...

BULLS SIX50 E2 Street Review

  • MSRP: $4,099
  • MODEL YEAR: 2017

A fully equipped speed commuter capable of 28 mph operation, running on the proven Bosch Performance mid-drive motor and updated 500 watt hour Samsung battery. Extra large 203 mm hydraulic disc brakes offer smooth solid stops without requiring exorbitant hand…...

BULLS Lacuba EVO E8 Review

  • MSRP: $4,099
  • MODEL YEAR: 2016

A versatile urban electric bike well suited to commuting, touring and trekking because of its efficient mid-drive motor and larger than average battery capacity, durable internal gearing and belt drive. Available in five frame sizes and three frame styles including wave, mid-step and high-step diamond…...

BULLS E-Stream EVO FS 3 27.5 Plus Review

  • MSRP: $4,899
  • MODEL YEAR: 2017

A stealthy full suspension all-mountain electric bike with longer travel 150 mm suspension, fully adjustable air fork by RockShox, color matched to frame. Larger 37 volt 17.5 amp hour battery pack to assist with steeper climbs and longer…...

BULLS Monster E FS Review

  • MSRP: $5,299
  • MODEL YEAR: 2017

Full suspension fat bike with a high quality mid-drive motor from Bosch and their updated 500 watt hour battery pack for extended range. Cool fluorescent paint job that extends all the way through the fork, rear shock housing,…...

BULLS Lacuba EVO E45 Review

  • MSRP: $4,699
  • MODEL YEAR: 2017

Available in four frame sizes, two styles (high-step and mid-step) with an adjustable stem, active-comfort saddle and ergonomic grips, this bike can fit well and feel good at speed and over long distances. Capable of 28 mph top speeds, this is a Class 3 electric bike with an…...

BULLS E-Stream EVO FS 3 27.5 Review

  • MSRP: $4,699
  • MODEL YEAR: 2016

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…...

BULLS SIX50 E FS 3 RSI Review

  • MSRP: $4,599
  • MODEL YEAR: 2016

A loaded full suspension mountain bike with premium electric drivetrain from Bosch offering 75 Nm of climbing torque with the CX motor and a 400 watt hour Samsung battery. RockShox air suspension with 120 mm travel front and rear for solid trail or all…...

BULLS Outlaw E45 Review

  • MSRP: $3,999
  • MODEL YEAR: 2016

A sporty looking, fairly comfortable speed pedelec capable of ~28 mph top speeds, it's running on an optimized geared hub motor design with heat pipe technology for maximum performance. Unique mid-mount battery box fills the main frame triangle keeping weight low and centered while…...

BULLS Sturmvogel E EVO Review

  • MSRP: $3,699
  • MODEL YEAR: 2016

A beautifully designed urban electric bike painted white for visibility and modern appeal, white walled tires, reflective sidewall stripes, LED lights. Extra sturdy and durable thanks to a 15 mm thru-axle on the front wheel (with…...

BULLS TWENTY9 E FS 3 RSI Review

  • MSRP: $4,599
  • MODEL YEAR: 2016

A full suspension, Bosch powered, cross country style electric bike with efficient 29" wheels, it's available in three sizes for good fit and would feel taller and larger for riders with long legs but still fits some shorter riders given the angled top tube. Quick release for both wheels ads convenience for fixes and transporting the bike, I love…...

BULLS Cross Lite E Review

  • MSRP: $3,699
  • MODEL YEAR: 2016

Fully loaded urban electric bicycle with great accessories for commuting including an aluminum rear rack, full length fenders with mud flaps and integrated LED lights. Relatively light weight at under 50 lbs, this is due in part to the nicer…...

BULLS E-Stream EVO FS Enduro 27.5 Review

  • MSRP: $5,399
  • MODEL YEAR: 2016

An enduro style full suspension electric mountain bike with longer 160 mm suspension travel, seat post dropper, 27.5" wheelset and premium hydraulic brakes. Downtube-integrated battery pack is out of sight and keeps weight low and centered across the…...


Be the First to Post a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

kennyb
1 week ago
Barkme Wolf
I can dig it. I need to learn how to check my spokes. Other than that, after getting tire liners I just take it in for tune ups and broke spokes now and then. If I had the money though, I would get a real fast monster bike.
Your LBS should be able to work on what ever bike you get. I bought local so I could look them in the eye when I had a problem. It has been helpful. I live close to Seattle so I can stop by the Rad Power shop when ever there is an issue.
I have read some good things about radpower, but I too would like to look the people in the eye who sold me the bike when something goes wrong
Barkme Wolf
1 week ago
kennyb
I understand what you are saying on the price. However, as a non-mechanical kind of guy, I really need to buy a bike close by so that I can get help when the bike needs parts and fixing.
I can dig it. I need to learn how to check my spokes. Other than that, after getting tire liners I just take it in for tune ups and broke spokes now and then. If I had the money though, I would get a real fast monster bike.
Your LBS should be able to work on what ever bike you get. I bought local so I could look them in the eye when I had a problem. It has been helpful. I live close to Seattle so I can stop by the Rad Power shop when ever there is an issue.
ace20ri
1 month ago
Finally had a chance to take a few pics of my experience and upgrades. After 100 miles I was sidelined a day by my friend the screw. The screw decided to hitch a ride on my rear tire and not the front tire for a challenge. Unfortunately I was not fully equipped to perform the type of tire surgery this bike requires on the road so I had to call my better half for pick up. All I can say is removing the tire is a BEAR!!!! The wire bead and 30 TPI design of the Kenda Juggernaut makes this already rigorous task a work out! I'm wondering if I'm a victim of the tolerance monster between the tire and rim. I no longer have my 3 tire levers as they sacrificed themselves to get me back on the road. So I suggest if you haven't already purchased robust tire levers order/pick some up now. The more the merrier! Here are few pics:

View attachment 12482View attachment 12485

Pro-Bikegear slap guard:
View attachment 12488View attachment 12494

Rock Bros pedals:
View attachment 12497View attachment 12500
View attachment 12503

Cyrusher Derailleur Guard:
View attachment 12506

Suntour SP12-NCX Seat post:
View attachment 12509

Zefal DT Armor frame guard:
View attachment 12512

Tesla has been keeping me pretty busy on the weekends so one of these weekends I will try and snap a few pics of the bike with some kool scenery of Portola Valley, CA

Overall really happy with the purchase. Still trying to figure out how to get this bad boy to go 28mph assisted by the motor (legal limit in California) without having to destroy my legs in the process. Fortunately I'm a mechanical engineer with plenty of EE coworkers to tap for assistance!
Ann M.
2 months ago
No kidding,
George S.
4 months ago
pxpaulx
The larger brands definitely want to paint a clear line between bikes with assist and bikes with a throttle. I can't say I blame them, rider contribution to power output probably should be a differentiating factor, imho anyway. I've had two bikes with a throttle and just don't really see the point....always felt a little lazy using it.
There's the monster, Accell, which is European. There is BH, which is Spanish. But the 'larger' brands (based) in the US are probably Sondors, Pedego, and Prodeco. They all use throttles on most of their bikes. It's already been pointed out that the Europeans are the ones looking for a bright line.

California tried to put the throttles in Class 2 with some restrictions. It did not fly, so they took out the restrictions, basically, but left a differentiation. It all seemed a little mean spirited to me.

I don't see the industry backing away from making California the model for the US. That means throttles are fine, A-OK, on 20 mph limited ebikes, and they are treated as bikes. The Cal law means 750 watts max and it allows 28 mph s-peds that aren't really bikes.

If you want to re-open the 'model' law, good luck. They need to get the 'model' law in a bunch of states. Going back and making little changes is not going to speed that along, and not having a national law is bad for any manufacturer. Right now the Speed-peds are only legal in maybe 3 states, the ones that have adopted the model law. Everyone else is in a really bad situation. Do they ship 28 mph bikes to states where they aren't legal, hoping the rules will change?

It seems like a fair number of people act like they won on the throttle/PAS thing in California. But they didn't. This is a nutso industry. I think everyone is stuck with the California model law, and the best you can hope for is uniformity if it ever shows up.

As for trail access on BLM or National Forest or National Parks land, that seems to be a 'motorized' vehicle issue, and the Feds seem adamant that the bikes are motorized if they have a 750 watt electric assist of any kind.

There are tortured rationales that DIY vendors use to high wattage ebikes. There are tortured rationales that giant corporations apparently use to make the California law something it isn't.

I've restricted the power on my 3 ebikes. My ebikes are legal in Utah, though the details of the recent law are not known, yet. My bikes have throttles. I'd like to see better throttles. A Chinese vendor could develop cruise controls that could replace the very expensive and inherently high maintenance torque sensing type PAS units. Just keep saying that cruise control coupled with a throttle isn't pedal assist. It's not the law. It's not a fact.

Maybe there is better technology than what Europe offers. We can't sustain dealers in rural areas. We need simple stuff. If Haibike is going to attack my approach, my tech, I'm going after Haibike and Accell. Really, if you favor PAS and torque sensing you are saying only big city folk can have ebikes, because those bikes are a 5 hour drive from my location, or whatever. You could develop reasonably priced PAS systems, TS systems. That would help.

Get real.
TheHunt
4 months ago
SDH
I live in the Colorado foothills surrounded by endless trails right out my back door. On my 1500w 52v e-mtb, I can cover insane distances in difficult terrain, climb monster hills & still have plenty of stamina left to ride hard for hours after reaching the top. I can explore more terrain in one summer than I could in a lifetime on my standard mtb. I rarely see hikers and bikers where I venture and that is my goal, so I don't have to worry about offending the sensitive delicate types with my awesome toy. When I do cross paths with others, I'm always courteous, always yield to oncoming traffic (since they have to work harder), and even hide my speed & climbing capabilities so as not to offend. Regardless, I still get some nasty looks & even some backhanded comments from the elitest bike snobs. So be it...I'm not giving up my toy and you look like a girl in those bike shorts!
What do you use? I live in Washington State and opportunities as well. What setup do you have? You posted 1500W and 52V battery. Is this something you setup yourself?
Voltman
5 months ago
I CHOSE THE VOLTBIKE MARINER

PLEASE FORGIVE this loooong post. I'm so stoked! I've just taken delivery of my Voltbike Mariner. This matt-black model is EXTREMELY COOL. Even "parked" this bike makes grown-ups gasp. Kids go nuts. (“Cool bike, man!”)

I live at the bottom of a monster hill that has been the nemesis of my first converted LiFePO4 ebike, as well as its replacement 60-volt LiFePO4 scooter. (Cheaper low C-rate LiFePOs wear out quickly from repeated sustained climbs. Not the Mariner's latest, high C-rate Panasonic/Samsung cells.) The big question: Could the Mariner, with its lightweight geared-hub motor, claw its way up and out of Ford Cove’s deep “gravity well” – and its even steeper backside? On the sizzlingly hottest day of the year, I selected PAS 9 and 3rd gear and… peddling very easy… suddenly found myself at the top. What hill was that? Was there a hill there? Aboard the Mariner there are NO HILLS.

It was never fun removing/remounting the fairings on my e-scooter to access its thousand-dollar battery. I chose the Mariner because it's much lighter than an e-scooter, and I can see and reach all components right on the frame. Lifting out the battery and taking it inside will be another big plus in winter temperatures. And of course you can fold up this bike and put it in your pocket... Well, not quite. But any size car trunk will do – another huge advantage if I have a breakdown on the road and need to be "rescued". Or just want to take this “folder” travelling by bus or car.

Those surprisingly light Kenda knobbies are noisy on pavement – a BIG safety factor when overtaking pedestrians and bike riders who hear you coming. The motor also sings merrily. It's not loud or annoying, and I LIKE hearing those metal gears performing useful work. (Not nylon gears like Bafangs). Also per safety, the free helmet is excellent, and both the headlight and tail light are wired to the battery so you can run lights day and night without worrying about dead AA/AAAs. Very Yes!

The bike rolls easy and can be peddled (with some exertion) on the flats. Range with high and low assist (PAS 2-9) on a mix of pavement and trails is 34km with three steep hills thrown in and 1 bar on the battery indicator remaining. With a 20-amp Samsung battery, you could probably pedal this bike to the moon.

The Mariner is my sole transportation. It will haul just about anything. (Think, “jeep”.) After my excellent heart attack, I wanted easy, healthy, no-strain peddling over any terrain. This bike delivers! And it quickly becomes a game adjusting the PAS level and 6 gears to peddle more, use less power, and extend the range.

The Voltbike’s price is crazy low. I could not convert any folding bike with similar components for under CDN$2,200. Plus, the Mariner comes with fenders, which are otherwise impossible to source for a 20" fat bike. And the big shocker – it comes with disc brakes and derailleur tuned-up, ready to ride right out of the box. After battery charging, of course. The supplied charger is light, compact, well made and very slow - 2 amps/4-5 hrs. (Satiator anyone?)


BEFORE YOU RIDE...
The high-torque, hill-gobbling Mariner is a very unique rainforest animal. If deflected by rock or root, that big front tire wants to kick out and steer itself. It's not "brutish" but it’s quick, that jerk on the handlebars. As on ALL bikes, you must keep both hands firmly on the bars when trail riding. This means no reaching for controls or bell, which are happily close to hand.

Please buy and mount a mirror before street riding. (Amazon, eBay.)

Also BEWARE: Inching the bike forward by a single pedal downstroke in PAS 2 or 3 will kick in the motor after a slight delay (when you think you've stopped) – propelling you into a ditch, tree or intersection if you are not prepared!

Happily, such embarrassment is easily avoided. As with any escooter or ebike – ALWAYS SQUEEZE A BRAKE LEVER BEFORE SWITCHING ON.

Make this your personal default habit. On the Voltbike, partial deflection of either brake lever will instantly cut out the motor circuit. With the hub motor inactivated, you can peddle the bike forward – perhaps to see past an obstruction – without suddenly shooting forward.

Once you’re settled in the saddle, release the brake lever and continue (or begin) peddling in PAS 1 or 2. Select 3 if you’re starting off on a slight incline. If steeper, use the thumb throttle to start moving and then “arrow up” the PAS with the left-hand thumb pad as appropriate.

If you are vertically challenged like me, put on your cowboy hat and use a stirrup: Put your left foot on the down left pedal, shove off with your right foot and swing your right leg over the saddle. As you “take your seat” the bike will be slowing down to a near stop. To avoid the “wobblies”, push down on the right-hand thumb throttle. Unlike the trigger-happy PAS, moderate thumb-throttle application at low speeds is quite gradual and easy to modulate. With the bike moving under control and your seating and grip secure, dial in as much PAS as you like – and enjoy the ride!

(When “landing” it’s helpful to select 3rd gear for your next take-off, since gears must NOT be shifted when the bike is stopped. Don’t worry if you forget or you’re too busy. The Mariner has plenty of power to start off in 6th gear. )

Once underway, selecting PAS 9 will pin your ears back – gobs of clean, smooth acceleration is Very Fun. Until the motor cuts out at 30kph...

The Mariner cannot be "hot-rodded" as delivered. But this is a bicycle, not a scooter. Think “25-27kph” cruise, which is plenty. Besides, those big knobbies do NOT like to roll fast. (Do not exceed 45kph downhill.) Also, at 5'5" I have to dismount to stop since I can't quite reach the ground while seated. Just use the "down" pedal for a step and it's no biggie. Straddling the top tube, there’s enough clearance to keep me a baritone. Not a soprano.


After two long familiarization rides on pavement and mountain trails, I can't stay off this bike! (I'm also 67...) THE MARINER IS HUGE FUN. I HIGHLY RECOMMEND the Mariner over any scooter. And service from George at voltbike.ca is A1. Excuse me again, I must go for another ride immediately. -VOLTMAN (Hornby Island, BC)

PS Dalekinthewwing is right. This bike is much bigger than I'd imagined. But after my 120-pound scooter, it feels "light". Treat it like a Mongolian pony and you're good.
Nutella
5 months ago
SDH
I live in the Colorado foothills surrounded by endless trails right out my back door. On my 1500w 52v e-mtb, I can cover insane distances in difficult terrain, climb monster hills & still have plenty of stamina left to ride hard for hours after reaching the top. I can explore more terrain in one summer than I could in a lifetime on my standard mtb. I rarely see hikers and bikers where I venture and that is my goal, so I don't have to worry about offending the sensitive delicate types with my awesome toy. When I do cross paths with others, I'm always courteous, always yield to oncoming traffic (since they have to work harder), and even hide my speed & climbing capabilities so as not to offend. Regardless, I still get some nasty looks & even some backhanded comments from the elitest bike snobs. So be it...I'm not giving up my toy and you look like a girl in those bike shorts!
Nice! Where do you live? I travel in Colorado a lot.
grench
5 months ago
SDH
I live in the Colorado foothills surrounded by endless trails right out my back door. On my 1500w 52v e-mtb, I can cover insane distances in difficult terrain, climb monster hills & still have plenty of stamina left to ride hard for hours after reaching the top. I can explore more terrain in one summer than I could in a lifetime on my standard mtb. I rarely see hikers and bikers where I venture and that is my goal, so I don't have to worry about offending the sensitive delicate types with my awesome toy. When I do cross paths with others, I'm always courteous, always yield to oncoming traffic (since they have to work harder), and even hide my speed & climbing capabilities so as not to offend. Regardless, I still get some nasty looks & even some backhanded comments from the elitest bike snobs. So be it...I'm not giving up my toy and you look like a girl in those bike shorts!
I am aligned!!
SDH
5 months ago
I live in the Colorado foothills surrounded by endless trails right out my back door. On my 1500w 52v e-mtb, I can cover insane distances in difficult terrain, climb monster hills & still have plenty of stamina left to ride hard for hours after reaching the top. I can explore more terrain in one summer than I could in a lifetime on my standard mtb. I rarely see hikers and bikers where I venture and that is my goal, so I don't have to worry about offending the sensitive delicate types with my awesome toy. When I do cross paths with others, I'm always courteous, always yield to oncoming traffic (since they have to work harder), and even hide my speed & climbing capabilities so as not to offend. Regardless, I still get some nasty looks & even some backhanded comments from the elitest bike snobs. So be it...I'm not giving up my toy and you look like a girl in those bike shorts!
MLB
5 months ago
Douglas Wever
Bosch, the Stuttgart, Germany company may be focusing on the European market where the e-bike market is massively larger than the American market. In Europe the middling battery on the Trek bikes would be adequate as motors generally can not exceed 250 watts and therefore don't need a monster battery like is available from Stromer or Pedego.

One must also wonder given where the e-bike business is the biggest, if Trek itself is more focused on it's domestic or international markets. The latter finds Trek in over 90 countries. The new e-bikes from Trek went live on their UK website before the Trek U.S. website.
OR the much more experienced Euro riders have wised up that very few people need the battery size that the avg american needs to feel secure with their range anxiety.
Douglas Wever
5 months ago
grench
Bosch has plenty of middle of the pack offerings...how about a big and fast?
Bosch, the Stuttgart, Germany company may be focusing on the European market where the e-bike market is massively larger than the American market. In Europe the middling battery on the Trek bikes would be adequate as motors generally can not exceed 250 watts and therefore don't need a monster battery like is available from Stromer or Pedego.

One must also wonder given where the e-bike business is the biggest, if Trek itself is more focused on it's domestic or international markets. The latter finds Trek in over 90 countries. The new e-bikes from Trek went live on their UK website before the Trek U.S. website.
Jan
6 months ago
I am the proud owner of a Fullseven S (yes, "S") RX. I tested the CX on a Bulls Monster, and I agree, there is more torque. I seriously thought about buying a CX and doing the governor override, "tuning". I just didn't want to risk the potential voided warranty issues. It was a tough decision. I hear Motorstrano has got tuning down to a "science", so the risks may not be valid. Also Joe has some "Clearance" Haibikes that have been "upgraded", and his prices are good. I came very close to going this way.

I now have 200 miles on my new bike, which I have owned less than a week. It is awesome!! I can go about 70 miles with one battery change, but that includes serious hills.

Yes, the torque was a sacrifice. But here's the thing: every time I look at the speedometer and it grins back with 27 and 28mps, I realize I made the right decision. I have had some bikes with the 20mph cutoff and it is so frustrating, especially when a brightly colored Cervelo rider passes you and you know you'd have no problem if only that stupid limiter was not holding you back.

If you want to wait, Bosch will probably make the CXs officially speed pedals after Interbike. They are also coming out with a dual battery pack. Some people are patient. . . not me. Life is way to short to wait to ride (my opinion.)

My Izip has 73n/m and the torque differentiation is definitely detectable. But ahhh the shifting. You really wouldn't know there's a motor on the Bosch bike. It is so smooth.

If you do decide on the Performance S, get it assembled by a professional shop, or have the integrated lights installed before it is shipped (not recommended). Putting the integrated lights on is really challenging. It goes in the bottom of the head tube, so you have to slide the forks out. Also, check your pedals. I put mine on the correct sides, but I should have done just a bit more tightening, as one fell off, and I didn't have my pedal wrench. I thought I had stripped the threads, as I couldn't get it in. It finally went in once I got home. These bikes don't work well with only one pedal. . . . good to know! Maybe Bosch could take the governor chip off the CXs and just ship the bike with one pedal. This would assure that everyone would go under 20mph. . . .I will contact them today and let them know I've already tested this idea.

In my opinion the bike is not worth retail price. But then, again, neither are the CX models. I talked to a lot of dealers and there seemed to be a consensus that most people just don't want to dish out 5k or more on a 20mph bike. . . . I totally agree.

If you do get a "tuned" CX, make sure you live near the dealer that did it. If it ships modified and there's a problem, find out what the steps are and get something in writing. I was going to get a KTM with a CX from Performance Bikes. I talked to the KTM people in Florida and they said "Yeah, we help the customers modify their bikes; it's easy". I called again to confirm and another person said that I had been misinformed and it would void the warranty.

Well, I've got to ride my bike home, now. So far I haven't done a lot of off-roading, but I do commute 30 miles to work, about 1 mile is on a non-technical back road, horse path. I feel a bit guilty not riding more off road; because the bike loves the trail.

I hope this was helpful. Lots of shops are getting these bikes, now. I highly recommend a test drive.
Adrian
7 months ago
walawn
Coming from a motorcycle technician background with almost 2 decades of experience, I've always wanted to build my own ebike. Living in NoVa for the past few years, in a small apartment with a fraction of the tools I once had with me though, I let that prospect scare me away into buying a pre-built ebike for the second time in 3 years. The more I get on these forums like Endless Sphere and browse sites like Luna Cycle, the more I think that it is completely within my capability to do so. I've been toying around with the idea of building a 1000W mid-drive with the Bafang kit, but now I think that I may want to modify my new Radrover. I'm thinking of installing the same motor from the rear inside the front wheel. Not sure if I should add another controller or battery, or replace the controller with one to control both motors and upgrade the battery in the system to something larger or custom. I could see using the Shark battery packs to reduce weight and the stock controller is small enough to mount a second one easily. Synchronization could be an issue though. This idea may never been anything more than that, but it is exciting to think about double the torque and both the wheels of my 60+ lb. ebike pulling their own weight. Now don't get me wrong; I love my new Radrover. It is night and day better over my old Prodeco Phantom X3, which cost $400 more. I think I just can't go too long without wrenching on something. Maybe I should just build a second ebike from scratch to see if that gets rid of this urge to craft a muscle/monster ebike...
Just put a BBSHD on it.
NinjaNick
7 months ago
I have 2 more bikes coming in. A Volt bike folding clone and a Sondors Fat bike. Since the RAD Mini is my designated dog carrier, I was thinking of putting the tires on my new folding bike. This clone comes with a front suspension and a 20 AH 48v battery!

View attachment 6404

I wanted to sell that RAD Mini, but I have a feeling the RAD bike will have qualities I will miss. I am also understanding some draw backs with front suspension and a Shock absorbing seat post. Suspension front fork adds some comfort but also adds weight and reduces power transferred. When I ride with my GF she is 5'4 and needs the seat post to be all the way down. With the suspension post it will lose about 3 inches from the lowest setting. So for easy dog riding I am using the solid RAD bike, I will mess with the one from China and make it a monster.

So my plan is to keep the RAD MINI as is, I have a upgraded Silverfish battery that is 48v 20AH coming at the same time as the new folder so we will see what the pros and cons are.

Volt Bike Clone - 2000 - crazy shipping costs and fees from China
Front Suspension
Hydrolic Brakes
48v 20AH Battery
Bafang 500w prolly runs at 750 motor
LCD with PAS
front and rear lights that run from battery
rear rack
same components for drive like the MINI

I am trying to become and authorized dealer for these bikes. Everything I ordered has been spoken for this round and I have not setup a pre order system yet. If you are interested in seeing the differences, I'd be willing to meet you on the trail once my new baby arrives!

Nick
Metalusion
7 months ago
can anyone comment on the torque. it's rated at 90nm which is twice that of the Radrover. does it seem like it has monster power in the torque dept? does it make you ride any differently up a hill? take on steep hills that you've been afraid of previously?
Barkme Wolf
8 months ago
I took off the running boards. They get in the way when walking the bike. When I load this monster up for a camping trip I will reattach them. Took off a couple pounds, bonus.
J.R.
9 months ago
Ravi Kempaiah
That's because E-bikes help you stay in the aerobic respiration zone and truly provide a terrific workout. Our bodies know this... take a look at this article.
http://www.sciencemusicvideos.com/aerobic-and-anaerobic-respiration/

You should read what Haibikes are doing to people across the world.
Here is one example: http://www.pedelecs.co.uk/news/haibike-electric-bike-making-impossible/

They have a large team of dedicated engineers working on several projects. Haibike will be successful even if you and me suddenly disappear from the face of this earth.



That's where the magic lies. Human brain is wired for something called "cognitive ease". People like using iPhone because you don't need a manual to know what is what.. you just know intuitively.
Similarly, when you're using pedal assist, the sensor does all the job of sync'ing your input with the machine and that leads a seamless behavior of this human-machine combo and it is truly pleasurable.
Just pedal and bike knows what kind of watts to push through the drive train.





A BBSHD is lot of fun but it is well beyond the limits of human power and it doesn't feel like a riding a bicycle anymore.
One of the major benefits of E-bikes is that they offer tremendous health benefits. If you take away the PAS option, the usage will go down because it is not that much anymore.
May be you can use it for commuting. But it is hard to produce this kind of smile on a throttle only bike.

https://www.facebook.com/video.php?v=1708138742743469
Just think all those newbies in the video are getting all that power and speed, "This is fast", on bikes likely with Euro spec 250 watt motors and speed limited to 15 MPH. It doesn't have to be a monster motor to get job number one done, fun! This is a great time of year to be reading these forums with all the posts from new ebike riders.

Thanks for posting that video Ravi!
Ann M.
9 months ago
I'd take a look at Court's review of the Haibike SDURO ALLMTN RC, it's the same Yamaha 250 watt motor, 500 watt peak with slightly more narrow tires (consider changing those yourself?) for several hundred $$ less. This Yamaha motor has 80Nm of torque, so would be a monster climbing hills! Motostrano is selling the bike you mention but refers to the motor only by the peak motor output, so don't be mislead.

Just check the specs and consider what performance you want on a full suspension mountain bike, then buy. As an ebike dealer for almost 15 years, the Haibikes require regular maintenance but put up with serious beatings by mountain trails better than a lot of other less expensive ebikes and come with a team of well trained techs. So go brew your own cup of coffee and get out their and RIDE!

J.R.
9 months ago
NormL1
I just did a research binge on the Internet and there is a lot to know about poly-carbonate. Now that I am a couch expert on the stuff, I am going to score and break it like I first thought, but, with the knowledge that it is going to be way harder than I thought.

J.R. we do have the plastics company's like you reference, but, they are all up in the horrible traffic areas that are to be avoided at all costs. Hopefully it isn't a glare monster, but, I did see that I can buy thinner sheet on line and non glare as well. Thanks for the comment
You can get polycarbonate as thin as business card stock, but that'a more of a specialty item. It's fairly common to find thickness down to 1/16". It can be readily cut with most types of saws and routers, acrylic cuts better via scoring since it's more brittle. If you do use non-glare, look at it closely as it's only one sided. Also never use any glass cleaner on clear plastic, use isopropyl alcohol or mild dish detergent.

Good luck with your project, I'm enjoying your thread!
NormL1
9 months ago
I just did a research binge on the Internet and there is a lot to know about poly-carbonate. Now that I am a couch expert on the stuff, I am going to score and break it like I first thought, but, with the knowledge that it is going to be way harder than I thought.

J.R. we do have the plastics company's like you reference, but, they are all up in the horrible traffic areas that are to be avoided at all costs. Hopefully it isn't a glare monster, but, I did see that I can buy thinner sheet on line and non glare as well. Thanks for the comment
turbolevo
2 months ago

Someone should start making skid plates like the one on this bike for all
the Bosch bikes that don't have one.i'd buy the Cube fat bike but no bash
guard ,can't do it.

Steve Hyder
3 months ago

Are you planning on doing a review of the full suspension version?

Broderick MTB
3 months ago

When are you going to feature that Monster E-FS Fatty? Any price idea?
There are no info on this FS bike on their own website.

Tom S
3 months ago

Hi, after renting a Daymak electric bike with my kids while vacationing in
Quebec City, I knew I wanted one. SInce then, I have watched hours of your
reviews and find them informative and real. I just want you to know that I
truly enjoy them and appreciate what you do!

CptJoghurt
3 months ago

bulls or haibike- which would u prefer?

Tom Murphy
3 months ago

Hey Court, how about you use that new camera of yours to do a sped up video
of 1 battery's worth of riding? Overlay the ride data so we could get a
fuller sense of each bike's capability. Not necessarily as part of the
review vid, maybe as a separate one linked in the description.

Ms Cynthia
3 months ago

Torrance Beach - my old stomping grounds!

MAY LIN
3 months ago

I also have a fat tire e-bike, you can ride it everywhere, the mountain,
the trail, the beach, the snow.

AckEr
3 months ago

what do you do with them after reviews?
do you sell them?

Saline
3 months ago

He eats them and then reviews how they taste

inferno4001
3 months ago

Like most of your reviews man! Keep em coming! Like many of us out there,
deciding to buy a +2000 euro ebike is really difficult, especially when
your like me, saving for the next road (or mountain) bike we all know we
want every couple of years.... Still, Incredible bikes they make nowadays!
I definitely will get me one of these ASAP!

Kunkku H
3 months ago

Fat e-bike is the most funniest bike ever. You can drive anywhere. Just add
a chip and ride 50km/h easily ;) Greetings from Finland! I like your
videos, I watch the reviews of every internationally sold bike, because I'm
in the business.

Mark Elford
3 months ago

Looks like a great trail and a ebike thats capable.

Flo Mo
3 months ago

You are approaching the number 50,000 to subscribers. And soon there will
be 100,000. The best channel for eBike reviews. Your videos are AWESOME
like the BULLS Monster E S. Excuse my sometimes bad English.^^

Funny Guy
3 months ago

Why dont you tell the bike's price at the description? Instead we have to
watch all 20minutes

Funny Guy
3 months ago

ElectricBikeReview.com Big fan of your videos and thanks for the reply.
Just include price, its important

ElectricBikeReview.com
3 months ago

Good question! Sorry for the inconvenience... for all of the reviews I link
to the price and bike details at the top of the description. Sometimes I
say the price earlier in the talk and there are times I haven't said it at
all because it was undecided. I think the price quoted in this video is a
bit lower than their original MSRP earlier this year

John Moura
3 months ago

Great review - - Beautiful bike!

ElectricBikeReview.com
3 months ago

Thanks John! I like the bike too... their full suspension fat bike (seen in
the background of some of the shots at the beach) is bright yellow and
looks like a wasp, still cool but this one looks more standard like their
emountain bikes which is nice