BULLS TWENTY9 E FS 3 RSI Review

Bulls Twenty9 Fs 3 Rsi Electric Bike Review
Bulls Twenty9 Fs 3 Rsi
Bulls Twenty9 Fs 3 Rsi Chain Guide Sprocket Oversized Metal Cover
Bulls Twenty9 Fs 3 Rsi Bosch Powerpack 400 Removable Battery
Bulls Twenty9 Fs 3 Rsi Locking Grips Bosch Intuvia Display Panel
Bulls Twenty9 Fs 3 Rsi Control Pad Easy Reach
Bulls Twenty9 Fs 3 Rsi 11 Speed Shimano Deore Xt Drivetrain
Bulls Twenty9 Fs 3 Rsi Rock Shox Reba Rl Solo Air Fork
Bulls Twenty9 Fs 3 Rsi Bottom Bracket Shield Chainring Guard
Bulls Twenty9 Fs 3 Rsi Schwalbe Rocket Ron Tires
Bulls Twenty9 Fs 3 Rsi Tapered Head Tube Shimano Xt Brakes
Bulls Twenty9 Fs 3 Rsi Electric Bike Review
Bulls Twenty9 Fs 3 Rsi
Bulls Twenty9 Fs 3 Rsi Chain Guide Sprocket Oversized Metal Cover
Bulls Twenty9 Fs 3 Rsi Bosch Powerpack 400 Removable Battery
Bulls Twenty9 Fs 3 Rsi Locking Grips Bosch Intuvia Display Panel
Bulls Twenty9 Fs 3 Rsi Control Pad Easy Reach
Bulls Twenty9 Fs 3 Rsi 11 Speed Shimano Deore Xt Drivetrain
Bulls Twenty9 Fs 3 Rsi Rock Shox Reba Rl Solo Air Fork
Bulls Twenty9 Fs 3 Rsi Bottom Bracket Shield Chainring Guard
Bulls Twenty9 Fs 3 Rsi Schwalbe Rocket Ron Tires
Bulls Twenty9 Fs 3 Rsi Tapered Head Tube Shimano Xt Brakes

Summary

  • 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 the sturdy thru-axles which improve strength and make alignment easier, oversized tapered head tube also adds strength
  • RockShox air suspension is light and highly adjustable with rebound and lockout (remote lockout up front), the Shimano hydraulic disc brakes offer low-effort braking and the XT drivetrain is high quality and versatile but not overly complicated with 1x11 setup
  • Unique chain tensioner elevates the chain to reduce slap and clears mud, the narrow-wide tooth configuration reduces slip and an oversized chainring guard protects it, in thick mud the smaller sprocket may allow for chain suck, the geared motor is more audible at high power and RPM, newer brand that may not be available to test in as many locations

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Video Review

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Introduction

Make:

BULLS

Model:

TWENTY9 E FS 3 RSI

Price:

$4,599

Body Position:

Forward

Suggested Use:

Trail, Mountain

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:

49.3 lbs (22.36 kg)

Battery Weight:

5.2 lbs (2.35 kg)

Motor Weight:

8.8 lbs (3.99 kg)

Frame Material:

7005 Aluminium

Frame Sizes:

16.14 in (40.99 cm)18.11 in (45.99 cm)20.07 in (50.97 cm)

Frame Types:

High-Step

Frame Colors:

Matte Black with Gloss White and Blue Accents

Frame Fork Details:

Rock Shox Reba RL 29 Solo Air, 120 mm OneLoc Remote Lockout, 15 mm Thru Axle

Frame Rear Details:

RockShox Monarch RT Suspension, 120 mm Travel with Lockout and Rebound Adjust

Gearing Details:

11 Speed 1x11 Shimano Deore XT, 11-40

Cranks:

FSA Cranks, 15T Chainring with Narrow Wide Teeth

Pedals:

Wellgo Alloy Platform, Cage STyle

Headset:

Tapered

Stem:

6061 STEM 3.OS

Handlebar:

Low Rise

Brake Details:

Shimano M615 Deore Hydraulic Disc with 180 mm Ice-Tech Rotors

Grips:

Ergon Locking, Flat

Saddle:

STYX

Seat Post:

Ergon Locking

Seat Post Length:

350 mm

Seat Post Diameter:

30.9 mm

Rims:

Ryde 6229

Spokes:

Stainless Steel, 14 Gauge, Black

Tire Brand:

Schwalbe Rocket Ron, 29" x 2.25"

Wheel Sizes:

29 in (73.66cm)

Tire Details:

Evolution Liteskin, Tubeless Ready

Tube Details:

Presta Valve

Other:

Aluminum Skid Plate

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)

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Written Review

BULLS jumped into the US market for 2016 introducing an impressive range of electric bikes including the TWENTY9 FS 3 RSI shown here (it’s a full suspension cross country ebike with 29″ tires). This model comes in three sizes and could be especially comfortable and fun for taller riders or those with longer legs. The larger wheels elevate the bike but also smooth out terrain, improve traction and carry momentum once they’re up to speed. They aren’t as nimble to steer as a 26″ or the newly popular 27.5″ but for cross country, they work very well. I was impressed with the 120 mm air suspension by Fox, love the rebound adjust and lockout features (remote lockout for the front) and am a fan of the sturdy thru-axles and quick release systems (for easy trail maintenance or transport). The display panel and battery are also removable which makes transporting or charging the bike easier and as with other Bosch powered electric bikes, they are both easy to use and very high quality. You get a two year warranty on the electronic systems and in my experience they age very well but might put a bit of extra strain on the drivetrain (being a mid-drive). Thankfully, Bosch has a software-driven shift sensing system that helps to ease power off, I tend to slow my cadence and ease off when shifting gears to minimize mashing and slipping. This bike is very similar to one that my Uncle has been riding for over two years now which also uses the Bosch system and it’s holding up very well for him.

Some features and design choices that set the Bulls Twenty9 FS apart from the competition in my mind include an aluminum cover for the base of the motor, a chain tensioner that might clear mud and reduce chain slap, narrow wide teeth on the tensioner that reduce slip, an oversized bash guard on the chainring and extra small 15 tooth chainring and 40 tooth large rear sprocket (which combine for efficient starts and climbing power for you and the motor). It’s a beautiful bike, one that’s fun to ride and easy to use. As with other Intuvia operated Bosch ebikes, turning the bike on and choosing from four levels of assist is quick and easy, you can keep your left hand on the grip and operate the display by using your thumb and the display itself is large enough to read in an upright position (and backlit for night use). You can see this e-bike in action on a trail as I rode with my friend Rick the other day in a vlog video here. He has loved the bike so far but only had it for a month and not been able to comment on some sensitive areas I’ve heard about from other riders (for all similar ebikes) about how the remote lockout works and whether the lever is in the way or too sensitive and the possibility of chain suck (where mud gets clogged in the front sprocket area and causes the chain to wrap around and seize the drivetrain). For most riding, the bike should perform very well and I noticed and appreciated the latest of Bosch’s motors called the CX which offers higher torque.

Pros:

  • I love the extra tiny sprocket guide / chain tensioner (similar to Haibike’s Sprocket Equalizing System) because it probably helps to clear debris from the chain and lift it above the rear swing arm, it should reduce chain slap on the right chain stay and possibly chain slip as well given the narrow wide tooth pattern
  • Despite being relatively new in the US (at the time of this review in 2016 Bulls had only been here for one season) the company has been selling bikes internationally since 1994 with ebikes in 2007 and seems to have a good reputation
  • The Bosch CX motor is a higher torque design offering 75 Nm vs. 60 Nm with the older 2015 models, it’s perfectly suited to an off-road model like the Bulls Twentynine
  • Extra large 40 tooth climbing sprocket in the rear (11 gears total!) and a smaller 15 tooth chainring for efficient climbing and easier pedaling since the bikes are heavier ~50 lbs with the battery and reinforced frame
  • Available in three frame sizes so you can dial in fit, as a 29er you get more traction, rolling momentum and a higher frame position so this could be an excellent choice for taller riders
  • The motor seems well protected by an Aluminum skid plate (that is color matched and appears to be replaceable), I also like that there’s a cuff built around the base of the battery so it melds with the frame visually and possibly adds strength or protection, the extra long and thick rubber slap guard also helps with chain slap
  • Comes stock with Ergon locking grips! Name brand, very comfortable and solid to ride with… given the cross-country orientation of this bike with 120 mm travel I like that the grips aren’t too thick or wavy like the GP-1 models, I think the grips were a good choice, the end pieces extend forward a bit and might keep your hands from sliding off
  • The shocks are both nice, high quality air suspension from RockShox with rebound adjust and lockout… the front suspension fork has remote lockout so you can adjust on the fly (again, good for cross country where the trail might smooth out)
  • Quick release on both wheels, this is one of the advantages of a mid-drive system, the axles are both overbuilt with 15 mm thru-axle up front and 12 mm in the rear, improves strength and makes aligning the disc brakes easier
  • Solid 180 mm Hydraulic disc brakes from Shimano offer excellent stopping power and the tiny levers are easy to reach and use with just one or two fingers… what you’d expect for off-road use
  • The top tube is designed with a steep angle and is able to drop pretty low on the seat tube (where it is reinforced) and this lowers stand over height making it easier to mount and handle, the suspension design itself uses the 4 bar link that is pretty efficient (formerly patented by Specialized, now open in the US)
  • I love that the battery pack is removable but can be charged on or off the frame, it secures with a sturdy locking core and just looks great, if you took it off it seems like there would be enough room to hang the bike on some hitch style racks like this
  • The Bosch Intuvia display is awesome, large enough to read but easy to remove if you’re bombing a downhill section or parking the bike outside, I love the remote button pad that lets you select between assist levels and explore menus like range, odometer, max speed etc.
  • Awesome two year warranty on the electronics (battery and motor from Bosch) with a total of five years on the frame from Bulls, nice since they’re newer in the United States
  • I love how responsive the Bosch centerdrive motor is, it kicks in and cuts out extremely fast because it’s measuring pedal speed, rear wheel speed and your pedaling torque over 100 times per second and it even has shift sensing software to ease off and protect your chain and gears

Cons:

  • I can’t say for sure but the extra large chainring bash guard could cause mud and debris to build up and cause chain suck (a common issue for Bosch powered ebikes that have super small ~15T chainrings), this probably won’t be an issue unless you ride off-road in thick mud
  • Not quite as light weight as some of the other full suspension Bosch powered ebikes I’ve tested like the XDURO Fullseven but that might be due in part to the larger tires and 29er wheel size and extra skid plate and moulding around the battery
  • I’ve been told by some riders that the remote lockout mechanism with a lever as used here can be annoying because it gets bumped and switches too easily to locked, I haven’t had that experience but my ride time has been limited
  • Being geared, the centerdrive motor does produce some electronic whirring noises which become more pronounced in the high levels of assist and especially when pedaling cadence speeds up
  • Even though I trust BULLS and they have been doing well internationally, being new to the USA this and other models may be difficult to see in person and test ride before purchase

Resources:

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Dewey
4 months ago

CrazyLenny's in Wisconsin have some good prices on previous model year Haibikes with Yamaha motor and half off a Bulls Twenty9 E FS 3 RSI with Bosch motor, plus $200-300 shipping.

Notarusa
6 months ago

There aren't too many full suspension 29er's with the Bosch system. One is the Bulls Twenty9 E FS 3 RSI, you might want to check it out.
Is very interesting this option, I will read a little about this model, thank you very much

Chris Nolte
6 months ago

There aren't too many full suspension 29er's with the Bosch system. One is the Bulls Twenty9 E FS 3 RSI, you might want to check it out.

LeoInterHyenaem
3 months ago

A lovely bike. But, unfortunately, not for for long-distance tours: no eyelets for rear panniers and but a single battery. A full suspension does not necessarily preclude a baggage rack.

These manufacturers must understand that not all long-distance bicycle tourists are willing to contend with ugly upright heavy glorified Dutch-type city bikes a self-respecting, design-conscious soul is sure to eschew.

In that respect Canyon has been doing really well in the last couple of years. Unfortunately, their commuter line bikes have no suspension, are not electric and still cost ca. €2.000. And are permanently sold out, as well.

Also, I think any aluminium frame over €400 / bike worth €1500 and up must have smooth welds.

joes joey
1 year ago

nice looking bike!! even tho im not a fan of bosch systems !! just slow !! but great looking bikes!

Eric Coffman
1 year ago

Colorado Mills, good place to visit!

Ray L.
1 year ago

what is your opinion for this bike vs. the cube stereo hybrid race 120, 29" ? Which would you prefer?

ombra306
1 year ago

can the pedals go backwords also?

Виталий Kucha
1 year ago

chain is not skewed when using all 11 speeds?
I think it is skewed and heavy wear...
or use only 3 rear speed when chain straight (5-6-7)...
Can you show in another video look at chain when 1-st and 11 speed?

Anthony Prelorentzos
1 year ago

juiced crosscurrent please?

Clinton Baltazor
1 year ago

Where are the E bikes for people 6ft 5in tall, 200lbs ?

Clinton Baltazor
1 year ago

+Felix Holloway Thanks for the information, sounds really fun.

Felix Holloway
1 year ago

Dude, all you ever wanted to know is RIGHT HERE: www.electricbike-blog.com. This guy has all the answers. If you can read, you can build an ebike with his direction. Do it.

Felix Holloway
1 year ago

The only solution for us is custom home mounted mid drives like the BBS02 or BBSHD. These are far better than ANY ebike you could possibly commercially buy, and you can fit them on pretty much any bike. www.lunacycle.com. The entry point is also fractional compared to a full ebike, and you can swap back to regular if you want. It's awesome shredding past $10,000 STROMER ebikes on my $1000 (motor+battery) Trek 4300 mid drive swap and knowing I'm pumping out 1200 watts peak and the St2 is barely scratching 750 watts at most, 500 nominal. Make it yourself, it's really easy and you wont regret it, plus you'll know how to fix it and can swap out with new batteries lickety split.

Clinton Baltazor
1 year ago

+Clinton Baltazor It's a 23 inch frame. Had it for a year and already well over ten thousand miles on it. I commute to work and everywhere else by bike, and I live in Iowa where it's super hot in summer and lots of cold and snow in winter. I keep saying I will have to build my own, but who has the time and technical know-how. I'll just keep pedaling until the right fit comes along. Thanks for the feed back.

Clinton Baltazor
1 year ago

+MotorheadRedo I ride a Specialized Rockhopper 29er

Robert Wetzel
1 year ago

Bulls is a brand that was brought to life by the ZEG, a purchasing cooperative consisting of a little less than 1,000 distinct bike shops. While I can't say much about the product quality first hand, they do have a somewhat bad reputation in terms of quality (hence the competetive pricing). What I can very much say is that of the two distinct ZEG member shops I've been in personally, none was even close to being customer friendly.
I had a misaligned front chainring shifter on my (cheapskate) trekking pedelec, which led to the chain falling off and taking with it the pedal sensor. At the second ZEG shop I visited to ask for a replacement part, I was first ignored for about five minutes, and after that a sales guy came around, pointed at the bike (I agree it's cheap, but still), laughed, said that they'd certainly not have any parts, and then (I kid you not) called his colleague over to laugh with him at the bad quality of my pedelec.
Which is still working today, three years and several thousand miles later.
Point is, buy from a proper company, not from assholes.

LeoInterHyenaem
3 months ago

Robert Wetzel
Bulls may have been a third-rate manufacturer till recently. But things look very different now. Up until a couple of years ago, to Me Bulls was a bicycle for novice riders who couldn't tell Batavus, Gazelle or Hercules from Cannondale, Specialized and Trek. The snob in Me would scoff at Bulls riders. But in the recent years, Bulls (especially its electric segment) has become so good I fail to see how Cannondale is better (save for the Lefty fork and really good road bikes).

Simon Colby
1 year ago

Looks really nice on video! Honestly I thought it was going to look terrible judging from the pictures on their web page, but I was totally wrong. They did a nice job putting their own style into a fs ebike.

Aaron Vetter
1 year ago

I liked the gimbal camera shots while you were ridding. The bicycle tilting back and forth made it seem like your riding it somewhat.

Ollie Smith
1 year ago

Can u do a Q & A so people can ask u questions about bikes

MotorheadRedo
1 year ago

Aren't these Bosch systems geared real low with the small front sprocket? Is it practical to use a Bosch system like a traditional bicycle (pedal power) with such a limited, low, gear range? Seems like these Bosch systems should come with a sticker that says "Geared for tight trail, down hill or up hill riding. Only use 100% pedal power when the battery dies."

MotorheadRedo
1 year ago

Does the front sprocket move at a different rotational speed than the pedals?

MotorheadRedo
1 year ago

Oh

sbcfilm
1 year ago

the tuning box is the most important add on for any electric bike, the first thing you should buy

Rocking in a free world
1 year ago

The front sprocket is small unlike Yamaha that uses normal sprockets. The Bosch however as internal gearing that makes the small sprocket work as a normal sprocket. My bike started with a 15t front now changed to 18t. It's a cube hardtail and can reach speeds on flat of 30+ mph with resistance left. I do however have a tuning box on the bike so the motor don't cut out.

Robert Wetzel
1 year ago

+MotorheadRedo
I was referring to the hospital bills. No one here's ever seen one of those.

Mark Elford
1 year ago

Slikk trail bike.

ElectricBikeReview.com
1 year ago

I agree, solid drive system and good components... looks nice too. I like that it comes in three sizes

FRANK ROBY
1 year ago

too expensive.

FRANK ROBY
1 year ago

+ElectricBikeReview.com I still like it.

ElectricBikeReview.com
1 year ago

Yeah, most of the full suspension models with Bosch start to climb in price. It's a solid bike and I bet we'll see equivalent stuff in 2017 for a bit less