Felt Brühaul Review

Felt Bruhaul Electric Bike Review
Felt Bruhaul
Felt Bruhaul Electric Cargo Bike 350 Bosch Centerdrive
Felt Bruhaul Electric Cargo Bike Bosch Battery Pack
Felt Bruhaul Electric Cargo Bike Comfort Handle Bars
Felt Bruhaul Electric Cargo Bike Removable Bosch Intuvia Display
Felt Bruhaul Electric Cargo Bike Bosch Button Pad Ergonomic Grips
Felt Bruhaul Electric Cargo Bike 10 Speed Shimano Deore
Felt Bruhaul Electric Cargo Bike Eye Led Headlight Fenders
Felt Bruhaul Electric Cargo Bike Bamboo Racks
Felt Bruhaul Electric Cargo Bike Bottle Cage Bosses
Felt Bruhaul Electric Cargo Bike 20t Chainring
Felt Bruhaul Electric Bike Review
Felt Bruhaul
Felt Bruhaul Electric Cargo Bike 350 Bosch Centerdrive
Felt Bruhaul Electric Cargo Bike Bosch Battery Pack
Felt Bruhaul Electric Cargo Bike Comfort Handle Bars
Felt Bruhaul Electric Cargo Bike Removable Bosch Intuvia Display
Felt Bruhaul Electric Cargo Bike Bosch Button Pad Ergonomic Grips
Felt Bruhaul Electric Cargo Bike 10 Speed Shimano Deore
Felt Bruhaul Electric Cargo Bike Eye Led Headlight Fenders
Felt Bruhaul Electric Cargo Bike Bamboo Racks
Felt Bruhaul Electric Cargo Bike Bottle Cage Bosses
Felt Bruhaul Electric Cargo Bike 20t Chainring

Summary

  • A surprisingly light weight electric cargo bike with an abundance of rack and tie down mounting points for use with a myriad of accessories
  • Powered by the award winning Bosch Centerdrive motor system that offers high torque output, shift sensing, four levels of pedal assist and integrated lights
  • Full length fenders cover the wide Schwalbe tires, oversized hydraulic disc brakes offer solid stopping power, chain cover and guide keep the bike on track, sleek scissoring kickstand offers stability
  • Only available in one frame size, this is a Class 1 pedal assist only electric bike (no throttle mode), more expensive due to high quality systems

Video Review

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Introduction

Make:

Felt

Model:

BRüHAUL

Price:

$4,999

Body Position:

Upright

Suggested Use:

Neighborhood, Cargo

Electric Bike Class:

Pedal Assist (Class 1)
Learn more about Ebike classes

Warranty:

Lifetime Frame, 2 Year Drivetrain and Electronics

Availability:

United States, Canada

Model Year:

2016

Bicycle Details

Total Weight:

53.5 lbs (24.26 kg)

Battery Weight:

5.2 lbs (2.35 kg)

Motor Weight:

8.8 lbs (3.99 kg)

Frame Material:

6061 Aluminum Alloy

Frame Sizes:

17.5 in (44.45 cm)

Geometry Measurements:

17.5" Seat Tube, 22" Reach, 29.5" Stand Over Height, 81.5" Length

Frame Types:

Cargo, High-Step

Frame Colors:

Matte Grey with Satin Black and Satin Yellow Accents

Frame Fork Details:

Rigid Aluminum Alloy, 10 mm Quick Release Skewer

Frame Rear Details:

10 mm Quick Release Skewer

Attachment Points:

Front Rack Bosses on Fork M5 Size and Top Tube M6 Size, Bottle Cage Bosses on Vertical Rack Support, Lots of Rear Rack Bosses

Gearing Details:

10 Speed 1x10 Shimano Deore, 11-36T

Shifter Details:

Shimano Deore SL-M610 Rapid Fire on Right

Cranks:

Lasco EB05, 20T Chainring

Pedals:

Alloy and Plastic Platform with Rubber Tread, VP-199 MTB Design, Toe Clip Compatible

Headset:

FSA Tapered, 2 Large Spacers, 4 Short Spacers

Handlebar:

27" 6061 Superlite Alloy, Swept Back, Ø31.8 mm, 30° Sweep, 17 mm Rise

Brake Details:

Shimano BR-M355 Hydraulic Disc with 180 mm Front and 160 mm Rear Rotors

Grips:

Ergonomic Rubber

Saddle:

Velo Comfort Gel with Dual Density Base

Seat Post:

6061 Superlite

Seat Post Length:

350 mm

Seat Post Diameter:

30.9 mm

Rims:

Alexrims SUPRA BH Double-Wall Aluminum, Single Eyelets

Spokes:

14 Gauge

Tire Brand:

Schwalbe Crazy Bob, 24" x 2.35"

Wheel Sizes:

24 in (60.96cm)

Tire Details:

KevlarGuard, 30-65 PSI

Tube Details:

Presta Valve

Accessories:

Integrated LED Lights (Eye Front, Topligt Back), Plastic Chain Guard and Chain Guide, Plastic Fenders, Bamboo Load Decks on Rear Rack, Foot Loop Running Boards (Optional Bamboo Foot Plates, Optional Skirt Guards, Scissoring Double Leg Kickstand

Other:

4 Amp 1.6 lb Charger, Locking Removable Battery Pack (ABUS Core), Maximum Payload Weight 400 lbs, Maximum Load Deck Capacity 200 lbs

Electronic Details

Motor Brand:

Bosch Performance Line, Gen 2

Motor Type:

Mid-Mounted Geared Motor
Learn more about Ebike motors

Motor Nominal Output:

350 watts

Motor Torque:

60 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:

3.5 hours

Estimated Min Range:

20 miles (32 km)

Estimated Max Range:

65 miles (105 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

The Brühaul is one of two electric cargo bikes offered by Felt, a bicycle company with performance racing heritage, for 2016. What you get with this model is an impressively light weight, responsive and great looking hauler that only comes in one size and uses a more expensive but much more refined and powerful drive system from Bosch vs. Yamaha. The other cargo bike, called the Tote’m, is $500 less and includes a front porteur rack. Both models use the same drivetrain, Shimano Deore with a 10 speed cassette. They have the same powerful Shimano M355 hydraulic disc brakes and they include the same quality pannier that I forgot to mention in the video review :(

What I loved about the Bruhaul in particular were it’s bright silver color, integrated LED lights (that the Tote’m doesn’t have) and how balanced it was. I lifted it up using the nose of the saddle and the bike actually tipped forward slightly… much to my surprise. The center-mounted motor and downtube-mounted battery keep weight low and center for improved handling. With the pannier at the back (perhaps half full) the bike would be perfectly balanced. This is a feature complete ebike with full length high quality plastic fenders, upgraded balloon tires that balance comfort with performance thanks to Kevlar lining (to reduce flats) and an extra long removable rear rack. This is one of the only e-cargo bikes I have seen with a removable but matching, high strength rear rack! It’s a cargo bike that easily transforms into a performance commuter and you can expect 30 to 60 miles per charge thanks to the Bosch drive system.

Powering the bike is a 36 volt 11 amp hour battery pack driving a 350 watt mid-drive putting out 60 newton meters of torque. The battery size and motor power are slightly above what I’d normally call average but the hardware configuration and software running them is top of the line. Mid drive motors allow you to empower the motor for climbing or maintaining higher speeds by shifting gears and the Bruhaul offers 10 of them. With a 20 tooth front sprocket and an 11 to 36 tooth rear cassette cluster the bike is a performer and had no trouble climbing during my tests. I did not load it up for an official cargo test but the site lists 400 lbs payload with up to 200 lbs on the rear rack alone. As with other cargo bikes, expect to be able to use Yepp! child seats and possibly accessories from Yuba and other more established cargo-specific bike lines. Felt offers a few of their own accessories but it’s nice to feel like you could upgrade from an unpowered cargo bike and recycle the kit or perhaps find used bits online.

My favorite part about the drive system and why I prefer it to the lower priced Shimano is shift-sensing. This software features reduces motor torque when you shift gears and helps the chain, sprockets and derailleur to last longer between tuneups. The Bosch Intuvia display system is backlit, large and easy to see, removable and it even has a micro USB port for charging portable electronics. It’s worth the extra money in my opinion and because it turns a smaller chainring vs. the Shimano powered Tote’m the motor seems to start and stop more quickly and operates at a wider range of RPM. There are lots of design features to celebrate on this ebike including quick release wheels that make it easier to service and move, a battery that can be charged on or off the bike (not the case with the Tote’m), a large sturdy scissoring kickstand to stabilize during loading and even the fun name. Note that both of the Felt electric bikes come with a solid two year warranty and use larger 24” wheels which ride nice but also raise the rear rack making it less stable than some other cargo bikes I’ve tested.

Pros:

  • Quick release front and rear means wheel and drivetrain maintenance is easier and more familiar (no extra electronics or wires to deal with), also makes it easier to transport the bike, the battery is also removable
  • Surprisingly light weight at just ~53 lbs considering the length, larger tires and rack systems that make this a cargo bike, you can reduce weight further by completely removing the rear rack from the frame
  • Excellent weight distribution front to rear, I weighed the bike by lifting at the nose of the saddle and it wasn’t rear heavy (as I expected it to be), the motor and battery are mounted low and center for improved handling
  • Great accessories including a chain cover at the bottom bracket, a guide to keep the chain on track, front and rear fenders, stock bamboo load decks (on the rear rack) and optional bamboo foot plates and skirt guard
  • Solid ten speed drivetrain with a large 36 tooth sprocket for hauling and climbing, the derailleur is Shimano Deore which is a higher end groupset
  • I love that Felt included a pair of bosses along the rear support tube for use with a bottle cage, folding lock, mini pump or other accessory… there wasn’t room in the main triangle where the battery is mounted but they figured out another way to make it work
  • The wheelset matches so you get two 24″ wheels vs. a smaller 20″ wheel at the back, this makes replacing tires and tubes less expensive but it also improves comfort because larger wheels roll smoother over bumps and cracks, one other advantage is that the running boards aren’t so low and may not collide with curbs or other obstacles as easily
  • High quality Schwalbe Crazy Bob tires offer KevlarGuard to reduce punctures, because they are fatter than traditional tires they also improve comfort and can be ridden at lower PSI
  • The Bosch drive system is incredibly responsive so you get near-instantaneous help when starting out with a loaded rack (or climbing a hill) and it offers shift sensing to help reduce wear on the chain, gears and derailleur
  • The Bosch display unit is backlit, controls the front and rear LED lights and can be removed to deter tampering and wear when the bike is locked up outside
  • Both the front and rear LED lights are wired in to run off the main battery and can be switched on and off using the light button on the Bosch Intuvia display panel… you don’t have to worry about them being left on or running out of batteries the way independent lights can
  • Felt is a mainstream performance brand known for high quality bicycle builds, strong emphasis on frame and component quality
  • Purpose built frame (CNC Aluminum Ferrules) conceals most wires for shifting, braking and motor systems on the bike
  • Solid two year warranty on drivetrain, components and electronics with a lifetime warranty on the frame and a good reputation from Felt
  • Includes a well positioned double-legged kickstand so you can load it up more easily than a single-side leaning kickstand

Cons:

  • One trade-off for having two 24″ wheels is that the larger rear wheel forces the rack to be higher which decreases stability and means you have to lift gear higher to mount it
  • No throttle mode available here, this is a pedalec only and requires rider pedaling input to activate the motor
  • Lower end plastic pedals that can slip when wet and ergo grips that don’t have lockers that can spin, consider something like this which is wider and has sturdy metal nubs for improved traction
  • This is one of the more expensive electric cargo bikes I’ve reviewed, you get higher end components, drivetrain and motor systems but it doesn’t come cheap

Resources:

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Comments (8) YouTube Comments

Mark Dale
3 years ago

Am I correct in assuming that this bike is probably not the best cargo bike choice for very tall riders?

  Reply
Court
3 years ago

Hmm… It could be alright with a bit of adjustment (perhaps replacing the stem with a longer one and extending the seat post). It does only come in one size vs. the Tote’m which comes in three… that might be a better choice so you can get the large (though I haven’t compared the sizes closely enough to confirm how much larger it is)

  Reply
Don Thompson
2 years ago

I purchased a 2016 Felt Brühaul that a local bike shop had ordered for a customer last spring whose circumstances changed. I live about 6-8 miles from most of the places I shop in downtown Iowa City. I ride to town on a wide, paved bike trail that is pretty hilly. On the way to town, I’m riding toward the river so there is more elevation gain riding home. I loaded both panniers with groceries yesterday and rode home on a pretty windy day. I rushed up the hills at 20 mph to get my groceries home and put away in the fridge and freezer. What fun!

The bike is very easy to handle and it’s light enough that I rode quite a bit of the time without any assist. The rear rack is very substantial and the panniers are well-made. I’m very happy with this purchase.

  Reply
Court
2 years ago

That’s awesome Don! I enjoyed hearing about your trip to the grocery store and getting some insight into your environment and the shop that sold you the Brühaul. Hope it continues to work well and I wish you all the best :D

  Reply
Thom - Sierra Tenkara Roadrunner
2 years ago

Court: Here I was pretty much all set to purchase the 2018 Electra Townie Commute when I came across this review of the Felt Bruhaul. I have been looking for an ebike that has the mid-drive Bosch system, that I would use on roads leading to trails to get to fishing locations along the Sierra rivers and creeks, and would also be a bike that was easy mount and somewhat of the flat foot technology offered by the cruiser (I am 71). Now I will give more consideration to include this bike. Do you know of any changes/improvements that might have been made to the 2017/2018 version – like maybe the Bosch 500 battery or???

  Reply
Court
2 years ago

Hi Thom! Yes, this is a great electric cargo bike and I feel that it could fit your lifestyle of riding to fishing spots and bringing along some gear. Unfortunately, I cannot say for sure whether it has a 500 watt hour pack, but this would be a great question for your local shop. It’s possible that they might have the older version and be willing to sell it at a discount and then you could get a second Powerpack 400 or 500 to use as a spare. It has been a while since I reviewed it, but Felt is a leader in the bicycle space and their ebikes are solid (if not a bit expensive because of the brand reputation and quality frame designs).

  Reply
Thom - Sierra Tenkara Roadrunner
2 years ago

Hi again Court: Update on the Felt Bruhaul – **I bought it**! I was also fortunate to pay substantially less that $4999. I am extremely happy… it is my first ebike. It did not have the upgrade to Bosch Performance CX nor the 500 battery but I can segway into the battery later while using the 400 as an excellent introduction to Bosch performance. I had corresponded directly with Felt after writing you and found out that; *’Felt has been working on getting away from model years and the Bruhaul is a great example. The Bruhaul has not changed with no plans in the near future.’

  Reply
Court
2 years ago

Hmm, this is a great update! Thank you Thom, I apologize that my first reply here was a bit late, I have been traveling and filming more reviews. I am happy to hear that you are enjoying the Brühaul and hope that the Powerpack works great as a starter. You could always get a second pack for those extra long rides and just carry it along (maybe even a second Powerpack 400 if you get a deal on it). I’m excited for you! I really hope the bike works out great :)

  Reply

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