Bulls Iconic Evo TR1 SPEED 2021 review

hkat

New Member
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Hi all,

I picked up a Bulls Iconic Speed a few days ago and wanted to post my thoughts on the bike. This is my 2nd ebike (my first being the GoCycle GX) which I also still love and see as being my daily commuter once we get back to normal office lives.

The Bulls Iconic is a very different bike from the Gocyle. It is a full suspension bike and so much more beefier. I was debating between the Riese and Muller Delite Rohloff HS and the Bulls bike and talked myself of the ledge and decided not to get the the R&M. The big reasons for not getting the R&M for me were wait time (3-5 months wait here in SF so I'd only be getting the bike for next year since it'll be winter here by then), bike theft (I live in SF where there is rampant bike theft that the local authorities do nothing about, while losing a $6K bike isn't easy if it were to happen, losing a $12K bike that I waited 5 months to get would kill me) and honestly I'm thinking of this bike as a 1-2 year fun purchase. Ebike technology is evolving at such a fast pace now that I know in a couple of years I'll want the latest and greatest that we haven't even seen yet. While the Europeans have a big head start due to the local market demands for a while, I fully anticipate the Americans getting into the ebike space now and expect a ton of new development especially in the throttled ebike world where the Europeans dont really want to compete.


Purchase:
I'll start with my purchasing experience which was at a local shop in the city of San Francisco and boy was it a let down. The person I was working with had no idea what the bike was, the features it had and even asking them to put the latest firmware on the bike was met with blank stares. I still haven't gotten the f/w updated since "the guy" that can do it only works on Sundays. The bike was also not fitted for me (saddle, stems, height), I had to do everything myself once I got home, the only thing the shop did for me was set the suspension sag but even that was done when I came back to the shop since I had left my Abus keys there. Speaking of Abus keys, the bike shop had no idea what I was talking about when I asked them if they could order more Abus locks for me with this key code. They said "contact Abus". Thankfully Propel offers purchase of more keys from their website with the key code so that is the route I ended up going and purchased another $500 worth of keys from Propel (could have been this local bike shop if they knew what they were doing).
So overall really disappointed in the purchase experience and tbh no bike shops that I've been have ever wowed with service (even the Gocycle purchase was ok from a different shop) which is another reason I don't really want to be dropped $12K large for a R&M at other shops and expecting Bentley level service.

Bike:

This review is really about the bike so let me start by saying this thing a beast to ride. Its big and beefy which is definately the opposite of nimble and light. I do however love the full suspension. This thing eats up the potholes and really anything city streets throw at it with ease. While I'm sure the Rohloff would get me up the steep SF hills even easier, this bike did fine and never really left me out of breath or peddling hard just to survive and not fall.
This bike is heavy though and its sometime hard to quickly turn and maneuver sometimes especially in tight corners. Court in one of his comments said the R&M Delite is even heavier than this bike which I can't even imagine. The Superdelite must be something else altogether then and at that point I think we're really stretching the boundaries of electric bike and light motorbike.
What I have learnt is the next bike I want is something more nimbler, more fun to play around with while still having some suspension. Many people in Europe use these bikes to replace cars and that really isn't my intention (or I would imagine the intention of a lot of people from North America). While car ownership might be on the decline here for me atleast ebikes are still for having fun or used for short commutes (on the Gocycle).

Components:

The biggest seller for me with the Bulls was the Gen 4 Performance Line Bosch motor. The only other bike that is full suspension and High Speed like this at this price point that I know of is the Moustache Friday and honestly I think that bike uses slightly better components (better derailleur), but its not sold here locally in SF just down in Sothern California by Propel. Which meant the only other competition for this bike would have been the R&M Delite HS and I've talked about why I passed on that bike. The shocks on the Bulls are great, the bike stem adjustment is awesome. I moved it to a more upright position and its fun to ride like that. The tires are NOT the Schwable Super Moto X as described on their website. The bike I got came with Supero All Ground L7 which seems similar to the Schwable one with puncture protection which was surprising to me but not a deal breaker. I do love the 27.5" size of the tires. So much bigger than my 20" Gocycle tires :)
The rear rack is a bit custom, I like the fact that its compact but it doesn't fit a trunk bag as is and needs an extra accessory purchase which I think looks a bit ridiculous and I think I'll keep hitting it if attached when mounting the bike, so I might just end up using a pannier. The front fender I think is rattling quite a bit and I think I might either just remove it completely since I don't really need it (no rain riding for me) . I also appreciate the fact that they put the Bosch Powertube 625 on this bike. R&M just started doing that this month on the delite as well so that was cool of them to do for this bike.
I love the dropper seat post and use it more than I should in the stop and go traffic here in the city!
I'm a bit disappointed there isn't a proper chainguard and according to the bike shop can't be retrofit since this is an all suspension bike. For a commuter bike, I would imagine people not wanting to get their pants greasy but its not that big a deal for me since I wont be using it for commuting, but it does seem like an odd choice on this HS bike.
I also don't love all the stickers all over the bike. I get that this is common for most bikes, but the classier ones these days (R&M, Stromer, Moustache) go easy on the stickers and let their paint work shine. I think I might just peel some of them off if I can I think with a heat gun. We'll see if I do that or not. I do like the Matt Black paint on the bike but its a shame much of it is covered in gaudy stickers.
By far however the biggest disappointment for me on the bike is the Purion display. I can't believe Bulls put a Purion on a $6K "SUV" bike. At a minimum they should have done Intuvia. I'm pretty sure I'll get the Nyon display retrofit later this year so I'm not totally mad but its still an extra cost that shouldn't have to be the case here.

Overall:

I do like the bike and I think I'll be using it to explore the city more now that we're still in shelter in place. For people who want a car replacement I can see this bike working well. You feel more confident on the road sharing space with cars and the High Speed aspect of the bike is so much fun. I've seen cars get startled when they see me keeping up with them on streets in SF, though I do think it can be a bit dangerous as well so I think I'll still stick to 20mph or less for most of my riding. The Bosch motor is great and even on this derailleur set can get me up SF's steep hills. I see myself having quite a bit of fun on this for the next 1-2 years if it doesn't get stolen before then :)

If you have any questions please feel free to ask away and I'll be happy to answer them :)



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Stefan Mikes

Well-Known Member
First of all, I want to congratulate you the wise choice. Bulls Bikes are excellent. You might complain on this or that. Just fancy you bought the R&M and found the chips on the paint, or worse? You also could be disappointed with some other features of R&M, and that would hurt for $12,000 :) No need to mention the other brand; you own the Bulls. Good, good choice!

(You might upgrade some components in the future when we are at it).

I tell you what: I'm jealous. We don't get the SPEED version in Europe...
 

hkat

New Member
First of all, I want to congratulate you the wise choice. Bulls Bikes are excellent. You might complain on this or that. Just fancy you bought the R&M and found the chips on the paint, or worse? You also could be disappointed with some other features of R&M, and that would hurt for $12,000 :) No need to mention the other brand; you own the Bulls. Good, good choice!

(You might upgrade some components in the future when we are at it).

I tell you what: I'm jealous. We don't get the SPEED version in Europe...

Exactly, I read a review of the Delite from someone on the R&M forums and they mentioned "the honeymoon period wearing off" and I totally believe that would have happened to me as well had I waited 5 months and gotten the delite. The Bulls is 80% of the way there (except for the drivetrain) and half the cost and was available the day I walked into the shop. Not true for the R&M.
 

Stefan Mikes

Well-Known Member
(except for the drivetrain)
People experience trouble even with the Rohloff. What is exactly the drive-train in your Iconic? You also say "no chainguard". Excellent e-bikes, for example from Specialized don't have the chainguard either but a plastic ring on the chainring. The intention is to make the Q-factor or the distance between the cranks possibly narrow.
 

hkat

New Member
People experience trouble even with the Rohloff. What is exactly the drive-train in your Iconic? You also say "no chainguard". Excellent e-bikes, for example from Specialized don't have the chainguard either but a plastic ring on the chainring. The intention is to make the Q-factor or the distance between the cranks possibly narrow.

Shimano CS-HG500-10, 11-42T casette
 

Stefan Mikes

Well-Known Member
Okay. Could be better. In the future, you might want to replace it with the SLX (M7000) group (I mean the whole drive-train but not the chainring) . Don't be in hurry though. Learn your bike first! Love it!
Again, lack of the chain guard is perfectly normal in commuter ebikes.
P.S. Many R&M HS ebikes have a derailleur.
 

hkat

New Member
Okay. Could be better. In the future, you might want to replace it with the SLX (M7000) group (I mean the whole drive-train but not the chainring) . Don't be in hurry though. Learn your bike first! Love it!
Again, lack of the chain guard is perfectly normal in commuter ebikes.

I was thinking more like SRAM Eagle 😂 but not sure if that'll work with these shifters or not
 

Law

Active Member
Nice write up, and I share the same sentiment all around. RM is like the Sclass Benz and Bulls is like the BMW M5.

These bikes went out two weeks ago on the West Coast and my bike was supposed to have been delivered this week here in Atlanta so awaiting its arrival.

I did buy some crank brothers stamp seven pedals and the rear rack attachment which is odd as you say. But need a grocery getter once a week.

What size frame did you get? I’m 6 ft 200 so I just got the 54 cm.
can you maintain 25 mph? That’s why I went with this bike. That and the suspension, glad it’s working well in SF.

what the hell is going on there with theft? Real Shame what’s going on in these cities.
 

hkat

New Member
Nice write up, and I share the same sentiment all around. RM is like the Sclass Benz and Bulls is like the BMW M5.

These bikes went out two weeks ago on the West Coast and my bike was supposed to have been delivered this week here in Atlanta so awaiting its arrival.

I did buy some crank brothers stamp seven pedals and the rear rack attachment which is odd as you say. But need a grocery getter once a week.

What size frame did you get? I’m 6 ft 200 so I just got the 54 cm.
can you maintain 25 mph? That’s why I went with this bike. That and the suspension, glad it’s working well in SF.

what the hell is going on there with theft? Real Shame what’s going on in these cities.


I like that S Class M5 comparison ;)

I'm 5'8" and I got the 41cm frame based on the website dimensions and now that I've had it for a while I do feel like I'm at the very top edge of this bike maybe 5-10% over. the 44cm frame might have fit better but the bike shops in SF have been crazy busy and they said to return the next day if I wanted to try the 44cm and I guess I was too excited to get one so got the 41cm instead. I did see a built 54cm and boy was it big. The store said it was purchased by someone who was 6'4" :)

As for theft, I'm not sure. I feel like in big cities that get beyond a certain size theft is pretty common. I've had it happen to me in SF, NYC, London and a friend of mine just got his bike stolen in Copenhagen. In my case the theft happens since I live in larger high rises with common bike storage rooms which are more prone to theft and easier for someone to sneak out a bike without you knowing. Of course if I lived in a detached house then it would be less of a worry. Not sure what setup you have there in Atlanta but I'm sure in the downtown core there is probably some bike theft in the bigger buildings, less so in suburbia and in detached houses. 🤷‍♂️
 
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tolovan

Member
hkat,

if you are looking into upgrading your drive train in future and like belt systems like Rohloff, Cycle Monkey in the bay area seems to specialize in that. A friend of mine referred me to them to get a custom build ebike with Rohloff and Bosch Performance Line motor. They did not have what I was looking for so I didn't go with them, but they mentioned that if I got another bike they can do the upgrade if it is not a hub drive. There might be other constraints too. Just a thought.

By the way, those are a nice set of pictures. Did you end up going down to Sausalito?
 
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hkat

New Member
hkat,

if you are looking into upgrading your drive train in future and like belt systems like Rohloff, Cycle Monkey in the bay area seems to specialize in that. A friend of mine referred me to them to get a custom build ebike with Rohloff and Bosch Performance Line motor. They did not have what I was looking for so I didn't go with them, but they mentioned that if I got another bike they can do the upgrade if it is not a hub drive. There might be other constraints too. Just a thought.

oooh thanks for the tip!!

I only rode over the bridge and back through presidio today 😀
 
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Ebiker01

Well-Known Member
Looks really nice, i only wished that they had gone with a better motor such as the E8000 or PW-X2 , Brose S Mag/TF instead of the Bosch.

Does the motor cut off @ only 25-26mph ?
 

Law

Active Member
Looks really nice, i only wished that they had gone with a better motor such as the E8000 or PW-X2 , Brose S Mag/TF instead of the Bosch.

Does the motor cut off @ only 25-26mph ?

why Do you prefer these motors over Bosch
 

BlackHand

Active Member
Nice looking ride. I agree, the purion is an odd choice but glad to see that Bulls didn't cheap out and slap one of those other motors on there :)

(Sheesh, Ebiker01 hopefully you were being tongue in cheek.)
 

Ebiker01

Well-Known Member
why Do you prefer these motors over Bosch

E8000 can do well above 28mph , Bosch motor needs maintenance and it can not be delimited.

Yamaha has 3years warranty. Brose TF also has a few advantages.
Do a through comparison of this motors.

But if speed is not an issue, meaning you have no need to go 28-29mph , it may be okay for your needs.