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.
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.
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).
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.
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