Help! Bulls E-Stream EVO 45 FS OR Bulls E-Stream EVO FS3 Plus???

Dual Rider

New Member
I'm finally now down to 2 bikes, the Bulls EVO 45 and the Bulls EVO FS3 Plus... I'm really (I mean REALLY and SERIOUSLY!) having a hard time making up my mind between these two bikes. I can't tell you how many hours I've spent trying to research them and just thinking about them... Unfortunately, I don't have the ability to ride both of them, so I'm hoping maybe you could share some thoughts. What I'm really curious about is aside from the obvious differences in cost, top speed (28 vs. 20 mph), tire width, lights, bell, kick stand, seat, brakes, etc., is there any difference in power between the two under 20 mph based on the 350 watt rating vs. the 250 watt rating on the Brose motor? Are there any other handling differences? Any other differences or thoughts would be most welcome. Finally, any thoughts on tire width other than the basics of the narrower tires would be better and more efficient for the road and the wider ones would be better for loose and steep stuff...??? Thank you in advance!
 

pxpaulx

Well-Known Member
What is your intended use? Will you ever need to use a city bike rack? (Think bus rack)...of trees the plus tires are a no go.

do you truly need the 28mph capability? That is pretty quick on a bike, unless you're dedicated to commuting there isn't much reason for it.

Will you appreciate the softer ride of the plus tires? The bigger tires aren't as much drag as people believe, like, single digit losses in efficiency. The bigger tires also carry their speed better once rolling.

I have the non plus fs3. I also have a haibike sduro Yamaha and can tell you as far as power there isn't much difference between them. Both motors have the same torque, so they probably aren't tuned any differently anyway.
 

heliswiss

New Member
I just went through the same dilemma, myself.

I opted for the FS3 Plus which should arrive this week. Already owning a Stromer ST2 and being very happy with it I felt like I didn't want to miss the speed. But ultimately it came down to wanting a mountain-bike first and foremost. Chances of bombing around the woods with motor assist at 28Mph are slim to none, where I ride. Also, it is a Class 1 Pedelec, which legally should give more trail-access than a Class 3 Speed Pedelec. May not be a huge issue where I live now, but I can see the writing on the wall.

So I guess you need to ask yourself what the primary purpose of the bike will be. If it is a bike mainly t be used on the road, gravel or whatever surface the Eve 45 may be the ticket. If you are looking for an MTB to access the off the beaten path stuff, then the FS3 may be a better choice. Motor-wise I am not so sure how the 350W vs 250W rating is established and if it translates into a real-world difference for instance while climbing, other than obviously the higher speed. Also, I am not sure where the discrepancy lies, but on the German Bulls website the Evo 45 is also listed with a 250W motor...
 

Dual Rider

New Member
Thank you both for your time and comments; I really appreciate it! To answer some of pxpaulx's questions: As silly as it may sound given both bikes are fully suspended mountain bikes, I will probably use the bike to commute to work and ride on bike paths (some paved and some gravel or hard pack) more than anything else, which is why I liked the idea of the faster one. If I was going to primarily use it for real mountain bike terrain on actual mountain bike trails, the slower one would be fine. With that said, I do like the idea of having the ability to take it off road as well and perhaps even taking it bikepacking. I currently ride a dual sport and adventure motorcycle as well that I love to take off road as much as possible trying to minimize any pavement or "slab" time. I love camping off of it in the middle of nowhere, so the idea of combining some of that with the bike has a certain appeal to me. I hadn't considered not being able to fit the tires in bike racks, so thank you for that thought. The bike rack at my office wouldn't be a problem though as it has very large spaces, plus no one else seems to ride... Do I truly need 28mph? Of course I don't "need" it, but 20 seems just a bit too slow on the road... I actually wish I could just compromise and have a class 1 that cut off at 25mph as that seems about right, but no such luck unless I mess with the engine or the sensors, etc., which I'm not sure I want to do due to potential warranty and legal issues... I like the idea of the bigger tires for both traction and ride, but again, I don't "need" them...

With respect to some of heliswiss's comments. I will admit that the primary thing keeping me from pulling the trigger on the 45 is the fear of dropping this much money on something that could in the future (i.e. writing on the wall...) be determined not to be a bicycle in the state of Oregon. It's actually already fuzzy here as all of the information from official sources seems to indicate that anything over 20mph is not a bicycle... When I talk to dealers, however, they keep telling me that as long as there is no throttle pushing you over 20mph you are OK with a 28 mph or class 3 bike here. Multiple dealers are selling these types of bikes in Portland, and the chances of anyone ever stopping me on the 45 are probably pretty darn slim, but these things still don't mean it is technically legal, which really bugs me as I just don't want any hassles with the police or legal system in any way... With respect to the German Bulls website saying the Evo 45 is a 250W motor, I saw that too, but my guess was that was because all bikes are limited to 250W or less in Europe...???

Just to muddy the waters a bit, I literally just got off the phone with a dealer in my area that said they can still get the 2016 non plus version of the FS3 and it is $600 less than the plus and $600 - $1,000 less than the 45 depending on which dealer I buy from... I'm guessing this is probably the bike pxpaulx has and from what I can tell, I don't think there were any updates or differences between 2016 and 2017 other than the tire size and colors...??? Is this correct? I'm not sure bigger tires are worth $600... It may be worth more to me to go faster though, but not sure it is $1,000 worth it! I don't think I've ever had a harder time making my mind up and making a decision on something ever in my life! I've bought trucks, motorcycles, and even houses quicker than this with less research time! The money conscious side of me says, this is a gift and it is the answer, buy the cheaper version and be happy! Unfortunately, the other side of me says if I'm spending this much money to begin with, get whichever one I want the most and don't compromise, which again brings me back to the 45, I think, but with some reservations still...

Again thank you both for your comments and I welcome any additional thoughts or comments from you or others!!!
 

heliswiss

New Member
My situation is a bit different than yours because of the Stromer that I already own and enjoy. It really does put a grin on my face every single day. I do enjoy the possibiliy of going 28mph when I want to or need to. For example, there is a short stretch of road close to where I live that I have to hit, every time I ride. It is in sorry state, to say the least. The Stromer allows me to "put the hammer down", pick a clean line and get that road behind me quickly. I use my mirror A LOT and on this particular stretch of road the 28mph in combination with the Mirror makes me feel safer than going slow on the crumbling shoulder (I can ride further left until I see traffic approaching and have plenty of time to move back to the very right and crappy shoulder...). I ride all kinds of bikes and out of all of them, the Stromer makes me feel safer on the road, not a small part because of being able to go with the flow of traffic much easier, rather than being buzzed constantly. Of course you have to adapt your riding a bit, because drivers are not really used to the high speed e-bikes can achieve and often pull out in front of you (at least where I live in SW Colorado). Just something to keep in mind. Then again, riding motorcycles you know all about this, already...

In short, I can definitely appreciate your 'need for speed' and if I didn't have my ST2, there is a very good chance I would have gone with the E45, as it seems like an awesome 'all in one' solution. Also, just because you are able go 28mph, doesn't mean you have to but it sure is nice that you can, when you need to.
The reason I went with the FS3 PLUS was because after all the pondering, I decided I wouldn't be on the road for a very long time until I would get to my local trail-system where the higher speed was not going to do me any good. In my case the FS3 will live on the trails 90% of the time.

As far as the money part: things seem to be changing quickly in the e-bike industry, so I don't really look at it as an investment in that sense (kind of like computers...). I look at it as an investment into my health & happiness. I have ridden bikes all of my life, inlcuding quite some time as a member of the lycra-crowd... To me, riding my ebike is something truly awesome and absolutely is some of the most fun I have had on a bicycle - in that sense it's priceless...
 

JRA

Well-Known Member
I am not going to be much help with your decision but as someone that has a good amount of e bike miles in the PDX area there are a few things I would like to point out. I too come from a motorcycle background, sold my 625 KTM last year in favor of an e bike actually.

First of all the e bike laws in the OR are about as generous as anywhere in the U.S. in that they allow up to 1000w which is over the federal 750w limit and the CA class laws are not in effect here. As a motor cyclist I am sure you can put two and two together on the effect of higher available power can play out, not just for speed but for how quick you can get up to speed. The top speed is still 20mph but I have found if one is reasonable as to how they operate in the city itself that is plenty fast and find it hard to average that although my preferred bike setup will do over 28. The paths you mention you will not want to go much over 15 on to keep the peace with the other users, although open stretches with nobody on them you can let it rip but I find those moments to be less than frequent at least in the city limits.

That said I would choose the faster bike as there will be times of open stretches to use it but at the expense of range which I have found to be the barometer of my rides. Trying to get as much range out of a battery at a brisk pace is part of the fun! Good luck with your decision and hope to see you out there.



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fxr3

Active Member
If it's not too late- I'll 2cents it. I bought the 45 a month ago. I have a st1 and st2 also. Once you've biked much at 25+mph, 20 seems kinda slow. I have heart failure and can keep the bulls above 20 always. 25+ on the bulls requires more pedal power than the st2 for sure, but having help shut down at 20mph would have disappointed me- for sure.
I rode both bulls in Long Beach a month ago and they felt the same power wise up to 20mph. Their rep assured me that 28 had more power due to 350 vs. 250. No reason to doubt him- all good.
The Bosch sacrifices power for speed 20 vs. 28.
Personally, I would have a tough time with that decision.
Actually, I made that decision 3 years ago with st1. 20mph model- more torque, 28mph model less torque. I went with the 20- more torque.
Given at least the same torque- 45kph is the way to go.
 

Dual Rider

New Member
Thank you very much for taking the time to respond, comment, and share your thoughts and experience everyone. I really do appreciate it. I'm leaning more and more towards the EVO 45 at this point given what I plan to use the bike for. This has really been the bike I've had my heart set on all along, but have been hesitant due to cost and potential legal hassle of the 28 vs. 20 mph...
 

PaulGee

Member
Dual Rider, I share your pain. I am going through a similar thought process. After months of research and trying to determine what makes the most sense for my particular situation, I narrowed my list down to three Bulls MTBs: Evo 3 29er, Evo 3 FS 27.5 plus, and the Evo 45 FS. I am very close to making my final decision and leaning towards purchasing the Evo FS 27.5 plus model. I ruled out the 29er hardtail model since after riding a couple regular Trek FS MTB bikes at a local shop I enjoyed the extra comfort that the FS provided … besides, my back is not getting any younger. My typical riding routes involve a mixture of hilly paved, gravel, hard packed dirt roads and some light off-road single track trails. I got the opportunity to test ride the Evo 45 a few days ago and it was a blast! It was a parking lot test and there was not enough straight away to get the bike up to the 28 mph limit. Unfortunately, the shop did not have the Evo 3 27.5 (20 mph) to test drive so I was unable to compare the two.

I am a recreational rider and I love to get out to enjoy nature and earn a workout in the process. I have a regular road bike and tend to stick to the back roads to avoid the constant noise and rush of the cars on the main drags. The extra speed of the Evo 45 would come in handy while I am traveling on the paved roads to reach the dirt and off-road paths, but I am coming to the conclusion that it is not necessary for my riding style or enjoyment. The Evo 3 27.5 compared to the Evo 45 should suit my expectations just fine. This is assuming the power delivery and feel of the two bikes are similar at least up to the 20 mph cut-off point. Does anyone (i.e., fxr3) reading this know if this is true?

As you and some others have reasoned, why not go with the Evo 45 if you can afford it. Well, there are some tradeoffs which may or may not be important depending on the individual and where they live. The main one for me is that in my area it would be illegal to operate even on the roads without a license. Some may ask … so what! … who is really going to notice or enforce the rules? I personally do not want to take that risk … to many unknowns with insurance and liability issues if I should have an accident. Other lesser tradeoffs are the higher price, extra weight, and lesser range of the Evo 45 model (wind resistance can drain the battery quickly traveling over 25 mph). But I must confess, I am not a big fan of the color scheme of the Evo 45 including the big white BULLS advertisement on side. So being the shallow person I am, perhaps my final decision will be influenced mostly by appearance. Selecting an e-bike that fits your needs and desires is not a trivial matter … these bikes are expensive and emotions do play a role. Good luck with your decision and let us know what you finally decide on. Obviously, you can’t go wrong with either model … it really is a personal choice.
 

Dual Rider

New Member
Thank you PaulGee; It is actually somewhat comforting to know that I'm not the only one overthinking this thing to death! It sounds a lot more cut and dry in your case if it is not legal to even ride the faster version on the road. If I knew that to be the case, I would opt for the slower one as well as I don't want a $4K+ bike just to sit in my garage that I can't ride... It sounds as if fxr3 rode both and concluded they felt the same under 20mph, despite the rep stating the 45 had more power due to the 350 watt nominal rating vs. 250 watt... For the record, I also got a reply from Court on the comments in the EVO 45 review where I basically asked him the same question. He said "the feeling of both motors is similar... but you end up going faster and perhaps accelerating faster on the 45."

For the record, I totally agree with you on the look. I really wish the 45 looked more like the others where the giant BULLS wasn't screaming at you in bright white! With that said, I still think the extra speed in my case is going to win out. My next dilemma is what size to get. I seem to be right in the middle of a Medium and a Large. If anyone has any thoughts on size they can share, I'd also appreciate that now! I'm 5'11" with a pant inseam of 31", but a bike inseam of 33" (where you take a book or a level and basically put it in your crotch as high up as if you were sitting on a bike and measure to the floor.) Please note, however I measure this without shoes so I'll have a bit more once shoes are on...

Thank you again everyone! I wasn't sure who, if anyone, would even take the time out of their day to respond to this link, but I've been pleasantly surprised by the outpouring of help and kindness! All I can do is continue to say thank you and it really does help!
 

PaulGee

Member
Dual Rider: I do tend to be over analytical at times … must be the scientist in me. That trait does have its disadvantages when that there are too many choices available and given my very limited experience with e-bikes. In fact, the Evo 45 was the first e-bike I have ever ridden. The closest e-bike dealer to me is a two hour drive and they specialize in commuter bikes and the Evo 45 was the only MTB they had on hand (which is no surprise since it is set up to be a commuter bike).

By the way, thanks for providing the input Court gave you about the power delivery of the two models. That helps with my decision. I also consulted him earlier in the process to get his insights on other matters. His advice was instrumental in assessing my needs and narrowing down my choices.

At any rate, I too have been giving the sizing issue a lot of thought. Without shoes on, I am 5' 10.5” tall with an inseam of 32.5” (a ½” smaller than your dimensions). So technically I am between the medium (44 cm) and large (49 cm) size. I test rode an Evo 45 medium and it seem to fit me right. I like a relaxed (neutral) riding position. I do not plan on doing any technical or downhill mountain bike riding so I can get by with the smaller size and adjust the seat and perhaps lengthen the stem if necessary to dial in the best fit. I think I would be somewhat stretched out on the 49 mm size and the standover height may become an issue at 845 mm (33.3”) for the Evo 3 27.5 (it is 10 mm higher than the Evo 45 due to plus size tires). I was told Bulls measures the standover height from the center axis of the front pedal (parallel to ground) vertical to where it intersects with the downtube. I had only an inch clearance on the upper portion of the sloping downtube but 2-3 inches just in front of the seat. After test riding some similar geometry Trek regular MTBs I also liked feel of the smaller frame size compared to the next size up. So one less issue to stress over, since I got the opportunity to test the appropriate size evo 3 for me. Anyway, hope this information helps.
 

fxr3

Active Member
X3 on the paint scheme. Look on the bright side- BULLS is one thing, but MOUSTACHE is something else. I magic marketed the 150 behind shock on rear linkage. That same magic marker is gonna get a workout debadging this bike soon. Like the detective said in cape fear-" I don't know weather to ride it or read it".
On the size thing, I'm 6', 32 inseam. Mine is a large, there is standover height, but not a lot. I have also moved bars up and out as far as cables, etc will allow(look at front rake line). I put a dropper seat on it to make it easier to mount with my bad hips and knees- also comes in handy for stop and go too.
IMG_0112.JPG
 

fxr3

Active Member
I don't know how to quote- buts it's equally hard to argue a battery that is invisible vs. one that looks to have been forgotten during the frame redesign and tacked on later. No offense intended- but that really bugs me on the Bosch stuff.
 

pxpaulx

Well-Known Member
I loved my sduro when I got it. Smooth instant power delivery, but delivers it like you are still riding a bike...not like you are being pushed to speed by a motor as much as other bikes.

Notice i said loved...the brose is on another level. It is whisper quiet, and of the eight or ten different ebikes I've either tested or owned, it is hands down the closest feeling to riding a regular bike. I'm just looking for a boost and want to feel like I'm still riding, the brose is easily the closest to that I've come so far!

I didn't get the plus model, I would've liked it but am totally satisfied with the non plus version.
 

bob armani

Well-Known Member
I just tested several bikes at my LBS and I found the Yamaha motors in the Giant and Sduros to be a nice boosted and zippy ride more than the Spec Turbo Levo I tested with the Brose' motor. I also found the Levo had a 24t front chainring which was not large enough to maintain higher speeds on downhill or more pedal resistance. IMHO, the Levo needs a larger ring or smaller cassettes for higher speeds. I will testing the Brose' Bulls during the upcoming expo. I'll post my opinion afterwards.
 

Dual Rider

New Member
Thank you again PaulGee. Not a question I ask a lot of guys, but is your 32.5" inseam your actual "bike inseam" as I described above or your pant inseam? I was really thinking the large 49cm size made the most sense based on most size charts I look at, but you have me rethinking it yet again due to a couple things you said. First, of course, is the standover height issue. From what I can tell there is almost exactly one inch difference between the two with the 44cm size at just under 32" and the 49cm size at just under 33". What really interested me though was your comment about being more stretched out on the larger size and I'm trying to figure out if that would be true or not given there is only 20mm (about 0.8") more length in the top tube between the seat and bars, but there is 50mm (almost 2") higher seat tube, which effectively means the bars would be about 2" higher... So while the reach would be further by 16mm (0.63") according to the Bulls geometry chart making you more stretched out as you said, the bars would be higher, which would sit you up a bit I would think...??? I'm sure one of you bike guys or I suppose a math guy could quickly answer this question. I'm sure I could have solved this equation much quicker back in college!

Thank you as well fxr3 and I have the same question (I'm on a roll here...) as I asked PaulGee about your inseam. Is the 32" a pant inseam or what I'm calling a "bike inseam" as I described earlier? Is yours with or without shoes on? Do you ever wish you would have got the medium 44cm size? Finally, it looks like you have a lot of interesting accessories on your bike. I'd love to know more about what you have and what you like or don't like.
 

fxr3

Active Member
32 is pants with shoes. Stand over height is enough, not generous. Ironically, cockpit almost felt small, that's why bars went up and out. Both my stromers are step-thrus- the smallest frame they make. They feel more "open" to me vs. this large bulls frame. Maybe it's just me, but the geometry or being fitted is kinda meaningless to me- everybody's body is a little different and there is a certain way I want the bike to feel when I ride it- and I've been able to make them right for me with stems, risers and handlebars. As you said concerning "stretched out"- only amounted to 1/2". Go figure. The one that matters is your feet hit the ground before your balls hit the bike.
 

PaulGee

Member
That would be 32.5" "bike inseam" (with sport shoes on I am close to 33.5", or higher if I really want to push firmly on my boys). So I am somewhat long legged compared to my height (i.e., relatively shorter torso). Thus, my comment about being "stretched out" ... depending on effective top tube length. The medium seemed spot on with regards to how I like my riding position and arms on the bars. Without being able to try out a large I do not know for sure if the Evo 45 or 27.5 plus would feel different or better to me. I agree with fxr3, it is difficult to go by geometry alone and standover height is not that important especially in commuter mode as long as you have some clearance. The fit can be dialed in with stem risers, saddle adjustments, etc. I have read that if you like a more relax seating position it is better to go smaller than larger if you are in between sizes.

fxr3 - Thanks for sharing that picture of your bike. It looks fantastic ... a fully-equipped luxury commuter ..... where did you get that rack? I bet your neighbor with the pickup truck is jealous.
 

fxr3

Active Member
The rack is a racktime. I really like their snap-it design.
The pickup is mine. It may be jealous of me riding around on these comfy ebikes, Its ride quality is worse than a 28mph rigid ebike!
 

PaulGee

Member
fxr3: With regards to the standover height for your large Evo 45. You mention that with shoes you are approximately 32" inseam but on the Bulls web site and according to Courts measurement on his review ... the standover height for the 49 cm frame is 33". Do you know where that is measured ... (i.e., mid-way down the top tube)? I am surprised you do not touch the upper most front portion of the top tube while standing. How much clearance do you estimate you have at the highest part of the top tube when standing?