2018 BULLS Electric Bike Updates at Interbike (PowerTube, MonkeyLink, Brose Drive S, Shimano E8000)

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2018 BULLS Electric Bike Updates at Interbike (PowerTube, MonkeyLink, Brose Drive S, Shimano E8000)

For 2018, BULLS is expanding their line of electric bikes to include several new models and drive systems. They started in the US in 2015 with just 10 models and then expanded to 25 in 2016 and now plan to offer around 40 electric bikes for 2018. They have grown their frame style offering for more city riding but still offer a full line of mountain models. I was told that in 2017 the Brose E-Stream EVO 27.5+ model was one of the most popular. The comparable Bosch powered Bulls 650+ EFS 3 electric bike came in second place at the Bosch Boogaloo e-bike race (the fourth electric bike in the USA to date at Mammoth Mountain, California).

Bulls bikes began as a dealer cooperative with input from a wide range of dealers and riders in Europe. This is a company that makes traditional bicycles but has really dug in on the e-bike scene.

Bulls is bringing in the Twenty4 E model which is designed for younger riders and uses a Bosch Active Line Plus motor which delivers a bit less torque (50 Nm vs. 75 Nm on the Bosch CX motor). This model is priced at $2,899 for year 2018 in the United States.

Bulls is going to be one of the first e-bike manufacturers to bring the Bosch PowerTube 500 into the USA. I love how they are using alloy stanchion protectors and a metal battery cover for the SIX50 EVO AM 3 model whereas the Haibike I saw had a plastic battery cover. This model is priced at $5,499 but there will aslo be an AM 2, and AM 4 and the number corresponds to an update in specs, nicer hardware and components at a higher price.

Many of the 2018 BULLS electric bikes are offering MonkeyLink accessory compatibility for things like fenders and lights. This is a system that allows you to tap into the primary battery and use that for accessories, so you don’t need to worry about additional disposable cells or multiple on/off switches. It’s pretty cool! Most of the MonkeyLink accessories are magnetic, including a downtube bottle cage adapter accessory. Adam told me that MonkeyLink should be available in Q1 of 2018. Some of the bikes now use an updated Brose Marquardt display panel which offers more readouts and Bluetooth connectivity as well as USB charging (it looks like Micro-USB).

I love that the new Brose battery packs have a thick rubber protector along the bottom (since they seat into the base of the downtube) and the keyhole is also now on the top of the tube vs. the side so they aren’t in the way as much. They still use the magnetic energy bus standard for charging the Brose models and that is also on the top vs. the side where it might otherwise get in the way of the crank arms. The new Brose Drive S uses a more heat resistant material inside the motor which increases power by 10% to 15% allowing it to maintain a higher power but still hits the 90 Nm peak torque.

Brose is also using the Shimano E8000 motor for some of their electric bikes as well as some of the electronic Di2 shifting features. I test rode this motor and noticed that it supports a higher RPM and offers a strong 70 Nm torque, it was designed specifically for electric mountain biking. Bulls created “twin core powerpack” design so that you could double battery capacity or stick with the standard 375 watt hour battery to save weight and cost. You could use the empty bay area for storing gear like a mini pump or flat fixes or tubes. We saw some of their long-travel downhill bikes and talked about eliminating the need for a ski lift because of motor assistance

You can see some of my previous BULLS ebike coverage at electricbikereview.com/brand/bulls/ and learn more about the company at their official website: www.bullsebikes.com/

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