Review Bulls E-stream EVO FS 3 27.5 (By Owner)

Phil413

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Here she is
Bulls E-stream EVO FS 3.jpg


So having "jumped" on the ebike parade. I picked up my brand spanking new Bulls ebike. Initial observations
- Brose Motor is super quiet and it has loads of torque (90nm per company specs)
- Stealthy. Battery placement is designed right on the downtube. Doesnt attract unwanted attention. And no rattle. Heavy battery is snugged tight in the cavity despite all my attempts to shake it free.
- Battery life is phenomenal. Whopping 650/wh capacity. To me, it means a hecka big gas tank to take me further without having battery anxieties
- Just 3 levels of assist
- Would you believe, a bottle cage? Its like having a cupholder in your car. Now I can have my favorite sports drink and keep my camelbak with just pure clear agua.

First ride, it was a shortish 14 miler with 3,340 elevation
Bulls E-stream EVO FS 3.jpg


Ive been lurking and reading the various posts here and the passionate stands on by both camps (for and against eBikes). So a little about me...

Been riding mountain bikes since 1995. Grew up on John Tomac and Tinker Juarez. Raced a little bit over the years. About 10 yrs ago, I suffered a serious bike crash that derailed me. Fractured a rib. Kinda fell out of the scene entirely. Pursued my other passion - golf and got my handicap to about 9.5. My Intense 5.5 EVP was just hanging on the wall all these years.

About 4 weeks ago, an interesting article about the Angry Singlespeed reader got my attention. What was an eMTB? Could someone like me pushing 50 recapture all the fun that was MTB? The serenity, camaraderie with biking buddies, after ride beer?

I signed up for a local meetup group specifically for e-bikers. The store rented me a KTM Lycan Macina and I immediately saw the benefits. Yes it was fun. Im riding again. Getting a workout. Keeping my heart rate to a certain zone and not go anaerobic or that awful lactic acid burn. No hurling at the top of a climb. Feeling the fresh air surrounded by tall redwoods.

I highly doubt that a newbie would walk into Wallyworld, buy an off the rack cheapo ebike thats purported to be a mountain bike and actually wade in true mountain bike country. Typical buyers would most likely be middle aged, have some disposable income AND previously enjoyed this sport.

My inaugural ride did not include insane 20 mph uphill climbs. You'd die doing that (or be seriously injured at the least). Speed was a modest 4-6mph uphill.

Back to the bike...
After test riding a Haibike with a Bosch and a Yamaha engine, I chose the Bulls Bike with the Brose motor for the reasons above. I liked the spartan handlebar with just the controller that doubled as the speedometer housed in a tiny footprint on the left handlebar. My left thumb can easily actuate the level of assist needed.

Today's ride (note the 37 deg incline)
ebike ride elevation graph1.jpg


More to come...
 

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Walt

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Is there a particular reason you didn't try dusting off your Intense first? I'm honestly curious.

 

Phil413

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Hi Walt,
I actually did dust off my intense bike. Its like your first love. At the time I bought her, she was top of the line in technology and all the cool gear I slapped on her bought me many happy trails. But that was another time and about 15 lbs skinnier ago and a whole lot more fit.

To answer your question directly, I did ride her and put on some recent miles (while seriously contemplating whether or not to get an ebike). I asked myself, how long of a conditioning would I have to work at to get to the level of fitness when I left biking years ago. The skills are still there to navigate fast twisty single tracks (just not as nimble) but alas, the lungs and legs just arent there.

With this bike, Im able to go 2x the distance with the same effort I would put in my Intense Bike.

I have a teenager who's quite athletic and he's now the proud recipient of my bike. I can keep up with him on the long uphill climbs but he'll probably leave me in the dust on the descents.

Finally, using golf as an analogy, why would I use old persimmon woods and tiny unforgiving blades when I now have access to titanium drivers and new breakthroughs in irons that help me enjoy the game more.
 

Walt

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I was just curious because you mentioned the cracked rib. Seemed like a weird injury to cause problems 10 years later. We all get old!

 

Phil413

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I should have elaborated. After the cracked rib, I shyed away from riding altogether. There was that nagging fear that shook my confidence. I still have the cracked helmet that saved my noggin. Also, I was a new dad and figured I better have another past time that wont hurt me. To the dismay of my mountain biking buddies who kept on inviting me back, I just said no. Bye Bye to Downieville, Flume Trail, Soquel Demo, Skeggs, and all the cool places I'd bike. The injury has since healed. As well as any fears of the accident. I just take it a little bit easy now.
 

Harryman

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I rode a 5.5 for almost ten years with changes in kit as it evolved, they're nice bikes. I've broken a number of ribs as well, no fun at all.
 

uhoh7

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Congrats!!

I am extremely jealous of that battery :)

Price looks very competitive on the bike also, can I ask where you bought it?

I was not familiar with the Bulls, but it looks very sweet and as stealthy as the levo :)

How much did you have left after your first ride?

Yesterday I climbed 3600 vertical and had about 12% left at the top. Went to zero about 50 yards from the truck LOL. I now have at least 25 miles on no power.

What I and my friend find, is by the time we are getting low with our 400wh, we are about ready to get off the bike for the day. Though in this case I recharged and was on the bike path for errands within a few hours.

My bike is really pulling double duty now, using it for all sorts of trips to clients and the store, and of course on the trail. For cargo I can add my rack and bag in 3 minutes:

[/URL]Loaded by unoh7, on Flickr

Sometimes I take my Leica and 4 lenses with the bag on the trail also, but usually I pull that and the rack off for ST. Water I carry in a sippy bag in the front to keep my pack weight low.

Please keep us posted :)

PS I see there is a 27+ version coming soon. Jeez I might need to do a trade in for next season ;)
 

Phil413

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Hey Uhoh7,

WASUP!

I purchased the bike from Motostrano. The store mainly carried Haibike and Cube. He just started carrying the Bulls brand.

After first ride of 14 miles HARD max output (mostly Level 3), I still had 3 out of 5 bars left.

Today, there was a meetup group of e-bikers riding through lush redwood canopy (all road). 5 were Haibikes, 1 Izip and my Bulls Bike. The Izip ran out of battery at the top of the last climb. Fortunately, the remaining 6 miles were all downhill road. Total ridden 31 miles with 3589 ascent and 3565 descent. The route back was 9 miles up from 63ft level to 2,073. Had it on max assist (level 3) and I still finished with 2 bars left. It gave me a realistic estimate of range moving forward if I chose to conserve battery.

I hear you on the 400wh battery. The 650wh with the Bulls Bike just gives that nice feeling of not running out of gas far from home as long as you parse out your route distance. No need (nor do I want) to carry a spare battery.

Loving your photos btw. That Leica is a nice piece of glass. I think the Bulls Bike is a sleeper brand thats flying below the radar. Haibike looks like its got the lions share of the market.
 
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