Stealthily clad in black, the Bulls E-Core rocks up with a declaration of war and some serious flexing of its muscles. But just how powerful is it on the trails?

Bulls E-Core Di2 FS 27,5+ | € 5.899 | 23,96 kg | Shimano

BULLS showed no mercy to neither machine nor man while developing their latest E-MTB, plunging it straight into the Cape Epic, the world’s toughest multi-day race, as a test of its grit. Straight after its foray to South Africa, this experience was fed back into the E-Core to produce the final model. The top-of-the-line steed comes with 150 mm of travel, 27.5+ tires, and an integrated Shimano STEPS E-8000 motor with a powerful 500 Wh battery. The spec features electronic Shimano XT Di2 shifting and a RockShox suspension setup with a Yari fork and Deluxe rear shock. Be prepared to shell out an extra € 400 for the optional MAGURA Vyron dropper post, but given the slow reaction speed of this particular cableless dropper post, we’d suggest another model anyway.

Once you throw a leg over the E-Core, you’ll realize what we mean by long – and it even has a 70 mm stem, so there’s a fairly stretched-out (but comfy) riding position. On climbs you’ll appreciate being right between the wheels, and we were smug that we avoided any impromptu wheelies during testing. The rear generated great traction, staying firmly on track up the steep climbs. Somewhat surprisingly given its name, the E-Core is far more conservative on descents. Weighing in at a bulky 23.96 kg, it is a luxurious and plush ride – providing you keep your speed within reason. Last minute cornering needs some muscle, and it gets a bit unruly as you pick up speed. With pretty thin sidewalls, the Schwalbe Rocket Ron tires (specced in the hard Performance version) team up with the bike’s long stem and hard-to-handle ergonomic grips to act as the weak links on the E-Core’s performance. Three avoidable errors, which is a shame as the suspension showed great potential.

Helmet Troy Lee Designs A1 | Jersey Sweet Protection Chumstick | Shorts Sweet Protection El Duderino-Shorts | Backpack USWE AIRBORNE 15l

The BULLS E-Core Di2 FS 27,5+ in Detail

Fork RockShox Yari RC 150 mm
Rear shock RockShox Deluxe RT 150 mm
Motor / Battery Shimano Steps E8000 MTB / 500 Wh
Brakes Magura MT5 / MT4
Drivetrain Shimano XT Di2
Seatpost Magura Vyron elect
Stem Bulls 70 mm
Bars Bulls 740 mm
Tires Schwalbe Rocket Ron 2.8″
Rims / Hubs BULLS AS-35P / STYX Alu

Practical
The slide-in battery design gives space for a bottle cage mount – nice!
A question of taste
The ergonomic grips are surprisingly well suited to the E-Core’s ultimate destination – too unstable for trail riders, they work well on gravel fire roads.
Immediate upgrade
The Schwalbe Rocket Ron Performance tires proved incapable off-road; they lack grip, tend to wallow in corners, and offer barely any puncture protection.
All black
We love the stealthy colourway of the BULLS. The battery is inserted from the underside into the downtube and can be removed for charging.

The geometry of the Bulls E-Core Di2 FS 27,5+.

Conclusion

More of a well-mannered gravel grinder than an adrenaline-fuelled trail bike, the BULLS E-Core prioritizes comfort over out-and-out performance. It’s a good climber, but its weight and certain ham-fisted components put the brakes on its descending.

Strengths

– Comfortable riding position
– Powerful climber
– Space for a bottle cage

Weaknesses

– Weighty handling
– Flaws in the spec

For more information head to bulls.de!

For an overview of the test fleet head to the main article: What is the Best E-MTB of 2017? – 14 Models in Test

All bikes in test: CUBE Stereo Hybrid 160 Action Team | FLYER Uproc7 8.70 | FOCUS JAM2 FACTORY | Giant Full-E+ 0 SX | Haibike XDURO AllMtn 8.0 | Lapierre Overvolt AM 900+ Carbon | MERIDA eONE-SIXTY 900E | NOX EDF 6.7 Hybrid | ROTWILD R.E+ FS PRO | SCOTT E-Genius Tuned 700 Plus | Specialized Turbo Levo FSR Expert 6Fattie | STEVENS E-Sledge+ ES | Thömus Lightrider E1

Words & Photos: Christoph Bayer

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Christoph Bayer