Over the past few months BULLS have truly rolled up their sleeves to give their entire E-MTB line-up an overhaul for the new season. But after agonizing over how best to integrate the Bosch motor, has it made a positive impact on how the BULLS Six50 E FS 3 rides?

Bulls Six50 E FS3 | 4.499 € | 23,80 kg | Bosch
Bulls Six50 E FS3 | 4,499 € | 23.80 kg | Bosch

With a 600-strong retail distribution network in Germany, BULLS, which is part of the aptly named Zweirad-Experten-Gruppe [ZEG, the two-wheeled expert group], is no small fish. So what are the advantages of size? Not only are BULLS bikes widely available, but the Six50 E FS 3 notably rocked up as the cheapest bike on test by a big margin. Despite the low price, BULLS haven’t cut any corners with the spec and have kitted the bike out with tried-and-tested components like the Bosch Performance CX motor, Shimano XT drivetrain, and RockShox suspension (consisting of a Yari RC fork and the Deluxe RT rear shock). However, the MAGURA MT4 rear brakes lacked power on long descents, and while the Vyron dropper seatpost was incredibly simple to plug and play, it was slow to react. Considering the bike’s intended uses, the stem seemed too long and the grips are likely to be a love/hate piece of kit.

bulls-six50-e-fs-3-review-web-2
bulls-six50-e-fs-3-review-web-3 emtb-group-test-2017-18

With a size large frame, it’s hard to describe the Six50 E FS as anything but long. There’s a pretty racy, stretched-out position, and it’s a machine up the climbs thanks to its powerful motor and long 497 mm chainstays. The front wheel keeps in contact with the ground regardless of the gradient. But, as they say, what benefits on the climbs, won’t always help on descents – the BULLS is about as agile as a container ship coming in to harbour. At high speeds there’s smoothness and stability, but it needs a firm hand around tight turns and unforeseen sharp corners. The rear performs dutifully, soaking up a succession of big and small-sized hits with ease.

Helmet Specialized Ambush |  Jersey Troy Lee Skyline | Shorts Alpinestars Pathfinder Short | Backpack USWE AIRBORNE 15 Crazy Yellow
Helmet Specialized Ambush | Jersey Troy Lee Skyline | Shorts Alpinestars Pathfinder Short | Backpack USWE AIRBORNE 15 Crazy Yellow

The BULLS Six50 E FS 3 in detail

Forks RockShox Yari RC 150 mm
Motor / battery Bosch Performance CX 500 Wh
Brakes Magura MT5 / MT4
Drivetrain Shimano XT
Seatpost Magura Vyron elect
Stem Bulls 60 mm
Bars Bulls 740 mm
Tires Schwalbe Rocket Ron 2,8″
Wheels Bulls Eccentric

Plush work
The RockShox Deluxe rear shock with the trunnion mount performs well on the BULLS and irons out bumps.
Plush work
The RockShox Deluxe rear shock with the trunnion mount performs well on the BULLS and irons out bumps.
Impractical The possibility to install the MAGURA Vyron dropper post with simple plug and play is excellent, but the delay with the ANT+ transfer is annoying in real life.
Impractical
The possibility to install the MAGURA Vyron dropper post with simple plug and play is excellent, but the delay with the ANT+ transfer is annoying in real life.
Short-sighted
Short-sighted
The brake mount might be visually dialled into the frame, but unfortunately its position on the chainstay means there’s no space for a four-pot brake calliper. Given their reliance on powerful brakes, this is a major no-go for E-MTBs.
Upright BULLS have turned the Bosch motor upwards to create a visually homogenous block with the motor and battery.
Upright
BULLS have turned the Bosch motor upwards to create a visually homogenous block with the motor and battery.

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Conclusion

Compared to its predecessor, 2017’s BULLS Six50 E FS marks a huge step forward for BULLS. The frame’s unique approach to motor integration renders it an excellent steed for riders that value stability and smoothness, but if agility is your key card then look elsewhere. When it comes to the spec, there is still room for improvement, but even the low price tag of € 4,499 isn’t much consolation here.

Strengths:

– Great capacity for climbing
– Low price

Weaknesses:

– Lumbering 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 are the most exciting E-MTBs of 2017? 10 bikes in comparison

All bikes in test: Cannondale Moterra 1 | CUBE Stereo Hybrid 140 HPA 27.5 SLT | MERIDA eONE-TWENTY 900 E | Moustache Samedi 27 Race 9 | ROTWILD R.X+ FS EVO | SCOTT E-Genius 700 Tuned | Specialized Turbo Levo FSR ST Comp 29 | Stevens E-Whaka+ ES | Trek Powerfly 9 FS Plus

Words & Photos: Christoph Bayer