With the all-new Sonic platform featuring a distinctive design and a host of exciting features, BULLS are entering an entirely new chapter. We found out whether the elegant BULLS SONIC EVO AM 6 Carbon is capable of more on the trail than just looking good.
Before we get into the review, we would like to tell you about our latest print edition. The E-MOUNTAINBIKE Print Edition 2020 is our third annual edition and ultimate test bible, with which we aim to help you choose the perfect eMTB. More than 250 pages of extensive buyers advice, tons of eMTB know-how as well as reviews of the 35 most exciting eMTBs and the 7 best motors. You’ll also find many helpful tips and a guide to the most exciting eMTB trends – all of this is wrapped in a high quality print format. Click here for more information or order it directly in our shop!
Click here for an overview of the best eMTB 2020 group test.
Black is the new black. The BULLS SONIC EVO AM 6 Carbon with its striking shape and beautifully integrated Bosch Performance CX motor has a svelte black look looks good just standing there. With a carbon frame and internal 625 Wh battery, the Sonic tops the scales at 23.06 kg. The battery is very easy to remove by pulling it up and to the left. Customers could alternatively choose either a 400 Wh or 500 Wh battery and save a few hundred Euros. This makes sense if you’re very light, know that you’re only going to use the lower support levels or don’t plan on riding far. The disadvantage here is that the battery mount is designed for the large battery and if you fit one of the smaller batteries it shifts the centre of gravity upwards unnecessarily. Nevertheless, the € 7,399 SONIC offers numerous smart features such as clean cable routing, the MonkeyLink bracket for lights that are powered by the ebike battery and a special Kiox mount. Regarding componentry, the BULLS is specced with reliable and powerful MAGURA MT7 brakes with a 220 mm rotor at the front and an integrated EightPins dropper post offering up to 228 mm travel.
Components, weight and technical details of the BULLS SONIC EVO AM 6 Carbon
A stand out feature is the 150 mm travel RockShox suspension consisting of a Super Deluxe shock and a special Lyrik Ultimate fork which uses a tapered 1.8″ steerer tube that’s supposed to increase the stiffness around the head tube. in practice, we couldn’t feel any difference on the trail compared to a normal fork. The proportions of the fork do suit the bulky head and down tube better though. Unfortunately, the Schwalbe tire combination of a 29 x 2.35″ Magic Mary up front and 27.5 x 2.6″ Hans Dampf at the rear only featured the puncture-prone SnakeSkin casing and slightly more robust Apex casing respectively. BULLS’ in-house aluminium cockpit pairs well with the bulky look, but it creaked audibly on our test bike whether we were pedalling or descending.
BULLS SONIC EVO AM 6
Motor Bosch Performance Line CX 75Nm
Battery Bosch PowerTube 625Wh
Display Bosch Kiox
Fork RockShox Lyrik Ultimate 150 mm
Rear Shock RockShox Super Deluxe RT Select+ 150 mm
Seatpost EightPins NGS2 168 – 228 mm
Brakes MAGURA MT7 220/200 mm
Drivetrain SRAM Eagle AXS 1x12
Stem BULLS Aluminium 50 mm
Handlebar BULLS Aluminium 800 mm
Wheelset DT Swiss HX1501 SPLINE 29"/27.5"
Size S M L XL
Weight 23.06 kg
Perm. total weight 125 kg
Max. payload (rider/equipment) 101 kg
Trailer approval no
Kickstand mount yes
Geometry and size of the BULLS
The geometry of the SONIC EVO AM is straight down the middle. It’s neither radically long and slack nor is it outdated, compact and nervous.
|Seat tube||410 mm||440 mm||470 mm||505 mm|
|Top tube||580 mm||593 mm||618 mm||641 mm|
|Head tube||120 mm||120 mm||130 mm||140 mm|
|Chainstay||450 mm||450 mm||450 mm||450 mm|
|BB Drop||17.5 mm||17.5 mm||17.5 mm||17.5 mm|
|Wheelbase||1198 mm||1213 mm||1238 mm||1262 mm|
|Reach||425 mm||440 mm||461 mm||482 mm|
|Stack||619 mm||619 mm||630 mm||639 mm|
The BULLS SONIC EVO AM 6 Carbon on the trail
When you’re climbing, the pedalling position on the BULLS is comfortable and perfectly suited to long rides. However, rather than feeling integrated between the wheels, you feel like you’re perched on top of the bike. The BULLS SONIC EVO AM 6 lacks the precision to master more technical climbs. Although the front wheel stays on the ground without you having to shift your weight, it’s not planted enough to prevent understeer. You also have to fight for traction on the rear wheel because the fragile Apex casing of the Hans Dampf tire is at risk of puncturing if you run the pressures too low. The hard ADDIX Speedgrip rubber compound doesn’t help either.
We didn’t feel any difference on the trail with the new 1.8″ tapered steerer tube, either positively or negatively. Visually, the proportions of the fork match the bulky head tube much better.
Once you start heading downhill, the SONIC instils you with confidence even when things get steep. The tall front end, the grippy front tire and the powerful brakes invite you to charge on. On flowing trails with berms, rollers and small jumps the suspension provides a lot of feedback and offers enough mid-stroke support for you to pump the bike and get it airborne. On natural singletrack and at higher speeds, the balance between the front and rear wheels isn’t quite as good. While the front wheel will hold your line through open corners as if it’s on rails, the rear end tends to slide out and reminds you not to overdo it.
The BULLS SONIC EVO AM 6 Carbon is a true SUV: both in looks and everyday practicality.
Tuning tip: rear tire with the more robust SuperGravity carcass and softer rubber compound
The BULLS SONIC EVO AM 6 is a real treat to look at. The design, integration of the motor and the quality of the workmanship of the frame are top-notch. But we weren’t entirely convinced by the spec and handling at high speed. The BULLS SONIC EVO AM 6 feels equally at home on flow trails and leisurely rides as it does in day to day use and thanks to the clever MonkeyLink system, you can easily attach the necessary accessories.
- excellent brakes
- MonkeyLink mounts (lights and water bottle)
- creaking cockpit
- rear tire limits the climbing and descending capabilities
- unbalanced handling
You can find out more about the BULLS SONIC EVO AM 6 Carbon at bulls.de.
The test field
You can find everything you need to know about our test for the best eMTB of 2020 right here!
All bikes in test: BULLS SONIC EVO AM 6 | Cannondale Moterra 1 | Canyon Spectral:ON 9.0 | COMMENCAL META POWER 29 TEAM 2020 | CONWAY XYRON 927 Carbon | CUBE Stereo Hybrid 160 HPC | FANTIC XF1 180 Race | FOCUS JAM² 9.9 DRIFTER | Giant Reign E+ 0 Pro | Haibike XDURO Nduro 10.0 | Liteville 301 CE MK1 | MERIDA eONE-SIXTY 10K | Moustache Samedi 27 Trail | Norco Range VLT C1 | NOX Hybrid Enduro 7.1 | Orbea WILD FS M-LTD | Pivot Shuttle 29 | Rocky Mountain Altitude Powerplay Carbon 90 Rally Edition | ROTWILD R.X750 ULTRA | SIMPLON Rapcon Pmax | Specialized Turbo Kenevo Expert | Specialized S-Works Turbo Levo | Trek Rail 9.9 | Whyte E-180 RS V1 | YT DECOY CF Pro Race
Relaxed and comfortable riding on surfaced roads, both uphill and downhill.↩
Easy climbs up trails with few obstacles, wide turns and a moderate incline.↩
Active and playful descents on easy trails with few obstacles, wide turns and a moderate slope.↩
Single-track climbs on challenging terrain. Loose ground, steps, roots, tight corners and occasionally extreme inclines.↩
Singletrack descents on challenging terrain. Loose ground, steps, roots, tight corners and small jumps as well as some very steep descents.↩
High speed descents on sometimes very rough trails with large jumps and obstacles that you can’t roll over.↩
The rating used for riding characteristics refers to the bikes in the group test and the current state of development of eMTBs. The best bikes managed to blend supposedly opposite riding characteristics, feeling both lively and stable at the same time. The handling describes the balance of the bike on downhill sections. The information regarding motor-power refers to the ride-feeling in the overall context of the bike and not exclusively to the motor – that’s why the same motor can present different values.↩
It's finally here: The E-MOUNTAINBIKE Print Edition 2020 is our third annual edition and ultimate test bible, with which we aim to help you choose the perfect eMTB. More than 250 pages of extensive buyers advice, tons of eMTB know-how as well as reviews of the 35 most exciting eMTBs and the 7 best motors. You’ll also find many helpful tips and a guide to the most exciting eMTB trends – all of this is wrapped in a high quality print format. Click here for more information or order it directly in our shop!
Words: Felix Stix, Robin Schmitt, Jonas Müssig Photos: Finlay Anderson, Robin Schmitt, Felix Stix, Markus Frühmann