German e-bike company Bulls has released what it's calling "the most cutting-edge eMTB (electric mountain bike) on the market" – and while it's name is a mouthful, the E-Core Evo EN Di 2 27.5+ offers high-end dual-suspension off-roading with slick looks and a big twin-core battery pack. It's just one of 14 new Bulls e-bikes announced at Interbike, alongside a new lightweight e-roadbike concept.
The new Bulls MTB flagship runs the latest and greatest Shimano Steps E-8000 mid-drive motor. Like the Bosch Performance Line CX motors, it's a 250-watt nominal unit, making it road legal in Europe, Japan and Australia. Also like the CX, its peak power is considerably higher than 250 watts, and it offers a fairly solid 70 Nm (52 lb-ft) of torque – the CX makes 75 Nm (55 lb-ft) and feels quite powerful, the smaller Shimano Steps e-6000 makes just 40 Nm (30 lb-ft) and feels a little gutless to us.
The battery is modular – a twin-core pack that lets you run either 375 watt-hours (for a lighter ride) or 750 Wh if you run both packs. It looks to be really nicely integrated into the downtube with little to give it away as an electric from the side view.
The impressive list of equipment includes a Fox Float X2 air shock with 180 mm of travel, Rock Shoc Lyric RC Boost Debonair forks, also with 180mm travel, and an 11-speed Shimano Deore XT Di2 electronic shift gear setup.
Most of the cables are internally routed, making for a very tidy looking bike, and it's fully set up for extreme off-roading with a set of Schwalbe Magic Mary 27.5 x 2.60 tires and a KS Lev-Integra dropper post that gets out of the way at the press of a thumb lever when you're working tough terrain.
Total weight is 50.5 lb (23 kg) and the price is listed at US$8,499 with both batteries included.
The E-Core EVO EN Di 2 27.5+ is the vanguard of a 14-model stampede of new bikes Bulls is releasing at this year's Interbike show, covering everything from mountain bikes to commuters and tourers.
Also of interest is the Alpine Hawk Evo road bike concept (pictured above), which features the incredibly light and compact Fazua Evation 250W drive system. Putting out up to an impressive 60 Nm (44 lb-ft) of torque, but using a small 250-Wh battery pack, the Fazua system is so small that you'd barely notice it, and it weighs in at just 10 lb (4.6 kg). The Bosch Performance Line motors, for comparison, are 8.8 lb (4 kg) by themselves without batteries.
That makes the Fazua a nifty little drive system that won't detract from the unpowered riding experience nearly as much as some of the larger systems. So it'll be there for a nice boost without turning your bike into such a tank to pedal without assistance. Expect to see it on plenty of bikes in 2019.
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