Santa Cruz is hitting its stride with the introduction of this 170mm travel Bullit trail e-bike. Less than a week after they introduced an updated Heckler with one of the first Shimano EP8 motor equipped bikes in the US, they’re announcing and selling (with availability) this new Bullit, designed from the ground up for the task at hand.
While the Heckler was a conservative, ‘get on base’ approach, this new Bullit takes a mighty cut and swings for the fences. It uses the most sought after motor today, the Shimano EP8, and mates it to a 170mm front and 170mm rear travel bike. The mullet wheel size combo is used with a 27.5 inch rear and 29er front suspended by a coil rear shock and Fox 38 up front.
It is gnarly with a 475mm reach, 64-degree head angle, and 77-degree seat angle. Double Down casing Maxxis Assegai tire up front with a DH level wheel on the back, 220 mm brake rotor up front are some of the highlights of the top build. And when you add it all up, ~48 lbs is what the scale dictates.
It is crazy what they’ve achieved in such a short time. The expansion team is suddenly vying for the championship in the most competitive class, the Trail Bike Category.
Santa Cruz Bullit MX is aiming to be one of the most aggressive trail E-MTBs available taking cues from the big-hitting Nomad and Megatower and using a mixed wheel size to offset the weight of the motor system. The latest generation Shimano EP8 motor will allow this bike to climb up many peaks and open up riding options day to expand one’s ‘adventure bubble’.
With a new high-capacity 630wh battery and a light, low-drag motor, the range is increased significantly compared to an E8000 motor with a 504wh battery. The motor is improved over its predecessor in all the key aspects and it’s much more configurable too, giving the rider the ability to tailor it to his/her needs.
Details include a 170mm travel fork with 38mm stanchions, DoubleDown tires, coil shock, and a very modern and aggressive geometry. It complements the Heckler well by taking the ‘agility trait’ and injecting more abilities and powers with the Bullit.
– Battery: 630Wh Shimano (removable) Motor: Shimano EP8
– Travel: 170mm lower-link VPP (170mm fork) Coil compatible
– Wheel Size: mixed 27.5 and 29 only
– Materials: CC Carbon only
– 170mm travel 38mm fork
– Coil rear shock compatible
– Double Down tires
– 630Wh battery for more range
EP8 Motor Features
– Lighter: 310g than E8000 (2.57kg)
– More efficient: 36% less drag
– More power: 85 Nm torque
– Smaller volume, more clearance
– More tuning via E-TUBE app
– Quieter at all levels of output
– More responsive and realistic riding feel
We’ve had a full week to play with the Santa Cruz Bullit and have a few impressions to share. We rode it every day and twice in one day on a ‘hero dirt’ day after the first rain of the season.
– Descending prowess is absolutely bomber with coil rear and Fox 38 front
– Changing directions is a delight indeed
– pops up and catches air with enthusiasm
– It’s quiet climbing, much more than the E8000
– Motor is absolutely responsive to torque inputs
– Riding feel is very realistic and not overboosted
– Motor torque and low-end grunt is excellent
– Motor tuneability is first-rate
– Grips and motor control switch surfaces are excellent
– Tires are perfect. Grippy up front and agile out back
– Brakes are very capable with a 220mm rotor up front
– Range is excellent with the big battery and an efficient motor
– Battery swaps are best in class in terms of speed
– Great to have an E7000 option for cost and reliability.
– The rattle during descending and coasting is omnipresent on rough terrain
– The motor had great 85nm torque but peak torque but not at high rpm.
– The saddle is small and painful considering how much seated climbing will be performed
– The motor switch is cute and hidden but far from easy reach
– The charging cover is always difficult to put back on.
– The most affordable model has an E7000 motor which is a couple levels down.
Santa Cruz has pulled a coup with this bike. They’ve gone from ‘just participating’ to becoming a pack leader with this Bullit. It is a bike with a devastatingly big sweet spot, really pursuing an E-MTB with few compromises. The situation with the Shimano EP8 rattle is unfortunate but every EP8 bike will have this issue until Shimano addresses it with a running change.
But the fact that this bike can be purchased today from the showroom floor is a cause for celebration.
Something worth noting is the lowest end model is spec’d with a cheaper Shimano E7000 motor instead of the EP8. It is a significant downgrade but gives the buyer a chance to avoid the EP8 ‘clatter’ if quiet descending performance is a key requirement.
More information: Santa Cruz Bicycles