This one is big, burly, and very purple. The Santa Cruz Bullit is back. Except this time it has a motor and 170mm of travel.
Just earlier this year Santa Cruz dropped their first e bike, the Heckler. Now they’re back with more. The Bullit is quite possibly the biggest and baddest e bike we’ve seen at the shop. It’s a bit of a blend between an electrified Santa Cruz Nomad and Megatower. It has a 27.5” rear wheel and a big 29” front wheel, 170mm of travel and it features the new Shimano EP8 drive system. As Santa Cruz aptly put it “The Bullit turns those once-a-year epics into your regular rides, and lets you unlock new long rides you never thought possible.” We like to think of it as your free shuttle for all the roughest and rowdiest DH trails you love to ride, but are an ordeal to get to. The way I see it, there’s two types of e bikes. First is the lightweight, normal feeling bike like the Orbea Rise. Second, is the full-power heavy bike. If it’s going to be heavy it may as well be a brawler. The Bullit is exactly that. And, it’s really not all that heavy.
Santa Cruz Bullit Geometry
Santa Cruz does a great job with geometry. Their bikes tend to be very contemporary without going overboard. The Bullit is no exception. The reach is long and roomy at 475mm in a size large. The head tube angle is slack at 64 degrees. You couldn’t really ask for a better than the 77 degree seat tube angle. All the other numbers fall into place pretty much exactly where you would want them.
A big challenge with e bikes is the chain stay length. There’s a motor attached to them and there are physical limitations for how short the chain stays can get. The Bullit uses a 27.5” rear wheel that allows for some relatively short chain stays. At 449mm they are longer than any other bike in Santa Cruz’s lineup, but in the e bike world they are pretty standard. Long chain stays aren’t necessarily a bad thing either. They offer a lot of stability, especially at speed.
With 170mm of travel front and back, the Bullit is going to tackle just about everything you can throw at it. E bike suspension works incredibly well due to the sprung vs unsprung weight ratio. Now just imagine 170mm of plush, quiet and controlled suspension. That’s what the Bullit brings to the table.
Shimano ep8 drive system
The new Shimano EP8 drive system sees some great updates over the older model. It’s pretty much better in every regard. It’s lighter, smaller, more efficient, and more powerful. It also comes with a new, bigger 630 watt hour battery on the Bullit. That should provide enough range for big mountain missions, as well as your everyday laps. The motor kicks out 85nm of torque, 15nm more than the older model.
Santa Cruz Bullit Build Kits
The Bullit comes in four different flavors with the two top tier models also being offered with coil suspension setups. The Entry level CC R MX model costs $7,500 while the top tier CC XO1 MX RSV costs $11,499. All models come with either a Fox 38 or Rockshox Zeb. The big, burly e bike seems like a no brainer application for these larger stanchion forks. With their stiffer chassis and more robust builds, they’ll hold up well to higher speeds on heavier bikes. The CC s MX and the CC XT MX seem to hit the sweet spot for value if that’s what you’re after. The Bullit comes in two colors — Matte Copper and Gloss Lavender. Both of which look incredible if you ask me.
Who is The Santa Cruz Bullit for?
The Bullit is as capable as anything. It’s not designed for putzing around the neighborhood. It’s big, burly and built for smashing. The Fox 38/Rockshox Zeb should be a pretty good giveaway for who this bike is for. It wants steep, rough, rocky, and rooty trails. It’s not a full on tank, however. The shorter chainstays and smaller rear wheel are going to give it a certain degree of playfulness. I see this bike as a shuttle bike for those looking to ride rough trails. You no longer need a complicated shuttle, lift pass or helicopter drop to get to the big mountain descents you’re after. Cruise up. Smash down. Repeat.
We will have floor models and demos arriving any day. Stay tuned!