Bulls Bikes Twenty8 E45 Diamond Commuter Ebike Review

Speed and comfort for the daily ride.

Bulls was already in the bike game more than 10 years when it plugged into the ebike side of the industry in 2010. A decade later, the company has an impressive range of ebike offerings, including the upscale 2020 Twenty8 E45 Diamond.

Male Adult riding Bulls Twenty8
Bulls Bikes’ Twenty8 E45 Diamond speed pedelec is a dedicated commuter.Jeff Allen
Side Shot of 2 Bulls Twenty8
We tested the diamond-frame version of the Twenty8 E45 (pictured), but it’s also available in a step-through model at the same price.Jeff Allen

What is a Bulls Twenty8 E45 Diamond?

The Twenty8 E45 is a dedicated commuter, with every aspect geared toward a faster, easier, and more comfortable commute. For this reason, the Bosch Performance Line Speed system was chosen for its added 8 mph above the more common 20 mph top speed to get you to work on time and back home before dinner gets cold.

3 Bosch Performance Line Speed
The 350-watt Bosch Performance Line Speed drive system provides pedal assist up to 28 mph.Jeff Allen

Rated at 350 watts, the Performance Line Speed provides higher assist levels with 75Nm of torque and weighs 1 pound less than the other two Performance Line offerings. We did notice that the motor plates did not sit fully flush with the frame, which doesn’t affect performance but is visually noticeable.

Energy comes in the form of the new Bosch PowerTube 500Wh battery, which splits the 400Wh and 625Wh offerings from Bosch. An Abus lock is employed for battery security, and you can get an Abus bicycle lock keyed the same as your battery lock, simplifying security.

Despite the lighter motor, the addition of a rack, fenders, suspension, and components like brakes and an adjustable stem rated for speed pedelecs nets 59.6 pounds on the scale for our 60-centimeter size test bike.

Male Adult riding 4 Bulls Twenty8 front on
The Twenty8 E45 pedals relatively well on flat terrain with its electric assist off, but riding uphill is a different story.Jeff Allen

How Does the Twenty8 E45 Ride?

With assist off, flat and downhill pedaling was relatively easy, but uphill was a different story—you definitely want to avoid unassisted climbs. With assist on, Turbo quickly became our favorite of the four levels, due to the ease of achieving and maintaining top speed. We liked it so much, we accidentally did a range test in Turbo that resulted in 25.5 miles on a full charge, while Eco mode more than doubled this to 54 miles. Interestingly, after the Eco range test we charged the battery 100 percent, and the range estimator gave us 25 miles in Turbo and 57 for Eco, which is very close to our real-world results.

While the torque rating is respectable, we found that digging out from a dead stop was not the easiest in practice. Power delivery favors a higher-cadence approach and reveals the Bosch philosophy of more subtle assist for a more natural cycling feel.

Bulls Twenty8 Display
The Bosch system’s display is easy to read and use.Jeff Allen

The display is easy to see and use, especially with the reset button. Some systems require a secret-decoder-ring series of buttons pressed to zero out the display; Bosch lets you simply scroll to the setting and press reset.

A key feature of Bosch system is the after-sales servicing, with a diagnostic program that’s very good at problem-solving. This is important if you’ve chosen to make the Twenty8 your sole mode of transportation.

Bulls calls the Twenty8 E45 its most comfortable bike yet, and the ride backed that claim. It starts with the tall headtube and short toptube that puts you in an upright position, making it easier to keep your head up and eyes on traffic than sportier positions. The adjustable stem makes positioning easy, but the more upright posture can lead to derriere discomfort over longer hauls.

To combat this, a somewhat wide, well-cushioned saddle is mated to an SR Suntour NCX suspension seatpost with 50 millimeters of surprisingly smooth travel. Up front, 80 millimeters of bump reduction comes from SR Suntour’s Mobie 45 suspension fork. Designed for high-speed pedelecs (45 in the ebike world almost always stands for 45 kph, or 28 mph), the Mobie’s damped coil spring provides a smooth, linear feel and means you never have to check the fork’s air pressure.

Bulls Twenty8 saddle and post
We appreciated the comfort of the well-cushioned saddle and smooth action of the SR Suntour NCX suspension seatpost.Jeff Allen

Lock-on dual-density ergonomic grips round out the comfort suite. The ergo shape can make grip rotation a problem, so the lock-on feature is important.

Shifting is handled by Shimano’s Deore group. Like a good picture frame, it neither adds to nor takes away from the painting. It just does its job. One notable aspect is that Bosch has done a good job of reducing the power just long enough to allow for smooth shifts without going MIA.

Bulls Twenty8 brakes
Stopping duties are handled by Tektro Dorado hydraulic disc brakes with 203-millimeter rotors.Jeff Allen

I love fenders on commuters. They’re useful even in the dry, keeping road grime and random objects off you, your bike, and whatever is on the rack. Speaking of racks, the beefy one on the Twenty8 E45 is cleanly mounted and sturdy, and includes a quick-release for bags from XLC made for Carrymore. Bulls is working on making these available in the US.

Going from 28 mph to zero is easily achieved via Tektro Dorado hydraulic disc brakes squeezing 203-millimeter rotors front and rear. The bike’s front and rear lights always remain on, and the rear gets brighter when the brakes are engaged—great for commuting.

Bulls Twenty8 lifestyle Shot
The Twenty8 E45 has an MSRP of $4,599.Jeff Allen

How Much Does the Twenty8 E45 Cost?

As with most speed pedelecs, the Twenty8 E45’s MSRP of $4,599 is higher than its slower brethren. Riders comfortable with the sportier fit of road and mountain bikes looking to add an ebike to the stable for commuting may find the Twenty8 too upright, but those seeking quick, comfortable transport will find an ideal ready-to-ride ebike in the Twenty8 E45.