Bulls E-Stream EVO AM 3 27.5+ Electric Mountain Bike Review

A heavyweight eMTB not only literally, but in the range department too.

Bulls E-Stream EVO AM Review
The E-Stream Evo AM 3 27.5+ is a midrange model in Bulls’ eMTB line.Jeff Allen

Bulls Bikes USA is bringing over a huge variety of electric mountain bikes from the German brand for the 2020 model year, outfitted with drive systems from no fewer than four major suppliers: Bosch, Shimano, Brose, and Fazua. Those bikes cover a wide range of riding genres, from the lightweight, moderate-torque Wild Flow 120-millimeter-travel marathon/XC 29er, to the 180-millimeter-travel, dual-battery-equipped E-Core EVO EN Di2 27.5 trail smasher ( review on the latter coming soon to Cycle Volta). The E-Stream EVO AM 3 27.5+ falls between those two extremes.

Bulls E-Stream EVO AM Review
The E-Stream is a Class 1 ebike, with pedal assist up to 20 mph.Julia LaPalme

What Is a Bulls Bikes E-Stream EVO AM 3 27.5+?

Equipped with Brose’s lightweight and compact Drive S Mag 250W mid-drive motor, the E-Stream EVO AM 3 27.5+ is a Class 1 trail/all-mountain eMTB with a maximum assisted speed of 20 mph. Its four levels of pedal assist, plus a Walk mode, are controlled by Brose’s simple, low-profile Bloks 14D display and controller mounted right by the grip on the left side of the handlebars.

Bulls E-Stream EVO AM
RS Deluxe Select + DebonAir rear shock delivers 150 millimeters of air-sprung rear travel.Julia LaPalme

The E-Stream EVO AM 3 is powered by Bulls’ SuperCore 750Wh, 37V/20Ah integrated downtube battery in its burly aluminum frame, and has 150 millimeters of front and rear travel via a RockShox FS 35 Gold RL fork and RS Deluxe Select + DebonAir rear shock. Spec includes beefy Schwalbe 27.5 x 2.8-inch tires, Shimano SLX brakes with 203-millimeter rotors, FSA aluminum cranks with a 34T chainring, 12-speed Shimano SLX shifter and XT derailleur with a wide-range 10-51T cassette, and Bulls-branded handlebar, saddle, and alloy rims.

Like the other eMTBs in Bulls’ 2020 line, the E-Stream EVO AM 3 comes equipped with the MonkeyLink system to magnetically and mechanically lock a headlight under the stem, a taillight or fender light on the back of the seatpost clamp, or a water bottle on the frame’s downtube. Bikes with Bosch, Brose, or Shimano drive systems have the capability to control the lights using the ebike’s display because the light docks are wired to the drive unit.

On the Cycle Volta scale, the bike weighed a touch over 56 pounds without pedals.

Bulls E-Stream EVO AM
The E-Stream EVO AM’s 150 millimeters of front and rear travel soak up rocky and rough terrain.Jeff Allen

How Does the Bulls Bikes E-Stream EVO AM 3 27.5+ Ride?

The hefty 56-pound weight was definitely noticeable when it came time to hop or jump the E-Stream, but line choice was mostly an afterthought thanks not only to that heft, but also to the stiff 35-millimeter-stanchion fork, the plush four-bar suspension out back, and those 2.8-inch-wide Schwalbes spread out across the 35-millimeter internal width of Bulls’ asymmetrical tubeless-ready rims for a solid contact patch.

Bulls E-Stream EVO AM
Brose’s Drive S Mag mid-drive is lighter and more compact than the German brand’s previous generation of motor.Julia LaPalme

The Brose mid-drive motor delivered strong and consistent torque with no surging feel to its pedal assist, and its companion Bloks 14D controller was easy to operate and conveyed essential information clearly despite having a small display screen. With a max torque of 90Nm at the ready, I found myself seeking out the steepest singletrack and fire-road climbs in my test rides.

The E-Stream gets considerable range with its high-capacity 750Wh SuperCore battery. On my longest outing and using the two highest assist modes, I logged 29 miles and 4,500 feet of total elevation gain on a mix of singletrack and fire roads, and still had a bit of battery life left to spare.

Bulls E-Stream EVO AM
For a budget-priced fork, the RockShox FS 35 Gold RL fork performed extremely well.Julia LaPalme

Since this is a midrange-priced bike in the Bulls eMTB line, smart component choices were necessary to hold down cost. The Shimano SLX brakes are one great choice, offering power and performance on par with higher-level XT brakes from Shimano. Same with the air-sprung RockShox FS 35 Gold RL fork, which ate up bumps and trail chatter admirably at a fraction of the cost of a RockShox Pike or Fox 34 fork.

Bulls E-Stream EVO AM
We were not fans of the dropper post and saddle spec’d on the E-Stream.Julie LaPalme

But then there’s the Limotec DP-01 dropper seatpost—nothing but trouble here. The plastic lever was flexy and had significant play, and the return action of the post was inconsistent at best. Sometimes the post returned smoothly, but just as often it would hitch and stall partway through its stroke, delaying return to full pedaling height. I cycled the post over and over while off the bike and often heard a grinding stiction as the post struggled to return to full height.

Hopefully the problems with the post are just a byproduct of our test bike being a well-worn demo rig in need of some TLC. I say “hopefully” because the same dropper is spec’d across nearly every eMTB in Bulls’ 2020 line headed for the US market.

The Bulls-branded saddle was another sore spot. Of course, saddle preference is highly personal, but the Cycle Volta testing crew has ridden this same saddle on three different Bulls eMTBs now, and we’re unanimous in calling out its absence of comfort.

Bulls E-Stream EVO AM
The bike is a heavyweight—on the scale and in its considerable range.Jeff Allen

Looking at the E-Stream EVO AM overall, for the price I would expect a lighter bike that takes less muscle to maneuver, but that extra ballast is most likely attributable to the 750Wh battery that gives it great range, as well as the capacious downtube that houses the battery. It’s up to the buyer to decide whether they want that range at the expense of more nimble trail performance.

Bulls E-Stream EVO AM
Bulls sells through about 120 US bike dealers.Jeff Allen

What Does the Bulls Bikes E-Stream EVO AM 3 27.5+ Cost?

The E-Stream EVO AM 3 27.5+ sells for $5,799. Bulls Bikes USA also offers the slightly higher-spec’d E-Stream EVO AM 4 (MSRP $6,299), which shares the same Brose Drive S Mag motor and Bulls SuperCore battery but has Fox suspension front and rear and pricier Shimano XT brakes.

Bulls Bikes USA recently launched a “click-to-brick” sales model whereby customers can order bikes on the company’s website for pickup at one of the 120 US brick-and-mortar bike shops that carry Bulls. To visit your nearest Bulls dealer and see bikes in person, use the dealer locator on the Bulls Bikes USA website.