how beautiful the bike was, then their
eyes would get wide when we told them
it was also electric. While we were out
testing the Sturmvogel in its natural
habitat—the windy bike path that parallels the Pacific Ocean—we came upon
a wide variety of cyclists who all really
appreciated the look of this bike.
We like to ride bikes for a bit with
the electrics off to see how they feel
as a bicycle. The Sturmvogel glides
down the street confidently, with the
Schwalbe Fat Frank 26x2.35-inch tires
gripping pavement and sandy beach
trails equally well. Turning the electrics
back on, the 250-watt Brose mid-drive
quietly provides ample power and 90
N/m of torque. The massive 650-watt
hour battery is built into the downtube,
and it’s not easily removable. However,
it’s also what gives Bulls the claim that
the bike gets up to 115 miles of range.
Some of those claims have to be taken
with a grain of salt, but this one is quite
plausible. With the range we were getting on rides, it’s hard to imagine anyone
who would ever need a second battery
for longer rides.
There’s power aplenty, and thanks to
the Shimano hydraulic disc brakes, there
is more than enough braking power. It’s
well-distributed between a 180mm disc
in the front and a 160mm in the rear.
With its brown leather and old-school
rivets, the Velo saddle was beautiful to
look at, but it is about as comfortable as
if it were carved from solid hardwood.
There’s no padding and no give. With
no suspension on the bike, bumps on
the road become increasingly painful as
your ride continues.
All the cables to the internal-shifting
Shimano Alfine eight-speed hub and
rear brake are routed cleanly through
the frame. Power is delivered seamlessly
via the ample 250-watt Brose mid-drive
to the internal-shifting Shimano Alfine
eight-speed hub. We never ran out of
gears in either direction and was a perfect choice for this bike.
The control for the motor output is
by your left thumb and easy to operate.
The bike we had was a preproduction
version, so the display that is mounted
over the top of the stem wasn’t working correctly. They were working on a
software fix that will surely be finished
by the time you are reading this. In the
meantime, we simply referenced the
LED lights on top of the battery switch
on the downtube to monitor where we
were on the battery.