Right out of the box the Bulls 80mm stem was a turn off and had us wondering who this bike was designed for. The AM title threw us off as we’ve not run a bike with an 80mm stem since the early 2000’s. Nevertheless, we set the bike up and were prepared to have our minds changed. Not surprisingly, the Bulls Copperhead Evo AM is a very competent bike overall.
*We asked Bulls about their reasoning to spec this stem and here is there reply:
BULLS Bikes Stem Statement: “At BULLS, we strive to get every rider the ride they want, and we pride ourselves on the innovation of our bike technology and geometry. The new BULLS Stem is designed to conceal the cables and wires for a safer, more streamlined experience. When it comes to the specs and geometry of our bikes, we do our best to accommodate as many riders as possible. When it comes to our eBikes, many riders find some of the most fun actually comes on the uphills, an experience that is enhanced by the application of using longer stems on some of our eBikes. A longer stem shifts the rider’s body weight towards the front of the bike and puts him in a better pedaling position, especially on those steep climbs. With that said, BULLS will stock different lengths to fit various render preference. We expect a shorter stem will be available after final production.”
The 150mm of travel on the Evo AM are on the softer and more linear side but can handle some rowdy terrain. We would definitely suggest some volume reducers for more aggressive or heavier riders to give the bike a bit more progression into the travel. We felt the rear shock and fork get a bit overwhelmed on extended DH sections when we were trying to go fast. On the flip side, more casual and seated riders who are looking for a bike to sit down and spin, will love the plushness.
Our riders felt the geometry on the Bulls was a bit off as the bike’s top-tube is on the shorter side and the head tube angle is most certainly a bit steep for gravity fiends. Once again, for flatter terrain riders or those looking for quick handling, it could be a decent option.
The geometry was playful and snappy and helped us get up some very tight, technical climbs. When it was time to get into the steeper downhill trails however, the bike felt a bit short. It left us with a skittish feeling and that the bike wasn’t quite long or stable enough. This was only made worse by Bull’s decision to spec a short travel dropper post. Magura’s MT-5 brakes did a great job of keeping us under control however, even though we were not fans of the very large, two finger levers.
Overall the Bulls Copperhead Evo AM 3 rides way better than we expected it to after just looking at the spec. The highlights are most definitely the supple and sensitive suspension combined with the awesome climbing performance thanks to the Bosch Gen 4 Performance CX powerplant. Once we move away from those highlights however, the list of critiques begins to grow.