Why Bulls E-Bikes? Why ANY Electric Bike? What's the big difference?
I've been a big fan of Bulls E-Bikes since I first tested one in 2015. My affinity continues to improve - even today. What changed me from a casually interested dealer to a full blown 'dealer with conviction' was the Bulls "Lacuba" edition. This is a collection of models designed for Urban rides. There are 3 frame types, and 2 different motor types. At bicycle regional and national trade shows, I got up-close and personal with these bikes, learning about the brand, and about their superior design - especially in the category which I believe has been neglected far too long (you will see why shortly).
In 2018 our Verona shop started to stock Bulls e-bikes. I was surprised at how different their bikes looked and performed - especially when compared to other brands in this same category. In a funny way, the Bulls Lacuba collection taught me more about the future of e-bikes and e-bike design engineering than any other brand.
What I'd like to share with you goes to the very heart of what I believe is the big prize for e-bike movement. This is important because the Lacuba has managed to engineer a bike that is heads and shoulder above other less-thought-out and perhaps, less researched bike designs in this category called City-Trekking.
The premise of our store's vision began with an assumption that there's a whole bunch of us 40-somethings out there who haven't been able to rekindle our love of cycling simply because we've grown older, have peculiar physical ailments, or to be perfectly frank - because the bikes today are just too uncomfortable for anything other than burning calories.
What has been missing for decades and now has been introduced under the banner of 'electric-assist' are a superior new breed of bicycle frames and bicycle frame metals that are tasking the best engineering minds to create a hybrid that is incredibly comfortable and intuitive. It is a broad new category of riding called 'City Trekking' which promotes bikes with a more upright riding posture, larger and wider tires (although not always), and frames designed to minimize the the effects of pot-holes, loose gravel, and pavement imperfections. These bikes are designed for all weather conditions along multiple surfaces including pavement, gravel or a mixture of both - and they are designed with your comfort and ease-of-use as their primary goal.
The Bulls Lacuba has been pioneering force in this higher-end frame geometry and rider comfort category - although with all of the other brands trying to compete for your attention - mostly at price-point - it's difficult to see the true engineering feats through the tsunami of reviews, videos, and walk-arounds that tell you only about the items that went in to making the e-bike. What is the difference between a master chef and a amateur home chef using the same ingredients? How those ingredients are prepared and ultimately assembled This is why I write these articles. It's brand models like the Bulls Lacuba which need to be given far more critical attention because they are defining much more than just a bike category within the e-bike movement.
The Bulls Lacuba. offers a ride-quality that has to be experienced to be believed. All you have to do is take one on a test-ride. I can't think of one customer I've ever taken on a comparative test ride (where we each ride a different bike and swap out mid-trip). The ride quality is so noticeably superior that all I hear on the ride home is "wow, I had no idea a bike could feel that good".
You are probably shaking your head and thinking this is just some dealer trying to sell more bikes. Well, yes - you are correct. Yes, I'm a dealer, and yes, I am in the business of selling e-bikes that we believe define the very best in engineering, manufacturing, and technical support. But that's where it ends. There are lots of other models and brands that I 'could' recommend to you, but I've chosen Bulls Lacubas. That should say something.
This past week, I had the opportunity of taking a customer out on a test-ride between a competing brand and a Bulls Sturmvogel. I grabbed one of the Bulls Lacubas from the floor to accompany this customer and her husband on a test ride. Immediately, when I hopped on the bike and started pedaling, a smile broke out across my face. I verbally muttered "Wow - here I am again with a pleasant surprise" into the blue-tooth helmet that I had connected to the customer's helmets. They immediately responded "Wow what? Are you talking about your bike???" Of course, they immediately wanted to test ride my bike. Within the first couple of pedal strokes, I'm immediately reminded of how little I feel of the street. I paid attention to the ride more than I usually do and decided I needed to write this article. The Lacubas are just... THAT GOOD.
Most all of the bikes selling in the City Trekking category try and mute road vibration by offering bigger and wider tires, front suspension and a suspension seatpost. But these add-ons do very little to dampen what is essentially guess-work on a frame design. . The add-ons might not be necessary if the bike had gone through the research and testing that is essential to define what makes a great ride. But this is my point. R&D in the field of City Bikes, Hybrids, and Cruisers has never been a strong focus of most big name cycling brands. That's because their sales and their demographics have been reduced to categories that are able to support consistent R&D dollars. These categories are Road Bikes and Mountain Bikes. The sales of these popular categories dwarf that of any other category.
Now that e-bikes have started their U.S. campaign, it's becoming clear the bikes that are finding the greatest attention - and consequently the largest number of sales - is the category of City riding. This surge of new riders which fits squarely into this broader category of forgotten riders are not only looking for performance, they are in fact looking for comfort, ease of use, and an experience that will motivate them to want to ride longer. This demographic has given up cycling - either because life got in the way, or there just wasn't the motivation to stick with it. IThe issue of pavement cracks, pebbles, stones, and imperfections in the street or trail, become more noticeable as we get older. - and when I say "older" I mean as old as late 30s and early 40s. Riding a bike that magnifies these road imperfections into our hands, wrists, arms, pelvis, back, and neck is the precise reason why so many people do NOT find riding a bicycle very enjoyable - and so few continue riding after 40.
It's this type of discomfort that when added to other physical ailments which prevent many would-be riders from joining the cycling community. It's the combination of an uncomfortable saddle, in-correct handlebar angle, incorrect seat-height, and incorrect stem angle, which continue to magnify a mass-produced, frame using low-quality Chro-molly that add up to a ride quality that is noisy and beset with a lot of bumps, jiggles, and occassional whack which we all feel going over streets, up onto driveways,and down sidewalks. At the end of the ride, we might delude ourselves into believing that the feel of the wind on our faces, and the ability to pedal up a hill in a low gear did us some good. We feel we got our hearts pumping. But when we park that bike back in our garage, there is little to no chance we are going to be pulling it back out again anytime soon. But truthfully, it could be so so much better if we could only know what 'better' feels like.
In the end, we may choose a less optimal bike because we talk ourselves into the idea that the purpose of a bicycle is self-improvement - exercise being the #1 reason for choosing to ride a bike.Why else would anyone want to subject themselves to such an unpleasant ride experience? And that's why so many garages are filled with hybrid and cruiser bicycles that no one really wants to ride.
Once you feel a bike that has been designed to be as perfect as humanly possible to achieve, the ride quality is astounding. It's not a subtle difference. It's as noticeable as raw week-old seafood.
The Bulls Lucabas are approaching that delta between optimal bicycle geometry with the leading e-assist technology. While riding any of these models - especially with the Brose drive system, there is a near total absence of "bike noise" and an immense decrease in "road vibration". The rest of the ride experience like braking, gear-shifting, grips, saddle, motor sound (or absence thereof), and performance handling are bonus tracks on a multi-platinum grammy-award winning soundtrack. The Bulls Lacuba just feels, sounds, and rides like a spectacular machine. It's so good that every customer who has purchased a Lacuba from us, has returned to either buy another, or to show us pictures of all the places they have visited. It's a parade of happy riders.
When the bike fits, and when it rides superbly, nothing can compete.
For this reason, I'd like to offer you a special Owner's club discount to the purchase of any Bulls Lacuba now through July 31st. You simply need to choose which model you'd like to purchase, send that email to Nick Nigro at Nick@ElectricSpokesCo.com, and you will receive a once in lifetime discount. It's a big discount - for riders like myself who are looking for a ride experience that will make them want to ride longer and further. We are serious about getting new riders on good e-bikes. It helps us, it helps the environment, and it helps our mission to bring new riders - regardless of age or physical condition - to the joy of cycling. Come down to the shop anytime if you'd like to take test ride. If you'd like to test my favorite - ask the sales rep for the "Owner's Favorite". You will not be disappointed. Pay attention to how the bike balances, and how it turns. You will know exactly what I'm talking about.
Ride Far - Ride Free,
Derek Mithaug, Co-Founder