Bikes of the Epic: Stefan Sahm's Bulls E-Stream EVO FS 3 29 E-Bike

Three-time Absa Cape Epic winner Stefan Sahm has turned media crew member for 2016. But unlike the rest of us, he (sort of) gets to ride his mountain bike with the leading pack. Stefan is part of the collaboration between Bulls Bikes and 3sixtv bringing us footage from the trails of the Absa Cape Epic in 360 degrees. To help him zoom between the pros during the race, while carrying six GoPros above his head, Stefan is using a custom Bulls E-Stream EVO FS 3 29 e-bike.

Bulls Ebike-1-2.jpg

 

The custom ProjectZebra e-bike is the pedal assist variety which requires some effort from Stefan to keep moving. A 250W Brose drive system provides the electronic assistance and is powered by a battery pack found in the oversized downtube. In the experienced hands of Stefan, the drive system software has been tweaked to put out more power than you'd find in the factory model, making it punchier on all terrain.

 

E-bike components aside, the ProjectZebra E-Stream features some serious mountain biking kit. The mechanical gearing is a mix of Shimano XTR and XT components with a 38 tooth Saint chainring fitted alone up front. The wheels feature Bulls' own Hattori carbon 29er rims with a 31.6mm inner width wrapped in Schwalbe's new Fat Albert 2.35 tyres. The back wheel is laced to a Hope Pro 4 148mm hub to fit the frame's rear boost spacing. The custom E-Stream weighs in at just over 20 kilograms.

 

Component List:

  • FrameBulls E-Stream Evo FS 3 29 aluminium (Size 51)
  • Drive TrainBrose 250W
  • Power Pack37V/17,5Ah/650Wh / 3 modes: Eco, Tour, Sport / Charging time: approx. 3,4 hrs to 80%, approx. 5 hrs to 100%
  • ForkRockShox RS-1 120mm
  • ShockRockShox Monarch RT 120mm
  • RimsBulls Hattori (carbon 28 Hole 31.6 mm inner width)
  • Front HubDT Swiss
  • Rear HubHope Pro 4 Boost 148mm
  • Front TyreSchwalbe Fat Albert 2.35 SnakeSkin TrailStar front specific
  • Rear TyreSchwalbe Fat Albert 2.35 SnakeSkin TrailStar rear specific
  • HandlebarsFSA SL-K
  • StemFSA carbon
  • HeadsetFSA
  • BrakesShimano XTR (180mm rotors)
  • ShiftersShimano XTR
  • DerailleurShimano XTR
  • CassetteShimano XT 11-40T
  • CranksetFSA
  • ChainringShimano Saint 38T
  • ChainShimano CN-HG900
  • Chain guidee thirteen XCX-ST
  • PedalsShimano XTR
  • SeatpostBulls Post 3.0
  • SaddleFizik Antares 00
  • Bike ComputerSigma ROX 10.0 (not shown)
  • BarendsSahmurai Sword

 

This ProjectZebra build will be available to the public (Europe) in limited numbers later in the year.

 

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Absa Cape Epic 2016 Stefan Sahm GoPro.jpg
Stefan Sahm with the 360 degree GoPro set up during stage 1 of the 2016 Absa Cape Epic Mountain Bike stage race. Photo by Dominic Barnardt/Cape Epic/SPORTZPICS

 

Find out more about the project from Stefan Sahm here.

 

Stefan Sahm's 360 degree video from Stage 3 today:





24 Comments

Shebeen, Mar 16 2016 07:30

Awesome project. Can't be many carbon rims on alu frames out there!

Hairy, Mar 16 2016 07:39

Can't believe I an saying this. .... but That is an interesting bike.

Beefy, Mar 16 2016 07:51

Now that looks like my kind of bike to ride the epic.

r0adrunner, Mar 16 2016 08:08

Love the innovation in this project!

Shebeen, Mar 16 2016 09:04

Mountain e bikes are going to be a huge thing and you will love them. It will allow wives to go riding with their husbands, which will keep the peace at home. It will also help the husbands with boeps keep up with their skinny race snake wives.

So much of win (I don't suggest putting an RS 1 on them, however)

GLuvsMtb, Mar 16 2016 09:43

I remember sweeping the Simonsberg contour and having to sweep single track while back markers were taking the shortest route back to the finish, thinking how nice a little assistance would be to get me back onto the back markers. I can see many applications for this. It obviously handles pretty well. Sahm easily kept up with every one in the play park section at Meerendal (admittedly not technical in nature and he had about 15 go's at the same section), it has commuting potential and utilitarian function for medics, rescue response and media coverage (as per the current use). Its not a Frankenstein, but could appear a bit more refined.

Bibi, Mar 16 2016 10:23

Now isn't that interesting ... an AM (All Mountain) alloy e-Bike with wide AM style hoops and a longish travel XC fork.

Trail bikes will have a jol on the EPIC.

Think we need a local Trail/AM 7-8 day adventure race. 

Now that be cool ;)

mountainfun, Mar 17 2016 07:14

Wonder how light they can make it?  20kgs seems heavy, but then it is an alu frame.

Handling must be quite tricky, but brilliant if used for the right purpose.

Albatross, Mar 17 2016 07:27

Interested to know what one of these puppies costs compared to the e-bikes the coppers will be using on Table Mountain

https://community.bi...n/?hl=cape town

Nick, Mar 17 2016 07:33

Wonder how light they can make it?  20kgs seems heavy, but then it is an alu frame.

Handling must be quite tricky, but brilliant if used for the right purpose.

 

I've only tested it on tar where it feels surprisingly like a normal bike, until you pedal of course. It doesn't take much to bunny hop it either.

 

Much of the added weight is low down around the bottom bracket and in the downtube, exactly where you'd want it if you had to carry more weight.

banna, Mar 17 2016 08:09

I can confirm this. Did my 1st Epic on a Trek EX with 130mm travel fork and 120mm at the back. Not much slower on the climbs than the XC whippets and just so much more fun when the trail went down/sideways. :-) 

Trail bikes will have a jol on the EPIC.

 

Lefty V, Mar 17 2016 08:16

I am conflicted about this - lots of great things about it, excellent for some applications and the engineering is very appealing - I am especially impressed with how well packaged they have become over the past 5 years. I just can't shake the irrational feeling that I don't like this creeping into cycling.

Ryanpmb, Mar 17 2016 08:18

Next - they need to work on the footage quality derived from this setup. What a waste of time if that video is anything to go by.

GLuvsMtb, Mar 17 2016 06:12

I am conflicted about this - lots of great things about it, excellent for some applications and the engineering is very appealing - I am especially impressed with how well packaged they have become over the past 5 years. I just can't shake the irrational feeling that I don't like this creeping into cycling.

Hydraulic disc brakes come from motor bikes, we have electric shifters now, lights on our bikes thats stronger than some car lights. In a country where we don't have the luxury of ski lifts (now THERE's assisted ascent!) I can see a real niche here.

Lefty V, Mar 18 2016 08:20

Hydraulic disc brakes come from motor bikes, we have electric shifters now, lights on our bikes thats stronger than some car lights. In a country where we don't have the luxury of ski lifts (now THERE's assisted ascent!) I can see a real niche here.

 

SA is too flat to wimp out that quickly. The guys from the countries with ski lifts already "outclimb" us without trying.

 

seriously though, the niche is obvious - just saying there is something that does not sit 100% with me.

tubed, Mar 18 2016 08:40

My old man turns 80 this year - he is recovering from his second knee replacement at the moment - the thing he is most enthusiastic about doing as soon as the Physio says so is to get back on his ebike. Its taken him back to a level of participation of about 15 years ago. He is a lot safer to himself and others on the road.

 

I was a doubter too until I rode it - don't knock it till you try it.

 

If I wanted to save gas an commute on a cycle path - this is the answer.

 

Nice review

Gerhardc, Mar 18 2016 09:04

Samoosa TYRES!!!

 

If it rains and mud, that back tyre will barely turn!!

NicoBoshoff, Mar 18 2016 09:28

I'd like

 

My old man turns 80 this year - he is recovering from his second knee replacement at the moment - the thing he is most enthusiastic about doing as soon as the Physio says so is to get back on his ebike. Its taken him back to a level of participation of about 15 years ago. He is a lot safer to himself and others on the road.

 

I was a doubter too until I rode it - don't knock it till you try it.

 

If I wanted to save gas an commute on a cycle path - this is the answer.

 

Nice review

 

I'd like to see the equation of how far you'd have to drive to recoup the cost of such a bike.

NicoBoshoff, Mar 18 2016 09:30

Hydraulic disc brakes come from motor bikes, we have electric shifters now, lights on our bikes thats stronger than some car lights. In a country where we don't have the luxury of ski lifts (now THERE's assisted ascent!) I can see a real niche here.

Hydraulic brakes, electonic shifting, bikelights don't change the fundamental nature of a bicycle - something that relies solely on human input to power it forward.  This isn't a bicycle.  It's a shitty electric motorbike.

NicoBoshoff, Mar 18 2016 09:33

Having said that, people must do what they want. Never let it be said I stood between a fool and a bad decision.  I, however, reserve the right to point and laugh at you as you "cruise" past me on your way up that "brute of a climb".

 

And please don't compare this to uplifts.  It's not.  No one pretends that they actually cycled up to the trailhead on a shuttle day. 

robsc, Mar 18 2016 09:48

Does Sahm ride the whole stage on this bike ? and does the battery last that long ?

I do understand that he isnt always on battery power .

GLuvsMtb, Mar 19 2016 04:58

Does Sahm ride the whole stage on this bike ? and does the battery last that long ?
I do understand that he isnt always on battery power .

The aim is to get footage of the front runners on the more technical sections. It seems like on most stages he picks them up closer to the finish.

Matchstix, Mar 19 2016 07:09

Although I hate th idea of an e bike, I had an opportunity to pedal the bulls bike. . . Damn that thing is fast and goes like a demon when you pedal, I more than put in the faster I goes and handles quite nippy. Tyres looks like a cross between a mtb and mx tyres

raptor-22, Mar 19 2016 09:52

It's a very effective tool for the job it's intended. Having Stefan Sahm pedaling it really gets us close to the action. Since it's the first time it's been tried I'm pretty excited but the opportunity it brings but surely a similarly equipped off road motorcycle would do as effective a job.
Maybe it's just the green appeal of an electric engine that cost more energy to build than a bone r80gs