First Look | The new Santa Cruz Bullit is nothing like the original

Having already broken the ice with the Heckler earlier this year, Santa Cruz Bicycles is continuing to expand its e-MTB lineup with the recently announced Heckler MX, and now this bike here; the Bullit. Just like the Heckler, the Bullit reincarnates an iconic name from the earlier days of Santa Cruz’ history, which is likely to thrill some riders, while also triggering others. For those who can remember, the old Bullit was a big-hitting freeride bike that was designed around a heavy-duty alloy frame with a simple-as-it-gets single pivot suspension design. While this new Bullit is also designed as a big hitter, it really couldn’t be any more different from its originator.

2021 santa cruz bullit e-mtb x01
The new Santa Cruz Bullit steps into the ring as a burly e-MTB with big travel, a big battery, big brakes, and, well, big everything!

The Santa Cruz Bullit – A 170mm Behemoth!

The Bullit stands as the bigger beefcake brother to the existing Heckler. You can probably think of it as a sort of electrified mashup of the Megatower and Nomad.

It features a full carbon chassis, and it’s equipped with a whopping 170mm of travel front and rear. Complete bikes feature Fox 38s or a RockShox ZEB fork option, along with coil or high-volume air-sprung piggyback shocks. Santa Cruz has also elected to build the Bullit around a trendy mullet wheelsize setup, with a 29in front wheel and a 27.5in rear wheel. This allows the chainstay length to be kept quite short at 449mm, despite the motor and huge amount of travel.

As with the Heckler and all of Santa Cruz’ longer travel full suspension bikes, the Bullit relies on the new generation lower link VPP suspension layout. The shock sits low down in the frame, where it’s driven by the lower VPP linkage. Kinematic reasons aside, this configuration also allows for a water bottle to be mounted inside the mainframe – an important feature that isn’t always guaranteed with electric mountain bikes.

It Gets Shimano’s Big 630Wh Battery

Compared to the Heckler with its 504Wh battery, the Bullit downtube houses Shimano’s larger 630Wh internal battery pack. The battery is still easily removable with a hex key, and it’s protected by a large carbon fibre armour plate that lines the underside of the downtube. A charging port sits just above the motor on the non-drive side, so you can charge the battery either in the bike, or separately.

Powering most Bullit models is Shimano’s latest EP8 motor. Compared to the outgoing E8000 motor, the new drive unit boasts lower weight (310g lighter), less volume (10% smaller) and less drag (36% reduction). It’s of course more powerful too, with up to 85Nm of torque on tap. Each of the three assist modes can be tuned via the E-Tube smartphone app, so you can alter the power output, power delivery and characteristic of each mode.

2021 santa cruz bullit e-mtb x01
The Bullit is built around the Shimano EP8 drive unit, which offers more customisability via its E-Tube system.

Big Sizes For Big Riders

Santa Cruz will be offering the Bullit in four frame sizes from Medium through to an enormous XXL. There are no Smalls on the agenda though – shorter riders will want to take a look at the Heckler instead.

As expected, geometry is longer and slacker than the shorter travel Heckler MX. The Bullit gets a 64° head angle, and a Medium frame features a 450mm reach, compared to 436mm on the Heckler MX. The seat tube angle is also considerably steeper at around 77°, and as mentioned above, Santa Cruz has deliberately kept the chainstay length reasonably short at 449mm, presumably to curate a more playful on-trail feel for such a big travel e-MTB.

2021 santa cruz bullit e-mtb geometry

Here Are The Four Santa Cruz Bullit Models Coming To Australia

All Bullit models will feature the same CC carbon fibre chassis, the 630Wh battery, Maxxis Double Down tyres front and rear, as well as big brakes, big rotors and wide bars. While the cheapest bike gets a Shimano E7000 drive unit, all other Bullits feature the Shimano EP8 motor.

As for pricing? We’d recommend sitting down right now. The ‘entry level‘ Bullit will be selling in Australia for $13,299 AUD, while the range-topping X01 RSV bike will come with a sticker price not far off $20K. You weren’t expecting them to be cheap were you?

For those of you unfazed by those numbers, you won’t be able to get your hands on one just yet. Lusty Industries, the Australian Santa Cruz distributor, is expecting Bullits to start arriving in March of 2021. Read on for a closer look at the specs and prices for each model due to hit our shores next year.

2021 santa cruz bullit e-mtb x01
Get that chequebook ready – the Bullit X01 RSV racks up a near-$20K price tag. Wowsers!

2021 Santa Cruz Bullit X01 RSV

2021 santa cruz bullit e-mtb xt
The XT build features a Fox 36 GRIP2 fork, alloy Race Face wheels, and big XT 4-piston brakes.

2021 Santa Cruz Bullit XT

2021 santa cruz bullit e-mtb s
The Bullit S build features a SRAM GX Eagle groupset, Code brakes, and a Fox 36 GRIP2 fork to match the RockShox Super Deluxe shock.

2021 Santa Cruz Bullit S

2021 santa cruz bullit e-mtb x01
Featuring the same carbon frame and 630Wh battery as the top-end models, the Bullit R shaves off some bucks with the Shimano E7000 motor and a SRAM NX Eagle drivetrain.

2021 Santa Cruz Bullit R

Loris Vergier floating down some rocky Ligurian singletrack on the Bullit.
2021 santa cruz bullit e-mtb x01
“This is what I think of your stoopid shuttle.”

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