Mountain Biking

2021 Santa Cruz Bullit electric mountain bike –

Santa Cruz’s 2021 Bullit electric mountain bike is built around 170mm of VPP rear wheel travel and Shimano’s EP-8 electric motor with an in-built 630Wh battery.

Continuing a theme for electric bikes, the new Bullit runs a smaller 27.5in rear wheel on the rear and a 29in wheel on the front, with both rims wrapped in DoubleDown casing Maxxis tyres.

Fox’s 38 fork is a perfect partner for the Bullit’s pace and capabilities.
Ian Linton / Immediate Media

The 2021 Bullit is available in four models with prices starting at £6,899 / $7,499 / €7,699 for the Bullit CC R – which uses Shimano’s Steps E7000 motor – and lifting to £10,499 / $11,499 / €11,699 for the top-of-the-range Bullit CC X01 RSV.

All models of the new Bullit share Santa Cruz’s CC-level carbon fibre construction.

Reviving the Bullit name with a modern twist.
Ian Linton / Immediate Media

Those who remember the 1998 version of the single-pivot Santa Cruz Bullit will look back on it fondly. The bike had 152mm of rear wheel travel, was compatible with up to a 160mm travel fork and blurred the boundaries between downhill and freeride.

Then, in 2007, the Bullit got an update with increased travel – up to a whopping 178mm – but retained the classic single pivot shape.

The model then disappeared from Santa Cruz’s range in 2011, along with its simple single pivot suspension. Although the brand has dabbled in single pivot bikes on and off since then, with bikes such as the Heckler – which is now the name of the brand’s 150mm travel eMTB.

The 2021 Bullit sits above the Heckler and is touted as a go-anywhere burly trail bike, with the same “gnar-taming capabilities” as the Nomad and Megatower and is claimed to be able to tackle steep ascents and descents with ease.

2021 Santa Cruz Bullit frame details

Santa Cruz is arguably an iconic brand.
Ian Linton / Immediate Media

Built from CC carbon fibre (more on that shortly), the Bullit has been designed around mixed wheel sizes, where a 27.5in wheel is specced on the rear and a 29in wheel on the front. This, Santa Cruz claims, means the Bullit remains composed with loads of front-end grip, while retaining the livelier riding characteristics of smaller wheels.

There’s a bottle cage mount on the top of the down tube and a shock-protecting mudguard built into the front triangle to reduce debris landing directly on the shock’s piston.

The ribs help to reduce noise from chainslap.
Ian Linton / Immediate Media

It’s also got an integrated chainstay and seatstay protector to help reduce chainslap noise.

The 630Wh Shimano STEPS battery is integrated into the bike’s down tube, but can be removed once a cover has been taken off.

Lifetime guarantees

Impressively, Santa Cruz backs the Bullit’s carbon frame, bearings and linkages with a lifetime warranty.

The frame warranty covers defective materials and workmanship for the original owner only.

The Super Deluxe Ultimate rear shock has a lockout lever and low-speed compression adjustment.
Ian Linton / Immediate Media

The brand also backs the bike’s bearings with a lifetime replacement scheme. Should the pivot bearings wear out during the course of the original owner’s tenure, once a form has been filled out Santa Cruz will send out a replacement set of bearings within 48-hours.

Additionally, it states the Bullit’s got no “proprietary parts”, so no matter where you’re riding it’s likely you’ll find parts for your Bullit.

High-tech carbon fibre

Santa Cruz’s high-grade CC carbon fibre is laid up and cured at the same time. This, Santa Cruz claims, helps to decrease the amount of material used in the construction which, in turn, reduces weight without sacrificing strength.

The motor’s on button is located beneath the shock.
Ian Linton / Immediate Media

Its front triangle is also constructed from carbon fibres that “continuously wrap between tubes”, which effectively means it’s made from one piece of material.

This has two advantages, the American brand says; firstly, loads and impacts can be distributed throughout the bike’s structure and secondly, shock and pivot mounts, dropouts and disc brake mounts are all integrated into the frame rather than individual pieces that have been bonded in, which further improves strength.

Santa Cruz also claims its CC frames have no filler or gaps on the insides of their tubes and there are no rider weight limits for its carbon bikes. The internally-routed cables have cable guides to make routing easier, too.

2021 Santa Cruz Bullit motor and battery

Shimano’s EP8 motor isn’t without its faults, but the assistance it provides is well controlled.
Ian Linton / Immediate Media

2021’s higher spec Bullits use Shimano’s DU-EP800 motor with the largest 630Wh capacity battery. The latest motor has a claimed maximum 85Nm of torque and 250W of power, and has been reduced in weight from the older E8000 unit to 2.6kg. According to Shimano, it also has 36 per cent less drag.

The lowest-spec Bullit CC R uses Shimano’s E7000 motor that has 60Nm of maximum torque and a 250W max power output, while the other three models in the range are fitted with the EP8 system.

Shimano’s DU-EP800 display in the Boost mode.
Ian Linton / Immediate Media

The motor’s output in each of its three modes can be tuned using the E-TUBE Project app.

2021 Santa Cruz Bullit suspension

The bike’s 170mm travel is controlled using Santa Cruz’s VPP system.
Ian Linton / Immediate Media

With 170mm of rear-wheel travel, driven by the trademarked Virtual Pivot Point (VPP) suspension system, the Bullit should be a confident descender.

Santa Cruz says the Bullit electric mountain bike is compatible with coil and air shocks, which suggests the suspension’s kinematics have been tuned to be progressive enough to handle the linear spring rates of coil springs.

2021 Santa Cruz Bullit geometry

The Bullit’s geometry is confidently modern, but not extreme. The range has four sizes, the smallest of which is a medium with a 450mm reach and the largest is an XXL with a 515mm reach.

Each size has a 64-degree head-tube angle and a 77-degree effective seat-tube angle. Wheelbases start at 1,239mm and rise to a whopping 1,328mm for the extra-extra-large.

Across the sizes, chainstays are fixed at 449mm and bottom bracket height is 348mm.

2021 Santa Cruz Bullit models and specifications

The Super Deluxe Ultimate rear shock has a lockout lever and low-speed compression adjustment.
Ian Linton / Immediate Media

The four model Bullit range starts with the Bullit CC R costing £6,899 / $7,499 / €7,699, which is built with SRAM’s NX Eagle drivetrain, a RockShox ZEB 170mm travel fork and RockShox Super Deluxe Select rear shock. This lowest-spec Bullit comes with Shimano’s E7000 motor with 60Nm of torque.

The range-topper uses Shimano’s EP8 motor with 85Nm of torque and is equipped with Fox’s Factory Float 38 fork – also with 170mm of travel – SRAM’s X01 Eagle drivetrain and RockShox’ Super Deluxe Ultimate rear shock. This model retails for £10,499 / $11,499 / €11,699.

Santa Cruz Bullit CC R

  • Frame: Bullit CC MX 170mm travel
  • Rear shock: RockShox Super Deluxe Select
  • Fork: RockShox ZEB 170mm travel
  • Motor/battery: Shimano E7000 / 630Wh
  • Drivetrain: SRAM NX Eagle
  • Brakes: SRAM Guide RE 220mm (f) / 200mm (r) rotors
  • Seatpost: SDG Tellis
  • Wheels: TBC
  • Price: £6,899 / $7,499 / €7,699

Santa Cruz Bullit CC S

  • Frame: Bullit CC MX 170mm travel
  • Rear shock: RockShox Super Deluxe Select+
  • Fork: Fox 38 Performance 170mm travel
  • Motor/battery: Shimano EP8 / 630Wh
  • Drivetrain: SRAM GX Eagle
  • Brakes: SRAM Code R 220mm (f) / 200mm (r) rotors
  • Seatpost: SDG Tellis
  • Wheels: TBC
  • Price: £8,199 / $8,899 / €9,009

Santa Cruz Bullit CC XT

  • Frame: Bullit CC MX 170mm travel
  • Rear shock: RockShox Super Deluxe Select+
  • Fork: Fox 38 Performance Elite 170mm travel
  • Motor/battery: Shimano EP8 / 630Wh
  • Drivetrain: Shimano XT 12-speed
  • Brakes: Shimano XT 203mm rotors front and rear
  • Seatpost: Fox Transfer Performance Elite
  • Wheels: Race Face ARC
  • Price: £8,699 / $9,499 / €9,699

Santa Cruz Bullit CC X01 RSV

  • Frame: Bullit CC MX 170mm travel
  • Rear shock: RockShox Super Deluxe Ultimate
  • Fork: Fox 38 Factory 170mm travel
  • Motor/battery: Shimano EP8 / 630Wh
  • Drivetrain: SRAM X01 Eagle
  • Brakes: SRAM Code RSC 220mm (f) / 200mm (r) rotors
  • Seatpost: Fox Transfer Factory
  • Wheels:  Reserve DH rear, Reserve 30 front
  • Price: £10,499 / $11,499 / €11,699