Ten years after I bought my travel bike, I wanted to be able to ride more off the beaten track (and surfaced roads) and to start with mountain biking.
As I couldn’t find what I was looking for in Geneva cycle shops, I searched the web and decided to go for a BULLS Copperhead 3. This model wasn’t available in Switzerland, so I took the train to Germany, near Basle, to buy it (Radsport Bieg, Zeppelinstr. 40, D-79540 Lörrach Stetten).
This hardtail bike weighs 11.8 kg and is really manageable in the terrain.
– 7005 lite-aluminium, double butted, smooth welded, 47 cm frame
– Rock Shox Reba SL DA fork, 100 mm, poploc remote lockout
– Shimano Deore XT 27 gears rear derailleur
– Shimano Deore XT front derailleur
– Shimano Deore XT gear levers
– Shimano Deore XT crankset, 44/32/22T
– Pedals : Shimano PDM324 (summer) or Wellgo Cromo Lite with Power Grips (winter)
– Shimano cassette body, 11-34
– Shimano Deore XT M8000 hydraulic disc brakes
– Shimano SLX-Deore RT64 discs, center-lock 180/160 mm
– Kalloy UNO Aluminium handlebar, double butted, with bar-ends (added)
– Kalloy UNO Aluminium stem
– BULLS Lite-Aluminium seat post, SP-AB1
– BULLS Copperhead saddle, super-lite foam
– Shimano Deore XT hubs
– Stainless spokes, double butted
– 26″ Mavic XM-117 rims
– Tyres : Maxxis Minion DHF 2.30 (front) & High Roller II 2.30 (rear), or Continental Race King 2.2, depending upon season
– SKS Shockboard front mudguard (added)
– SKS X-Tra-Dry rear mudguard (added, rarely used)
– Cycle Star 901 rearview mirror, from Busch & Müller (for rides on roads)
– Travel set up : Pletscher rear stand, foldable Abus padlock, second bottle cage and ergonomic grips Ergon GP1
I’m very satisfied with this bike, after more than six years and 28’000 km, of which a great part has been ridden on mountain trails. The only lower quality parts were the Formula RX disc brakes, which I replaced with Shimano XT (update December 2016).
The brand is familiar with MTB races podiums : riders belonging to the BULLS Team won the Verbier-Grimentz Grand Raid in 2010 (Karl Platt), 2013 (Urs Huber), 2014 (Urs Huber) and 2016 (Urs Huber).
I found at Veloplus a carrier that has been especially designed for MTB : Strela, art. number 1002445 (new model is different from the one I bought in 2010).
Please, note that the original set up may not be “rigid” enough when heavily loaded, for example with two full 20 liters Ortlieb panniers. That’s why we had to improve it together with Mathieu of Viscacha Bike cycle shop.
The BULLS Copperhead 3 with 27.5″ wheels is still available in 2016 (see their catalog). Sold 999 Euros in Germany (minus 11% of VAT if the bike is exported to Switzerland), it represents a valuable European alternative to the bikes of the major American brands.