Mountain bike

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. You can view a slideshow with other images here.

Bulls Copperhead 3Bulls Copperhead 3Technical specifications :

  • 7005 lite-aluminium frame, double butted, smooth welded, 47 cm
  • RockShox Recon Silver TK suspension fork, Solo Air, 100mm, PopLoc remote lockout
  • Shimano XT 27 gears rear derailleur
  • Shimano XT front derailleur
  • Shimano XT gear levers
  • Shimano XT MT800 bottom bracket, HoIIowtech II, BSA – 68/73mm
  • Shimano Deore M590 crankset, 3x9V, 4x104mm (44/32/22T)
  • Pedals : Shimano PDM324 (summer) or Wellgo Cromo Lite with Power Grips (winter)
  • Shimano Alivio HG400 cassette body, 9V (11-34)
  • Shimano XT M8000 hydraulic disc brakes
  • Shimano SLX SM-RT66 discs, 180/160 mm
  • Kalloy UNO Aluminium handlebar, double butted, with bar-ends (added)
  • Kalloy UNO Aluminium stem
  • BULLS Lite-Aluminium seat post, SP-AB1
  • Lietu saddle
  • In summer : DT Swiss 533d rims, DT Swiss 240S Ratchet hubs and Maxxis Crossmark II 2.10 tyres
  • In winter : Mavic Crossride wheels, with Maxxis Minion DHF 2.30 (front tyre) and High Roller II 2.30 (rear tyre)

Accessories :

  • Cycle Star 901 rearview mirror, from Busch & Müller (for rides on roads)
  • Billy bell
  • LED Headlamp XHP70.2 (5 modes, 125° angle, zoom, 3400 lumens)
  • Front light : Knog Blinder MOB Four Eyes (80 lumens) or Knog Frog Strobe
  • Rear light : Bontrager Flare 2 or Knog Frog Strobe
  • Bluetooth speaker Ultimate Ears Boom 3 (90 dB against hunters’ bullets)
  • SKS Shockboard front mudguard (rarely used)
  • SKS X-Tra-Dry rear mudguard (rarely used)
  • Bontrager saddle bag (inner tube, puncture repair kit, brake pads, tyre-levers, Lezyne multi-tool, Micropur forte)
  • Topeak Smartphone Dry Bag or Veloplus Hump Bag (small frame bag)
  • Travel set up : Pletscher rear stand, foldable Abus padlock, second bottle cage, Ergon GP1 ergonomic grips and rear light fixed to the carrier (Busch & Müller D-Toplight Permanent)

I’m very satisfied with this bike, after nearly 13 years and over 68’000 km (update June 2023), of which a great part has been ridden on mountain trails and single tracks. The only lower quality parts were the Formula RX disc brakes, which I got replaced with Shimano XT.

The brand is familiar with MTB races podiums : riders belonging to the BULLS Team won the Verbier-Grimentz Grand Raid in 2010 (Karl Platt) and 2011-2013-2014-2016-2019 (Urs Huber).

BullsI 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).

STRELA carrierBulls Copperhead 3Please, 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. Now, I can convert my MTB into an all-season freighter in just 10 minutes !

Bulls Copperhead 3Bulls Copperhead 3Bulls Copperhead 3The BULLS Copperhead 3 with 27.5″ wheels is still available in 2020 (see their catalog). Sold 1050 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.