from Lewiston, Idaho
Date Reviewed: December 6, 2004
Strengths: stout frame with great approach angle. simple yet burly frame design, no flex when landing or bombing big drops. The bike instills a sureal amount of confidence.
Weaknesses: I don't own more.
I ride a fully blown mantra for all mountain and xtreme cross country, It has 6.75" rear travel and completely built to the gills. I built that bike for race and gained alot of confidence on the technical traversing and thought that was fun. THE BULLIT there is no traversing, JUST POINT AND SHOOT! It is a great bike that has a proven track record of taking abuse and asking for more. It's not bad to peddle up to the top either.
Similar Products Used: foes weasel, zyzzx bullit and a custer rear shock.
Bike Setup: bullit large and sub yellow, 36 spoke yellow dee max, 8.75x2.75 fox shock customized shock mount (8.6" travel), stratos s7 double clamp fork, hayes disc brakes, odi lock ons, world force riser bar, etc...
from Seattle, WA
Date Reviewed: December 21, 2003
Strengths: Cheap Cheap Cheap, Extremely strong, Light, Versitile, Can't beat it for value, Less complex pivot(s) means less fixing, more riding.
Weaknesses: Single pivot design is simple and functional but has it's limitations . Floater is a nice addon for those who need it. Could use a little more tire clearance.
Got mine used with steelset and avy. I don't think you can do much better for the money. Survived DH racing and 4 trips to whistler without any problems. You certainly won't feel as bad if the frame breaks compaired to bikes that you pay 3x as much for, not that I'm saying it'll break.
Similar Products Used: Kona Stinky, Azonic Eliminator
Bike Setup: '02 Bullit, '99 Monster
from C.G. Oregon, USA
Date Reviewed: October 20, 2003
Strengths: Frame is meaty, good welds, cable routing, house routing. Single pivots rule!!!!!!
Weaknesses: Santa Cruz, WEAK!........... HAH!!!
I have ridden Kona's for the last 4-5 years and will love them untill I die but, this bad boy is just so damn sweet it's scarry. Even with the Shivers and huge tires it's still not THAT heavy. The single pivot design is insane!! it rides like it only has 3-4 inches of travel!!! super efficient. Only downfall is that it's easy to get cocky real quick with this bike, so no your limits. Or, just go for it!! yeh, if you buy one just go for it!!!
Similar Products Used: have a 2001 schwinn straight 8,had a rotec dh8,had most crackendales,tried Brooklyn TMX linkage and non link,banshee sream(kicks brooklyn TMX ass),Insense M1, Coma stab primo,Coma stinky's and some others.
Bike Setup: 5th elememnt,all azonic from crank to handle bars,hed rims Zocchi hubs,03 boxxer race,hayes 8,thomson,gazzi 2.6.,MRP full XT 8 spd.
a Weekend Warrior
from norwich, norfolk, UK
Date Reviewed: April 12, 2003
Strengths: very versitile, fat top tubing and very stable, can handle drops with ease, hardly any effort needed to get up hills.
Weaknesses: the lack of a replacable mech hanger, but i doubt the original could be snapped v. easily, 5th element shock requires alot of maintanance and is so variable which could overwelm someone who knows little about rear suspencion.
great bike, rear shock is hard to tune, even i cant sometimes get it how i like it.... it is a great starting point for intermediate riders that are looking to ride with long travel. i have had puny bmx riders jump my my bike and clear meter gaps with ease, the bigger gaps need some effort though.
Favorite Trail: my field (full of jumps and berms etc)
Duration Product Used: 1 Year
Purchased At: apple pie bike shop
Similar Products Used: ellsworth truth, intense tazer, kona stinky.
Bike Setup: 5th element, both shiver sc and monster t's, d521's on bulb hubs, raceface titanium bb, diablous stem, azonic riser handlebars, azonic hot seat, diablous seat post etc (you can probably tell how proud i am of it.)
a Weekend Warrior
from St. Louis, Mo
Date Reviewed: November 22, 2002
Strengths: Industrial strength! Need I say more? Gusseted very well, nice huge strong welds. Thick derailleur hanger.
Weaknesses: The only thing I ran into was the weld in the right rear swingarm. The Hayes adaptor would mount up flush without grinding 1-2 mm of material in that area. But is that really Santa Cruz's fault for having beefy welds. Its all good!!
This bike rocks! I'm still trying to dial in the rear shock, lots of adjustments. Took it urban riding for the first time last night, couldn't ask for a better bike for big drops. Beefy frame, welds, and gussets! No worries! I'm 5'5"-5'6" and straddled the line between small (14') and medium (17"), I chose the medium and am glad I did. The top tube length is perfect in med. The paint is kind of soft but with the proper precautions I think it will work.
Favorite Trail: Drop Klub- St. Louis & Keystone, Co d.h.
Duration Product Used: Less than 1 month
Purchased At: Big Shark Bikes
Similar Products Used: Sold my Ellsworth truth to build this bike!
Bike Setup: Marzocchi Jr. T, Kona Bulge cranks, Hayes 8", Race Face Diabulos stem, Sun Singletrack, & Azonic Love Seat
a Weekend Warrior
from Webster, NY
Date Reviewed: October 11, 2002
Strengths: Solid, can adapt to all types of riding
Weaknesses: Paint, no replaceable derailleur hanger
What can I say that hasn't already been said in the full bike reviews? It seems like it doesn't matter how you set it up, the Bullit is an incredible bike for whatever you want to do. You can build it up light/single crown for aggressive XCing, or heavier/dual crown for FR/DH. It climbs well with the 5th Element — I rarely need to get out of the saddle and stomp uphill. The shock deserves a rave review of its own, so I'll stick to the frame. The swingarm is beefy and the gusset added to the toptube/headtube adds to the strength and rigidity. It takes drops to flat without a whimper, and the pivots are quality. I've kept up with my buds on their XC bikes through twisty singletrack with no problem (even tho' the bike craves more aggro riding), and it handled well at Plattekill too, but it really shines at freeriding. The downside is the paint. The sides of my toptube became dull rather quickly just from my shorts rubbing against it (I'm not about to go Lycra!). Also, my hanger bent when I slammed my rear der. against a rock. I bent it back OK, but there's always a limit how often you can bend and rebend. The '03 Heckler comes with a replaceable hanger, so, why not the Bullit? All in all, 5 flamin' turds for the frame. I'm lovin' it!
Similar Products Used: Tried a Stinkee D, RM6, RM7
Bike Setup: Large w/5th Ele, Stratos S7, Purple Hayes hydros, Truvativ Hussefelt DHs 2rings w/bashguard, custom Zombie stem, Titec Hellbent DH bars, Thomson post, Shimano 646 pedals, Rhyno Lites
from Huddersfield, England
Date Reviewed: July 6, 2002
Strengths: 7" rear travel, relatively light, stiff, stable, goes down as fast as you dare and climbs back up again.
Weaknesses: Nope, none, nothing, no weakness.
I was expecting this bike to fly downhill and I wasn't disapointed, the ride is just so plush and smooth, I found myself going diseptively fast. The most suprising thing is how well it goes back up again, considering it's a 7" travel bike. There are no discernable signs of bobbing, whether sat down or stood up. I haven't had chance to ride it as it was intended to be ridden but I'm sure it won't disapoint.
Similar Products Used: Super 8, Heckler, Orange Patriot.
Bike Setup: 5th Element shock, Marzocchi Freeride 5" fork, Hope C2 f and r disks, Azonic bars and stem, Tioga tyres and saddle, Shimano bits, Mavic rims.
a Weekend Warrior
Date Reviewed: May 9, 2002
Strengths: Huge alu tubeing, CNC machine work, killer looks, 5th element by Progressive, full gear cable housing from shifter to rear der. massive head tube thickness
Weaknesses: I cant ride it yet as its still being built up. hard to find 28.8 seat post (but a thomson) Hopefully I wont find any.
Value for money this frame is just awesome. $1000-2000 Aus cheaper than Foes Fly or RM7 FR. USA construction is sweet with super smooth welds and great machine work. LTS was getting old and out ridden, no cheap bushings on the Bullit! A heavy DH only bike is not needed for the the local riding so the Bullit with the adjustability of the 5th Element will be perfict for DH/FR/trails.
Ill write back after the bike has been built up and ridden/raced a few times and the 5th element tweeked.
Similar Products Used: GT LTS 2000- more XC than DH/FR, mates bikes
Bike Setup: '02 Psylos XC, DT Onyx/dice duke, hayes 8", DMR guide, Azonics, Deore/LX mix
Date Reviewed: April 28, 2002
Strengths: more agile than a cat in a dog kennal. Sooo beefy and super plush.
Weaknesses: I can't hurt it! When I built it I took the necessary precautions for the paint and cable scuffles to be non existent, I advise anyone to do the same.
I have just dialed in my 5th element shock and oh man! This bike definately loves tight aggressive trails and feels like my P3 when dirt jumping. Once you dial in the 5th element it makes the bike. You can virtually make it feel like a x-country bike (sweet feature for dirt jumping, almost like it becomes a hard tail) or make it feel bottomless and progressive for those big drops. Those guys over at Progressive tech. should get a medal for the caliber of how damn good thier shockis. If you are looking for an agile bomber and love to jump I can't recommend a better bike. Oh did I mention that You wont't be able to break it, if you do the guys over at SC Bikes are super killer with thier customer service and warranty. If not for any other reason buy it cuase of them, because it is hard to find companies like them.
I wouldn't recommend this frame to anyone who's bike handling skills aren't up to parr, for the small wheelbase is not as forgiving as the longer competition. But it will teach you to ride more aggressively and gracefull instead of being a no skilled caveman and plowwing over your obstacles (this means you will become faster). So get rid of your hunk o junk get one now!
Purchased At: Cape Able bike shop, Kennebunkport, ME
Similar Products Used: Gary Fisher level betty
Bike Setup: 2002 Bullit, White Brothers UD150 fork, mammouth wheels, profile cranks, evil bikes security chainguide, hayes disc front and rear, nokian tires
from Austin, TX, USA
Date Reviewed: February 18, 2002
Strengths: Plush 7" of travel in a sturdy, stiff mono-pivot package. An almost straight seat tube, front derailer acceptable, and a fox vanilla rc (the 5th element wasn't available yet when I purchased frame). Big ovalized tubes and a beefy headtube/toptube/downtube juncture and oh did I mention 7" of plush bump sucking, rock eating, drop devouring travel.
Weaknesses: aluminum shims on eithr side of rear shock mount (where shock mounts to rear triangle). After a very short usage I noticed a little play in the rear triangle and upon furter inspection I realized that the bolt was down as tight as it would go but it still wasn't taking care of the play in the travel. Luckily the good guys at bicycle sports shop south will be getting the shim waranteed free of charge (as they should I only had it 2 months). There is also no replacable rear derailer hanger, now it is the beefiest I have ever seen but if yo mess it up you will need a whole new rear triangle. (supposedly Santa cruz has a great no questions asked warantee policy on the rear and front triangles both but I personally have not had to use it yet, so I can't tell you from experience. The only other quazi-problem I had with the frame was the seat tube size. It is big and burly make sure the shop that you are getting it from either has one in stock or will order one before you get all excited about riding your new bike only to discover you have a fully built bike with no seat post.
This bike rips. I have truly discovered a simple yet versitile swiss army frame. I am a 6'5" 260 Lb mountain biker with pockets only deep enough to afford one bike at a time. This bike is great for that. I ride this bike cross country, urban assault, duel slalom, and downhill. It is ready for anything you can throw at it. The best part of it all no complex linkages to constantly be checking for torque, no travel options to ponder over just jump on it and go. I have found that this bike is at its best in the middle ring the pivot has been positioned between the big and little chain rings and gives a perfect chain line when in the middle ring. This translates into NO BIOPACING in the middle ring during long extended climbs. I very rarley use the little ring unless it is a bail out situation and I'm so burnt I can't turn the cranks anymore. Then I notice a bit of biopacing but this too can be overcome with a smoother pedaling motion. Me being a clydesdale rider I usually break a lot of bike things and although I have only had this bike a relativly short time I have had no real frame related problems (other than the aluminum shim issue discussed in the weaknesses section, which they assure me is a defect). The only real problems I have encountered thus far have been the old components I swaped over to the new frame.
Bike Setup: Mavic D 521 silver rear rim, Sun Rhino Lite black front rim, XT disc hubs front and back, Hayes 6" disc brakes, Continental 2.3 vertical pro rear tire, IRC Kujo DH 2.35 front tire, XTR rear cogset, XT rear derailer, XT front derailer, UNO seat post, Titec berserker sadle, Diacomp Tank BMX headset, 00' Marazocchi Z1 cr 5" (heavy springs), Fox vanilla rc (heavy springs), Azonic shorty chubby deluxe stem, Kore stricktly D 2.5" rise handlebars, XT Shifters front and rear, XT cranks (soon to be replaced by some profile) I basicly bought the frame only and just swaped everything off my 00' 4 banger over to the Bullit. The XT cranks are old and the Crappy shimano splined bottom bracket interface on the crank arms is wallered out.
a Weekend Warrior
Date Reviewed: January 26, 2002
Strengths: stiffness, plushness, travel.
Weaknesses: none, there isnt a replaceable der. hangar, but i dont see that its a problem
this is a sooper dooper thing. its got a sooper thick head tube, like 3.5mm's. I was also lookin at an ellsworth joker but it wasnt that cool and it costed a bit more. this thing gives confidence, smooth plush progressive travel. i havent gone on too many rides yet (got it before a snowstorm) ill be out with it the second the outdoors thaw. and im hoping to take this to the skate park next weekend, ive never done a halfpipe with a full suspension. ill post another review after i ride it actually and maybe ill try to be a bit more sober.
I'm currently riding a 02/03 bullit, actually not too sure which is it, can anyone tell me if there are any vast differences between the 2 year's bullits?
anyway, im currently running a DSP dueler 8.75x2.5 shock and 36 van 160. i was thinking of increasing the front travel and wonder h ... Read More »
Hey in need of a little help, i just got my 01/02 bullit built up, with marzocchi am sl forks, and the handling is well off.
when you steer, it tends to exagerate the steering input and turn more than you want. Feels very strange.
is this due to the offset of the fork??
can i do anything a ... Read More »
Can anyone verify the length of the axle for my early 02 bullit.
have been given the run around by jungle, the propack is out of stock, so it took them 3 weeks to send me the axle. Which doesnt fit.
just want to be sure before i shout at the monkeys from jungle,
the axle i have been sent i ... Read More »
hey i have this 02 bullit that i love to ride but lately it has a different feel... it kind of steers more to the left - wanting to go left. i cant seem to figure out what is causing it as am left scratching my head. i hope this can be a simple fix as biking season is coming soon! if i c ... Read More »