by Greg Evans
“The Grinder 2 is a mixed breed of an endurance road bike and an off-road machine.” This is the statement with which Bulls introduces their newest model, the aptly named “Grinder” gravel bike.
The German brand has seen a lot of growth since its inception in 1997. The majority of this success has been achieved overseas, and so the Bulls name remains less recognizable in the US. Bulls is trying to change that.
The company recently opened an office in Los Angeles, California, and has been working to inject themselves into the American cycling industry. In their second showing at the Sea Otter Classic, Bulls displayed a range of bikes from road bikes to mountain and electric, all of which are available direct to consumer.
The Grinder is available in two build kits with the corresponding suffixes “1” and “2.” The frame is the same across both builds, save for changes in color and finish. The frame material is 7005 lite aluminum and features double-butted tubing. The carbon Bulls fork implements a thru axle, however standard quick release dropouts adorn the rear. While we’ve seen several brands update their cross and gravel offerings to accommodate flat mount calipers, Bulls has brought the Grinder 1 and Grinder 2 to market with Shimano’s 105-grade flat mount calipers already equipped.
Other frame highlights include a press-fit bottom bracket and internal cable routing through the downtube. With a claimed weight difference of around a quarter-pound, both bikes are said to weigh just less than 21 pounds. (We understand this measurement to be of a 56cm bike with no pedals.)
The only real difference between the two bikes is found in the drivetrain. The Grinder 1 is built up with a mostly Shimano 105 5800 drivetrain, while the Grinder 2 gets the full Ultegra 6800 treatment. The Grinder 2 is fitted with Shimano’s RS685 levers, however the Grinder 1 keeps things more affordable with the new Shimano RS505 levers and calipers. Both bikes provide the same gear range, running a 46/36t chainring combo up front and an 11-32t 11-speed cassette in the back. The cockpit spec for both bikes is comprised entirely of Bulls’ own aluminum components. The bikes roll on Bulls brand wheels wrapped in Maxxis 700x40c Rambler tires, demonstrating the frame’s tolerance for extra squish. (Complete specs on both models are below in the slideshow.)
Both bikes come in a size range from 49-58cm and are available now through the Bulls USA site. The Grinder 1 will set you back $1,799.00 USD, while the Grinder 2 sees a price bump up to 2,199.00 USD.
More info: bullsbikesusa.com