Test: The Bulls Grinder 3 also convinces in its 2020 version with very good everyday qualities and high comfort. In addition, the bike comes with very good equipment for less than 2.000 euros without any weaknesses worth mentioning.
Bull's Grinder 3 2020: The lowdown
Frame material: Aluminium
Wheel size(s): 700 tsp
Maximum tire clearance: 40 mm
Axle dimensions (v/h): 12 × 100/142 × 12
Mudguard Eyelets: Ja
Luggage carrier eyelets (v/h): No Yes
bottle holder: down tube up, seat tube
Weight wheels v/h/total (with tires and brake discs): 1.600g / 1.704g / 3.3o4g
Weight complete bike without pedals (size M): 9,90kg
Price: € 1.999
When Bulls first added the Grinder to their portfolio – that was in 2015 – the topic of gravel bikes was still in its infancy in this country, if at all. However, as one of the first major manufacturers in Germany, Bulls seemed to recognize the potential of this bike category. Versatile, sporty, suitable for everyday use - in this respect it is not surprising that the Bulls Grinder endured the years - before some changes in detail - and even today it is by no means outdated. In the meantime, the aluminum frame is of course equipped with thru axles and the tire clearance has also increased to a comfortable 40mm.
Perhaps the greatest trump card that gravel bikes can play against many other bike categories is their enormous versatility. From the training bike for ambitious riders who want to complete their workload on gravel roads, to the sporty commuter who also wants to use the bike in everyday life. If the concept is right, the entire spectrum can be covered with a gravel bike, even if one or the other compromise is necessary.
When it comes to suitability for everyday use, the Grinder can certainly score a few points for itself: in addition to the mounting points for mudguards, there are also eyelets for a luggage rack at the rear. Okay, many modern competitors now bring that with them. Unique to the Bulls Grinder, however, are the Monkey Link mounting points for a lighting system on the seat clamp and on the stem. Compatible lamps can be securely attached and removed again in no time at all using magnets. A real advantage in everyday life.
When it comes to geometry, Bulls goes its own way with the grinder and yet stands out noticeably from many of its competitors. The very long head tube should put the rider in a fairly upright position - the rather comfortable stack-to-reach ratio also speaks for this. This approach also fits the other dimensions: the chain stays are not too short, and the wheelbase is correspondingly longer than average. This promises a lot of smooth running and good-natured handling even off-road.
Geometry Bulls Grinder 3 2020
|seat tube (in mm)
|Top tube horizontal (in mm)
|head tube (in mm)
|chainstay (in mm)
|Wheelbase (in mm)
|Steering angle (in °)
|Seat angle (in °)
|Stacks (in mm)
At 1.999 euros, the top model in the grinder series, the Bulls Grinder 3 we tested, scratches the upper price limit of our entry-level category. However, in addition to the high-quality aluminum frame already outlined at the beginning, there is also equipment that is so rarely found in this price range. On the one hand, of course, there is Shimano's new GRX Gravel shifter, which is installed here by Components AZ in the high-quality 800 version. This is particularly noticeable with the STIs, which are ergonomically based on the very good Ultegra counterparts and are a real pleasure to grip.
The GRX is configured here with a chainring and an 11-42 cassette. So you get a little under 400% bandwidth. Enough for most drivers and many areas. However, those who regularly want to climb long gravel climbs under their tires need the necessary power in their legs or should perhaps switch to a smaller chainring than the standard 42 mm chainring.
|Bull's Grinder 7005
|Schwalbe G One 40mm
|Shimano GRX RD-RX812
|Shimano GRX ST-RX810
|Shimano GRX FC-RX810 42t
|Shimano GRX BR-RX810
|Bull's Duroflex Carbon
|Bull's Monkey Link
In addition to the built-in shifting group, the wheelset is no less important for the overall performance. Here Bulls does without a system LRS from the big manufacturers and instead relies on their own, quite interesting combination. The WTB XC-21D rims are tubeless-capable and, with their 21mm internal width, also hold wider tires securely without them tending to buckle in corners. In combination with the Formula hubs, the wheelset including tires and brake discs weighs in at a very good 3,3kg, making it one of the lightest in the field for beginners.
An inconspicuous equipment highlight is the Duroflex carbon post, which we already know and appreciate from other Bulls MTB models. The flexible construction noticeably increases comfort compared to conventional supports.
More tests, products and background information about the Velomotion Gravel Month:
- Storck Grix Platinum Ultegra Di2 gravel bike in test: Race tourer for gravel and off-road
- GT Grade Carbon Pro in the gravel bike test: Comfortable triangle for lots of driving fun?!
- Orbea Terra M30-D in the gravel bike test: Lively bike for training and gravel tours
- NS Bikes Rag+ 2 in the gravel bike test: Convincing aluminum all-rounder
- Rondo Ruut CF 2 in the gravel bike test: Fast gravel bike with a striking look
Let's Gravel: The Bulls Grinder 3 2020
The Bulls Grinder 3 is, we can anticipate that much, one of the best all-rounders in our test field. This is primarily due to the universal aluminum frame, which, not least because of its geometry, makes the grinder a very versatile gravel bike. Because the geometry enables a very wide range of settings from sporty to pleasantly comfortable with an upright sitting position.
After just a few meters of driving, the extremely smooth running, which is probably the most striking feature of the Bulls Grinder 3, stands out. This is primarily due to the robust construction and the slightly longer wheelbase of the gravel bike. This is not only very pleasant for beginners and immediately conveys security, but also benefits experienced gravlers and frequent riders, as the bike is easy to control even at higher speeds.
However, this smooth running has a noticeable effect on the acceleration and agility of the Bulls Grinder 3. Although this is by no means one of the heavyweights in the test field, weighing less than 10 kilos, it always needs some time to get up to speed, especially after technical passages. However, the stiff carbon fork ensures direct and precise handling and never feels spongy. But even if the Grinder 3 is not a quick starter, the bike was able to convince us with its quite pleasant riding comfort. Of course, hard trails and rough passages are no fun with this bike either, but every rider should feel comfortable on the Bulls gravel bike on the classic gravel routes.
The tried-and-tested Schwalbe G-One tires ensure additional driving fun, which not only roll well and hardly bother you even on longer asphalt sections, but also offer the driver a lot of comfort thanks to their large volume. Especially on gravel roads, the tires provide the necessary traction to be safe on the road. The Shimano GRX group completes the high-quality overall package and makes the Bulls Grinder 3 the ideal all-rounder for sport and everyday use.
Other gravel bike highlights in the test:
Test: The 3.000 version of the Bergamont Grandurance Elite is available for well under 2020 euros. This makes it one of the cheaper carbon gravel bikes on the market - but the high-quality equipment, the successful frame and, last but not least, the great look would not suggest this. Bergamont Grandurance Elite: The Facts Frame Material: Carbon Wheel Size(s): 700c […]
Test: The Rose Backroad GRX Di2 reached our test editors in a slightly modified equipment variant with carbon wheelset and additional brake levers - so equipped you not only get a "full chapel" in terms of equipment for around 4000 euros, but also an enormously versatile bike. Rose Backroad GRX Di2 Custom: The facts Frame material: Carbon Wheel size(s): 700cc Maximum tire clearance: 40mm Axle dimension (f/r): 12×100 […]
Test: The Stevens Prestige remains true to itself in 2020 - once a thoroughbred crosser, the bike is now also called Gravel on the manufacturer's website. Our test shows that the bike should still feel more comfortable on CX trails than on endless gravel roads. Stevens Prestige 2020: The facts Frame material: Aluminum Wheel size(s): 700cc […]