BIKE TEST / BULLS COPPERHEAD 3 RSI
Moving out: Hopping aboard the Copperhead, we immediately
noticed the narrow handlebars. At 680 millimeters, the bars were
much narrower than we normally ride, so it took us a little time to
get used to them. Other than the handlebars, the bike’s overall fit
seemed comfortable, and the 27.5-inch tires gave the bike an agile
Climbing: The combination of 27.5-inch wheels and a ridiculously low gear ratio (26-tooth front, 40-tooth rear) made spinning
the cranks up any steep climb effortless. Shimano’s 2x drivetrain
was appreciated every time the trails pointed upward. The
Copperhead’s rear triangle felt stiff and efficient in or out of the
saddle, and the Fox Float’s remote lockout was a nice bonus.
Cornering: The Copperhead’s narrow handlebars didn’t quite
provide the confidence or leverage we had hoped for, but the
Copperhead’s geometry and ground-hugging tires gave us plenty
to get excited about. The 70-degree head tube angle, along with
the 27.5-inch tires, made the bike feel quick and maneuverable,
allowing us to dive into sharp turns or whip around switchbacks.
The WTB Trail Boss tires gripped the trails well and kept us firmly
planted rubber side down.
Descending: Smooth singletrack is a blast to rip down on with
the Copperhead. Up front the Fox Float did wonders to smooth
out the ride, so long as we remembered to flick the remote back
to the open setting. Out back our legs were put to the test trying
to absorb the rocks, ruts and breaking bumps on rougher trails.
Planning our rides around the bike’s abilities was the key to having
a good time.
Braking: Shimano trickles down technology from its high-end
components to its entry-level components, and because of that,
Shimano’s Deore brakes offer really good performance at a very
affordable price. Pairing these brakes with 180-millimeter rotors
front and rear gave us plenty of stopping power. Our Fox fork performed well under braking forces and managed to stay high in its
travel under heavy braking. The rear end of our bike held traction
well when a normal amount of braking force was applied.
TRICKS, UPGRADES OR TIPS?
The first component we would look to swap out on the
Copperhead 3 RSI is the handlebar. Even for a cross-country bike
Sport-bike handling: The narrow bars and steep head tube
angle on the Copperhead gave the bike a MotoGP feel. Diving
into sharp corners was quick and easy, and the WTB Trail Boss
tires held traction well.