Electric bikes are contentious, cyclists either love them or hate them. If you’re a criminal in Los Angeles, California, chances are you’re going to hate them.
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LAPD / Bulls Sentinel e-bike highlights
- Pedal assist with speed up to 28mph
- Bosch Performance Speed motor
- RockShox Pike fork
- Aluminum frame designed for easy mounting and dismounting when carrying police gear
- External brake cables for easy and fast maintenance
- Magura hydraulic disc brakes, 200/180mm rotors
- Schwalbe Super Moto-X tires
- Black color for stealthy operations
Announced by LAPD Police Chief Charlie Beck, the e-bike pilot program is part of the department’s ongoing green initiative.
The fleet of 20 e-bikes were custom designed over a nine-month process with Bulls in order to meet the specific needs of the department’s urban law enforcement and patrol divisions. LAPD claims its the largest e-bike fleet in the nation.
A mix of street, utility and mountain bike
Checking out the image of the custom Bulls Sentinel e-bike reveals a unique mix of components. The hardtail frame is aluminum with what looks like a trail-oriented geometry.
Up front, the standout spec is the big, burly RockShox Pike suspension fork. It appears the travel has been reduced to somewhere around 125 to 140mm. The press release notes the Pike is for “better handling on urban scenarios like pedaling up and downhill.”
Following the MTB vibes of the frame and fork are the Magura disc brakes with a 200mm rotor on the front and 180mm out back. Those big rotors are a smart spec because the bike has a rear rack and Topeak bag mounted out back. Plus, police have to carry and wear a lot of extra accessories, which will add to overall weight.
Shimano’s SLX drivetrain is on board for 11-speeds and the rear end has a thru-axle.
Conceding its urban intentions are the Schwalbe Super Moto-X tires. The big, smooth-tread tires should be fast on pavement and, more importantly, almost puncture proof.
The electric power is from a Bosch Performance Speed system. It’s a mid-drive system with the battery inline on top of the down tube. It pumps out 60Nm of torque, which can increase a rider’s power by 275 percent, and go up to 28mph / 45kph.
And there’s a rear-mounted kickstand because writing tickets with the bike laid on the ground isn’t a good look.