Bike check: Stefan Sahm's Bulls E-Stream EVO AM 6
Stefan Sahm needs no introduction. As a three-time Absa Cape Epic winner, he's become as synonymous with the race. While no longer racing professionally, Stefan invented the Sahmurai Sword tyre plug system and has remained involved with Bulls Bikes. For the past few years now, he's been following the sharp end of the field on his Bulls E-Stream EVO AM 6 e-MTB and is responsible for the awesome action footage we see on the trails.
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Initially Bulls Bikes and Cape Epic introduced the concept as a novel 360-degree point-of-view for viewers, a long pole with a 360-degree camera protruding above the rider's helmet. Novel footage, but a bane for camera operators and photographers documenting those epic moments with a silhouette of what seemed to be the hangman cometh.
Today, the concept has evolved and become embedded as a pioneering part of the broadcast team capturing footage used both on live stream and highlight packages for viewers. There are three riders covering both the UCI men's and women's fields: Ila Stow, Stefan Sahm and Thomas Dietsch. A support crew of up to fifteen staff keep them and their ponies on the move. Off.road.cc took a closer look at Stefan's set-up.
Stefan Sahm's Bulls E-Stream EVO AM 6, a 6061 alloy 150mm travel enduro e-bike. For the Cape Epic, a custom chrome paint job across the fleet of Bulls media e-bikes was employed. Other than rider-specific setups and fine-tuning, the only change was to remove the speed limiter. Otherwise, the bikes have a standard build and stock standard Brose S-Mag motor with 90nm of torque powered by 750w Dynacore batteries.
In keeping with Bulls integrated design, the Fox Transfer dropper lever and control unit are housed together making operation more ergonomic. Grips are Stefan's own with a larger diameter for better grip. Note the Sahmurai Sword plugs stored in the bars.
A chrome paint job shows off the burly tubing and welds.
Personal bits like top caps are always a nice touch.
Surprisingly, some people still asked if it was a carbon frame, despite the welds.
A large head tube area handles high-stress loads.
The 'aero' board isn't a feature but having an accessible quick link taped to the brake hose is an old trick from Stefan's racing days. Also vital if you need to do a quick trailside repair and catch race leaders. Even with 90Nm of torque.
Fox 38 stanchions, 150mm of travel is the perfect balance according to Sahm.
Boost DT Swiss wheelset. Note the frame cutout area housing a Shimano XT four-pot caliper.
Yep, Deore 12-speed. Nope, not standard. Stefan trashed the original XTR mech at an earlier stage and this was the tech zone replacement, which works "100%!"
Bomb-proof DT Swiss 1900 wheelset on 2.4in Schwalbe Magic Marys with enduro casing and Addix Ultra Grip compound.
Brose S-Mag motor with 90Nm of torque, speed limiter removed.
Fox Transfer dropper post, a must for descents while also carrying 8kg plus of broadcast/telemetry equipment.
FIT, the in-house integration and ergonomics design dept from Bulls Bikes.
Forever welds, a craftsman's work of art.
There's more to riding a media e-bike than simply pedaling on turbo mode. Besides the finesse required, each rider has a USWE harness pack with the required broadcast equipment weighing 8kg plus. Linked to this are bike, body and helmet GoPro cameras, including a helmet communication system permanently connected to live broadcast commentary. Including the three riders, there are 15 people staffing the media e-bikes.
Stefan Sahm crests a climb just behind the race leaders, being careful to not be too close.
Feed zones are truly a split-second apocalyptic
The USWE packs take abuse, 8kg plus of broadcast equipment, spares and on-the-go snacks.
Epic legends, Thomas Dietsch and Stefan Sahm