It’s not often that we see something new. This is the first thought when you first see the Pulse “RS1”. At any rate, on the trails you’ll get the same interested looks with this aluminum enduro bike and start one or two Tech Talks.
To answer the question in advance: Pulse is a young brand from Sofia, Bulgaria that positions itself in the line of direct market sales, which usually want to attract attention with price and performance alike. One of the company’s founders, Tsvetelin Ivanov, reports on his weakness for downhill-oriented cycling. He also offers a trail bike and a hardtail on their website. More models will be added later this year. There will be some for the e-bikers among you. According to the statement of the company’s founder, the Pulse “RS1” should be a very stable bike, which is predestined for the tough downhill sport and should provide a sensation with a relatively low price of € 2,498. You may even decide to skip the upcoming test rides.
In the price range mentioned you certainly do not expect fancy frame shapes or finishes. But this aluminum bike knows how to convince with a very solid look. The cables are mostly laid inside and also give the bike a very tidy impression. The Rock Shox suspension system features a “Lyric RC” suspension fork with 170mm travel at the front and a “Monarch Plus RC3” damper with 174mm travel at the rear. The brakes Sram “Guide R” should then delay the bike properly. The Sram “X1 Type 2.1 Eleven Speed” rear derailleur again takes care of the propulsion. The “Stealth Reverb” seat post from Rock Shox is already almost a mandaory feature in the enduro bike sector. Nevertheless, it should find a mention here, as the top model of the Bulgarian brand is also convincing with its top price. Ground contact is ensured by the Maxxis “High Roller 2”. So you are ready to ride.
On the trail, the moves of the bike are very agile and it can be controlled precisely through a variety of terrain. The weight of 14,6kg (without pedals) is not nearly noticeable. On the contrary, the bike invites you to play with the trail and transfers the smallest move on the handlebar even on small bumps reliably. The bike also benefits from our hard-tuned suspension setting. In winter weather with mud and snow, we could even find a very good traction. And if we are to talk about the weight of the Pulse “RS1”, its climbing characteristics are largely convincing. If you let it run downhill then the bike feels very safe even at high speed. The smoothness is in fact really particularly noteworthy. Generally there was no reason to complain in any of the test runs. The final verdict is absolutely positive surprise.
CONCLUSION // At this point Tsvetelin’s statement comes straight back to mind. He promised a stable bike, which was designed for hard downhill sport. Check. We even add agility, playfulness and great traction on top of our tests. And all this for a price below € 2,500. There is really nothing to criticize at this price-performance ratio. Somehow unbelievable, but true. The Pulse “RS1” will be a pleasure for many bikers. And in the end, there is even money left over for one or the other bike park visit. Because even here this bike will certainly feel more than comfortable with its potent suspension. Pulse offers a really suitable alternative to the established manufacturers. It will be interesting to see what kind of bikes will come to us from Bulgaria in the next few years.