German company Cube’s bikes have been challenging more established brands in the British market for a few years now. Compared with bigger names, its road bikes have offered better value with no obvious performance handicaps. It can’t quite top the value of Germany’s online retailers Rose and Canyon, but few high street chains can match it.
You can see all about Cube bikes on their website, but here we review the Cube Road Bike Range for 2015.
Cube Peloton Claris (2015) £599.00
On paper the Peloton Claris is a bargain, and out on the road it delivers on the promise with fine performance. At £599 it’s proof that you don’t need to spend a fortune to lay your hands on a high performance road bike that’s fast, fun, and exciting.
It’s fitted with a Shimano Claris groupset; and 8-speed setup with a 12-32t cassette paired with triple 50/39/30t chainset. With such a wide range of gear ratio’s it should ensure that any hill or mountain can be scaled.
The ride on this Cube bike s very accommodating; the handling is neutral and the steering isn’t too fast, it’s actually quite relaxed so those new to road bikes won’t feel intimidated.
The Peloton strikes a nice balance between being relaxed enough for those who want to take it easy, and fast enough for those who want to get their head down and blast along the roads.
Cube Peloton Pro £699.00
Cube describes the Peloton Pro’s geometry as ‘Ready for Race’ but that may be overselling things slightly.
The Pro is one level above the entry level Claris and comes fitted with a Shimano Sora groupset. The entry-level Sora grouset handles shifting and the 9-speed set-up works very well. Overall it’s a great groupset for the price. All Peloton bikes come with a double-butted alloy frame, so you can go for a bike in this range within your budget knowing that the handling will pretty much be the same.
Great value and a lovely ride if you value comfort over all-out speed, buy if you’re looking for a good quality first road bike but nothing too racy.
Cube Peloton Race £999.00
The Peloton race comes with some of the best wheels you’ll find on a bike at this price- the Mavic wheelset, which is more normally seen on bikes much more expensive. Cube seem to have achieved this without many compromises elsewhere.
The Shimano 105 groupset offers accurate shifting with a combination of a compact chainset and 11-32 cassette will cope with anything. The bottom is low enough for big climbs, the top gear tall enough for full-on sprinting.
Mavic’s WTS Aksium wheels and Akison tyres are a real treat for this price range. They’re much lighter than those found on some of the competition, even shod with the wider and comfort-enhancing 25mm tyres. Comfort is something Cube does very well; the Race’s wing-profile handlebar is excellent for riding on the tops, and its slim seat stays and great saddle taking the sting out of bumps on the road.
The Peloton Race delivers a complete package and will appeal to those looking for comfort over raciness. Its kit up with the best you’ll find at this price, and it’s smart, modern and fast.
Cube Agree GTC Pro £1200
The Cube Agree GTC Pro Road Bike comes with a full carbon-fibre frame and fork. The frame uses ‘Twin Mold Technology’, a technique also used on the brand’s top-end Litening frame. Cube claims this minimises the amount of resin needed to bond the tubes at junction points.
Cube has equipped the Agree with a full Shimano 105 groupset- which is impressive for a bike a this price. The 11-32t cassette has enough top-end for a club run-winning sprint and a bottom gear low enough for the toughest of climbs, making the Agree suitable for most roads.The wheels are Fulcrum Racing 77s and provide reliable performance.
The ride is enjoyable, especially over long distances when the comfort can be appreciated more. The Agree is built more for all-day comfort rather than pure performance, but is a good all-rounder.
Cube Agree GTC Race £1,399.00
The Cube GTC Race Road Bike is fitted with a complete Ultegra groupset- a steal on a bike at this price. The combination of a 50/34 road compact and an 11-32 cassette is great for all-round riding and will get you almost anywhere.
Performance is slick and reliable, as always, the Ultegra levers in particular feeling ergonomically and mechanically excellent. Mavic’s improved Aksium S wheelset and Aksion tyre package are a solid and swift choice, a worthwhile step above many budget alternatives, and capable of handling some considerable use.
It’s an efficient climber and packs a decent sprint too, with great power transfer and solidity in the right places. Cornering is accurate and helped by the file tread on the shoulders of the newer 25mm Aksion rubber, and the bike changes direction well, ideal for mid-corner flicks.
It’s quite a firm ride and more race than endurance-orientated. The Cube-branded finishing kit performs well. The Agree GTC Race does give off some mixed messages, but if you like a racy position and want to make swift progress without being beaten by the climbs, then this may be the bike for you.
Cube Agree GTC SL £1899
The The Cube Agree GTC SL Road Bike is targeted at the sportive/endurance buyer. The geometry is made for a more aggressive ride than most. This doesn’t mean it’s an overly racy bike, it’s also easy to ride over long distances.
Cube has fitted the bike with its CSL Race Carbon fork. The curved blades give a little bit of added security with more trail than offered by a straight bladed fork. This component is integral to how the bike feels in corners, but it also helps towards comfort.
The Agree GTC SL handles well for its target market and speed is bolstered by a good set of DT Swiss RA 2.0 wheels shod with Schwalbe One tyres.
The frame has internal cable-routing for both mechanical and electronic groupsets and is decorated with a matt-finished paint job.
Agree GTC SL is a decent bike, and not just at this price point; it’s an all-round versatile bike that will suit many riders’ ability and ambitions.
Cube Litening Super HPC SLT Di2 road bike £1999.99
The Cube Litening Super HPC SLT Di2 is the German company’s road range topper and you really are getting a huge amount of bike for a huge amount of money. In fact Cube reckon it’s an “absolute top end road bike with nothing left to be desired or improved”.
All of the monocoque Super HPC (High Performance Composite) frames from 2014 onwards are created using what Cube call an Advanced Twin Mold process. This involves an internal form used to position each layer of carbon fibre exactly where it needs to be and keep it there during the layup and curing process, so there’s no bunching of fibres. The end result is less material can be used as there is no chance of fibres moving and leaving a weak point in the frame.
Cube have created a frame that’s just as easy to ride to the shops as it is flat out sprinting in a tight group. The steering is very forgiving should you get things a little bit wrong, push the Cube hard into a bend and it’ll respond to your input.
The direct handling comes from the tapered head tube, something that is pretty much standard on performance bikes these days. There’s a 1 1/8in internal diameter upper bearing with a 1 1/2in lower, both integrated directly into the frame — no alloy cups here to add weight.
You’ll never tire of the way the Litening surges forward from a standing start and you need the rapid shifting Di2 gears just to keep up as it gets up to 20-27mph. It really seems to fly with what feels like minimal input.The chainstays mimic bikes like Cervelo’s R series for creating flex to stop road buzz travelling up through the seatpost to the rider, in turn reducing fatigue.
The Di2 groupset used is the full Dura Ace 11 speed. The quickness and smoothness of the shifting is a perfect match for the performance of the frame. All the cables run inside the frame, exiting at the exact point they’re needed. The wheels come with dedicated tyres, Mavic’s Yksion Pro Griplink front and the Powerlink rear. These are pretty good in terms of performance and grip.
On the whole the Litening is a brilliant package with the frame and kit complementing each other. For a carbon frame the Cube offers a surprising amount of feedback with plenty of character. It’s comfortable, handles well whether you are in traffic or descending switchbacks at full blast and above all, it’s exciting to ride.