CUBE Bikes is a leading manufacturer of bicycles - with and without electric drive. CUBE is at the forefront in both the sports-leisure sector and with practical everyday bikes. The design of the new CUBE e-bikes is by no means ostentatious but the electronics are almost invisible. A marvel in the development of pedelecs.
CUBE Bikes: How it all began
With CUBE Mountain Bikes in 1993, Marcus Pürner started on his vision of the perfect mountain bike from Germany. Today his bikes are available in over 60 countries. Marcus Pürner started CUBE Bikes at the time when the big mountain bike trend spread from the USA to Europe at the beginning of the 90s. In addition to racing bikes, CUBE also offers mountain bikes of all price and performance classes. In the meantime, there are now more than 180 individual bicycle models for all imaginable target groups and areas of application.
Of course, the e-bikes and e-mountain bikes from CUBE are the most important to us. CUBE offers an exciting programme in this area and the current bikes are particularly eye-catching due to their specially developed frames, which don’t merely have a battery attached. The electric bikes from CUBE are equipped with a specially designed frame that encases the drive unit and the battery as if moulded. In this area, CUBE is one step ahead when it comes to design and future thinking.
CUBE e-bikes and product lines
Whether Marcus Pürner thought about bringing a pedelec onto the market sometime or other when he founded CUBE Bikes in 1993 is unclear or even unlikely. Nevertheless, CUBE is one of the bicycle manufacturers who were able to position themselves very early on and with great success in the electronic bicycle sector.
CUBE supplies full-suspension e-bikes, a comprehensive range of e-trekking bikes, its own e-mountain bike line for ladies and three very exciting e-racing bikes - racing bikes with battery and motor. They really are worth a look because the electronics of these road bikes are perfectly integrated into the frame and disappear completely within the bike frame. An incredible achievement from CUBE Bikes. But more about that below.
Mountain bike: fully and hardtail
The main difference between fully and hardtail mountain bikes is the suspension. While conventional bikes for everyday use often don’t really have any suspension at all, hardtail-MTBs have a (hydraulic) suspension at the front wheel fork. This prevents unevenness on the pathways from being transmitted to the arms, shoulders and the rest of the body of the rider.
If the surface is more uneven than usual, the ideal choice is a bike with even more suspension: an e-fully. Full suspension bikes are bikes that have both front and rear suspension. The suspension cushions the effect of roots, stones, rocks, bumps and ridges thus not upsetting the e-mountain biker's balance. An essential piece of equipment preventing the bike from throwing you out of the saddle.
CUBE has manged to perfect both categories. But not only that. They further refine their range by optimizing each of their models for a specific purpose. They combine the specifications for each e-bike in such a way that the full suspension e-bikes, for example, are perfectly suited for cross-country as well as all-mountain tours, for example the Stereo 120 and 140 HPA series. The STEREO 160 HPA, on the other hand, combines components in such a way that the bikes already form part of the enduro range.
All this is possible due to the technically precise efficiency and development of the manufacturer. The hardtail range is no less diverse. The ELITE C:62 series leaves nothing to be desired, from versatile tours to Alpcross, while the ACID series is designed more for everyday use and for less high-speed tours.
Trekking: touring, sport and comfort
The electric trekking bikes from CUBE cover the comfort class as well as the sports class. The TOURING HYBRID Exc 500, for example, is perfect for touring, but also for a leisurely ride to the market. The Kathmandu series, on the other hand, is designed for more sporty use. Nothing to stop you going on a cycling holiday or a longer bike trip.
Then there is the Cross series, which is almost exclusively dedicated to fitness and sport. The features of this series are perfectly tailored to a day out on an e-bike or a sporty off-road ride: light frame, streamlined design and electronics as filigree as possible, coupled with a suitable but not overly smooth-running suspension.
Women: full suspension and hardtail E-MTB for ladies
CUBE has apparently found a gap in the market and explicitly offers bicycles for the feminine section of the population. Bright, lively colours can be found in this category as well as elegant black and gold, black and red or black and blue designs and the technology is tried and tested. There is also a choice between fully (series Sting Hybrid) or hardtail (series Access Hybrid) as well as various versions, depending on the intended use.
It is up to you: do you want an all-rounder for the daily journey to work but that can also take you up to the alpine trails at the weekend or on holiday, or would you prefer a long-distance trekking e-bike? Or you don’t need any of this and all you need is a bike that will take you as easily as possible to the next downhill trail so that you can plunge down it at full pelt? Among the CUBE e-bikes there is certainly one for you.
Road: Agree Hybrid and Fazua evation
When you see these models for the first time, you will wonder whether you have come to the non-motorized area by mistake. CUBE's electric racing bikes have electronic parts that are so small that they are almost unnoticeable. The lower bar of the frame may be a bit thicker, but that's no reason to make assumptions about an e-bike, is it?
With the FAZUA evation drive system, for example, CUBE has finally found a technology that is not too big, heavy or noisy for the delicate statics of a road bike. It has taken a long time but now the manufacturer has finally managed to achieve this balancing act.
CUBE e-mountain bikes: the right e-bike for every type of terrain
We didn't pass up the opportunity to take a closer look at CUBE's e-mountain bike range and to find out what is behind the various subcategories. Our tips will help you to find the right model corresponding to your own high e-MTB needs.
With full suspension over (almost) every type of terrain
Cross-country e-bikes must be durable and reliable. They must carry the rider safely along all the cycle paths and bolster his stamina throughout the entire route. It is important that the suspension has a good average range, not too unstable but also not too rigid, so that bumpy paths do not put strain on the joints.
A precisely adjustable suspension with roughly 100-130mm travel is the best solution. Full suspension is of course ideal but, in any case, it would perhaps be advisable to have a rear suspension that can be locked during ascents and sprints.
Touring and trail bikes have a little more suspension than the cross-country e-bikes. Here it can easily be 140mm suspension travel. Otherwise the two types are quite similarly designed. This is also reflected in the categorization at CUBE, where typical trail MTBs are also recommended for cross-country tours.
All-mountain pedelecs are ridden over differing ground conditions. They have a suspension travel of up to 160mm and are usually assembled using an ultra-light aluminium frame. The high-technology GravityCast process ensures that the frames are manufactured in such a way that the technology fits seamlessly into them and disappears into the aluminium casing. The cumbersome e-bike era is therefore definitively over.
With enduro e-bikes, the end of the technological road is pretty much in sight as far as suspension and general suitability for downhill riding are concerned. The extra wide tyres give additional buoyancy and glide over any unevenness, so that almost nothing can throw you off the downhill trail.
Hardtail – the balance between stability and suspension
With the hardtail we have come once again to the other end of the mountain bike categories. These models have no rear suspension and are therefore more stable, especially on tracks that require a lot of pedalling power. If you pedal with full suspension, most of the muscle power is lost in the damping and is not transferred to the wheels and thus to making headway.
Commuting e-bikes are all models that are more likely to be used for everyday use, for getting from A to B. They don’t require much suspension - possibly one that can be locked or tightened – for stability and smoother running.
If you are going on a longer, perhaps several-day cycle tour, your joints will probably be quite happy that the damping in the front fork takes some of the strain - especially if you are not only on asphalt cycle paths, but also sometimes off-road. That's what touring e-bikes are designed for. 100mm travel and an adjustable suspension are usually sufficient.
CUBE has developed the sports category for the top sports enthusiasts, who sometimes take it a bit easier but are nonetheless a far cry from Sunday bikers. You can make good headway on cycle paths, asphalted tracks, gravel or sand. If you nevertheless want to go on unpaved hiking trails, you won’t be let down by these bikes
The Alpcross bikes are one step further. Ideal suspension yet good steering precision and slightly wider tyres keep the e-bike and rider on track during every mountain tour. However, before you venture onto the frenetic downhill tracks and make jumps of several meters, it's better to take a fully.
Is it all a question of tyres? 27,5 or 29 inches
Whether one decides for 27.5- or 29-inch wheels is in principle relatively unimportant. It depends more on personal preferences and body size, because wheel diameter and frame size depend on each other. However, the larger wheels are said to be smoother but less manoeuvrable than their 27.5-inch counterparts.
Manoeuvrability and smooth running?
The most well-balanced and flexible tyre design was demonstrated by the 26-inch tyres, which were previously widely used. However, as these have now virtually disappeared from the market, some thought had to be given to maintaining the unique manoeuvrability with the larger tyres. So CUBE's engineers decided to concentrate on the frame geometry – and the Agile Ride Geometry was born.
Now you can really combine manoeuvrability, stability and smooth running and don't have to do without one or the other.
More tyre – more drive
Of course, by "more tyre" we do not mean building an additional wheel onto the frame. We are talking about tyre width. The more impassable the terrain, the wider they become so that you can neither become stuck nor lose your balance. While racing bikes (which have to move as fast as possible on a flat surface) have the thinnest tyres, MTBs even use so-called plus tyres (about 27.5+).
These have a tyre width of about 3 inches, which is exactly between the usual (about 2.2 inches) and fatbike width (about 4.8 inches). This has the advantage that the cushioning on hard, stony, uneven ground is even better and that you don't get stuck in between rocks and roots with the tyre. The wider the tyre, the better you can simply ride over everything.
CUBE relies on Shimano components
The products of the Japanese cult bicycle component manufacturer Shimano, with its high-quality standards, are used for the e-bikes from CUBE. Sprockets, gears, chains, pedals, cranks and bearings - but also brakes, disc brakes, brake levers, gearshift controls etc. are produced by Shimano. CUBE clearly demonstrates its quality awareness in this respect and installs the Shimano components - much appreciated for their quality - in its e-bikes. Like Bosch, Shimano puts a lot of energy into further development. Shimano components become even more durable and lighter every year and therefore allow for even more speed. At the same time, servicing intervals are extended practically every year.
Bosch as a reliable CUBE partner for more performance
As a German company, CUBE relies on "Made in Germany" from Bosch when it comes to drives. In the power range, its 500-watt drives are installed in the pedelec frame, which means unbelievable power. By drive we mean the e-bike motor, the battery, which is mounted on the frame and the drive control unit, which is located on the handlebars.
The drive control unit allows you to easily draw power from the battery, read off the remaining energy - i.e. how much power is still in the battery - and see how many kilometres you can still ride with the same settings and on the same type of terrain. Bosch is one of the big players on the pedelec market alongside Yamaha. Year after year new, even more powerful batteries and motors come onto the market. The same applies to the control unit, which is becoming increasingly digital and user-friendly.