CUBE releases New 29″er Bikes – Stereo SHPC, AMS SHPC & Elite SHPC- by c_g

Not long ago we have shown you the news by the global players SCOTT (here) and TREK (here) – now it is the turn of another. The German company CUBE (www.cube.eu) is another big bike manufacturer, though unfortunately not present on the US market.

Some may remember how last year we have tested two of their first take on 29″er bikes and got away deeply impressed. We had taken a quick look at the entry level hard tail LTD SL (here) and their full suspension AMS SLT (120 mm) which even made it to 4th place in our ´11 Top Ten (here).

In 2012 CUBE has not been idle and now have introduced 3 exciting 29″er bikes. While the XC-Carbon-29″er Elite Super HPC (Hard tail- image left) is more than the high end refinement of the current carbon framed Reaction range. It is lighter with a more elaborate layup and carbon fibers, a X-12 thru axle rear, plus the option to mount a SHIMANO direct mount rear mech).

The AMS Super HPC (100 mm full suspension bike- image right above) is not only another version of the current alloy AMS (120 mm) but a completely new design. Both bikes are filled to the brim with State-Of-The-Art carbon technology, high end components and represent a great value. The Elite SHPC is claimed at about 1000g frame weight while the AMS 100 HPC is said to weigh 1900 g (including shock and all hardware).

Cube Stereo HPC 140mm travel 29"er

The newest addition to the 29″er lineup comes as a real surprise to us and we are happy to introduce to you the all new CUBE Stereo Super HPC – an amazing Carbon All- Mountain rig that will be coming in all two wheel sizes – 29“ and 27,5“ . While the 27.5″er bike receives 160 mm of travel, the 29″er will feature 140 mm – CUBE believes that this is the maximum travel possible in a 29″er without having to compromise geometry and handling.

Cube Stereo 27.5"er

What is more – this 1st generation All-Mountain-29″er by Cube will come with an incredibly light full-carbon frame that is claimed to weigh a mere 2100 g (incl. shock and all hardware)!! This low weight is already pretty remarkable for a XC-susser, bit for a 140 mm AM-29″er machine this is breathtaking … and already a whole lot lighter than the ´13 SCOTT Genius 900 (introduced here).

The CUBE engineers have gone all out with technologies to achieve that record weight.

• Every major part of the frame is made of carbon – the main frame, chain stays and massive rocker link all constructed of one piece (no heavy bonding seams, except at the seat stay junction – see image).

•The entire layup, frame design and assortment of incorporated carbon fiber types has been designed with the assistance of FEM analysis, to ensure every single fiber is employed to enhance the structural integrity and reduce the non- structural resin.
• Wherever possible the pivots and axles are executed in lightweight alloy.
• Even the finish has been considered, by leaving out all but a hint of clear coating on top of the carbon structure – CUBE calls this detail „Zero Black“, and we really like the industrial looks of the finish (not sure how it performs long term in terms of cleaning and looking good though).

Despite all the weight savings, the frame looks anything but flimsy or delicate – the massive head tube section and frame tubes, including those stiffness enhancing features like the PF92 bottom bracket (for carbon frames seemingly obligatory ;) ), the tapered head tube (with a zero stack headset) and X-12 rear axle – all sound like the package could deliver a AM-worthy rigidity.

Being a true All-Mountain rig there even is provision for a RS Reverb Stealth post. Like the other SHPC frames you can run the frame with standard rear derailleurs and with the all new direct mount rear mechs (by a simple swap of the right side drop out). Often seen as a problem zone on 29″er full sussers – the bottom bracket section actually is very tidy with plenty of tire clearance due to the minimal construction width of the High Direct Mount front derailleur. CUBE says this way they achieved a compact rear end, massive tire clearance and a optimum tire clearance. Speaking of tire clearance – all Stereo bikes will come with SCHWALBE 2.35 tires, so no compromises there.

As for the geometry CUBE have their own philosophy – by using 51 mm offset on all 29″er bikes and having the bottom bracket position identical on all format bikes 26“, 27.5″er and 29″er. The steep (effective) seating angle of 74.5° and slack head angle of 68° really indicate a trail worthy handling.

Looking at the front triangle, one can see how the eff. top tube length is pretty short – especially when compared to CUBES more stretched XC 29″er bikes – but claims are pedaling efficiency and forward urge would not be compromised – something we are looking forward to try out ourselves :) .

There will be four sizes ranging from 16″ to 22″.

The suspension system and kinematic is a complete departure from the Dual-Traction- Control System employed in the current Stereo. With the newly designed Horst-link suspension with the massive rocker link the engineers of CUBE have achieved to keep the suspension ratio (Ratio between shock compression and actual rear wheels travel) almost perfectly constant throughout the entire travel. This does assist in two ways. For one it helps setting the damping more easily because the rebound and platform feel constant through the entire travel, and secondly this helps both small bump sensitivity and big hit performance – at least that is what the CUBE folks say.

MODELS: As usual for CUBEm there will be only complete bikes available – no frame only.
The top-end SLT model is a tribute to what is currently possible in weight savings (with no sacrifices in performance and durability) and complements the ultralight frame to achieve a incredible complete weight of under 10 kg … yes, you have heard correctly, we are talking about a trail worthy 140 mm travel 29″er bike with less than 22 lbs!!! Of course this includes a very exclusive component choice with the highest end parts by brands like TUNE, AX-Lightness, REYNOLDS and SRAM – unfortunately it had not been possible to achieve this weight with a dropper seat post (which undoubtedly suits such a bike well) – and such an exquisite bike does not come cheap (we heard something in the range of € 7000.-, which, considering the package isn´t all that bad in my opinion.

The next in line is the more „reasonable“ SL Version (SHIMANO XT group set and brakes, and now with the Reverb Stealth dropper post ), yet still with a more than decent weight around 26 lbs (or 12 kg) … still pretty WOW, I´d say!!

******************

So much for the introduction of the all new „superbike“ CUBE Stereo Super HPC 140 – but there is more: We already have a one of the few existing sample bikes for test – a production frame with slighlty off components. Stay tuned as we bring out first ride impressions to you soon.

RIDE ON,
c_g