Cube Hanzz SL £3299

Freeride funbike

BikeRadar score 4/5

The Hanzz isn’t a new face in the Cube range, but it’s had a considerable redesign for 2011. With 190mm (7.5in) of rear travel, weighing in at 36lb (16.3kg) on our scales and with a front mech, it should take on pretty much anything.

Ride & handling: Long-travel freerider that goes uphill too – sort of

This is a big bike that needs big trails to shine. The suspension action has a linear feel – happy to explore the depths of travel. If that’s not for you, use the Fox DHX shock’s end-stroke adjustment to tune it out. Despite having an air fork and a coil shock, the suspension is well balanced front to rear.

The Hanzz is super-stable, and with a Fox 36 Float fork up front and absorb-all suspension out back, it’s a true point-and-shoot weapon. The effective suspension is matched with relaxed geometry. You’ll need to muscle it in tight turns, but the rewards are there.

Take a chainring off, add a chain device and you’ve got a light downhiller. With two chainrings up front and loads of seatpost, you could ride the Hanzz back up the hill, but geometry will be against you. It’s in the ‘beats walking if there’s no uplift’ category though.

Frame: Absorb-all suspension plus future-proof design

While the general profile and some details of the new Hanzz remain the same, Cube have changed the suspension layout. It’s still a four-bar setup, but while the old bike used a swing-link off the top tube to drive the shock, the new one employs a huge link pivoting from the down tube. It’s a meaty forged aluminium item with prodigiously oversized bearings.

A 1.5in head tube will accommodate any fork, while the Syntace X12 through-axle dropouts at the back are bolt-on and interchangeable, so the Hanzz is pretty much future-proofed. A neat detail is the detachable stub tube for mounting the front mech – switch to a single-ring setup and you can take the whole tube off.

Equipment: Quality Fox suspension and Shimano Saint kit

The most obvious bit of kit is the new 180mm-travel (7.1in) Fox 36 Float fork plugged in at the front. With Fox 40-style lowers that extend below the dropouts, it’s a distinctive fork. The SL has the RC2 flavour, with adjustable rebound and high- and low-speed compression damping giving loads of tuning options.

Out back there’s a Fox DHX RC4 coil shock. Cube have gone with SUNRinglé’s Flea hubs and Equalizer 31mm rims. Tyres are from Schwalbe – a 2.5in Muddy Mary in the lead and a 2.4in Big Betty at the back delivering a handy mix of aggressive front and fast-rolling rear.

The transmission and brakes are all selected from Shimano’s hard-hitting Saint group – you get a front mech and roller chain device combination for your money. Finishing kit includes a suitably stumpy Syntace stem and low-rise bar to keep front-end height under control.

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