Cube Aim Disc £499.00

Entry-level mountain bike

BikeRadar score3.5/5

Cube always offer a good deal in componentry terms. Happily the Aim Disc's frame is pretty good too, but don’t expect much from the fork. Like many other low budget SR Suntour offerings, it’s relatively uncontrolled when the going gets rough.

Ride & handling: Fork performance slightly lets down an otherwise great bike

If you want to benefit from front suspension, you must keep your weight well forward, allowing the fork to stay slightly sagged. The Cube Aim Disc's SR Suntour XCM is fine for easy terrain but thunky when you start hitting stutter bumps or sitting back on little drops. 

The better news is that the big tyres do a decent job of small bump taming, and the rest of the bike performs well – well enough to warrant a future investment in a better fork. Handling is confidently neutral, predictable on all but the harshest terrain.

The 14.06kg (31lb) overall weight is a downer on long climbs, but it’s what you can expect at this price. Tight chainstays help make short, smooth grunter climbs surprisingly nippy, and the gear range is enough to haul you up anything once you’re in the granny ring.

If you’re not riding harsh terrain you’ll learn to live with the fork’s limits. But if you have proper off-road ambition then you’ll very soon be wanting more controlled suspension, which is a pity because the rest of the bike is excellent.

Frame & equipment: Great chassis, great wheels and tyres plus quality finishing kit

Riders who flinch at vivid colour schemes will probably love the matt dark grey and subtle blue detailing of the Aim Disc. The fork, tyres, rims and most of the finishing parts are colour-splashed to match. The frame is good enough to outlive most of its parts, so a few eventual upgrades wouldn’t be wasted.

There’s loads of standover room, and hydroformed, biaxially ovalised top and down tubes make for maximum weld contact areas for stiffness and durability. Rack eyelets on the seatstays and two sets of bottle bosses make this an easy and versatile choice for utilitarian use. 

The SR Suntour XCM fork is average for this kind of price. In other words, it’s not great. We got about 70mm out of the claimed 100mm travel and rebound was uncontrolled, with a thunk when it got a chance to return to full extension. On the plus side, we’ve experienced far worse on other bikes and a lockout lever effectively turns it into a rigid fork for urban use. The fork is the only weak link on the bike.

The 24-speed Shimano drivetrain works perfectly, as do the Shimano hydraulic disc brakes. The wheels are well built with Shimano Center Lock hubs and disc rotors. It’s good to see Schwalbe’s grippy but quick Smart Sam 2.25in treads at this price, and we’d say the same about the Easton stem and 26in Monkey Bar. We were happy with the Scape saddle and post.

This article was originally published in What Mountain Bike magazine, available on Apple Newsstand and Zinio.

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