From the moment you get on the Cube, it’s immediately obvious that it sits in the friendly rather than ferocious camp. It’s not a fit issue, as the 54.5cm top tube is average for the 56cm frame size and the 14.5cm head tube has the potential to create a low, combative position if you switch out the spacer stack.
As soon as you put in a few turns of the pedals, though, you can feel a buoyant spring to the frame rather than the blunt directness of other, stiffer bikes. The teardrop shaped bar tops and comfortable ‘crepe paper’ finish handlebar tape complete the initial ‘warm welcome’ impression.
The inevitable rough edges on roads out of town underline the vibration-and pothole-shrugging ability of the generous volume Schwalbe Ultremo ZX tyres, and tapering fork tips.
The slack seat angle also sits you further back from Cube’s increased rake fork, which lightens the load on your wrists if you’re battering your way through particularly bad bits of tarmac.
While the Agree is a relatively expensive UDi2 bike, you do get a very welcome complete Shimano Ultegra suite, from brakes to reasonably wide-range rear block. The overall smoothness of the bike suits the barely discernible shifts of the Di2 transmission too, and the well-shaped Selle Italia saddle is definitely a pleasant place to spend long days. You even get a ‘free’ wireless computer.
Considering the frame weighs in at just over a kilo, the complete bike weight is surprisingly high. Worse still is that a lot of that extra weight, compared with the competition, is in the wheels.
Until you’re unfortunate enough to get a puncture you wouldn’t notice that Cube has saved money with a custom version of the excellent Schwalbe Ultremo ZX carcass on a wire bead, which adds around 90g per tyre over the folding bead rubber.
The DT Swiss wheels themselves are slightly weighty too, despite the fancy-looking notched flange hubs at their centre. Add the slight bounce in frame and fork, and acceleration is noticeably muffled.
The Cube fork also slows steering slightly from its previous peppy character, with the rearward weight positioning and occasional front end flutter promoting a lazy swinging approach to corners rather than a combative drive.