Cube Stereo 150 C:68 TM 29 first ride review£3,999.00

Nimble-handling 29er with improved suspension

After Cube Action Team rider Greg Callaghan stormed to victory at the Irish round of the 2016 Enduro World Series on a Stereo 140 29er, the German brand decided it needed to add a more enduro-focused big-wheeler to its line-up. The result is the Stereo 150 29, and it’s already helped Greg gain a third-place overall finish last year. But is it just as potent an enduro weapon for us lesser mortals?

Cube Stereo 150 C:68 TM 29 frame

Cube’s new enduro weapon gets big wheels and an aggressive suspension feel
Cube’s new enduro weapon gets big wheels and an aggressive suspension feel

The C:68 frame of the flagship TM model is built from high-grade carbon fibre, which has had its carbon-to-resin ratio boosted with some carbon thread weaving to give thinner (and therefore lighter) walls. There are also nano particles in the resin, which are said to reduce the risk of delamination. Cube offers two cheaper C:62 carbon models, but no alloy option.

There’s 150mm of travel out back, courtesy of Cube’s familiar ETC 4-Link four-bar linkage. It's adjusted the kinematics for the Stereo 150 29, to give a much more progressive stroke, which improves confidence and control when the bike is pushed to the limits of its travel. 

The frame itself doesn’t have the stretched and lowered geometry you might expect of the latest generation of enduro bikes, though. Its reach — 457mm on the 20in size — is quite short by modern standards, and the 66-degree head angle isn’t super-slack. 

The 34mm of bottom-bracket drop keeps your weight low, though, and the 75.5-degree seat angle puts you nicely over the pedals when seated.

Cube Stereo 150 C:68 TM 29 kit

Cable routing is fully internal and there’s even a port for a Shimano Di2 battery
Cable routing is fully internal and there’s even a port for a Shimano Di2 battery

This top-end build comes with a 2019 Fox 36 fork with the new FIT GRIP2 damper, plus a Float X2 piggyback shock. The price is kept in check by use of SRAM’s mid-range GX Eagle groupset and Code R brakes. Newmen wheels aren’t well known in the UK, but the 30mm internal width of the Evolution SLs specced here gives a good platform for the excellent Schwalbe Magic Mary and (updated) Hans Dampf tyre combo.

Cube Stereo 150 C:68 TM 29 ride experience

The extra progression through the stroke is the most noticeable change over Cubes of old. Late in the travel, there’s a very obvious ramp-up — it’s not quite ‘blows your feet off the pedals’ firm, but the bike certainly doesn’t feel sofa-like as it gets deep into its stroke. 

This may sound like a negative, but this is a machine built for the EWS race track, where an aggressive suspension tune is necessary to stop it repeatedly bottoming out over the big hits. The soft initial stroke gives plenty of grip, boosted by the low pressures you can run in the Schwalbe rubber, and that extra mid-stroke support and firmness at the deep-end improve control.

The Cube is well-suited to tight and twisty tracks
The Cube is well-suited to tight and twisty tracks

Typically for Cube, the geometry isn’t radical. Compared to its EWS rivals, the Stereo 150 29 looks short. This means it doesn’t offer sled-like confidence on the steepest or loosest trails, although the low bottom-bracket and ground-hugging suspension do keep things in control. 

It’s a bike that you’ll get on with better if you’re smart about line choice, rather than just slamming over the top of everything. The Cube is well-suited to tight and twisty tracks, though, where its quick-turning nature will win you over.

Cube Stereo 150 C:68 TM 29 specifications

  • Frame: C:68 carbon fibre, 150mm (5.9in) travel
  • Fork: Fox 36 FIT GRIP2 Factory, 160mm (6.3in) travel
  • Shock: Fox Float X2 Factory
  • Derailleur: SRAM GX Eagle 12spd
  • Shifters: SRAM GX Eagle
  • Cranks: Sram X1 Carbon Eagle
  • Brakes: SRAM Code R, 200/180mm rotors
  • Wheelset: Newmen Evolution SL A.30 wheels
  • Tyres: Schwalbe Magic Mary (front) and Hans Dampf (rear) ADDIX Soft SuperGravity 29x2.35in
  • Bar: Race Face Turbine R 35, 780mm
  • Stem: Race Face Æffect R 35, 50mm
  • Seatpost: Fox Transfer Factory dropper
  • Saddle: SDG Fly Mtn 2
  • Weight: 14.68kg (32.36lb), 20in size without pedals

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

Tom Marvin

Technical Editor, Tech Hub, UK
Tom's been riding for 15 years, and has always chopped and changed bikes as soon as his budget allowed. He's most at home in the big mountains, having spent nigh on 30 weeks riding the Alps, as well as having lived a stone's throw from the Scottish Highlands for four years. Tom also enjoys racing events like the Strathpuffer and the Trans Nepal.
  • Age: 29
  • Height: 182cm / 5'11"
  • Weight: 82kg / 180lb
  • Waist: 81cm / 32in
  • Chest: 97cm / 38in
  • Discipline: Mountain
  • Preferred Terrain: Steep and super tech or fast and flowy
  • Current Bikes: Canyon Spectral, Pivot Mach 429SL, Mondraker Vantage R +
  • Dream Bike: Transition Scout
  • Beer of Choice: Gin & tonic
  • Location: Bristol, UK

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