German brand Cube deliver to their UK dealers directly from Europe. The lack of a UK distribution depot helps keep their prices lower than those of many other brands.
The Acid isn’t the lightest bike we’ve tested around this price, but a subtle flat grey and blue overcoat makes it a good-looker (there’s a more striking black and white option too).
It’s as well equipped as many bikes that cost £100 more than this and it offers a level of performance that you won’t be disappointed with, even if you were to subject it to the occasional competitive outing.
Ride & handling: Confident all-rounder that’s easy to handle
The Acid handles well on all types of terrain, with nothing that any of our testers felt they needed to get used to. That’s generally a good sign on a bike at this price. It’s a stable, confident bike rather than a nimble, floaty one.
Fairly hefty wheels go against the Cube on the uphills, contributing to a ride that’s a little dull at times. But the fork’s performance is good enough on rough downs to give great overall performance, also bringing singletrack to life once you’re up to speed. We can’t fault the parts specification.
Don’t let the Acid’s RFR (‘Ready For Race’) geometry label perturb you. While there’s nothing to deter you from racing on it, it’s much more casual than most race-bred bikes.
Frame & equipment: Excellent drivetrain spec for the price
The bike’s utilitarian all-rounder credentials are emphasised by luggage rack bosses, decent bar height and a stretch from saddle to bar that’s slightly shorter than average.
Plenty of thought has gone into tube shaping and finishing detail here. The head tube, with integral cups, is ring-reinforced for protection from frontal impacts, and the hydroformed top and down tubes are flared and biaxially ovalised to achieve maximum weld contact areas and lateral rigidity. The chainstays curve to provide plenty of tyre and heel clearance, and the top tube is low, for nads clearance.
We like the plastic protection strip underneath the down tube too – it’s something we always do on our own bikes to prevent paint chips from rocks spitting off the front tyre.
The RockShox Recon fork is coil-sprung, with decent preload and rebound damping adjustments and a bar-mounted lockout lever that still leaves a little compression movement.
The Acid’s Shimano drivetrain is a mix of Deore and XT (rear mech), and the no-group-name Octalink crankset shifts as well as some more costly offerings. An excellent range of 30 gears, with a 36-tooth biggest cassette sprocket, is as much as even the least fit rider would need to tackle the steepest ups.
The wheels are well built, with eyeleted Alex EN24 rims laced to Shimano Centre-Lock hubs and shod with Schwalbe’s fast but grippy 2.25in Smart Sam treads. Shimano hydraulic disc brakes are excellent and the finishing kit includes Easton’s 26in EA30 bar and four-bolt stem, plus a good quality own-brand seat and post.