Cube’s new Litening AIR C:68X is a lightweight aero road bike said to weigh just 6.6kg

UCI weight limit be damned

2023 Cube Litening AIR C:68X

Cube has launched the Litening AIR C:68X, a new lightweight aero road bike claimed to weigh just 6.6kg for a complete bike.

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Well over a year after we originally spotted this bike being ridden at the 2021 Critérium du Dauphiné (and then again at the 2021 Tour de France, the 2022 Giro d’Italia and the 2022 Tour de France), Cube has at long last officially unveiled the Litening AIR C:68X.

Developed in collaboration with Cube’s sponsored WorldTour team, Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux, the Litening AIR C:68X is set to complement, rather than replace, Cube’s pure aero road bike, the Cube Litening C:68X.

Cube says Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux riders will use the Litening AIR C:68X with a special-edition paintjob at the 2022 Vuelta a España, which begins today with a team time trial in Utrecht, the Netherlands.

A 799g disc brake aero road frameset

Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux will race this special-edition version of the new Litening AIR C:68X at the 2022 Vuelta a España.
Cube

With many modern Tour de France bikes weighing well over 7.5kg (albeit with pedals and bottle cages), the headline feature of the new Cube Litening AIR C:68X is undoubtedly its ultra-light claimed weight.

Thanks to the use of “premium C:68X carbon”, Cube says a size 54cm frame weighs 799g, and it’s possible to “easily build a 6.6kg racer” – some 200g under the UCI’s minimum bike weight limit of 6.8kg.

The 2023 Cube Litening AIR C:68X is claimed to be able to hit the UCI’s minimum bike weight limit with ease.
Cube

According to Cube, the Litening AIR C:68X is the lightest road bike in the company’s history – although it’s possible the brand is referring just to bikes with road disc brakes with this claim, because the 2010 Cube Litening Super HPC Di2, which used rim brakes, also weighed 6.6kg on our scales.

For context, a Specialized S-Works Tarmac SL7 frame is claimed to weigh 800g.

Like the Tarmac SL7, Cube’s Litening AIR C:68X uses a mixture of slim, truncated aerofoil tube shapes with dropped seatstays in a bid to balance aerodynamic performance, weight and comfort.

As you might expect, the tube shapes are generally much smaller than those found on the Cube Litening C:68X, in a bid to save weight.

Cube claims the Litening AIR C:68X is “the perfect marriage of low weight and aerodynamic design”, and that there is “only about five watts difference” between the new Litening AIR C:68X and the standard Litening C68:X, in terms of overall drag.

It also says the slim tubes and improved tyre clearance – now up to 31mm measured width – means the Litening AIR C:68X is “comfortable to ride on long days out in the saddle”.

The Cube Litening AIR C:68X has room for tyres up to 31mm wide.
Cube

Up front, there’s also a new integrated handlebar, which appears to be the same as the one we saw on Taco van der Hoorn’s Cube Litening C:68X TE at the 2022 Tour de France (although we would expect consumer bikes to come with a less extreme stem length and handlebar width than van der Hoorn chooses to race with).

The Litening AIR C:68X’s handlebar features a flattened aero stem paired with a slimmer top section than the deep aerofoil seen on the Litening C:68X’s stock integrated cockpit.

Like the standard Litening C:68X, the AIR C:68X also features fully internal cable routing to maximise its aerodynamic efficiency.

Cube Litening AIR C:68X geometry

The Cube Litening AIR C:68X shares its geometry with the standard Litening C:68X, with relatively steep and aggressive dimensions that should make for a racy riding position and quick handling.

Frame size50cm52cm54cm56cm58cm60cm
Seat tube (mm)440460480500520540
Top tube (mm)527537550565580592
Seat tube angle (degrees)7574.273.573.573.573.5
Head tube angle (degrees)72.572.57373.573.573.5
Chainstay length (mm)410410410410410410
Head tube length (mm)110120140160180195
Wheelbase (mm)981.01981.01984.22994.61,005.011,011.19
Bottom bracket drop (mm)727269696767
Reach (mm)389.36388.67389.47398.3402.7404.61
Stack (mm)513.67524.18541.94562.76579.94594.32

Cube Litening AIR C:68X pricing, specifications and availability

There are three models available in the Litening AIR C:68X range: the SLT, the SLX and the Race.

All builds feature electronic groupsets from Shimano, Cube-owned Newmen carbon wheels, and Continental tubeless-ready tyres.

Prices start at £5,999 for the cheapest build, the Litening AIR C:68X Race, and rise to £8,999 for the lightest and most expensive build, the Litening AIR C:68X SLT.

Litening AIR C:68X SLT

The Cube Litening AIR C:68X SLT is the lightest and most expensive build in the range.
Cube
  • Price: £8,999 / €7,999
  • Frameset: Cube Litening AIR C:68X
  • Drivetrain: Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 R9200, with Shimano FC-R9200-P power meter
  • Wheelset: Newmen Advanced SL R.50 CS Streem, Aero Carbon Spokes
  • Tyres: Continental GP5000 TT
  • Seatpost: Litening C:68X Aero, Comfort FLex
  • Saddle: Natural Fit Nuance SLT Road Carbon
  • Handlebar: Cube ICR Cockpit System
  • Claimed weight: 6.6kg

Litening AIR C:68X SLX

The Cube Litening AIR C:68X SLX gets an Ultegra power meter and top-tier wheels with carbon spokes.
Cube
  • Price: £7,499 / €6,599
  • Frameset: Cube Litening AIR C:68X
  • Drivetrain: Shimano Ultegra Di2 R8170, with Shimano FC-R8100-P power meter
  • Wheelset: Newmen Advanced SL R.50 CS Streem, Aero Carbon Spokes
  • Tyres: Continental GP5000 TT
  • Seatpost: Litening C:68X Aero, Comfort FLex
  • Saddle: Natural Fit Nuance SLT Road Carbon
  • Handlebar: Cube ICR Cockpit System
  • Claimed weight: 6.9kg

Litening AIR C:68X Race

The Cube Litening AIR C:68X Race ditches the power meter and carbon-spoke wheelset.
Cube
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  • Price: £5,999 / €5,299
  • Frameset: Cube Litening AIR C:68X
  • Drivetrain: Shimano Ultegra Di2 R8170
  • Wheelset: Newmen Advanced SL R.50 Streem
  • Tyres: Continental GP5000 S TR
  • Seatpost: Litening C:68X Aero, Comfort FLex
  • Saddle: Natural Fit Nuance SLT Road Carbon
  • Handlebar: Cube ICR Cockpit System
  • Claimed weight: 7.1kg