BikeRadar Women tested the Cube Sting WLS extensively as part of its Bike of the Year awards and rated it highly. It’s a fun, playful and capable machine. So what happens when you add an electric motor?
As e-MTBs become more and more popular, increasing numbers of brands are releasing their versions. Interestingly, there are still only a handful of brands offering women’s specific e-mountain bikes, and Cube is one of them.
Women’s specific in this case means a unisex frame with women’s specific finishing kit: saddle, bars and grips.
I took the Cube Sting WLS Hybrid 120 for a short test ride around the Ballinastoe trail centre in Ireland, plus a sneaky ride down part of the 4th stage of the Enduro World Series course in the Wicklow Mountains — the word ‘hybrid’ here refers to the fact that the bike has a motor; think hybrid in the vehicular sense, rather than in the bicycle sense.
The Bosch motor and battery unit sit low on the bike at the bottom bracket, bringing the centre of gravity down Phil Hall / Immediate Media Co
Parts and spec
Unlike the Cube Sting WLS we tested for Women’s Mountain Bike of the Year, the e-MTB version comes with 120mm of travel rather than 140mm. The forks are RockShox Recon Silver TK Air and are paired with a Fox Float DPS Performance shock.
120mm of travel up front comes courtesy of RockShox Recon Silver TK Air forks Phil Hall / Immediate Media Co
Drivetrain wise, Shimano XT shifters, derailleurs and cassette, plus FSA crankset, provide part of the forward momentum, the other part being driven by the Bosch Drive Unit and battery — more about that below.
The 1×11 system with 11-46t cassette is plenty wide enough for climbing, descending and general trail riding, particularly when partnered with a little electronic motorised help.
Rear travel is provided by a Fox Float DPS Performance shock Phil Hall / Immediate Media Co
Stopping power comes courtesy of Shimano Deore, and the Cube wheels also feature Deore hubs with Schwalbe Nobby Nic kevlar 2.35 tyres.
The frame geometry is slightly different to the 140mm version of the bike; there’s a head angle of 68.5 degree on the e-MTB compared to 67.5 on the 140mm version, which will be due in part to the shorter travel on the forks.
The Sting has a 1×11 drivetrain with Shimano XT and Deore Phil Hall / Immediate Media Co
The seat tube angle is only very slightly different, 74 degree on the e-MTB compared to 74.5 on the 140mm version. There is also a 140mm version of this bike for those riders who like a bit more travel.
Cube supplies the finishing kit, including decently wide 740mm bars, and a Selle Italia WLS Performance women’s specific saddle, while the aluminium frame comes bedecked in a characteristically bright ‘mint ‘n’ flash green’ colourway,
Bosch battery and motor