Bavarian brand Cube brought the original Nuroad to the masses back in 2012. In the intervening decade, the gravel bike space has expanded, diversified and mutated to offer myriad options for those of us looking to head off tarmac and explore more of the great outdoors.
The roots of the Nuroad were as a mash-up combining the sportiness of the best road bikes with the toughness of a cyclocross bike, all wrapped in the comfort and practicality of a classic touring bike.
That means you get a lightweight carbon frame and fork, sporty geometry and proper practicality such as front and rear mudguard mounts, a rear rack mount and lowrider mounts on the fork.
It even comes with mounts for a chainstay-mounted kickstand, something criminally underused by UK riders. Tyre clearances of 45mm will serve gravel riders well and the bike, equipped with guards, will still take a big 40mm tyre.
Cube Nuroad C:62 Pro specifications
The Nuroad C:62 carbon frame has a claimed weight of 1,100g, respectably light for a bike of this type.
It’s a nicely finished frame with all the mounts integrated neatly, and the pseudo-integrated clamp (borrowed from the Agree road bike) retains the practicality of a traditional clamp but with a slicker look for this appealing frame.
The meat of the bike is all from Shimano’s GRX family, mixing the (mechanical) range-topping RX812 rear derailleur with a 1x RX600 chainset and RX400 brakes and shifters.
For those of us more familiar with Shimano’s road range, this is the equivalent of mixing an Ultegra rear derailleur with a 105 chainset and Tiagra shifters. The wide 11-42 rear cassette comes from the Japanese brand’s SLX mountain bike range.
It all works seamlessly well together and the 1:1 lightest gear will keep you pedalling on the most challenging of climbs, whereas the 42/11 top gear is more than plenty to keep pace with roadie friends on rolling tarmac.
The alloy Newmen stem is very tidy, with a flattened shape that makes it look very much the premium item.
The Cube alloy gravel Race Bar comes with a very subtle flare that’s just enough to clear your wrists without putting the shifters at a weird angle.
At the back, an alloy-headed, carbon-shaft seatpost is topped by a Venec natural-fit saddle. This short-nosed saddle is very much of the moment in its shape, and I was impressed by its comfort too. There’s plentiful padding, but it’s not too soft and has a good relief channel.
The Nuroad rolls on Fulcrum’s OEM (original equipment manufacturer) Racing Red 900 DB wheels. OEM means these aren’t available in stores, only as original parts on complete bikes.
They’re a good option for bigger tyres, with their 22mm internal width. They come 2-Way fit ready (tubeless-compatible) and like all of Fulcrum’s offerings are built well and stand up to plenty of punishment.
At 1,950g a pair, they aren’t the lightest, but on a bike at this price you’ll be hard pushed to find anything of better quality.
Cube Nuroad C:62 Pro geometry
The Nuroad is an interesting shape. Its 71.5-degree head angle is a degree and a half more relaxed than a full-on road bike.
However, it hasn’t been slackened enough to make it ‘off-road’ only. The 73.5-degree seat angle is properly road-bike steep. Add to that a low (for a gravel bike) stack of 578mm and long reach of 388.8mm (56cm/medium-sized bike).
The chainstays, however, are long at 439.5mm and the wheelbase of 1,041.2mm is lengthy too.
The fork’s 46mm offset, when combined with the tyre size and head angle, gives a trail figure of 70mm. This puts the steering-response potential very much in the realm of endurance bikes. That’s a good thing for a bike aimed squarely at being a great all-rounder.
|Seat angle (degrees)||75.3||74.5||73.5||73||73|
|Head angle (degrees)||69||70||71.5||72||72.5|
|Seat tube (mm)||434.2||464.2||494.2||514.2||544.2|
|Top tube (mm)||522||537||560||575||592|
|Head tube (mm)||102||124||154||174||197|
|Bottom bracket height to hub (mm)||70||70||70||70||70|
Cube Nuroad C:62 Pro ride impressions
The Nuroad C:62 Pro’s positioning within Cube’s range as a gravel bike, and hence its inclusion in our Bike of the Year gravel category, in some ways does it a disservice.
Yes, it’s a very capable off-roader, and I love that the riding position is on the road side of all-road. It results in a bike that’s rapid on tarmac and helps make short work of road sections of a ride between tracks and trails.
The Schwalbe G-One in its Allround guise is the ideal rubber for this ride too. The small, patterned block tread performs much better than it has any right to on wet, soggy tracks. In the dry, they’re brilliant, and on the road they’re some of the fastest-feeling gravel tyres I’ve tried.
The drivetrain really shines, despite such a pick-and-mix approach to GRX components, with sharp, quick shifts and the spring clutch in the rear derailleur keeping everything secure even when bouncing down rutted descents.
It’s the ruts and bumps where the Cube gravel bar comes up a little short, however. The bar is stiff and feels great on the road when sprinting out of the saddle or pedalling up a climb.
However, when hitting rough dirt and rocky trails, it transmits a lot of vibration once you’ve exhausted the cushioning of the 40mm tyres.
Also, the top section is narrow and its ovalised shape just didn’t gel with my hands as well as the wider, flatter top sections of my favoured gravel bar shapes.
The Natural Fit saddle, by way of contrast, is superb in its shape, not over-padded but firmly flexible and brilliant at keeping my posterior protected and fatiguing vibrations at bay.
It’s a saddle I’d be happy to pay good money for and would fit to my own bike in a heartbeat.
I’ve been impressed by the way in which the Nuroad responds to handling inputs.
On the road, it feels like a classic endurance bike with a neutral, stable feel that makes it easy to carve lines through corners on fast, open descents.
It’s an easy bike to live with and there’s no twitchiness from the front end on the road.
Off-road, the long wheelbase and steering geometry make it track straight even when the going gets choppy, but it’s not so lazy as to become a handful to correct if you get tramlined into a tractor tread.
The bike’s overall weight looks modest on paper, but it wasn’t a problem, with the Fulcrum wheels never feeling like the near-2kg package they are.
Cube Nuroad C:62 Pro bottom line
The Nuroad stands out among most of its gravel peers as a bike that’s influenced much more by road tourers than anything else.
The frame fittings, only two bottle mounts, no top tube mounts, and mounts for traditional front and rear racks may not be to bikepackers’ tastes.
However, I’d argue that for most modern touring cyclists, traditional panniers are still the more practical option.
Cube has even added the practicality of a mount for a kickstand, so your fully laden bike won’t fall over.
The way the bike rides and feels falls squarely in the mid-range.
It’s not as nimble and agile as the Vielo V+1 Strato SRAM Rival AXS XPLR or Cervélo’s Áspero Rival XPLR Etap AXS 1 disc as a fast gravel bike, nor does it handle as rapidly as BMC’s similarly genre-busting endurance Roadmachine X. It’s certainly not as out-there as Bombtrack’s Audax either.
What Cube has with the Nuroad C:62 Pro is the perfect long-distance commuter bike.
This bike, equipped with guards, rack, and yes, even a kickstand, would be the most practical of fast bikes for anyone who commutes longer distances.
You’ll have a capable bike that’ll either cut it with your roadie riding companions or handle its own on unmetalled byways. Plus, if you fancy that odd weekend away, it’ll do that too.
Gravel Bike of the Year 2022 | How we tested
Testing for our 2022 Gravel Bike of the Year category started on a loop around Salisbury Plain in Wiltshire.
This fast blast takes in wide, well-paved gravel roads, proper mountain bike singletrack trails and forest fire roads, with the ride out using connecting towpaths and bridleways, and the ride back taking in a bit of tarmac. It’s exactly the kind of multi-terrain route on which we want a gravel bike to excel.
Following this, each bike was then taken on a 70-mile/113km route over mixed terrain with plenty of elevation changes.
The bikes were then ridden back-to-back over a few weeks, during which we assessed the pros and cons of each, finally coming to a decision on the best gravel bike on test based on how well it handles, its spec choice and – arguably most importantly of all – how much fun it is.
Our 2022 Gravel Bike of the Year contenders are:
- Cervélo Aspero Rival AXS
- Cinelli Nemo Gravel
- Cube NuRoad C:62 Pro
- Giant Revolt Advanced Pro 0
- Vielo V+1
|Available sizes||XS (50cm), S (53cm), M (56cm), L (58cm), XL (61cm)|
|Tyres||Schwalbe G-One Allround, Kevlar, 40-622|
|Stem||Newmen Evolution 318.4, 31.8mm|
|Shifter||Shimano GRX ST-RX600|
|Seatpost||Newmen Advanced, Carbon, 27.2mm|
|Saddle||Natural Fit Nuance|
|Rear derailleur||Shimano GRX RD-RX812, direct mount, 11-speed|
|Handlebar||Cube Gravel Race Bar|
|Bottom bracket||Shimano SM-BB71-41B, 86mm press-fit|
|Grips/Tape||ACID Bartape CX|
|Frame||C:62 Advanced Twin Mold, Internal Cable Routing, Flat Mount Disc, Fender/Rack & Kickstand Option, 12x142mm, AXH|
|Fork||Cube C:62 Technology, 1 1/8" - 1 1/4" tapered, flat mount disc, fender & lowrider|
|Cranks||Shimano GRX FC-RX600, 40t|
|Cassette||Shimano SLX CS-M7000, 11-42t|
|Brakes||Shimano GRX BR-RX400, hydr. disc brake, flat mount (160/160)|
|Wheels||Fulcrum Rapid Red 900 Disc, 700x22C, tubeless-ready|