Cube Access WLS Team women's bike – First ride review
The Team is a step down from the top of Cube’s four-bike Access WLS range. It’s slightly better equipped than the majority of women’s bikes at this price and offers the sort of all-round trail performance and relaxed ﬁt that will appeal to smaller male riders too.
Ride & handling: Great value mid-range women’s hardtail
On the trail, comfort is deﬁnitely to the fore with the Access Team. The RockShox Recon fork is plush and well controlled, handling is conﬁdent, the ride posture feels relaxed and well balanced and the tyres are big enough to run them fairly soft without undue risk of pinch punctures.
The tyres are fast rolling too, without any major compromise in wet weather traction, giving another little performance boost to the sprightly overall feel of the bike. Overall bike weight is just under 28lb, which is about average for a bike at this price, and there are no obvious componentry compromises.
Frame: Women-specific geometry and good attention to detail
The Cube’s 7005 aluminium tubes are double butted in the mainframe for low weight. A fat biaxially ovalised down tube boosts strength and stiffness while compact WLS (Woman Like Series) geometry features a shorter lower top tube and a longer head tube than on the equivalent Cube men’s model. This makes for a fairly upright and relaxed ride posture.
There are two sets of bottle cage bosses and rear rack mounts add versatility. A couple of riders who’d normally go for a 17in bike found the top tube reach too short, but the 19in version would have been ideal: worth bearing in mind if you’re comparing to other brands.
Equipment: Excellent complete package, but racy saddle won’t suit all posteriors
Comfort is emphasised with Cube’s own ergonomic handlebar grips, big proﬁle Schwalbe Rapid Rob tyres and a well padded saddle, although some women would prefer a wider backed seat than the fairly racy Scape model offered.
The triple crankset has a hollow-axled bottom bracket with external bearings and the gears twin a Shimano XT rear mech with SLX shifters and 10 sprockets out back. Easton supply the bar and stem, and the seatpost is a twin-bolted item from Cube.
The RockShox Recon 100mm travel air fork is easy to ﬁne-tune to suit rider weight and feel preferences: the rebound damping is very effective and a bar-mounted lockout switch will be welcomed by most riders. Wheel spec and build is excellent, with Cube’s For Race rims, made by Alex, and Shimano hubs.
Longer head tube forms part of the women’s bike specific geometry: longer head tube forms part of the women’s bike specific geometry Dave Caudery