Cube Access WLS Team women’s bike – First ride review

Great value mid-range hardtail

Our rating 
4.5 out of 5 star rating 4.5
GBP £829.00 RRP

Our review

A top value overall bike package that manages to be lively, confi dent and comfortable on the trail
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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.

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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.

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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: longer head tube forms part of the women’s bike specific geometry
Dave Caudery

Product Specifications

Product

Name Access WLS TEAM (11)
Brand Cube Bikes

Available Colours Black Fading Petrol
Rear Hub FH-M495
Top Tube (in) 21.75
Seat Tube (in) 17
Chainstays (in) 16.75
Bottom Bracket Height (in) 11.5
Spoke Type DT Swiss Champion 2.0
Weight (lb) 27.8
Weight (kg) 12.6
Stem EA30 Oversized
Shifters SL-M660
Seatpost Complight 31.6mm
Saddle Natural Shape 0.2 WLS
Rims ZX24
Rear Tyre Schwalbe Rapid Rob 2.25
Rear Shock None
Rear Derailleur RD-M773
Available Sizes 15" 17" 19" frameset available 13" 17" 17" 17"
Pedals None
Headset Type NO. 10 Semi-integrated
Handlebar EA30 Lowriser Oversized
Front Tyre Schwalbe Rapid Rob 2.25
Front Hub HB-M495
Front Derailleur FD-M660-10
Frame Material Alu Lite AMF 7005 RFR-Geometry
Fork Recon Silver TK Air, Motion Control, Poploc
Cranks FC-M552
Chain CN-HG74
Cassette Shimano CS-HG81
Brakes BR-M4451
Grips/Tape Ergo
Bottom Bracket Integrated BB
Wheelbase (in) 40.5