The electric blue Cube is a stunner from ﬁrst glance (it’s also available in a stealth black colourway) and more than lives up to its attention-seeking garb.
Ride & handling: Not for beginners, but if you’ve got the ability, this bike will flatter your skills
The Cube is a classic cross-country hardtail, crammed with barely disguised trail-shredding fury. It has a spiky edge to it that’s nothing to do with the scorching paintjob and everything to do with the tightness of the frame and the kit hanging from it.
The light, responsive front end was either wayward or directable depending on the tester, which proves that variety is the spice of life and, even here, we like nothing better than a good disagreement on ride quality to enliven the long spin home.
It will ﬂatter you if you have the riding ability to be able to pick lines and lead it to them; if you’re searching for a bike that will do most of the hard work for you, however, look elsewhere.
The Ltd Race is an involving, amusing ride and if you’re prepared to weather the inevitable learning curve you’ll endure, then it might be your perfect ﬁt.
cube ltd race: cube ltd race Russell Burton
Frame: Race-ready geometry plus light weight = pedal-power rocket fuel
The double-butted 7005 aluminium frame has been built in Cube’s RFR (Ready For Race) mould. This combines a standard cross-country-steep 72° seat angle for efﬁcient power transfer with a slightly slacker 70° head tube angle that ekes the most out of the 100mm fork with plenty of stability. Shave off grams thanks to the manipulated tubing and the effect is akin to pedal-power rocket fuel.
Equipment: Fantastic fork and decent wheels, but considering upgrading cockpit
We’re big fans of the updated RockShox Reba fork and the Cube suits the SL version down to the ground. They’re beautifully supple once bedded in and the Dual Air system gives virtually inﬁnite options for tuning. Tracking is superb thanks to 32mm uppers and bulged lowers accommodating stiffer bushings, and the PopLoc remote lockout is great for smashing your way skywards.
Wheels are neat and tidy Sun Ringle XMBs shod with the stalwart pairing of Schwalbe’s Racing Ralph out back and a grippy, triple compound Nobby Nic up front.
Formula Oro K17s deal effectively with braking but we never managed to get a really comfortable cockpit setup dialled in, thanks to the pronounced kick on the brake levers that means they have to be wound almost to the bar to allow smaller hands purchase, and stumpy grips that left us with little room to manoeuvre on the bar.
The oro k17 brakes are dependable but may not suit smaller hands: the oro k17 brakes are dependable but may not suit smaller hands Russell Burton