Cube was missing a long-travel, big-wheeled enduro bike from its line-up – until now. The Stereo 170 29 has been designed to enable you to push your gravity-fuelled limits and have a lot of fun while doing it.
So, is Cube’s new bike a bit square or will it run rings around its rivals?
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Cube Stereo 170 Race 29 frame
The 170 29 uses a four-bar linkage suspension design, like the rest of the Stereo line, but it has a couple of tricks up its sleeve.
First, there are two shock mounts: one for an air shock and one for a coil-sprung damper. These deliver different leverage curves, which are designed to get the best from each type of shock.
It also comes with adjustable headset cups, which let you maintain the 64.4-degree head angle should you fit a 180mm fork, or otherwise, steepen it to 65 degrees.
These don’t require any special bearings or need to be aligned and pressed into the frame.
Hydroformed aluminium tubing gives the frame a clean look, along with internal cable routing and hidden pivots.
Cube only offers the 29in-wheeled Stereo 170 for taller riders, with the 18in frame I tested (equivalent to a medium) being the smallest available.
This has fitting geometry for a modern enduro bike, including a reasonable 446mm reach and 1,220mm wheelbase. However, the reach only increases by 20mm with each step up the sizing range, while the seat tube length jumps by 50mm, so some riders are likely to find the larger frames a little cramped and may not be able to size up.
Cube Stereo 170 Race 29 kit
The Race 29 sits at the bottom of the three-bike range but still has quality kit for the price, including a SRAM GX Eagle drivetrain and Code R brakes with plenty of power.
Fox’s Performance-series 36 fork and DPX2 shock are competent units. The Newmen wheels are solid, especially when paired with Maxxis’s Assegai and Minion DHR II tyres, with beefed-up EXO+ casings. They’re tubeless-ready, but you’ll need a valve to convert them.
The Race Face Chester bar and Æffect stem are good choices at this price, leaving the dropper post, saddle and grips as the only own-brand components. For a non direct-sales bike, you get great value for money.
Cube Stereo 170 Race 29 first ride impressions
As you’d expect, this 170mm-travel, gravity-seeking machine isn’t going to claim you any climbing KOMs, and I don’t think it should either. However, its well-considered 76.7-degree effective seat angle will allow you to climb in comfort and conquer any steep technical climbs that your legs and lungs can winch you up.
I never had a problem with any of the kit on the Stereo 170 Race 29 – it all worked as it should, even in the grottiest of conditions.
I’d convert to tubeless immediately, but other than that I don’t see any need to upgrade anything immediately, and it’s great to see a bike come with usable tyres straight off the showroom floor.
Point this bike downhill and it doesn’t disappoint. My 18in frame was well-proportioned and balanced, and easy to ride fast.
I found the shock a little lacking in mid-stroke support, but never noticed any harsh bottom-outs. A shock tune or volume spacer is worth considering if you want to hit big features though.
Cube Stereo 170 Race 29 early verdict
Well-specced for the price and capable on the descents, but larger sizes could use more reach.
Cube Stereo 170 Race 29 geometry
- Sizes (* tested): 18*, 20, 22in
- Seat angle: 76.7 degrees
- Head angle: 64.4 degrees
- Chainstay: 17.11in / 43.45cm
- Seat tube: 16.54in / 42cm
- Top tube: 22.87in / 58.1cm
- Head tube: 4.06in / 10.3cm
- Bottom bracket height: 10.47in / 26.59cm
- Wheelbase: 48.03in / 1,220mm
- Stack: 24.37in / 61.9cm
- Reach: 17.56in / 44.6cm
|Price||AUD $4899.00GBP £2999.00USD $3899.00|
|Weight||15.66kg (18in) – without pedals|
|Available sizes||18, 20, 22in|
|Rear derailleur||SRAM GX Eagle (1x12)|
|Tyres||Maxxis Assegai 3C MaxxTerra EXO+ TR 29x2.5in WT (f) and Maxxis Minion DHR II 3C MaxxTerra EXO+ TR 29x2.4in WT (r)|
|Stem||Race Face Æffect R 35, 40mm|
|Shifter||SRAM GX Eagle|
|Seatpost||Cube dropper, 150mm|
|Saddle||Cube Natural Fit Venec|
|Rear shock||Fox Float DPX2 EVOL Performance|
|Brakes||SRAM Code R, 200/180mm rotors|
|Handlebar||Race Face Chester 35, 780mm|
|Grips/Tape||CUBE Race SL Grip 29.5mm, 1-Clamp|
|Frame||Hydroformed aluminium alloy, 170mm (6.7in) travel|
|Fork||Fox 36 Float Performance, 170mm (6.7in) travel|
|Cranks||Sram GX Eagle™ 30T, 170mm|
|Chain||Sram SX Eagle|
|Cassette||Sram XG-1230, 11-50T|
|Wheels||Newmen Evolution SL A.30|