Germany’s Cube, best known for its well-priced bikes that are still sold through real bricks-and-mortar shops, has been a little quiet of late. Its range-topping Litenings were still impressive, but elsewhere things were starting to look a little staid. Well, Cube has got off to a flyer for 2016, redesigning its ever-popular Agree road bike and debuting the disc-specific Attain.
On-trend form and function
Its frame follows all the latest trends: an oversized head tube and down tube, beefy bottom bracket shell and chainstays, a narrowing top tube and slender seatstays joining the seat tube well below the level of the top tube, a feature becoming ever-more popular on modern comfort-orientated bikes. The primer-grey (is this 2016’s ‘in’ colour?) and fluoro orange finish split opinions, but many loved the contrast of understated and hi-vis, and it makes a change from the usual swathes of all-black carbon.
The head and down tubes are burly specimens: Immediate Media
The head and down tubes are burly specimens
Cube has certainly continued its knack of speccing a lot of bike for the money, here offering you full 105 and Shimano’s new BR-RS505 hydraulic brakes. Cube’s own-brand CPS parts are also a notch above that found on most similarly priced bikes, as they’ve been made in collaboration with Germany’s high-end component manufacturer Syntace.
The seatpost has a very neat clamping system, the stem is light with pressure evenly spread and the bar has Syntace’s rearward-six-degree sweep, which is perfect if you want to cruise on the tops. Syntace X12 thru-axles also feature at both ends. It was one of the first to adopt the 12mm diameter axle standard, claiming it offers a better stiffness-to-weight ratio than either 10 or 15mm offerings.
The shimano hydraulic disc brakes are a real winner…: Immediate Media
The Shimano hydraulic disc brakes are real winners
The Fulcrum wheels are well suited to larger volume tyres, and though a little weighty, they are built to Fulcrum’s usual high standards, and you should get thousands of miles out of them.
On the road the Attain frameset is a stunner, the blend of drivetrain stiffness and just enough give elsewhere creating an intoxicating ride. The Attain is imbued with such a willingness to handle speed that we simply wanted to keep on pushing it as hard as we could, challenging its chassis through every corner, up every climb and down every descent.
The gearing helps to overcome the Cube’s slight weight issue when the climbs get steeper. And its high-speed handling downhill is up there with the likes of Cannondale’s CAAD12 and Evo and the Cervélo C5. For such a reasonably priced machine Cube’s Attain feels extremely composed and highly evolved, and good enough to mix it with the very best.
For such a reasonably priced machine the attain feels extremely composed and highly evolved:
For such a reasonably priced machine the Attain feels extremely composed and highly evolved
The 105 drivetrain works as well as ever, and forms a great pairing with the hydraulic brakes. The levers are noticeably larger than on Shimano’s high-end hydraulic systems, but the lever feel is as familiar and controllable as with Shimano’s pricier models. The larger handholds do feel very secure, too.
If you’re eyeing the Attain and feeling put off by its numbers on the scales, we’d say ignore the mass – which is only a major issue if you do a lot of climbing – and simply revel in how the bike feels. Firm yet smooth, nimble yet stable, this is a bike of contradictions, but one that we’ve developed a rather big crush on.