The Cube Axial WS C:62 SL Disc is one of our Bike of the Year bikes for 2019. To read reviews of the other contenders and the categories tested across road, mountain and women’s bikes, visit our Bike of the Year hub.
Cube Axial WS C:62 SL Disc frame
This version features a Shimano Ultegra groupset including hydraulic brakes for consistent powerful stopping power in all weather conditions.
While the frame and most of the spec is similar to the 2018 model, Cube has opted for Newmen Evolution SL R.32 wheels rather than the Mavic Cosmic Elite set it had before. It’s a cheaper option, with the saving passed on to consumers as a price drop on last year’s model.
Newmen is a pretty fresh German brand and the R.32s have plenty going for them with straight pull hubs with quality Sapim spokes and a wide bed alloy rim with a 19mm internal width that’s tubeless compatible. And at 1,630g a pair they are also 220g lighter than last year’s Mavic’s.
The Axial’s frame and forks are constructed from carbon with ‘aero endurance’ geometry, with aerodynamic bladed profiles on the fork, head tube and down tube.
Cube has opted for an oversized down tube and a substantial bottom-bracket area for efficient power transfer.
To soften the ride without compromising speed, the seatstays and top tube have been designed to flex to absorb some road chatter before it makes its way to the rider’s derrière.
At the front end, the carbon forks and carbon handlebars perform a similar function, softening the ride just enough to keep arms, wrists and hands feeling comfortable. The tapered fork steerer increases stiffness and gives a precise steering feel.
Cube has based the Axial around the same unisex frame as the Cube Agree road bike, though with different finishing kit and colour scheme, and with a size range that runs smaller to cater to shorter riders.
There are four sizes available: 47cm, 50cm, 53cm and 56cm, covering a rider height range of 5ft 5in to 5ft 9in (164 cm to 175cm).
As a 5ft 8in / 174cm tall rider, I tested the 53cm frame and found it a good fit, though perhaps a tiny bit too long in the overall reach. However, this can be adjusted by shifting the saddle position around and swapping to a shorter stem, something you can do yourself or ask a bike fitter to look at.
Cube Axial WS C:62 SL Disc kit
A full Shimano Ultegra groupset, including cassette and crankset, offers smooth, reliable shifting and the adjustable reach and bite point on the shifters is good news for riders with smaller hands.
50/34t chainrings combined with an 11-32t cassette provides a wide range that makes spinning up long climbs or steep ups easier on the legs.
Ultegra hydraulic brakes offer tried-and-tested stopping power with great control — great for long descents as it means less pressure required to feather the brakes.
Most of the finishing kit is carbon too, which is an advantage over some pricer models at a similar spec level. Newman carbon handlebars with an alloy stem help with road chatter, as does the Newman carbon seatpost.
The slightly cheaper Newman Evolution SL R.32s contribute to the lower cost of the 2019 model, but are still a quality set.
For riders who don’t like to be constrained to tarmac, the Evolution wheels are also designed to be tough enough to handle cyclocross and gravel.
That said, if you are venturing off road you might want to swap to a slightly more appropriate tyre. The Continental GP4000s II are a firm favourite with BikeRadar as they are a great road tyre, which we can’t fault — although the new GP5000s may be taking their place, but aren’t the best for gravel grinding.
The wheels also come with thru-axles, the benefits of which include increased stiffness and security that’s noticeable on rough surfaces and when cornering. Also, there’s reliable placement of the brake rotors between the brake pad surfaces, so there’s no annoying squealing as your ride or when you brake — provided the brake pad surfaces haven’t become tainted, of course.
Cube Axial WS C:62 SL Disc ride experience
The Axial is a versatile ride that sits more towards the racey end of the spectrum, and offers a smooth, fast ride with a confident feel. And while it’s comfortable for a bike that places you in a fairly aggressive racy position, it’s not going to be my first choice for long, leisurely rides with hours in the saddle. It’s a bike for blasting through the countryside rather than admiring it.
On descents, it feels stable at speed and takes wider corners well, though it’s slightly nervier on tighter bends. Overall, that long wheelbase combined with a good wheelset and set of tyres provides a reliable base for zipping down mountains.
As a package it represents good value for money and an impressively light weight, and it’s been a lot of fun ripping through country lanes on it.
Cube Axial WS C:62 SL Disc specifications
- Sizes(*tested): 47, 50, 53*, 56cm
- Weight: 7.97kg
- Frame: C:62 carbon Advanced Twin Mold Technology Aero Frame
- Fork: CUBE CSL Evo Aero C:62 Technology
- Chainset: Shimano Ultegra FC-R8000, Hollowtech II, 50x34T
- Cassette: Shimano Ultegra CS-R8000, 11-32T
- Chain: Shimano CN-HG700-11
- Mech: Shimano Ultegra
- Shifters: Shimano Ultegra ST-R8020
- Wheelset: Newmen Evolution SL R.32
- Tyres: Conti Grand Prix 4000S II Kevlar, 25×622
- Stem: Newmen Evolution 318.4
- Bar: Newmen Advanced Wing Bar, Carbon
- Saddle: Selle Royal Asphalt
- Seatpost: Newmen Advanced, Carbon, 27.2mm
- Brakes: Shimano Ultegra BR-R8070, Hydr. Disc Brake, Flat Mount (160/160)
Cube Axial WS C:62 SL Disc geometry
- Seat angle: 74 degrees
- Head Aangle: 72 degrees
- Chainstay: 41.2cm
- Seat tube: 47.0cm
- Top tube: 53.85cm
- Head tube: 14cm
- Bottom bracket drop: 7.3cm
- Wheelbase: 992mm
- Stack: 54.4cm
- Reach: 38.3cm