Cube Litening C:62 review

Rapid and racy machine lives up to its name

Our rating 
4.0 out of 5 star rating 4.0
GBP £1,999.00 RRP

Our review

The Litening doesn’t disappoint, backing up a great spec with an exciting ride
Buy if, You want a capable speed machine that doesn’t need any upgrades
Pros: Low weight, smart spec, sharp handling and overall ride quality
Cons: Uncompromising position won’t suit all
Skip to view product specifications

At first glance it would appear that Cube’s designers were in a dour mood when they cooked up the Litening C:62 – it’s got rather a utilitarian appearance compared with some of the rest of the German brand’s often-multicoloured range.

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Slammed riding stance

The ‘carbon ’n’ green’ colour scheme (Cube’s description) adorns a frame with a chunky down tube, deep chainstays and a hefty bottom bracket shell with slimline seatstays. Ultegra 11-speed does its usual first-rate job, and the wheels are similar to the Silverback Sirelli, which we were testing at the same time.

Related: Silverback Sirelli review

The similarities don’t end there, either – the two German bikes’ overall weights are also very similar. You can just about detect the 113g difference when you lift the bike down from the rack; you can’t feel it on the road.

You’re not going to be able to alter the height of the handlebar
You’re not going to be able to alter the height of the handlebar: you’re not going to be able to alter the height of the handlebar
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You’re not going to be able to alter the height of the handlebar

Frame angles differ a little, but wheelbase and chainstay lengths have a lot in common, and while the Cube has a 1cm taller head-tube, there are no steerer spacers and the bar sits flush to the top of the headset. This is very much for the prospective racer or, at the very least, the wannabe fastman (or woman) looking to hit Strava KOMs or sportive PBs.

But as with the Silverback, the Litening balances the need for speed with a desire for comfort – much more so than German bikes from a decade or so ago.

They achieve this in different ways, though: the Cube does have pencil-thin seatstays, but it has a more compact frame with a slimmer top tube then the Silverback, designed to ‘introduce a degree of controlled flex, adding comfort to the ride experience’, as Cube would have it.

Contact point comfort

Our experience suggests it’s not just marketing speak, though it’s hard to separate the influence of the frame from the very good contact points. I’m a big fan of handlebars with flattened tops, and the Cube’s carbon bar is a favourite, especially combined with sumptuous bar tape, the 27.2mm carbon Motion Post seatpost and a decent Selle Italia saddle.

The Cube comes with Schwalbe’s fast, grippy and comfortable 25mm One tyres, which are faster and more comfortable than 23mm tyres, and can be run at a lower pressure too.

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The Litening is a surefooted steed

Perhaps not surprisingly, the Cube is a similarly nifty performer to the Silverback. The wheels are a fraction heavier, so acceleration is theoretically slower, but over measured sections there was little detectable difference, and it descends every bit as sure-footedly.

The short sub-metre wheelbase, steep angles and tapered head tube mean it’s razor-sharp when it comes to changes of direction, too. The Shimano Ultegra brakes, drivetrain and shifters worked flawlessly as ever, and the Cube’s wider, not overtly race-oriented 11-28 cassette broadens its appeal.

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We found it hard to fault either the performance or the comfort of the Cube. The new C:62 frame and fork pairing is fast and light, the drivetrain is excellent, the contact points very good and the wheels are good for the price. And a lot of care has been taken with the little things, such as the large metal plate on the bottom of the down tube, designed to stop an unshipped chain damaging the precious carbon frame.

Product Specifications

Product

Name Litening C:62
Brand Cube Bikes

Available Sizes 50cm 52cm 54cm 56cm 58cm 60cm 62cm
Rear Wheel Weight 1600
Wheelbase (cm) 99
Top Tube (cm) 55
Standover Height (cm) 78
Seat Tube (cm) 47
Chainstays (cm) 40.5
Bottom Bracket Height (cm) 28.5
Wheelset Fulcrum Racing 44 Aero
Weight (kg) 7.38
Trail 5.1
Stem Syntace F149 110mm, 31.8mm clamp
Shifters Shimano Ultegra
Seatpost Cube Performance Motion Post, 27.2mm
Seat Angle 75
Saddle Selle Italia X1
Rear Tyre Schwalbe One 700x25c
Bottom Bracket Pressfit
Rear Derailleur Shimano Ultegra
Headset Type FSA
Head Angle 74
Handlebar Cube WingRace Bar 31.8mm clamp, 37cm
Front Wheel Weight 1150
Front Tyre Schwalbe One 700x25c
Front Derailleur Shimano Ultegra
Frame Material C62 Carbon
Fork Offset 4.5
Fork C62 Carbon
Cranks Shimano Ultegra 172.5mm 50/34t
Chain Shimano
Cassette Shimano Ultegra 11-28
Brakes Shimano Ultegra
Frame size tested 56cm