Cube put together a couple of great bikes in this year’s Cycling Plus Bike of the Year test: the category-winning £999 Attempt and the £1500 super all-rounder GTC Agree. For £2599 you can get the titanium Litening HPT, which would have cost you £2899 a couple of years back. It has a lot in common with its cheaper siblings – high-quality components and a lot of bang for your buck – but does it live up to our high expectations? It does. Six riders put it through its paces for a month, and every one of them was impressed by its performance and comfort.
The Litening HPT has been around for a few years but has received some major modernising touches for 2011. It now has a tapered headtube and press-fit bottom bracket for extra stiffness, and the cabling is internally routed. At this price you’d expect good kit, and the Cube doesn’t disappoint. Shimano’s Ultegra groupset has Dura-Ace-like performance but without the wallet battering, and its Hollowtech chainset is as stiff as they get.
The HPT gets very decent Fulcrum Racing 5 wheels shod with Schwalbe’s excellent Ultremo tyres. The total, if anything, is even more than the sum of its parts. The handling is light and ultra-responsive, and the bike rewards out-of-the-saddle efforts superbly, with instant acceleration the moment you put your foot down. It flies up hills then sails down them, and you can throw yourself into corners at speed, confident that the HPT won’t let you down. It combines this speed and efficiency with a lot of comfort, making day-long rides a breeze.
Not only that but we think it looks good too: subtle blue highlights on the frame, saddle and rims complement the understated bare titanium frame. There are very few niggles, but one was our concern about damaging the decal’s ultraslimline lettering – after a few years’ use you might end up with a ‘Cub’ – and the own-brand saddle wasn’t a hit with all our testers. All pretty minor stuff, though.
You could compete on it, but this is really a bike for the fast, long-distance mile-eater who really appreciates comfort during very long days in the saddle. And as it’s made of titanium, it should last a lifetime too.