Bright of paint job and keen of price, the German company Cube’s bikes have been challenging more established brands in the British market for a few years now. Compared with bigger names, its road bikes have offered better value with no obvious performance handicaps. It can’t quite top the value of Germany’s online retailers Rose and Canyon, but few high street chains can match it.
Highs: Great quality non-aggressive ride and a knee-friendly gear setup
Lows: Average non-cartridge brakes and a rear brake cable that can rub annoyingly
Buy If: You’re looking for a good quality first road bike but nothing too overtly racy
The Pro sits one above the entry-level Peloton, in a range topped by the Shimano 105-equipped SL with Mavic Aksium wheels. But all five Peloton bikes share the same double-butted alloy frame, so you can go for the machine that’s right for your budget knowing that the handling will be much the same.
Cube describes the peloton’s geometry as ‘ready for race’ – but that’s overselling things slightly: Robert Smith
Cube describes the Peloton’s geometry as ‘Ready for Race’ – but that’s overselling things slightly
Cube describes the Peloton’s geometry as RFR – or ‘Ready for Race’. But in this case we’re not convinced it’s entirely accurate. The wheelbase is reasonably short, but a slackish head angle slows down the handling and the head tube has been heightened by a couple of cm over earlier Pelotons. The result is a slightly more upright ride that is much more sportive or fast fitness riding than full-on racing, which for the great majority of us is probably an advantage.
The Cube has one component that’s rarely seen at BikeRadar HQ these days, and is less common on bikes generally. We’re talking triple chainsets, which don’t tend to get overlooked in continental Europe in the way they frequently are in the English-speaking world. Watch an Italian weekend club run and lots of the riders will be using triples with no sense of shame, and if you have knees that are dodgier than Alberto Contador’s butcher – like our tester’s 51-year-old football-ravaged examples – you’ll appreciate it.
The small weight penalty incurred by the inclusion of a triple chainset is mitigated by generous climbing gears: Robert Smith
The small weight penalty incurred by the inclusion of a triple chainset is mitigated by generous climbing gears
Yes, it’ll be a little heavier than a double (though at this price the weight difference percentage will be negligible), but the advantage is that you get a lower bottom gear, the same top gear and smaller jumps between them than a compact. It’s hard to imagine needing anything bigger than the 50×11 top, while 30×30 will help you up the steepest climbs out there.
Shimano’s entry-level Sora groupset handles the shifting, and while it doesn’t have the cachet – or the 10 or 11 speeds you get further up the Shimano hierarchy – the nine-speed setup works very well with a pleasingly light action. The braking, with non-cartridge brakes, is okay without ever being inspiring. But overall it’s a great groupset for the price.
One minor issue we had was with the rear brake cable. It’s routed through the top tube and exits just in front of the seat tube, but rubs annoyingly against your thigh at times.