The German company Cube’s Peloton Race may ‘only’ have an aluminium frame, but it also has some of the best kit that you’ll find on a bike at this price – and the Mavic wheelset is more normally seen on bikes costing a considerable chunk more.
And Cube appears to have achieved this without any obvious compromises elsewhere. Whatever Cube’s business model – and unlike Rose its bikes are available in ‘real’ bike shops – it certainly seems to be working, because its bikes are cutting a distinctive and colourful swathe through the British market.
Highs: Full Shimano 105 groupset and Mavic Aksium wheels top a great package
Lows: Laid-back head angle dampens its racing ambitions
Buy if: You’re looking for a great value distance-orientated bike with high quality kit
The Peloton doesn’t have a BB30 bottom bracket – Shimano doesn’t do BB30 – but otherwise it’s a full checklist of modern bike design elements. It has the tapered steerer tube for more precise steering, and its full internal cable routing gives it clean lines – it wasn’t that long ago that this was the preserve of much more exotic machines. The main frame tubes are oversized, particularly the down-tube, but, as is often the case these days, this is paired with slimline seatstays for increased comfort through the saddle.
The Shimano 105 groupset is great to see: the cables running underneath the bar tape are neat, the shifting is accurate, and its combination of a compact chainset and 11-32 cassette will cope with anything, at the expense of some larger gaps. The bottom is low enough for big climbs, the top gear tall enough for full-on sprinting. And for long, even-paced rides the bigger jumps compared with a 12-25 cassette are worth it.
Mavic’s WTS Aksium wheels and Aksion tyres are a treat. They’re hundreds of grams lighter than those found on some of the competition, even shod with the wider and comfort-enhancing 25mm tyres. And comfort is what the Cube does best. Its wing-profile handlebar is excellent for riding on the tops, its slim seatstays and excellent saddle taking the sting out of general road chatter, though any aluminium frame is going to transmit bigger bumps. Thanks to its weight it’s quick to get up to speed, but its slightly more relaxed head angle and high trail figure mean a less dynamic ride than Cinelli’s Experience, for example. And even though it’s metal, the higher spec wheels and kit put it within 150g of the Boardman Team Carbon’s overall weight.
The Peloton delivers a complete package that will appeal to those who are looking for comfort over raciness. Its kit is up with the best you’ll find, and it’s smart, modern and fast to get up to speed. Though its more relaxed handling means it may not be a sprinter’s special, its weight and comfort make it a first-rate long-distance companion.