The Cube Agree has long been a well-loved bike here at BikeRadar, with one of our tech writers even buying one after testing it a few years back.
More recently though the Agree started to show its age, for the first time being outclassed by its rivals in all but value. Thankfully the designers at Cube seem to have realized this, with the new Agree design being as far removed from the previous round-tubed standard road bike as its possible to go.
The new high-end Agree C:62 SLT Disc, which made it onto the ’superbikes’ longlist in our sister title Cycling Plus’s recent Bike of the Year 2016 shootout, shares some design cues (and a colour scheme) with the affordable Attain GTC Pro, which impressed us in the budget category of the awards.
Angular aesthetic hides advanced carbon tech
The Agree features an angular tube shaped twin-mould technology carbon frameset. The twin-moulding system is a complex method of manufacturing carbon that does away with foam cores or air-filled bags to handle internal forming (classic ways to construct carbon) and instead uses highly expensive internal mould tools.
Tube profiles are angular; twin-moulding techniques are used for a better stiffness-to-weight ratio
This ensures the internals of the frame are as smooth and wrinkle free, not to mention accurate as the exterior. Its not tech you can see, but it ensures the ideal carbon-to-resin blend and makes for a lighter, stronger construction.
The carbon makeup called C:62 uses lightweight, high-modulus (in other words stiff) weaves throughout most of the frameset, especially in the head tube, seat tube joint, and the bottom bracket. These are high-stress areas and rely more heavily of stiffness and strength.
Elsewhere Cube’s engineers have mixed some more compliant lower-mod fibres to allow for the frame to give a little, with the aim of adding comfort.
The frame’s low-slung rear end and minimal seatstays are designed to allow the seat tube a little wiggle room, with the skinny stays taking the rough edge off bad road surfaces. Cube has enough looked to add a touch of aero-optimization throughout the frame, and the seatstay / seat tube junction shows this most obviously, with the wing-shaped transition from horizontal to diagonally back to the rear dropout coming straight from the Aerium TT machine.
The all-carbon, disc-specific deep aero Fulcrum rims handle confidently even in gusty conditions
Cube has been keen to emphasise the Agree’s long-distance comfort, but this is not your average tall-and-short endurance machine. If you take a look at the geometry of our 56cm test bike, its mid-height 170 head tube, and 72.5-degree angle make for a low front end that’s sharp to turn in and offers plenty of nimble reactions when you want to change direction.
The wheelbase at 1006mm is short (for a disc bike) and the stack of 573, and 390 reach put it well within road-race territory.
Appetite for acceleration
Out on the road the Agree certainly encourages you to get into the drops and hustle up some serious pace. That’s further enhanced by the all-carbon, disc-specific deep aero Fulcrum rims, which handle speed well thanks to super-slick smooth hubs and handle confidently even in blustery conditions.
Every shift offers the accurate assurance we’d expect from Dura-Ace, and stopping and controlling speed is nigh-on perfect thanks to the flat-mount compatible 805 hydraulic brakes. There’s very little to fault on the way the Agree stops and goes.
The Shimano 805 hydraulic brakes deliver nigh-on flawless stopping
Comfort-wise the frame feels firm, and is accordingly rock-solid in the way it handles, thanks to the x12 thru-axles locking in the wheels and providing a rigid transition between chassis and rolling stock. The firmness never translates into harshness however – some of that we’d put down to the excellent Schwalbe rubber, and some to the flexi-compliance of Cube’s PMP carbon seatpost, which takes the sting out of big hits and naturally dulls road buzz.
Up front the Cube carbon bar, mated to a very classy Syntace stem, is noticeably solid and flex-free, though we’d have liked a wider option than the one fitted.
The Agree feels at its best at higher speeds and being pushed through downhill corners, riding at the limit. But that’s tempered a little by the way it goes up.
The Agree truly shines at high speeds and when descending; on long grinding climbs it's slightly short of the very top tier
It’s not that the bike is heavy or sluggish, but it doesn’t feel quite as lithe as some of the best climbers in its price bracket. We never felt completely at one with the SLT on longer, dragging climbs; sitting in and spinning the pedals was a bit of a chore. That said, it gobbles up short steep slopes if you get out of the saddle and attack.
These minor gripes aside, when you take into account all of the Agree’s considerable charms – not to mention the level of equipment for the price – Cube has created one hell of a bike, and one we’d have no reservations recommending wholeheartedly.