Next up on the testing schedule here at ebiketips is this rather tasty (deep breath) Cube Stereo Hybrid 140 HPA 27.5+. Phew! And we even left out a 500 that's in there somewhere, which denotes the 500Wh battery this bike gets to go with its Bosch Performance line CX motor.
27.5+ tyres were one of the big trends of e-MTBs at the Eurobike show back in August. You get more traction from the bigger tyre and you can run them at a lower pressure too, which improves traction even more and adds a bit of extra bounce to the ride.
The main trade-off is weight, both in the wheels and the slightly wider frame and fork. But weight's not really a primary concern on an electric bike. This Cube weighs in at 22.6kg for our size 18”, which is about par for the course for a big-tyred medium travel trail bike. With a motor.
Here's Cube talking about the bike themselves. “To accommodate the extra wide tyres in a chassis, our engineers had to pull out all the stops. Thanks to our decades of experience in aluminium frame constriction and the finest high performance tubing, we were able to create a framework which is both extremely rigid and lightweight”, they say of the Stereo Hybrid. “Through the use of the broader boost standards, we reach a maximum tyre clearance and excellent rear wheel rigidity. Just like with other new Stereo Hybrid generation bikes, the frame has a deep top tube and the same agile-safe handling typical of all CUBE bikes. The efficient trail control kinematics (ETC) on the four-joint chainstay provides a drive-neutral rear suspension, yet still works sensitively and irons out even the roughest trails.”
So it's very much a trail-oriented bike, in the same mould as Cube's non-assisted bikes. Again, that's very much the trend. A couple of years ago most manufacturers were making their e-MTBs a bit more upright and leisurely for what they perceived to be an older, more leisure-oriented market. Nowadays we mostly see the big names using geometry as close as they can to their non-assisted bikes. The position and size of the additional hardware means it's not always exactly the same, but more often than not that is the aim.
The Stereo Hybrid gets an HPA Ultralight, Advanced Hydroformed, Triple Butted frame with a 4-Link rear end, matched to a Rock Shox Pike RC Solo Air 27.5+ fork. Both front and rear axles are boost standard – wider for better wheel stiffness and more clearance for plus-sized tyres – and there's 140mm of travel at either end, with the rear controlled by a Fox Float DPS Performance shock. You get a Shimano XT 1x11 drivetrain with an 11-42T cassette, Magura MT5 hydraulic discs (180mm at each end), a Rock Shox Reverb Stealth dropper 'post and Race Face hardware. The wheels are by DT Swiss, tubeless ready with big Schwalbe Nobby Nic 2.8” tyres on a Plus-sized 40mm wide rim.
Bosch's Performance Line CX motor probably needs no introduction: it's at the top of the Bosch motor range in terms of power, handing out 75Nm of torque if you need it, and it's widely used in e-mountain bikes. Cube's buying power means they get to customise the motor profile and the housing to suit their bikes, so what you're getting here isn't exactly the same as a stock unit. This bike uses the mid-mounted Intuvia display, but Cube are moving all their e-MTBs over to the smaller, bar-mounted Purion display which will be a running change.
All this sprung and assisted goodness will cost you £3,799. We've been hooning through the woods with big grins on our faces and we intend to do so for a bit longer yet; look out for a review on ebiketips soon.