CUBE Bikes Stereo Hybrid 160 Action Team 20” 2020 Mountain Bike Review

CUBE Bikes Stereo Hybrid 160 Action Team 20” 2020

Reviews / Electric Bikes

CUBE Bikes 400,849

At A Glance

Cube have been putting incredible bikes together for many years now, always known for incredible value their e-bikes are no different. Cube was one of the first brands to really champion the e-bike in mountain biking and the years of experience have paid off. The Stereo Hybrid 160 Action Team 27.5 sits near the top of their spec range, yet boasts a price point that will leave you firmly at the entry-level of some of the brands out there.

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What we have here is incredible value and a bike stacked with components that will get you frothing at the mouth. At the bike's heart is the latest engine from Bosch, the CX performance unit is smaller and has been designed to be easier to pedal when you go over the limit and with the engine off. Coupled with a huge 625w battery that is neatly integrated into the frame it's definitely a good looking package.

The frame itself is a beefy looking carbon front end in Cube’s famous High Performance Carbon, with an aluminium rear end boasting 160mm of travel. Suspension is handled by Fox with a beefy 36 with a Fit4 damper and 170mm of travel up front while the DPX2 handles the bumps at the rear. Fox also provide the dropper post, of course also with Kashima coating. Interesting to note here is Cube opts for a 100mm travel dropper on the size Small, 125mm on the Medium and 150mm travel on the L and XL versions.

We were pleased to see a set of RaceFace carbon handlebars fitted as stock with the Kiox system to run all the electrics mounted front and centre. Braking duties are handled by Shimano with their XT 4 piston set up. There is more Shimano XT to be found at the drive train, which boasts a 12-speed range and an e*thirteen crank.

The hoops are Newman Evolution SL E.G.35’s which have been specifically designed to handle the rigours of hard e-bike use and Schwalbe finish off with a beefy Magic Mary out front and a Hans Dampf on the rear.

All in all, it’s an impressive build at this price point, and one we wouldn’t change too much at all at first glance, top marks here.

On The Trail

Swing a leg over the Cube and you will notice the short reach right away, if you prefer a longer reach on your bike this is definitely one to size up and take into account. I often find that a heavy e-bike reach isn’t so important in terms of stability at high speeds, the 24 kilos of weight will do that, but riding a bike is often about feel, so be sure to get the size that suits you.

With the elephant in the room out of the way it was very easy to quickly fall in love with the new Bosch drive. It’s got power on tap at every moment when you need it. The increase in power feels more refined than in previous years. The other impressive thing is the range. That huge 625w battery ensures you always have plenty of juice at your disposal. The Kiox computer as ever is packed with more information than you will ever need, and the display is discreet enough to not detract from the ride.

Uphill the bike feels planted with the steep seat angle allowing you to attack the climbs, just beware of the very “Cubesque” low bottom bracket. It does wonders for control on the descents, but sometimes heading up on technical terrain you need to ensure you add a bit of planning to your pedal strokes. The motor itself has bags of power to ease you up the steepest of ascents, you certainly won’t be lacking in that department.

On the descents the front fork is utterly sublime, it swallows up the terrain with aplomb and we never felt like it was out of its depth. The rear end however was quite linear and we went through the travel quite quickly which occasionally felt a little unbalanced. Heavier riders would do well to tune the rear shock with some spacers to get a more progressive feel out of it.

That said, at speed even with the short reach the bike felt very planted and surprisingly nimble for its weight. The tyres had bags of grip and the hoops from Newman felt stiff enough to inspire confidence. The 65 degree head angle may be considered a little steep these days as we see bikes getting slacker and lower, but essentially with the sublime fork out front, the added weight of the e-system and wheel and tyre choice this bike can handle most things you throw at it.

Overall

Looking for a great value e-bike that is dripping in spec and can deliver on the trails with the latest motor from Bosch and a battery that will outlast your mates, this is it. Cube have added their usual incredible build quality to a great range of components to create a fun little bike that will surely stick a big grin across your face. Beware the short reach and make sure you do your geometry homework and get the right size and you’ll have no complaints here!

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This review was in Issue 64 of IMB.

For more information visit CUBE Bikes

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By Rou Chater
Rou Chater is the Publishing Editor of IMB Magazine; he’s a jack-of-all-trades and master of none, but his passion for bikes knows no bounds. His first mountain bike was a Trek 820, which he bought in 1990. It didn’t take him long to earn himself a trip to the hospital on it, and he’s never looked back since. These days he’s keeping it rubber side down, riding locally and overseas as much as possible.

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