Cube's new Stereo 140 HPC range might be tiny in terms of the number of bikes in the range, but it's definitely going to be one to watch for trail riders thanks to the heavily revised aggressive geometry and impressive price points.
Despite being the UK's biggest selling bike brand, the German marque isn't always seen as a must-consider when it comes to high-end trail bikes. The all-new Stereo 140 HPC does an awful lot to dispel that, offering levels of kit that come close to direct sales rivals as well as geometry that's much more up to date with increased reach figures and slacker head angles that should offer performance in keeping with the travel on offer. with a much more focused offering of just three spec levels on a 650b wheeled frame with a carbon front end and aluminium rear.
One big difference is the new shock rocker link that provides the 140mm of travel on offer at the back. It's still a Horst-style four bar linkage, but there's now a stiffer clevis link on the seatstay junction with ends that sandwich the shock rocker for extra stiffness, while the shock itself uses a bearing-equipped trunnion upper mount for lower friction. The suspension is now much more progressive to give more support and resistance to bottoming out during the sort of aggressive riding a 140mm travel bike is now expected to cope with.
Up front, all the bikes use a 150mm travel fork that's sat at a reasonably slacked out 66.5º, while reach is now 458mm for a Large/20" frame - which only measures 19.5"/470mm at the seat-tube, so anyone that prefers a greater reach can size up, while other riders can use the latest generation of 150mm+ travel dropper posts. All the frames now use Boost 148 wheel spacing at the rear too.
Frame sizes range from 16" up to 22" in the unisex bike, but the women's Sting 140 HPC range includes 13.5", 16" and 18" models with exactly the same frame and geometry save for altered contact points.
Models, prices and spec
Cube Stereo 140 HPC Trail Motion
The range-topping bike costs £3,499 but gets a very impressive spec, with a Fox 36 RC2 fork and piggyback-equipped DPX2 shock in the slippery Kashima coated Factory spec, as is the 150mm travel Transfer dropper post. It's the one 1x bike in the range, but that means you get a 12spd SRAM GX Eagle drivetrain with super wide 10-50T cassette range. There's also an MRP chainguide for extra security on rough descents and stopping is thanks to SRAM Code R brakes with 200mm front and 180mm rear rotors. There's a 30mm wide aluminium rimmed wheelset from the rather interesting German component brand Newman. The only place that doesn't look completely on point for UK riding is the rather odd mixture of Schwalbe's Fat Albert front and rear specific rubber, which has a rather gappy edge tread up front.
Cube Stereo 140 HPC SL
Costing £2,999 the SL packs in an equally impressive spec, with a lighter weight Fox 34 fork up front with simpler GRIP damper. Out back, an inline Fox DPS EVOL shock takes care of the bumps, while a twin ring Shimano XT 11spd drivetrain and takes care of the motive force, with brakes from the same groupset doing the stopping too.Cube provides an own-brand 150mm dropper post and the Fulcrum Red 55 wheelset with 27mm internal width is shod in Schwalbe Nobby Nics front and rear with clever SpeedGrip compound rubber.
Cube Stereo 140 HPC Race
The entry to the range is the £2,499 Race bike. Again, Fox provides suspension with a 34 Rhythm fork and DPS EVOL shock. It's got the same Cube 150mm dropper post but most of the cost savings have come by switching to a Answer ATAC EM wheelset and Schwalbe Hans Dampf tyres, though this still uses a 30mm internal diameter. There's still an 11spd Shimano XT rear mech, but it's controlled by an SLX shifter with matching front mech. RaceFace provides their twin ring Turbine chainset which, thanks to a removable spider design, is easily convertible to a single using aftermarket parts.
Availablility should be in the New Year, but we aim to get out hands on the new bike as soon as possible. For more on this and all the other bikes in the range, head to the Cube website.