Over the past couple of weeks we've had a fair few First Looks on gravel bikes but now it's time to change things up a touch. Fresh in for testing is Cube's enduro e-mountain bike, the Stereo Hybrid HPC 160 Actionteam 625 275 Kiox. It comes sorted with Fox's burly 38 fork and fourth-generation Bosche kit to power it up the hills.
Starting off with the heart of the bike, the Stereo Hybrid HPC 160 Actionteam gets a carbon front triangle along with an alloy rear. This keeps the price relatively low while allowing the bike to reap many of the benefits that a carbon frame can offer.
The carbon portion of the frame uses higher modulus carbon at high-stress areas of the frame, so that's around the head tube and bottom bracket. Cube says that this, of course, increases strength and but also safety while offering a more comfortable ride.
And if you've not guessed from its impressively lengthy name, this bike rolls on 650b hoops.
As for the bike's suspension, a Fox 38 Float Factory with a FIT4 damper and 170mm of travel firmly backs up the HPC 160 Actionteam's enduro credentials. That fork is then paired with a trunnion mounted Fox Float DPX2 Factory EVOL and that handles the 160mm of suspension at the rear.
The dashing of Fox kit doesn't end there, the bike also gets a Fox Transfer Factory dropper post and on this Large frame, there's 150mm of drop. That's the same for the XL but the small comes with 100mm of travel and the medium gets 125mm.
Of course, this is an e-bike so we can't go forgetting the motor here. We get a Bosche Drive Unit Performance CX Generation 4 powered by a downtube integrated Bosch PowerTube 625 battery.
Over its previous iteration, the Bosche Drive Unit Performance CX Generation 4 gets a torque increase up to 85Nm which means that the bike should accelerate faster at low cadences while offering more power whenever needed. It's claimed that the motor responds more sensitively to the rider's effort which is apparently more noticeable in low gears.
It also offers what Bosch calls 'Extended Boost' and that helps a rider negotiate techy sections with greater agility, says the brand.
Then the bike gets Bosch's largest capacity PowerTube 625 battery. The brand says that the battery has no memory effect, meaning it can be charged quickly irrespective of its current charge level. It's also claimed to have extremely low self-discharge which is handy if you're not a regular rider.
The battery is accessible through a push-button operated, double-layered cover that comes with extra shock protection should the worst happen.
Along with the Bosch motor, the HPC 160 Actionteam is driven by a Shimano XT 12-speed drivetrain with a Deore cassette. Then slowing the bike is a matching set of Shimano Deore XT four-pot brakes.
Home to a 36t chainring is a crank from e*thirteen and the Plus crank measuring in at 165mm.
Moving onto the wheels, this bike rolls on a pair of 650b Newmen Evolution SL E.30s, and they're wrapped with a Schwalbe Magic Mary at the front with a Super Trail casing and the brand's Addix Soft rubber compound. At the rear, there's a Big Betty, also from Schwalbe, rocking a heavier Super Gravity casing and the same Addix Soft rubber.
To round the bike off, there's a Cube Performance E-MTB specific stem with a Newmen Advanced 318.25 Carbon bar with 780mm of width. Something rather unique to this bike is that the cable routing is run through the head tube and out through the stem spacers.
All of that comes in at a claimed weight of 24.1kg.
With that, let's take a quick look at the bike's geometry. Our large frame gets a 460mm reach which isn't out of this world but hopefully, it'll lend enough room to move around over techy terrain. Let's leave the bike to do the talking there when we get around to riding it. There's then a 75.5° seat tube angle, a 65° head tube angle, and a 442mm chainstay.
If £5,900 is a little too steep, the HPC 160 range features five different builds to suit nearly every budget.
At the base end of the range, there's the £3,900 Race 625 27.5 which gets a RockShox 35 Silver fork with 160mm of travel with the same Bosche drive system, and then there’s a SRAM NX drivetrain with Magura MT Thirty brakes.
Topping the range is the £8,100 SLT 625 27.5 Nyon model which comes with wireless shifting from SRAM's X01 Eagle AXS line up along with RockShox' wireless AXS Reverb dropper. Unlike our test bike, that one gets a full carbon frame and Magura MT7 brakes.
Now it's time to get riding the bike for a full review coming to our Youtube channel in the next few weeks (click here our channel). If the First Look was enough to get your mouth watering, we've got a review on last year's model here.
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