On Test | The 2020 Cube Stereo Hybrid 160 HPC SL Is A Sub-$7K Carbon e-MTB (Kind Of)

With 2020 having kicked off with a number of headline-busting $15K+ superbikes, this Cube e-MTB has sailed on into Flow HQ like a breath of fresh air. With a retail price of $7,299 (though it’s available for quite a bit less than that), the 2020 Cube Stereo Hybrid 160 HPC SL is a long-travel electric mountain bike that is bursting at the seams with value. It comes decked out with a carbon fibre mainframe, a Bosch Performance CX Gen 4 motor, a 170mm travel RockShox Lyrik, huge 4-piston Magura disc brakes, and Schwalbe tubeless tyres. Given most full suspension e-MTBs at this price point are built with a heavier alloy frame, how the heck has Cube done that?

2020 cube stereo hybrid 160 hpc sl e-mtb electric mountain bike bosch performance cx motor
2020 may have started with some outrageously priced superbikes, but Cube has come to the rescue with exceptionally well priced Stereo Hybrid 160 HPC SL.

Join The Club

German mega-brand Cube has always offered a lot of bang for buck, though the value proposition for us Aussies has been amplified thanks to 99 Bikes – the Australian distributor for Cube, which is selling bikes direct to consumer via its nationwide retailer network. With one less link in the chain, it means Cube bikes can be sold at a more aggressive price point.

On top of that, 99 Bikes offers something it calls a ‘Club Membership’ for $5. It’s a one-off membership fee, sort of like a Kathmandu dealio, which sees the price comes down further once you’re officially in the club. In the case of this bike here, the 2020 Cube Stereo Hybrid 160 HPC SL (try saying that after a couple of margaritas!), the price drops down to a rather insane $6,299.

Of course as tantalising as that may be, price isn’t everything, and that’s why we’ve got one in for a proper thrash on our local trails. We were impressed with the Cube Stereo Hybrid 140 we tested last year though, so we’re looking forward to seeing how the new chassis and motor performs in this longer travel 160 model. Before we get it all filthy though, let’s take a closer look to see what this bike is all about, and what kind of package Cube has cooked up.

Where Does It Sit In The Cube Lineup?

In case you didn’t know, Cube produces a metric shit-tonne of e-Bikes and e-MTBs. In fact, in offers far more e-MTB models than it does regular MTBs. However, it’s worth noting that not all of those bikes make it Down Under – currently we only see a sliver of the total offering.

One of those models is the Stereo Hybrid 160, which is the brand’s longest travel full suspension e-MTB. As the name implies, it has 160mm of travel and it features 27.5in wheels, which puts it into the All Mountain/Enduro bracket. There’s also a Stereo Hybrid 140 that has 140mm of travel and 29in wheels, which is more of an all-round trail bike. Both models have been totally redesigned for 2020 with new geometry, a carbon fibre mainframe, 6061-T6 alloy sub-frame, and the new Bosch Performance CX 4th Gen motor.

2020 cube stereo hybrid 160 hpc sl e-mtb electric mountain bike bosch performance cx motor
The 4th Gen Bosch Performance CX engine is more compact, allowing for shorter chainstays.

Bosch Brawn

Cube builds its e-MTBs exclusively with Bosch motors and batteries. We’re told that Cube is Bosch’s biggest customer, and given the exhaustive product line, it’s easy to see why.

On the Stereo Hybrid 160 you get the new 4th generation Performance CX motor, which has shrunken in size and weight over its predecessor. It’s also quieter, smoother, more powerful, and it no longer uses the tiny drive cog. On our test bike, there’s a SRAM X-Sync 2 36T chainring.

Rather than go for a totally internal battery pack, Cube has built the Stereo Hybrid 160 with a removable 625Wh Bosch PowerTube battery pack. The battery is protected by a rubber-lined armour plate that can be easily removed via a push-button release, though you’ll need to use the specific ABUS key to then remove the battery from the frame. You might spot that our test bike actually has a 500Wh battery pack, which is a stop-gap solution until the stock 625Wh battery arrives. The frame itself is compatible with both sizes.

2020 cube stereo hybrid 160 hpc sl e-mtb electric mountain bike
The battery pack is removable, giving you the option to charge it separately, or while it’s locked in place.

Long Travel & All The Mod-Cons

To match the 160mm of rear wheel travel, there’s a combat-ready Lyrik up front with 170mm of travel. That gives a head angle of 65°, while the seat tube angle sits at 75.5°. There are four sizes available in the Stereo Hybrid 160, and to suit our 175cm tester, we’ve gone for the 18″ Medium size.

Given the beatdown this bike is likely to endure, Cube has spec’d chunky 2.6in wide Schwalbe Hans Dampf tyres with the Addix Soft compound and the robust Apex casing. To slow it all down, there’s a pair of Magura 4-piston brakes with huge 203mm rotors front and rear. Most of the finishing kit comes from Cube, including the alloy rims and an internally-routed dropper post. Read on for a closer look at the spec on our test bike.

2020 cube stereo hybrid 160 hpc sl e-mtb electric mountain bike
There is only one single Stereo Hybrid 160 model coming into Australia for 2020, but geez is it packed with value!

2020 Cube Stereo Hybrid 160 HPC SL 625 27.5

2020 cube stereo hybrid 160 hpc sl e-mtb electric mountain bike
160mm of rear wheel travel via a four-bar suspension design and a trunnion-mounted RockShox Deluxe shock.
2020 cube stereo hybrid 160 hpc sl e-mtb electric mountain bike bosch performance cx motor magura brakes
We don’t see a whole lot of Magura brakes down under, though past experiences would suggest we’re in for some gut-churning power with these.
2020 cube stereo hybrid 160 hpc sl e-mtb electric mountain bike bosch performance cx motor schwalbe hans dampf tyres
Cube specs its own alloy rims, which come wrapped with 2.6in wide Schwalbe rubber.
2020 cube stereo hybrid 160 hpc sl e-mtb electric mountain bike bosch performance cx motor
It might be good value on paper, but how good is it on the trail? Stay tuned for our full review!

Mo’ Flow Please!

Enjoyed that article? Then there’s plenty more to check out on Flow Mountain Bike, including all our latest news stories and product reviews. And if you haven’t already, make sure you subscribe to our YouTube channel, and sign up to our Facebook page and Instagram feed so you can keep up to date with all things Flow!

It appears you're using an old version of Internet Explorer which is no longer supported, for safer and optimum browsing experience please upgrade your browser.