30 May 2019

German super brand Cube has been in the e-bike scene for many years, progression has seen their bikes become much sleeker over time, and here in Australia, they are also very affordable compared to the competition. We have the $5000 Cube Stereo Hybrid 140 Race 500 27.5.

The not-so-minor details

Product

Cube Stereo Hybrid 140 Race 500 27.5

Price

4999

Weight

2430

Positives

Excellent value.
Comfortable and composed.
Bosch CX motor runs very well.

Negatives

Too conservative for aggressive riding.
Needs tubeless valves.

The Cube Stereo Hybrid 140 Race 500 27.5 has an interminable name, though much easier to ride than pronounce while climbing a steep hill. The Stereo Hybrid uses a finely finished aluminium frame with sharp angles and a robust, industrial presence, 27.5” wheels wrapped in meaty 2.6” Schwalbe tyres, and the excellent Bosch Performance CX motor in the belly.

Built around the Stereo 140 platform that we reviewed previously, this e-bike is equally as appealing in both value and performance.

Read our first impressions when we first took delivery of the Cube here: First thoughts, damn good value!

Our full review of the regular non-e-bike Cube Stereo 140 here: Holy bargain, Batman!



Where many e-bikes are pushing towards 160-170mm travel, the Stereo 140’s 140mm of travel might feel conservative, and it is just that, striking a balance between long and short travel very well. There is an even shorter 120mm travel and longer 160mm travel version available also.

Let’s take a quick look at a couple of areas that make the Stereo Hybrid 140 stand out from the rest in our minds – value and comfort.

Value.

This bike sells for $5000 through 99 Bike stores, that’s a complete bargain. And after a few weeks of riding, there’s only one small area that we think the spec doesn’t quite stack up, tubeless valves. Don’t ride one without converting to tubeless; it’ll suck.

The Stereo Hybrid 140 draws a mean silhouette, with its hard lines and sharp angles.
Big welds and large tubes mean serious business.
Cube has used horst Link four-bar suspension for many years across their entire range.

The FOX DPS shock tucks into the frame.

Other than that small exclusion, the spec is excellent for the price. FOX suspension, a SRAM NX Eagle drivetrain and mighty Magura brakes are all up to the demands that these powerful and weighty bikes bring.

Comfort.

The Stereo is a very comfortable and composed bike to ride. Its calm character comes from the grippy tyres, cush suspension tune and close reach combined with a frame geometry that is hard to fluster. In comparison to the Specialized Levo or Norco Sight VLT, the Stereo Hybrid has a longer rear centre, and a taller, shorter front end.

The flipside to this is when you want to throw it around, jump over trail obstacles or flick it through a tight turn it takes a lot more body language and energy to do so.

E-bike specific FOX 34 forks use thicker walled stanchions for increased front end rigidity.
SRAM Eagle NX drivetrain gives 12 speeds across a tough steel cassette, good stuff!

The Stereo uses 27.5” wheels with 2.6” tyres, which is a small, yet important step away from the plus-size wheels that have dominated the e-bike scene since their early days. 2.6” might not sound like a big difference to 2.8 or 3” but this bike rides really well due to its generous grip but doesn’t suffer from that vague and bouncy feeling of the monster plus tyres.

2.6″ tyres are super bitey, but not too bouncy like many e-bikes with 2.8″ or 3″ tyres.

The Bosch Performance CX motor with a 500w/hr battery has more than enough grunt and battery life for long rides, we left the mode selector in E-MTB mode for the most part, it delivers a smooth and natural power, and is very easy to get used to and very predictable, rarely surging at the wrong times or dropping out when you need a good push up and over an obstacle.

E-MTB all the way; it’s straightforward to get used to how it drives the cranks, considering your cadence, speed and power input.

Final thoughts?

We’d say the Stereo 140 Hybrid would suit the less aggressive rider, someone who spends more time on the ground than airborne, munching away up climbs and flatter trails in the saddle. It won’t ignite the spirit in a rider seeking to shred turns or is after an e-bike that rides like a regular pedal bike; it’s too conservative for that. If your riding could do with a confidence boost on tricky climbs and loose trails, the Cube’s helpful traction and the even-tempered ride will do just that.

And for a cool 5 G’s it is hard to look past considering the overall package.