Cube Bikes revamp Stereo for 2013

Fuzzy faced indie types Supergrass once wondered if you could hear them pumping on your stereo – and if you’d been in Alpe D’Huez a couple of weeks ago then the hills would have been alive with the sound of Cube‘s new Stereo range being put through it’s paces – well, that and thousands of people thudding down the Megavalanche course.

The popular trail bike has been totally revamped for 2013, with an even lighter carbon fibre frame, new suspension kinematics – and yes, new wheel sizes. The Stereo will now come with your pick of 650B wheels and 160m travel or 29er wheels and 140mm of bounce. There’s no 26″ wheeled bike for 2013, but that’s not to say that there won’t be in the future.

While the old Stereo used a four-bar linkage with rocker driven, floating shock sat behind the seat tube, the new bike has a simplified layout, with a more conventional (and non floating) shock placement inside the frame, though it is still a true four bar. The new design means that the frame can be lighter – some 700g off the frame compared to the 2012 Super HPC model, despite using bigger wheels, being stiffer and having 20mm more travel.

The all new Cube Stereo Super HPC SLT. Big wheels and 140mm bounce.

Cube Bikes and an almost obsessive attention to detail go hand in hand – and this weight loss has been achieved with some neat technology. All the frame parts save the seat stay assembly are moulded in single pieces, meaning an absolute minimum of weighty bonding and tube butting is needed. The bearing seats are moulded directly in the frame, meaning no in-moulded aluminium parts and uninterrupted carbon fibres for improved strength. Even the cable guides are bonded on to the frame to reduce weight.

The suspension has been overhauled more than just visually, with an almost constant suspension ratio giving less stressed damping and minimum suspension kickback. They reckon that uphill performance is even better than the more XC focused AMS 150 – while on paper the descending performance should be much improved with a slacker head angle, down from the old Cube’s 68° to 66.5° on the 650B bike and 68° on the 29er.

In addition to the new Stereo range, the AMS range has gained a new full carbon fibre 100mm travel 29″ wheeled bike in the form of the AMS Super HPC 29. Once again, it’s even stiffer than it’s 26″ wheeled brother, with double digit improvements in bottom bracket and headtube benchmark tests.

The middle way cometh - the 650B Cube Stereo Super HPC SLT Zero.

The hardcore XC racer Elite Super HPC 29 hardtail has also be tweaked, losing 150g to now come in at a round kilo for a 17″ frame complete with frame protectors. The wishbone like Flex Stay is gone but Cube reckon that thanks to clever layup, this frame provides just as much comfort. It’s no flimsy race noodle either, with a 142x12mm rear end and, like all Cube Bikes, it passes the punishing DIN+ testing regime comfortably.

Web boy Jon didn’t get a chance to ride the new bikes, having to nip and squeeze in some last minute practise for some race that happened to be going on, but we’re dead keen to try the new bikes out on home turf. We should have dates for bike availability soon, but in the meantime, check out the full release below and head to Cube’s website to find out more about their range.

Yes, it may look nice but too much sun and dust is bad for you. Apparently.

“The highlight of our new Stereo line are models with the new 650B wheel size. CUBE developed a totally new concept to build a frame perfectly adapted to the new wheel size that fits between the 26in and 29er class.

These bikes are agile but fast rolling thanks to newly designed geometry and kinematics. While climbing or pedaling on the flats the suspension stays neutral. The chassis of the Stereo is super light and sets a benchmark in this class. We took material off the Super High Performance Composite frame without compromising stiffness or performance. Every part of the frame was optimized using our new Zero technology. Even the paint is super light.

The 650B frame (without rear shock) is close to 1,800g – a record. The frame is 700g lighter than last year. The Stereo 650B is a versatile high performance package.

STEREO Super HPC 140 SLT

The full monty. Only the best and most lightweight parts  are used for the job. The benchmark in this bike category.

The STEREO Super HPC 140 SLT carries the all-new Efficient Trail Control four link 29er Super HPC Advanced Twin Mold Technology carbon frame with Advanced Twin Mold construction and  ARG geometry for an agile ride with the typical 29er fast-rolling features and 140mm of travel.

Thanks to Agile Ride Geometry the 29in bikes retain the lively handling feel of 26in bikes.

SPECS:

·         Extra light Formula R1 Racing disc brake with titanium hardware

·         SRAM XX components and Race Face Next SL carbon fibre crank with titanium axle

·         CUBE custom wheels with TUNE Prince & Princess hubs, DT Swiss Supercomp spokes, Reynolds AM carbon fibre rims

·         FOX 34 Float CTD 29 air fork, lockout, trail mode and adjustable rebound, QR15 thru axle, tapered steerer, Kashima coated

·         FOX Float CTD Adjust BoostValve damper, lockout, trail mode and adjustable rebound, CUBE custom setup

·         Syntace F109 stem and Vector carbon fibre handlebar, extremely light and ergonomic combination

·         Ultralight CUBE full carbon saddle and AX lightness seatpost

STEREO Super HPC 160 SLT

The ultimate bike in 650B. The “top of the line we don’t know how to improve anything” model. Exclusive and super light.

The STEREO Super HPC 160 SLT has the Efficient Trail Control four link 650B frame in Twin Mold construction. An extremely stiff monocoque full carbon fibred Trail Motion Rocker for perfect kinematics in all riding situations.

With ARG geometry you´ll get an agile ride with all the advantages of the bigger wheels and 160mm of travel.

SPECS:

·         Extra light Formula R1 Racing disc brake with titanium hardware

·         SRAM XX transmission and Race Face Next SL carbon fibre crank with titanium axle

·         CUBE custom wheels with TUNE Prince and Princess hubs, DT Swiss Supercomp spokes, Reynolds AM Carbon rims

·         FOX 34 Talas CTD 650B air fork, lockout function, adjustable rebound, tapered steerer, QR15 thru axle, 160-120mm travel

·         FOX Float CTD Adjust BoostValve damper, lockout function, trail mode and adjustable rebound, Kashima coated, CUBE custom setup

·         Rotors: front 180mm / rear 180mm

·         Syntace F109 stem and Vector carbon fibre handlebar, extremely light and ergonomic combination

·         Schwalbe Nobby Nic Kevlar tyres, especially light with low rolling resistance and optimum traction

·         Ultralight CUBE full carbon saddle and AX lightness seatpost

·         Extremely light TUNE Würger seat clamp

Interview with Michael Prell, R&D Department, CUBE

A new topic for 2013 is the wheel size 650B. How is CUBE’s approach to this?

650B means a whole new dimension for mountain biking – literally. The advantages of both known wheel sizes are combined: higher speed and better rolling over bumps while delivering more travel and still showing an agile geometry. CUBE developed a mountain bike concept for the slightly bigger wheels and more than 140mm of travel with the character of a perfect trail bike: welcome to our STEREO SHPC 160.

The modern balanced geometry (flat seat and steep steering angle, low BB and stand over height, short steering tube) leads to a centralized riding position IN the bike. This renders high agility and great downhill features when riding trails. Climbing is made easier because there is no front wheel lifting due to the steep steering angle and the lowered BB. At super steep climbs you can still lower the FOX 34 TALAS 650B from 160 to 120 mm.

The new kinematic features are a plus besides the advantages we got through the frame geometry. We achieved a small nearly constant working leverage. Combined with our pivot positions at the rear the damping works very sensitive and does not compromise pedaling. On uphills the suspension is stable without bobbing or pedal pogo. There is no sag while climbing even when rolling through a depression. On downhills the suspension sets new standards absorbing everything from small rocks to gnarly roots while staying stable because of the well calculated kinematics. Another favorable point: The low weight. With a frame weight around 1.800 grams the Stereo sets a benchmark while showing extraordinary stiffness and uphill riding characteristics of a XC bike. The field of use is nearly unlimited – you could go crossing the alps or ride a marathon – and even win it.

What are the developments of Cube for 29ers?

29ers are state of the art. We added a trail bike with 140mm to our range of 29ers, the STEREO SHPC 140. This is the maximum in combination with the big wheel size without compromising the performance because of the seat stay length or pedaling efficiency. The STEREO SHPC 140 rides uphill like an AMS 130, downhill like an AMS 150  … even better.

How could you achieve this?

We revamped the geometry. A steep seating angle and a flat seat angle combined with a low BB deliver great riding properties. Take perfect kinematics and the superb traction of 29ers and you get unprecedent features on up- and downhills. Being super lightweight with optimized STW numbers and DINPlus testing to prove it you can fly up hills. Even on steep parts you won’t have to lower the fork because of the balanced geometry. The kinematics keep the suspension stable without sagging.

On the downhills you will feel safe like never before and conquer new terrain. No other bike delivers the feel of safety and smooth rolling like our STEREO SHPC 140. You can choose any line because the big wheels just keep rolling. With the riding position IN the bicycle your mountain biking will be lifted to a new level. The STEREO SHPC 140 can do it all. Trails, epic rides, marathons or crossing the alps.

Cube Bikes are distributed in the UK via CUBE Bikes UK LTD since 2006.

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