Cube Stereo Super HPC 160 Race 650b
I've had to tweak the seat a couple of times and move it forward as I sometimes get lower back pain as if I'm lent too far over, but it's sometimes due to not tightening my camelback up properly and it riding on my lower spine. The wider handle bars do also cause you to lean over a bit more and I normally find on long climbs I'll adopt a narrower hand position on my grips as long as the trail allows it.
You are running your bars to low, the wider you go the taller you have to run them to keep your body position the same.
Hi Tom, thanks for the tips. I have to admit I'd prefer tweaking the brakes rather than going out and buying new, especially as I can't afford it either. The comment on the bars was interesting though, going to check the rise of the stock bars and possibly see about trying a riser bar to see if that makes a difference.
I can guarantee with 95 percent confidence that taller bars will solve your issue mate.
I went from 10mm rise to 50mm rise and boom, my back issues and arm fatigue went. And I actually gained more control over the bike.
Wide bars are great, but wide and flat is an utter fad. Sure I lost a little bit of confidence on flat turns because the front wheel is less weighted....but guess what you have to do to resolve that? Lean forward a little more to the position you'd be in with flat bars.
The correct bar height gives you a nice neutral position that allows you to get over the back or weight up the front, WHEN NEEDED. Slammed bars have you weighting up the front wheel when you don't need to and needlessly increase rider fatigue.
Let me know how the 203mm rotor and Castrol SRF/Motul 600 go. Have a look at some guidelines on how to properly bed pads if you've glazed them.
I've got some brand new boxed 30mm rise black Spank 777 evo bars, you can have them for 20 quid....dunno if those will be enough rise for you? How many spacer's do you have above the stem (if any)? If you can't move the bars up to try the rise before you get a pair of riser bars (because masses of spacers looks awful)....get a couple of bars with different rises...try them out...send the on you don't like back.
Now then, figured I'd give an update on how ye olde cube is getting on.
Stuff I've changed since my last post -
Got some Nukeproof 760 wide bars with a 38mm rise in them to try and cure a slight pain in my lower back. Seems to have done the trick.
Changed my brakes, got some Shimano XT and sold the Formula RC Tune on ebay - was going to try bleeding with a higher temperature brake fluid like Tom suggested in a previous post but ended up changing them. As a side note, Halfords brake fluid has the same active ingredients as the Motul and Castrol but was about half the price and readily available.
Decided on this after a number of rides with me just falling out with my brakes. I think one of the key things was I didn't like the way the lever pivoted and I basically couldn't get them set up how I like to brake without a lot of discomfort. I also didn't like the modulation on them - something that I have since discovered is absolutely awesome on the XTs. I don't exactly have cash flying around, so changing them was a big cost even though the XTs were reasonably priced at about £135 for front and rear. So I ventured onto ebay and managed to sell the Formulas for £75 which was a result. Then I also sold a load of other stuff that covered the cost completely and a new set of tyres.
The XTs are awesome. The first time I tried them was at round 1 of the Scottish Enduro and they weren't exactly bedded in, but on the slopes you could just apply them and the modulation and feel was a world apart from the Formulas which seemed to just be on or off in comparison. It's possible the formulas needed bleeding anyways, but either way, it was a sound purchase. I also had to shorten the rear brake hose (at 12pm on the Friday before the weekend of the enduro) and started looking round for bleed kits when I realised you could shorten it without having to re-bleed as long as you had an insert and gromit (with spares coming with the brakes), so did that no problem.
Also got a set of WTB Vigilantes which I've been looking for since before xmas but they were either out of stock or too expensive. Saw some on sale so got them and I'm running them tubeless. One minor thing is they are freaking tight on the rim, I don't actually think I'll get them off again without ripping out the rim strip first. They seem to have loads of grip in the rubbish weather though although the argument could be made that I got them the wrong side of winter, but never mind. My rear Hans Dampf was pretty much bald and I could feel the difference straight away with the Vigilantes.
Also went for a 1 x 10 setup after botching changing a cable on my front deraileur and having no option but to remove it to go out the following day. The gearing has worked absolutely fine and I find myself wondering why I ever had a 2 x 10 setup in the first place (I had a spare 32 ring from when I bought the bike and got rid of the outer 3rd chain ring and replaced it with a bash guard). It did drop the chain though so got a race face thin fat chain ring which has worked absolutely fine so far and I have to say I like the bars and bike in general being less clustered.
I did the Innerleithen Day Night enduro back at the end of November feeling a bit rubbish and it absolutely destroyed me. Since then I've been out pretty regularly and as mentioned completed the 1st round of the Scottish enduro series at Fort William. Was good fun and my fitness was good even if it did absolutely chuck it down most of the time. Round 2 is next weekend at Innerleithen and I'm looking forward to that with some slight trepidation.
Fitness is generally good at the moment. I don't commute and I'm planning on getting out on the evening a bit more but it's difficult with work so mostly weekends for me. Went to Gisburn a couple weekends ago and I think I'll leave going back there. It's quite a drive and just not worth it really, the trail's too short and just so freaking rocky it becomes unpleasant. I'd rather slog it through mud than get vibrated to pieces. There's the odd bit that's good, but it's in need to repair in places and lengthening - not easy I appreciate, but there's just better alternatives closer to home for me.
Main two issues at the moment is a pain in my left knee and left wrist. I think the left knee is a result of getting some five 10 shoes with that stealth sole which grips your flat pedals like there's no tomorrow. But I find I pedal a bit wonky just due to my freakish left leg and as a result, I think the lack of give in the sole means that I'm putting my knee through a more unnatural range of motion than before when I wore trainers and they were less grippy and had some flex. As a result I'm going back to clip ins tomorrow for a ride to see if the same pains comes, the hope being that the clipped pedals will force me to pedal in a more natural range of motion. I'm also going to see a physio just to get it checked out so i'll have to see how it pans out.
The left wrist issue is a bit more tricky and I've tweaked my bars and brakes to see if this goes away. It could basically be a number of things so I won't bore you with the details, just tweaking here, going for a ride, tweaking there, etc, etc.
Other service stuff that needs doing. Both the fork and shock could do with a service, or at least a strip down and oil change. The headset bearing casings are rusting up but the bearing seems to be fine. The rockshox reverb could do with having the hose shortened (but I'm very wary about this one as my mate had issues with his and he fixed it at great cost for spare parts - like an extortionate £45 for a bit of metal in the handlebar lever).
Other than that, I'd still like to change the gear lever and deraileur as I#m still unhappy with them but can live with that and the wheels have taken a right battering to the point that my free wheel fell apart the other week when putting on the Vigilantes. I managed to fix it but the free wheel hub body is basically loose. It rides fine (for now), but it's a DT Swiss hub so if it does loosen then the ratchet won't engage and I'll just be spinning a lot and going nowhere! So i'm considering getting a new rear wheel. I can't true wheels, the rims damaged as well as some spokes and the hubs a bit fooked, so I figure it's cheaper to get a new wheel than pay someone to lace in a new hub. But I haven't checked this exactly as it's all still working for the time being and the bathroom needs redecorating!
Hope everyone has a great weekend riding.
Nice write up Whippet
I just pondering a new bike and had the briefest of rides on one of these it certainly seemed a lot lighter than my Five.
One thing that has put me off cubes, is that a few have snapped among the people I ride with, but you seem to be riding this one pretty hard and so far it's been OK.
Think I will try and get a test ride.
Right, I'd thought I'd bore you to death with another update. First, I hadn't heard of a cube snapping but I guess it's possible. Someone who I see at these scottish enduros snapped his devinci in the EWS at inners, but I think he's sponsored so he got a new bike to keep on riding although I don't think any of his times were then valid (I didn't enter this as I couldn't afford it at the time and was then massively jealous reading and watching all the stuff on it!).
Since Gisburn I've done the second and third round of the scottish enduro series. Inners was very muddy and slippery and I have to say that riding clipped in there was pretty unnerving but I just got on with it really and for the most part it was ok. I played around with the air pressure in the front tyre and ran it pretty low working on the assumption that as long as I could get my front tyre to go where I wanted it to, the rear of the bike and me on it can follow in whatever bike kung fu pose I could muster.
Most of the stages were ok if ridiculously steep and technical as only inners seems to know how, but withe the full face inspiring a bit of confidence I rode it pretty well except the top section of stage 5.
Following on from that me and a few mates had a long weekend up in Dalbeattie, rode there, Kirroughtree and Ae. All good fun.
Went back up to inners a couple of weeks ago in the lead up to the third round of the enduro series and had a bit of a mare riding there even though it was bone dry, just wasn't on it mentally. Had a better time at Scolty outside of Aberdeen riding the local trails there which are real good fun and have a cool fresh cut, gnarly technical appeal to them - if only that was my local riding spot!
Laggan was a cool place ot ride, first time I'd been there and the enduro tracks were really good fun. Could have done a bit better but was still pleased with the result.
Since my last post I don't think I've done anything to the bike other than ride it. I've just ordered a whole new set of linkage bearings as the first part of some expensive tlc. I'll get the front wheel bearings changed at the same time but a new rear wheel is still on the cards. I'll service the fork and shock in some way shape or form too.
Also bought a cheap road bike from halfords to get some miles in on the evening, quite enjoying it now and it's helping my fitness.
The bike in general is still riding really well, I'm still the weakest link on it. This was reinforced by the guy who won the EWS in scotland as he was riding the team version of the cube, so it's definitely a fast bike! I'm considering a coaching session or two as I want to get better at jumping and try to learn the steep rooty technical stuff that you get at the likes of inners in a more competent fashion, riding the bike as opposed to feeling like a passenger on it hanging on for dear life and being grateful I got to the bottom in one piece!
I've stayed riding clipped in and my left knee doesn't hurt anymore and neither does my left wrist. i find riding clipped in really helps with technical climbing, in scolty there's some hard stuff to get up and being able to pull as well as push made a massive difference.
On a side note, I do find it slightly amusing how everything has enduro slapped in front of it now as if it will help stuff sell because I 'need' it to be more enduro focused! Some of it's great gear, but I do wonder how many people just buy it because of the marketing hype. Almost makes me cringe buying stuff now, but then as I'm broke most of the time at the moment I'm more of a bystander these days.
Bathroom is basically done now as well, toilet is shite and needs replacing!
So it's Saturday night and my active social life means I have time to write up an update on here...
So since the last entry, the bike has had almost another years worth of riding. I've not replaced the toilet and it's still shite and I've spent some £££ on the ye olde cube.
The main thing rolling over from the last entry was getting the linkage bearings replaced. This is where me and my carbon framed bike fell out of love a bit. To cut a long story short, I seemed to round off one of bolts for the main (central) horst link that goes through the seat tube. As a result I had to pay a bike engineering firm to CNC drill the bolt out (I just didn't feel confident handing it to some plucky lad at a bike shop on a Saturday afternoon for him to be let loose with a pillar drill on it and I didn't have the tools myself having spent about 3.5hrs with an engineering bike enthusiast friend one evening trying all manner of ways to get it out) and then fit the new bearings. This they did very well but at great expense to me (all in all including the cost of the bearings it set me back about £350 - 400 not to mention a couple 5hr round trips to drop and then pick up the bike).
So much for proactive maintenance! To an extent, I only had myself to blame as I'd never stripped down the linkages and cleaned everything out which I'm sure contributed to this. As a result, I stripped the linkage down a month afterwards to clean and the same bolt caused more problems so I left it well alone. In the end, several months later (and after hearing nothing from repeated e-mails to cube - very poor customer service) I took the bike back to where I bought it to have it looked at before the 2yr warranty ran out on the frame and the mechanic there undid the problem bolt no problems - so two 5hr round trips and £20 to get a bolt undone - but in my defence, I wanted him to experience the same problem as me in the flesh - it just turns out he didn't experience it!
Either way, I would have felt more comfortable bodging around with an aluminium frame as opposed to a carbon one as they're a bit of an unknown entity to me, even though they are stronger - it's just a different material and I was worried it may be result in something snapping, cracking if I put any force into getting the problem bolt out. It's a poor design in my opinion and something I'd recommend potential buyers consider on whatever type of bike they might get - that it needs to be serviceable.
Anyway, all the linkage parts strip down and can be regularly cleaned out and greased and the bearings are doing ok. All I'd say is that if you ride in muddy weather throughout winter and regularly have to wash your bike, just make sure you strip down the linkages and clean them out, it will likely save you money and time in the long run. Lesson learned!
New stuff I've got on it. Shimano Zee derailleur and shifter, just fitted a 40t crawler cog on the back (had to replace the B tension screw with a longer M4 x 25mm bolt from halfords though to get the clearance and add a few links to the chain) - will be testing this new sprocket tomorrow hopefully.
Got new wheels eventually (one at a time), Hope hubs on Stan rims. Can't fault them. Tubeless set up was a bit of a pain, but eventually resolved after much swearing although the older WTB Vigilante needed cutting off in the end and I punctured several inner tubes in several places trying to get a tube in to help seat the tyre. I've since made a DIY coke bottle compressor thingy but not had to use it yet.
Been running a Magic Mary on the front over winter and it's an epic tyre. Was my saving grace at Rd 5 of the SES last October at Inners - very muddy and slippy and this tyre just got me through stuff that should have seen me dumping it otherwise. Very confidence inspiring and decided to keep it on over summer as well. Slapped a new Hans Dampf on the back.
Front fork has been playing up with not getting full travel and scratched stanchions, thought it might be dried out seals so changed them but to no avail. After much procrastinating I decided to opt for a new pike instead of trying to revive the existing Fox 34 - I worked out that if my worst fears were realised with the Fox (which is usually what actually happens) then the cost of this would cover a large part of the new pike and the pike is epic compared to the 2013 Fox - according to all the reviews and fellow bikers. I can only just afford it but I'm hoping it will be a decent upgrade as I don't plan on spending any more money on it for months now if I can help it.
Enjoyed the Vallelujah (sp?) race in March near Selkirk. Very muddy again in places but good fun and good tracks. Didn't do so well at Inners Rd 1 of the SES in March and enjoyed the tracks at Ae forest for Rd 2 of the SES. Rode the practice days at Inners/Glentress last week for the EWS (I tried to get a place but was too late), I think the under performing front fork definitely contributed to a lack of confidence on certain parts of the track, but if was still fun all the same although felt like pish the whole time due to illness. Planning on being there this weekend coming with some mates for a lads weekend so looking forward to giving some of the stages another go.
Overall, the bike is still awesome after two years although I've changed a significant number of components on it now mainly due to wear and some personal preference. Buying, maintaining and upgrading parts on a bike of this type is expensive for me, I don't put new items on without some serious consideration. The costs relating to the linkage bearings was annoying and I'd not planned on changing the fork - but I think it will be the right decision in the long run with the fork. The bike is enormously capable, evidenced by Greg Callaghan's win in Ireland in the EWS and 3rd place last weekend in the Scottish EWS. So I do try to keep some perspective on things when spending money on it that I am the weakest link on it and strive to improve my skills as much as possible.
It's a fun, fast and light bike and I've had some awesome times on it over the last two years, so all those benjamins have counted for something! I've just this month finished paying it off (I've also included it on the house insurance now which I find gives you a certain piece of mind) which means I'll have some extra cash to spend on that pike. I'm sure people on here have just as much fun on something a third of the cost and that reality isn't lost on me, when it comes to changing it again at some point in the (distant) future, I'll be keeping that in mind.
If you have any questions then let me know.
Picture of me nailing it at Inners last October...!!
Stopped riding clipped in as well. Knee seems to have sorted itself out and riding flats is better for my confidence if not as pedal efficient.
I reckon if Sam Hill can manage with flats then so can I...!
Always nice to see how someone is getting on with a bike when they've had it a while and the honeymoon period is over.
So many reviews on here are clouded by 'new bike syndrome' and follow the predictable "oh my god I love it, best bike in the world, knocks spots off my old one"....after just one ride....which tells you nothing really except that the new owner is pleased with their new purchase, which stands to reason really and is often just thinly veiled justification or validation of purchase!
Interesting when someone has changed tyres, forks etc and can give an informed comparison between upgrades, I find these reviews far more helpful when considering a new bike.
I've had mine for 2 years now and its been a very capable machine.. If you are changing the forks.. consider going for the dual position pikes.. I changed my 34 Talas for the 160mm pikes and I really miss the ability to drop the front end on steep climbs.
They look quite nice bikes, but the back end has a decidedly retro / square Ellsworth look to it...
I have been wondering about fitting a Cane Creek DB inline to the bike. I have seen photos of it done, but have failed to turn up any concrete experience. I have read about people filing the air can to make it fit and using offset mounting bushes.
Can anyone elaborate on this?
im running a monarch + rc3 debonair on mine. The small can just touches the frame and no more, on full compression. I run mine with a little less sag anyway and it almost never reaches that point. If I put an offset bush in the bottom of it, the problem would be solved.
Gavstorie, can you post pics of that fitment? What size is your frame please?
its a medium frame.. i will see if i have a photo of it somewhere.
that's great, can I see a tiny witness mark where the small can touches the downtube?
have you been pleased with that shock and its performance over the OEM FOX?
its much better than the fox.. it holds up better when pedalling and is much more controlled on the downhills
Which tune is it? Medium compression and medium rebound?
red M blue L
cant remember what way round that is but i did check at the time i bought it and it was the one recommended for the bike
its medium rebound low compression
Thats great, thank you!
The mark on the frame is where the can hits the frame. The mark is from when i has trying it out when fitting it. I let all the air out it and bounced on the frame. It hasnt hit the frame again since then and i have done some fairly hefty drops to flat..
Got the pike, solo not the dual air as I'd never used the talas on the fox 34.
Without trying to sound like a broken record, the fork is awesome. Very confidence inspiring and find myself pushing into corners with re-newed confidence. Also made riding fun again trying to push the limits on tight tricky muddy rooty trails and on nice trail centre tarmacesque trails.
If you're considering a swap, I'd thoroughly recommend it. If you have deep pockets then I guess the Fox 36 would be the fork of choice, but can't fault Evans on the price and the lbs that price matched it. Cheers!
So since the last entry, I've been hitting up Dalby my local trail centre quite a lot and riding with some guys who know a lot of the old or off-piste tracks, which makes riding around there loads of fun again. It's a shame the FC don't seem to share that enthusiasm, but it's fun blasting along tricky sections of trails made by people who like that type of riding.
However, on my last outing I noticed loads of play in the back end and it turns out my linkage bearings are bollocksed again after being changed about a year ago (detailed in a previous entry).
Whilst I've given the bike some abuse over the last year, I'm not a particularly heavy rider and I have been regularly stripping the linkages down and cleaning and greasing everything up. So I was a little surprised by it, so much so that having been away with work for the week I stripped it all down again at the weekend just to confirm my initial suspicions.
So I've had to buy a new set of linkage bearings. The guys at the local (ish) cube dealer (JC Cook Cycles in Grimsby) have been really helpful, would recommend them, and the new bearings have been ordered (with a discount as well).
I'm not that impressed with Cube the company as a whole though. Has anyone else gone through linkage bearings this quickly on their bike, and do other companies provide lifetime warranties on the bearings (seem to recall Giant doing this)? It's set me back nearly £120 for a dozen bearings (which I'm sure would cost about £8 from a manufacturer - if only I knew the codes, will make a note of them this time before installing) and some bolts.
Whilst I appreciate the bolts and hardware are unique to Cube, they must have thousands of these things at their factory so why the massive expense. Just seems like a kick in the teeth. And why aren't the bearings lasting longer? Is this why you hear of over-sized bearings being put in frames, precisely to combat this kind of issue? If so, why don't Cube do it (to any Cube PR / Marketing person out there who may be reading...!!)?
I guess if I was flush with cash I wouldn't be as bothered, but it's another unforeseen maintenance thing that costs serious money to resolve. Anyway, rant over!!
I reckon I'm gonna replace them myself though rather than pay a local shop to do it, fancy the challenge. Could result in being even more costly, but I reckon the internet and youtube will help me out! Plus doing things like this (hopefully properly) also give you a bit of a buzz and can be a good learning experience.
Any particular dos and donts...!?
Rear shock also needs a service as well.
Hopefully, this will all lead to another 8 - 10 months trouble free riding at least...
Except I did discover what I think is an impact hit on the lower chainstay near the bottom bracket on the drive side. It looks like a decent rock strike has cracked the lacquer on the carbon frame, but it could also be a crack developing across the chainstay. I've had a good look, am none the wiser, so I'm gonna keep riding and see what happens, worse is it could break and need replacing (hopefully not destroying rear wheel, legs, body, deraillieur in the process). Carbon fibre is very strong so hoping it's an impact, not a crack...
Roll on Autumn...the bike is otherwise, still great
re. linkage bearings
I have a Stereo 140 TM and I've just had to replace the bearings after about 5 months use. Not too bad I guess. Cost me £45 in bearings (Ebay: from rullabearings) and about three hours in time, going nice and slow.
Superb bike. DT hub bearings went in no time flat but other than that I've been very impressed.
Cheers Reggie. I was actually talking to a mate this weekend and he had changed his bearings at around about the same frequency as me and he said one of his mates seemed to do it every 3 months - seemed that his bike was designed to destroy bearings!
I'm gonna make a careful note of the bearings this time round and will re-use the bolts, spacers, etc. in the future.
Did you have the proper tools then or did you use something like a vice and socket set to remove and install the new ones?
I've made my own aluminium drifts (I have a lathe), so I just use those in combination with a vice, or a threaded bar/rear hub axle. Some bearings were quite tight to remove, but fitting the new bearings was pretty straightforward. Certainly not a horrible job.
You don't have to buy genuine bearings form Cube to fit to your frame, we usually use Enduro Max bearings as replacements as they're better quality, last longer & are cheaper.
Regarding lifetime warranty on bearings, yes some manufacturers do offer that, but this doesn't mean they expect their bearings to last a lifetime! On certain bikes like this, we're replacing bearing within 3-4 months!
Does anyone have the sizes/bearing numbers so i can source some for when i need to swap them out?
Not to hand, but you can read all the numbers off the seals without having to remove the bearings, just take the bolts out & have a look.
I've kept the old ones for reference. I can check later.
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