While we were in Germany attending Cube Bike’s 2011 product launch we also got a quick look and play on their Hanzz freeride bike. It’s been redesigned for 2011 with the Horst-style four bar suspension using a new one-piece rocker link to drive the re-tuned Fox DHX RC4 coil shock.
There is also a rather neat screw-in removable front derailleur mount, modular rear dropouts running a through axle as standard, Hammerschmidt compatible ISCG05 mounts and despite being a burly bike the frame uses triple butted tubing.
The back end provides 188mm of travel matched to the latest generation of 180mm travel Fox 36 forks up front. As you’ve expect from bike with this much travel it irons out bumps, tracks very well over off camber roots and eats up drops but without feeling too spongey when you need to put in bit of pedalling.
The 1.5″ headtube and sturdy construction mean there’s no hint of flex and the bike changes direction quickly although the small frame size we tried was very small in the toptube.
Of interest to the serious XC racers is the new all-carbon Elite Super HPC hardtail frame. Weighing in at 950g, Cube have managed to make it 20% lighter than the outgoing 2010 frame but they claim it’s 10% stronger too. Despite being such a lightweight frame it’s also been built to survive the harsh DIN Plus testing that all Cube bikes undergo.
Like the AMS Super HPC frame we saw in the PART ONE, the Elite frame has had the alloy parts used in construction taken down to a bare minimum, with carbon dropouts and headset cups. It uses a tapered steerer and a press fit BB. A rather interesting feature is the way the “Double Flex’ seatstays attach to the seattube using two thin but wide sections of carbon with a gap in the middle to give some compliance to the back end without creating excessive lateral flex.
There’s a chainsuck protector to prevent any serious damage to the chainstay and the disk brake brace is shaped to guide cooling air to the caliper. We’re not sure how much difference that makes in reality but it’s a nice touch.
Finally we have the Elite HPT frame, which has to be one of the first Titanium frames we’ve seen with a tapered headtube. It uses triple butted 3AL/2.5V tubing with a press fit BB and post type disk brake mount with a rather Lynskey-esque Cube detailed brace nestled between chain and seatstay.
The rest of the frame looks very nice, down to the Cube logo’d seatstay brace. Sadly the European journalists were faster off the mark and managed to steal it away before we could take it for a spin so we can’t tell you how it rides…
We don’t have any prices for the 2011 range of Cube bikes yet, but point yourself at www.cube.eu to find out any more info.
Big thanks to everyone at Cube Bikes for inviting us along and UK distributor Dan White in particular for helping sort everything out.