- Cube Stereo Super HPC 160 Race 650b
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!Posted 2 years ago
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 greatPosted 2 years ago
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.Posted 2 years ago
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?Posted 2 years agogoldenwonderMember
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.Posted 2 years ago
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!
Now then, so I’ve changed all the linkage bearings and figured I’d give a little description on how I did it and include the bearing details least it help anyone in a similar situation in the future.
Bearings as follows –
Seat tube upper bearing set (used to attach the rocker thingy that joins and pivots the shock and upper chainstay on the seat tube) – 6800 VRS (4no.) OD 19mm, ID 10mm, W 5mm.
This size bearing (2no.) was also used for the rear bearings in the rocker that attaches directly to the upper chainstay.
Seat tube lower bearing set (used to attach the lower chainstay to the seat tube just above the bottom bracket) – 6000 VRS (2no.) OD 26mm, ID 10mm, W 8mm.
Rear chainstay bearings (where the derailluer is) – 688 VRS (4no.) OD 16mm, ID 8mm, W 5mm.
Tools I used for the job –
125mm Workbench Vice (£30 from B & Q) – 100mm one wasn’t big enough
4mm square metal bar
M4 threaded bar (unused)
M10 x 100mm long bolt
M12 x 40mm long bolt
M6 plate washers
M10 washers with an outside diameter of about 20mm
Various sockets to match bearing size (the size e.g. 18mm, 19mm, etc. seemed to vary depending on how you were using it and from which shop you bought it as you’d sometimes be relying on the outside diameter of the socket and the wall thickness varied, so you need to work out what size you need and check the measurement in shop before buying. Also, Halfords was very expensive for these, they were dirt cheap in B & Q where I got everything else).
All set me back about £50, which I figured was about how much a bike shop would charge to do the job if there were no issues.
Upper seat tube set –
These consist of 4 bearings and a central aluminium sleeve that engages the bolts to attach the carbon fibre rocker part. I used the M12 bolt and the vice to push this whole assembly out from one side using a 27mm socket to act as a cup on the other side to catch the bearings and protect the frame from the vice jaws.
I wasn’t sure if this housing sleeve in the frame was the same size all the way through so did this carefully, but they came out pretty easy and after a couple of turns it was obvious I wasn’t damaging anything unseen. The internal sleeve had a lot of play in it as well which also indicated that this housing sleeve was the same diameter the whole way through.
Cleaned it out and very lightly greased the housing sleeve. I was able to push two bearings in from one side by hand mostly. I used an M10 washer flush against the frame to each side in the vice to push the outer bearing in flush with the frame. I then placed the aluminium sleeve in and pushed in by hand the other two bearings closing this off. I think I used a 13mm socket which had an OD of 19mm (and a slightly chamfered / rounded end which meant it was probably nearer 18.5mm OD) to push the second outer bearing the final way in. The aluminium sleeve could still move, but only just. This OD is important as you want to push on the outer metal bearing housing, not the seal face itself.
The other bearings in the rocker and rear lower chainstay were changed in very much the same way using the M12 bolt and 18mm socket to drift out the old bearings and washers mainly to push in the new bearings with the vice, it was very easy and didn’t take long at all.
And then on to the lower seat tube bearing set…
I knew this would be more difficult as this consisted of two larger bearings and an internal aluminium sleeve in between. However, unlike the upper seat tube set, there was hardly any movement in this sleeve which to me indicated that the housing sleeve in the frame changed to a narrower diameter. Which meant that I couldn’t just press the whole lot out from one side.
I believe in this situation the bearings are known as ‘blind’ and you’d usually have to find a drift of some sort to push the bearing out from behind from the other side of the frame or use a bearing extractor tool (expensive and this highlights the obvious benefit of using a shop which would likely have this tool set).
However, I’d thought about this and that was the reason for getting the 4mm square metal bar. I cut about 100mm off and put it end up in the vice with about 5mm protruding from the jaws and used a hammer to gently (ish) tap and mould an edge to the bar (looked a little mushroomed). The gap between the internal sleeve and back face of the bearing was very tight, so I wanted something with just an edge on to get some sort of purchase and narrow enough to get an angle on it through the M10 wide sleeve. So it was kind of a home made drift.
At first this method was unsuccessful. I then used a screw driver and impacted the sleeve from the top to try and push the sleeve through and push the bearing out the other side. I broke the handle to the screw driver doing this and it didn’t really make much difference either.
So I then tried to leaver the bearing out using this home made drift by levering it behind the back of the bearing and hammering down on it which bent it over (went through another home made drift in this fashion as well). It did move the bearing but only slightly. All of this had to be done quite carefully with the frame resting on a thick folded sheet to protect it from the work bench.
So then off to B & Q to get some anchor sleeves. Tightened these up inside to try and use as a home made extractor tool but they didn’t grip the inside of the bearing properly and were easily pushed out.
I eventually decided to try and push the whole assembly through from one side using the 27mm socket and M12 bolt. I pushed as hard as I dared in the vice and realised this wasn’t going to work (and confirmed my suspicions that the inside was narrower where the sleeve sat). However, it did just push the far side bearing out about 0.5mm. As a result, I was able to make a new drift and get it in properly behind the bearing this time round and bashed it out from the other side using a hammer in the way I’d originally intended. If this hadn’t of worked I was going to admit defeat and take it to the shop to get that one bearing set changed.
So cleaned this all out and pressed back in the new bearings using the vice and washers.
This took some time and whilst it would have been quicker passing it to a shop, I’m glad I did it myself as I now know how to change them next time round (and I’m confident I could do this on another bike). The main hurdle was the ‘blind’ bearing which is where the correct tool would have come in handy!
So put the bike back together and the only change I made was using a couple of the M10 washers I’d bought on the largest bearings above instead of the smaller ones supplied by cube. I figured this would provide a larger surface area around which the two bike frame parts would rotate and reduce movement making the back end a little stiffer.
The bike is all put back together now and all movement in the rear end has stopped so my concerns that changing the bearings wouldn’t solve the problem proved wrong thankfully.
Now just to head out tomorrow if the lurgy I can feel growing within me doesn’t get too bad and hopefully the rear chainstay doesn’t snap with the thrashing I plan on giving it (it may be cracked, I’m not sure).
For all you perfectionists out there, this process of using a vice, sockets and washers largely left the lacquer on the frame undamaged (it was obvious from the previous change of bearings that some very minor damage had been done already). If you were being really careful I guess you could cut a template of thin rubber (maybe from an old inner tube) and place this in between the frame and tool being used, but I reckon that would be very fiddly!).
Hopefully that was all reasonably clear. I didn’t take any pictures because I basically forgot, but there are plenty of videos and pictures on line highlighting the methods I used (apart from the home made drift maybe). I just wanted to include some text for this specific bike which might help someone out like myself at a future time (boring a read as it may have been!).
If you have any questions then let me know.Posted 2 years ago
Ok, probably one final post regarding the drivetrain on the bike (think I’ve exhausted most other topics on the bike over the last two years!).
I changed to a zee derailleur and shifter last xmas, mainly for a shorter cage. They’re great value for money if you can get them in the sale, all fitted the bike fine as well.
A few months ago I got a 38t crawler/expander cog for the cassette. Fitted this and removed the 17t cog. The existing B tension screw wasn’t long enough to get the chain clearance between the jockey wheel and 38t cog, so had to get a longer M4 bolt from Halfords.
Fitted this and I found I had to rotate the derailleur quite a lot clockwise to get the clearance for the chain and had a few pains getting the chain the required length. I found that it was still quite loose on the highest cog when the rear suspension was compressed (I hadn’t realised that my style of bike had the effect of shortening the chainstay length under compression, I thought it was neutral but I was wrong!) but I figured that I rarely ever get into the highest gear so wasn’t too bothered about it.
Anyways, so the crawler cog was great on steep climbs, it allowed your legs to spin more aerobically as opposed to pushing through and using your leg muscles, which kept my legs fresher – which was great around places such as Innerleithen.
I went to the Peak District for a weekend and after a while I noticed it getting more and more difficult to get into the crawler cog. I initially figured it was a cable stretch issue with it being a new cable, but tightening this up didn’t help. Eventually I couldn’t get into it at all so figured I better take a look and realised that the B tension screw had driven itself through the rear hanger that it pushes against – the extra spring tension on it and the roughness of the peak district (and the softness of the hangar metal) had all combined to cause this.
I was able to see out the rest of the weekend, albeit without the use of the crawler cog. So I had to replace the rear derailleur hangar and revert back to the normal cassette set up with the old B tension screw.
I recently wanted to replace my chainring as it was a bit knackered having had over a year of abuse. So I bought a new 32t absolute black oval ring and new chain.
I fitted these and removed the chain guide I was running as the chainring is narrow wide but because of it’s shape it doesn’t work very well with chain guide I had on.
I’ve been out on it a couple of times and I’m impressed by it. I’ve found that it provides a real smooth and consist delivery of power through your pedals, that it removes the dead spot.
I’m sure I’d read that a 32t one is the equivalent of a 34t/32t through the power zone and a 30t through the dead spot. I can’t really honestly say if that is the case, it doesn’t feel any harder to pedal than my old 32t ring, just that it’s consist all the way through the pedal stroke. I’ve not found any real bobbing effect either from the moment I tried it.
I’d recommend giving it a go if you’re due to change your chainring, I don’t think you’ll be disappointed and they’re reasonably priced as well.Posted 2 years agoronsandMember
I hope yo do not mind me posting here as I got inspired reading this thread 🙂
Yesterday I ended up buying a 2016 Cube Stereo 160 HPA Race (aluminium frame).
The specs has changed quite a bit since the earlier offerings as it now sports the new and improved Fox 34 Float FIT4 fork, along with the Fox Float DPS shock. It also sports the fashionable 1×11 Shimano XT M8000 drive train. Breaks are the Magura MT5 type. It is till quite light at a smidgen above 13 kg.
I got a quite good deal on it, or at least I believe it was a good deal (apx £1840 including vat in Norway). Anyway it should be a worthy replacement for my trusty 2004 Specialized Enduro FSRPosted 1 year agoronsandMember
I guess I will get the bike around the end of next week, as it is in shipping now.Posted 1 year ago
I had to take a few rounds with my self regarding the choice of an aluminium versus carbon frame. In the end I feel more comfortable with the frame being made out of aluminium. I can from experience be a bit rough on the equipment and I think the aluminium frame is a safer bet 🙂 The weight difference is not that great and the price is a bit more friendly to the wallet.
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