Thursday, 20 March 2014

Cube Bike Test Day Review

Two of our staff, Tom and Yaz, at  went along to the Cube Demo Day.

This how Yaz summed up the day

We set off Thursday evening to our camping pod at Lanefoot farm 5 mins from Whinlatter Forrest. We had a good night's sleep and pretty soon It was  time to rise and shine to get some brekky in Keswick, then head over to Whinlatter to meet the chaps from Cube bikes.

On the training course we learnt about when and where Cube was founded. '1993 in Waldershof Germany'
We learnt about their new Ebike range and teaming up with BOSCH for the motors of their pedal assisted

The 2 types of Ebikes are the Active line and the Performance line
Active line being the grey BOSCH unit on Ebikes mostly found on Touring Trekking Town bikes.

The performance line black BOSCH unit, found on the Cube electric mountain bikes which in my opinion were mind blowing on the trail. The Ebikes have a computer head unit that displays speed, battery life & range.  There is a remote which has 5 different riding modes, those being Turbo Sport, Tour, Eco and Off.  There is also  a walk assist mode that helps while pushing your bike up hill.

There is a new head unit called the Nyon which is fully gps capable & has bluetooth so you can see text msg, heart rate and also has a Usb to charge your phone or even aftermarket lights to extend your night rides.

On the Course we learnt about how Cube rigorously tests frames and components.  Tom and myself
were really impressed with what we saw in their videos.  The Cube research and development team and production team are trying to be at the top of their game. and we all know what German Engineering is like!  We love it.

On the course they stressed the importance of media and press reviews which have been exellent .
Of course, when that happens the bike  sells out.  They also mentioned the importance of social media sites like Facebook ,Twitter, Instagram and linkdin.

Now the fun part!   After lunch we took a couple of Cube demo bikes for a blast round Whinlatter.
Tom rode a Cube stereo Ebike and was absolutely flying on a 140mm trail bike ...uphill.
At first we were unsure about the weight of the bikes, as they are heavy, but only by a couple of pounds in comparison to your standard trailbike.

I must say,  getting the ebike airborne and drifting into the Corners was a lot of fun. You do have to use your mental judgment a bit more with the speed and riding into corners.

I rode a Cube sting trail bike 120mm travel 29er which again rode really well on the Trails.
On my second lap,  I rode a Cube ltd Ebike and yet again getting it airborne. With the weight of the battery and motor in the centre of all Cube ebikes the bikes handled really well.  The bikes were surprisingly a lot of fun and opened both Tom and my opinion's to Ebikes.  I would strongly recomend you have a ride on one.  Most of the Cube bike range will be in both 650b wheels and 29er versions.

We really did have a cracker of a day.  Thanks to Cube,  All Terrain Cycles and Whinlatter Forrest.

On that note can I please order a Cube stereo ebike ?

Tom was equally impressed,

After riding around 2 laps of a blue trail I never thought I would have my mind changed so much on two subjects:  Cube and electric bikes.

Being the new kid of the block in our shop it was always going to be an uphill battle to get acknowledged as good brand, but I certainly had my mind changed as soon as I threw my leg over a bike.  A brand that has such a good spec list compared to the big companies in the industry had to be hiding some important details or had to ride like crap, but this opinion was soon to be changed.

I always go on training courses with an open mind, I may have some opinions on products a brand makes and how they aren’t as good as other products in the industry but this must be left in the car park, as soon as i'm in the company of the course provider i'm there to learn about how good products are.  With this in mind the two of us walked over to the big banners and met the chaps from cube, a nice relaxed bunch of guys who believe in the products they sell and more importantly, want to have a good laugh with everyone rather than them being the teacher and us being the students. This started by us all drinking coffee outside in the sun and telling the work experience kid that had been brought by another shop how this is a typical day in the bike industry....

Before Yaz and myself even got into the classroom for the day we were given an electric mountain bike to have a ride around the car park on, this really did wet my appetite to learn how they make them feel like a normal bike, whilst also giving a friendly push up all the hills without any noise from the motor and without weighing as much as a planet.

These questions were quickly answered as the first bit of the training was done by a chap from Bosch who was there to tell us exactly how the e-bikes work. With Bosch being a massive international company they are the right company to have onboard when it comes to electric assisted bikes, and soon we found out how easy it is for the shop to work with these things. There is so many different things happening all at once in the motor to make sure it’s doing the best job it can, we would later find out how well these things worked when bouncing down some trails. 

Some neat things the ebikes from cube have include a GPS system that will be available soon and also has a nice feature that will take you home if you get lost in the middle of nowhere, it will even work with strava if you need the extra assistance to get those KOM’s off the local strava hero’s.

The next topic was cube as a brand and how they go about making and testing the bikes. This was a big chunk of the day so I won’t go into all the details, I will summarise by saying I really was impressed as to what length cube to go to make sure the bike they send out of the factory door is ready for most things that the roads or trails throw at the bikes, and cubes willingness to not spec an external companies components if they don’t pass the cube tests, even if a big magazine thinks they are the best things since sliced bread.

 After we had a feast for lunch and did some more bit in the classroom it was time to ride the bikes. 

The first bike I got on was the cube stereo SL electric bike which is the highest model they do in the range and comes in around 21kg so isn’t a heavyweight in electric bikes terms. After the first few turns of the pedals I knew I was going to enjoy riding this bike, it feels so nimble in the turns and even kicks the back wheel out if you are feeling that way inclined. You feel bad that you are finding it so easy to climb the trails with whilst other people are slogging it out, and the looks on some people’s faces certainly backs up this point! 
Once the trail started to point down the hill over some jumps and rough berms I thought I was going to find the limit of the bike, but this never happened and it just kept on bouncing down the hill asking to go faster and faster after each turn. Once back to the hub it was time to swap bikes, this time I had to do all the pedaling myself but Fritzz 160 race I climbed onto certainly made the next loop as enjoyable even if I did have to do some work on the hills. 
After as much fun on the second lap and playing a game of catching Yaz aboard his reaction 29 it was time to head back into the cafe for another feast. The day ended with some prize giving and Yaz managed to win the best test score, if only he had written neater I would have stood a better chance at winning too....

The words that sum up the day for both Yaz and myself are - Never did we think a cube would ride so well.