Cube Stereo 150 TM - First Ride

Apr 25, 2018
by Paul Aston  



Cube was the first brand to support an all-out enduro attack with their 'Action Team' that debuted in 2012. Since then their bikes have evolved from their racers' demands and in 2015 and '16 the team achieved EWS victory via Greg Callaghan in Ireland. The 150 TM is a result of Greg and the teams' feedback and is the production version of the bike he spent most of 2017 racing on.

The full carbon machine has had a number of updates over its predecessors including modernized geometry, more travel, more progressive suspension and bigger wheels. Stereos will be in store before the end of May with three models to choose from ranging between €3199 and €4499.


Stereo 150 TM Details:

Intended use: trail / enduro
Travel: 150mm (185 x 55mm Trunnion mount shock)
Wheel size: 29"
Spacing: Boost 148mm
Frame construction: Carbon
Sizes: S-XL
Pricing: €3199 - €4499
More info: cube.eu


Frame Details

Cube Stereo AM150
Cube use plug and play internal cable routing ports that are the same on all of their bikes and can be swapped to meet different numbers, sizes and types of housings or wires. The ports are positioned on the side of the headtube where the carbon material is thicker, rather than needing to add weight further along the frame.

Cube Stereo AM150
Cube Stereo AM150

The Stereo 150 TM has most of the modern features consumers have come to expect including full internal cable routing, space for a bottle cage, Boost hub spacing, a metric trunnion-mounted shock, and ISCG05 mounts for a chain guide or bashguard. A front derailleur is still an option with a bolt-on mount and Callaghan is probably the only EWS rider to continue to use a 2x setup. All pivots use full compliment bearings and the upper rocker link has smooth concealed pivots. The rocker link has increased stiffness and a double row of bearings meaning they could drop the seat stay bridge and further clean up the appearance of the frame.

Cube Stereo AM150

Cube have updated their suspension system to increase progression (almost double the previous Stereo AM160) but with a 'virtually linear falling ratio' designed to work with an air shock to give end stroke progression. Anti-squat is said to be reduced for more active suspension and less fatigue on long descents but the added support from the kinematic keep things efficient when pedaling. Anti-rise has been kept neutral to keep the rear suspension active under braking.

Cube Stereo AM150
For riders that still want more than one chainring there is a FD mount option that attaches behind this cover plate. Greg still uses a slightly narrower range cassette and 2x chainrings on his bike with Di2 system.
Cube Stereo AM150
Internal derailleur routing exits underneath the bottom bracket and there is also a port to enclose a Shimano Di2 battery.


Build Kits

Cube Stereo AM150

There are three models to choose from (we expect to see a fourth 'Action Team' replica later this year) which different component specifications and frame carbon fiber quality. The more affordable C:62 Race (€3199) comes with Fox Performance suspension and a mix of components from Shimano's XT range and RaceFace. The €4499 top of the range C:68 TM is lathered with Kashima coated Fox, SRAM Eagle drivetrain and Code brakes. Newmen Components take care of wheelsets for all models which are wrapped in Schwalbe tires.

Cube Stereo AM150

The higher quality (and 50% more expensive) C:68 carbon uses spread tow fibres instead of round filaments. This allows the fibers to be packed closer together and increases carbon content to 68% of the total material (the rest is filled with resin) which decreases weight and wall thickness by 25% over the C:62 fiber. Cube have also changed the resin to include 'nano-particles' which are said to increase durability and reduce delamination. These particles are likened to rubbing two sheets of sandpaper together: put the smooth backing paper together and they slide, but rub the two rough surfaces together and they grip.


Cube Stereo AM150


Geometry


Aside from referring to the frame size by the length of the seat tube in inches, the Stereo 150 TM has been updated to modern numbers. There are four frame sizes to choose from 16", 18", 20" and 22" that grow an equal 20mm in reach per size from 417mm to 477mm, and an increase in stack height for each size. The head angle is set at 66 with a 160mm travel fork and the effective seat tube angle is 75.5º. The bottom bracket drop is a deep -37mm and the chainstay is short at 435mm. This puts the 150 TM in a similar position to many of the mainstream big wheelers of the moment.

Cube Stereo AM150 Geometry




After the continued unusual bad weather across Europe this year (unless you're into winter sports) our riding time was massively cut short by cold weather and closed trails, so forming any real opinion on the Cube is tough. But, that said, after getting a few runs in it was clear to feel the 150 TM has a comfortable geometry (after I removed the 65mm stem from the 22" size bike). The sizing is a big leap from previous models and the angles are ready for trail/enduro riding, and top top it off, the seat angle is one of the steepest from a big brand.

Fox's 2019 suspension was supportive and smooth from the outset and the addition of the bottom out bumper to the Float X2 eliminates any kind of harsh bottoming out, although did make it feel like there is less travel than 150mm.


Cube Stereo AM150

The Newmen alloy wheelset was not harsh and I have been hearing good reports about them. Schwalbe tires in Super Gravity casing with Addix Soft compound are a great start in gnarly and wet trails and avoided any of the teething problems of enduro bikes with super lightweight rubber, giving support, traction, and resilience from the outset.


Cube Stereo AM150







140 Comments

  • + 59
 2018 Cube reach measurements have caught up with 2014 industry average...
  • + 4
 And 2009 standover.
  • + 24
 They look about right, almost identical to the Trek Slash...
  • + 65
 I’m riding short bikes after 2 years of super longs reach and it's much more fun
  • - 6
flag emptybox (Apr 25, 2018 at 2:30) (Below Threshold)
 @Abantos:
But are you faster ?
  • + 4
 @Abantos: Nothing wrong with short bikes, but to have a short bike you would sadly have to have a tall seat tube, proportionally - 20" for a 457mm reach!
  • + 3
 Cube bikes always seem to short & to high, as you say 2014 standards, they are always about 3-4 years behind with there frame dimensions.
  • + 5
 Hang on, the 20" bike has a 470mm seat tube, which is 18.5".....
Is it just that these guys don't know how many mm are in an inch? ?!?!?!??!
  • + 13
 On paper, the geometry looks naff, but in reality the BB height is pretty low and really surprised me how well the bike corners. I also don't think the standover is that bad; I'm 5'9" and on the 20 frame and can manage fine.

I don't mean to cast aspersions against Germans but maybe they're long in the leg and short in the body!

The thing with geometry is that one size doesn't fit all - I really didn't like my 2016 Orange Alpine geometry (too long, couldn't weight the front end) but I get on fine with the Cube; it's the sweet spot for me.
  • + 2
 @emptybox: Who cares! The big question here is, is he stiffer?
  • + 3
 @Abantos: agree. A bit more length for security is nice but go too long and you need super fast gnarly descents to achieve any sort of thrill.
  • + 4
 @Abantos: ya, I like nimble!
  • + 7
 @emptybox: faster isn't always more fun.
  • + 2
 @Abantos: Yep me too.
  • + 6
 @FrEeZa: It's not the length of the frame but the motion of the trail?
I don't know. The real question is does she mean it when she says it's a good frame size?
  • + 1
 @demo811: Other than the steeper seat angle, much lower bb, and steeper head angle...
  • + 1
 @bohns1:
I know. I love my 390mm of reach. That comment was sarcastic
  • + 10
 It's longer than the new Stumpjumper.
  • + 1
 @FrEeZa: 28.99 stiffs stiffer, as measured by a frozen octopus and Rasputin.
  • + 27
 What was the point of publishing this now if "forming any real opinion on the Cube is tough"? Why not wait until you can get more ride time so that you can put out a review that is more than a short paragraph long? This seems like a pretty useless article IMO, except as a press release.
  • + 9
 I see it as a press-release "plus".
But Pinkbikes opinion is very short...
MTB-News has a better one I think.

Very rigid frame, good suspension, many possibilities for specs
  • + 13
 Money?
  • + 6
 Probably is timed as a sort of press release. Greg posted a few "look at the lovely new bike" pictures on his insta and Facebook this morning
  • + 6
 @Brightside: Good suspension? do you want to ride dh on a bike that feels like it has less travel?
  • + 20
 Sorry @BullMooose but things don't always work out as planned. We had one full day of riding scheduled on the camp, and we had biblical rain all day, shuttles and trails are closed by a new law in Finale after a certain amount of rain so we had to cancel after a couple of runs on the bike (which was mostly riding down a river). Different media were there on different days throughout the week and mostly had better luck than my group.
  • + 8
 @paulaston: Just remove the picture with the header "ride impressions" as there were none.
  • + 2
 Just curious - didn't Cube run into issues trying to enter the U.S. market?

Could someone on this side of the pond just buy thru Chain Reaction?
  • + 2
 @paulaston: We got caught out by that whole wet trails business when I was there a few weeks back, I can totally understand and respect the reasoning, but its a bit harder to swallow when you've been planning it for months, spent a fortune and flown out there for a few days, to be told you cant ride because you might wear the trails.... Also we pedalled 3k ft up to nato base, nearly died of hypothermia by the time we got to the very top, so had to bail and ride back down the road.
  • + 4
 Not me this is fine. If u see reach, chainstay, seat angle head angle u know a lot about the bike. This ones conservative in my opinion but probably rips
  • + 2
 @WasatchEnduro: yeah but duty and shipping into Canada can be over 25%. 1300 on a 4000 bike no thanks
  • + 1
 @sewer-rat: I just summed up MTB-News' first impressions.
  • + 2
 @Brightside: cool, did it say climbs like a dh bike , descends like an xc bike lol
  • + 13
 'Aside from referring to the frame size by the length of the seat tube in inches' - this is a continued misnomer for Cube bikes. The '20' frame for example actually has an 18.5" (470mm) seat tube.

I've recently bought the 2018 Stereo C:62 TM and despite all the talk about the geometry not being 'modern' I think its a great bike.
  • + 14
 Trunnion shocks- a solution looking for a problem while adding problems. Stop it, please!
  • + 3
 Indeed, Vorsprung have been posting up trunnion failures, doesn't look good.
  • + 5
 Just like metric shocks.... buy new stuff!
  • + 10
 Cube often gets criticised for being behind the curve with their geometry numbers. Not many people seem to appreciate how well the bikes are spec’d for the asking price. They are generally light weight and very well made too in terms of quality of workmanship and finish. Also good to see a down tube guard on there, many manufacturers seem to find it impossible to attach one but will offer extortionate frame/crash replacement prices instead.
  • + 2
 Well, geometry is pretty much the only thing that matters... Components can always be changed/upgraded...
  • + 1
 No mention of weight in this article, but I'd be curious to know what they weigh.
  • + 7
 @mollow: Yes, but no everyone wants or needs a longer front triangle, shorter chainstays..blah. The progressive geometry that the industry is currently promoting is perfect for the gravity end of the mountain biking scale. I know a bike can still climb well despite having a slacker geometry but I think the longer top tube is not always compensated for by the shorter stems associated with this geometry. The result is a much more stretched out riding position which puts more strain on the muscles in your neck. Ultimately, those that spend most of their time peddling are are better off with the "older" type of geometry, in my view. I think there is a good reason why geometry on road bikes remains RELATIVELY unchanged despite all the science and money poured into their sport.
  • + 1
 @PHeller:
According to mtb-news.de between 13.3 and 13.9 kg depending on the specific model.
  • + 1
 @PHeller: Top Model heaviest: 13,9kg (tires)
Mid:13,3kg
Entry:13,6kg
  • + 1
 So 29-31lbs or so.
  • + 12
 4499 € for the high end version ??? SICK !!! (the less expensive high end carbon bike on the market ??)
  • + 6
 > Cube have updated their suspension system to increase progression (almost double the previous Stereo AM160) but with a 'virtually linear falling ratio' designed to work with an air shock to give end stroke progression

This is the most confusing sentence I have ever read in a bike review. So is it progressive, linear, or falling rate?
  • + 6
 @dthomp325: It's marketing spin. AKA Bullsh1t.
  • + 3
 Could mean the slope of the leverage curve on a graph is straight, i.e. linear, and descending, i.e. falling from higher leverage to low leverage, which would fit the description and be progressive overall. Obvi the typical use of those terms is a little different, maybe a translation issue, could be clarified
  • + 2
 I thought the same thing, complete BS, and not only the 3 things you mentioned, but it could be "virtually" any one of those things too!
  • + 1
 @m1dg3t: Maybe so, but how would you describe a wavy line (in this case the suspension leverage curve)?
  • + 2
 @Sardine: just show the damn chart? Leverage ratio chart should be on every manufacturer's website, right next to the geometry chart, and include anti-squat and anti-rise while you're at it! No need to use confusing phrases to describe what can be simply graphed, but generally I would assume that progressive = leverage ratio at bottom out is lower than at top out, linear = leverage ratio the same at bottom and top, falling rate = leverage ratio higher at bottom out.
  • + 3
 Not trolling but why does every new model of mountain bike more or less employ the same rear suspension design? Is it really the best design or does it just strike the balance of works good enough/easy to design and manufacture? It seems there's a significant population that ends up buying a different brand just so they don't look like every other bike on the trail.
  • + 32
 Water bottles are the most important part of suspension design
  • + 4
 Because the Horst-Link/4bar systems don't require to pay any patent fees anymore and seem to work good enough.
  • + 4
 So you'd like it to be different for the sake of being different? The behavior of the suspension is down to the details isn't it? That's why a Jeffsy rides differently to a Stumpy...
  • + 0
 @headshot: No, I would like companies to continue to innovate rather than settling for good enough.
  • + 10
 @LaXcarp: I would like companies to settle for good enough when it's good enough, and work on cost savings instead of unnecessary "innovation" just to drive sales.
  • + 1
 @mikericci: but neither does VPP any longer. I think all of these companies have a lot of experience building Horst link bikes since there was never a patent in Europe. A lot of the European brands (Cube, YT, Canyon) now know how to tune it for exactly the feel that they want and they don't want to go through the learning curve with VPP.
  • + 0
 @xeren: Well then, you should definitely buy a cube, or a trek, or a kona, or a transition, or a ghost, or a turner, or a giant, or a devinci, or a Norco....these brands dont seem cheaper than non horst brands. Who says suspension performance improvement is "unnecessary innovation" just to drive sales?!
  • + 1
 @LaXcarp: i think i misread your OP, thought you were saying that bike co's should make different suspension design because they all look too similar. my bad.
  • + 2
 @Tmackstab: and poorly defined increases in stiffness.
  • + 7
 they finally got the top tube down...
  • + 2
 @ everyone saying it needs to be longer, slacker etc.. Cube is a huge brand catering to the masses. The 150ish trail bike today should be a do it all. It's not a kona, transition, pole, Nicolai etc. Imho they did great redesigning it, having capable albeit not super race-based geo, and offering it at a great price. See speci stumpjumper from a few days ago, I've not got the numbers in my head right now but i think it has an actual shorter reach. Also this one has a rather high stack which has to be taken into consideration
  • + 7
 New Hans Dampf it seems
  • + 2
 Yes, looks like similar to NN
  • + 1
 @kraf: Looks a lot better than the previous one. A son of a Nic and Hans.
  • + 3
 I'm glad that "150 mm" is written on the seatstay... sometimes I'm riding and forget how much rear travel I have, and looking down is far more convenient than googling a spec sheet for it while riding. Noice!
  • + 1
 Maybe it is easier to compare bikes on the showroom floor this way.
  • + 1
 I am sure it is an awesome descending , capable climbing trail/all mountain bike , Aint they all? Where I am at in life is give me a DH bike I can pedal to the top , and after they come up with that , give me a DH bike I can also use as a trail bike .
  • + 1
 Get yourself a Knolly Delirium- put a 222mm shock (188mm rear) on there and 180mm fork.
Or go full nuts and put a dc fork on it- with 1x11 you will still be able to climb
  • + 1
 New Bartlett dual crown fork on a super enduro like a Nomad?
  • + 4
 Put a dual crown fork on a down country bike.
  • + 3
 "The ports are positioned on the side of the headtube where the carbon material is thicker, rather than needing to add weight further along the frame."

No cable rub either.
  • + 1
 It's amazing how every year most bike companies change the kinematics of the suspension and say it's improved or better. After a certain amount of years you would think an engineer could dial in a suspension. Changing for the sake of change.
  • + 1
 Honestly with the better shocks out there, you can tune last year's model to ride just how you want anyway.
  • + 2
 Kinematics is leverage curves @JohanG:
  • + 2
 Can someone explain to me where code brakes sit on the Sram hierarchy? I see them a lot on pros bikes and for example on the high end cube, but I though they were supposed to be Sram's bog standard downhill brake...
  • + 4
 Like for the Guide you have multiple version of code brakes : from Guide RE to Guide Ultimate. IE from cheap and crappy to expensive and not so good.
  • + 5
 You also see a lot of Shimano riders running Saint on trail bikes. They are the DH brakes, but also the most powerful, braky bois available. Big enduro 29ers need big stoppers robert
  • + 2
 @Whipperman: From what I understand about the Guide line the difference is not about quality. It is about adjustements and weight. My Guide RS do break as well as my buddy's ultimate but his are lighter and have the contact point adjustement (which he never adjusted obviously).
  • + 2
 @opignonlibre: That's true from the Guide RS up, but the Guide R does not have the servo-wave lever, and does not modulate the same as the other models.
  • - 3
 Code R = Zee
Code RSC = Saint
  • + 4
 I am sitting here in central Europe and had a good ski season and a great start with the mountain bike season ...
  • + 3
 Taking the internally routed brake cable out under the bottom bracket is like a new album by Scooter. You wonder why did it ever come out...
  • + 6
 you actually took the time for writing all that..?
  • - 4
flag WAKIdesigns (Apr 25, 2018 at 3:06) (Below Threshold)
 @RedBurn: sorry edited it... it vas zu long
  • + 9
 @WAKIdesigns: my comment looks meanless now.. bitch lol
  • - 5
flag WAKIdesigns (Apr 25, 2018 at 3:09) (Below Threshold)
 @RedBurn: sorry butchered it...
  • + 6
 wow, is this a redburn/waki comment thread? what a privilege!
  • + 1
 @jaycubzz: I love E-bikes!!!
  • + 2
 A friend has had a huge amount of problems with his 2017 Cube. It appears the back triangle flexes loads leaving tyre rub and also screwing the shifting. The dealer and Cube don't seem bothered.
  • + 3
 Maybe it's the wheel
  • + 7
 I work saturdays as a mechanic in a bikeshop selling lots of Cube bikes (and i really can't understand why).
There are a lot of usual issues with their rear triangles flexing too much, rear axles coming loose all the time, failing hardware etc etc.
Enough has been said about them being behind on geometry already but what really grinds my gears is their sloppy carbon fibre layup. For example when building the last (beautiful!) stereo action team replica out of the box I could spot about 8 or 9 little layup/weave mistakes on the toptube alone, basically the whole visual layer looked like a ray charles himself slapped them into the mould. If production is so careless about the visible stuff, i really don't want to know about the non-visible layers.
Also there are regular assembly issues like pinched cables, foreign objects inside the frames...
  • + 1
 @ElWego:
Mates Gone Through 3 Carbon Stereos And 3 ally fritz and a carbon hardtail. And Cube Were a arse too.
good components cheap nasty frames.
  • + 3
 @markg1150: then why did your friend buy 7(!!!) of them?
  • + 3
 @Mac1987:
Warrantys mostly only bought 2.5 in a way . The hardtail that lasted 2 days he sold the replacment straight away tho took 6 months arguing to get that. The fritz got "upgraded" at slight extra cost to himself to the stereo. He just kept thinking bad luck nothing else can go wrong surely. Aka stubborn. I think it hilarious as he has been taking the mickey out of me and my kona saying it will break and it's never skipped a beat and taken x10 the beating his cubes could only dream of. Hes now got the same kona process as me and loves it says it miles better than that gloryfied long leg 90s xc bike stereo. Yes I'm smug and Iv every right to be I think
  • + 4
 Mono, Stereo, Whats next?
  • + 5
 I don't think there will be anymore, Mono - One (One suspension, Hardtail), Stereo - Two (Two suspension, Full Suspension).
  • + 16
 Cube Surround
  • + 13
 Cube Dolby available in IMAX
  • + 4
 with atmos for 29% better immersion
  • + 1
 Dolby surround!
  • + 3
 Well I here the FM stereo has better ride quality and modulation.
  • + 2
 Cube Uni is still available, no?
  • + 3
 Cube View Master
  • + 1
 I had a 2016 Stereo 160mm and it was pretty capable, however sizing, suspension setup and geometry were a long waaaay behind. Cubes are incredible value for money, but struggle on the 'beauty' side of thigns.
  • + 2
 Like the elimination of the seat stay bridge and the added progression - both things the previous model needs. Could have just stuck with DPX2 on the high end model though.
  • + 3
 Is there a 27.5 version with more travel?
  • + 3
 Really nice looking! Love the clean lines Drool
  • + 1
 Nano Tubes. Haha. Likely they are using carbon beads in their resin. s fine as powdered sugar and can be used to thicken resins during layup.
  • + 2
 OH LOOK AND A NEW COLOR "ORANGE"..........
  • + 2
 How is that bike staying upright?
  • + 2
 Fishing line attached to overhead crane. Pretty obvious really
  • + 1
 If you want to know the truth, there was a guy holding it and released it just before the picture was taken.
  • + 1
 520mm seat tube length is a.ball breaker, I mean a deal breaker... dated geo.
  • + 3
 Looks like a Cube.
  • + 1
 When they stop making bikes with pressfit bb ill consider to buy Cube bikes...
  • + 2
 Reach is too short!
  • + 3
 477mm for an XL is not too bad. Very similar to Canyon (@480mm). Beautiful bike!!
  • + 1
 @paulaston what size stem did you change to? 40 or 50mm?
  • + 0
 Still no gearbox? Who doesn’t want gearbox? Where you at gearbox cheerleaders!
  • + 1
 22 inch seat tube on the XL. I'm out
  • + 2
 Seat tube on the 22" is actually 20"

They are all 2" shorter than listed

We use 18/20/22" as sizing as it is historical and keeps existing due to our product codes.

An XL has never had a 22" seat tube since 2011
  • - 2
 Paul, do you still know how to pedal a bike uphill ? Because if you're gonna add an electric motor, I'm not sure we will believe the "pedals up like and xc bike and goes down like a mini dh" kinda review
  • + 15
 Yes, I can still knock out up an down 1000m of vert in a couple of hours no problems on an unrideable 37lb bike with DH tires. Let me know next time you're in town and we can do a 3000m day.
  • + 2
 @paulaston: challenge accepted. 3k is a bit much for me though, gotta ask Lance some "tips"
  • + 1
 @paulaston @zede It's on baby, call RedBull! Big Grin
  • + 1
 It is still too small for very tall guys like me.
  • + 24
 Shut up and grab me that magazine off the top shelf please, I can't reach it.
  • + 7
 @BenPea: haha Smile Cheers Smile
  • + 1
 Bb type?
  • + 1
 Pf92
  • - 1
 another brand goin' trek.
  • - 2
 looks like Devinci...
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