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 / enduroTravel:
150mm (185 x 55mm Trunnion mount shock)Wheel size:
Boost 148mmFrame construction:
€3199 - €4499More info: cube.eu
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 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.Build Kits
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.
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.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.
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.
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.