EWS Bike Check: Greg Callaghan's Cube Stereo

May 24, 2015
by Mike Kazimer  
EWS Bike Checks


One of Ireland's fastest enduro racers, 23-year-old Greg Callaghan was the local favorite this weekend, and put on quite a show for the cheering fans as he pedaled his way to a win after seven tricky stages. An 8th place finish at the Scotland stop of the EWS last year showed that Callaghan has the pace to be a contender, and an 11th place finish at the first round in Rotorua likely gave him even more motivation to find the extra speed required to take that top spot.

Riding for the Cube Action Team, a 140mm Stereo outfitted with a 160mm FOX 36 will be Greg's bike of choice for this event. Like a number of other racers, he's chosen to go with a shorter travel option due to the rolling nature of the course, and will likely stick with the 140mm bike for the next stop in Scotland as well. On courses with rowdier terrain he'll be switching to a bike with 160 or even 180mm of travel depending on the nature of the track.

EWS Bike Checks
Callaghan will be wearing a custom wrapped helmet that reflects his Irish roots.


EWS Bike Checks
The lever for the FOX DOSS dropper post is on the left side of the handlebar.
EWS Bike Checks
A remote for the rear shock is situated on the right side above the Shimano XTR shifter.


EWS Bike Checks
  Putting a piggyback shock on a 140mm Stereo makes for some tight quarters, which is why a special bracket has been installed to offset the water bottle cage towards the front of the bike.

Suspension

This weekend's course is one that requires a rider to be very active on their bike, full of quick direction changes and instances where split-second decisions about line choice will be crucial. For that reason, Greg has chosen to go with a stiffer suspension setup than what he would typically run on a steeper, more rugged course. In addition to the higher air pressure, volume spacers have been installed in the fork and shock to create more ramp up at the end of the travel. There are 2 orange and two blue spacers in the FOX 36, and a .752” air volume spacer in the Float X EVOL rear shock. A remote on the right side of the handlebar allows for on-the-fly adjustment of the rear shock's compression, with three available options.


EWS Bike Checks
Shimano's XTR brakes are in place to slow things down, with a 200mm rotor up front for additional stopping power.
EWS Bike Checks
Callaghan's FOX 36 has a 20mm thru-axle on DT Swiss' EX1501 wheelset, an option that isn't currently available to the public yet.

EWS Bike Checks
Callaghan switched to a 1x11 setup this week, going with a 34 tooth ring up front and Shimano's 11-40 XTR cassette in the back. It's interesting to see that the chainring he's using is simply the standard outer ring from a 2x setup - over a year after the launch of 11 speed XTR there still don't seem to be too many Shimano 1x specific rings out in the field.


EWS Bike Checks
760mm Syntace handlebars are mounted to a 40mm stem.
EWS Bike Checks
There seems to be a trend emerging on the Cube Action Team, and like teammate Nico Lau, Callaghan is running a tall stack of spacers under the stem in order to get the bars at his preferred height.

EWS Bike Checks
Traction is handled by Schwalbe's Magic Mary up front and a Nobby Nic out back. The weather's been holding up so far, but if things take a turn for the worse this combo should offer plenty of grip even when rolling through muddy bogs.


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75 Comments

  • + 117
 GASP!!!! A 20mm front Axle??? How can he ever ride something as ancient (and functional) as that "standard"?
  • + 21
 because it works and always has.. #marketingbullshite
  • + 6
 His enduro rig must be heavy.
  • - 39
flag m0ngy (May 24, 2015 at 23:01) (Below Threshold)
 f*ck Fox, their products are over-hyped, average performing, disposable SHIT. Bout time they got pulled-up on their over-the-top marketing BS, aimed squarely at dumb rich kids, ie. Fox RAD shock *vomit*. Fox introduced a 15mm through axle for no reason other than to divide the mtb consumer base, draw component manufacturers away from 20mm, which was ALWAYS the industry standard, since the inception of the mtb thu-axle. Makes me sick Marzocchi (finally, grudgingly, kicking and screaming) went to 15mm. At least Zoke's seals aren't absolute shit, like Fox's, nor do their forks require constant servicing and regular strip downs and rebuilds, unlike Fox's. Lick my arse f*ggot fanboys.
  • + 8
 Classic. Bet when this gets released to the general public the marketing spin won't be "sorry, our bad we were wrong to go to 15mm, please forgive us..." It'll be something about added rigidity, and weight savings and blah blah blah...
  • + 40
 Only a lever for remote ass scratching is missing. And another cable.
  • + 4
 Yah... Wish I had me one of those...
  • - 6
flag GalenS (May 24, 2015 at 19:36) (Below Threshold)
 I was just thinking: there will probably be lever adjustable bar height soon. Absurd...
  • + 12
 What's with these short head tubes these days when most riders end up with an awful stack of spacers? Sure it works but does it look good, no. So whats the deal?
  • + 44
 because it honestly doesn't look that bad. oh no, there are 3 little black rings under the stem. what ever will we do. its fine, it allows for more adjustability. if your biggest worry is the spacers on the headset then i think they made a great bike.
  • + 7
 Lots of spacers and lots of exposed seat tube. Maybe moving up a frame size might be an idea?
  • + 14
 It's handy to have a short head tube because it means you can go low if you want to. If you've got a long head tube you're stuck with high bars whether you like it or not.
  • + 11
 as a short arse who rides big frames I appreciate short head tubes....
  • + 8
 Might be because of these!

ibert.co.nz

They need space under the stem to fit.....
  • + 5
 Allows them to fine tune the height depending on the track.
  • + 15
 Or maybe the bike works better at that height because it was built to Mr Lau's preferences. I have no clue. About anything.
  • - 4
flag rstwosix (May 23, 2015 at 5:38) (Below Threshold)
 I'm with you Honzo15. Aesthetics do matter. I can't stand the look of short head tubes with a stack of spacers. Slammed stems look good. Spacers under stems do not. The alternative to spacers is easy - change the bars. Renthal, for example makes bars in 10, 20, 30 and 40mm rises. Short stems with various rises from 0 to 15 degrees are also available. Just my two bobs worth. I know a lot of people could care less.
  • + 4
 Lower top tube for brake lever clearance too, I'd hate to have my bars swing round in a crash an the levers dent\smash the TT of my expensive frame
  • + 5
 Easier to add 20mm to a short head tube than it is to trmove 20mm from a long one.
  • + 1
 Could'a
  • - 1
 Could'a definitely used one of those for the LOOOOOONG lift lines at Northstar Bike Park today.
  • + 1
 I just bought a new bike and a lot of good ones were out of the running because the head and seat tubes were too long. With a 150mm dropper I need quite a short seat tube and a tall stack puts the bar too high.
  • + 1
 Even with a flat bar and or a stem such as the new Renthal Apex with 6 degree rise that can be flipped, giving you - 6 degrees?
  • + 9
 Every xtr crank looks like crap after a while . . . can't Shimano get a longer lasting finish for their top o the line?
  • + 1
 The old Holzfellers seemed to get ugly in the same way quite quickly.
  • + 0
 ^^^ hence the world "old".
  • + 4
 Not sure if serious, or poorly made joke.
  • + 5
 "It's interesting to see that the chainring he's using is simply the standard outer ring from a 2x setup - nearly a year after the launch of XTR there still don't seem to be too many Shimano 1x specific rings out in the field."

So has anyone actually ridden on the XTR 1x rings? Do they work? Do they even exist?
  • + 1
 A mate of mine has had one on his bike for about 3 months now. Lots of normal trail riding and a 2 week jaunt on some DH stuff in Italy and it's not dropped the chain once. They look cool too!
  • + 2
 We are running them now, for a few weeks. They have been working well so far. DB
  • + 3
 If I was racing, a 70g guide is just cheap insurance. I'm sure it works fine but nothing is 100% guaranteed when you're going 110%.
  • + 1
 My apology, he's using a standard 2x ring as a single. I'm wondering the same now also.
  • + 3
 Martin Maes had one at the Whistler EWS. He was in contention for the win until he lost his chain.
  • + 5
 I'm assuming that is a prototype Super Gravity Nobby Nic. Hey Schwalbe get us that tire!
  • + 1
 My thoughts exactly!
  • + 1
 Ye, must be.

Ps: Magic Mary up front pinkbike
  • - 1
 Its funny i never really got on with the magic Mary. Or the Minion. But i do love Highroller 2s and the mavic charge.
  • + 3
 I wrote an email to schwalbe months ago asking about a sg nobby nic. Hopefully thry have seen the light
  • + 2
 110mm is not that short for a head tube these days and unlikely to be that much shorter than the bikes most other racers are riding. Cube riders may be on to something and higher front ends may be coming back in fashion. Try moving some spacers around, you might just like it...
  • + 3
 Well I think that for a medium size frame the head tube length is 12cm, exactly the same length as Joe Barnes' Spectral, and he uses no spacers at all. So I can't see why they are saying that the stereo has a short heat tube.
  • + 4
 I'm not a religious man, but I thank God Callaghan doesn't have one of those ridiculous mustaches everyone else seems to be sporting.
  • + 4
 What's with all the heel rub on those cranks? Those cranks haven't even been out that long and it looks like its been to war
  • + 20
 I don't think that he does one little ride per week Wink
  • + 1
 Well yeah but I have cranks 2+ years old that don't look half that bad
  • + 9
 Dude you cant ride much then, my cranks were like that after a week of hard riding (5 hours a day or so) after i got my new cube stereo haha!
  • - 12
flag Alias530 (May 22, 2015 at 14:53) (Below Threshold)
 Or maybe I just don't pedal like a slob?

Just looking at Strava I have almost 2,200 miles so far this year. This is split between two bikes but still, I ride a lot more than "not much"
  • + 9
 riding in the wet makes a big difference. A little dirt between your shoe and the crank and it's like sandpaper.
  • + 5
 Maybe he has weird ankles, who are you to judge you're not the pro here mr 2,200 miles!
  • + 4
 You do know that clear tape is cheap and easy to fit don't you? Wink
  • + 1
 Do you suffer from peddle strikes on the cube ? I've got a stereo 160 that I'm getting to know and I'm having to change how I ride, it tried to kill me last weekend after clipping a root, shot me off into a tree !!
  • + 1
 The 140mm cube stereo i have is lower than yours and i have also got offset bushings in lowering it even more! Never had a problem with hitting the cranks or pedals on anything, must have just bene unlucky man!
  • + 1
 Thanks for the reply, haven't had the cube too long but been out a lot, I've had peddle hits on every ride mainly on twisty single track.Now found several comments about the cubes low bb, however I will adapt my riding style, the bike is a beast for speed !
  • + 1
 Yeah they are pretty low so you do have to look put for rogue roots, rocks and tree stumps! Would reccomend putting offset bushings in your bike though! Makes it ride so much nicer however it does lower the bb a cm or so more!
  • + 1
 There is no way this dude is fast enough to win an EWS event with headset spacers under his stem and that much dropper post exposed. Has someone re-checked the timing? I smell some Irish home cookin'!

There is a guy at my LBS who is a moderator on Pinkbike and he told me that if I wanted to be fast and have have trailhead cred I needed to be riding an XL with a 10mm stem (I'm 5'9"). He was right! I feel so much faster now and when I'm at the trailhead these days I can just "feel" everyone checking me and my ride out. It's almost like people are intimidated to ride with me now because they see my 60" wheelbase and they know they can't hang.

I think Callaghan is a little bit taller than me, so he should be on a XXL at the very least. Get him on a XXL (or better yet, XXXL) and shave down the top headset cup and bottom of the stem just a little bit, and clamp that seatpost so the only thing exposed is the stanchion and maybe I'll believe that bloke has the required stones to hang in an EWS race!
  • + 1
 theyre not checking you or your bike out, theyre looking at the incredibly large penis attached to your head
  • + 1
 I just had one of those same XTR trail pedals come off the spindle on a ride with all the bearings spilling out. Shimano warranty replaced with no question but I can't find anything online implying that they have fixed the issue. Anyone else experience this? Looks like it's pretty common and specific to the XTR trail.
  • + 2
 I had the same thing happen. The rep told me that it was just the first two batches that came out of the factory. According to him the renamed version of the pedal does not have the same issue. Lets see, that is what they gave me.
  • + 5
 At first I thought the downtube said Lube
  • + 0
 If your after a bike because of its looks only, your in the wrong sport. Go do dressage, show ponys. Enduro has the biggest range of tracks and trails available so why wouldnt you want adjustability ? I for sure wouldnt want to be riding an xc setup down a french mountain etc would feel awful and youd therefore look shit on the bike (for the show ponys)
  • + 0
 Sometimes spacers are needed under the stem in order to prevent the bars or brake levers from contacting the top tube. Also, bar height usually changes along with BB height. So even if two frames have the same headtube length, if the BB height or drop is different, then a change in bar height is required.
  • + 2
 finally, a pro bike review that doesn't include pikes, monarch plus and xx1
  • + 2
 Notice both him and Joe Barnes are on 140mm rear travel bikes.
  • + 3
 Short bike.
  • + 1
 I thought that Cube was coming to North America? What ever happened with that?

dave
  • + 0
 Cube nice looking bikes, built ok, but they have the worst customer service I ever experienced, oh and bad after sales service. Other than that they are awsome.
  • + 1
 Does anyone know what brand of GPS mount that is ?
  • + 1
 Think it is K Edge
  • + 0
 The good thing about adding spacer under stem also brings bars further back,
  • + 0
 Narrow Wide and Chain Guide. LOL Smile
  • + 1
 I like it.
  • + 1
 cool
  • + 0
 It's not a pretty bike.
  • + 0
 Agree!
  • - 1
 Use bigger headset spacers fkn rookies.

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