Despite DH races being a bit thin on the ground, we've seen a few new DH bikes pop up this year, and just around the corner we have the biggest race of the year, the World Championships in Leogang.
Ready for that event, but not all that much of a secret if you're an eagle eyed DH fan, is the launch of the new Cube TWO15. There are two separate version for 2021, giving Cube the potential to focus each bike in more closely on its specific job.
The HPC version is squarely aimed at DH racing and was informed quite heavily from the racers' feedback on the old bike. It's also Cube's first foray into a composite DH bike. The HPA version on the other hand caters to the park rats and bike park crew, perhaps more content with squaring off turns and avoiding the pressure police than chasing tenths of a second.
The HPC is the DH race bike of the TWO15 brothers and goes for this with a 29" wheel only setup.
The main frame and rocker link are made from carbon fiber composite. Not a first all together for Cube, but it's first composite DH frame for the company. The chain stay and seat stay of the frame use 6061-T6 aluminum. Overall frame weight is 3.3kg for a size M.
Carrying on from their previous frame, the shock is flipped, with the piggy back end of the shock mounted to the main frame and was done in an attempt to keep the unsprung mass as low as possible.
TWO15 HPC 29 At A Glance
• Wheel Size: 29"
• Carbon fiber composite mainframe & rocker link, aluminum chainstay and seatstay
• 201mm travel
• 63.8° head angle
• 463mm reach (size L)
• 445mm chain stay
• Weight: 34.83 lb / 15.8 kg (claimed HPC SLT version, size M)
• Price: SLT €5,999, SL €4,699
Cube sought to keep the maintenance of the bike a little easier and skipped the hidden hardware that can be found on some of their other bikes. All cable routing is internal and the fork bumpers on the main frame double up as the cable entry.
There's a 203mm post mount for the brake and an array of stuck on protection from the down tube to chainstay and heel rub areas to keep the bike quiet and more resistant to wear from riding.
Geometry, Sizing & Adjustability
As is the case with both versions of the new TWO15, it's available in sizes M to XL. For the HPC version that sees slightly longer reaches ranging from 443mm to 490mm. That's then paired to a 445mm chain stay on all sizes and a -27.5mm BB drop, giving a BB height of around 343mm.
The stock head angle is 63.8°, but can be adjusted by 0.5° by the use of some adjustable headset cups. German brand Across was drafted in to do the cups which are made from plastic and don't actually press into the frame, the idea being that you can loosen the fork crowns and turn the cups 180° fairly easily. The cups include some small tabs to apparently stop them rotating during use.
Cube stated that they preferred to have just a head angle adjustment over the common flip chip somewhere in the suspension system to avoid changing the whole bike geometry in one go. The change in head angle also gives a smidge of BB height change too at 1.5mm.
The new TWO15 retains the Horst pivot rocker link layout of the previous bike and also retains the imperial length shock.
The HPC is built around a 241mm x 76mm stroke shock, or 9.5" x 3" to be imperially correct. This allowed Cube to pack a tiny bit more stroke into a shorter eye to eye than the metric shock version, drop the standover of the frame and package a shorter shock in the frame without the need for a side loading trunnion mount.
Leverage ratio left and anti-squat right. Blue is the new bike and green is the old bike.
Cube was given the green light from Fox that the shocks would be available for the foreseeable future and it's the company's DHX2 that the whole bike is designed around. Having said that, the Float X2 will also fit. So too with other brands shocks as long as you can get an imperial version. That shock compatibility is he biggest downside of going with an imperial length.
The new bike's kinematics see a drastically upped progression to 43%, with a much higher starting leverage ratio of 3.6 dropping all the way to 2.05.
Anti-squat also sees an increase, with around 140% anti-squat at sag with a 34/18T gear combination and overall higher percentages throughout travel. The bike's anti-rise sits at around 60% throughout the whole travel and is also an increase over the old bike.
Anti-rise left and pedal kickback right. Blue is the new bike and green is the old bike.
Cube knew the up in anti-squat would also bring an increase in pedal kickback degrees, but also knew the topic is deeper than just a graph and the number of times it actually affects the rider is different to what most people think or believe.
Lastly, the axle path was wiggled to give a slight bit more rearward trajectory, only 2mm, but mainly to overall be a bit closer to vertical around sag.
Options, Price & Availability
The HPC version of the TWO15 is split into two models, the SLT and SL, both available now.
The SLT version is a replica of the team bikes and uses a Fox 40 Factory fork and DHX2 Factory shock, SRAM X01 DH drivetrain with Race Face Sixc cranks, Magura MT7 brakes, Race Face Atlas wheels with Schwalbe Magic Mary and Big Betty combo with a Super Gravity casing. Price is €5,999 and the claimed weight is 15.8kg or 34.86lbs.
The SL version uses a Fox 40 Performance fork and DHX2 Performance shock, SRAM GX DH drivetrain with Race Face Atlas cranks, Magura MT5 brakes, Answer ATAC DH wheels with Shwalbe Magic Mary Big Betty combo with a Super Gravity casing. Price is €3,699 and claimed weight is 16.6kg or 36.6lbs.
The HPA carries over a lot of the engineering and design found in the HPC version and actually uses the same composite rocker link. The rest of the frame is made from aluminum and frame weight is claimed to be 3.8kg.
With not everyone wanting every run they do on a DH bike to be a full on race run, Cube sought to cater to the crowd looking to get their fun from a slightly different motivation, as well as riders looking for a less expensive, 27.5" wheeled option.
TWO15 HPA 27.5 At A Glance
• Wheel Size: 27.5"
• Aluminum main frame, chain stay & seat stay, carbon fiber composite rocker link
• 200mm travel
• 63° head angle
• 455mm reach (size L)
• 430mm chainstay
• Weight: 37.26 lb / 16.9 kg (Race version)
• Price: Race €2,999, Pro €2,499
The HPA is designed around 27.5" wheels only and sees some geometry changes to also help with the more bike park focus on fun and games.
Geometry, Sizing, Adjustability & Suspension
M, L and XL sizes are available with slightly shorter reaches compared to the HPC race bike. Reach spans 435mm to 475mm and is paired with a shorter 430mm chainstay length.
The HPA also uses a metric 250 x 75mm shock to enable Cube to use other shock manufacturers and hit the necessary price points while also opening up the bike to fitting shocks from all brands.
It uses the same plastic adjustable headset cups with a stock head angle of 63° that can be adjusted down to 62.5°.
The smaller wheels also drive a smaller BB drop of -8mm giving a BB height of around 346mm, which is altered by 1.5mm with the head angle change.
Options, Price & Availability
The HPA version is also split into two models, the Race and Pro, available very shortly.
The Race version uses a Marzocchi Bomber 58 fork and Bomber CR shock, SRAM GX DH drivetrain with Race Face Atlas cranks, Magura MT5 brakes, Answer ATAC wheels with Schwalbe Magic Mary and Big Betty combo but in a Super Trail casing. Price is €2,999 and the claimed weight is 16.9kg or 37.26lbs.
The Pro version uses an X-Fusion RV1 HLR fork and H3C shock, SRAM GX DH drivetrain with Race Face Chester cranks, Magura MT Thirty brakes, Answer ATAC DH wheels with Shcwalbe Magic Mary Big Betty combo but in a Super Trail casing. Price is €2,499 and claimed weight is 17.7kg or 39.02lbs.
A note on Euro pricing:
Prices in Euros stated are for the German market, which is currently having a reduced tax period and might not be representative of other Euro using country prices. So, check in with your local markets to have the accurate price for where you are in the world.