With increasingly gnarly courses being featured in enduro races, and the steady resurgence of "freeride" as a market category, it's no wonder we're seeing more and more long travel bikes meant to tackle the heaviest terrain around. While many of these bikes can seem to be cut from the same cloth, each brand has their own special flavor, including the newest release from the German engineers at Cube.
Cube makes a whole bunch of bikes, and the naming scheme can be a bit... technical. So you're forgiven if things get a bit confusing when parsing out which model is which in the lineup. In this case, I'll be covering their new long-travel Stereo model, the ONE77. This is an update to an existing model, and the geometry changes are pretty subtle, so let's see just what makes this bike stand out from its predecessor.
Cube Stereo ONE77 Details
• Wheel size: 29"
• Travel: 177 mm, 170 mm fork
• Carbon fiber frame
• 63.8º or 64.4º head angle
• 76.5º or 76.7º seat angle
• 435mm chainstays
• Sizes: M, L, XL, XXL
• Weight: 33.9 lb / 15.4 kg (size XL, ONE77 C:68X TM 29)
• Price: 3,199 € - 7,399 €
Cube bills this as a bike for "long days on rowdy trails in the mountains," and given the frame's overall simplicity and the build kits available, that seems like a pretty realistic expectation. There are three build options to choose from, each with a corresponding color, as well as two aluminum-framed builds that strike a lower price point.Frame Details
With a similar silhouette to the prior model, the ONE77's biggest change is in material. Where before it was an alloy-only affair, the big Cube is now available in an all-carbon construction, with an alloy frame still on offer. Mostly thanks to that material change, bike weights have gone down by nearly 3 pounds on average, which makes for an impressively lightweight long-legged frame. Our test model weighs in at 33.9 lbs on the scale, with the cheapest/heaviest build kit available.
With the move to a carbon frame comes the shift away from traditional internal cable routing, and the introduction of a new crowd favorite: through-headset cables on all models. This topic has been beaten to death at this point, so suffice to say it's a bummer to see Cube make the same decision that many other brands have this year. On the bright side, they've added a second set of bottle cage bolts to the underside of the top tube, allowing for easy and accessible accessory storage, while still leaving plenty of room for a full-size water bottle in the main triangle.
As with the prior model, the ONE77 sports the ability to switch between coil and air shocks via a flip chip on the main link, in conjunction with a different lower mount position. This changes the progression and overall leverage of the bike, and is meant to suit both options equally well.Geometry
As I mentioned earlier, the geometry hasn't changed much from the prior ONE77 models, but there are some updates to note. Reaches have grown across the size range by about 4 - 6mm, depending on the setup. Otherwise, it's all the same story as before, with angles and measures carrying over as they were before. For those on a size Medium, there is a shorter seat tube, so that's an improvement when it comes to dropper sizing.
In addition to funneling all your cables (and a little bit of water) into the frame, that Acros headset also doubles as a head tube angle adjustment, via some well-integrated flippable cups. The steep/slack position accounts for the two options you see on the geo chart, though Cube states that it only provides 0.4° of adjustment in contrast to the 0.6° reflected in the geometry numbers. Very slight discrepancy, and really not something you're likely to distinctly notice.
There is very little info for how to make that geo adjustment, but I found a German instruction manual
on the Acros website that shows the process with a similar product. Having made the change myself, it's quite easy, and doesn't require any tools besides the hex wrenches to loosen your stem - you could do it trailside, should you be so inclined.Spec Check
I've been riding the poetically named Stereo ONE77 C:68X TM 29 olive´n´chrome
, which is positioned as the cheapest of the three carbon models, retailing for 4,399 €. I think this spec presents a decent value for what you get, with a couple of low points and highlights in the parts kit.
This model features RockShox suspension front and rear, but you'd be mistaken if you think you're getting the newest stuff with this new bike. The fork is the V1 Zeb in the Select+ finish, which means you get a single compression knob as well as rebound adjustment. Out back is the Super Deluxe Ultimate Coil, but again not the newer version with a wider selection of adjustments. Though the fine adjustment is lacking, the two are easy enough to balance out, so long as you have access to a few different spring rates to try on the shock.
Hard to fault this choice.
There are two highlights for me on this build, the first and foremost being the Hayes Dominion A4 brakes. After spending time on just about every "best brake" on the market, I keep returning to the Dominions as my true north when it comes to performance and reliability. They're fantastic at what they do, and are surprisingly rare as OEM spec. Needless to say, I was stoked to see them on this build, and they've been flawless for the duration of the test.
The other standouts were the Newmen Evolution SL A.30 wheels, which I hadn't had the opportunity to try prior to hopping on the Cube. The rear hub is damn near silent, which is something I'm increasingly fond of in a world where having the loudest hub seems to be a new form of competition. The aluminum rims have held up very well to some sloppy lines and plenty of hard cornering, and the tension has remained even and tight, which isn't terribly common with alloy wheels on the lighter end of the spectrum.
Sadly it's not all rosy with this build kit, as there were a couple annoying - if not baffling - choices made on the spec. The one that really bugs me is the 150mm SDG Tellis dropper post, which feels unusually short in conjunction with this bike's geometry. It's not a dealbreaker, but it would certainly be my first upgrade were I to end up with this bike. Unfortunately, the frame design has fairly shallow post insertion, which might prevent a lot of people from maximizing their saddle drop on the descents.
One other nitpick I have with the build are the EXO+ tires front and rear. As something billed as both an enduro race bike and a bike park rig, I have a hard time seeing these tires fit those use cases. The compound and tread patterns they chose are spot on, but I'd want to see a more durable and supportive casing. On the bright side, these light tires might be part of why this bike pedals so easily...
Here's the whole run, in case you missed it in Seb's article. (You're going to need a magnifying glass.)
Given the travel numbers and general look of this bike, I came in with certain expectations, most of which were wrong. It's a pretty spartan long travel Horst-link bike, which typically errs on the side of cruisin' along when it comes to the climbs - not at all the case with the ONE77. Thanks in part to the relatively light weight, but also due to how sporty the rear suspension feels, the Cube was more than happy to keep a quick pace on the climbs, so long as you're putting in some work. Obviously it's no cross country bike, but the chassis feels stable under consistent pedaling, and doesn't dip too deep when you're shifting weight around while seated.
That positive climbing characteristic might be part of why things felt a little more nervous on the descents, as the ONE77 feels like it has a whole lot less travel than you'd expect to be on tap. The ride feel isn't harsh, but the bike starts to ramp up right when you're hitting the mid-stroke pocket when you're poised over the back of the bike. These moments, when you're picking your way down something steep or trying to pump hard to keep traction through rough sections, can make the bike feel like it's stinkbugging, which is a rare sensation on most bikes these days. This is compounded with the fact that the V1 Zeb lacks a lot of support that other forks in that travel bracket are able to provide, leading to a pretty steep-feeling bike at certain times.
To me, it's telling that despite the fact that this is the longest travel bike in my garage at this point, it's far from the first that I'll take out to ride gnarly trails or new-to-me features. Compared to other contemporary bikes in this travel bracket, like the Nomad
or the SB160
, it feels quite a bit more reserved, and more like a long-legged trail bike.
With a rather high stack height and fairly short chainstays, the Cube is very easy to pop off jumps and trail features, which makes for a very fun ride on mellower terrain. While that high stack and fairly slack head angle help a lot on the steeper pitches, the sporty rear suspension and chainstay length can make the bike feel pretty unbalanced. Not dissimilar to older 29er enduro bikes, the long reach paired with the short back end can push you out of the pocket right when you want to be the most in control
The rides where I handle this long-travel rig like a smaller trail bike have been where I've had the most fun with the ONE77. On trails that I know well, where I can trust my memory and intuition and simply go a little faster and boost a little higher, this Cube has been a treat. Probably not the bike I'll be reaching for when I'm trying to race course that I don't know well, but for folks who want something to rip on mellower terrain that they're familiar with, this could be a great option.
I'm keen to try the ONE77 with a different parts kit, as an air shock and more tuneable fork could change the balance of this bike quite a bit. That said, the geometry is what it is, and in my mind it's a bit behind the times.