Cube's Prototype 29er DH Bike - Mont-Sainte-Anne DH World Cup 2017

Aug 3, 2017 at 22:12
by Mike Levy  



The Cube team is rolling on brand new prototype bikes at this weekend's notoriously fast and rough World Cup race in Mont-Sainte-Anne, Canada, a legendary track that's a favorite of many racers. The new bike looks a lot like its 27.5'' wheeled Two15 predecessor, but it's actually an all-new frame front to back that's been designed around 29'' wheels, features revised geometry and suspension kinematics, and is said to be torsionally stiffer than what team racers Max Hartenstern (his bike is pictured here) and Greg Williamson had been on up until this weekend.


Cube DH 29er


The unnamed aluminum prototype employs a familiar looking four-bar suspension layout that looks nearly identical to the production Two15 downhill bike, but small changes in pivot locations can have a major effect on how a bike performs. In this case, the team was looking for more progression from the rear-end, so that's exactly what Cube delivered, Hartenstern explained. That extra ramp-up is always needed when you're hitting stuff at the speed of sound like these guys are, and the change would allow for a wider tuning range for racers like Hartenstern and Williamson because they might no longer need to run as many volume spacers in the shock as they would otherwise. It could also mean that they can go with a coil-sprung shock more often, although that's not the case at this event.

The air-sprung Fox Float X2 on Max's bike has 210 psi in it for this weekend's track, and his Fox 40 has been inflated to 82 psi. On top of the increased progression, Cube says that they've also upped frame rigidity at the rocker link to boot.

More progression, more stiffer, more better? Apparently so, as Hartenstern told Pinkbike photographer Nathan Hughes that he's shaved four seconds off his best time on his local test track. Four seconds might not sound like a lot, but that's a relative eternity in the world of top tier downhill racing. Of course, suspension and chassis rigidity are one thing, but geometry is arguably the most important factor, and the new bike has seen some big changes.
Cube DH 29er

More length seems to be the order of the day all around, and the new Cube is quite a bit longer than its forebearer. In fact, Hartenstern's medium-sized bike that's shown here has the same 435mm length reach as the old large-sized frame that he used to prefer. His teammate, Greg Williamson, has also been able to drop down a size from the extra-large frame that he had been racing on up until this point. One number that hasn't changed from the 27.5'' wheeled bike, despite the larger diameter wheels, is Hartenstern's handlebar height - sits 109cm from the ground.


Cube DH 29er
Cube DH 29er

Cube DH 29er
Cube DH 29er


Max's bike is fairly straightforward as far as setup is concerned, with a set of yet to be released aluminum 29er rims from DT Swiss, a set of Magic Mary tires, and Schwalbe's ProCore system on both ends. His front tire is at 24 psi, the back is at 26 psi, and there's 80 psi inside the ProCore inserts. If there's one place that some extra flat tire insurance is appreciated, it's on the rowdy Mont-Sainte-Anne track.

So, is this 29'' wheeled downhill bike going to replace the current 27.5'' Two15 downhill bike? As is usually the case, we were told that this is just an experiment, although it could very well see production next year if all goes well. Having heard that line a few hundred times now, I can say that it usually means that the bike is going to come to eventually come to life.







161 Comments

  • + 318
 neat
  • + 6
 This deserves to be top comment.
  • + 5
 click
  • + 10
 Hatehatehate is what the net seems to be about these days so bring it on, but, I think she looks great (I'm 6'3)!
  • - 5
flag editor (Aug 4, 2017 at 3:51) (Below Threshold)
 crack?!
  • + 2
 @editor: are you referring to the seat stay/dropout junction?
  • + 2
 HOW NEAT IS THAT?!
  • + 3
 People say there are no real heroes on the internet, but the pinkbike community shows up time and time again to prove otherwise. Kudos. To all of you.
  • + 78
 I like the raw dawg!!
  • + 34
 Me too.
  • + 13
 Y'all nasty.
  • + 41
 Yall Mothafuckas need Jesus!
  • + 8
 But what's the deal with that shock? Looks like an x2 but without the rezzy?
  • + 16
 @maxlombardy: It is an x2. The "seat tube" is split into 2 halves and the reservoir is nestled between the 2 halves.
  • + 3
 @maxlombardy: piggy back is hidden in the seat tube yoke. thats why they have the carbon backer for it to keep the mud out
  • + 1
 @maxlombardy: tucked behind the split seat tube
  • + 8
 Is it tucked in the seat tube maybe?
  • + 26
 Guys I think it's tucked behind the split seat tube
  • + 23
 no no no, guys it's in the split seat tube
  • + 16
 I can't seem to see it, has anyone looked in the split seat tube?
  • + 18
 @freerideglory: Schrödinger's rezzy, it's both there and not there in the split seatube
  • + 1
 @galuska: Good picture.
  • + 2
 See tube?
  • + 2
 @galuska This picture shows it well. It wasn't clear before, but in this angle you can clearly see that the reservoir is tucked behind the split seat tube.
  • + 2
 that's what she said
  • + 1
 After the rearend snaps off...we might be able to see between the seat tubes
  • + 1
 I have heard someone mention, that it's between the split seat tube, but that this is still a big secret...
  • + 1
 I'm led to believe it's in the split seat tube
  • + 1
 I think there's a split seat tube...?
  • + 54
 For the love of God why don't manufactures do raw alloy bikes. Even spindly weak arse cubes look good raw
  • + 7
 They look so good. I used to use this scary stuff called Tal-Strip to take the paint off all of my aluminum frames.
  • + 3
 Why don't you buy a few sheets of sandpaper and solve the problem yourself? Or just have it sandblasted, it can't be that expensive compared to the price of the bike.
  • + 1
 @Extremmist: it is easier and has better result to use paint remover, you can get it in spray or ordinary can and brush way, at your local shop.
  • - 1
 Most alloy bikes have dents and bondo under the paint. If they are raw, factories have to scrap way more frames because you can fix dents with bondo. When you strip the paint off for the raw look, you will find the bondo (like I did on my Kona Process).
  • + 2
 @parallaxid: if I found bondo underneath my frame I'd take it back to to my LBS or contact the manufacturer drirectly. that shit don't fly.
  • + 5
 @Poulsbojohnny: That would be why most manufacturers void warranty if paint removed
  • + 1
 @parallaxid: I am not ready to believe that without seeing any evidence, what can you show me?
  • + 1
 @mikelevy: Any picks of these frames?
  • + 1
 @b-wicked: What do you coat and seal it with once removed?
  • + 1
 You need clear coat to stop it getting smudges. I started doing brushed 11 years ago and it looks shit when it gets dirty. Same when you get it sand blasted but at least it looks more consistent. You can fine sand it and cut and polish it like I did with my Arch rim but its a lot of work and Im too lazy to do a great job. Its lighter looks tough and it should be cheaper to produce. Oh yeah Fuck Black.
  • + 1
 I appreciate brands that offer raw frames with paint/anodization being an option for those who wish to pay extra. The metal look rocks.
  • + 1
 @parallaxid: Repainted my old Bottlerocket not a drop of bondo found...
  • + 1
 @parallaxid: Also on my Kona Satori.
  • + 1
 @jkirby: konas....
  • + 18
 Put a dropper on it and it might just be what you need for the XC course!
  • + 4
 was just thinking that looks soo enduro...
  • + 16
 Looks great, shame they wil prob fuck it up with their usual color fuckery. Had a Fritzz, rode good but couldn't look at the thing.
  • + 1
 If it is that bad I would get it repainted.
  • + 1
 @fartymarty: Raw is always an option.
  • + 1
 @DuelingBanjos: Yeah RAW is great, until you need to polish it twice a year if you don't put clear coat.
  • + 1
 go and repaint it?
  • + 3
 @Asmodai: Only problem is a lot of Companies will void a warranty if you strip or repaint it!
  • + 1
 @tbgd: Then buy a second hand frame from eBay. No warranty - nothing to void (and you'll save some money you can use towards the customization).
  • - 2
 @Extremmist:
yeah no thanks i would never buy anything bike related form 2nd hand
  • + 3
 @Asmodai: Damn, wish I woulda been a dentist so i could say cool stuff like "I don't buy 2nd hand"
  • + 3
 @Dethphist: personally I think you are silly if you don't buy stuff second hand. Bike stuff is overpriced at least you can make sensible choices buying second hand
  • + 8
 I completely understand 'function over fashion' but are all 29er DHs going to have their saddle pushed as far forward as possible to that the tyre doesn't rub under full compression? What design could we see to remedy this?
  • + 3
 Reward travel bikes like k9 would suit 29ers
  • + 41
 Smaller wheels? ?
  • + 16
 @beater32: perhaps something around the 26" mark?
  • + 2
 Just split the back of the saddle in the middle so the tire can get through the gap. Pivot already have a saddle with a tire friendly shape.
ride.io/wp-content/uploads/2014/08/Euro-Pivot-DH-9.jpg
  • + 1
 you also have to move you ass well forward as wheel will hit it too when over back, brought a few down at last race I believe.
  • + 8
 29ers are rectal grinders.
  • + 2
 wouldn't be surprised if this is the thing that finally makes DH bikes got to a moto style seat & an integrated rear fender. Keep both the seat & your balls from getting hit by the tire. Unless there's some stupid UCI rule I don't know about that says they can't.
  • + 1
 Thing is you need that space above the wheel for going over short steep drops and rolls, ass over he back style, a moto style rear end would stop you hitting the tyre but you would still not be low or far enough of the back of the bike. Also the same goes for having the seat cut with a V for the tyre, some times you need your ass lower than the seat and the wheel is still gonna stop that.
  • + 2
 @bigburd: eh, maybe the fender ends up being integrated on the swingarm. But I think a long narrow seat that gives you a place to push against has some real advantages for DH. & a lot of pros don't use an ass over the back style on anything, steep stuff just gets gapped or dropped.
  • + 4
 Quite a few riders were getting their asses buzzed at Ft Bill when everyone was racing to get a 29er on the hill, and that isn't even steep. Might be a case of adjusting to it but I believe you need that space for movement.
  • + 6
 Talk about long! I usually ride a large but this bike makes me want a medium. Not sure how this gonna play out on the course though, several folks have had trouble making the adjustment to 29ers (except the GOAT duh) so switching just before the final race could be interesting...
  • + 7
 Except the syndicate*
  • + 3
 Second that, one can't just expect to ride a 29er like a 27.5 and expect the smoothest ride overnight. I think it's one of the reason why the whole Commencal team and Brendog backed down from it. It's Loicgic.
  • + 3
 @mollow: And Moir.
  • + 4
 @mollow: it's probably worth noting that the syndicate has spent more time on 29ers that a lot of other teams as they made the jump to switch fairly early in the off season and committed to it. That is my understanding at least
  • + 3
 @mollow: Really just greg has been killing it on the 29. loris and luca have been doing ok but that was kinda expected as they where fast last year. I almost wonder if they would be doing better on the smaller wheel considering they don't seem to be that tall. Not sure on their heights tho. @AlexS1 moir is also super tall like greg
  • + 7
 Tiny Pivots : Check
Seatstay bridge rubbing rear tyre : Check

Yep, looks like a cube.
  • + 6
 It's all levelling out like all other mtb disciplines, ride what suits you not what the fashion is.
  • + 3
 I like the simplicity of the suspension and frame design but I would worry about the durability of those micro bearings in the pivots and size of rear triangle tubes. I would just be afraid to ride hard this bike.
  • + 2
 So is the reservoir and adjustments for that X2 between the frame piercing? Can you access them from the front? If you have to remove the shock just to make a few clicks it would seem kind of silly. Need a close up pic of that area.
  • + 4
 Cubes are normally UUUUgly. That thing is a looker. Fingers crossed it stays that way to production. Reckon Remy will end up scrubbing A-Line on a 29er?!
  • + 3
 Judging by the seat tube angle (could be an illusion), looks pretty enduro ready. Next gen "aggressive 29er" coming with a single crown coil boxxer, carbon wheels© and 2 water bottle mounts
  • + 4
 I almost thought they had forgotten about 29ers already
  • + 0
 So how long until they make Remy Metallier ride one and he tells us it's the greatest bike ever?

Has to be just before they decide there isn't enough room in the market to justify making a 27.5 DH frame and a 29 DH frame and discontinue the 27.5.
  • + 3
 Remy isn't racing at top level World Cups. He is basically like Cube's Semenuk and I am sure he can ride whatever he wants as long as he is on the Cube team.
  • + 2
 Thaaaat’s a good lookin’ bike.
I dig the orange when it works but this needs a red or white Fox decal kit to go with those wheels.
  • + 2
 I love how minimal this bike looks. I'm sort of over raw alu, but this bike is doing it for me all foxxed out.
  • + 1
 Well 29Er will most likely win this week end, so how good the suspension works will determine if this un named prototype can win a world cup
  • + 2
 29er don't seem like they'll do the job in MSA , they need 32's... maybe 33's just to make sure.....
  • - 1
 So when most of the brands are going back to 27,5er, Cube now presents their 29er. With only two races left. Good luck...
And how it can be just a experiment, isn't there this UCI rule to prevent prototype bikes that never go into production?
  • + 5
 It is probably a good time to start testing prior to the off season. Then by the start of the 2018 season you are going to know if it is faster or not.
  • + 3
 Everyone is going to be on 29" next season. Everyone.
  • + 2
 At least they have a properly developed one and no 650b-conversion. Intense is only on prototypes, too. I don't really understand what is the matter with this rule.
  • - 1
 @Brightside: Is a bit of a silly rule IMO. If DH is the MTB equivalent to F1 then development should be unlimited. If a company wants to put the bike into production it should be up to them. It may also slow down the amount of new standards we seem to be inundated with.

The other one that need to go is the "same wheel size" rule.
  • + 1
 @jaame: I think you're right on that one. There is going to be a lot of testing done in the off season. Maybe one day we will all be riding one wheel size again.... 29"!!!
  • + 3
 Its meant to give a level playing field to the smaller and privateers. Off the shelf bikes only, some companies will make you custom geometry like nicolai if you want but if its raced it should be able to be ordered even if its a stupid price. Take south africa, all big teams made one of frames just for that course as it was too flat, basically beefed up enduro bikes that wouldn't snap.
  • + 1
 @fartymarty: Fully agree on the point about same wheel size, I guess some racers would love to try 29front and 27.5 back. I think Cam Zink has that on his Race Bike.

But about the prototype rule, i think it's fair, especially since they have 12 months.

Quote from the UIC rules:
"Any equipment in development phase and not yet available for sale (prototype) must be subject of an authorization request to the UCI Equipment Unit before its use. Authorization will be granted only for equipment which is in the final stage of development and for which commercialization will take place no later
than 12 months after the first use in competition. The manufacturer may request a single prolongation of the prototype status if justified by relevant reasons. The UCI Equipment Unit will pay particular attention to the safety of the equipment which will be submitted to it for authorization."
  • + 1
 @MSVF: If the prototype rule was relaxed I see it benefiting companies who made their bikes in house and in Aluminium as it is relatively cheap to make a one off Al bike compared to a carbon bike. It would be interesting to see how it would play out in reality.

From what I have read 29F and 275R is the way to go.
  • + 1
 So when they keep saying the carbon high pivot Norco is not guaranteed to go into production, they are just stoking a fire?
  • + 2
 @jaame: hope not, I'm wanting one as its a new carbon version of my old darkcycles scarab.
  • + 1
 @bat-fastard: get a Peregrine, they're cromo and do them with Pinions.
  • + 1
 @fartymarty: I run single speed, don't need gears when you only uplift lol would only change scarab for a new carbon as geometry fits me perfect as I'm small. Also have nice tuned avalanche shock in it that dont want to change..
  • + 0
 Not using a 110 boost front hub? But didn't the giant heads that be claim a stiffer 29er wheel with boost? Won't the rim collapse in a fiery mess? Those guys are so brave to run it that way. Wink
  • + 2
 Hmmm, the weld above the rear axle (2nd image) looks like it is.. cracked! (an illusion for sure, but scary though...)
  • + 4
 So clean looking.
  • + 2
 Whats going on with that rotor mount? Looks like spacers?
  • + 1
 Assume it's a boost fork but a standard hub
  • + 2
 Loving how clean and simple that bike looks.
  • + 3
 So clean
  • + 1
 What good is there in making a longer bike (longer reach) and then downsizing to keep the same reach as you had before?!
  • + 1
 I could ,only find one Cube in the training results and it didn't even do a complete run. Anyone know what happened.
  • + 2
 Horst link with tiny pivots. Impressive.
  • + 2
 I dunno, the wheelbase looks a bit short for my taste lol
  • + 1
 I would have to agree. If the wheelbase is below 1300mm I'm not interested. Reach has to be over 500mm too!
  • + 1
 neat looking bike i just dont like the fact you presumably have to have the seat set all the way foward to clear the wheel.
  • + 2
 I'm sure I'm wrong, but the rear looks flimsy.
  • + 1
 So they gonna be up there with the Syndicate riders on this thing? I doubt it but lets see...
  • + 1
 Slick machine, but 29er can suck it! I'm still smashing carbon 26 and loving it....
  • + 3
 Full 8inch?
  • + 3
 You got it baby.
  • + 2
 looks like a session
  • + 1
 Nah, it looks like a Maiden!
  • + 0
 Copy and Paste design intent, with a few tweaks as a really nice All-Mountain Bike = AWESOMENESS
  • + 1
 Needs a dropper and and water bottle cage mounts!
  • + 1
 sweet looking ride , love the satin finish raw aluminum look .
  • + 1
 Please cube donate me a proto type
  • + 2
 jizz
  • + 2
 very elegant 29er
  • + 1
 Just take my money. Looks awesome. I love raw frames.
  • + 0
 Bigger wheels need a longer frame. If your a big as in tall racer this bike would be faster than with 27.5 wheels.
  • + 1
 The first Cube to make me turn my head. Fast looking machine!
  • + 1
 Slimshady bike.
  • + 0
 29'er is washed , 36'er rolls sooo fast
  • + 0
 Uhm, the 29er DH Hype is said to be over...maybe Cube missed that.
  • + 0
 What's up with the rear shock? Modified? Frown
  • + 0
 No piggy on the X2 ? what´s up
  • + 0
 isn't it an horst link and not a four bar?
  • + 1
 A horst link IS a 4-bar, except back in the day Specialized marketing tried to (and was very successful) at taking the generic term for 4-bar, which includes 4 members, and making it seem like everything but their design was "fake". In reality, a 4-bar just needed a fixed member (frame) and 3 moving links, which Kona and many others had, but specialized was very successful at "reprogramming" the masses. Horst link, aka "FSR", is a form of 4-bar. The patent has expired though, so they can no longer prevent anyone else from selling them in the US.
  • + 1
 @rm7freerider: thanks I thought it was different
  • + 0
 One word "Flexy"
  • + 0
 Too many welds to crack
  • - 3
 27.5 is dead
  • - 3
 Didn't these die out a couple races ago? Also isn't MSA not the ideal place for big flexy rims and reduced travel?
  • + 4
 29ers are coming back! Retro hipster moustache thing.
  • + 4
 Wasn't it that 9ers have too much rolling resistance for smooth tracks? I guess with this track being rocky the roll over factor is the advantage?
  • - 1
 Looks like a session
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