New 'down-country' AMS One11, Stereo One77 enduro bike and value Acid hardtail stand out from the German brand's expansive new range
Cube recently unveiled its new 2022 range, so we sifted through the vast (and occasionally confusing) line-up to pick out three of its freshest highlights. Known for its excellent value and strong specs, Cube is not the most progressive brand in terms of geometry and sizing, but makes a smart choice if you’re looking to maximise your bang-for-buck and get the best mountain bike you can afford.
Cube AMS One11
While some brands are going all-out with bespoke ‘down-country’ full-suspension models (blending trail/enduro geometry with XC travel and weight) most are taking their existing cross-country race bikes and adding longer travel forks and fatter tyres to bridge the gap between race and trail. So is the case with the Cube AMS One11, a modified AMS Zero99 as used by Cube’s XC racers. Both have been completely overhauled for 2022 with updates to geometry and frame layout, with the new bike benefiting from a far sleeker chassis compared to its predecessor. It still uses a four-bar rear suspension design with chainstay mounted Horst link and a swing link at the seat tube that drives the shock via the seatstays. This is in marked contrast to the Stereo models with their rocker links and vertically mounted shocks. What’s slightly curious is that Cube hasn’t got rid of the Horst link altogether and engineered sufficient flex into the carbon stays of the top models to allow for the variation in tube angles between top out and bottom out. This is a trick that many brands employ on their short travel (sub 120mm) full-suspension bikes to save weight. Additionally, Cube also adds a heavy post-mount for the caliper, when a flat mount would save some additional grams.
Having said that, the frame is certainly no boat anchor, weighing a claimed 1,650g in the new top end C:68 carbon lay-up, and the rear end does boast a Universal Derailleur Hanger (UDH) and clean looking integrated chainstay protector. That C:68 carbon used in both models is high-strength, high-modulus, meaning Cube can reduce the wall thicknesses and the amount of material used, therefore saving weight.
In terms of geometry and sizing, Cube has stuck to a conservative stance for the new bike, with the largest XL frame only getting a 465mm reach, while the size large runs a 445mm reach. That’s around 40-50mm shorter than we’d typically expect with modern sizing. To compound the problem, seat tube lengths are relatively long at 520mm and 470mm respectively, so it’s not easy to size up and retain a decent length dropper post. On the other hand, Cube must be applauded for adding an angle adjust headset, or more specifically head tube inserts that can be flipped to offer two positions. In the steep setting the head angle is 66.5º, and this relaxes to 66º in the slack position. The cups require no special tools to fit – just loosen drop the fork enough to rotate the inserts. Obviously there’s also a knock-on effect on the seat tube angle as well as the reach measurement – the slack position gives the shortest reach.
Travel on the AMS One11 is not actually 111mm as the name suggests but around 11omm, up from 100mm on the AMS Zero99. Cube has achieved this by switching to a shock with an extra 2.5mm stroke but the same eye-to-eye measurement. It has also upped the fork travel from 100mm to 120mm.
There are two models in the range: the AMS One11 C:68X TM29 at £5,499; and the AMS One11 C:68X Pro 29 at £3,999.
The AMS One11 C:68X Pro 29 gets SRAM GX Eagle drivetrain with expanded 10-52 Eagle cassette, Fulcrum Red 77 wheels, RockShox Recon Gold RL fork, Deluxe Select + shock and Magura MT Thirty brakes. 150mm dropper posts are standard on M, L and XL frames with the S getting a 125mm. There’s a 760mm bar and Maxxis Forekaster tyres. Claimed weight is 12.5kg.
For a few dollars more the range-topping AMS One11 C:68X TM29 gets Fox suspension with a 34 Step Cast Factory FIT4 fork and Float DPS Factory shock. Shimano provides gearing and braking from its XT stable, there’s a Newman Evolution wheelset, Maxxis Rekon tyres and a Fox Transfer dropper post.
Cube Stereo One77
The Stereo One77 is a new weapon in Cube’s arsenal that should appeal to riders looking for an enduro bike with a little more firepower over the Stereo 150. It’s an evolution of the old Stereo 170, albeit with updated sizing and geometry for the hydroformed alloy frame, more adjustability and better compatibility with different shocks. Compared to the old Stereo 170, the reach has grown, the head angle has been made slacker and the seat tubes shortened to allow for longer dropper posts. Cube has also added a XXL size to the M, L and XL options to accommodate a wider range of rider heights. Reach measurements are less conservative than Cube’s usual stance, with the Medium measuring 445mm, 470mm on the Large, 485mm on the XL and 505mm on the XXL.
Like the One11, Cube has integrated an Acros angle adjust headset – rotate the inserts 180º for either 63.8º or 64.4º. Chainstays are relatively short for a 29er enduro bike at 435mm while the effective seat angle hovers around 76º. Flip chips on the rocker link and the lower shock mount give two different shock angles to vary the leverage curve and make the One77 suitable for either coil or air shocks. Angle the shock forward for more progression and back for less, and while this is designed mostly for switching between coil and air, it also gives you options for changing the progression of the stock air shock.
As the name suggests it gets 170mm of travel front and rear with one model using Fox suspension and the other RockShox. The two model range consists of the Stereo One77 Race 29 with RockShox Zeb Ultimate RC2 fork, Super Deluxe Ultimate shock, Shimano XT brakes and drivetrain and Newman Evolution wheels for an impressive £4,299. This is complemented by the Stereo One77 Pro 29 with Fox 38 Float Performance Grip and Float X2 shock, SRAM GX Eagle drivetrain, Magura MT5 brakes and Newman Evolution wheels for just £3,599.
Last but not least there’s the Cube Acid hardtail. Modernised for 2022 with an all-new alloy frame boasting improved standover slacker head angle and a longer reach, this attractive entry-level hardtail retains the same affordable £1,199 price tag. Smooth welding adds a moulded, composite look to the head and seat tube junctions while the internal cable routing keeps the lines clean. Cube’s SizeSplit system means that the smaller frame sizes (XS and S) come with 27.5in wheels and everything from Medium and up uses 29in wheels. There are also mounts for mudguards, a rack and kickstand if you want to turn it into a rugged commuter/touring bike. The Acid comes with a RockShox Judy Silver air fork with 100mm travel, a SRAM NX Eagle drivetrain and Shimano disc brakes.