Big wheels mean big things for the Stereo 150
The new Cube Stereo 150 is the latest 150mm, 29er Enduro race weapon from the German brand. Three new models are launched, all with carbon frames.
Cube Stereo 150 need to know
- Long travel 29er slots in between the shorter travel Stereo 140 and 27.5″ specific Stereo 160.
- Features 150mm rear travel and 160mm at the front.
- Choose between a C:62 carbon framed version or the higher quality C:68.
- Simple and tuneable internal cable routing.
- Based around 29 x 2.35 tyres. BOOST spacing front and rear.
- Cube specific Newmen Evolution SL A.30 wheelset. 30mm internal diameter rims.
- Ability to run a front derailleur.
- Three models to be released initially: the £2999 C:62 Race, £3499 C:62 SL and £3999 C:68 TM.
- There will be a Cube Action Team replica launched later, retailing at £5499.
For a brand renowned for covering all the bases, Cube has, for some time, had a glaring gap for a long travel 29er in their repertoire. But that’s all about to change with the arrival of the all new Stereo 150.
As secrets go, it’s been a poorly kept one, hiding in plain sight under Irish EWS star Greg Callahan and the rest of Cube’s Action Team racing squad, ever since the final rounds of the 2017 Enduro World Series. But now Cube is ready to strip off the camo and reveal it to the world.
One glance and it’s easy to see the new bike has been given the same design stylings as the shorter travel Stereo 140. It’s a bike with plenty of chunky carbon, hidden pivots and tidy internal cabling. Giving it a familial feel about the whole aesthetic.
As the name hints, well shouts really, there’s a full 150mm of rear wheel travel on offer. To keep it in line with enduro trends, Cube has opted to fit the Stereo 150 with a longer, 160mm travel fork. Slackening the angles and increase the confidence on the roughest of trails.
Enduro is about the ups as well as the downs
Per the remit for a bike designed around an all terrain racing discipline, it needed to be not just a ripper downhill but able to pedal efficiently. Specifically it needed to be able to smash the uphill and sustain the speed on the flats. And all with as little power loss as possible.
To achieve such a feat Cube has tweaked the suspension kinematics of the existing Stereo 160 (Cube’s 27.5” wheeled enduro/all-mountain machine). Claiming to provide it with a little less anti-squat and anti-kickback to improve the pedalling dynamics.
Cube isn’t going to win any awards from the progressive geometry police with the Stereo 150. Yes, it has moved in what some might see as the right direction ,but the figures still seem conservative. A reach of 457mm on the large makes for a tight cockpit and could be classed as being a shade too short, when compared with the competition.
Cube themselves are ready to admit that the Stereo 150 has been built around racer requirements and what they deem right, rather than market demands.
Cube Stereo 150 geometry
|MODEL||STEREO 150 C:62/68 29|
Geometry figures remain relatively conservative. (All measurements in mm’s)
Cube is pretty proud of their two proprietary carbon layups. At the entry point all frames use the standard level C:62. Move further through the range to the highest points and C:68 becomes the carbon of choice. The number denotes the percentage of actual carbon fibre in the finished frame. Carbon is usually a mix of carbon fibres and some form of resin to hold them together and create the solid shapes. As carbon is more expensive than resin, less expensive frames feature more resin, hence Cube’s entry carbon has sixty two percent carbon fibres.
Cube also use a Spread Tow carbon fibre that features a flatter shape in their higher quality C:68 frames. This flatter profile limits gaps in the layup that can be filled by heavier resin, creating a much lighter structure. To further refine the process and to build the lightest frames possible, Cube lay the carbon fibres in very accurate layers to reduce superfluous material. They also minimise bond the bare minimum of accessories to the frame. So the Stereo 150 C:68 TM has a carbon BB shell and headset bearing cups.
First ride verdict on the new Cube Stereo 150
One thing that can’t be faulted is the build kit on the C:68 TM version we rode at the launch. The latest 2019 Fox 36 factory fork and Fox X2 rear shock offer sublime performance and levels of adjustability that will have compulsive fettlers frothing. Coupled with a SRAM Eagle drivetrain, MRP chain device, Schwalbe soft compound tyres and Race Face cockpit, it’s ready to race. Being typically European, Cube can’t quite quit the front derailleur. All models come with the ability to run a 2x or 3x gear setup.
Riding the tight and rocky trails around Finale highlights the abilities of the Stereo 150. Yes the cramped reach forces you to load the fork a little more than is preferred, but it proves to be a ripper in the rough. Testament to the performance of the big wheels and hit swallowing suspension, it’s a bike that’s happiest at warp speed. Fortunately razor sharp handling enable you to place the front wheel exactly where you want, keeping you out of trouble and allowing for almost subliminal direction changes.
Tweaking the Cube Stereo 150
It took a little while to dial in the rear end. At first the suspension felt almost a little too capable and a touch over damped, lacking the pop and fizz that can turn a bike into an engaging and fun ride. Fortunately the tune Cube has used for the Fox suspension doesn’t kill the ability to really make an impact by playing with the adjustability. A few tweaks to the rebound and compression damping and it turned into a spring lamb, popping into the air at will and slapping through the turns with aplomb.
The low BB might catch you out if you really like pedalling but it really does encourage you to hits the trails as fast as you want to. Over and over I would hit a drop or steep rock garden and the Stereo 150 would just blow through without blinking an eye. Those big wheels certainly keep on turning.
Expect to see Cube rolling out the first three Cube Stereo 150 models for the UK sometime during May.
It's the bike Cube's enduro team has been waiting for and whilst some will say it's still too short in the reach department, if you fit one of the four sizes it will help keep that grin on your face for a long time to come.