Cube’s Stereo e-bike is now a 29er with the latest Bosch Performance CX motor and a killer pricepoint, making it one of the most economical ways to get on board with the new motor
Cube Stereo Hybrid 140 need to know
- Updated Stereo Hybrid 140 trades 27.5in for 29er wheels and trail bike clout
- The bike now gets Bosch’s fourth generation Performance CX motor, with 625wh battery
- Stereo Hybrid 140 comes with 140mm travel, and this model uses a 150mm fork
- Carbon frame and new battery and motor bay, matched to an alloy back end for cost saving
- Prices from £3,499 for a smaller battery model to £7,499 and the all-singing SRAM AXS drivetrain
Definitely not square
Cube’s new Stereo Hybrid e-bike is the latest machine to take advantage of the Bosch fourth generation motor and big battery. It’s the must-have drive unit this year — smaller, way more powerful, and with better battery range than its predecessors, the Performance CX motor is pretty much guaranteed to improve any e-bike.
Cube’s new Stereo Hybrid 140 HPC TM 625 here takes the excellent new motor and bundles it into a great package that’s fun to ride, stonking value and seemingly without any chinks in its carbon fibre armour. What’s more, it fills a slot that most bike brands seem to be overlooking.
Turn it up
First up though, the Stereo Hybrid 140 platform has been completely overhauled this year, with a new carbon frame to house that Bosch Performance CX motor. It’s a huge improvement visually on the old bike, the new frame now has a really attractive, clean line that cuts from the meaty top tube down to the seatstays and the rear hub. Subtle it’s not, but it’s a smart and menacing looking profile now, complete with a seat tube that seems to have been modelled on a submarine’s conning tower.
Cube has also switched the wheelsize up to 29in from last year’s 27.5in, which is a really smart move for a bike with 140mm travel because it’s designed to cover ground fast. The bike has also been built for the biggest chunk of riders out there — trail bike riders, who want to ride regular trails and don’t believe they need 150mm travel or enduro bikes. Cube says it’s their most important new e-bike this year, and one they’re hoping will appeal to UK riders.
There are six models to pick from in the Stereo Hybrid 140 range, all of them use a carbon fibre front end too, with an alloy rear triangle. This is the TM, or Trail Motion version, it sits in about the middle of the range and represents probably the best balance of performance and value: You get a Fox 36 fork with 150mm travel, rather than a 140mm Fox 34 or RockShox 35 Gold lower down the range. This TM version costs £4,699.
The top end bike uses a SRAM AXS drivetrain and dropper and you’ll have to stump up £7,499, while at the bottom end you can the Race 500 version for £3,500 — this bike still uses the new Bosch motor but instead of a 625wh battery you have to make do with a 500.
Cube has nailed the components on Stereo Hybrid 140 HPC TM 625. They’re not flashy but they put you right at home, with an 800mm bar and short stem. There’s also a wicked little saddle Cube has designed, it’s shorter and wider than most and great for e-bikes because you sit down more. The tyres are a good choice, a super grippy Schwalbe Magic Mary up front and a fast Hans Dampf on the back.
Cube has spent money where it has to, like a Fox 36 Float GRIP fork and DPX2 shock, but saved it where possible: the SRAM NX rear derailleur is functional, as is Cube’s own dropper post, which has ample 170mm travel on the 22in size bike.
How it rides
These smart choices open up a bike that’s really good fun to ride, it feels playful and easy to load up and pop over obstacles. The suspension is progressive in character and is ideal for handling the very rocky and slippery trails at Cube’s HQ, near the Czech border. The Bosch Performance CX motor is superb, the power is well modulated and builds as you apply more power through your feet, meaning it feels more akin to riding a regular bike. The smart e-mtb mode is terrific, it dishes out just the right amount of power, letting you tap in to maximum torque when you really need it.
At 24.1kg this bike isn’t svelte but it rides lighter than the heavyweight figures would suggest, thanks to the progressive suspension. Most mtb brands boast of short chainstays but Cube is proud of the Stereo’s length — at 457mm they’re the same gargantuan spread as the largest sized Geometron G1, in size XXL. This makes the bike climb like Alex Honnold, and it gives the bike straight line stability and speed when descending too. With relatively few corners and no jumps or berms to test the bike on at Cube HQ it’s hard to say how playful the bike really is though, so look out for a test later in the year.
There’s a lot of geeky stuff going on with the new Stereo Hybrid, something to get your teeth into if you’re a little nerdy. If you’re wondering why Cube has ditched its alloy frame options, it’s to save weight of course, but also to accommodate the new motor and battery better. That battery now sits in a one-piece plastic bay meaning there’s no bending or twisting as you ride the bike, which is ultimately stiffer because of it. The flex-free bay also increases reliability because there’s no opportunity for wires to twist or come loose. There are seven tubes running along this battery bay to account for all manner of cable routing, and Cube says this makes it far quicker and less maddening to change out cables or wires. The battery is easily accessible now, with a push-button easy-opening cover that uses rubber edges to seal it against the weather.
There are vents around the top of the motor and low down on either side, and this is because the smaller motor on the Bosch fourth generation motor heats up more. Naturally then, it needs improved venting. We asked whether the bike would be susceptible to water ingress because of those vents, and Cube told us that the system is water tight. We certainly didn’t experience any power outages on our two, wet rides at the bike’s launch.
Plenty of new bikes mount the magnet for the motor’s cadence sensor on the rotor now, screwed into two of the rotors six bolts. Not Cube though, this would have pushed the price of the bike too high, Cube said, because it involves putting the sensor into the seatstay.
The Cube Stereo Hybrid is one of the most economical ways to access the new Bosch fourth generation motor, and it's a fun bike to ride too