Last season we started seeing 29ers being gravity tested more, then gradually being debuted out of both the Enduro World Series and World Cup Downhill circuits. The Cube Action Team was spotted in September of last year racing a camo prototype 29er in the EWS. Now that new enduro bike is official in the full carbon Stereo 150 29.
Cube Stereo 150 29 carbon race-ready enduro bike
Cube’s 27.5″ Stereo enduro bike had gotten their top-level C:68 carbon overhaul back in MY2016. But as EWS runs got faster and tracks got more technical, it was time to take advantage of the improved rollover of bigger wheels now that 29″ wheels & tires have caught up and trail-ready geometry has evolved. The team had already started racing (and winning) on Cube’s everyman Stereo 140 29er all-mountain trail riding bike, but they needed a bike purpose-built for pro-level enduro racing – enter the Stereo 150 29.
Designed with pretty well accepted modern long, low & slack trail geometry, the Stereo 150 29 evolves a bit more to hit pro-level enduro performance in what comes out to be a surprisingly affordable package. Long reach helps get weight on the front wheel to maneuver around the 66° head angle for confident downhilling, but the front end isn’t quite as low as some other enduro bikes so you don’t feel like going over the bars. Of course bigger wheels mean longer wheelbase, but the new 29er actually gets slightly shorter chainstays than the previous 27.5″ enduro team bike keeping the bike agile.
And while it is a pro EWS circuit bike, Cube is producing it in two different carbon layups and three complete builds that offer complete bikes that are race-ready, yet surprisingly affordable.
From a general design standpoint the Stereo 150 29 is a simple Horst-link four-bar suspension design offering 150mm of rear wheel travel, paired to a 160mm travel fork. But careful tweaking of those four pivot points and the shock positioning allowed Cube to double the progressive feel of the travel over the 140mm 29er the team had been racing, while offering more sensitivity at the start of the frame’s travel. With an almost linear falling leverage suspension ratio, it actually means the bike stiffens up smoothly through the middle of its travel for stable support as you push through the travel. And without much curve at the end of the ratio you get better bottom out resistance. That all is said to work best with the tunability of metric, trunnion mount air shocks, especially the new Fox Float that gets a new built-in bottom out bumper.
Paired with leverage ratio, Cube claims the new layout has low anti-rise for smooth suspension action even under hard braking, while balancing low pedal kick-back as the suspension compresses.
Enduro race-ready geometry
The headtubes on the new Stereo 150 29 are slack at 66°, but we have seen slacker. But the bigger wheels do a good job at eating up technical terrain, so the slightly steeper angel keeps steering nimble. Seat angles get sharper too at 75.5° to plant more of your weight forward for climbing, and going down that saddle is gonna be dropped out of the way anyhow.
A low bottom bracket with 34mm of drop (~342mm BB height, or roughly the same as the new Ibis Ripmo or 1cm lower than the new YT Capra 29er) and the super short 435mm chainstays keep weight low, the bike planted to the ground, and handling super snappy even in tight techy riding.
The carbon construction of the frame is available in both Cube’s top C:68 and standard C:62 specs. That number denotes the percentage of carbon: resin ratio, with the higher spec bikes being stiffer, lighter, and more expensive to build. The Team (TM) build of the bike uses the higher spec carbon using thinner, ultra high modulus Spread Tow fibers that can be layered more tightly, but are harder to work with, and shedding about 200g off the frame. The other builds go for the still hi-mod C:62 fibers in Cube’s Twin Mold construction
Looking details of the frame itself, the new Stereo 150 29 uses 100% grease-filled sealed bearings in all of its pivots. That might make a constantly spinning bearing less efficient, but here where the bearings only rotate partially back and forth it keeps everything full lubed and protected from contamination.
The bike features Cube’s universal fully internal modular routing for shift, brake, and dropper lines. And interestingly it is compatible with a front derailleur. The Action Team races on the close spaced gearing of XTR Di2, so the bike gets a removable front derailleur mount, Sideswing mechanical compatibility, and a special Di2 battery port under the downtube for ideal weight distribution. It also feature the unique optional rear loop brake routing like in the previous generation that lets Shimano (not Saint) brakes be set up with its hose looped behind the axle for less movement or interaction through suspension travel.
The bike features ISCG 05 mounting tabs, integrated downtube, chainstay & anti-chainsuck protection, and of course gets Boost spacing, a Syntace X12 thru-axle with the ability to use a Direct Mount derailleur hanger, and a tapered steerer headtube.
Models, Pricing & Availability
The new Stereo 150 29 is available in three builds – Team, SL & Race. The Stereo 150 C:68 TM 29 is the gray & orange team build you see through out this article which retails for 4500€. It gets a 160mm Fox 36 Grip2 fork & Float X2 shock, plus a Transfer dropper post, all at the Factory Kashima level. Drivetrain is a 1x SRAM GX Eagle 12-speed setup, plus a MRP SXG guide, stopped by Code R brakes, and rolling on Newmen EVO SL 30mm internal tubeless wheels.
The black and gray Stereo 150 C:62 SL 29 build retails for 3500€ with a 160mm RockShox Lyrik RCT3 fork, Super Deluxe RC3 shock, SRAM X1 Eagle 1x drivetrain with carbon cranks & a MRP CS guide, Code R brakes, the same alloy wheels & a Cube branded dropper.
The Stereo 150 C:62 Race 29 sells for just 3200€ with a Shimano mechanical XT double, paired with a RaceFace Aeffect modular spider crankset so buyers can easily go 1x if they want. The black and red bike features Fox Performance spec 160mm 36 fork & DPX2 shock, plus XT brakes, the alloy wheels, and the Cube dropper. This bike also adds a new Cube-only version of the Schwalbe Hans Dampf tire in the rear with fast rolling SpeedGrip rubber.
later tomorrow here now for our first impressions of riding the new enduro bike over a couple of days, on a wide range of trail types and conditions.