Cube’s 2021 line-up introduces a number of new & updated mixed-surface off-road road bikes, with the refreshed Cube SL Road an interesting look at the classic hybrid or fitness bike. Instead of detuning a mountain bike they’ve reimagined a flat bar gravel bike as the perfect way to zip around the city during the week, then still being able to hit some dirt on the weekends.
2021 Cube SL Road alloy flat bar all-road & gravel bike
Cube continues to have a hard time figuring out where to place the new SL Road in their lineup, at one point dropping it at the bottom of their road race family, then also calling it a fitness or even urban mobility bike. But that’s probably just a testament to how versatile the bike can be. As anyone who has really latched onto the gravel bike craze of the last few years can tell you, you don’t only spend your time on gravel roads. Plenty more time is spent riding quickly on asphalt, with the occasional bit of singletrack thrown in for good measure.
Now for 2021, those people who want the versatility of a quick gravel bike, have another good multi-purpose, affordable bike option with the relaxed, upright position of a flat mountain bike bar.
SL Road – Tech details
The core of the updated Cube SL Road is a lighter weight hydroformed aluminum frame welded from double-butted heat-treated alloy tubing, but without losing the versatility. The SL Road still features full rear rack & fender mounts (and even a kickstand), but now adds flat mount disc brakes & 12mm thru-axles, too. And now the SL Road gets a light full carbon fork with fender and low-rider rack mounts, as well.
All models get spec’d with 700c x 40mm tires with plenty of clearance for a bit more – Schwalbe Little Big Ben city tires for the two cheaper builds and G-One Allround light gravel tires for the two top bikes.
Geometry-wise, the SL Road is a bit steeper than Cube’s proper gravel Nuroad family, but it still gets similarly long chainstays for stability on and off-road.
2021 SL Road – Options & pricing
Hitting at affordability, four spec levels are available. Start at just 850€ for the most basic and affordable 2021 Cube SL Road with hydraulic Tektro brakes and a Shimano Claris 2x8sp setup at a claimed 10.8kg. The 1000€ 2021 Cube SL Road Pro upgrades to a higher-end, wider range Tiagra 2x10sp road compact group that actually makes it 100g heavier at 10.9kg.
Both these two entry level models are available in the standard five size frame (XS-XL), plus a lowered toptube step-though frame in three small sizes (XS-M) for increased standover clearance.
The two higher-spec models share the same traditional diamond frame & fork as the lower models, just without the step-through option. The 2021 Cube SL Road Race at 1200€ gets a 105 2×11 drivetrain and Tektro hydro brakes at 10.1kg, and the repetitively-named 2021 Cube SL Road SL upgrades to an Ultegra 2×11 for 1600€ at 9.7kg.