Today’s Fast Bike Friday feature focuses on the Cube Stereo 150 C:68 TM, a capable hardcore 29er full suspension bike aimed squarely at aggressive trail riding and Enduro racing. It’s fair to say that Cube like a long model name, squeezing in all of the bike’s vital stats into the title to indicate what the bike is all about. So what exactly have we got here? Well, Stereo is their full suspension trail bike platform, 150 denotes the amount of the rear travel you get – 150mm (with 160mm upfront), C:68 is Cube’s high-grade carbon fibre frame material and TM indicates that this bike has been tuned to be a no-holds-barred trail bike thanks to its high-performance suspension, brakes and durable wheels as well as a modified trail-focused cockpit, dropper seatpost and efficient 1x transmission. With a reputation for high-quality bikes that offer great value for money the Cube Stereo 150 C:68 TM holds a lot of promise, so lets take a closer look…
The Cube Stereo 150 C:68 TM is an Enduro-ready mountain bike with a full FOX Shocks factory spec.
Cube’s C:68 carbon technology is all about minimizing weight while increasing stiffness; there’s been an almost endless amount of research and development put into this material to achieve a carbon material that contains less resin and a higher fibre material. The fibre content of C:68 is in fact 68% and the inclusion of tiny nano particles in the resin content of the frame further helps to reduce overall weight while increasing stiffness and strength at the same time. As well as that superior C:68 frame material Cube have also refined their manufacturing techniques to decrease weight and increase frame strength and stiffness. Using their ‘Advanced Twin Mold’ production process Cube are able to minimise imprecise overlaps by accurately fitting individual carbon layers’ overlap regions during the monocoque building process; the end result is zero superfluous weight.
The Stereo 150 is constructed from Cube’s C:68 Monocoque Advanced Twin Mold carbon fibre which is both light and strong.
Cube’s ETC (efficient trail control) provides drive-neutral rear suspension – meaning the suspension platform is not adversely affected by pedalling input.
Cube love their acronyms and another one features when the brand are referring to the Stereo 150 C:68 TM’s rear suspension configuration; ETC stands for their ‘efficient trail control’ suspension kinematics. That plush 150mm of rear suspension travel is facilitated by Cube’s ETC 4-link – a four-bar linkage that provides a much more progressive stroke improving confidence and control even when you’re riding on the outer limits of control. The race-ready, factory spec of the Stereo 150 shows itself again in the choice of rear shock; Cube have spec’d a Fox Float X2 Factory shock featuring high/low speed rebound and compression with a 2-position lever and that brilliant Kashima Coating as featured on all Fox Factory shocks. The combination of Cube’s sophisticated ETC suspension kinematics and this capable, tunable rear shock really bring out the best in the Stereo 150 C:68 TM. As we mentioned earlier when breaking down the Cube’s model name ‘TM’ indicates that this bike features their modern trail geometry and an overall approach to a truly trail-focused mountain bike when is comes to the specification of each and every component on the bike.
TM stands for Trail Motion – Cube’s focus on modern trail geometry and active suspension which leads the overall design of the Stereo 150.
As the name suggests the 150mm travel Fox Float X2 Factory Kashima coated rear shock is factory-tuned for enhanced performance.
Upfront, to match that plush rear suspension there’s a Fox 36 Float Factory fork boasting a substantial 160mm of travel to help you plough through the roughest, most technical terrain. Fox 36 forks feature nice wide 36mm stanchions and super-stiff fork lowers to help keep your steering positive and precise when your riding gets really rowdy; inside there’s a brilliant GRIP2 damper, with Fox’s sealed cartridge FIT system providing 4-way adjustability allowing you to tune high & low speed compression and high & low speed rebound.
Matched with that high-spec rear shock, the Fox 36 Float X2 Factory fork with 160mm of plush travel can handle aggressive gravity-focused riding.
Those wide 36mm stanchions and wide fork legs make the Fox 36 Float Factory forks super-stiff for precision steering even at full chat.
The Fox Factory rear shock and front fork both feature Kashima’s durable, super-smooth coating for enhance performance.
In a further acknowledgement to the Stereo 150 C:68 TM’s firm focus on aggressive trail riding and Enduro racing Cube have spec’d a durable and efficient drivetrain which will not only provide you with all the gear ratios you’ll need to excel on undulating terrain and long, steep climbs but will also perform flawlessly when you point the Stereo 150 downhill. With the way this bike will be ridden at the front of their minds the Cube product managers have included a Praxis Girder chainset and MRP chain retention device to help ensure that your chain stays securely located even when you’re negotiating the gnarliest descents. A Shimano XT trigger shifter and rear derailleur take care of gear-changing duties, with every gear-selection being quick, light and precise; there’s a Praxis 32T chainring upfront combined with a wide-ratio 10-51T rear cassette outback to give you every gear you’ll need regardless of whether you’re pointed up or downhill.
Cube have spec’d a great mix of components with Shimano XT making up the majority of the Stereo C:68 TM’s transmission.
A 12-speed Shimano XT rear derailleur makes every gear shift perfect, from the tiny 10 tooth up to the massive 51 tooth cog.
The massive wide-ratio cassette means the climb back to the top of your favourite trail is perfectly manageable.
Cube have spec’d an Enduro-focused carbon Praxis Girder chainset with an MRP chain device to help keep everything secure even when things get rowdy.
Shimano’s 12-speed XT trigger shifter is a proven, no-nonsense gear selector, that’s all you need to know!
Cube have chosen to spec hydraulic disc brakes from fellow-German brand Magura; their MT7 brakes, as used by multiple World Dowhill Champion Loic Bruni feature powerful four-piston hydraulic calipers made from one-piece forged aluminium giving them enhanced rigidity and greater braking power while still being particularly easy to modulate, keeping you in control even when things are happening very quickly mid-run. These powerful four-piston brakes only require single-finger braking with the MT7 levers ergonomically-optimised specifically for this braking style.
Scrub off speed quickly and efficiently with powerful 4-pot Magura MT7 hydraulic brakes.
Those capable 4-pot Magura brakes are matched with a 203mm rotor upfront and a 180mm rotor out back.
Powerful, easy to modulate Magura MT7 brakes are confidence-inspiring even when you’re riding on the very edge of control.
Cube have spec’d a pair of strong, Enduro-ready Newmen 29er wheels; these 28 spoke wheels feature thru-axle hubs with durable sealed bearings, laced to wide rims boasting a 33.6mm external width and a 29.8mm internal width helping to give the sidewalls of the tyres a nice square, less-pinched-in profile to help prevent the potential for pinch flats while also providing a bigger tyre footprint, with more of the tyre’s tread pattern in contact with the terrain below it. Those of you who know your tyres and are already familiar with the most popular choices when it comes to gravity-focused riding will not be surprised to see the Stereo 150 C:68 TM’s spec’d with capable Maxxis tyres; there’s a Minion DHR II on the rear to give tons of traction uphill and all-but-guaranteed control downhill. The tyre knob spacing makes sense in almost all conditions and there’s EXO+ sidewall protection to help preserve your tyres when you’re negotiating super-fast shoots littered with sharp, jagged rocks. Upfront there’s a Maxxis Assegai that features a refined tread pattern to give confidence-inspiring control at speed on tight, loose turns and featuring the same amount of puncture protection as the rear DHR II.
Strong Newmen Evolution SL A.30 wheels feature durable sealed-bearing FADE thru-axle hubs.
That 15x110mm thru-axle front hub helps stiffen up the junction between wheel hub and fork, helping to enhance steering precision.
Just as you’d expect on a gravity-focused Enduro bike there’s a pair of burly Maxxis tyres on the Stereo C:68 TM. Outback there’s a 2.4 wide Minion DHR II.
That blocky, aggressive tread pattern provides plenty of traction uphill and confidence-inspiring control on the descents.
The go-to for 29er Enduro bikes – a 2.5 tubeless-ready Maxxis Assegai tyre on the front, ready to wrestle control loose downhill turns.
The Assegai front tyre has a big fan-base and rightly so.
Topping out the spec of the Cube Stereo 150 C:68 TM is another high-end Fox component; the 31.6mm Fox Transfer Factory dropper seatpost provides 150mm of drop on all sizes except for the size small bike which comes with a 125mm drop. Matching the other Fox parts the Transfer comes with a Kashima coating for enhanced durability and smoother function. Fitted to the dropper post is a SDG Radar saddle which features a nice profile that should suit most riders as well as additional protection to the sides of the saddle helping to prevent scuffs and damage during the inevitable thrills and spills encountered on this super-fast Enduro mountain bike.
An SDG Radar saddle features a nice comfortable profile and reinforced protection on the sides, another hint toward how CUBE expect this bike to be ridden. Out of shot a Kashima coated Fox Transfer Factory dropper seat post completes this race-ready machine.
Cube really are great at squeezing in top component specification into all of their bikes, providing some amazing value for money and the Stereo 150 C:68 TM is a great example of this. At the heart of this bike is Cube’s brilliantly light, equally strong C:68 Monocoque frame and their active, plush ETC 4-link suspension configuration facilitated by a state-of-the-art Fox Float X2 Factory shock and a matching Fox 36 Factory GRIP2 fork upfront. Throw in a Fox Factory dropper post, grippy Maxxis Assegai and Minion DHR II tyres, powerful four-piston Magura MT7 hydraulic disc brakes as well as a precise-shifting XT 12-speed Shimano groupset with Praxis Girder chainset and MRP chain device and you’ve got everything you need to take on the most demanding Enduro events as well as simply just shredding your favourite trails.
Out of the box the CUBE Stereo 150 C:68 TM is Enduro-ready with every detail tailored towards the demands of aggressive trail riding.
Cube Stereo 150 C:68 TM 2021 £5,599.00
- Frame: C:68 Monocoque Advanced Twin Mold Technology, ATG, ETC 4-Link, ISCG Mount, Boost 148, AXH
- Fork: Fox 36 Float Factory FIT GRIP2, Tapered, 15x110mm, 160mm, Kashima Coated
- Rear Shock: Fox Float X2 Factory, 185x55mm, High/Low Speed Rebound & Compression w/ 2-Position Lever, Kashima Coated
- Chainset: Praxis Girder Carbon, Boost, 32T, sealed Enduro Bearings, 170mm
- Rear Cassette: Shimano XT CS-M8100, 10-51T
- Rear Derailleur: Shimano XT RD-M8100-SGS, ShadowPlus, 12-Speed
- Shifters: Shimano XT SL-M8100
- Handlebar: Race Face Turbine R 35, 800mm
- Grips: SDG Thrice
- Stem: Race Face Turbine R 35
- Headset: VP Integrated, Top 1 1/8″, Bottom 1 1/2″
- Brakes: Magura MT7, Hydr. Disc Brake (203/180)
- Wheels: Newmen Evolution SL A.30, 28/28 Spokes, 15x110mm / 12x148mm, Tubeless Ready
- Tyres: Front – Maxxis Assegai, MaxxTerra/EXO+, Tubeless Ready, 2.5 WT
- Tyres: Rear – Maxxis Minion DHR II, MaxxTerra/EXO+, Tubeless Ready, 2.4 WT
- Saddle: SDG Radar
- Seatpost: Fox Transfer Factory 31.6mm, Kashima Coated, 150mm (125mm for size S)
Written by Johnny Dodgin
Photos by James Vincent
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