Hit the trails on the CUBE Stereo Hybrid 160 in its distinguished-looking Action Team edition colourway and you’re likely to hear the words: “Damn, are you a pro?” This whip not only has the same striking paint job, but also the same high-end components used by the pro team. But is that a guarantee of an elite performance?

CUBE Stereo Hybrid 160 Action Team | € 5,799 | 22.77 kg | Bosch

Every single one of CUBE’s years of E-MTB experience is visible in the Stereo Hybrid 160. And even though some might argue that the frame design needs a bit of an upgrade, no one will deny that CUBE have nailed the spec. The brand have added their own motor cover to channel the clean look; in the past, this same cover used to lead to the chain jamming, but this didn’t occur during our most recent testing. The Stereo Hybrid 160 runs on your legs and a powerful Bosch Performance CX motor which delivers the expected high performance. It’s fed by a 500 wh battery that’s partially integrated into the downtube. The suspension is made up of first-rate FOX Factory bits of kit, which work just as superbly as the powerful MAGURA MT7 brakes with their colour-coordinated brake calipers.

The CUBE has a really comfortable riding position that lends itself brilliantly to long rides. Its 74.3° seat tube angle is on the steep side, which should see you grind your way up steep ascents with ease. As we’ve come to expect, the Bosch motor is a reliable and powerful accompaniment, although it needs some coaxing over technical terrain. The CUBE Stereo Hybrid enters its own category on descents, letting its sorted geometry and well-chosen spec take over the ride with composure and confidence. It steers accurately and the efficient suspension irons the terrain flat, although certain riders may appreciate more feedback from the rear end (it has a tendency to rush through its travel, and a more progressive spring rate would play into the hands of more dynamic riders). The Schwalbe Super Gravity tires add some weight, but they’re ultimately a wise investment in additional grip and protection against punctures.

Helmet Specialized Ambush | Jersey ION TEE SS TRAZE_AMP | Shorts ION BIKESHORTS TRAZE_AMP

The CUBE Stereo Hybrid 160 Action Team in Detail

Fork FOX 36 FLOAT Factory 160 mm
Rear shock FOX FLOAT X Factory 160 mm
Motor / Battery Bosch Performance CX 500 Wh
Brakes Magura MT7
Drivetrain SRAM EX1
Seatpost RockShox Reverb Stealth
Stem Race Face Turbine 35 mm
Bars Race Face SixC 800 mm
Tires Schwalbe Magic Mary SG / Hans Dampf SG
Wheels DT CSW EM 3.7

Custom-made
CUBE’s own motor cover is a stylish design feature and protective element that lends the bike a clean silhouette.
Under pressure
The pairing of the long rocker arm and big negative air chamber asks for a huge amount of air pressure in the rear shock, which might mean heavier riders will surpass the recommended pressure limit.
An apt investment
Tires are the key link to the ground, but are often not up to the job on E-MTBs. Fortunately, this isn’t the case with the CUBE Stereo Hybrid, as its Schwalbe tires with their robust Super Gravity carcass are more than capable.
Reliable
The first ever E-MTB-specific drivetrain, the SRAM EX1 has yet to suffer the classic E-MTB fate of broken chains, although those big steps between the gears are likely to split opinions.

The Geometry of the CUBE Stereo Hybrid 160 Action Team.

Conclusion

The CUBE Stereo Hybrid 160 HPA Action Team lives up to the promises sparked by its striking design, as it delivers an ass-whooping good time on the trails. Experienced rides will definitely appreciate its direct handling and top spec. Unfortunately, the rear end goes for comfort over feedback, which won’t suit everyone.

Strengths

– Impeccably chosen spec
– Balanced and agile handling
– Comfortable riding position

Weaknesses

– Linear rear end lacks feedback

For more information head to cube.eu!

For an overview of the test fleet head to the main article: What is the Best E-MTB of 2017? – 14 Models in Test

All bikes in test: BULLS E-Core Di2 FS 27,5+ | FLYER Uproc7 8.70 | FOCUS JAM2 FACTORY | Giant Full-E+ 0 SX | Haibike XDURO AllMtn 8.0 | Lapierre Overvolt AM 900+ Carbon | MERIDA eONE-SIXTY 900E | NOX EDF 6.7 Hybrid | ROTWILD R.E+ FS PRO | SCOTT E-Genius Tuned 700 Plus | Specialized Turbo Levo FSR Expert 6Fattie | STEVENS E-Sledge+ ES | Thömus Lightrider E1

PS: Readers' Survey 2017 - Give feedback, win awesome prizes: We're giving away prizes worth more than €20,000 among all participants of our reader's survey! Win E-MTBs from Focus, Moustache and Thömus and more! Click here to take part now!

Words & Photos: Christoph Bayer

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Christoph Bayer