The brand new CUBE Stereo Hybrid 160 HPC is said to meet the requirements of the most demanding enduro riders. The spec sheet of the € 7,999 carbon bike reflects this claim, but can it keep its promise on the trail?

Before we get into the review, we would like to tell you about our latest print edition. The E-MOUNTAINBIKE Print Edition 2020 is our third annual edition and ultimate test bible, with which we aim to help you choose the perfect eMTB. More than 250 pages of extensive buyers advice, tons of eMTB know-how as well as reviews of the 35 most exciting eMTBs and the 7 best motors. You’ll also find many helpful tips and a guide to the most exciting eMTB trends – all of this is wrapped in a high quality print format. Click here for more information or order it directly in our shop!

Click here for an overview of the best eMTB 2020 group test.

CUBE Stereo Hybrid 160 HPC | Bosch Performance Line CX/625 Wh | 170/160 mm (f/r) | 23.06 kg (size M) | € 7,999 | manufacturer website

With the change to the new generation Bosch Performance Line CX motor, CUBE have completely redeveloped their Stereo range. The € 7,999 flagship CUBE Stereo Hybrid 160 HPC features a carbon main frame and 625 Wh battery, which is cunningly integrated into the down tube. The soft material of the battery cover and the sophisticated internal cable routing keep everything nice and quiet. Further features such as the magnetic cover for the charging port or the specially developed Kiox bracket show that CUBE have paid careful attention to the integration of the Bosch system by bypassing some of its weaknesses. Unfortunately, they didn’t go quite as far for the speed sensor and still rely on the troublesome spoke magnet. The colour and design of the approximately 23 kg CUBE Stereo Hybrid 160 are consistent throughout, from the grips to the tires, making a high-quality impression. CUBE have specced only the best components and we especially liked the focus on maximum trail performance for the tires, brakes and suspension without making compromises merely to save weight.

Components, weight and technical details of the CUBE Stereo Hybrid 160 HPC

Trouble-free
For the tires, CUBE rely on the fast-rolling Hans Dampf on the rear and the grippy Magic Mary up front. Both come with Schwalbe’s sturdy and puncture-resistant Super Gravity casing.
Too short
At the risk of repeating ourselves: 125 mm is too little drop for an M frame. Besides that, the unnecessarily long seat tube in sizes L and XL limits the options of longer travel dropper posts.
Happy place
Although the Acid Kiox bracket is a bit wobbly, this is our preferred position for the Kiox display.

CUBE Stereo Hybrid 160 HPC

€ 7,999

Specifications

Motor Bosch Performance Line CX 75Nm
Battery Bosch PowerTube 625Wh
Display Bosch Kiox
Fork RockShox Lyrik Ultimate 170 mm
Rear Shock RockShox Super Deluxe Ultimate 160 mm
Seatpost RockShox Reverb AXS 125 mm
Brakes MAGURA MT7 200/200 mm
Drivetrain SRAM X01 Eagle AXS 1x12
Stem Race Face Turbine R 35 50 mm
Handlebar Race Face Next R Carbon 800 mm
Wheelset NEWMEN ADVANCED SL E.30 Carbon 27.5"

Technical Data

Size S M L XL
Weight 23.06 kg
Perm. total weight 125 kg
Max. payload (rider/equipment) 101 kg
Trailer approval no
Kickstand mount no

Specific Features


Cleaned up
Thanks to the AXS drivetrain and dropper, you only have the brake and Kiox cables passing through the frame. The entire drive side of the bike stays super clean.
Antiquated
The classic spoke magnet and the speed sensor mounted on the chainstay shouldn’t be something you see on a 2020 bike.
Budgetary constraints
Although the MDR-C rotor was also developed specifically for ebikes, we would have liked the higher-end MDR-P model on the CUBE, which is available in a 220 mm version.

Geometry and size of the CUBE

The geometry table of the CUBE Stereo Hybrid 160 looks promising at first: slack head angle, tall front end and sufficient reach. However, CUBE are still stuck in the old way of determining frame sizes by the length of the seat tube and the size L with a reach of 460 mm has a 470 mm long seat tube. If you want to ride a longer bike, you will quickly be limited by the 520 mm long seat tube of the next larger frame size (480 mm reach).

Size S M L XL
Seat tube 375 mm 420 mm 470 mm 520 mm
Top Tube 568 mm 590 mm 613 mm 638 mm
Head tube 105 mm 112 mm 122 mm 142 mm
Head angle 65.0° 65.0° 65.0° 65.0°
Seat angle 75.5° 75.5° 75.5° 75.5°
Chainstays 442 mm 442 mm 442 mm 442 mm
BB Drop 13 mm 13 mm 13 mm 13 mm
Wheelbase 1,183 mm 1,206 mm 1,230 mm 1,259 mm
Reach 420 mm 440 mm 460 mm 480 mm
Stack 598 mm 605 mm 614 mm 632 mm
Helmet Fox Flux MIPS Conduit | Backpack CUBE Edge Twenty Hybrid | Shirt Fasthouse Fastline Slash SS MTB | Knee pads Fox Enduro Knee Sleeve

The CUBE Stereo Hybrid 160 HPC on the trail

The comfortable and central pedalling position on the CUBE Stereo Hybrid 160 makes long rides on flat terrain and forest roads a joy. However, the rear suspension tends to sag excessively on steep climbs and the front wheel wants to lift off the ground. Despite this, the 27.5″ front wheel often gets hung up on obstacles. However, since the thick casing of the rear tire can be run at low pressure without the risk of punctures, the CUBE Stereo Hybrid 160 offers plenty of grip and will rarely spin out when used in conjunction with Bosch’s eMTB mode. Nevertheless, it still takes an active riding style on the climbs, requiring you to weight the front of the bike to keep up with the best climbers in the test field.

The CUBE Stereo Hybrid 160 HPC can’t compete with the top-performing bikes in the test field!

The componentry, design and marketing of the CUBE Stereo Hybrid 160 scream of a hard-hitting bike for the toughest tracks, but it’s far from it! Despite the long travel, the suspension bottoms out easily on hard hits. There isn’t enough support for an active riding style: when popping off obstacles, pumping over rollers or through corners, most of your energy gets absorbed by the suspension. Instead of a hard hitter, the CUBE Stereo Hybrid 160 HPC is a comfortable and forgiving eMTB for relaxed rides and moderate trail use. It corners well at slower speeds where the balanced weight distribution generates a lot of grip on both wheels.

The handling of the Stereo Hybrid 160 is relaxed and comfortable at slower speeds and in less demanding terrain, whether you’re going up or downhill.

Tuning tip: volume spacers in the shock | longer travel dropper post, inseam length and insertion depth allowing

Riding Characteristics

7

Agility

  1. sluggish
  2. playful

Stability

  1. nervous
  2. stable

Handling

  1. demanding
  2. balanced

Riding fun

  1. boring
  2. lively

Motor feeling

  1. digital
  2. natural

Motor power

  1. weak
  2. strong

Value for money

  1. poor
  2. top

Application

Forest road

1

Flow trail uphill

2

Flow trail downhill

3

Technical single trail uphill

4

Technical single trail downhill

5

Downhill tracks

6

Conclusion

Instead of being an eMTB for racers on demanding enduro tracks, the CUBE Stereo Hybrid 160 HPC is more suitable for riders who like taking in the scenery. The bike is well-specced but the undefined performance of its suspension won’t convince aggressive riders.

Tops

  • great tire combination
  • relaxed, long-distance position
  • consistent colours throughout

Flops

  • suspension too plush and linear
  • short travel dropper post (125 mm in M)
  • speed sensor with spoke magnet

You can find out more about the CUBE Stereo Hybrid 160 HPC at cube.eu.

The test field

You can find everything you need to know about our test for the best eMTB of 2020 right here!

All bikes in test: BULLS SONIC EVO AM 6 | Cannondale Moterra 1 | Canyon Spectral:ON 9.0 | COMMENCAL META POWER 29 TEAM 2020 | CONWAY XYRON 927 Carbon | CUBE Stereo Hybrid 160 HPC | FANTIC XF1 180 Race | FOCUS JAM² 9.9 DRIFTER | Giant Reign E+ 0 Pro | Haibike XDURO Nduro 10.0 | Liteville 301 CE MK1 | MERIDA eONE-SIXTY 10K | Moustache Samedi 27 Trail | Norco Range VLT C1 | NOX Hybrid Enduro 7.1 | Orbea WILD FS M-LTD | Pivot Shuttle 29 | Rocky Mountain Altitude Powerplay Carbon 90 Rally Edition | ROTWILD R.X750 ULTRA | SIMPLON Rapcon Pmax | Specialized Turbo Kenevo Expert | Specialized S-Works Turbo Levo | Trek Rail 9.9 | Whyte E-180 RS V1 | YT DECOY CF Pro Race


It's finally here: The E-MOUNTAINBIKE Print Edition 2020 is our third annual edition and ultimate test bible, with which we aim to help you choose the perfect eMTB. More than 250 pages of extensive buyers advice, tons of eMTB know-how as well as reviews of the 35 most exciting eMTBs and the 7 best motors. You’ll also find many helpful tips and a guide to the most exciting eMTB trends – all of this is wrapped in a high quality print format. Click here for more information or order it directly in our shop!

Words: Felix Stix, Robin Schmitt, Jonas Müssig Photos: Finlay Anderson, Robin Schmitt, Felix Stix, Markus Frühmann