The first impression of the Stereo is that it is a beautiful bike, from an aesthetic point of view. Not completely unimportant. Matt gray for the most part with black gloss stripes and orange accents. The Fox logos on the front suspension and rear shock have been given that orange color and similar accents have also been applied to the rims. The Carbon frame looks solid with a light top tube with a beautiful sharp fold. The rear triangle is made of aluminum and is therefore slightly less elegantly shaped than the frame. But not ugly either. The handle bars, the suspension of the rear shock, and the aforementioned rims are made of aluminium, with which the bike weighs in at 13.5 kilos. Not very heavy but also not super light.
And yet the bike feels light. That is what struck me when I first sat down, where the slightly larger seat was also noticeable. Previous Stereo models had a somewhat more compact geometry, but this one, with a reach of 458mm, a head tube angle of 66.5 degrees and a wheelbase of 1189mm is just a bit larger. That is perhaps also the reason why the bike, also on the BikePark trails, felt so nice.
The 2018-2019 Cube Stereo 140 is already the third Stereo that we have ridden and reviewed in recent years. I was therefore a bit curious if there was antyhing new about the bike, except the esthetics. What certainly would be different is that we would ride this Stereo under new circumstances, namely at BikePark Winterberg. I also rode XC trails in the Netherlands with a bike. Conditions at the BikePark were nice, not too hot nor cold, trails slightly damp. In the Netherlands super dry trails, deep sandy sections.
We're calling it "4 Middle-Aged men at a Bike Park." Never too old to ride. Great first half day at @bikeparkwinterberg with @joest_hoekstra and @jimmyfock. Tomorrow full day with a lot of filming to be done. Reviews coming up and of course our Old Men video. Very happy with the bikes by @iamspecialized @trekbikes @cube.bikes.official @canyon #bikepark #bike #park #downhill #downhillmtb #downhillmountainbiking #bike #bikes #bikestagram #bikepark #riding #livetoride #theoutbound #outdoorlife #outdooradventures #outdoors #trail #trails #roadtrippin #roadtrip #stoked #getoutside #summer #keepitwild #staywild
Allmountain / enduro? What does that actually mean?
Every time we post a review stating that a certain mountain bike is an Enduro bike or possesses Enduro properties, we get reactions that have to do with the concept “enduro” and what people understand. For our “definition” check our Mountainbike GearGuide.
Having said that, it is clear that the Cube Stereo 140 is not actually made for the BikePark, nor for XC trails. It is actually an all-mountain or a light enduro MTB. A bike on which you can climb and also descend well on technically difficult terrain. We did not actually test the bike on the terrain for which it was intended, but rode it at the two “extremes” of MTB you could say: XC on the one hand, where pedaling efficiency, good shifting and strong climbing with power from your legs is most important. And BikePark downhill work on the other side of the spectrum, where the power comes from gravity, stability at higher speeds downhill is important with everything that follows from those higher speeds: good suspension and a bike that can brake well. Exactly in that sweet spot is where the Cube Stereo lands.
Everything that we could throw in the bike at the BikePark, the Stereo could handle. I think at higher speeds and more massive jumps (which exceed our taletns) that you can hit the limits of the bike, but you’ll only will get that if you are really well above average experienced bike park rider. In that case a real downhill bike would be a better choice.
But for us, at our skill level, the Stereo did very well in the bike park. The bike is nicely balanced, stable at speed, leaves the ground when jumped well and evenly, tackles landings smoothly and also takes out the biggest rattle of washboard-like brake pit sections so your wrists don’t feel like they’re going to explode. The SRAM Guide and Code R, Hydr. Disc Brake (200/180) brakes were up to the task. The Fox 36 Float Factory FIT GRIP2 (150mm front) and Fox Float DPX2 Factory EVOL (140mm) rear were very well tuned to what I needed at the park. I really was happy with the front and rear suspension.
That same suspension did not really leave a lock-out possibility, but you can adjust it so that it stiffens up. And with that adjustment, and a lot less air in the Schwalbe tires, I hit the extraordinarily sandy cross country trails of Zeist, the Netherlands. It had not rained for weeks and some sections gave the feeling you were riding on the beach. And yet I found it lighter than expected. What stood out was that the bike, even at those lower speeds, where you really sometimes have to plow through the sand (so a lot of power vs little traction and speed) still stayed well balanced. Sitting on the back of the saddle the bike kept grip and even on sandy climbs there were no feet on the ground. Very nice. The head tube angle is not as steep as with a “real” XC-er, but steering sharply in those sand traps will get you stuck anyway.
What do these epxerience on both sides of the MTB spectrum with an all-mountain / enduro bike say about the bike itself and where it’s made for? That it is a bicycle that performs well over the entire spectrum. And undoubtedly comes into its own on that rocky technical enduro terrain. With the silky smooth SRAM Reverb Stealth dropper post you can handle all conditions. The Cube Stereo is a real all-rounder (without the negative connotation). Quiet and yet sensitive, playful and yet stable. Very nice bike.