Cube Touring Hybrid One – It’s just like riding a bike
I reckon it would be easy to convince someone who isn’t particularly bike-aware that this is an unpowered bike, and that they are simply riding down hill. Depending on your perspective you may think that is bad, but to me that is a great compliment. Hop on the Cube and it’s just like riding a bike.
Cube bikes are big in native Germany and quite popular in the lower parts of NZ as the distributor is based in Timaru. ebikes have really taken off in Europe and Cube has followed that trend. The ‘Touring’ bike being reviewed is available in a number of configurations. I chose the low step version, and it had non-standard wheels. The stock 700c wheels had been swapped out for 650b wider rims and fitted with knobbly tyres. It’s an option that the retailer decided would appeal to some and make the bike more versatile as a ‘rail trail’ tourer.
The video shows the bike with optional 650b wheels with nobbly tyres.
Motor and battery integration is well done in this bike, giving a sleek line that helps with the illusion that it is ‘just a bike’. The Purion controller is small and ergonomic, though changing modes isn’t obvious (you need to hold down the ‘-‘ button for just the right length of time). There is a walk mode too.
Bosch’s ActiveLine Plus provides the power, and you can choose either the 400Wh or 500Wh battery option. I always advise more as better. The ActiveLine Plus is a great motor for most purposes, being super smooth and quiet. It is quite efficient on battery use too. I found myself happily riding in the 31-32 zone—which is where power starts to drop off—and in this mode it will give good range, even on Turbo.
At this $4k price point there will be some concessions to value-for-money, and one is the Altus 9sp gears. If well maintained and adjusted they work perfectly fine, but are not as crisp and tolerant as a Deore, SLX or the equivalent SRAM gears (X5, X7). The rest of the equipment is great, and includes a smallish rack, lights and mudguards.
In summary, this is a great bike for just about anyone. You can commute, head to the shops, ride for miles on the weekend… all in comfort. It’s just like riding a bike, so no special ‘getting used to riding an ebike’ is required here. Buy one for mom or dad for Christmas knowing they will be safe and happy. Then buy one for yourself so you can keep up with them.
Pricing is $4199 for 400Wh and $4499 for 500Wh from Electric Bike Team (although Cube NZ told me that only 500Wh option is available, EBT are also offering a 400Wh at the discounted price).
Who is the Cube Touring Hybrid for?
- Anyone really, other than ‘real’ mountain bikers and others who might live at the top of a very steep hill (say, Baldwin St…)
What else should you consider that is similar?
- There is a whole raft of similar bikes about, including Avanti, Merida, Moustache, Gepida. Look for an Active Line Plus or Steps E6000 system.
Thanks to Electric Bike Team for arranging the review bike.