Cube has a reputation for well priced bikes – you get a decent amount of bike for your money.
It’s a brand you’ll find in many a local bike shop, and as a result you’ll probably see a decent number of them out on the trail. However, I can’t help but feel there’s a certain amount of bike snobbery going on – buying a Cube is often a head-led decision: good components for your money, it’s a rational choice. But you don’t see too many people listing a Cube on their fantasy bike lists – somehow the marketing of other brands sees people dreaming of bikes that often come at a higher price but with a lower spec.
Coming from the all bling Whyte 909 at the start of the year (and to my mind Whyte has just about crossed the marketing line onto dream lists, with its ‘British mud-friendly’ shtick) I confess I too was feeling just a little bit ho-hum about climbing aboard this hardtail from Cube. But marketing is just marketing, and the truth is in the ride, which it would turn out was…well…read on and find out.
This Cube Reaction TM came with 27.5in wheels, plump 2.6in Schwalbe Nobby Nic tyres and a 130mm Fox 34 Rhythm fork – setting it into the trail hardtail bracket, the kind of thing that suits a lot of us British riders. Magura MT Trail brakes keep things safe, and a Shimano XT 1×11 drivetrain keeps things moving.
The overall build speaks to a bike that will tackle some pretty chunky trails if the rider aboard is prepared to get a bit lively. For those whom a trail centre red line is about as much as they’ll ever want to tackle, it’s a forgiving option without going for the full send (and full maintenance, and full ker-ching) of a full suspension bike.
We’re reviewing the 2018 model here, and for 2019 there are some changes to the range which potential buyers should be alert to. The Reaction TM will be at the lower price point of £999, while the bike at the same price point as we’re reviewing here will be known as the Reaction TM Race and come with Kenda tyres, SRAM NX Eagle, and a KS Lev dropper.
Angles are not so radical as the Whyte 909 and other ‘hardcore hardtails’, but the frame is neat and tidy looking with internal routing, smooth lines and even a sensible grey finish – it looks like a fairly classy bike rather than one splashed with colour designed to draw the eye in a bike shop.
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2018 Cube Reaction TM Specifications
- Frame // Aluminium Lite
- Fork // Fox 34 Rhythm, 2-Position Sweep-Adjust GRIP Damper, 130mm
- Hubs // CUBE Alloy Light
- Rims // Rodi Blackjack Typ 35, 32H, Disc
- Tyres // Schwalbe Nobby Nic, Addix Speedgrip, Kevlar, Tubeless Easy, 2.6in
- Chainset // Race Face Aeffect SL 32T, 175mm
- Rear Mech // Shimano XT RD-M8000-DGS
- Shifters // Shimano SLX SL-M7000
- Cassette // Shimano SLX CS-M7000, 11-46T
- Brakes // Magura MT Trail Custom, Hydr. Disc Brake (180/180)
- Stem // Race Face Aeffect R 35
- Bars // Race Face Aeffect 35, 760mm
- Grips // CUBE Race Grip 31mm, 1-Clamp
- Seatpost // CUBE Dropper Post, Handlebar Lever, Internal Cable Routing, 27.2mm, 400x105mm
- Saddle // SDG Fly Mtn 2
- Size Tested // 18in
- Sizes available // 16in, 18in, 20in, 22in
- Actual Weight // 29lb 13oz, 13.4kg
- RRP // £1,599
|Tested:||by Hannah for 5 months|