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Trail and Enduro Bikes

Cube Fritzz 180 HPA SL

180mm enduro doesn't get much lighter than the Cube Fritzz

Cube Fritzz 180 HPA SL – the review

There was a time not so very long ago when the jump from 140mm trail to 200mm downhill was simply too much. Riders were happy with bikes such as the Orange Five for their day-to-day riding before switching across to 40lb plus machinery for their weekend uplift action.

“there are very few, if any, 180mm bikes quite like this”

2004 and 2005 changed much of the mountainbike landscape for many reasons. Firstly Fox introduced the 36 fork. At 150mm travel with a good size chassis it was bolted to bikes such as the Specialized Enduro, which with its 150mm chassis made so many more things possible.

Crucially it weighed in at around 33lb making it more than a big hitting bike, it was almost a cross-country bike too. Why ride a 33lb 140mm bike when you can ride one with more travel at the same weight? At the time 160/170mm bikes were still pretty beastly and as much as people were beginning to think more travel/same weight the slightly longer travel 160/170mm bikes were still pretty close to 40lb. The ‘Freeride’ bikes as they were called then were to many people overweight in a discipline which didn’t really exist in UK’s bike park free zone.


So what’s the history lesson got to do with the Cube Fritzz? Pretty simple, its 180mm travel comes in at around 30lb or 31.02lb to be precise. This is a lot of bike.

That’s right. So this then asks the question why buy a 30lb 160mm bike when you can get a bike which is almost downhill in numbers weighing the same and in many comparisons, less weight?





This is the conclusion many riders very near to us have come to, and there are very few if any 180mm bikes quite like this. Yes there are many things which are not quite right just yet, such things as the wheelbase could be a touch longer and the bar mounted shock lock out is a bit of a faff. But it’s a lightweight, quality specification bike at a good price offering what many will see as an armchair ride.

This one is still a slight oddity but there’s no doubt that you can smash into terrain on that 180mm fork with a bit more confidence than a 160mm and a engage in a whole world different attitude to a 140mm bike which for some manufacturers unbelievably roughly weigh in the same. In fact the 140mm Stereo HPA weighs in only a kilo less than this 180mm bike 13.15 over 14.1kg. Everyone that has ridden this bike absolutely loves it. Job done.


Michael Prell. R&D. Cube

The name Fritzz was derived from a colleague here who’s nick name was “Fritz Brause” (Brause is an old fashioned drink; I think you call it sherbert). The double Z was simply to be safe if somebody would have rights on the name Fritz in the same product category. And it should have been German name at that time.

Historically the bike Hanzz was the first one with double z in the end. This one was planned first as a Franz but the name Franz was registered in nearly all categories by Franz Beckenbauer (famous German football player). That was the reason why we took Hans as an alternative and made HANZZ to be safe on the name rights side.

It is the same idea that made the double z in FRITZZ which simply was another bike model within our old dual trail models (Sting, Stereo and Fritzz). So we kept the name for the Fritzz 180 which should combine the riding performance of a Hanzz and a Stereo as a super enduro bike. Uphill like a pretty good enduro, but down the hill even better…..like a mini DH bike.

“the name Franz was registered in nearly all categories by Franz Beckenbauer”

Due to requests and especially due to the advantages of the “new” wheelsize a new Fritzz 180 650B was made. This was planned as “that” Superenduro. Pedalling uphill similar to the Stereo 160 650B but offering more travel and down the hill a better DH performance similar to a mini DH bike. Geometry was changed to a more modern one. Longer reach, steeper seat tube angle, shorter rear end, the rider more centred between the wheels.

Considering the kinematics it should offer more support than the Stereo offers and by that more fun in jumping and riding berms/corners than with the Stereo 160. Besides that it should be lightweight and really strong. A bike you can use everywhere, all mountain, trail and even in a park. A Superenduro.

The videos I attached show the performance of the frame during our in house front impact test. According to the test criteria a frame has normally to pass at least an impact with an energy of 150 Joules. At Cube we want at least 3x150Joules.

The stop criteria is either a deformed frame or a deformation or bending in the fork (front hub is closer to the BB by 45 mm). Here the frame had no problem and we went on with the test up to 420 Joules. And there was nothing on the frame, only the fork was bent. In most cases we have to stop the test due to a too strong bending on the fork.

So we once wanted to find out what the 150 Joules represent in normal life (and this is a funny but true story):

A rigid fork on a commuter bike always failed on the testing machine. So we tried to find out the speed somebody has to ride against a wall to get the same damage. Here lots of energy also goes into the deformation of the front wheel. So one of my colleagues was equipped with some safety gear and helmet and he had to ride against the wall. He has not the best eyes so it was not a really big thing for him and he did it by choice. We found the same failure with a speed of 15 km/h.

So hitting the frame/front hub with 420 Joules shows that the frame is really, really strong. The video with 60 Joules is the start of that test and there is always an increase of load by 30 Joules.


Any thoughts on the new Cube Fritzz? Let us know your thoughts.


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