You should all be familiar with the new Cube Two15 by now after it being on the World Cup circuit for for a while, first showing up at Leogang in 2015. It has been a long time in the making but the wait is over.
Words and images: Ieuan Williams
Specked up to the eyeballs looking like it means business, the Cube Two15 seems to be on the money with a similar parts list to Greg Williamson's World Cup bike. There have recently been some 29" prototype bikes about but this is the production model for now.
The bike looks great too and with the striking blue and orange paintwork really standing out. The big question though is does it ride like it looks?
Cube has built the two15 with a fully ripe end kit bolted on to the HPA Ultralight, Advanced Hydroformed frame. Our test bike is equipped with a Fox X2 coil shock giving 215mm of rear travel whereas the new 2018 model has now got the Float X2 air Shock. This is then mated up with Fox 40 Float Factory RC2 fork up front. Race Face has dealt with the cockpit with an Atlas 35 Direct mount stem and SixC 820mm bars. Brake wise Cube has also changed out the SRAM guides for a set of MAGURA MT7 for 2018. SRAM XO1 DH 7-Speed stays having been such a great setup matched up with a set of RaceFace SixC cranks. DT Swiss Wheels keep things rolling and some always flawless Schwalbe Magic Mary tyres keep the grip on tap.
Frame; HPA Ultralight, Advanced Hydroform, Triple Butted, ETC 4-Link, ISCG Mount, 215mm Travel
Rear Shock; Fox Float X2 Factory, 240x76mm, High/Low Speed Rebound & Compression, Kashima Coated
Fork; 40 Float Factory RC2 FIT, 20x110mm, 203mm, Kashima Coated
Stem; Atlas 35 Direct Mount
Handle Bars; SixC 35, 820mm
Brakes; MAGURA MT7, Hydr. Disc Brake (203/180)
Chain guide; MRP G3 Alloy Chain Guide, 32-36T, ISCG05
Rear Derailleur; SRAM XO1 DH medium cage, 7-Speed
Shift Levers; SRAM XO1 DH Trigger
Chainset; RACEFACE SixC 32T, 165mm
Wheels; DT SWISS CSW DH 3.7 Straightpull Wheelset, 32/32 Spokes, 20mm / 157x12mm, Tubeless Ready
Shape and fit
The sizing really is one aspect of the Cube Two15 that could with some addressing with the size large just coming in on the small side of things with a 435 reach and with no option of an extra large at this moment. This was the same issue previously with the YT Tues bikes that has now been sorted. Anyone six foot and above would find the cockpit on the Two15 cramped. The standover is just where you would want it though and same can be said about the bottom bracket height too, so it's just the all important front centre length and reach measurements that feel a little out dated.
Looking past the smaller sizing for a moment there is some real promise in the shape of the Cube with a super comfortable feeling Syntace Vector Carbon bar that has a great rise and sweep.
With a specification as high as this bike and the ever so impressive Fox Factory fork upfront the setup was easy and after a few laps down the hill it was apparent that the Two15 does not have the most progressive of suspension platforms with the rear wallowing into some of the larger compressions, great feel off the top of the stroke for the smaller higher frequency bumps though. Upping the spring rate from 400lbs to an Ohlins 4? Spring drastically helped out when it came to the big bottom outs but that nice supple feeling went out of the window the fast high frequency bumps felt more like a 120mm bike to a full on 215mm. This would explain the reason for the air damper on Greg Williamson's bike as this can be packed full of preload spacers for the progressive feel while keeping the supple small bump compliance.
All in all the Cube Two15 has some serious potential but this isn't quite there yet, maybe with the addition of an XL size and a different damper this could be a really serious piece of equipment.