CUBE TWO/15 SL 29" - DH BIKE TEST
The Cube TWO15 is a bike that has been around for some time. Having a full Factory Worldcup team certainly helps to get these bikes seen.
Having spent some time on an older model, there was some serious unfinished business with the TWO15 where the performance that I knew could be obtained, was just lacking before. That was then and this is now. The 29” XL bike is something that has been very high on the list to test here at Descend.
Shape And Fit
The Cube TWO15 comes in two wheel sizes and three frame sizes. The medium frame has a 27.5 wheel size, then the 29” wheel is saved for the large and extra large. This does make some sense when riders that are persuaded by the 29” wheel are normally taller and looking for the larger frame size. The bike that we had sent over was the XL 29er.
On paper it does not come off as a massive bike. But the numbers do not mean everything. The 1273mm wheelbase is made up of a 445mm rear stay and a 828mm front centre. When matching this up with the 63.8 degree head angle and -28mm bottom bracket drop, these are not figures that would make you grumble. Besides, if that head angle needs to be a little slacker, then there is always the option of the angle adjust headset.
The stand over of the TWO15 is pretty low for an XL too. This is pretty important when tackling tough sections or pulling shapes.
Suspension And Chassis
Cube sell the TWO15 as one build. And why should they compromise on what they feel is the correct way to specify a bike? The flagship bike come fully equipped with top of the range Fox suspension. At the rear the Fox Float Factory X2 damper offers 215mm of travel for the 27.5 bike and 200mm for the larger wheel size. The trusty Cube four bar linkage is on full show as you would expect, but after the small tweaks that the brand have made to shock positions and linkage design, this is a setup that works.
Up front the Fox theme is completed with the Factory Float 49 fork (40 for the 27.5 bike). This setup really finishes the build off and gives the look and performance that Cube were after.
HPA Ultralight, Advanced Hydroform, Triple Butted, ETC 4-Link, ISCG Mount, 215mm travel (29": 200mm)
Fox Float X2 Factory, 240x76mm, High/Low Speed Rebound & Compression, Kashima Coated
Fox 40/49 Float Factory GRIP2, 20x110mm, 203mm, Kashima Coated
Race Face Chester 35 Direct Mount
Race Face Atlas 35 800mm 35mm
Sram GX DH, 7-Speed
Magura MT7, Hydr. Disc Brake (203/180)
Race Face Atlas 36T, 165mm
Sram PG-720, 11-25T
DT CSW DH 3.7 / 3.9, 20mm / 157x12mm, Tubeless Ready
Rear tyre/front tyre
Schwalbe Magic Mary, Addix Soft, Kevlar, Super Gravity, Tubeless Easy, 2.35/ Schwalbe Magic Mary, Addix Ultrasoft, Kevlar, Super Gravity, Tubeless Easy, 2.35
SDG FLY MTN 2
CUBE Performance Post, 31.6mm
MRP G3 Chain Guide, 34-38T, ISCG05
S / 27.5, M / 27.5, L / 29, XL / 29
Setting the Cube TWO15 up was a total doddle. Having had plenty of experience with the Fox dampers, it did not take long to get some initial settings dialled in. This being said, not much was changed from day one. The TWO15 has such a fun and playful feel to the ride. The best way to describe it would be a bottomless trail bike feel. No trouble was had getting to grips with the TWO15, the 'at home' feel allowed the rider to get on with the fun job of just going fast or hitting some senders.
The first thing to mention about the TWO15 is the way this bike jumps. Now most bikes on the market can hit a jump, although it’s mainly the rider doing the work. But the Cube made life easy. The superb balance and safe geometry helped to give the bike serious pop and made it effortlessly playful in the air.
Don’t shelf the TWO15 as a park only bike, although it would make a great one. That said, I would happily take this bike to Whistler for the season. Let's not forget, his is a proven World cup bike. The Cube excelled in the tight technical tracks also. With the steeper head angle and short rear stays the TWO15 was super nimble. (Just a little flick through below showing this first hand.)
Moving onto the chassis feel, Cube have managed to make the TWO15 fairly stiff. This makes for a precise ride and speedy accelerating bike when mating it up to the light weight build. On the other hand it did seem to be easily knocked off course if you weren’t paying attention. Catch that little root, rock or square edge just right and the rear end goes wherever it wants. If you are paying attention and attacking the trail this makes little difference.
Something that may be experimented with over the coming months (when we can ride again), will be popping an angle set in to see if it makes a difference on the super fast sections. The steeper head angle makes for a slightly twitchy moment here and there. Even with the large fork offset.
The fatigue level that the Cube takes out of you is also very low. Even with the stiff chassis, the combination of great damping and a great riding position makes for an effortless experience.
There really is not much to say… the mech hanger is a little flimsy but the plus side of that is, you won’t be smashing apart your expensive rear mech.
The paint work is also fairly weak. Have that rock strike it in just the correct manner and there will be an almighty chip. The leg rubs are clear as day on the matt paintwork down the top tube also. Only advice that we can give is to get that thing Invisi Framed straight out of the box. You can’t go wrong then.
We LOVE the Cube TWO15 SL. It is without doubt the best value bike that we have come across. There are not many brands out there that could boast the performance that the Cube does and the INSANE specification for that crazy low price. This is a bike that many people have tried out to make sure that we are bang on with the thoughts and feelings, and all have had the same opinion! Fun, Fast and man it picks up speed fast! If the whole world we live in collapsed tomorrow, the bike that I would be on would be the Cube.
We were massively looking forward to seeing what Phil could conjure this season onboard this platform. We will just have to wait and see when things start back up.
WORDS - IEUAN WILLIAMS
PHOTOS - ALEX HUNTER/ IEUAN WILLIAMS
PRICE - £3999