Hybrid bikes can be anything from soft-roaders rolling on 29in wheels, to fast flat-bar road bikes, to Continental ultra-utilitarian trekking machines. Cube does them all — and with a history in road bikes, mountain bikes and European cycling — does them better than most.
Touring £475 – £695
The Touring range may be Cube’s most simple trekking hybrid, but it is an astonishingly able line-up of bikes, offering a distinct sense of Continental style with huge amounts of practicality. The classy aluminium frame is available in three model shapes: diamond; single down tube step-through; and more contemporary sloping top tube step-through. All models come with a rear rack, mudguards, chainguard, Busch and Müller lights running from Shimano dynamo hubs, reliable Shimano gears, suspension forks and all but the entry model have hydraulic disc brakes.
Not a trekking hybrid in the European sense, much more of a touring bike with flat bars, the Travel uses a far more road-orientated, more sporty elongated, stiff and lightweight aluminium frame to really encourage long-distance bike expeditions. Traditional almost-level top tube and step-through sloping top tube versions of each model are available, and each comes with a lightweight aluminium fork, twin bottle cage mounts, mudguards, rear rack, and dynamo-powered Busch and Müllers lights. Most models come with hydraulic disc brakes and the top-spec Travel SL RF model even features a super reliable 8-speed Shimano Alfine hub gear. For seeing the whole world with reliability and comfort, it’s the perfect companion.
Taking utilitarian cycling to new levels of luxury, the Delhi range of trekking bikes follows much the same style as the Touring line-up, but with just a little more refinement across the board. Each model is available in either a diamond or step-through sloping top tube design, and they all come with dynamo-driven Busch and Müller lights, high-quality and wide-ranging Shimano gearsets, mudguards, suspension fork and either hydraulic rim brakes or hydraulic disc brakes. All models also come with a rear rack, although of particular note, on the Delhi Pro and Dehli Exc models the rack is built as part of the frame.
In days past the Curve would have been seen as a very decent mountain bike, but such has been the progression in specialist off-road cycling technology it’s now seen as great hybrid. Based on a super-light, double-butted aluminium frame — available in either a diamond or step-through sloping top tube design — the standard Curve features a Suntour NEX suspension fork, Shimano Altus gearset and Tektro V-brakes. Meanwhile the Curve Pro comes with an upgraded Suntour NEX HLO fork, Shimano Acera components and Tektro hydraulic disc brakes.
Adding a little more refinement and performance to the Curve brings us to the Nature range, which has had a thorough facelift for 2015, making the double-butted aluminium frame even lighter but no less able. Available in either a diamond or step-through sloping top tube design, both the standard Nature and the Nature Pro models feature a Suntour NEX HLO suspension, Shimano XT/Deore derailleurs and Shimano hydraulic disc brakes.
Taking off-road ability even further — but not forgetting its day-to-day uses with practicalities such as rear rack mounts — the Cross is a very capable machine. It’s very pretty frame design — available in compact or step-through versions — has even been smooth welded for refinement, and there are added luxuries such as internal cable routing and multi-function dropouts. The two-model range begins with the standard Cross with Suntour NCX suspension fork, Shimano XT/LX groupset and Shimano hydraulic disc brake; and the top-spec Nature Pro features upgraded Suntour NCX fork, Shimano XT/SLX gears and Shimano Deore hydraulic brakes.
The SL Road range is Cube’s opening line-up of flat-bar bikes that look towards all-out speed for their influence. None of the SL range comes with rear racks — although the provision is there on their extremely light aluminium frames. All models feature internal cable routing and a choice of Shimano’s road bike groupsets. Only the entry-level SL Road has V-brakes, while everything else benefits from hydraulic disc brakes. And the top-level SL Road SL Black is extraordinarily adept at chewing up the road at speed with its fast frame, carbon fork, Shimano Deore hydraulic disc brakes, DT Swiss wheels and very plush Shimano Ultegra 11-speed gearset.
As a truly on-trend, no-nonsense urban runaround the Hyde is a perfect choice for city cyclists. The fast and stiff aluminium frame has been designed to shave any excess weight while the multi-feature dropout lets riders fit mudguards or a rear rack. Three bikes make up the Hyde range. The standard Hyde — with its Shimano Acera/Deore gearset and Shimano hydraulic disc brakes — and the Hyde Pro — with its Shimano Nexus 8-speed hub gear and Shimano Alivio V-brakes — are both available in compact or step-through versions. The top-spec Hyde Race with maintenance-free Gates Carbon belt driven Shimano Alfine 8-speed hub gear and Shimano hydraulic disc brakes is available with a diamond frame only.
Designed to be the ultimate urban utility bike, the Editor is absolutely the finest Cube machine for tackling city streets. Based around a super-stiff, lightweight and elegant aluminium frame, Cube has specced only the very best, most practical components. So there’s a full Shimano Alfine 11-speed groupset run via a Gates Carbon belt drive; there’s matching Shimano Alfine hydraulic disc brakes; and there’s a very direct, rigid aluminium fork. This is about as simple and stylish as a city bike gets, although if you want to accessories it to your requirements there’s also provisions for rear rack, mudguards, frame lock and kickstand.