Throughout the season, the full-carbon Stereo was the one and only means of transportation of ENDURO team rider Jordan Baumann. The logbook of the 160mm bike with 650B wheels is filled accordingly: apart from countless training rides in nearby Alsace, there are notes from the Bluegrass Enduro Tour, the Specialized SRAM Series, and the Italian Superenduro Series.
For 4600€, Cube equips this bike with a mix of components most riders would dream of. Nevertheless, the Fox suspension was replaced with Magura components right from the beginning. Also, the fitted Formula The One brakes had to give way to Magura MT8 brakes – for the rider’s personal preferences. All the other original equipment, including SRAM X.0 drivetrain, Schwalbe Hans Dampf tires, and DT Swiss wheels were kept as standard. However, due to the many tough races there were also many defects recorded in the logbook. Not really surprising, especially considering how trimmed down the lightweight Stereo is.
Consequently, the DT Swiss CSW All Mountain wheels had to say their good-byes after only a few weeks: the light system wheels with only 28 spokes were extremely fast accelerating, but did not provide enough stability on rough enduro trails and were therefore replaced by wheels with NoTubes’ ZTR Arch EX rims. The drivetrain frequently posed flaws as well: broken chains, broken gear shifts, and a broken derailleur hanger surprised us – especially because the same components on other test bikes did not show any troubles throughout their service. Part of the reason for this wear was probably the rider’s aggressive riding style.
Nevertheless, the Stereo convinced us regarding its performance over the season. Its versatility surprised us again and again (it’s impressive what modern technology can achieve): on ascents, it felt very XC thanks to its light weight, great stiffness, and efficient rear suspension. On downhills – especially on fast and rough trail sections – the 650B wheels and a potent chassis performed well. Only in extremely steep and narrow corners did the Stereo demand a little more sensitivity.
You can read an in-depth feature about the long-term test and our conclusions in the previous ENDURO issue! As usual it’s free & only digital for iPad, Android-Tablets and Online-Viewer: Issue #007
Text: Jordan Baumann | Fotos: Fabian Rapp