2022 eMTB SHOOTOUT

CUBE STEREO HYBRID 160 HPC RACE 625

Bike Provided by FLY RIDES USA
Video by Brian Niles / Treeline Cinematic
Photos by Dusten Ryen

The Cube Stereo Hybrid 160 HCP Race 625 is designed to tackle the toughest enduro challenges and offer the power to get you back up the hill for more in quick time. Cube’s Stereo Hybrid eBike is the only dual-27.5” wheeled bike in our eBike Shootout this year. Packing 160mm of travel, the Stereo Hybrid 160 is powered by a Bosch Performance CX G4, with a 625Wh battery to make getting up the hill as fun as going down. We put the Cube Stereo Hybrid 160 e-Enduro machine to the test against seven worthy competitors in our 2022 eMTB Shootout, and came away surprised by its capabilities. Continue reading for the full scoop on this heavy hitting eBike and see if it’s the right bike for you.

QUICK HITS

• 160mm Horst Link Suspension
• 625Wh Battery
• HTA 65
• STA 75.5 (effective)
• REACH 460 (Large)

Price: $6,149 (Race 625 tested) – $12,199 (SLT)
Website: Cube.eu
BUY NOW: FlyRidesUSA.com

THE LAB

The Cube Stereo Hybrid 160 is the longest travel model in the range of Cube eMTB’s. All models share similar silhouettes and a Horst Link suspension platform but differ in their suspension travel and geometries. Unsurprisingly the Stereo Hybrid 160 has the most aggressive geometry, targeted at the enduro eBike crowd. Bucking the 2022 trend in the e-Enduro sector, Cube opted to spec the Stereo Hybrid 160 with a pair of 27.5” wheels, a move that had us very interested.

Cube Stereo Hybrid 160 HPC Race 625 Profile Shot - 2022 eMTB Shootout

Cube offers the Stereo Hybrid 160 HPC (High Performance Carbon) in two variations depending on your spec and budget preferences. Both feature 160mm of rear travel delivered by their FSP 4-link Horst Link suspension system with Efficient Trail Control kinematics and are built with their C62 Monocoque Advanced Twin Mold Technology carbon fiber front triangles paired with a 6061-T6 aluminum rear end. They differ in their geometry, look and kinematics slightly, as well as the larger 750Wh battery capacity of the Bosch Smart System that’s spec’d on the higher-end frame. The Stereo Hybrid 160 HPC Race tested features a Bosch Powertube 625Wh removable integrated battery to power the CX G4 motor. A Bosch Purion black and white display and controller on the bars gives the user relevant info and a time-tested control unit.

The Stereo Hybrid’s carbon fiber front triangles feature clamped ports at the entry points of the internal cable routing, and there’s a generous shock proof cover that spans the full length of the downtube to protect the battery and motor from harm. A generous rubber guard is fitted to the chainstays to reduce damage and noise caused by the chain, and full ISCG chainguide mounts are in place to keep the chain in check. The shock runs on a Trunnion upper mount to lower the standover height and improve the frame stiffness in combination with the oversized frame pivot bearings.

Cube Stereo Hybrid 160 HPC Race 625 Rear Triangle - 2022 eMTB Shootout

The HPC Race 625 build tested is the entry level spec for the Stereo Hybrid 160, with the lower-spec frame that allows the price to come in at $6,149. Suspension duties are handled by a basic RockShox package, with their Domain R 170mm fork paired to a Trunnion Deluxe Select shock. The drivetrain is a full Shimano Deore 12spd affair, with Cube’s in-house brand ACID supplying their 165mm E-Crank. A pair of Magura MT Thirty brakes stop on 203mm centerlock rotors front and rear. Cube’s Dropper post in a 150mm length suspends a Natural Fit Venec saddle, and a Cube Performance E-MTB stem clamps a Newmen Evolution SL 31.8mm bar. The wheelset consists of a pair of 27.5” Cube EX30 rims laced to a Shimano HB-MT400/FH-MT410 hubset, and is sold with a Maxxis Minion DHF/DHR2 EXO tire spec. However, for our 2022 eMTB Shootout we swapped out the rubber on all our Enduro category bikes with the same Magic Mary/Big Betty Super Gravity combo thanks to official sponsor, Schwalbe Tires. This allowed for a major variable in the performance of the bikes to be eliminated, ensuring a predictable and trustworthy tire performance across the board.

Geometry of the 27.5” wheeled Cube Stereo Hybrid 160’s lower spec frame is slightly more conservative than the newer, higher spec frames found on the more expensive builds. Consistent through the Small to Extra Large size range are a 65° head angle and 75.5° seat tube angle, 441.5mm chainstays and 12.5mm bottom bracket drop. Our size large with a 470mm seat tube featured a 460mm reach paired with a 614mm stack, producing a compact total wheelbase of 1,230mm.

2022 eMTB Shootout - Enduro Category Geo

The 27.5” wheeled Cube Stereo Hybrid 160 featured the shortest wheelbase on test, as well as the lowest stack. This was obvious on the trail, where the Cube was the most maneuverable in tight terrain, though it conceded some stability and confidence at higher speeds.

Cube Stereo Hybrid 160 HPC Race 625 Action

THE DIRT

Every year it seems there’s a bike that just doesn’t look as cool, or as good as we’d like it to. This year that bike was the Cube Stereo Hybrid 160. It looks like a relic of the last generation eMTBs, before tube shape changes, lines improved, and brands worked to hide the clunkiness of eBikes better. Furthermore, the name-brand cockpit components and entry-level suspension package had us wondering how this 27.5” wheeled bike would hang on the demanding trails of Windrock Bike Park. While some of the crew was a bit skeptical of the German e-Enduro machine, others were eager to throw a leg over the Cube and let it rip.

Pretty quickly their smiles and hoots were enough to get other riders to line up for a chance to try it for themselves. While this bike certainly wasn’t our favorite, it is quite a capable and fun machine that has more than a few good traits about it. Of course, like anything, those traits could be downsides for other riders looking for more. First up, the relatively short and high Cube Stereo Hybrid is quite a climber. Combine that with the powerful Bosch Performance Line CX drive unit and it was easy to see why some of the most technical and tight climbs were devoured by the Stereo 160. Even though we suspected the smaller wheels would lead to more pedal strikes, the relatively high BB meant we were actually able to keep spinning the cranks over technical terrain with ease. Similarly, navigating tight switchbacks, both up and down, was fast and easy thanks to the smaller wheels and shorter wheelbase. While the 65-degree head tube angle is not ideal for those seeking out the steepest, fastest downhill trails, it makes traverses, flatter trails and technical maneuvering a breeze.

Cube Stereo Hybrid 160 HPC Race 625 Action

When it came time to charge the downhills, the crew’s feedback was a bit more split. While everyone loved climbing the bike and attacking technical bits of trail, downhill trails presented different challenges for some riders. First up is the relatively short and steep geometry. The 460mm reach is about 15-20 less than our dream numbers and 25 shorter than many other in the category. Similarly, the head tube angle is much closer to many of the bikes in our Trail category and 1.5-2.5 degrees steeper than more aggressive bikes in the mix. This led to some riders having a little less confidence and stability on very steep or high-speed trails. Others enjoyed the more playful nature of the bike however, but we all agreed a slight update in geo could help make it a better descender for those looking to ride hard, fast or want more stability.

Cube Stereo Hybrid 160 HPC Race 625 Action

The suspension on the Cube Stereo Hybrid 160, plush and sensitive as it may be, feels a bit linear. This means heavier riders or those hitting bigger terrain will likely need to add volume reducers to keep the bike from bottoming out frequently.

From a spec perspective, our testers were rather impressed at how the bike performed. The entry level Rock Shox suspension products have been doing well across the board and we’re happy to report it rides quite well. We would have liked to see a better brake pad compound spec, as the Magura brakes offered nice modulation and lever feel but lacked overall bite. The the rest of the spec is pretty entry level and seems relatively competitive to other bikes on the market. This particular bike was provided to us for testing by Fly Rides USA bike shop, who also extended our reader a discount code on any eBikes they have in stock, which of course does help give a bit better value if you can take advantage. Use “TLW” during checkout at Fly Rides USA to save $150.

Cube Stereo Hybrid 160 HPC Race 625 Action

The Wolf’s Last Word

At face value, some riders may write off the Cube Stereo Hybrid 160 with its entry level spec and dual-27.5” tires. In all honesty, even some members of our test crew were skeptical as to how it would perform. Despite it looking a bit dated, most of our crew ended up walking away from the Cube with some big smiles and nods of approval. That doesn’t mean it’s the right bike for everyone, however. Cube’s Stereo Hybrid 160 has some dated geometry that will turn off super aggressive riders looking for the steepest and fastest terrain. The slightly conservative geometry does yield a very playful and fun ride on flatter terrain, in more technical sections of trail while also giving you a nimble and capable climber. Overall, the Cube Stereo Hybrid 160 is a solid bike that rode quite well on most terrain. We feel that a lot of riders will get plenty of good miles out of this eBike, but the more discerning shredder will likely outride the geometry of this generation bike.

Fly Rides supplied us with this bike and our Mondraker Level as well. Since they love our readers as much as we do, they have offered some discount codes for those in the market for any eMTB they carry.

  • Save $150 off ANY in stock ebike with code “TLW”.
  • Save $100 off a Kuat NV Base 2.0 with code “KUATWOLF”.

Price: $6,149
Weight: 54.6 lbs
Website: Cube.eu
Buy Now: FlyRidesUSA.com

VISIT FLYRIDESUSA TO GET YOURS!

CUBE STEREO HYBRID 160 HPC RACE 625 SPEC:

CHASSIS
Frame: C62 Carbon Front, Alloy Rear | 160mm
Fork: RockShox Domain R | 170mm
Shock: RockShox Deluxe Select | 205x60mm

ELECTRONICS
Motor: Bosch Performance Line CX G4 | 85 Nm
Battery: Bosch PowerTube | Removable | 625Wh
Display: Bosch Purion

COCKPIT
Brakes: Magura MT Thirty | 203F/R Centerlock rotors
Bar: Newmen Evolution SL | rise: 25mm | width: 760mm | clamp: 31.8mm
Stem: Cube Performance E-MTB | length: 50mm
Seatpost: Cube Dropper | S:100mm | M: 125mm | L/XL:150mm
Saddle: Natural Fit Venec

WHEELS
Hubs: Shimano HB-MT400/FH-MT410 | Centerlock
Front Tire: Maxxis Minion DHF 27.5×2.5″WT | Dual Compound | EXO Casing
Rear Tire: Maxxis Minion DHR2 27.5×2.4″WT | Dual Compound | EXO Casing

DRIVETRAIN
Cassette: Shimano Deore CS-M6100 | 10-51T | 12spd
Cranks: ACID E-Crank | 165mm
Shifter: Shimano Deore SL-M6100 | 12spd
Derailleur: Shimano Deore RD-M6100 SGS | 12spd

Cube Stereo Hybrid 160 HPC Race 625 three quarter beauty - 2022 eMTB Shootout

We Dig

Nimble
Snappy and fun
Lively, plush suspension feel
Climbs tech trails well

We Don’t

Short geo
Linear suspension needs volume reducers
Dated looks

OUR 2022 eMTB SHOOTOUT WAS MADE POSSIBLE
THANKS TO THESE GREAT SPONSORS:

Cube Stereo Hybrid 160 HPC Race 625 Action

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