Cube makes a vast range of bikes covering all disciplines, we’ve previously featured the 130mm AMS full-susser and the Reaction GTC Race 29er hardtail. Now we’ve got our hands on the German company’s Sting 120 Race 29, an unashamedly marathon and cross-country race-ready bike.
For £1,799 you get a bike loaded with a decent parts list. Attached to the triple butted 7005 alloy frame, with a slick anodised finish, is a full Shimano XT groupset, with a direct mount front mech, triple (40/30/22t) chainset and hydraulic brakes, with 180mm rotors at both ends. Not a downgrade in sight.
Suspension duties are handled up front by a Fox 32 Float 29 CTD fork. It dishes out 120mm of travel and can be adjusted with the right-hand CTD dial to suit the trail conditions, and your style of riding. Firm it up for climbing, loosen it up for the descents. Out back, and keeping with the Fox theme, is a Float CTD shock. It’s the Large Volume air canister as well.
The suspension layout comprises what Cube calls FSP 4-link. Essentially it’s a four-bar setup with a one-piece rocker activated shock and chainstays pivot. Cube have located the pivot well ahead of the dropout, which they reckon minimises the impact of braking on suspension action.
Cube use Sun Ringle wheels across the range and on this bike are the Radium AM 29 wheels, with quick release rear axle and 15mm bolt-thru front. They’re a sturdy set of wheels but don’t come with a tubeless kit, which might be deemed as an essential option on a racy bike like this. Tyres are Schwalbe Nobby Nics in 2.25in width. It’s a case of Cube branded components for the 720mm riser bar and stem, grips and seatpost, with a Selle Italia X1 completing the build kit.
The shock is mounted vertically inside the front triangle, anchored at the bottom bracket, which means the top tube can be curve down provide a good deal of standover clearance. The shock packaging does look like it could limit the size of water bottle you can get on the downtube, an obvious concern to racers but no problem for hydration pack users.
Up front is a tapered steerer, almost a standard feature on most modern mountain bikes. All cables are routed externally, running down the belly of the downtube. It’s a clean layout with plastic clips securing the cables and hose in place.
On paper the Sting looks like it has all the credentials to be an exceedingly quick bike for fast paced cross-country and trail riding, where getting up the hills is of equal importance to slamming the descents. The Sting also offers a good build kit for the money and it looks good to go from the box. We’ll get out and give it a thorough testing over the following weeks, so watch out for a review soon.
Cube Sting 120 Race 29 vitals
Brakes: Shimano Deore XT 180mm
Suspension: Fox 32 Float 29 CTD 120mm/Fox Float CTD
Crankset: Shimano Deore XT
Wheels: Sun Ringle Radium AM
Cockpit: Cube Performance
Derailleurs: Shimano XT
Weight: 13,75 kg
Wheel size: 29in
Travel: 120 mm
Sizes: 16, 18, 20 and 22 inch
Colour: black anodized
More information: Cube Sting 120 Race 29
Photos by Andy Lloyd - www.alpictures.co.uk