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I was lucky enough to be invited to Cube Bikes Head Office in Waldershof, Germany in 2015 and was amazed by the production line, research and development and testing facilities which were on show.I When I was there Cube were building a new massive distribution centre across the road which was to house their new assembly line and storage.
Waldershof is a small town near the Czech Republic Border and the reason they are based here is because the owner of Cube (Marcus Purner) was born here and he set up the original Cube office in a small corner of his dads furniture shop, which you can still see today next to Cube HQ.
We arrived off the train from Munich to glorious sunshine and were picked up by Jarno, the manin man for hosting demo events and product training for us dealers in the UK. The transformation since my last visit just shows how big Cube are growing year on year, the old assembly line is now a vast showroom to display every model of 2018 bike, I was like a kid in a candy store seeing all the new ranges of bikes and accessories. After some lunch (this also included a beer from a Private Brewery which is available at Cube’s HQ) we sat in on a presentation of the e-bikes something that I have been very sceptical of for a couple of years, but more on that soon. We were taken over to the new distribution centre and bike assembly plant. On my previous visit I was taken aback at how quick and efficient everything was and now at this new building which has 3 assembly lines and can produce a fully assembled bike in 36 minutes, they can build about 1250 bikes every day. It was sight to be seen. The factory has computer controlled fork lift machines that collect all the components needed for whatever range they are building and leaving the parts in the correct area, once built and boxed they can store up to 35,000 bikes until they are distributed around the world. The factory works on 2 shifts and the only time it stops is bank holidays and also any Friday 13th as Marcus the owner is very superstitious and no one works on that date, also I noted in the cargo bays the number 13 is missing and jumps from 12 to 14.
Back to the Head Office to see the test facility where the bikes go through some of the toughest tests to ensure that Cube Bikes are among the best in the world for reliability and quality and provides them the highest safety awards available in Germany.
A visit to the marketing and customer services team was next and as much as I wanted to visit the research and development guys they were currently designing the 2019 and 2020 ranges so it was all top secret and the doors locked and blinds closed, but I managed a quick peek and could see some amazing innovation that are coming in future years.
The next morning breakfast was 7am and then it was into riding gear for an 8am ride from the office. Now as I said earlier I have been cynical of e-bikes for a while and I was told I would be riding Cubes newest design, the Cube Agree Hybrid C:62 SL Disc. YES a road bike with a motor and battery pack, now this bike looked like any other road bike with the battery hidden in the downtube. The Twin Mould Technology Aero Frame with new Shimano Hydraulic Ultegra R8000 groupset was wonderful and the very subtle display unit on the handlebar to switch the power on and change between the different power modes was easy to use. I have always imagined e-bikes to be heavy, cumbersome and having poor handling but this Agree bike was just like my own carbon road bike. The advantage of e-power is evident as soon as we hit the first climb on our 35km and a quick flick of the button from eco to boost mode ensured that all the other riders with me hit the summit before any of the guys on the regular Cube Agree’s arrived. The down tube is stiff, surprisingly light and completely encloses the motor and battery. Sorry going to get a bit techy here, Rigid 12mm through axle dropouts contribute to a massively efficient drivetrain and to steering accuracy, while the carbon fork helps filter out any vibration. The geometry is designed for comfort first, so long rides area breeze. The bike is built round the powerful Fazua drive system, with a 60Nm, 250 watt Drive Unit and uses an Evation 250Wh battery which you can charge both off and on the bike. The bikes weight is an impressive 13.8kg which is amazing for an e-bike, and the motor and battery can be removed and the bike then can be used as a conventional road bike.
Climbing and hardly breaking into a sweat, we then had a 3km descent back into the town with some nice sweeping corners which the bike handled effortlessly hitting speeds of over 70km/h.
Overall my mind has been completely changed on the e-bike range of bikes and I would say to anyone who is like I was, a bit wary, a ride on one will change your perception as mine was, and chatting to other dealers who went on an e-MTB ride, the smiles on their faces as they returned was all I needed to see to tell me that they had as much fun on the trails as I had on the road.
Cubes new 2018 will start to arrive soon at Dales and you can look forward to some new colours, and models, and if like me you need convincing a ride on one of the e-bikes is well worth it. Just pop in and see one of our sales team who will be happy to help out or drop us an email at [email protected] if you would like to test ride one of our demo fleet.
Shop Floor Manager