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Cube Agree C:62 Race Disc review

26 May 2020

Page 2 of 2Cube Agree C:62 Race Disc 2016 review

Verdict:

The Cube Agree C:62 Race is a versatile disc-braked weapon with surprising concessions to comfort

Cyclist Rating: 
For 
Stunning looks • Super brakes • Top comfort • Assured handling
Against 
Closer-ratio gears would make it better • Comparatively weighty compared to rivals

Cube Agree C:62 Race Disc 2016 review

The Cube Agree platform has been revamped and there are discs bolted on too, but is it for better or worse?

Peter Stuart - June 2016

£2,199

Cube Agree C:62 Race Disc ride

Cube has always excelled at what all German bike brands seem to do very well: simplifying the supply chain (usually by cutting out at least one link) to give you a lot of bike for however much or little you’re spending.

However, the disc brake era throws up a few challenges that complicate things on that front for this model, the Agree. So far, disc-brake bikes have proved a strong prospect at the entry level, and equally in the very top tier, but seem to have a harder time in the mid-priced sector, where the Agree sits.

Cube Agree C:62 Race Disc frame

To my mind, this is mainly due to the higher cost of fully hydraulic disc brakes and the fact that they add to both frame weight and component weight – a problem often confounded by the bulky alloy wheelsets needed to cope with discs at this price level. As a result, you seem to be paying more for something that’s not only heavier but also doesn’t always ride as well as an equivalent rim-brake bike.

The C:62 is the latest in the Agree family of frames that has been the brand’s workhorse for nearly a decade. I briefly owned a Cube Agree myself, as at one point it was nigh-on impossible to beat on value. Latterly, though, the Agree range has started to show its age, its once-modern looks becoming progressively more dated with each year that passed without a frame upgrade.

Fresh faced

This newer version has enjoyed a comprehensive redesign. The brand has also built the disc and rim brake versions in tandem, but both with separate design goals. ‘As the bike was designed completely anew we could create two platforms – a rim version featuring direct-mount brakes for better aerodynamics and a disc version that can handle the additional loads of the braking torque in the frame,’ says Cube’s product manager Frank Greifzu.

Cube Agree C:62 Race Disc bolt thru

Cube seems to have paid more than just lip service to the disc-specific design too, having opted for thru-axles rather than a standard quick release, a move that would certainly require more structural changes. The manufacturer has also targeted aerodynamics with the new frame, and says wind-tunnel testing was part of the development of the Agree C:62. And while the new model doesn’t boast aerodynamic gains on the same level as the latest batch of superbikes, a little more speed is never a bad thing.

Although the design is new, Cube has stuck with its tried-and-tested Advanced Twin Mold production process, which involves moulding in two halves around a complete inner silicone mandrel rather than an expanded foam mandrel or a pressurised inner bladder. In truth, this seems to be no different to the process behind many carbon frames, but Cube insists its methods strengthen the frame at a reduced weight. Either way, any attempt to hone specific production processes and not just follow the norm deserves some credit.

As for the brakes, Cube hasn’t just bolted on a pair of flat-mount Shimano disc callipers. It’s strived to uphold the ride feel of its equivalent rim-brake version, which is no easy task, and it took me a while to decide whether Cube had managed it.

Finishing touches

Cube Agree C:62 Race Disc cables

On first impressions, I found the looks of the C:62 a little underwhelming. Cube’s higher-spec Dura-Ace model has a more attractive grey and red paint scheme, and would be far more likely to catch my attention on the shop floor. But black is always fashionable, even if the market is oversaturated with it.

Looking beyond the aesthetics, the spec certainly caught my interest. The Shimano Ultegra hydraulic groupset is encouraging at this price point, although to really beat the market (as Cube has done so often in the past) I’d like to see a hydraulic Di2 build at under £2,500. Cube has opted for its own-brand colour-coordinated finishing kit, which left me with mixed feelings.

I was impressed to see a carbon bar and rebranded carbon PMP seatpost, but the latter isn’t quite as refined as usual. The post has a somewhat overbuilt saddle clamp compared to the compact and elegant solutions we’ve seen from other brands. With a small cradle and a single bolt for angle and positional adjustment, it’s a little outdated and lacked adjustment range for fine-tuning my desired position. I also found I was thwarted by the set back angle and overly bulky clamp when trying to set my seat position. It’s a small detail, but frustrating nonetheless.

Cube Agree C:62 Race Disc clearance

Additionally, the build was let down by the DT Swiss Spline R32db wheelset, which Cube has opted for to offer tubeless compatibility. For that I applaud them, as it opens up a world of superior tyre technology, but the consequence is a rather heavy wheelset. Weighing just under 1,750g, the mid-section aluminium hoops take a bit of effort to push up to speed. Thankfully the frame is stiff enough to not sap accelerating force even further, but I noticed myself falling away from the wheels of friends in signpost sprints. 

I was able to climb with my usual rhythm and speed, but did find some of my energy ever so slightly squandered by the extra weight of the hydraulics and the wheelset, which combine to push the total bike weight over 8kg. Every cloud has a silver lining, though: the wheels are dressed with Schwalbe One 25mm tyres, which are an excellent addition to the package, though it is worth noting that these aren’t tubeless-ready.

Cube has been wise to opt for thru-axles as it avoids potential disc-alignment issues compared to standard quick releases, and potentially future-proofs the design. It also contributes to the sharpness of the handling, which is one of the bike’s big selling points.

Down the road

Cube Agree C:62 Race Disc ride

While my personal preference is for going uphill rather than down, the Agree proved particularly good at the latter. Its predictable handling coupled with superb braking modulation made it a dream to descend on, and I found myself pedalling through corners I’d usually approach with caution. The ride quality is robust but not overly harsh, making it a surprisingly comfortable package. It’s definitely an agreeable all-day ride partner and I was confident venturing off the beaten track too. With the benefit of increased tyre clearance with disc brakes you could easily fit 28mm tyres, which would allow you to be more adventurous still.

Overall, I was left feeling the Cube Agree C:62 Race has gained from discs in some ways, but lost in others. Braking performance is undeniably better, but the discs have added extra kilos and extra cost to the build (its rim-brake counterpart weighs a claimed 7.7kg and costs £400 less). Yet in fairness, this criticism isn’t levelled just at Cube.

The C:62 frame itself has translated the character of the Agree range well into a disc platform. If the spec can eventually live up to the standard of the frame, this will definitely be a bike that paves the way for endurance machines.

Spec

Cube Agree C:62 Race Disc
Frame Cube Agree C:61 Race Disc
Groupset Shimano Ultegra 6800
Brakes Shimano BR-RS805
Bars Cube Wing Race carbon bar
Stem Cube Performance stem
Seatpost Cube Performance seatpost
Wheels DT Swiss Spline R32 db
Saddle Selle Italia X1
Weight 8.06kg (56cm)
Contact cube.eu

All reviews are fully independent and no payments have been made by companies featured in reviews

Price: 
£2,499

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Page 2 of 2Cube Agree C:62 Race Disc 2016 review