Is the future of road bikes going to be electric? The rumour mill has been working overtime to grind out the news, and we’ve seen a handful of prototypes from a number of brands. But now Cube have stepped up as the first to drop a production e-road bike with the sleek integration of a Fazua motor. So, what’s the Cube Agree Hybrid C:62 all about?
We’ve already seen e-road bikes with fairly chunky batteries emerge over the past few years, so there’s nothing new there – apart from the fact that these bulky creatures had pretty much nothing in common with road bikes. Not only was there the weight to contend with, but their bulky silhouettes were enough to make any design-conscious road rider shed a tear at the sacrilege of the beautiful sport.
Cube had to shelve their developments of an e-road bike for a few years as they waited for motor designs to reach maturity, basically achieving a standard that would satisfy this German brand’s aim of creating a serious e-road bike. Now they’re confident that they’ve met their goal, and have duly dropped the Cube Agree Hybrid C:62, the world’s first production e-road bike with a Fazua motor.
As the motor and its 250 Wh battery are so compact, Cube have flexed their design muscle to render subtle integration. Plus, not only does the motor cut off completely above 25 km/h, it’s lighter than its Bosch motor counterpart and can be removed from the bike in its entirety. With a 250 Wh capacity and 60 Nm torque, the Agree promises a very agreeable tailwind on steep climbs and some serious acceleration on the flat.
The Agree Hybrid has a slightly more upright position with moderately more leisurely geometry than its unmotorised sibling, although we wouldn’t bet on many thoroughbred racers getting close enough to this e-road bike to comment. However, the presence of a motor could be a real asset for base training and winter miles if you’re into counting your stats (and secretly like to avoid excessive lactate on mountain climbs).
Cube’s local 70 km loop around their HQ in Germany has around 600 metres of climbing, and according to the team, the 250 Wh battery retains at least 3 of the 10 bars even when they’ve ridden with full pedal-assist. However, it’s no secret that the battery range is dependent on a ton of factors, including the rider’s weight, cadence and consistency/smoothness of the pedal stroke. Our sister magazine E-MOUNTAINBIKE recently tackled the contentious issue of lab tests and battery range, so check out the article here for an in-depth look at the ins and outs.
An overview of the Cube Agree Hybrid’s spec
The bike is first launching with two build specs, one retailing at € 4,999 and the other for € 7,999. Both bikes feature Shimano disc brakes, but the top-end model also has electronic Shimano Dura Ace Di2 shifters.
Cube Agree Hybrid C:62 SLT Disc
Headset FSA I-t, Top Integrated 1 ⅛”, Bottom Integrated 1 ¼”
Stem Newman Evolution 318.4, 31.8mm
Bars Newmen Advanced Wing Bar, Carbon
Groupset Shimano Dura Ace Di2 RD-R9150-DSS, 11-Speed
Shifters and levers Shimano ST-R9170 Di2
Brakes Shimano Dura Ace BR-R9170, Hydr. Disc Brake, Flat Mount
Chainset FSA CK-8685 Carbon, 50x34t
Cassette Shimano Dura Ace C5-9000, 11-28t
Wheelset Newmen Advanced SL R.25 Carbon
Tires Conti Grand Prix 40005 II Kevlar
Saddle CUBE Race SL Carbon 145
Seatpost Newmen Advanced SL Carbon
Cube Agree Hybrid C:62 SL Disc
Headset FSA I-t. Top Integrated 1 ⅛”. Bottom Integrated 1 ¼”
Stem CUBE Performance Stem Pro, 31.8 mm
Bars CUBE Gravel Race Bar
Groupset Shimano Ultegra RD-R8000-DGS. 11-Speed
Shifters and levers Shimano ST-R8020
Brakes Shimano Ultegra BR-R8070. Hyde. Disc Brake. Flat Mount
Chainset FSA CK-8685 Carbon. 50x34t
Cassette Shimano 105 CS-5800. 11-32t
Wheelset Newmen Evolution SL R.32
Tires Schwalbe Durano E, Kevlar. RaceGuard
Saddle Selle Royal Asphalt
Seatpost CUBE Prolight
What happens if the motor stops working?
According to Cube, it’s possible for all Fazua users to read the error memory of their motor in a really simple process. If it can’t be fixed remotely, then Fazua are happy for riders to send their motors in for a service. In the interim, the bike can still be used without the motor, or you can simply insert a spare motor.
Are we going to see a mass of e-road bikes now?
There’s definitely something cooking, and we’re seeing bike brands working towards a goal having now spotted a similar potential with the road segment as there is currently with the E-MTB boom. The biggest challenge will be the legal aspect and the 25 km/h limitation. But quite aside from that, there are topics like weight, integration and safety to tackle in order to see increased acceptance of e-bikes.
E-road bikes: Does it mean we’ll all get fat and lazy?
Sarcastic ones out there might argue that now it’s just the turn of amateurs to adopt what’s long been going on behind closed doors in the pro peloton, where PEDs may have recently taken a backseat to e-doping. Case in point: at the World Cyclocross Championships 2016, the world was pretty aghast at the case of Belgium’s Femke van den Driessche.
But according to manufacturers like Cube and Focus, the goal when developing e-road bikes is on a whole other tangent – things like taking part in group rides whatever your age or ability; commuting longer, further, more often; opening up road riding from the preserve of just ultra fit roadies; and letting more people discover the fun side of it. Some might view e-road bikes as the devil’s work, while others will see them as a gift from the gods, a hall pass to get out on rides with friends and partners.
Our thoughts: Cube Agree Hybrid C:62
The all-new Agree Hybrid C:62 is Cube’s first e-road bike ready for production. With a Fazua motor, the Agree Hybrid boasts a really well-considered concept that’s tailored to a new generation of road riders. A revolution for some and a travesty to others, e-road bikes are certainly going to split opinions, but they’re also going to open up a whole new market that’ll form its own identity in coming years. But politics aside, this Cube model now needs to step up and perform in real-world conditions. We’re stoked to see the developments and will keep a scrupulous eye on the happenings. After all, as a disruptive road riding magazine, this is the sort of race-bred trend that we can get behind.
For more info: cube.com
Words: Christoph Bayer, Robin Schmitt Photos: Christoph Bayer