fbpx

Cube Compact Hybrid 20″ Electric Bike Review

This post contains affiliate links, to find out more information, please read my affiliate disclosure

The new compact electric hybrid bike from Cube

Compact electric bikes offer the middle-ground between fully folding and regular bikes. They usually have collapsible handlebars and can be easily fitted into the back of an SUV or estate car for ease of transport. Another great feature is they are designed to be adaptable for riders of all sizes – from a teenager through to a 6 foot plus adult.

A lot of manufacturers are catching on to this new trend in urban transport. In this review, I will be looking at the Cube Compact 20″ Hybrid electric bike.cube compact 20" electric hybrid bike front left view

Summary

Having previously ridden a Tern GSD and Orbea Katu E, I can honestly say that i’m impressed with these bikes. Their initial appearance can be somewhat deceptive. When I first laid eyes on the Katu I thought ‘that’s way too small for me’ but after some adjustments of the seat height and handlebars I felt at home the minute I sat on it.

The same is true of the Cube compact. Its design ethos is the same as the aforementioned bikes – small, medium or large – one size fits all! You can adjust the height of the handlebars (and angle) and also alter the saddle height plus the step-thru design means anyone can ride it with ease.

Like the Orbea, the Cube uses a Shimano Nexus internally geared hub. On the Cube it is a 5-speed (as opposed to a 8-speed on the Katu).

Buy Now: Cube Compact Hybrid 20″ Electric Bike

Electric components

Most fully folding electric bikes have small hub motors in the front or rear wheel. These are fine for city riding, but they’re not as energy efficient as mid-drives like the Bosch motor, nor do they produce the same level of torque. The reason mid-drive aren’t usually found on fully folding e-bikes is the motor placement can effect the foldability of the bike. This is where compact hybrids come in – you can have a rigid framed bike with a short wheelbase and a mid-drive motor.

bosch active line ebike system with battery and display

Bosch Active Line Plus

The Bosch Active Line Plus motor sits at the lower end of Bosch’s ebike motor range and it is specifically designed for city bikes and hybrids. It doesn’t produce the sheer grunt of the Performance Line motor, but what it lacks in overall torque it makes up for with efficiency.

The maximum torque output of the Active Plus is a respectable 50Nm, which when compared to the average hub motor of 35Nm is a considerable improvement. But where the Bosch motor really comes into its own is in the way the motor produces that power.

Bosch Active Line Plus motor

All Bosch motors use a sophisticated torque-based pedal sensing system – this ensures the electric motor is giving you the right amount of assist in proportion to the amount of effort you are putting in. If you are cruising along at a nice steady cadence of flat ground then the motor will give you a little help. The second you come to an incline and need to pedal a little harder, the motor will amplify you effort seamlessly.

bosch purion ebike display

Bosch’s neat Purion display offers the rider 4 levels of assist: Eco, Tour, Sport and Boost – in Eco mode you will barely notice the motor assisting you, but pedalling will seem so much easier. Stick it Boost mode and it will amplify you pedalling input by up to 260% making you feel like an Olympian!

Bosch 500Wh Battery

The Cube Compact uses the Bosch PowerPack 500Wh battery, that should give a potential assist range of anywhere between 50 to 80 miles. It’s even possible to squeeze 100 miles out of a single charge, but you will need to stick to Eco mode and use it only on hills. Check out your potential range using the Bosch eBike range calculator.

cube compact 20" hybrid electric bike

Bike components

Considering the compact nature of the Cube, they haven’t skimped on components.  The sturdy aluminium rigid frame is lightweight, yet tough and this bike is equipped with all the optional extras you will ever need. Including front and rear mudguards, pannier rack, kickstand, lights and of course, the excellent Shimano drivetrain. Extra wide 2.4″  tyres ensure extra comfort, regardless of the terrain.

Gearing

The Shimano Nexus 5 geared hub is complemented with an FSA 44t crankset with 165mm crank arms, giving you ample gear range for most city riding. My testing ground is rural Cornwall and couldn’t be further from this bikes intended domain.

cube compact electric bike rear view showing shimano nexus hub

I have some very steep hills where I live and although the Cube coped surprisingly well considering the limited gear range, I did find myself having to still put in a fair bit of effort on the 15% climbs.

On the flat and moderate hills it performed excellently and I would have no hesitation is saying this bike would be perfect for urban use.

The great thing about internally geared hubs is you can change gear when stationary, meaning you don’t need to down-shift when approaching traffic lights or if you need to stop suddenly.

Brakes

Braking is provided by Shimano’s reliable BR-MT200 hydraulic brakes. Although these are entry-level brakes, they do the job well enough. They are much better suited to city riding and I felt they offered more than adequate braking power.

Wheels and Tyres

The wheels are Cubes own EX30 32h 20″ rims which are designed to cope with the rigours of city streets. I found they also handled the back lanes of Cornwall rather well, and the 2.4″ wide, high-volume Schwalbe Super Moto-x tyres negated the need for suspension. These tyres will make riding on multiple surfaces easy. You could even get away with a spot of light trail riding. These tyres also offer a good degree of puncture protection.

Frame

The alloy superlite frame is designed to be light and durable, while at the same time offering a comfortable riding geometry. I found the handling to be very nimble and sure-footed. There are also mounting points for a bottle cage and a large front basket.

cube compact hybrid electric bike review

The overall finish and feel of the frame is one of high quality. Neat internal cable routing finishes off the package nicely.

Finishing Kit

Cube comfort trail handlebars with a width of 720mm and a 15 degree setback add to the relaxed nature of this bike. There is also a ByShulz Speedlifter twist pro stem, that can be adjusted for reach and height, and the handlebars can be fully collapsed, making transportation much easier.

The Cube Compact is fully kitted out for city riding and commuting, with all-weather protection from full-length front and rear mudguards. There is also a rear pannier rack a kickstand and front and rear lights. If you want to carry extra cargo, there is the option of a front cargo rack that can carry up to 12kg in weight.

front cargo rack for the cube compact electric bike

Specification

Frame: Aluminium Superlite, Comfort Ride Geometry, Semi-Integrated Carrier, Double Butted, Front-Carrier Ready, Slider Dropout
Fork: Aluminium
Headset: FSA No.10, Semi-Integrated
Stem: BySchulz Speedlifter Twist Pro SDS T14
Bars: Cube Comfort Trail Bar, 15° Setback, 720mm
Front Brake: Shimano BR-MT200, Hydr. Disc Brake (180mm)
Rear Brake: Shimano BR-MT200, Hydr. Disc Brake (160mm)
Shifters: Shimano Nexus SL-C7000-5
Speed: 12
Rims: Cube EX30, 32H, Disc, Tubeless Ready
Front Hub: Shimano HB-TX505, QR, Centerlock
Rear Hub: Shimano Nexus SG-C7000-5D, 5-Speed, Nut
Front Tyre: Schwalbe Super Moto-X, Double Defense, 64-406
Rear Tyre: Schwalbe Super Moto-X, Double Defense, 64-406
Seat Post: Newmen Evolution, 27.2mm
Saddle: Natural Fit Nuance Lite
Chainset: FSA Metropolis Comfort, 44T, 165mm
Chain: KMC Z610
Pedals: Basic Resin Flat
Weight: 23.7kg
Battery (Wh): 500wh
Motor: Bosch Drive Unit Active Plus Generation 3 (50Nm) Cruise (250Watt)
User Interface: Bosch Purion

Who is the Cube Compact Hybrid Electric Bike aimed at?

I can see the Cube Compact Electric hybrid bike having a broad appeal – it is equally suited to weekend recreational riders as it is the busy urban commuter or delivery rider. It would also make a great e-bike for all the family, and despite its size it can actually carry quite a bit of cargo (especially with the optional front basket fitted).

There are many applications with a bike like this. One that springs to mind is it would make a great bike for delivery riders. The decent battery range means you can cover a lot of miles on a daily basis between charging.

Conclusion

Compact hybrid bikes are a fairly recent addition to the cycling world, they offer relative portability (when compared with regular bikes) and they are designed to carry reasonable loads and can be used by all the family.

The Cube Compact Hybrid Electric bike is definitely a contender in the price steaks, it’s a bit pricier than the Orbea Katu E-30, but a lot cheaper than the Tern GSD S10. It offers everything you would expect from a versatile e-bike – comfort, battery range, nimble handling and the ability to carry (small) amounts of cargo.

Another great thing about the Cube is the way it handles rough terrain. Having extra wide tyres on smaller wheels is important, especially when riding roads littered with pot holes and debris. I found the Compact handled some of the very rough back lanes of Cornwall with ease and not once did I feel the bike was going to slip from under me. My only complaint is the bike is on the heavy side at nearly 24kg.

My overall opinion is it’s a great little e-bike in a neat package and with its cargo-carrying potential it could quite easily replace the car for small journeys and even trips to the shops.

Buy Now: Cube Compact Hybrid 20″ Electric Bike

Please follow and like us:

Cube Compact Hybrid 20" Electric Bike

£2299
8

Value for Money

7.5/10

Performance

8.0/10

Battery Range

8.5/10

Pros

  • Very versatile - one size fits all!
  • Can be ridden on multiple surfaces
  • Comfortable to ride

Cons

  • Heavier than expected
  • Quite pricey

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *