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As far as Bosch-powered electric mountain bikes go, the Cube Acid Hybrid One 400 represents excellent value for money at £1699. Having previously ridden and reviewed the hybrid version of this bike, my exceptions were high.
At first glance, there doesn’t appear to be a lot to distinguish the mountain bike from the hybrid version. In fact, apart from the frame, forks and tyres both these bikes share a lot of identical components. From the Shimano MT200 hydraulic brakes through to the Bosch mid-drive electric motor and battery pack.
For those of you familiar with Cube, you will be aware of their mountain bike heritage. The excellent Agile Ride frame geometry gives the Acid Hybrid ONE easy, intuitive handling that is predictable and safe.
The 2020 model of this bike is now available, there have been minor tweaks here and there but the overall specification remains the same.
The front forks are the entry-level Suntour XCM, with 100mm of travel. These are the kind of forks you would usually find on a £400 mountain bike. They are absolutely fine as long as you are aware of their limitations and don’t attempt any heroics! This bike is definitely aimed at the commuter or weekend rider, who does some casual off-road riding.
If you want an all-weather commuter, then there are provisions to mount a rear rack and mudguards – the front forks have a fixing point for SKS mudguard stays.
The components on this bike are all fairly typical of a mountain bike in the £350 – £500 price range. The chainset is an FSA 38t with a Shimano 11-34 9-speed rear cassette, served by a Shimano RD-M2000-SGS, rear derailleur. The gear shifter is a Shimano SL-M2000, which works absolutely perfectly and provides crisp, precise shifting.
The brakes are Shimano MT200 hydraulic brakes, with a 180mm disc rotor front and rear. The wheels are Cube’s own brand ZX20 32h rims with Shimano HB and FH-TX505 hubs.
Tyres are the excellent Schwalbe Tough Tom 2.25 x 29, and are suitable for multiple surfaces, from rough gravel tracks to tarmac. These tyres offer a reasonable level of puncture resistance and should be fine for everyday use. The only issue with these tyres is the increased rolling resistance when on the tarmac – if most of my riding was done on the road, I would be tempted to swap them out for some more road-friendly tyres.
The centrepiece of this bike is the excellent Bosch Active Plus mid-drive electric motor. As I have stated in previous reviews, the way these motors produce electric assist is very subtle and intuitive. The Bosch motor uses a combination of torque and cadence sensors to deliver the required assistance. The torque sensor measures how much force is being applied to the pedals and the cadence sensor measures pedalling rpm. This helps to produce what can only be described as an enhanced cycling experience.
Bosch has fine-tuned this motor, and pedalling past the 15 mph (25 km/h) limit is not as arduous as it used to be. The transition from electric assist to human pedal power is a lot smoother, and there seems to be significantly less pedalling resistance than the mid-drive motors of a few years ago.
The Bosch Purion Display is a fairly basic affair, but it gives you all the information you really need, such as battery level, speed, distance and power assist level. As with other Bosch motors, this gives you four different levels of pedal assist ranging from just a little (Eco mode) through to full power (turbo mode). The battery range will vary greatly depending on how much and how often you use the assist. It will also be affected by your weight and the kind of terrain you are riding on.
The 400wh (watt hours) Bosch battery has an approximate manufacturer’s range of 50 miles (80 km). However, using the 20wh per mile calculation (assuming power was on constantly) you would be looking at around 20 miles. I would say an average range of between 25-40 miles would be about right.
Mountain bike or Hybrid?
There isn’t a lot to choose from between the Cube Acid One 400 and the Cube Cross Hybrid One 400. For me personally, the mountain bike version has a slightly better specification than the hybrid for exactly the same price. If the choice were mine, I would be inclined to buy the mountain bike and fit some hybrid tyres.
The frame geometry of the hybrid is more relaxed than the mountain bike, so if you were commuting on the tarmac over a longer distance, I would go for the hybrid. It really boils down to what you are going to use it for.
The Cube Acid One 400 is an excellent entry-level electric mountain bike, and at £1699 is not overly expensive. Given the slightly better specification than the hybrid, and the better off-road riding credentials, I think it’s the better buy. But, as I have stated above. If you are planning on longer days in the saddle, and not venturing too far off the beaten track, then maybe the hybrid would be better suited.
It is hard to find fault in this bike, as long as you are not looking for a full-blown off-road machine for blasting down rocky trails, then you should be fine. This bike is at home on light trails and country lanes.
The forks are okay, as long as you accept their limitations, the saddle is comfortable enough and everything works as it should. The brakes are okay (but not brilliant) and the gears shift nicely. As with the hybrid version, I believe Cube should have fitted an 11-36 rear cassette, as opposed to an 11-34. But that is just my personal opinion.
All in all a great entry-level electric mountain bike, and well worth the price.
Specification (2020 Model)
- Frame: Aluminium Super Lite, Advanced hydroforming, Agile Ride Geometry, Double butted, tapered head tube, internal cable routing, full Integrated Battery, Kickstand / Fender / Carrier Mounting Points
- Fork: SR Suntour XCM ATB Coil, 100mm
- Headset: FSA Orbit 1.5B ZS-R, Top Zero stack 1 1/8 “(44mm OD) Bottom Zero stack 1 1/2” (56mm OD)
- Stem: Cube Performance Stem Pro, 31.8mm
- Handlebar: Cube Rise Trail Bar, 700mm
- Grips: Cube Performance Grip
- Rear Derailleur: Shimano Deore RD-M592-SGS, 9-speed
- Shifters: Shimano SL-M2010-9R, Rapidfire Plus
- Brakes: Shimano BR-MT200, Hydraulic Disc Brake (180/180)
- Crankset: FSA CK-602, 38T, 175mm
- Cassette: Shimano CS-HG201, 11-36T
- Chain: KMC X9
- Wheelset: Cube EX23, 32H, Disc, Tubeless-Ready
- Tyres: Schwalbe Smart Sam, K-Guard, 2.35
- Pedals: Cube PP MTB
- Saddle: Natural Fit Sequence
- Seatpost: Cube Performance Post, 30.9mm
- Battery: Bosch PowerPack 400
- Power Unit: Bosch Drive Unit Performance Generation 3 (65Nm) Cruise (250Watt)
- Display: Bosch Kiox
- Charger: Bosch 2A
- Weight: 22.1kg