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New for 2020 is the Cube Touring Hybrid One Electric Bike, this replaces the Cross Hybrid One from 2019 but has a few extras fitted, like mudguards, pannier racks and lights. In this review I will be looking at the step-thru (or easy entry) version – designed to make getting on and off the bike a doddle, regardless of your age or ability.
Step-Through electric bikes are designed to be used by riders of all ages and abilities. They are just as suited to a person who has trouble getting on a regular-framed bike, or a Deliveroo rider who wants an e-bike that is easy to mount / dismount.
Having ridden last year’s equivalent Cube Cross Hybrid One 400, I was eager to try out the replacement for 2020. The Touring Hybrid One has a very similar specification to the outgoing model, but there’s the addition of mudguards, a pannier rack, lights and an all-new Bosch 3rd Generation Active Plus motor.
I managed to get my hands on a step-thru version to review, and I have to say that my first impressions were positive.
I like easy-entry e-bikes and I can see the appeal, particularly if you have trouble throwing a leg over a regular frame. They offer a comfortable, relaxed riding position and are particularly useful if you do a lot of town or city riding.
This is the cheapest e-bike in Cube’s 2020 range, and I think it’s great value for money. Read on for a more detailed look at the specification and ride.
As far as price is concerned, the Touring One is about as cheap as Bosch-powered electric bikes get. The Active Plus motor is at the lower end of Bosch’s motor line-up, but it is a good, robust mid-drive and will provide more than enough torque for most riders.
Bosch 3rd Generation Active Plus Motor
The most recent Bosch Active Plus motor carries on the tradition of a good reliable workhorse. It may lack the overall grunt of the CX motor, but for city riding or weekend leisure rides, it is perfect.
With 50Nm of torque on offer, it is still much better at hill climbing than equivalently powered hub motors. The motor itself will provide up to 270% assist – this means it will amplify your pedalling effort by 270% in turbo mode and provide assist up to a pedalling cadence of 105 rpm.
Bosch’s torque-sensing pedal assist is one of the best in the industry – I’ve said this a dozen times before, and I’ll say it again! Riding these bikes makes you feel like you’ve been given the legs and fitness of a pro.
My test route involved a couple of 15% climbs and the Bosch motor performed as expected. The best way to describe it is the e-assist turns a steep climb into a gentle slope with the wind behind you.
Bosch Purion Display
The Bosch Purion has been around for a few years now and is starting to look a little dated when compared to the latest Kiox display. But, this is an entry-level model after all, and in fairness, the Purion display provides the rider with all the important information, like battery remaining, speed, power level etc.
Bosch 400Wh battery
This entry-level model comes with the 400Wh Bosch PowerPack battery, that uses the excellent Panasonic NCR18650GA lithium cells. The battery has a smart BMS (battery management system) which will protect the battery from over-discharging and overheating.
The Battery on this step-thru model is fitted vertically, just in front of the seat tube, and didn’t interfere with getting on and off the bike.
I have ridden lots of Bosch-powered e-bikes with this battery fitted and you can squeeze quite a few miles out of a single charge if you are frugal with the power. I would say a real-world range for the average rider would be 40-60 miles. Check out Bosch’s excellent range calculator to get a better idea of the range you can expect, based on your weight and usage.
The Cube Touring Hybrid One uses dependable Shimano components, from the Altus 1 x 9 gearing through to the BR-MT200 hydraulic disc brakes.
Cube have opted for sensible gear ratios on this model. There is a 38T chainring up front with a Shimano Altus RD-M2000 rear derailleur with a wide range 11-36 teeth 9-speed cassette. The Altus range of components, although entry-level, are very reliable and work perfectly. If you ever did need to replace worn-out gear components, everything on this bike is affordable – for example, the rear derailleur would cost in the region of £25 to replace, and the KMC X9 chain is around £13.
Again, the BR-MT200 Shimano hydraulic disc brakes are entry-level, but they do the job well enough. There is a 180mm rotor up front and a 160mm at the rear. These brake work just fine, and considering I’m no lightweight at 17.5st they did a good enough job of slowing me down on steep descents.
Wheels and Tyres
The front wheel uses a Shimano HB-TX505 quick-release centre lock hub with tough Cube EX23 36H rims – although this bike comes fitted with Schwalbe Range Cruiser tyres, the rims are tubeless ready. The rear wheel uses an FH-TX505 quick-release hub with a centre lock disc brake.
No surprises here! Cube has opted for the popular and dependable Suntour NEX-E25 63mm forks. These forks are common on a lot of electric hybrid bikes from about £999 upwards. They do the job of soaking up bad road surfaces or gravel tracks nicely, and as long as you don’t tackle anything too crazy, these suspension forks will work just fine.
This is one area the Cube excels. For a sub-£2000 Bosch-powered electric bike, it certainly has all the bells and whistles! The Touring Hybrid One comes fully kitted out with mudguards, a pannier rack, a kickstand and even lights. This means that you can just jump on it and go riding, without having to worry about buying any extras. The lights work off the battery and are operated from the display.
All the finishing kit is quality alloy Cube branded components, from the seat post to the excellent Cube rise trail bar, which helps with the relaxed riding position.
As always, Cube has designed a nice and sturdy frame. The Touring Hybrid One is available in three frame styles: Regular, Trapeze and Step Thru (as ridden by me). Last year I rode a regular framed bike, this year it has been a low-step, and I couldn’t notice any difference in handling.
|Frame:||Aluminium Superlite, Gravity Casting, Efficient Comfort Geometry, Semi-Integrated Carrier|
|Fork:||SR Suntour NEX-E25, 63mm|
|Headset:||FSA Orbit 1.5B ZS-1-R, Top Zero-Stack 1 1/8″ (OD 44mm), Bottom Zero-Stack 1 1/2″ (OD 56mm)|
|Stem:||Cube Performance Stem Pro, 31.8mm|
|Bars:||Cube Rise Trail Bar, 700mm|
|Front Brake:||Shimano BR-MT200, Hydr. Disc Brake (180mm)|
|Rear Brake:||Shimano BR-MT200, Hydr. Disc Brake (160mm)|
|Rear Mech:||Shimano RD-M2000-SGS, 9-Speed|
|Shifters:||Shimano SL-M2010-9R, Rapidfire-Plus|
|Rims:||Cube EX23, 36H, Disc, Tubeless Ready|
|Front Hub:||Shimano HB-TX505, QR, Centerlock|
|Rear Hub:||Shimano FH-TX505, QR, Centerlock|
|Front Tyre:||Schwalbe Range Cruiser, Active, K-Guard, 47-622|
|Rear Tyre:||Schwalbe Range Cruiser, Active, K-Guard, 47-622|
|Seat Post:||Cube Performance Post, 27.2mm|
|Saddle:||Natural Fit Sequence Comfort|
|Chainset:||FSA CK-602, 38T, 175mm|
|Cassette:||Shimano CS-HG201, 11-36T|
|Pedals:||Cube PP MTB|
|Motor:||Bosch Drive Unit Active Plus Generation 3 (50Nm) Cruise (250Watt)|
|User Interface:||Bosch Purion|
Who is the Cube Touring Hybrid One Step Thru aimed at?
Step thru electric bikes in particular are just so practical that anyone can use one. The frame design is suitable for male or female riders. It doesn’t matter if you are 18 or 80 – this frame design is suitable for all.
I would say the Cube Touring Hybrid One would be a great e-bike for commuting, leisure riders and people who just want to get out there and explore without having to worry about struggling on the hills.
I can also see being a popular electric bike for delivery, particularly with Deliveroo and Ubereats riders, simply because of the comfort, versatility and decent battery range.
My overall experience with the Cube Touring Hybrid One was positive. Having the step-thru frame, certainly made getting on and off easy.
As far as riding, handling, brakes and performance were concerned it was nothing ground-breaking – it was just a nice and pleasant ride. The e-assist was incredibly smooth and the motor was very quiet.
When it comes to value for money, the Cube is a good bike for the price. It has an excellent motor and a decent battery range, and the components used are tried and tested.
The bike itself has a very solid and stable feel to it. Even at 23kg, I could still pedal it quite easily with the assist switched off on the flat, although the extra weight became immediately evident on hills.
I think, if you’re in the market for a decent electric bike for commuting, or you just want a two-wheeled companion for weekend leisure rides, then the Cube Touring Hybrid One is one of the best hybrid electric bikes available for the price. It’s a good all-rounder, it’s versatile and practical and for the £1899 price tag, it’s not a bad buy at all!