I'm a lucky chap. The guys at Cube bikes are nice people, the local rep and the social media controller in their Dutch distribution hub got together and sent me this Cube C:62 carbon Agree disc bike to ride for a short while. I contacted them after riding the trek Emonda. I said i liked the Emonda, there's no secret to that i thought it was a great bike. what i was less keen on was Trek's enormity and with it that feeling of a faceless corporation that is all about profit. now i understand that, business is business but having interacted with Cube and hearing about their outlook on life and their treatment of employees i really wanted to like a Cube more so i contacted them and asked if i could borrow a bike to try. they were excited about the idea and as soon as one of their demo fleet became free it winged it's way to me. today was the first longish ride on the bike.
I'll add a disclaimer here and say that although Cube have arranged this for me if I don't like the way it rides i will say so, fairs fair i would have done the same about the Trek. of course it'll be in a constructive way.
first thing to get out of the way is that i really don't like the hydraulic brake levers that come with this 105 groupset, this is nothing to do with Cube of course, that's down to Shimano the parts manufacturer. they work excellently, great modulation and stopping power but ergonomically they are horrible. the hose connection below the hood presses into the fleshy part of your thumb and it is really annoying! I've tried the ultegra version and in comparison its like putting on a lovely pair of warm gloves on a winters day, comfy and welcoming.
so this test is really about the frame and forks and not the components as the frame is the heart of the bike and the part Cube have designed. the Agree as i understand it is the slightly more racier version of their Attain bike, so i tiny bit lower head tube and longer top tube. the 58cm frame fits me well.
first impressions are that the bike is very smooth over the surface dressed horror roads we are getting here at the moment, the frame and fork certainly take the buzz out of the surface inconsistances, this is in comparison to my alu framed road bike. you can't see any flex but there is a certain amount of damping going on. over a long ride your body will thank you for this and you'll stay fresher for longer. out of the saddle climbing and sprinting brings absolutely no discernible side to side movement at the bottom bracket area or fork. also, as this bike has disc brakes i was interested to see if the frame would flex and cause the brakes to rub on the rotors when climbing or sprinting (something my steel bike does) there is no brake rub what so ever . Cube have dialed in stiffness in all the right areas, press down on the pedals and you go forward with the feeling that non of your energy is being wasted. a racer would love this aspect of the bike, as a plodder and tourer i love it too, speed and comfort? the holy grail of biking really. the more comfy you are the further you go, the more efficient the bike the further you go with less effort. cycling nirvana!
so first impressions are great, I'd planned to go further but in todays heat it was more sensible to do only a short ride but i've been commuting to work all week and been on group rides with this bike so i've got a good chance to see how it handles. it corners beautifully, i trust it completely when leaning it over, it shows great poise. it's a good 6lb lighter than my own bike. on the ride today I got 21 personal records on Strava, most on up hills too. it must have been the bike because it was way too hot for me to be performing at my best. in short i like it.Do i like it more than the Trek? yep genuinely i do.
would i buy one if i had the cash? yes definately but i'd be saving up a little more and upgrading the levers