With no bikes in the pro peloton it would be easy to dismiss or simply overlook Cube. But this lack of sponsorship also means that, ultimately, you’re not paying for someone else to ride a bike.
Our Agree GTC sits at the bottom of the carbon range. Another five models stretch out above, while below, the aluminium Peloton bikes sit awaiting keen newcomers.
With the Agree GTC you can choose between a compact or triple chainset and, just in case you were wondering, GTC stands for Grand Tour Composite.
Despite the obvious cost consciousness of the Agree GTC, Cube hasn’t opted for the heavyweight and slightly irksome 2300 Shimano groupset. Instead they’ve gone with Tiagra. You might still argue that it’s holding the frame back, but that’s the choice if you want carbon at this price.
Shimano R501 wheels also hint towards cost savings, but Easton EA30 connections and decent Schwalbe tyres show that Cube knows what it’s about when it comes to spending a limited budget. A Selle Italia X1 saddle is another well-known name that adds a positive overall air to the bike and will surely have showroom snobs looking twice at the swing tag.
Stiff and fast
Once initial set-up was finished, with the saddle slammed back thanks to the inline seatpost and a 140mm stem added to get an appropriate – for my 6ft 2in frame, at least – riding position we were ready to head out.
With the ping of new wheels bedding in still ringing in my ears it was clear that Cube had made a stiff frame that wants to be ridden hard and is more than stiff enough. Indeed, catch a road bump wrong and it’ll flick you out of the seat momentarily – there’s really not much give in the back end.
The handling is the right side of fast, though. You only need to think about turning and it’s on the button without ever quite feeling nervous. It’s very good and then you remember the Agree costs a paltry £1,250 – making it astoundingly good.
As we mentioned earlier, it’s clear where Cube has spent its meagre budget and we can’t fault the choices made.
The Agree GTC is stiff and fast, the equipment will be ripe for upgrade after a season or two of good use and the frame will more than handle it. Buy now, upgrade as you go - that's the motto here.