We test out Cube's race-ready Agree GTC SL
It’s interesting to see how a brand like Cube maintains its place on the shop floor — and ultimately under riders.
Having a pro team gives a brand exposure and the opportunity to work with its team to produce new products. But Cube doesn’t have this presence, unlike its German counterparts Focus (Ag2r La Mondiale) and Canyon (Katusha and Movistar). Cube possesses a sterling reputation, though, for providing excellent value — as it has done with the Agree GTC SL.
The frame is produced from monocoque carbon using the brand’s Twin Mold technology. This process gives the engineers more control over the frame’s carbon layup. By manipulating the carbon and resin in this manner, Cube optimises the thickness of the walls inside the tubes — thicker in areas of greater stress, thinner in others. The aim is to deliver the best strength-to-weight ratio.
It’s stiff. The power transfer from the press-fit bottom bracket and oversized tubing — notably the big chainstays — is efficient, while up front the headtube is uncompromisingly paired with Cube’s house brand Syntace’s alloy cockpit.
Although this may not have the same lure of a big-brand bar-and-stem combo, the handlebars strike more than a passing resemblance to the sought-after Ritchey WCS Curve bar.
Clearly, the Agree GTC SL is targeted at the lucrative sportive/endurance/gran fondo buyer (delete as fashion dictates). The geometry is skewed for a more aggressive ride than most; for instance, the headtube on the 58cm is a fairly stout 165mm, a centimetre less for the 56cm frame.
That’s not to say that it’s an overly competitive race machine. It’s not. It’s easy to ride over long distances — because of what’s going on below the diminutive tapered headtube.
Cube has fitted the bike with its CSL Race Carbon fork. The curved blades give a little bit of added security with more trail than offered by a straight bladed fork. This component is integral to how the bike feels in corners, but it also helps towards comfort.
The Agree GTC SL handles well for its target market and speed is bolstered by a good set of DT Swiss RA 2.0 wheels shod with Schwalbe One tyres.
The frame has internal cable-routing for both mechanical and electronic groupsets and is decorated with a matt-finished paint job. On-trend as that might be, the downside is that white sections on the paintwork are easily smudged. The aftersales market will have to include some proper bike polish.
Read more about Cube Bikes
Top marks to Cube; the Agree GTC SL is a decent rig, and not just at this price point — it’s an all-round versatile bike that will suit many riders’ ability and ambitions. Cube may not have the team to race its latest showpiece, but it’s assured a place on the affordability podium.