We head out on Cube's disc-equipped competition bike to see how it holds up
‘Carbon ‘n’ Flashred’ is how Cube describes the C:62 Litening Disc, and it’s not wrong. It’s a fine-looking machine and its undoubted flashiness drew glances on more than one occasion. Whether out on a bike or called through the open window of a car, admirers wanted to know what bike I was riding.
Designed as Cube’s lean, mean racing machine, the C:62 Litening’s frame is a full carbon affair. With hardly any rake on the fork and those slim seatstays it’s a striking bike.
The most notable part of the C:62’s spec list is of course the Shimano hydraulic disc brakes. The Shimano stoppers are powerful, regardless of the weather, and worked flawlessly through the test period.
It comes with a similarly well specced Shimano Ultegra drivetrain. After three months of hard winter riding it did require a bit of a fettle, but no more than a twist or two of a barrel adjuster.
The Schwalbe One tyres proved reassuringly grippy but infuriatingly puncture prone despite having Kevlar protection. While cold, wet descents had me singing their praises, punctures on my time-pressured morning rides to work had me cursing them.
Of course we’ve just been through winter and extra road debris can make punctures more common. Plus, racing tyres can sometimes be a little lightweight for winter duties.
That said, over the winter period I’d take oodles of grip over fast-rolling rubber any time. Also, the Mavic Aksium wheelset are bombproof, running true the whole time.
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What’s it like to ride the Cube Litening C:62 Disc?
The excellent grip of the Schwalbe One tyres and the stopping force of the Shimano disc brakes proved to be a potent mix, allowing for late braking and daring descending.
Couple this with the 12mm thru-axles and you’ve got a confidence-inspiring cocktail that’ll have you pushing hard in all weathers. It’s a confident handler, too – never feeling twitchy but calm and assured instead.
What’s more, it’s a seriously comfortable ride, especially for a race bike. There’s no harshness in the frame and there’s no undue feedback through the front end. I’ve no doubt the slim seatstays and 25mm tyres played their part in adding comfort.
So what’s the catch? Well, for a race bike, it isn’t particularly urgent.
The frame is plenty stiff, with an oversized bottom bracket and a beefed-up head tube, but it lacks a directness when the pedals are really hammered on. The Schwalbe tyres are a little sluggish and the 8.20kg all-in weight won’t have helped on rolling roads.
Despite the frame size being spot on for my height I found the cockpit a little too stretched for my liking.
However, I reckon this is partly due to the overly larger Shimano levers, which pull you forward. I’m not averse to racing set-ups but I’d still like to knock 10mm off the stem to keep things comfortable.
Compared to other disc-equipped race machines of an Ultegra level, the Cube C:62 Litening Disc comes in as something of bargain.
But it’s more than the price that matters here. If you bought the Cube C:62 Litening Disc you’d have yourself a fiercely versatile machine. Something that’s easily comfortable enough for extended trips and hard training rides alike.
The Cube Litening C:62 Disc is a tough one to place. Cube reckon it's a race bike but I'm less sure. It lacked a directness and urgency when hammering hard. However, it proved itself to be a very comfortable ride with assured handling. I'd happily do big days out on it, even if it wouldn't be my first choice for the start line.