Cube is a progressing German manufacturer considered by many to be a megabrand on the continent. Their vast range encompasses virtually all types of bikes, including the now trendy segment aimed at riding on gravel roads. Cube’s answer to the gravel “craze” is the Nuroad model line. It exhibits all the essentials traits that characterize this type of bike, paired with a rather unusual darkish appearance. The Nuroad incorporates numerous modern technologies currently available in the bike industry: including front and rear thru-axle wheel attachment, PressFit oversize bottom bracket, tapered head tube and internally routed cables. Despite the low-key design, the Nuroad Pro still manages to draw attention with its technocrat elegance.
We get a monochromatic scheme, black with a touch of dark grey. When color is so sparse, details like the wide tires with red logos are given special prominence. The Nuroad Pro is not a flashy bike to show off: you take it to quiet road in the countryside to enjoy nature, munch up the miles and relish the cycling experience. It’s a bike to get away from civilization, riding on when the paved road end, taking the unbeaten path.
The Nuroad Pro employs “Superlight” 6061 alloy tubing with T6 heat treatment for the frame, constructed immaculately with a well thought-out gravel-oriented geometry. For this type of riding the material is sound choice, strong, durable and still light, with the additional eyelet attachment for carrying luggage and mudguards. These characteristics make the Nuroad suited to other uses as well, such as daily commuting or foul weather training.
Cable routing is just as elegant as the bike’s appearance, everything runs internally, both in the frame and the carbon fork. These are the fine details that we have come to expect from the Cube brand.
The advanced hydroformed frame is built for strength, utilizing mainly straight tube shapes. Comfort is not high on the agenda, but the wide tires and somewhat more forgiving carbon fork do their best to help in this area. If you pay attention to setting tire pressure, the Nuroad Pro provides all the necessary comfort for the long hours in the saddle. While not the most forgiving on rough roads, the burly frame is good at transferring rider input to forward momentum. Shifting and the braking and handled by the Shimano RS505 hydraulic units, they operate the renowned Shimano disc brake calipers and high-precision derailleurs. As expected, braking is not only solid but well-modulated, while shifting is precise and quick, requiring very light finger movement. Save for the brake/shift units and the calipers, the group set is the new 2×11 speed 105, which defies categorization. It’s marketed as mid-range, while providing much of the technology of the top-end “gruppos”. It’s great to see that Cube didn’t take a gamble concerning the main components, and likewise they equipped the Nuroad Pro with high-quality house-brand accessories. The handlebar deserves special mention as it was developed exclusively for gravel riding.
The seat stays merge with the chain stays in a unique way: in addition to providing DirectMount brake caliper attachment, the welds are placed diagonally, with more surface area in order to lessen the chance of developing cracks in this stressed junction. The wheel mounting is via thru axle standard, which not only delivers great a stability, but makes wheel positioning a breeze. No more messing around after fixing a flat tire on the Nuroad!
Stability is the key word for describing this bike. We have seen how designers made the frame as rigid as durable as possible, and the wheels are sure to follow this trend with matching determination. These hoops are not intended to be the lightest on the market. The surprisingly “chubby” Clément X’Plor tires wrap around a quite substantial rim. On the hand, omitting riveting at the spokes holes were probably not a good idea from the designers, compromising reliability in the long run. The hubs use Centerlock mounting, with 160 mm disc front and back.
There were no great surprises during the test ride: the bike delivers everything it promises. It’s very stable with plenty of reserve for carrying loads. The tires should be pumped to no more than 3 Bars for the average rider, since high pressures tend to reduce comfort. The frame is not going to soak up much chatter from below, so it’s up to the otherwise excellent Clément X’Plors to fill the gap. At this pressure the tires have plenty of grip when cornering, which – on the other hand – is fully maintained by the well-chosen frame geometry. The Nuroad Pro has no problem being taken off road, and it will not disappoint on gravel and hardpack dirt roads. This bike is efficient both on tarmac and gravel, once set in motion, it maintains its speed very well. Frame sizing tends to be on the tall side: the 56 cm Nuroad Pro turned out to be a bid too big for my 175 cm statue, the 53 would have been perfect.
The understated looks hides a trustworthy gravel bike from Cube, which carries a recommended retail price of HUF 450,000. (It can often be found at the 400,000 mark if you shop around.) For this money it represents good value, especially taking into account the advanced technology, the full-hydraulic disc brake system and the general high quality of its components. The Nuroad Pro is certainly worth considering if you’re shopping for a mid-range trendy gravel bike.
You can now find all the information concerning Cube bikes in Hungarian on the distributor’s website. English description is here.