Where does an E-MTB hardtail fit? Is it a commuter? An entry-level mountain bike? A self-shuttling mountain bike? We put the bike to use to find out.
Review by James Douglas
The advent of E-Bikes in Australia has been somewhat slower than our European counterparts, however most major brands in Australia are now embracing E-Bike technology in some form or another throughout their range. The E-MTB represents one of the most exciting technological additions to the sport of mountain biking, however there is a sense of trepidation on whether they are a good thing or a bad thing for the sport.
Although not as pervasive as Giant, Trek and Specialized in the Australian market, Cube have a significant presence across all disciplines of cycling and are renowned for producing well designed and aesthetically pleasing bikes throughout the affordable to high end price ranges. Cube bring a mix of European engineering and design with the best of Asian construction and componentry to create bikes that offer very good value-for-money and a pleasing ride quality.
The Cube Reaction Pro 400 is marketed as offering riders the ability to explore ‘further, longer or more often’. The Cube Reaction Pro 400 is one of many E-Bikes in Cubes range, which also includes more commuting orientated hybrid bikes as well as dual suspension mountain bikes, however fills a unique gap in the hardtail hybrid/MTB crossover.
A Reaction Pro 500 model is available for an additional $700, with the primary difference being the upgrade of a 500wh battery over the Reaction Pro 400’s 400wh battery. Both models offer the same componentry, including a 100mm Suntour suspension fork, Shimano Deore 10speed shifters and rear derailleur, and Shimano hydraulic disc brakes.
Models from competitor brands offer similar specced componentry and design at similar price points, including the bikes like the Merida we tested in 2016. What sets the Cube apart? We took to the trails to find out.