First ebike: Cube Touring Hybrid One/Hybrid or Reaction Hybrid One or something else?

M. Tartiflette

Finding my (electric) wheels
Mar 3, 2019
22
11
Looking for advice as a newbie. I used to cycle a lot in London up to my 30s. Am now mid 50s and living in a hilly part of France, south of Geneva. I am reasonably fit but the thought of all the ascents round here without any assistance is a bit much, hence my interest in an ebike. I anticipate using it on roads, tracks and trails perhaps travelling up to 70 kms in a day; with a trip to shops in our local village (a few kilometres down and up a fairly steep hill) perhaps a few days a week. I have a budget of up to 2500 euros. A local bike store stocks Cube, which - having skimmed other brands - do seem to offer good spec for the price.

These are the bikes I'm considering at the moment (I'm open to other suggested brands/bikes but the 2500 euros is definitely the upper limit):

Cube Touring Hybrid One
The most basic Touring Hybrid One (2,200 euros with the 500w battery) seems fine, but having searched for online info on the Altus derailleur there is quite a lot of negative feedback pointing out it is a basic derailleur with some long term reliability issues. OTOH the guy at the local shop has said it is perfectly fit for purpose and he's worked on Altus equipped bikes with over 20,000kms use which were absolutely fine.

Cube Touring Hybrid
The Touring Hybrid (2500 euros) gains an apparently more favoured Deore system and an integrated rack. It also has a slightly wider, more cushioned seat with a suspension seat post. Is the greater ride comfort worth it? It also comes with the Intuvia display which is a bit more flexible/informative than the Purion (on the One) and it can be detached from the bike thereby disabling its electric motor. Though is the greater simplicity of the Purion actually preferable?

Cube Reaction Hybrid One
I am considering the Reaction Hybrid One because it is available for 1,994 euros. I also wondered if the Performance CX motor would be more suitable for the hilly terrain round here - though I would prefer the greater efficiency and quietness of the Active Line Plus supplied on the Touring bikes. In addition, I wonder if an MTB might be more suitable for some of the rougher tracks I might end up on? How rough does a track have to be for a Touring bike to be ill-advised? I note the Reaction comes with tubeless ready rims - is this of any significance for me?

One other question - can I save myself 200 euros by opting for the 400w battery? According to the Bosch range calculator, a 400w battery in hilly terrain in sport mode will last ca. 40kms. Given that I would probably mostly be using electrical assistance uphill, would the 400w suffice on the rare occasions I might do up to 70kms up and downhill? If the power does run out how useable are these bikes on flat or downhill terrain? Am I right in thinking that the Touring bikes will be better than the Reaction in this respect because of the smaller crank that the Performance CX comes with?

Any forum wisdom would be much appreciated.
 

Phil Dryden

Pedelecer
Jun 20, 2018
122
53
65
Leicester
Hi and welcome. Have a look around the site and you will see that Andy McNish has just published a 400 mile review on his 2018 Cube Touring Hybrid 500 on the 'Introduce Yourself' forum, and I posted a 1000 mile review on my 2018 Cube Kathmandu Hybrid Pro 500 on the Bike review forum yesterday. You might them relevant and of some interest. We can both certainly recommend Cube - well specced and beautifully built bikes, that seem to function flawlessly. Happy hunting.
 
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Eagle

Esteemed Pedelecer
Aug 31, 2012
381
134
MT,

The more expensive Cube Touring Hybrid Pro 500 is the better specified machine and worth the extra in my opinion.

Just briefly, I would go for the Active Line Plus (ALP) motor because it is directly geared (1 to 1). The CX motor has an internal gearing of 2.5 to 1.

When the power runs out there will be minimal drag from the ALP but the CX motor will have noticeable drag.

Note that there is also an Easy Entry (stepthrough) version of these Cubes.

Definitely go for the 500Wh battery. It is false economy to get the 400Wh one.
 
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E-Wheels

Pedelecer
Aug 16, 2016
199
94
Australia
Looking for advice as a newbie. I used to cycle a lot in London up to my 30s. Am now mid 50s and living in a hilly part of France, south of Geneva. I am reasonably fit but the thought of all the ascents round here without any assistance is a bit much, hence my interest in an ebike. I anticipate using it on roads, tracks and trails perhaps travelling up to 70 kms in a day; with a trip to shops in our local village (a few kilometres down and up a fairly steep hill) perhaps a few days a week. I have a budget of up to 2500 euros. A local bike store stocks Cube, which - having skimmed other brands - do seem to offer good spec for the price.

These are the bikes I'm considering at the moment (I'm open to other suggested brands/bikes but the 2500 euros is definitely the upper limit):

Cube Touring Hybrid One
The most basic Touring Hybrid One (2,200 euros with the 500w battery) seems fine, but having searched for online info on the Altus derailleur there is quite a lot of negative feedback pointing out it is a basic derailleur with some long term reliability issues. OTOH the guy at the local shop has said it is perfectly fit for purpose and he's worked on Altus equipped bikes with over 20,000kms use which were absolutely fine.

Cube Touring Hybrid
The Touring Hybrid (2500 euros) gains an apparently more favoured Deore system and an integrated rack. It also has a slightly wider, more cushioned seat with a suspension seat post. Is the greater ride comfort worth it? It also comes with the Intuvia display which is a bit more flexible/informative than the Purion (on the One) and it can be detached from the bike thereby disabling its electric motor. Though is the greater simplicity of the Purion actually preferable?

Cube Reaction Hybrid One
I am considering the Reaction Hybrid One because it is available for 1,994 euros. I also wondered if the Performance CX motor would be more suitable for the hilly terrain round here - though I would prefer the greater efficiency and quietness of the Active Line Plus supplied on the Touring bikes. In addition, I wonder if an MTB might be more suitable for some of the rougher tracks I might end up on? How rough does a track have to be for a Touring bike to be ill-advised? I note the Reaction comes with tubeless ready rims - is this of any significance for me?

One other question - can I save myself 200 euros by opting for the 400w battery? According to the Bosch range calculator, a 400w battery in hilly terrain in sport mode will last ca. 40kms. Given that I would probably mostly be using electrical assistance uphill, would the 400w suffice on the rare occasions I might do up to 70kms up and downhill? If the power does run out how useable are these bikes on flat or downhill terrain? Am I right in thinking that the Touring bikes will be better than the Reaction in this respect because of the smaller crank that the Performance CX comes with?

Any forum wisdom would be much appreciated.
Hi M. Tartiflette,
It appears you are only considering ebikes with Bosch drive units?
 

Chris M

Pedelecer
Dec 31, 2018
58
69
I've got a Cube Acid hybrid one Allroad which I love. The Active Line Plus motor is quiet and powerful enough for quite steep hills. I easily climb hills that I couldn't ride up in the lowest gear on manual. The mudguards aren't sexy but they do their job well, and they have lights fitted. I really like the 29er wheels which seem to make more difference than I expected. The tyres give reasonable grip off road without being too noisy on road. The Acid is a great all rounder. I find the 9 speed gears are plenty and work very well. List price is around £1,900 I think. Well worth looking into.
 

Chris M

Pedelecer
Dec 31, 2018
58
69
Go for the 500 battery. The Purion is basic but then you need to be concentrating on riding rather than reading the instruments.
 

M. Tartiflette

Finding my (electric) wheels
Mar 3, 2019
22
11
Thanks all for the feedback. Very useful.

The more expensive Cube Touring Hybrid Pro 500 is the better specified machine and worth the extra in my opinion.
What makes it worth the extra - is it principally the front fork, and if so why?

Hi M. Tartiflette,
It appears you are only considering ebikes with Bosch drive units?
No I'm open to other systems.

I've got a Cube Acid hybrid one Allroad which I love. The Active Line Plus motor is quiet and powerful enough for quite steep hills. I easily climb hills that I couldn't ride up in the lowest gear on manual. The mudguards aren't sexy but they do their job well, and they have lights fitted. I really like the 29er wheels which seem to make more difference than I expected. The tyres give reasonable grip off road without being too noisy on road. The Acid is a great all rounder. I find the 9 speed gears are plenty and work very well. List price is around £1,900 I think. Well worth looking into.
Does the Acid Hybrid One come with mudguards - the one in the catalogue I have is without. Good to know the motor is sufficient for hills. I think the main problem with the Cube Hardtail bikes for me is that I want a rack for panniers and they aren't optimally designed for this.
 

Eagle

Esteemed Pedelecer
Aug 31, 2012
381
134
MT,
I will leave you to to do an item by item comparison on all the various components for the two bikes.

Off the top of my head, air fork vs spring fork, Deore vs Alivio gears, 10 speed 11-42T (lower gear for your local steep hills) vs 9 speed 11-34T.
https://www.cube.eu/en/2019/e-bikes/trekking/tour/touring/cube-touring-hybrid-pro-500-darknavynblue-2019/

https://www.cube.eu/en/2019/e-bikes/trekking/tour/touring/cube-touring-hybrid-one-500-blacknblue-2019/

Have test rides on the two bikes. If the ONE suits you just as well the Pro, then you can save some money.
 
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Chris M

Pedelecer
Dec 31, 2018
58
69
It's the allroad version that has mudguards and lights.

Must say I find the 9 speed fine. Most of the time I only use 3,5,7 and 9. Nothing wrong with the others but, with the motor I don't need the smaller variations. This is from someone who would not ride anything less than a 3 times 9 on a manual ( my manual bikes are old).
 
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M. Tartiflette

Finding my (electric) wheels
Mar 3, 2019
22
11
I'm pleased to say that a Hybrid Reaction Pro on offer appeared last week on a French auction site at a dealers nearby. 300 euros off because it's a 2018 model - though as far as I can tell it is identical to the 2019. Got it on Saturday.

Sod's law means it's been tipping it down most of the time since. However, Sunday morning was clear enough for me to test it out on 14kms of local ascents and descents. Was amazed how easy it is with the motor - barely broke a sweat. The Active Line Plus is definitely up to task on the hills - and the rest of the time was sufficiently like a normal bike to make it very straightforward.

Love it. Just need the weather to improve now.
 

Eagle

Esteemed Pedelecer
Aug 31, 2012
381
134
MT,
I am pleased to hear that you have found a suitable ebike and at a good price. Needless to say, the UK is currently "changeable".
 

Andy McNish

Pedelecer
Nov 28, 2018
247
146
Yes. Just before the latest foul weather and gales swept in for the week, I took my Cube Touring Hybrid 500 Iridium and its ALP up into the High Peak via the 14% Werneth Low. Despite being heavily laden with bike, myself and full panniers coming in at 125kg, I went up it whilst dropping my heart rate...

I think the only downside of the Cube Touring bikes is their weight - any carrying or manhandling is a bit of a pain. But boy are they solid and the motor is a dream. Zero resist. Zero noise. Gets up hills well. Stupidly long range.

I'm very jealous of you zooming around France on yours! I'm sure you will have a great time....
 

Jon Matthews

Pedelecer
Aug 22, 2018
76
23
I have a Cube with the 400wh battery. I'm not very fit, but I'm getting better. I live in Sheffield which is built on 7 hills like Rome. I havnt had a single problem with my Cube and the more I ride it the less battery assist I use. I would definitly get the 500wh battery for the distances you want to travel, the most I do is 15 to 20 miles mainly off road and I've never flattened the battery yet. A couple of weeks ago I changed the rear tyre to a mountian bike type, as some of my local tracks have been very slippery and I also find it much easier on my arse. As for the weight, it's bloody heavy, around 23Kg with the kit I have on it. You are going to love your bike.
 

sjpt

Esteemed Pedelecer
Jun 8, 2018
608
228
It might be worth looking at Raleigh Motus as well. Pretty similar. I expect one of the Cube's will suit better, but it might just happen there is something about the Motus that makes you prefer it. It may only be ActiveLine rather than ActiveLine Plus?
 

Poolepete

Pedelecer
Aug 14, 2018
44
24
50
Poole
Hi, I have the Raleigh Motus Grand Tour which has the Activeline Plus motor and 400w battery. It is an extremely comfortable touring bike with a great saddle and a high level of standard equipment. The Cube's are great as well, I chose the Raleigh for the aftersales support (not that I have needed any), having been bitten by my local Cube dealer on a previous bike, and the supreme comfort of the Motus. I have done over 1000 fault free miles since July. The minimum I have had on the battery in terms of range was last week, with about about 50 miles on Tour Mode and a little 1 mile stretch in Sports. My commute is not very hilly, but I have been cycling directly into the 35 knot winds we've been experiencing along the South Coast! Interesting note, when I had a diagnostic report done on my bike at 750 miles, the battery had 10.6 full charge cycles over 758.2 miles. The mode split was 11% eco, 70% Tour, 13% Sport and 7% Turbo. A real life average therefore of 71.5 miles per charge.

The ability to cycle against these winds (maintaining about 13mph) without too much in the way of excessive exertion, justifies again to me why I bought an E-Bike. If I was relying on pedal power alone I would not have bothered and driven to work.
 
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vfr400

Esteemed Pedelecer
Jun 12, 2011
2,877
839
Basildon
Poolepete,
Your average range of 71.5 miles seems to confirm the comment of Andy McNish that, "the Bosch Active Line Plus is an absolute range monster" (see post #21):
https://www.pedelecs.co.uk/forum/threads/1000-mile-review-2018-cube-kathmandu-hybrid-pro-500.34007/page-2
Thanks for your feedback on your Raleigh Motus Grand Tour.
Any bike can get that range if you turn the power down far enough and pedal hard enough. Range isn't a characteristic that comes from the bike, except that some bikes have bigger batteries than others. Instead, it comes from how you use it.
 

Andy McNish

Pedelecer
Nov 28, 2018
247
146
Any bike can get that range if you turn the power down far enough and pedal hard enough. Range isn't a characteristic that comes from the bike, except that some bikes have bigger batteries than others. Instead, it comes from how you use it.
This is true, but in comparison with the Performance CX for example, with all other variables the same, the ALP has 51% better range in Eco mode.

Some of this (presumably about 20%) is because the ALP's Eco assist is set at 40% rather than the CX's 50%, but the rest is just due to efficiency advancements in the Bosch 3rd gen motors.

Also, because the ALP is zero resist it's far easier to pedal with the motor off or over the 25km/h cut off.
As a practical matter zero resist motors do massively increase your effective range on a touring bike.
 
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theloafer

Finding my (electric) wheels
Nov 28, 2017
23
3
64
durham
I'm pleased to say that a Hybrid Reaction Pro on offer appeared last week on a French auction site at a dealers nearby. 300 euros off because it's a 2018 model - though as far as I can tell it is identical to the 2019. Got it on Saturday.

Sod's law means it's been tipping it down most of the time since. However, Sunday morning was clear enough for me to test it out on 14kms of local ascents and descents. Was amazed how easy it is with the motor - barely broke a sweat. The Active Line Plus is definitely up to task on the hills - and the rest of the time was sufficiently like a normal bike to make it very straightforward.

Love it. Just need the weather to improve now.
great to hear your all sorted ....enjoy :)
 

vfr400

Esteemed Pedelecer
Jun 12, 2011
2,877
839
Basildon
This is true, but in comparison with the Performance CX for example, with all other variables the same, the ALP has 51% better range in Eco mode.

Some of this (presumably about 20%) is because the ALP's Eco assist is set at 40% rather than the CX's 50%, but the rest is just due to efficiency advancements in the Bosch 3rd gen motors.

Also, because the ALP is zero resist it's far easier to pedal with the motor off or over the 25km/h cut off.
As a practical matter zero resist motors do massively increase your effective range on a touring bike.
Any efficiency advancements are minimal. They can tune a motor to be most effecient in a zone where someone is more likely to use it, but they can hardly increase the motor's efficiency. Motor efficiency already reaches 80% in some circumstances, so the biggest theoretical gain would be to 100%, which is impossible. Some very clever ones can reach 90%, but a crank drive can't get anywhere near that because of drive train and reduction gear losses.

Nearly all ebike motors have similar maximum efficiencies of around 80%, so it comes down to the same thing. You have 400Wh of energy in the battery. You can take it out slowly or fast.

Let's look at a range of 71.5 miles. That's 5.6Wh per mile. We don't know the average speed, but let's say 12 mph. That would make it 67W of input power. Assuming an average motor efficiency of around 70%, that would mean 47W average assstance, or about half as much as an average non-assisted cyclist gives. It ties in fairly closely with what The Bosch manual says.

The Bosch CX gives and uses a bit more power in the same settings, but it it will go a bit faster so it will go further in the same time, however, there will be some additional losses because of the extra speed so range would be slightly lower.

A typical 36v KT controller ina Chinese bike allows about 60w in level 1, so similar to the Bosch Active. The average rider still gives 100W, so you would expect the range to be the same as the Bosch, as the motor efficiencies at say 13mph would be about the same 70%.
 
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