The CUBE Stereo 170 SL 29 is the latest offspring of the Stereo family and with 170 mm travel and big 29″ wheels, it promises to offer loads of reserves as well as agile handling and good climbing prowess. We were very curious to find out if it could deliver.

CUBE Stereo 170 SL 29 | 170/170 mm | 14.66 kg | € 3,999

Priced at only € 3,999, the CUBE Stereo 170 SL 29 is the most affordable bike on test, despite an excellent spec list. With FOX Factory suspension combining a GRIP2 fork and X2 shock, a reliable Shimano XT drivetrain and powerful XT four-piston brakes, CUBE rely only on the best and proven componentry. The only exception are the thin Schwalbe TLE tires, which are completely inappropriate for slightly heavier riders and anything more than a mellow riding style. Unless you’re a featherweight that tends to float over obstacles, we recommend replacing these immediately with a Super Gravity casing option. On closer inspection of the frame, you can begin to understand how CUBE have achieved the pricepoint of the Stereo 170 SL 29.

For such a high-end spec at such a low price, you get a frame that hasn’t been given much love or attention to detail.

The finish is somewhat rudimentary and if you’re looking for smooth, clean lines and beautifully integrated details, you’ll be disappointed here. The shock mount, which is different for coil and air sprung shocks, doesn’t harmonise well with the rest of the frame. Even the chainstay protector could do with a little more attention to detail. The material it’s made of is good, but it’s much too short to prevent the paint on the chainstay from chipping off. Special headset cups allow you to select one of two head angle positions on the Stereo, though we left it in the slacker 64.4° setting for the duration of the test.


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