Ladies and gents, boys and girls – introducing THE SQUID!
Some say … He drinks two stroke instead of beer
Some say … He rides 366 days a year
Some say … That when he crashes it’s the GROUND that gets Squid Rash!
But enough bullshit! Who is the Squid..?
He’s our very own top-secret and very talented, international pro-rider test pilot. The Squid will be testing a heap of downhill bikes for us and giving us the facts from his years of riding, racing and bike testing expertise. The track is our top secret, gnarly downhill track that combines rocks, roots, loam, jumps and all the gnarly stuff the Squid feeds on.
First up… it’s the CUBE TWO15.
The Two15 is Cube’s first downhill bike project and has been in development for the best part of five years. The spec you see here is £4199 and comes equipped with a Kashima coated Fox DHXRC4 rear shock and 40RC2 fork, Saint group set, Schwalbe tyres and Formula brakes. On the scales she sits at about 40lbs.
Without further ado… on to the Cube Two15.
“Let’s just get this straight, you want to know if this bike is cool? You’re asking the wrong guy. I’d happily ride a bin lid if you sprinkled it in glitter. But saying that, the Cube isn’t a bad looking bike at all, it didn’t bowl me over with its looks yet it has a solid and confidence inspiring appearance to it; you instantly feel like you could really get this bike moving along. I wanted to ride it like I stole it. The frame was yellow, like custard, this is where it falls down as I don’t like custard. As a package though, it looked good. The MRP, the fork graphics, the rim graphics and even the linkage were all colour matched which looked trick.”
“Let’s talk about the suspension. The cube falls into the category of ‘floaters’ – now I see a few floaters in my line of work, thankfully not the waterborne variety. By floaters I mean that the suspension is supple and hugs the terrain giving a sensation of gliding or floating. Using a Kashima Fox DHX the Cube offered good levels of grip on the WO test track and certainly for the most part inspires you to ride harder and faster. To be honest if you ever have the misfortune of working with the Wideopen magazine crew you’d soon understand that you would ride any inanimate object at warp speed just to get away from their incessant bitching and weirdness.”
“A characteristics that I was less fond of and never quite solved with the settings was that the suspension had the tendency to load up under heavy compressions and then cause the back end to skip up unweighting and transferring the rider weight to the front of the bike. You could predict when it would do this and still ride it hard but it wasn’t something I liked.”
“Other times when trying to work off the load in the suspension it was hard to predict exactly where you were in the travel. However, the Cube’s strength lies if you hold a neutral position and hit things hard, the suspension works really efficiently leaving it down to you to just lay off the brakes. And the fork? It was bouncy, it had goldie looking bits and I liked it.”
“What about the sizing? The size was pretty good, the geometry inspired confidence and I felt like I could shift my weight on the bike easily enough – However if I wanted the perfect fit I would be looking for a slightly larger frame to accommodate my big squid balls. I hear the new version of the Two15 that was at Eurobike might offer a few more size options which is good news.”
“And the little details? The Scwalbe Muddy Mary tyres were awesome on the loam of the test track. The formula brakes were solid too though were a little bit on/off. Nothing you won’t adjust too though.”
So would I buy this bike? “For sure the Cube is a good bike, it is easy to get on with and allows riders to hit testing sections hard with confidence as the suspension is effective at taming the terrain. I did feel that overall the bike felt a bit too heavy for this era of downhill bikes; when it is up and running it rides well but sometimes it feels as though there is just too much bike to get moving quickly. I’d have a lot of fun riding it if it were mine and the Wideopenmag boys paid me more than just KFC so that I could afford a bike.”
Suspension - Cube’s design generally works well and gives bags of confidence on rough terrain
Attention to detail – Colour matched components, graphics and paint work create a good looking bike
Components – The Schwalbe tyres offered loads of grip on the loose, loamy, damp test track. The Kashima Fox Shock worked well throughout.
Sizing – Only one size meant the Two15 was a bit small for the Squid, but more sizes are availabe in 2013
Suspension – The Squid never managed to quite get the setup perfect and found that it “had the tendency to load up under heavy compressions and then cause the back end to skip up unweighting and transferring the rider weight to the front of the bike.”
Thanks to Dan and Chris at Cube UK for their patient loan of the Two15.
Thanks to the Squid for destroying the Wideopen test track for a day! Follow the Squid on Twitter at @MTBsquid.
Check out Cube’s site here.
Video filmed and edited by Paul Roberts
Photos by Jacob Gibbins
Getting in the way by Jamie Edwards
Riding and words by The SQUID!