With the Cargo Sport Dual Hybrid, CUBE have set themselves the ambitious goal of rendering your car useless! On paper, the concept with a powerful Bosch Cargo Line motor, powerful Magura brakes and a huge 200 l cargo bay looks very promising. But how will the e-cargo bike fare in real-world tests?
“Boy, what a week?” The 40 hours hidden somewhere in your employment terms and have been deftly ignored for months and turned up to 50 or more. You’ve got one meeting after the next, accounts to be settled and of course, your boss, who seems to be more interested in nurturing his belly than his tasks, comes by and slams another stack of files onto your already crowded desk. The only ray of hope is a promising email that found its way to your mailbox on Tuesday morning: that new E-cargo bike of your friend’s that you rode at the beginning of the month and ordered shortly afterwards will be ready for collection by Friday afternoon. You can’t wait!
What’s the idea behind CUBE’s E-cargo bike?
Bavarian bicycle brand CUBE have dared to take the leap and develop their first-ever E-cargo bike. The market is growing steadily and there’s big demand; most manufacturers are unable to keep up with all the orders. So, it is not surprising that CUBE are also getting in on the cargo bike boom, hoping to secure themselves a share of the market with the Cargo Hybrid E-cargo bike. The goal? To move with the times and render cars useless. Cargo bikes instead of cars, two instead of four wheels, E-mobility instead of exhaust fumes. Could it be possible?
The CUBE Cargo Hybrid in detail
The CUBE E-cargo bike is available in two versions, depending on your preferences and surrounding topography. On the one hand, you’ve got the standard Cargo Hybrid model featuring the Enviolo cargo hub drivetrain and on the other hand, there is the Cargo Sport variant with a classic Shimano groupset, both giving you the option of using either one or two batteries. The remaining components are the same for all models. Driving the E-cargo bike is Bosch’s powerful Cargo Line motor, offering up to 85 Nm support. The Suntour MOBIEA32 fork in the front should smooth the ride for cargo and passengers. To ensure you have enough braking power whenever you need it, whether you’re hauling a load or not, CUBE have equipped the Cargo Hybrid with a pair of four-piston Magura CMe brakes. However, the heart of the bike is the large, 200 l EPP foam cargo box. Not bad when you compare it to a Golf 8, which has a volume of approximately 380 l!
|Cargo Hybrid||Enviolo hub drivetrain||500 Wh||€ 4,678|
|Cargo Dual Hybrid||Enviolo hub drivetrain||1,000 Wh||€ 5,360|
|Cargo Sport Hybrid||Shimano Deore 1×10 derailleur||500 Wh||€ 4,386|
|Cargo Sport Dual Hybrid||Shimano Deore 1×10 derailleur||1,000 Wh||€ 5,068|
Which of the four CUBE Cargo Hybrid versions is right for me?
You’re sure the CUBE Cargo Hybrid is the perfect E-cargo bike for you, but which version? The CUBE Cargo Hybrid is available either with a single 500 Wh battery or with Bosch’s 1,000 Wh Dual Battery system for an additional € 700. To charge them, you can either plug in the bike directly or you can remove the batteries using a key and charge them wherever is most convenient. Our recommendation is clear: the 16% surcharge is worth it in the long run. To be honest, we always ride E-cargo bikes in boost mode, even when they’re not loaded. However, when you’ve got the bike fully loaded and you’re facing an incline, that 500 Wh battery will be empty sooner than you’d like. If you’ve got 1,000 Wh battery capacity, you can make unplanned detours to the ice cream parlour without constantly having to look at the display in fear that you might not have enough range. And let’s be honest, if you’re riding an E-cargo bike without E but with two kids sitting up front, that final stretch home will seem never-ending!
You have to consider how and where you’ll use the cargo bike. Both the Enviolo Cargo 380 hub drivetrain and the Shimano Deore groupset offer a gear range of 380%. That isn’t a lot compared to a current Rohloff or 1×12 groupset. It’ll suffice for the occasional excursion into hilly terrain. However, our experience from the cargo bike group test (review here) shows that the Enviolo hub drivetrain struggles to cope with steep climbs and the forces exerted upon it in those situations and that it will eventually give up entirely. If you’re going to be taking on steep climbs with a fully loaded cargo bay on a daily basis, we recommend the Shimano groupset and having the large 38 t chainring exchanged for a smaller one. The Enviolo hub drivetrain is a good option for those who live and ride on flat and terrain and are looking for a low-maintenance system. If you’d like to read more about the best drivetrain options for cargo bikes, check out point 4.7 of our big cargo bike group test (available here) for an excellent overview of all the relevant information as well as their respective advantages and disadvantages.
CUBE Cargo Sport Dual Hybrid
Motor Bosch Cargo Line 85 Nm
Battery Bosch Dual Battery 1,000 Wh
Display Bosch Intuvia
Brakes MAGURA CMe 203/180 (f/r) mm
Tires Schwalbe Super Moto-X / Schwalbe Big Ben Plus 20 x 2.4" / 27,5 x 2.4" (v/h)
Size One Size
Weight 51.5 kg
Length 265 cm
Width 74 cm
Perm. total weight 220 kg
CUBE Cargo Hybrid geometry
|Seat tube||480 mm|
|Top tube||582 mm|
|Head tube||110 mm|
|BB Drop||65 mm|
Transporting children with the CUBE Cargo Hybrid
The optional children’s bench costs an additional € 224 and allows you to transport up to two kids, which you should definitely add to your shopping cart if you’re planning to leave the mommy van at home. The bench can be installed or removed within seconds and you can adjust it forwards or backwards to accommodate longer or shorter legs. Unfortunately, though they make it quick and easy to remove, the straps allow the bench to move around slightly and the EPP foam makes an unpleasant squeaking noise when it rubs against anything else. If you’re only transporting one kid, you can use a single strap in the middle of the bench for more balanced weight distribution. However, we preferred putting our test passenger on the right side when we weren’t carrying full capacity. That way he was further away from the passing cars and able to get in and out on the side facing away from the road.
Additional accessories for the CUBE E-cargo bike
To keep your cargo and passengers dry even on a rainy autumn day, there is an optionally available rain cover for € 263, which is super quick to attach. You get mudguards and lights fitted across the range as standard. If you only go shopping once a month instead of every week and want to expand the bike’s carrying capacity, there’s an optional luggage rack available for the CUBE Cargo Hybrid for € 58, allowing you to carry an additional 20 kg. However, keep in mind the maximum permissible weight of 220 kg (including the bike and rider)!
Riding the CUBE Cargo Sport Dual Hybrid
Compared to the discreet black Cargo Hybrid, the Cargo Sport Hybrid version is a bit more conspicuous, attracting attention with its blue-red paintwork. However, the huge transport box the CUBE E-cargo bike will draw attention even without a striking colour scheme. With a capacity of 200 l, it is ideally suited for bulk purchases and more likely to be limited by the 60 kg maximum payload. As light and child-friendly as the EPP foam may be, it squeaks! Be it the child seat or your shopping bag leaning against the inside: even the slightest bit of friction between two objects as you ride is enough to assault your ears. What a shame! Due to the design, the Cargo Hybrid is best suited for carrying items like groceries, drinks and passengers. Large and bulky items can be difficult to place securely in the box; cargo bikes with a flat transport bed have a clear advantage here.
Both the saddle and the handlebars can be adjusted in height via quick release, making the CUBE Cargo bike easy to share with several riders. The riding position is relaxed, but the seat tube angle is a bit too steep to be able to put your feet on the ground when you’re standing still without having to get off the saddle. When you pull away, you can immediately feel the 85 Nm power of the Bosch Cargo Line motor. Regardless of whether with or without a load, there is little the motor can’t cope with. As already mentioned, the limiting factor on the climbs is not the support of the motor but the low gear range of the 1×10-speed Shimano Deore groupset. On hilly terrain, you’ll either need a smaller chainring or a 1×12 groupset with a significantly wider gear range.
Sit back and have fun! The CUBE Cargo Hybrid loves corners and is easy to manoeuvre, even if you’re new to cargo bikes.
In terms of handling, CUBE have hit the sweet spot. Despite its length and the front wheel hidden behind the transport box, the Cargo Sport Hybrid Dual E-cargo bike is intuitive to ride. It doesn’t take any time to get used to! With or without a load, riding the E-cargo bike is a lot of fun and you’ll be surprised how far you can lean into corners with the Cargo Hybrid! The Schwalbe tires offer a lot of grip on asphalt. However, when cornering on gravel, you have to be careful that the front wheel doesn’t slip, which is disastrous on a 51 kg bike!
Tuning tips: smaller chainring for hilly terrain; suspension seat post for more comfort.
Regarding comfort, the CUBE cargo bike is mediocre at best. The only comfort generated at the rear is thanks to the 27.5 x 2.4” Schwalbe Super Moto-X tires, while the Suntour suspension fork only provides a certain level of comfort when you’re hauling a load. Generally, the Cargo Sport Hybrid Dual feels most at home on asphalt and paved paths, as you’re likely to get shaken up on rougher terrain. On the descents, you can always rely on the stopping power provided by Magura’s four-piston brakes. It’s great that CUBE have paid attention to this and rely on brakes that a heavy-duty cargo bike is worthy of!
Our conclusion on the CUBE Cargo Sport Dual Hybrid
No matter if they were passengers or test riders: everyone had a good time on the CUBE E-cargo bike and just wanted to keep on riding. The Cargo Sport Dual Hybrid impressed us with its intuitive handling, powerful motor, large cargo bay and reliable brakes. Due to the lack of comfort and gear range, it feels most comfortable on paved paths and flat terrain where it’s able to live up to its full potential. For the attractive price of € 5,058, CUBE offer an excellent E-cargo bike package!
For more information about the CUBE Cargo Sport Dual Hybrid, visit cube.eu
Interested in finding out more about other cargo bikes on the market? Check out our cargo bike group test with an extensive range of bikes and everything you need to know about cargo bikes. Essential reading for anyone in the market for a cargo bike!
You can also read our article about everyday cargo bike life to find out more about what to pay attention to when riding a cargo bike and how to confront some of its unforeseen challenges with confidence.
Words: Philipp Schwab Photos: Benjamin Topf, Philipp Schwab