These bikes are built to take day-in-day-out abuse and put practicality above petty weight-saving or dainty design. As such, a touring bike is as much at home on the city streets or hacking down the pub as it is in the mountains. That’s what makes a touring bike like the Cube Travel RF pictured a do-it-all bike for all seasons and reasons. A bike like this is adventure-ready – you could literally set off around the world on a fully kitted out touring bike like this, straight after a shop has twisted the bars and set the seat height to fit you.
You’ve been framed
The secret to this versatility of use is the frame, which as a touring bike needs to have all the fixing points to attach the kit you need for adventure. Rear rack mounting points? Check. Mudguard fixing points front and rear? Check. Mounting points on the front forks for extra low-rider panniers if needed? Check. Mounting points for two water bottle carrying cages? Check and check again.
In the Cube’s case you get half of these touring necessities thrown in and fitted too: there’s a Standwell rear rack with handy bungies, as well as excellent SKS mudguards front and rear, and a kickstand for propping your bike up. You also get a full fit-and-forget front and rear lighting system pre-installed, which is powered by a dynamo hub built into the front wheel. This means that the bike will be night-ride practical and legal all-year round, without ever having to worry about batteries.
For all-condition, fully laden touring up and down mountains you need reliable, powerful brakes and lots of gears – especially small ones so you can spin yourself and your heavily loaded bike up steep gradients. The Cube Travel delivers both via Shimano’s hydraulic disc brakes front and rear and a 27-speed Shimano drivetrain with 34-tooth ‘bailout gear’ on the rear cassette. Another advantage of disc brakes over conventional rim brakes is that the braking action eventually wears out the easily replaceable brake discs rather than the wheel rims.
When it comes to wheels for riding the long road less travelled, it’s hard to beat the proven strength of a ‘three-cross’ spoke lacing pattern used by the Cube. This is where each of the 32 spokes is crossed and therefore braced by three other spokes for maximum wheel strength and rigidity. By adopting this lacing pattern and marrying it’s own-brand rims to Shimano hubs and excellent 40mm fat Schwalbe tyres, the Reflect is bound to deliver thousands of fast-rolling, comfortable miles.