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Verdict: 
Brilliant value for money, a gem of a frame, and excellent handling makes the Peloton Claris a great first buy or upgrade
Weight: 
9,900g
Contact: 

The £599 Cube Peloton Claris is proof that you don't need to spend a fortune to lay your hands on a high performance road bike. It's all the things a road bike should be; fun, fast and exciting.

With its lightweight and smart looking aluminium frame, a carbon fibre fork and slick shifting Shimano Claris groupset, the Peloton is an ideal road bike for anyone on a budget or looking to get in to road cycling. 

We like: Good value, great ride, wide ratio gears and smart looks

We dislike: No mudguard mounts and that two-tone bar tape (but you might like it)

Cube have a reputation for offering high value road bikes and nowhere is this more obvious than in its entry level Peloton lineup. This Claris-equipped model is the cheapest of the five bikes in the range, but it's the same frame used throughout the lineup. And what a corker of a frame it is. Double butted aluminium with internal cable routing, a feature that has been the preserve of expensive bikes until recently, and a carbon fork up front. The only blemish is the lack of mudguard mounts which would help it appeal to commuters - you should be able to fit clip-on guards though.

Find a your local Cube dealer here

Find this bike online here 

As the model name suggests the frame is fitted with a Shimano Claris groupset. It's an 8-speed setup with a generous 12-32t cassette paired with a triple 50/39/30t chainset - with size-specific crank arm lengths. That's a wide spread of gear ratios right there and should ensure that any hill or mountain can be scaled no matter the level of fitness you possess. It's a setup that will probably mean you're not the first to the top of the hill, but you'll get there and you won't run out of gears on the way.

Shimano Claris is really pleasant to operate, and the levers are proper Dual Control, with the upshift lever behind the brake lever rather than a thumb button. That's the same as the higher end groupsets, and the shifting is extremely light, very little pressure is needed on the levers to change gear. It's been reliable as well and I've not had to make any adjustments to the bike in the time I've been riding it.

Cube has smartly fitted Shimano Claris brake calipers and they're a definite improvement over the often inadequate no-name brakes often found on bikes for this sort of money. The brakes are pleasingly firm with a very good lever feel, providing dependable braking performance all of the time.

It's no surprise to find mostly Cube branded components fitted elsewhere on the bike, this is typical of most manufacturers at the lower price points but then for some book manufacturers own brand kit is more than a simple badge and cost saving exercise. Cube is one such company it has made a great effort with its own-brand kit, it's top quality stuff and works well. The handlebars have a compact shape which reduces the reach when you want to ride in the drops, so it's a less aggressive, head-down, position. I'm not a fan of the two-tone bar tape but you might feel otherwise.

The Cube saddle has a comfortable shape and a generous amount of padding to provide good long ride comfort. The seatpost has a two-bolt head which makes adjusting the saddle position and angle very easy, but it can be a fiddle to adjust with some multi tools as the front bolt sits very close to the seatpost.

Wheels can really influence the performance of a road bike, good wheels can lift the performance, bad wheels blunt the ride. Cube's own RA 0.7 Aero wheels are smartly finished with decals colour matched to the frame, lifting the appearance of the Peloton, but more crucially then the appearance, is the performance: they are very good. Granted, they're not light, but they mask their weight well with a sharp feel when pushed hard and they are strong and sturdy.

The 25mm Continental Ultra Sport tyres are fast-rolling with decent durability and cope with a wide range of road conditions well, from dry to wet roads. The bike has a slight weakness in how well it copes with rougher road surfaces, but the 25mm tyres go a long way to helping dampen pesky vibrations from ruining the otherwise mostly smooth ride. The tyre pressures can be run a bit softer as well to deliver even more comfort over bumpy roads

Read our Buyers Guide to 10 of the Best £500 to £750 road bikes here

On paper the Peloton Claris looks like a bargain, and out on the road it delivers on that promise with fine performance.

At 9.9kg the weight does dent its sprightliness at lower speed, but once you get the Peloton going it nips along with plenty of pace and energy. Steep hills aren't the Cube's natural playground, but with the 30x32 lowest gear, scaling the steeper climbs wasn't the arduous experience you might imagine. The frame is plenty stiff enough for out of the saddle climbing, displaying no hint of energy-sapping flex.

Perhaps the most appealing aspect of the Cube's ride is how accomodating it is - the handling is neutral and the steering isn't too fast, in fact it's quite relaxed, so any new cyclist, or someone upgrading from a cheaper road bike, won't feel intimidated. I found it just the ticket for short blasts in my lunch break or after work, and equally for the longer weekend ride where it is a fine companion for a longer sportive. And with its super low gears, you don't need to fear the climbing of some of the tougher sportives.

A comfortable position is easily achieved. The Peloton comes in a wide range of sizes - it's good to see a company offering a 47 and 64cm size on its most affordablel bikes - and the geometry on the 56cm bike features a short 54.5cm top tube, meaning the reach to the handlebars is easier than a traditional race bike. The head tube measures 18cm so the bars are also a reasonable and back-friendly height too. The Peloton strikes a nice balance between being relaxed enough for people that want to take things easy and enjoy the view, and those that want to get their head down and blast along the roads as fast as their legs will propel them.

The frame is a real gem, both in its appearance and how well it rides. It's a responsive frame, eager when pressing hard on the pedals, and the relaxed steering makes steeper descents enjoyable rather than intimidating. The carbon fork is a good match for the frame, providing a direct feeling front-end and taming some of the ripples of the road better than a heavier aluminium or steel fork.

Conclusion

The Cube Peloton Claris is a fantastic bike. It offers a great value package with some really good attention to detail. It looks great, and the performance and handling will harness your enthusiasm to impressive capability. The Peloton is no afterthought by Cube, the company has nailed the details and that results in a very commendable road bike.

Verdict

Brilliant value for money, a gem of a frame, and excellent handling makes the Peloton Claris a great first buy or upgrade

If you're thinking of buying this product using a cashback deal why not use the road.cc Top Cashback page and get some top cashback while helping to support your favourite independent cycling website

road.cc test report

Make and model: Cube Peloton Claris (2015)

Size tested: 56cm, black

About the bike

State the frame and fork material and method of construction. List the components used to build up the bike.

The Peloton can be considered your admission ticket to discovering the experience of road riding at first hand. With its high quality alloy frame, well balanced ride and 3x8 Shimano group set, this bike is the perfect partner for the touring oriented rider looking for reliability and countless kilometres of enjoyable riding.

Tell us what the bike is for, and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about the bike?

FRAME

The double butted 6061 Superlite aluminium frame with its elaborately mechanically formed down tube, tapered head tube, cross-ovalized Aero Flex seat stays, internal cable routing and 3D forged dropouts is anything but standard for this class of road bikes. The vibration damping CUBE CSL carbon fork and slender seat stays complement the compact yet efficient riding position to create a comfortable sports tourer. New: For 2015 we reworked the Peloton frame and increased its head tube length by 20mm. Also we enlarged the size spectrum by popular demand, including a 47cm frame to accommodate smaller riders.

COMPONENTS

When you're touring, the bike needs to be reliable. That's why we specified a complete Shimano Claris groupset with ergonomic STI brake/shift levers. With a triple crank set (50/39/30) and 11-32 comfort cassette this experience oriented tourer will always offer the right gear. The 25mm Continental Ultra Sport 2 tires, mounted on our own home-built CSW RA 0.7 wheels, will help you enjoy the ride hour after hour.

Frame and fork

Overall rating for frame and fork
 
9/10

Tell us about the build quality and finish of the frame and fork?

It's a top quality frame with internal cable routing and double butted tubing, the same as used in the whole Peloton range. The lack of mudguard mounts is an omission however

Tell us about the materials used in the frame and fork?

6061 Superlite aluminium frame with its elaborately mechanically formed down tube, tapered head tube, cross-ovalized Aero Flex seat stays, internal cable routing and 3D forged dropouts

Tell us about the geometry of the frame and fork?

For 2015 we reworked the Peloton frame and increased its head tube length by 20mm. Also we enlarged the size spectrum by popular demand, including a 47cm frame to accommodate smaller riders.

Riding the bike

Was the bike comfortable to ride? Tell us how you felt about the ride quality.

Really comfortable ride and good fit with the short top tube and tall head tube

Did the bike feel stiff in the right places? Did any part of the bike feel too stiff or too flexible?

No lack of stiffness for the keenest and most powerful cyclist

Which components had the most effect (good or bad) on the bike's comfort? would you recommend any changes?

The finishing kit was all top notch, nice shape handlebars, a comfortable saddle, nice stiff wheels and 25mm tyres, which provide extra comfort

Which components had the most effect (good or bad) on the bike's efficiency? would you recommend any changes?

Excellent Claris groupset with top quality shift performance and superb brakes

Rate the bike for efficiency of power transfer:
 
8/10
Rate the bike for sprinting:
 
8/10
Rate the bike for high speed stability:
 
9/10
Rate the bike for cruising speed stability:
 
8/10
Rate the bike for low speed stability:
 
8/10
Rate the bike for flat cornering:
 
8/10
Rate the bike for cornering on descents:
 
8/10
Rate the bike for climbing:
 
7/10

The drivetrain

Rate the drivetrain for performance:
 
8/10
Rate the drivetrain for durability:
 
8/10
Rate the drivetrain for weight:
 
7/10
Rate the drivetrain for value:
 
9/10

Wheels and tyres

Rate the wheels and tyres for performance:
 
8/10
Rate the wheels and tyres for durability:
 
9/10
Rate the wheels and tyres for weight:
 
7/10
Rate the wheels and tyres for comfort:
 
9/10
Rate the wheels and tyres for value:
 
9/10

Controls

Rate the controls for performance:
 
9/10
Rate the controls for durability:
 
9/10
Rate the controls for weight:
 
8/10
Rate the controls for comfort:
 
8/10
Rate the controls for value:
 
8/10

Your summary

Did you enjoy riding the bike? Yes

Would you consider buying the bike? Yes

Would you recommend the bike to a friend? Yes

Rate the bike overall for performance:
 
9/10
Rate the bike overall for value:
 
9/10

Anything further to say about the bike in conclusion?

The Cube Peloton Claris is a fantastic bike. It offers a great value package with some really good attention to detail. It looks great, and the performance and handling will harness any enthusiasm with impressive capability

Overall rating: 9/10

About the tester

Age: 31  Height: 180  Weight: 67

I usually ride:   My best bike is:

I've been riding for: 10-20 years  I ride: Every day  I would class myself as: Expert

I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, time trialling, cyclo cross, commuting, touring, mtb,

 

David has worked on the road.cc tech team since July 2012. Previously he was editor of Bikemagic.com and before that staff writer at RCUK. He's a seasoned cyclist of all disciplines, from road to mountain biking, touring to cyclo-cross, he only wishes he had time to ride them all. He's mildly competitive, though he'll never admit it, and is a frequent road racer but is too lazy to do really well. He currently resides in the Cotswolds.

17 comments

Avatar
gonedownhill [165 posts] 3 years ago
1 like

"it's good to see a company offering a 47 and 64cm size "

Amen to that. Interestingly Cube, Canyon and Rose were the few manufacturers to offer 64cm frames on most of their bikes. Why is it that 3 German companies do this but so few British and other European do?

Avatar
StevePurcell [22 posts] 3 years ago
0 likes

I wish the manufacture's would put mud guard mounts on these entry level bikes, I would like something like this as my winter ride, but the lack of mounts makes me look elsewhere

Avatar
Duncann [1117 posts] 3 years ago
0 likes

A "12-32t cassette paired with a triple 50/39/30t chainset"??

That's a lower bottom gear than my first mountain bike!

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cyclesteffer [275 posts] 3 years ago
0 likes

Which is the better frame? This or a Caad 8?

Avatar
CapriciousZephyr [87 posts] 3 years ago
0 likes
gonedownhill wrote:

...Interestingly Cube, Canyon and Rose were the few manufacturers to offer 64cm frames on most of their bikes. Why is it that 3 German companies do this but so few British and other European do?

Because Germans are taller?  3

OK, probably not by enough to be the only reason, but perhaps part of it. The Netherlands may also be a large market for them.

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tobciocc [11 posts] 3 years ago
0 likes

Looks a good bike, but at that price you can get bikes with shimano Sora and even Tiagra at a push.

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DavidBlaney1984 [7 posts] 3 years ago
0 likes

Good to see a review of one of the lower specced bikes. Decent bike and doesn't break the bank. Now if only someone would review the bianchi Nirone 7 in either Claris or xenon/veloce spec  1

Avatar
pants [239 posts] 3 years ago
0 likes
gonedownhill wrote:

"it's good to see a company offering a 47 and 64cm size "

Amen to that. Interestingly Cube, Canyon and Rose were the few manufacturers to offer 64cm frames on most of their bikes. Why is it that 3 German companies do this but so few British and other European do?

The Germans are among the tallest in the world in average height, maybe they simply need to accommodate taller people more often.

Avatar
Vejnemojnen [258 posts] 3 years ago
0 likes

That geometry is a shame imho.. 215mm tall headtube with 570mm top-tube? really? My former frame had 175mm head-tube for identical TT length, and my current one measures 575*175. I don't use spacers, and I flip my stem to get lower. and it's not low at all even in the drops with current 130mm deep bars..

This frame is a joke.  1

Avatar
fukawitribe [1946 posts] 3 years ago
1 like
Vejnecske wrote:

That geometry is a shame imho.. 215mm tall headtube with 570mm top-tube? really? My former frame had 175mm head-tube for identical TT length, and my current one measures 575*175. I don't use spacers, and I flip my stem to get lower. and it's not low at all even in the drops with current 130mm deep bars..

So you think the geometry doesn't suit you, that's fine but it looks like it might suit a lot of others and didn't seem to be an issue with the reviewer (who might have tried a couple of bikes and their positions in their time)

Vejnecske wrote:

This frame is a joke.  1

No mate, your comment is - and a poor one at that.

Avatar
Stefano1970 [14 posts] 3 years ago
0 likes

But it's another 'Kraut' bike.  103

Avatar
Vejnemojnen [258 posts] 3 years ago
0 likes
fukawitribe wrote:
Vejnecske wrote:

That geometry is a shame imho.. 215mm tall headtube with 570mm top-tube? really? My former frame had 175mm head-tube for identical TT length, and my current one measures 575*175. I don't use spacers, and I flip my stem to get lower. and it's not low at all even in the drops with current 130mm deep bars..

So you think the geometry doesn't suit you, that's fine but it looks like it might suit a lot of others and didn't seem to be an issue with the reviewer (who might have tried a couple of bikes and their positions in their time)

Vejnecske wrote:

This frame is a joke.  1

No mate, your comment is - and a poor one at that.

well, the 2013-2014 Peloton frames had very nice geo, actually suited lots of riders (was very popular here as well)

But in this model year CUbe went too far with the headtube. IMHO, for this money, I'd rather get a Lapierre Audacio 200, which costs the same and has a better geometry for most of the ppl who are buying roadbikes.

My take.

Avatar
Timmee [12 posts] 3 years ago
0 likes

I just got the RACE SL version for £799 (this is Oct 2015 btw). I'm 50 something MTB'er looking for sportive comfort as well as speed, so I test rode the Peloton and the Giant Defy 1.

I ended up with the Cube because it had a rapid feel and lots of component upgrades (including lighter Mavic Aksium wheels and proper 105 crankset) over the Giant spec. I didn't fancy Cube's narrow 23c Mavic stock tyres so I paid another £40 for a pair of 25c Armadillo Elites  for winter riding.

 

I had a pretty comfortable 40 mile maiden voyage on the Peloton yesterday with no negative issues. I even rode the bike off-road for a little bit along some dryish forest verges and little bumps just to see how it felt. I've ordered a thin shim so that I can fit an old Easton 30.9 carbon seat post I have (the Cube's post diam is 31.6).  The Peloton's ride was already pretty decent with the new 25c tyres. The Defy 1 that I rode had a Carbon post and 25c tyres as standard, so the addition of the Easton carbon post should give the Cube similar comfort levels with much classier wheels & components.

Avatar
Psyiche [1 post] 3 years ago
1 like

Hi,

I am looking for an entry level Road Bike.

Just wondering how would the 2015 Cube Peloton Triple compare to a 2015 Tommasco Forcella?

Both are aluminium bikes with carbon forks.

Both have Shimano Claris groupset, with triple cranks.

Please advise.

Thanks!

Avatar
Timmee [12 posts] 3 years ago
1 like

I'm guessing you won't get a reply from the experts as this is an old review and they'll have 'moved on'. 

I've never heard of the Tommasco Forcella so I googled it and it didn't appear to offer any particular advantage.

My take on it is that with the Cube you've got a reccommendation from a very knowlegable reviewer (Road CC) and there's also a Youtube of Matt Stephens test riding a higher spec Peleton (the same frame) and being highly complimentary about its ride. You can change any bit of kit on a bike, but you can't take the frame apart and re-weld it to make that better! Pick something you know will ride well. If you don't know much about bikes yourself, then why take a wild stab in the dark when Cube have a reputation for top value, and someone has already gone to the trouble of reviewing it for you? Make sure you get the right size for you - go in a shop and sit on one (at the very least) - preferably test ride one! Just to prove I don't work for Cube: the  Giant Defy has an even bigger reputation and will do the same job. It has a lifetime frame warranty and better clearance between seat tube and rear tyre which means you can fit a 28c tyre if you want.

Hope this helps.

 

Avatar
Beefy [381 posts] 3 years ago
2 likes

Dont know if this helps, i have a cube mtb and i am very happy with the frame and over all package. My Impression is that cube make great value bikes

Avatar
Jacobi [172 posts] 3 years ago
1 like
Beefy wrote:

Dont know if this helps, i have a cube mtb and i am very happy with the frame and over all package. My Impression is that cube make great value bikes

Yep, wholeheartedly agree with that. Cube definitely give you more value for your money. They also have a wider range in sizes.

I have a Cube Agree GTC Race with carbon monocoque frame and forks, stiff & compact. internal cable routing, eleven speed cassette 100% Ultegra components, Selle Italia saddle, Mavic wheelset & tyres. For the same specs on other makes I would have paid many hundreds of £s more.