Cube Attention review

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The Attention is one of Cube’s many hardtails, and is aimed at everyday use and some trail riding. There are six frame sizes to choose from, with the extra-small and small options rolling on 27.5in wheels, while the larger bikes get 29in hoops. That means most riders should be catered for, and those who are a little shorter, in theory at least, should get a bike that’s decently proportioned (the medium to extra-extra-large frames feature a long 450mm chainstay length compared to the shorter 427mm measurement found on the two smaller frame sizes).

Cube Attention frame and specifications

Cube Attention Hardtail Mountain Bike

Neat cable routing gives clean lines. Cube’s Attention hardtail frame is built with the brand’s double-butted ‘Aluminium Lite’ hydroformed tubes, adding strength to the tubes where necessary without too much extra weight. The bike weighs in at a reasonable 13.8kg (size small). That seems okay until you consider the Vitus Sentier 29 weighs the same in a size medium and features 29in wheels. The Attention’s geometry has been updated to include a lower top tube and tapered head tube, which Cube claims results in more confident handling.

Cube Attention Hardtail Mountain Bike

The Attention comes with a relatively stubby stem. This is potentially thanks to the increased standover height giving more room to manoeuvre and any stiffness gains that come from the newer, tapered head tube. That said, most of the confidence here likely comes from the quality RockShox Judy Silver 100mm-travel fork, complete with remote lockout. Other component highlights are the Shimano 2×11 Deore gearing, impressively punchy Shimano MT200 brakes and Schwalbe Smart Sam tyres.

The Rear Brake Attaches To The Frame Via A Flat Mount Boss, So Upgrading Might Be Trickier.

The rear brake attaches to the frame via a flat mount boss, so upgrading might be trickier. The Attention comes in six frame sizes. Cube’s ‘Sizesplit’ system sees sizes XS and S come with 27.5in wheels and shorter 427mm chainstays, while 29in wheels feature on the M-XXL sizes with longer 450mm chainstays. The idea here is to create a balanced feel between the front and rear wheels. Pairing a smaller frame size (and therefore shorter reach measurement) with bigger 29in wheels and the longer chainstay would likely have a negative effect on handling. Using smaller wheels and a more compact rear end should give a more evenly proportioned feel.

Cube Attention Hardtail Mountain Bike

The RockShox Judy Silver TK fork is smooth and well controlled. Bottle bosses are located on the down tube. There are also mounts for both a kickstand and mudguards, showing the Attention is meant for more than just playing about in the woods. The head tube and seat tube angles are 68.5 and 73.5 degrees respectively, and are in keeping with the majority of the test group. However, they look a little dated compared to the three front runners in the Budget Bike of the Year category (Vitus Sentier 29, Marin Bobcat 5 and Voodoo Bizango Pro).

Cube Attention Hardtail Mountain Bike

We appreciated the fork’s lockout on fire-road climbs. The wheelbase is short at 1,082mm. Together with the narrow 680mm bars, which feature on every frame size, and short stem, it contributes to the compact feel of the bike. Cube also specs long 175mm cranks across the size range, which isn’t ideal on the smaller sizes.

Cube Attention geometry

Cube Attention Hardtail Mountain Bike

The Attention’s geometry has been updated to include a lower top tube and tapered head tube.

Seat angle (degrees)7473.573.573.573.573.5
Head angle (degrees)68.568.568.568.568.568.5
Chainstay (mm)427427450450450450
Seat tube (mm)340370420470515560
Top tube (mm)555575595615635655
Head tube (mm)108111111122142157
Bottom bracket drop (mm)525265656565
Wheelbase (mm)1,0681,0821,1251,1461,1681,190
Stack (mm)595598627637656670
Reach (mm)384398409426441457
Wheel size (inch)272729292929

Cube Attention ride impressions

Cube Attention Hardtail Mountain Bike

The bike feels most comfortable on flowy blues and greens. I tested the Attention, as with all the hardtail mountain bikes in this Bike of the Year group, on increasingly technical trails. This started with tarmac cycle paths and fire roads, and progressed through all grades of the Glentress trail centre, including the jump park. Testing took in wet, dry and even frozen conditions.

First impressions certainly lean more towards a leisurely paced style of riding than anything more aggressive.The double chainring helps to ensure those new to mountain biking have a wide enough range of gears that they can sit and spin up hills without running out of options and having to push. The Schwalbe rubber rolls fast and helps to maintain speed when coasting.

Cube Attention Hardtail Mountain Bike

Two chainrings and 11 sprockets at the rear provide a wide range of gears. Of the bikes in our Budget Bike of the Year test, the Attention offers the shortest wheelbase and reach (398mm). Those stats, coupled with the smaller 27.5in wheels, meant at 160cm, the size small felt a touch too small for me. Sizing issues aside, it’s a surprisingly comfortable bike to pedal and felt more than at home cruising along towpaths or mellow forest tracks, thanks to its upright seated position. Moving to the green trail centre trails with small roll-over rock features, I found the limit of what this bike is designed for relatively quickly.

Cube Attention Hardtail Mountain Bike

Schwalbe’s Smart Sam tyres roll fast and offer ample grip on the trails the Attention is best suited to. The short wheelbase and 27.5in wheels meant the mellowest of rock gardens could upset the Attention’s balance. It felt noticeably jarring on my legs and arms as the wheels got stalled and kicked by rocks more readily than those bikes with a longer wheelbase and on bigger 29in wheels.

In tight turns and rocky or rooty steps, the twitchy steep head angle made holding the front wheel on intended lines a challenge. Having to continuously compensate and correct my body position while climbing and descending detracted from the fun of riding red and black trail centre trails. Sticking to the greens and blues is the Attention’s bread and butter, and where it feels most comfortable.

Cube Attention Hardtail Mountain Bike

The upright position is comfortable on mellow terrain. On the flowy blues and greens and over small jumps, the Cube had a surprisingly smooth, compliant feel, which was much more enjoyable. It would have been interesting to test the medium 29er version, which would have given me more room in the cockpit. However, I would be up against the same issues as experienced on the Scott Aspect 920, which shares very similar geometry with long chainstays.

Interestingly, the Specialized Rockhopper Elite features the same fork, head and seat angle as the Attention. However, here the key differences lie with the larger 29in wheels, longer wheelbase, chainstays and reach, all of which contribute to a more stable bike that instils greater confidence to ride. For the novice rider, building confidence is key.

Cube Attention Hardtail Mountain Bike

The narrow bar contributes to a slightly cramped-feeling bike. In order to make the bike more comfortable, confident and instinctive to ride, upgrading to a wider handlebar would certainly be my first priority. This would help to stabilise handling and help get the most out of the impressive fork, wide range of gears, solid brakes and fast-paced tyres that help the Cube zip along the trails. But down the line, while the componentry is clearly very good, it’ll likely be the geometry and sizing that’ll scupper further progress for those keen on getting more serious about their riding.

Cube Attention bottom line

Cube Attention Hardtail Mountain Bike

Cube’s Attention struggles on more technical tracks. Generously equipped to rival the competition, the RockShox Judy Silver TK fork, and Shimano drivetrain and brakes will see you through nicely as your mountain biking skills progress. However, the compact geometry and small sizing will likely hold back a keen mountain biker. This meant I was reluctant to push the Cube on trickier trails, limiting its use to greens, blues and flowy, small jump trails to ensure it never stepped too far out of its comfort zone.


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