Cube Nutrail Fatbike
When a stubborn ankle injury put an abrupt halt to my running career earlier this year and shoved a rather sh*t-shaped spanner into my plans for 2017, it was time to look elsewhere for that much-needed wilderness fitness fix.
My saviour arrived early February in the chubster form of an affordable, big bouncy Cube Nutrail (apparently pronounced NEW-trail, not NUT-rail - shame) fatbike that happened to be on sale at my local biking shop – the infamous Square Wheels in Strathpeffer.
Despite the fact that I had next to zero (actually, let’s be brutally honest, just zero) biking skills, I fell immediately in love with this black and red fat lass. She looked fun, up for adventures, and crucially, sturdy enough to cope with both the harshest of off-road terrain and my embarrasing lack of ability and experience.
6 months on and we’re basically inseparable. Here's why:
The Cube Nutrail Goes Anywhere
Over the past 6 months we’ve been everywhere, my black and red fat friend and I. We’ve ridden up Munros, beside remote Scottish lochs, and through icy rivers deep in the Highland wilderness. We’ve travelled for miles along deserted sandy beaches, teetered our way along the top of precipitous cliffs, and hurtled down rocky, rooty routes at trail centres.
With her 4.5” width tractor-esque Jumbo Jim tyres, she soaks up muddy trails, deep sand and soft snow without so much as a backward glance but what’s arguably even more impressive is how she handles the ascent. Being that she is wide of girth and lardy of name, one would have expected her to be a tad brutish on the climbs but not a bit of it. In fact, hoist her up into the air and you’ll be pleasantly surprised at how light she actually is - just 14.7kg in fact which is apparently comparable in weight to the amount of cheese the average American eats in a year. An extraordinary factoid and potentially pub quiz winning bit of info - you’re welcome.
In addition to the weight (or lack of it), an extra bonus of the Nutrail’s HPA Superlite frame is that it’s also super stiff so there’s really no excuse to be languishing at the back of the group on long climbs. With top quality components throughout, including RockShox Bluto suspension forks and Shimano groupset, the Cube Nutrail is built to endure and perform in a variety of terrain, making it one super adaptable and exceptionally fun bike.
The Cube Nutrail Grows With You
I have no qualms in admitting that when I started out on this fat adventure I had no idea about what I was looking for in a bike. My only requirement was that my steed was forgiving, dependable and capable of covering up for my distinct lack of ability.
6 months on and we’re beginning to get to know each other better and working more closely as a team. As our partnership has developed, so we’ve made some individual adjustments that have helped us to function better out on the trail. I’ve been focusing on developing my technical climbing ability, practicing manuals, bunny hops and cornering to get the most out of my fat friend and in return she has allowed me to change her pedals (to lighter, wider, stickier and altogether more cool looking bright orange Fire Eye Grill pedals) and switch things up at the front with some wider handlebars and a shorter stem that have provided me with more control and stability on the descent.
Of all the changes and adjustments that have been made over the past 6 months, the most significant of these has been the addition of a dropper seat post which has changed both of our riding lives beyond recognition. Life BD (Before Dropper) was a stop-start affair but thanks to the Cube Nutrail’s internal cable routing, we were able to fit a dropper seat post that means I can raise and lower the seat post while riding at the push of a button. A real game changer when the gradient of the trail is constantly changing between ascent and descent.
The Cube Nutrail Has Turned Me Into A Rockstar
Wherever I go these days, I seem to attract attention and whilst I’d like to think that this is down to a combination of my impressive riding skills and flawless skin, as a beginner mountain biker with a 41 year old’s complexion, this is unlikely to be the case.
The focus of this attention is of course, not me at all. It’s the lovely black and red Cube Nutrail that’s on the roof of my car or leaning against the fence outside the café. Yup – it’s safe to say that pretty much the only reason why people want to chat, are constantly staring at me and giving me random thumbs up is because I have a fat bike and they like it. And you know what? I’ll take that because I like it too.
No matter your riding skill level or experience, the Cube Nutrail can open the door to a whole new and distinctly wider off road dimension. If you’re looking for a bike that won’t cost the earth but will take you further, farther and deeper into the wilderness (whilst earning you some admiring glances en route), then the Cube Nutrail is definitely worth the ride.
The Nitty Gritty
Buy this bike - if you’re looking for off road fun and freedom
If you buy this bike – you’ll spend a lot of time answering questions from other riders
Don’t buy this bike – if you have a tendency to take yourself too seriously
Geometry: 15”, 17”, 19”, 21”
Frame: Triple butted and hydroformed High Performance Aluminium (HPA) tubeset
4.5 inch Schwalbe Jumbo Jim Tyres
RockShox Bluto RL suspension forks
80mm Answer Fat Attack wheels
2x10 Shimano Deore/XT transmission and RaceFace Ride 26/24 chainset
Magura MT2 hydraulic disk brakes
- Cable routing for Sideswing Direct Mount front derailleur
- Replaceable gear hanger
- Internal cable routing for dropper seat post
Brand Nationality: GERMAN