The Cube Attain GTC Pro Disc is an endurance road bike that offers an excellent Shimano 105 groupset, powerful hydraulic disc brakes and a smooth ride, all at an attractive price.
The Attain GTC Pro Disc isn't a lightweight, aggressive race bike, it's a bike for getting in the big miles in comfort. It's certainly up for riding fast, but smoothness is more this bike's thing. That's the most obvious characteristic of the ride.
The Cube feels quite rangy when you climb aboard. I've been riding the 58cm model with a 540mm seat tube, 575mm top tube and 202mm head tube. Along with a 15mm tall headset bearing cap, this gives you a pretty high front end even if you remove all the headset spacers and position the stem as low as possible. You're not going to get into an ultra-low, grit-your-teeth-and-attack position here, but that might not be what you're after. Don't get me wrong, it's not a sedate position either, but Cube's equivalently sized Litening C:68 SLT Disc race bike has a head tube that's 22mm shorter and a stack height that's 30mm lower.
The Fulcrum Racing 77 Disc wheels are fitted with supple and grippy Continental Grand Sport Race SLs in a 25mm width, and there's plenty of space for switching to 28mm tyres, or even wider, should you want to put more air between you and the road surface (and, of course, the need to use tyres that fit inside rim brake callipers isn't an issue here).
Smoothly does it
As it is, the Attain GTC Pro Disc already offers a smooth ride. The sloping top tube means you'll likely have plenty of slim (27.2mm diameter) seatpost extending out of the frame, and the shell of Cube's own Road Performance 1.0 saddle provides a load more give. I found the padding of the saddle a little too squishy and squirmy for my taste, but it'll suit those who like more cushioning.
The Attain GTC Pro Disc isn't a lightweight, weighing in on the road.cc Scales of Truth at 9.1kg (20.1lb), and it doesn't lurch forward like some race bikes on climbs. The gearing, well chosen for an endurance bike, helps out there. You get a compact Shimano 105 chainset (50/34-tooth chainrings) matched up to a wide-ranging 11-32t cassette, so there's not much chance of you running out of gears on the hills. You're not going to go anywhere fast in the largest sprocket (6.7mph at a cadence of 80rpm, if you really want to know), but it might just get you out of trouble when the terrain is doing its best to ruin your day.
The Shimano BR-RS505 hydraulic disc brakes (flat mount, acting on 160mm rotors front and rear) provide plenty of power in a predictable and consistent manner. I'll not go into the whole disc brakes versus rim brakes thing, but you'll certainly notice that there's not much of a drop off in performance in wet conditions here.
I find the look of the dual control levers to be – what's the word? – challenging, thanks to the long body and the bulbous front end. They're just not stylish, to my mind, although you might think differently (in which case, you're wrong). On the plus side, they work well and offer free stroke (the amount of lever movement before the brakes engage) and reach adjustment.
The BR-RS505 brakes' capabilities give you plenty of confidence when descending, and the Attain GTC Pro Disc feels stable and solid at speed, with bumps and holes in the road doing little to knock it off track. It doesn't have quite the manoeuvrability of some other bikes out there – you can't flick it about when riding in a bunch, for example – but that's not what the Attain is about.
Frame & fork details
The frame is built with a tapered head tube (it takes a 1 1/8in bearing at the top and a 1 1/4in bearing at the bottom) that keeps the front end straight when you're cornering hard, and the bottom bracket is held in place by a broad down tube and meaty chainstays. There are certainly stiffer bottom brackets out there but you're unlikely to spend a lot of time sprinting out of the saddle on a bike like this.
The frame and fork both take 12mm thru-axles (Syntace X-12) for rigidity. With no quick-release lever, you'll need to remember to take a multi-tool with you on every ride or you won't be able to change a punctured inner tube. You probably do that anyway, right?
Cube has specced mudguard mounts front and rear which will be welcomed by many riders, especially in Britain where cycling on wet roads is pretty much part of the deal. Covered by little plastic grommets, the mounts positioned at the back of the frame and fork dropouts are hardly noticeable when not in use.
Gears, wheels & cockpit
I've already mentioned the Shimano 105 chainset and cassette, and the 105-level BR-RS505 hydraulic disc brakes. The derailleurs are from this mid-level groupset too, and they worked superbly throughout testing with just a light action required at the lever; 105 is solid, dependable stuff and excellent value.
The Fulcrum Racing 77 Disc wheels are more sturdy than lightweight. The front wheel is built with 14 spokes on the rotor side and seven on the opposite side in order to put strength where it's most needed to handle the forces of the disc brake. It's the opposite way around on the rear wheel, where drivetrain forces are thrown into the mix. I've found the wheels stiff enough and they've remained true throughout testing.
The only components I've not yet referred to are Cube's Performance Pro stem and Wing Race Bar, each made from 6061 alloy. I doubt the fact that the top section of the bar is ovalised makes a whole lot of difference to the aerodynamics but it does mean you get a comfortable handhold up there, the pressure getting distributed right across your palm.
The Cube Attain GTC Pro Disc is a smooth-riding endurance bike that's stable and well capable of handling speed. With a very good carbon fibre frame, Shimano 105 groupset and hydraulic disc brakes, it offers a lot for the money.
Endurance road bike that offers a smooth ride, stable handling and the all-weather reliability of Shimano's hydro disc brakes
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Cube Attain GTC Pro Disc 2017
Size tested: 58cm
About the bike
State the frame and fork material and method of construction. List the components used to build up the bike.
FRAME GTC Monocoque Twin Mold Technology, Flat Mount Disc, Road Comfort Geometry, AXH, X12
FORK CUBE CSL Race Disc, One Piece 3D-Forged Steerer/Crown, Carbon Blades, Flat Mount, 1 1/8in - 1 1/4in Tapered, X12
HEADSET FSA I-t, Top Integrated 1 1/8in, Bottom Integrated 1 1/4in
STEM CUBE Performance Stem Pro, 31.8mm
HANDLEBAR CUBE Wing Race Bar Compact
HANDLEBAR TAPE CUBE Grip Control
REAR DERAILLEUR Shimano 105 RD-5800GS, 11-Speed
FRONT DERAILLEUR Shimano 105 FD-5800, 31.8mm Clamp
SHIFT-BRAKE-LEVERS Shimano ST-RS505
BRAKE SYSTEM Shimano BR-RS505, Hydraulic Disc Brake, Flat Mount (160/160)
CHAINSET Shimano 105 FC-5800, 50x34T
CASSETTE Shimano 105 CS-5800, 11-32T
CHAIN Shimano CN-HG600-11
WHEELSET Fulcrum Racing 77 Disc, 100x12mm / 142x12mm, Centerlock
TYRES Continental Grand Sport Race SL, 25-622
SADDLE CUBE RP 1.0
SEAT POST CUBE Performance Post, 27.2mm
SEATCLAMP CUBE Screwlock, 31.8 mm
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?
Cube says, "Our Atttain GTC Pro Disc is an aesthetic and functional masterpiece. This high performance race bike combines the comfort and performance of a high tech carbon frame with the latest brake technology. Genuine long-distance ability, superb efficiency and unbelievable comfort are all in the Attain GTC Pro Disc's genes."
To me, it's not a race bike, it's an endurance/comfort road bike. It lacks the geometry and the reactions of a race bike.
There are four bikes in Cube's Attain GTC Pro Disc range, this being the cheaper of the two disc models. The £1,799 Attain GTC SL Disc comes in a Shimano Ultegra build with DT Swiss Spline R24 Disc wheels.
Frame and fork
Tell us about the build quality and finish of the frame and fork?
Everything is painted so you can't see what's going on underneath. The matt paint job is good and the decals are neat, as is the finishing around the cable holes.
Tell us about the materials used in the frame and fork?
The frame is carbon fibre. The fork has carbon fibre legs although the one-piece steerer/crown is alloy.
Tell us about the geometry of the frame and fork?
I've talked about this in the body copy. One of the main features of the geometry is that the head tube is quite tall for a bike of this size – more suitable for endurance riding than racing.
How was the bike in terms of height and reach? How did it compare to other bikes of the same stated size?
Riding the bike
Was the bike comfortable to ride? Tell us how you felt about the ride quality.
Yes, it's a smooth ride. Many people will find the riding position more comfortable than that of a full-on race bike.
Did the bike feel stiff in the right places? Did any part of the bike feel too stiff or too flexible?
The level of stiffness is appropriate for an endurance bike. It's not as stiff as some race bikes, but it doesn't need to be.
How did the bike transfer power? Did it feel efficient?
It felt efficient enough.
Was there any toe-clip overlap with the front wheel? If so, was it a problem?
No, it just misses.
How would you describe the steering? Was it lively, neutral or unresponsive? Neutral.
Tell us some more about the handling. How did the bike feel overall? Did it do particular things well or badly?
This bike offers plenty of stability.
Which components had the most effect (good or bad) on the bike's comfort? would you recommend any changes?
The bike comes fitted with 25mm tyres but there's loads of space to go to 28mm or even higher. The saddle is very deeply cushioned. I didn't love it, but I didn't hate it either!
Which components had the most effect (good or bad) on the bike's stiffness? would you recommend any changes?
I wouldn't say you'd particularly want to add more stiffness. This isn't the type of bike that would benefit from that.
It's not an especially light bike but it has the gears to handle the hills.
Wheels and tyres
Tell us some more about the controls. Any particularly good or bad components? How would the controls work for larger or smaller riders?
The levers are reach adjustable.
Did you enjoy riding the bike? Yes
Would you consider buying the bike? It's not performance-focused enough for me.
Would you recommend the bike to a friend? I'd suggest they consider it if they're after a smooth-riding endurance bike.
Use this box to explain your score
£1,699 is a very good price for a carbon-framed bike with a full Shimano 105 groupset and hydraulic disc brakes. Add in a smooth ride and stable handling and you're looking at a solid 8.
About the tester
I usually ride: My best bike is:
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: Most days I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: commuting, club rides, sportives, general fitness riding
Mat has worked for loads of bike magazines over 20+ years, and been editor of 220 Triathlon and Cycling Plus. He's been road.cc technical editor for eight years, testing bikes, fettling the latest kit, and trying out the most up-to-the-minute clothing. We send him off around the world to get all the news from launches and shows too. He has won his category in Ironman UK 70.3 and finished on the podium in both marathons he has run. Mat is a Cambridge graduate who did a post-grad in magazine journalism, and he is a past winner of the Cycling Media Award for Specialist Online Writer.