What looks set to be the 2023 Cube Litening C:68 has been spotted at the Criterium du Dauphine. The new bike appears set to combine low weight with aero tube shapes and is being used for the classic warm-up for the Tour de France.
Cube is set to release a lightweight and aero race bike ahead of the 2022 Tour de France. The new Litening model has gone under the knife, losing a significant amount of depth from its tube shapes, especially around the seat tube area.
The Intermarche-Wanty team mechanics were building the new bikes ahead of the Criterium du Dauphine and we were able to take a very close look, thanks to some of the new frames being unpainted.
The key difference seems to be that Cube’s designers have done away with a lot of material from around the top tube/seat tube/seatstay junction, leaving a far cleaner, less angular design.
The head tube, which was a rather chunky design before has also been slimmed down and while the old model had a fork crown running close to the top of the front tyre, the new model seems to have been raised slightly.
As with nearly all road race bikes these days, the front end doesn’t show a single cable, with everything entering the frame via the top headset bearing.
A quick look at the seat tube of the bike confirms that this is a new model, though the code ‘Cube-LI23’ is yet to show on the UCI’s approved frameset list. Framesets are sometimes approved but not added to the list until the model is launched to the public. Other bikes we spotted were marked with a 'prototype' sticker.
Until we have further details from Cube, there is little that can be confirmed as to how much weight has been lost or whether the new bike is faster.
The Intermarche-Wanty team bike is built up with the latest 12-speed Dura-Ace Di2, though the power meter cranksets on these bikes are the older 11-speed model.
A CeramicSpeed OSPW System provides a small reduction in drivetrain drag while the wheels are provided, with very large decals, by Newmen.