2015 CUBE Reaction Hybrid HPA Pro 29 Review


Technical Specs & Ratings



Reaction Hybrid HPA Pro 29


Class 1


Front Suspension



Hydraulic Disc



396 Wh

396 Wh

57.5 lbs / 26.11 kgs


CUBE 1.5E ZS, Top Zero-Stack 1 1/ 8" (OD 44 mm), Bottom Zero-Stack 1 1/ 2" (OD 56 mm)

CUBE Performance Pro, 6°

CUBE Rise Trail Bar, 700 mm Length

CUBE MTB, Flat Rubber with Locking Rings

CUBE Performance Post


CUBE Active 1.1

Snafu Plastic Platform

Hydraulic Disc

Shimano BR-M355 Hydraulic Disc, 180 mm Front, 160 mm Back


Video Reviews

Written Reviews

The CUBE Reaction Hybrid HPA Pro 29 is a “high performance aluminum” 29er (meaning the wheels are 29 inches in diameter) that offers excellent value as a trail bike or around-town platform. The larger wheel diameter (compared with a standard 26″ or 27.5″ design) feels stable, smooth and efficient. It’s closer to the size of most city bikes that use 700c wheels but offers more cushion and traction due to the wider 2.25″ tires. Further enhancing comfort is a RockShox suspension fork with rebound adjust. If you’re only cruising on streets, the fork does have lockout and the model I rode had remote lockout so it could be activated while riding without even removing my hand from the grips. The official CUBE website lists an SR Suntour fork so I’m not sure why the model I tested was different but sometimes a model will be updated throughout the year. CUBE has an impressive lineup of bikes and the Reaction Hybrid Pro is only the second one I’ve reviewed. To me, it seemed to offer a low price while still maintaining quality and even a full range of sizes from 15″ to 23″. Some of the cost saving measures I noticed were external cabling attached with plastic fasteners vs. being internally routed, the exclusion of a stock kickstand (though there is a nice mounting point ready for it and CUBE does sell them) and cheaper plastic pedals vs. stiff aluminum alloy or magnesium. The bike was stiff, responsive and I love that it offered quick release on both wheels (handy for storage or transport).

Powering the CUBE Reaction Pro 29″ is a geared mid-drive motor system from Bosch. Most of the reviews I perform are on US models but this one was done in Canada and I believe the nominal power rating was 250 watts. The official CUBE website calls it a Performance Cruise drive unit an calls out the smaller 15 tooth chainring. All of the Bosch Centerdrive motors I’ve seen tend to have smaller sprockets but this one was extra small. The result is increased power for starting and climbing at low speeds with a limit on high speed performance. As I reached ~20 mph it became difficult to pedal fast enough to keep up with the bike. The Shimano Deore drivetrain is high quality and it shifted quickly and relatively smoothly given the dirt that was caked on (I was reviewing a rental bike). over time, derailleur cables need to be tightened and tuned and sprocket teeth can wear but this mid level component group should hold up under the abuse better than a cheaper option. One really great thing about the motor and controller on this ebike is that it can sense when you shift and pause momentarily to reduce wear and strain on the chain and sprockets. I tried to demo this in the video review above and while it’s still possible to create mashing by shifting hard and pedaling full power while climbing… at least the motor won’t be contributing as much as on some simpler designs. The motor responds to your pedaling by listening for bicycle speed, pedal cadence and pedal torque. It’s extremely advanced and performs very well, one of my favorite drive systems and the main reason for a higher price point than other e-bikes you might see.

Powering the CUBE Reaction 29 is a Bosch Powerpack 400 battery that mounts just above the motor, along the downtube. It’s positioned well for both weight distribution and protection in the event of a crash and it’s removable for transporting and charging off of the frame. You get 36 volts of power and 11 amp hours of capacity here which is a touch above average in terms of size but the way this power is used and the quality of the cells inside is well above average. Inside the pack are 18650 cells made by Samsung, they use an energy dense Lithium-ion chemistry designed to be light weight and long lasting. The pack only weighs ~5.5 lbs so you could conceivably buy a spare and toss it into a backpack for extremely long rides… If you added a rear rack using the threaded eyelets on this bike you could easily carry the battery and the charger which only weighs ~1.5 lbs and is fairly small. Reaching ~80% takes just one hour but completely filling the pack is closer to three due to cell balancing. I like that the pack itself has an LED readout on the left side for showing your charge status (handy if you’re storing it inside and can’t remember if it’s already full or needing a top-off). It locks securely to the frame when mounted and uses an ABUS core and key set which is definitely higher quality. The mounting points for the battery were welded directly to the downtube and felt very sturdy, it didn’t rattle around much when going off-road and that’s a great sign, especially on a well-used bike. The pack has a sort of built in handle that makes it convenient to carry around when off the bike, dropping it could crack the case and potentially damage the connections inside so the handle is great. To really care for this pack and help it reach 1,000+ charge cycles I recommend storing in a cool, dry environment and maintaining a 50% fill when you aren’t using it for longer periods. If you haven’t used the bike for several months time, check in on the battery to make sure it hasn’t dropped below the 10% range. You can easily charge the pack on or off the frame using the same unique connector plug and it fits securely with a nice click.

Operating the Cube Reaction Hybrid HPA Pro 29 is a breeze… Once the battery is charged and properly connected to the downtube mount all you need to do is press a power button at the lower left area on the display panel. This is one of the best display panels I’ve tried, being removable, swiveling and backlit! In addition to showing your speed, battery level and assist setting it also predicts range dynamically depending on which power level you’re currently in. If you’ve got a Micro USB cable, you can charge portable electronics directly from the display (using a port along the top right edge). Okay, so the display is on, from here you can change assist settings using the up and down keys on the remote button pad (mounted near the left grip). This pad is easy to reach and creates a satisfying click with each press so you don’t actually have to look down at the display to confirm adjustments. At the cent of this pad is an “i” button that cycles through odometer, trip meter, max speed, range and some other readouts so there’s no shortage of trip feedback. I really like the design and user experience here and have grown more appreciative of it after trying so many basic displays that cannot be removed or require extra keystrokes to complete tasks. This (along with the motor and battery) are what really set the Reaction Hybrid Pro apart from other hardtail trail bikes I’ve tested and why the price is higher.

The CUBE Reaction Pro was a fun bike to test, it felt more active than a city or cruiser bike but could still work great for commuting. The suspension fork was solid and you could easily add a Body Float or NCX suspension post with a use a shim to fit the 30.9 mm post diameter. This would further soften the ride… a set of riser bars could also reduce the active body position. With five sizes to choose from the “high step only” frame design isn’t such a big deal… you can get the size that fits your body and that’s great. For my own ride style, I’d probably get a rack and kickstand and definitely a set of lights. This would be a top contender for commuting and weekend fun, one that should stand up to more rigorous rides, I really appreciate the solid two year warranty offered by CUBE and Bosch.


  • One of the most affordable Bosch powered electric bikes I’ve reviewed for 2015, the motor size is a bit smaller due to European specs ~250 watt
  • Available in a full range of sizes including 15, 17, 18, 21 and 23 so you can really dial in fit and achieve good ergonomics
  • Extremely versatile offering, you get efficiency and stability from the 29er wheels and since it’s a hardtail you could easily add a rack on the back (there are bosses built in for attaching racks)
  • Quick release wheelset (front and rear) makes tuneups and trail maintenance much faster, no tools required (weight savings)
  • Remote lockout on the suspension fork, handy for off-road trail riding when transitioning from hard pack to bumpy terrain
  • Mid-grade hydraulic disc brakes front and rear require less hand strength to activate
  • Removable display panel, battery pack and quick release on front wheel for more compact storage, lighter transport and maintenance and easier charging
  • Great torque output, this bike can climb very well in Turbo mode when you’re pedaling along, try the higher cadence settings for very steep terrain
  • Battery pack locks to the frame for security and uses a quality ABUS core with in-cut routed key, the pack can be charged on or off the frame for convenience or to reduce weight if you’d like to ride unpowered, the pack also includes an LED charge level indicator
  • Intuitive display panel is large, easy to read and removable – the stand alone button pad is easy to reach without taking your hand off the left grip and “clicks” when pressed for tactile feedback (you don’t have to look down when riding)
  • Good weight distribution (motor and battery centered and low on the frame), improved balance and handling for off-road riding
  • I like that they mounted the suspension fork lockout on the right vs. the left, it stays out of the way for using the Intuvia button pad this way and also doesn’t seem to interfere with shifting


  • Smaller 15 tooth chainring is great for climbing but limits cadence range when riding at higher speeds, most Bosch systems I’ve tested have 18 tooth sprockets
  • Limited availability in Canada and the US for 2015, we should see more in 2016 and possibly the chainring thing will be addressed, only one frame type (high step) and color choice (black with gray and red accents)
  • The battery pack takes up the space where a water bottle cage might otherwise mount and there isn’t one on the seat tube due to the rear suspension setup, consider and aftermarket accessory for the saddle rails or grab a CamelBak
  • No throttle mode, this bike only offers pedal assist (like all Bosch powered systems) but will get a better range than if it did
  • More of the cables are mounted externally on this frame vs. being internally routed, this isn’t as clean and may increase potential for snags compared with some more expensive designs
  • The kickstand doesn’t come stock but you can order one separately and there is a mounting point on the left chain stay, if you set this up for commuting a kickstand would be nice to have
  • Walk mode seems to be disabled for some geographies, I tested the bike in Canada and couldn’t get it to work

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