On many occasions we look for a gravel bike that is not excessively expensive and that has a certain level of quality. This is the case of the Nuroad SL.
It is a very acceptable model, with an aluminum frame and that includes the specific Shimano GRX groupset. In addition, it has a carbon fork and quite acceptable components. Personally, I find it a particularly good option to introduce you to gravel or adventure cycling.
Below I detail its key aspects and I invite you to participate with your comments.
It is not the first time that we deal with this model and, on this occasion, we have decided to present its top of the range. You have other cheaper options under the same frameset, but the Nuroad SL I think is the best choice.
The frame itself, as we have mentioned, is made of an aluminum alloy that the brand calls it HPA (High Performance Aluminum). It is 6061 T6 material and is widely used in cycling, both in components and for the creation of frames.
« The frame is made using an aluminum alloy that the brand calls HPA (High Performance Aluminum) »
As for the fork, you cannot complain since it is made of carbon. It has a very current design in a straight way. Maybe, I miss the arrangement of eyelets to install a bikepacking accessory. But this is very relative, since we usually have them on the forks of our gravel bikes and we never use them, although it gives some security to have them, because maybe one day ….
« The fork is made of carbon. It does not have eyelets to install a bikepacking accessory, but you may never need them »
If we focus on the tubes of the frame, they have different shapes that make it attractive. The bottom tube, for example, is somewhat square in shape and the top tube widens as it joins the head tube. In addition, as it is a trend, it presents somewhat thin seatstays, although they are not dropped. Along with the tapered headtube, the result is a modern bike with an aesthetic remarkably similar to a road model.
« The tubes of the frame have different shapes and thicknesses. The down tube, for example, is somewhat square in shape and the top tube widens as it joins the head tube »
Another interesting thing about this model is that cable routing is internal. On the one hand, it gives it a more modern touch and visually the bicycle is much cleaner.
As for the geometry, it presents a moderate sloping that causes more relaxed driving in these cases. Therefore, it is a good model for both short trips and trips of several hours.
« The bike’s geometry features moderate sloping which helps a more relaxed ride. The back will not lean much»
One of the “but” that I should add and that may not be significant for some (for me it is), is that it does not have added eyelets for the installation of a third bottle cage or a bikepacking bag on the bottom side of the down tube. In any case, it should not be a major concern since you have solutions in the market capable of locating a third bottle holder in that area. For example, you can install the Topeak Versamount accessory, which we once installed on a Giant Anyroad and it worked wonders.
If we talk about the size of wheels, Cube does not clarify if the installation of wheels with size 650b is possible or not. It appears that the frame is designed for a more standard measurement of 700c and with a maximum tire width of 42mm.
« Cube does not clarify if 650b wheels can be installed. It appears that the frame is designed for a more standard measurement of 700c and with a maximum tire width of 42mm»
To finish, in terms of sizes you have several measurement options: 50, 53, 56, 58 and 61. It seems that we do not have options in terms of color and we only have the range in silver combined with black and orange, giving a very industrial touch to the bicycle. For some it may not be so important how the bicycle is painted. However, personally it is. More if you will invest a good amount of money to buy it.
Well, this is the section that I like the most about this bike. Cube includes for this model a whole Shimano GRX 11-speed (mechanical). Being a model with a fair price, it offers us the RX 800 level (except for the crankset).
This set can be equipped at the level of a Shimano Ultegra. I do not like this kind of comparisons between groups because each one has its idiosyncrasy. But for those who have used the road model it has to go quite well.
Regarding its developments, it offers us a very gravel-oriented solution that will behave quite well on forest tracks and even on terrain with some difficulty. Specifically, it mounts a single 40-tooth chainring and a large 11-42t cassette. It is, therefore, a transmission that can be a little short for asphalt. But this is very relative and as long as you have the legs to use it to the fullest.
« The Nuroad SL has a single 40t chainring and a large 11-42t cassette. It is, therefore, a transmission that can be a bit short for the asphalt. But do you have the legs to use it at maximum speed? »
If we talk about the components that come in the Nuroad SL, seatpost and stem are aluminum and Newmen brand (I do not know its quality). The handlebar, which is specific to gravel, has a certain slightly flared shape.
« The handlebar is specific to gravel and has a slightly flared shape»
The saddle is also added by the manufacturer itself and is the Natural Fit Nuance Lite model, which stands out for being comfortable and having a channel that increases comfort in the middle part.
Wheels and tires
Finally, regarding the wheels, the Nuroad SL comes equipped with a fairly reliable and widespread model: Mavic Allroad Disc. They are wheels made of aluminum and that work for 12mm thru-axles.
The tires it incorporates are the Schwalbe G-One Allround for wheels of 700c and with a thickness of 40c. I consider it an ideal measure for gravel, since a larger size can lose some effectiveness, mainly on asphalt. They have small blocks that ensure us to roll optimally on any type of terrain, especially in curves. These tires, and the GravelKing from Panaracer, are perhaps the most popular in the gravel world.
|Model: Cube Nuroad SL |
Modality: Gravel for any type of terrain.
Groupset: Shimano GRX 11 speeds.
Chainring: 1x 40t Cassette: 11 / 42t.
Components: aluminum series.
Tires: Schwalbe G-One Allround 700c x 40mm.
Wheels: Mavic Allroad Disc.
Weight: 9.8 kg.
Its official price is € 1,699.
The Nuroad SL is an acceptable model in terms of value for money. It mounts a nice worked aluminum frame and offers us a carbon fork, as well.
The best thing about this model is that the manufacturer offers us the complete 11-speed Shimano GRX. Specifically, the RX 800 level (except the crankset). A luxury for a bicycle of this price.
I recommend it for those users who want to get into the gravel without spending a fortune. In addition, its weight is very respectable at 9.8kg, remarkably close to some Carbon models.
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