Zwift’s December update included the third frame in game from Germany-based Cube. Named the “Litening C:68X”, it’s the more aero evolution of the Cube Litening already in game, with a claimed 30% drag reduction compared to the 2015 Litening.
Here’s how the Cube Litening C:68X is described in the Zwift Drop Shop:
“The Cube Litening re-writes the race bike rule book. Completely redesigned to be as aerodynamically efficient as possible, it’s the secret weapon you need to break free of the peloton and find your place on the podium. Fast, light, and as slippery through the air as a hot knife through butter. Break out and win.”
We’re not sure if the “hot knife through butter” analogy was the best choice, but clearly Cube thinks their latest Litening is one fast machine. It certainly looks sweet… and fast!
This frame is priced at 373,500 Drops and level-locked at 32. It is rated 2 stars (!) for aero and 3 for weight, which immediately made us question just how speedy it would be in game.
Of course, Zwift’s star ratings aren’t precise enough to communicate actual performance in game. So we ran the new Litening through our standard battery of tests.
Here’s everything you need to know about the performance of the new Cube Litening C:68X frame in Zwift.
Aero (Flat/Rolling) Performance
The Litening C:68X turns in a poor aero performance, matching the previous Litening precisely and thus falling into the lower 23% of frames.
Its test time of 51:34 is just 2 seconds faster than the default Zwift Carbon frame given to all Zwifters. By comparison, the fastest frame in Zwift (Cervelo S5 2020) turns in a time of 51:17.5 on our test course, which is two laps of Tempus Fugit, totaling 34.6km.
Due to Zwift’s Dura-Ace 9200 bug (see “Still Not Fixed” note at bottom of page here), we already knew the Litening C:68X wouldn’t be winning any hill climbs. It turns in the same time as the Giant Propel Advanced SL Disc, ranking in the lower 40th percentile.
Without the bug, the frame would theoretically climb around 19 seconds faster, which would boost it to the top 5 overall climbing rankings. But as we said with the just-released Chapter2 TOA, that’s all silly talk until Zwift gets the bug fixed.
The Cube Litening C:68X currently turns in an Alpe climb time of 49:14.5. By comparison, the fastest climber in game (Specialized Aethos) completes the test is 48:50.
Note: all test results above are from a 75kg, 183cm rider holding 300W steady using Zwift’s stock 32mm carbon wheelset.
Without Zwift’s Dura-Ace 9200 bug, the new Cube Litening C:68X frame would be a solid climber on Zwift. But the bug is there, which means the new Litening isn’t strong climber, until things change.
On top of that, this frame’s aero performance is shockingly bad, especially considering this is billed as a super-slippery bike by Cube, and a much faster version of its older Litening.
In summary: it’s fast IRL. But isn’t fast on Zwift.
Our guess is that Zwift will be tweaking the aero settings for this frame in an upcoming release. But until that happens, it’s hard to recommend this frame for anyone on Zwift, unless you own it IRL and want to ride it in Zwift events where speed doesn’t matter.
The Litening C:68X’s numbers will be added to the following posts, and it can also be found on our Master Zwift Frames List:
Questions or Comments?